Saturday, 28 August 2010

Truely an amazing Grace

This week I went on a two day trip to London with my parents as a little trip away (I've noticed how different it is in the distance when I live at home to when I live at University, a trip to London from home is a biiiig deal, where as at university it's as easy as popping to the shop for a pint of milk). The main reason was to go shopping of course, however there was the Grace Kelly exhibition too that I've been waiting to see for months now as every time I have gone to visit it, it has been sold out!
Outside the exhibition wearing a vintage
 50s gab shirt and 60s Enid Collins style bag
   So after a dreary early morning start (who would believe how dark it is at 5am on an August morning!) we dropped our bags off at our b&;b and headed to the Victoria and Albert museum where the exhibition was being held. Even after countless times of visiting this museum, I'm still in awe of the building and the permanent exhibitions they have. So once mum and dad had took their jaws off the ground we had a quick wander around the museum with me as their tour guide!
Dresses from High Society


   We headed to the exhibition at 4pm and it was packed! I had seen a sign previously at the entrance saying all entrances to the exhibition were sold out! So even after at least five months people were still going crazy for this exhibition, Grace darling you certainly caused a stir!
      However it was a little on the smaller side for an exhibition,especially after all the hype there has been over it. Not to say that it wasn't worth it, oh no! The outfits were simply stunning, showing dresses from films such as high society (which of course was her last film) and Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window. It was so nice to see these outfits in the flesh after seeing the films so many times over the years and still kept in such an amazing condition, you would have thought they were made yesterday! The famous costume designer Edith Head designed most of her outfits on and off screen. As well as making fantastic films in the 50s she was also known for her marriage to Prince Raineir III of whom she got married to in 1956 and became Princess consort of Monaco, even whilst married she was still a famous fashion icon which was shown well in the exhibition, with her famous kelly bag that ladies still clamber over today.
 The fashions of each decade she lived were clearly portrayed through each outfit displayed, her class and beauty on full display for everyone to see, even initimate items such as sunglasses and sketched designs of outfits. It was lovely to see such a variety of people showing their interest for vintage fashions and of a true icon. From teenagers to ladies who can remember her from first time around.
    It also came to my attention how slim Grace Kelly was, people always look back on the 40s and 50s for ladies with curves but Grace Kelly was different to women of the time, if she was around today and as slim as she was, surely she would have been involved with the size zero debate? She did have curves don't get me wrong but compared to other bombshells of the time such as Marilyn Monroe and Jayne Mansfield she was a tad on the skinny side. Looking at her garments ohh how envious I was! Maybe this was just what made Grace stand out that little bit more, she was in a category of her own,they do say it's always better to stand out from the crowd then blend in and she certainly did that, to me she was an actress and starlet that todays Hollywood stars are no comparison to.
   Having waited for a very long time for this exhibition, I remember this being advertised a year or so ago when I went to another exhibition at the museum, and for me it was certainly worth the wait.
   After the exhibition it was time to get serious and get our shopping heads on. With taking a trip to Beyond Retro where I picked up a fabulous western shirt (can I have a YEEEEHAWWW)  and bought a lovely aqua pencil dress from Vivien of Holloway simply on the basis I saw one of the assistants wearing it and it looked so good I had to buy it! Surely that's a good enough reason.... rightt?
    What a wonderful couple of days in London, even if a bit damp but perfect for any fashionista out there! I managed to get some great Vox Pops too but that will just have to wait for another blog at another time.
                    Until next time  Toodle Pip!
Collecting thoughts on the way home wearing a vintage 50s
cashmere sweater and beret from beyond retro

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Think you can style ai?

This is only a small quick blog that I am writing while I still remember... I am a bit of a ditz (well a bit would be an understatement, just ask my parents!) I thought I'd share some of my favourite images from a styling shoot a friend and I did at the beginning of this year. It was for a project at university and was based around music, we got given Paloma Faith as our muscian... At the time I had no clue who Paloma Faith was... yess I know, I must have been living in a bubble of some kind not to know who she was! But when I found out, wowweeee oh I still love her now because of this project.
    Styling for this was so fun, we could be as adventourous as we wanted because of Paloma Faith's exciting dress sense! We borrowed a lot of clothes from friends and our own wardrobes. I searched high and low for a model, and found a local one Red B, she was perfect for it! Bright red hair and very bubbly, what more could we ask for?!
   The shoot involved a day to day scenario of "Paloma" doing her day to day routine, it worked very well and we received very good feedback!
   I really enjoyed the styling side of a photoshoot instead of me being in front of a camera, it does involve a lot of work before the shoot, with finding the right outfits, getting the right look etc but it is a lot of fun! So I am hoping to get involved with some more styling over the next few months.

