Monday, 29 March 2010

A very vintage night out

A few weeks ago, I was befriended by one 'Richard Hannay' on Facebook. He turned out to be a character from the play The 39 Steps, which is currently showing at the Criterion Theatre, here in London. The original novel by John Buchan, The Thirty-Nine Steps was first published in 1915, and is a thriller about an innocent man on the run, starring the aforementioned Hannay, described as "an all-action hero with a stiff upper lip and a miraculous habit of getting himself out of sticky situations". The most famous adaptation of the book was by Alfred Hitchcock in 1935, and this latest production is set in the same era.

I was then contacted by 'Mr Hannay', to find out my thoughts on the Criterion running a 'Vintage Night' for the play, for which all attendees would be required to dress up in their finest attire. I, of course, thought it a splendid idea and told him so. Before I knew it, the date had been set and an advertisement placed in the forthcoming April/May issue of the Chap Magazine.

Looks rather splendid, don't you think?

I am excited to say that I have been invited to watch the play tomorrow, and discuss some other ideas with the organisers, that will ensure this night is one not to be missed by vintage fans here in the Big Smoke. I will report back soon! If you are keen to attend, please do contact the box office on 0844 847 1778 right away as the tickets have already started selling. I'm sure it's going to be a roaring success!

Must dash, I think I can hear a Black Maria coming round the corner....

Fleur xx

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Ah, the bric-a-brac section

Now that I am an impoverished freelancer with no real disposable income, one of the few retail-based pleasures in my life comes from my weekly (or thereabouts) trawl around the local charity shops. I have long since given up checking the clothes rails because all the shops in my town are chains, which means donations get sorted at a central depot, and all the proper vintage is removed before the remainder gets distributed. There is one independent shop, but sadly its donations are very poor quality. I do check it weekly, and I would be very glad to give them some of my money as they clearly need it... but to date I have never found anything worth buying!

I've mentioned my love of old china here before, and since then, my addiction has grown even stronger. I can't wait for the local car boot sale to start up again, but until then, I must make do with the bric-a-brac sections. I get such a buzz from finding old china and glassware, even if, as I live in an affluent Home Counties town, not much I find could accurately be described as a 'bargain'. In fact, in a shop one town over, which is even more wealthy, I was gobsmacked to find a 1960s china tea set, in good condition but incomplete, with only 5 cups; on sale for £80. The manager complained to me that she'd already reduced it from £100, and that she was surprised that no one had snapped it up since, given the prices pieces were commanding on the internet, it "definitely WAS a bargain".

What she was failing to take into account, is that the prices she was seeing were on the many china replacement websites, where people look for that one piece of Granny's tea service that they accidentally smashed. No one goes into a charity shop looking to spend almost a hundred quid on china! So clearly the charities are getting canny and researching their donations. Fair enough! But I have got some bargains recently, and in lieu of anything informative to post... here they are!

I saw the stunning Art Deco jug and five glasses in the window of one shop, on sale for £20. This is not exactly cheap, and it is obviously missing a glass, but I think they'd command a much higher price in an antique shop. When I asked to buy them, as they came out from the window, I noticed two glasses had small chips in the rim. The manager immediately insisted I have them for £10! An offer I could not refuse! I think that the chips will smooth out marvellously with some fine wet and dry sandpaper, and so I am pleased as punch!

The Vogue mirror dates from the 1970s I believe, but the snowy scene is titled 'Early February 1919 and features a lovely, blue-eyed, fur-swathed fashionista and a car. I have wanted one of these for absolutely years but hesitated to buy one from eBay. This is far from the nicest I've seen, but for £2 I was hardly likely to leave it behind!

The teapot and matching jug and bowl confused me a bit, since the small bits carry the china company's 1930s mark, and the teapot their late 50s mark. The gold stars also scream 50s to me, but vintage crockery guru Naomi informed me that the shape of the teapot is ultra 30s, so I can only assume that it is a 50s reissue of the 30s pattern. It would have matched 50s tastes perfectly, don't you think? The set was £8 from the local hospice shop.

Last but not least, I am terrible at dating these dressing table sets, but they are usually listed as 1930s on eBay. I know that Depression-era glass was thick and patterned, so it makes sense. I already have a pale blue one on my Art Deco dressing table, so this is going to go in my bathroom. It cost £12, so again, not cheap-as-chips, but postage on such a thing from t'internet would be pretty astronomical, not to mention risky.

So those are my recent finds... have you found any amazing bargains lately?

Fleur xx

Monday, 22 March 2010

Pin Up Peek

I've been a huge admirer of the fabulous Lisa Freemont Street for a long time - no one comes close to her incredible range of vintage hair video tutorials. So I was delighted when she asked me to be the featured girl for her March Pin Up Peek - a new series she started last month. She asked me a few fun questions, and picked some photos from all points of my pin up 'career'. The finished result went up the other day. So, if you would like to know a little more about me (nothing many of you won't know already!), do peruse the below video at your leisure!

Pip pip!

Fleur xx

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Homeward bound

a fortnight or so ago, I did the first of two shoots for the Watercress Line Steam Railway in Hampshire. The end result will be a calendar that they will be selling at the War on the Line event in the summer, with proceeds going to both the line, and Help for Heroes. So, a worthy cause! I do have a few sneaky peek photos to post, but I thought I'd show you what I wore. These were taken right at the very end of the day, and a long and tiring one it was too.

My coat is by La Riviera, who sell at various events around the UK, and my overalls are from Trouble MacKenzie. My very battered old co-respondents were bought at Rhythm Riot two years ago.

Thank you to Agness Lugovska, who took these shots with my camera. I will have more photos by her good self and by Sean Kelly, who took most of the 'proper' shots, soon.

Things are as busy as ever at the moment, though I do owe my lovely readers more posts, and I also owe the lovely Helen of Pinup Parade a Sponsor Spotlight post, so keep your eyes peeled for that soon.

Have a splendid Wednesday, all!

Fleur xx

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Romance and cigars

The weekend before last, I finally went to an event that's been running a while, but which I hadn't yet managed to attend - Die Freche Muse. It's a night packed with burlesque, live swing bands and music to dance to until dawn. Literally, as it goes on until 4am! It's held in a private members club (or someone's house - I couldn't work it out), which means that you can smoke inside. Now while I am certainly not a smoker, this was a revelation for my chap, who is. It was also an opportunity to relax with a drink and a cigar - a large manly sized one for him and our friend Lukash von Morgan, and a girly sized one for me.

Lukash in his genuine Hussars jacket, with genuine cuban cigar. Whether rolled on the thigh of a virgin, I couldn't say...

Me with the ladies' version

There was a rather talented photographer there called Boris Conte, who took some rather splendid pictures of us. We didn't know these were being taken!

Go here to see the rest (hoping that it works if you aren't friends with him...)

Fleur xx

Take a look!

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