So here I am...

It seems that I've come to a brick wall at this moment in my life, this rarely happens with me, I can't seem to remember how I get out of this tricky situation!
   Recently my heads been on the go all the time, I've got several up coming plans in my head of which I can't mention until I've had confirmation of these certain things. I've been busy with work, photoshoots and thoughts on university, a lot going on in my little ole life really?
  I think it's time I got my career on the go, I've still got two years of uni left, but I want to get something underway soon! I've been speaking to my friend Rosie (and soon to be house buddy!) and shes been such a busy bee with styling here there and everywhere. By the sounds of it I think she's found what she's good at! I think I've still got a while to go, I enjoy a bit of everything at the moment.
   As you can see I love writing and with writing my fashion article for UK rock that certainly keeps me busy, I've done a bit of styling here and there mainly for projects, however I am styling my friend Dollface Darling's photoshoot soon so that be interesting.
   However I still can't help but think where do I go from here? I am trying to get myself heard, who by I'm still not sure, be it through my modelling or my writing. Hopefully I will find what is good for me and I will catch the eye of someone exciting in someway or another!

Thursday, 19 August 2010

A few shots from the fabulous museum

So here they are people, I've only had a few images back so far but I'm rather pleased with them already! They are exactly what I was looking for and I'm so glad I chose the photographers I did because of the amazing results! I found it so difficult choosing because I had astounding feed back from so many photographers but I am very pleased with the ones I chose.
For these images I wore a pale blue and white vintage 1940s day dress with adorable glass buttons, my bag was a vintage 40s-50s wicker one from a local antique store that I bought many years ago and my shoes were would you believe it a primark bargin! The gorgeous gloves were from my lovely accomplise Dollface Darling!

The images look really authentic don't you think? We used a vintage tram for these set of images and it was so fun to work on!!
I will be putting some more images up soon so keep all your eyes peeled for it!

Location location location!

A few of the glorious buses and trams!
Today I had a fabulous shoot today at East Anglian Transport museum, I'd had it organised for ages, after my dad came up with the super idea of using the museum, why I'd never thought of it was beyond me, some things just skim right over my head!      The day didn't go off to the bestest start due to a migraine and me being very poorly but after an hours kip, I was raring to go! And I'm so glad I was because what a super day it was, I had organised the shoot with two photographers from London and I had my friend Dollface Darling modelling with me.
     While I was there I thought it would be perfect to do some location shots again, so this blog will be showing a few of the shots I took.

The train station with vintage signs and a ticket booth! The man even comes and stamps your ticket on the train for you!
  The photographers I worked with were superb, two of the best I've worked with to date by the looks of the results they were showing me on their camera! So keep your eyes peeled for my new images soon.
    As it is a vintage buses museum the type of shoot to do there of course is a vintage inspired one, a lovely volunteer at the museum was showing me some images from a John Lewis 60s and 70s shoot a photographer did a while back, the images looked really great and perfect in the surroundings. Because of the variety of buses and trams, you can really be quite wide and varied with what decade you want to settle on, anything from the 30s I'd say to the 70s, nothing further because modern clothes just wouldn't fit in.

A little vintage caravan, I would of loved to have shot in here but we couldn'd get in!
I imagined for the caravan, you would be able to do quite a nice cheesecake style shoot with two models having tea or making food for one another, it was so ideal and we would have got some great images but hey ho! We used what was available!
Of course all of the back of old buses looked like this but I think it would be perfect for a vintage image of a girl swingin off the pole and waving her friend goodbye with a beautifully flared skirt, or a girl chasing after the bus whilst its leaving, very cheesecake!

We used this as landgirl image, we were wearing jeans and headscarfs, to make it look like a working girl image, you could even do a male vintage style shoot with men in aprons putting the stock on the carriage!

Finally a little moment for friends and family, we had a dear friend who was a volunteer at the museum and was my dads best friend, he died of cancer recently and it was a great shock and loss, it was a lovely suprise to see they had named the park after him at the museum as a memorial, I spoke to a lot of the volunteers and they spoke very fondly of Paul.
Well a little reflection on the day, I couldn't of asked for a better day, lovely weather, lovely people and lovely images ... I hope!! Heres the website to the museum if you decide you'd like to pay it a visit, I highly recommend!!

Monday, 16 August 2010

A tribute to one in a million

My gran... what a babe
This blog doesn't have any tips or photos of Bettina this time, but it is a tribute to one in a million... my gran.
     Born Myrtle Naomi Jespersen on September 22nd 1928 In Penarth, South Wales. Nicknamed Jess because she couldn't stand the name given.. which I'm sure her parents loved her for it really. Gran came from a big family with four other sisters and a brother.
She grew up fast through the second world war in Wales then moving to Coventry, having a wide variety of careers including a teacher and a policewoman. In Coventry she met my grandad, Norman Bickley and they got married on boxing day  and led a happy marriage for over 50 years baring three children, two boys and a girl, my mother and my two uncles. Eventuallyin the 1970s they moved to Lowestoft of which they lived the rest of their lives.
Gran and grandads wedding day- her dress she made herself
My gran and one of my uncles

Gran was an inspiration to me, she never had a bad word to say and very rarely swore ,if she did she would apologise for it straight away which is nice in today's day and age where every other word in people's vocubulary is a swear word. She used to say "I don't know what I'd do if I couldn't laugh" which was a lifestyle she had, she always had a smile and could laugh at anything and very rarely got angry.
My gran and my aunt in the 50s in dresses they made no doubt

She started my love of fashion, we would sit at hers and talk about fashions of the 1950s, how her and my aunties would make their own clothes during the day then wear them out that evening, gran and her sisters were dressmakers and made most of their clothes. She also made several clothes for me, of which I still have dresses and skirts that still fit me today. She taught me to sew and I could tell how proud she was to know I was taking after her and my aunts. For this I now have her vintage patterns from first time arround, three sewing machines and an endless supply of fabric.. a vintage girls dream?! You betcha!
I used to love listening to her stories of when she was growing up,the things she would do, when my mum was young, how she also loved rock n roll when it first came out in the 1950s.
Gran continued to make clothes until she was unable to which was when she was in her seventies, she always kept herself busy through decorating the houses she lived in, my mum tells me that all the houses they lived in grandad left gran alone to decorate the whole house of which she was happy to.
A few times a year we'd have get togethers at her house where all the family would come down for dinner, the house would be full of family from all over the midlands, what laughs we would have, and how much food would we eat, of which gran would make herself.
When I was younger she took me and my brother to Penarth, the town in Wales she was born and lived, gran had always been proud to be Welsh and I am proud of my heritage because of her.

My gran and I

Gran died this year just before easter and I still miss her everyday, she is a person that will never be forgotten about. She would never let us forget her I know that. If it wasn't for her, I wouldn't be making the career choices that I'm making, I wouldn't have learn to sew or learnt about fashions, she was one in a million, the best gran I could ever wish for.
Loves ya gran.

Monday, 9 August 2010

A little bit of glamour goes a long way

So I have been rather behind on my blog for the past week or so which I apologise for! A gal has to work you know to buy these pretty things on ebay and oh I've been buying pretty things, a little too much I think, but a treat is necessary once in a while!
     You see I'm after some more capri pants because I want to get out of the habit of wearing jeans ALL the time, don't get me wrong, I love my vintage jeans, they are soo comfy, almost as comfy as my bed... Well I don't know about that, and they do look so much better then modern jeans because of how fitted they are to your body, even in jeans, you feel like a lady! (I never thought I'd say that!) You can pick them up at weekenders or on ebay no problem and for a bargin every once and a while. But back to my main point...
     In todays day n age you see everyone in jeans when back in the day they were only seen as working trousers, and were only seen as cool when Marilyn wore them in the Misfits and Mr Dean wore them in rebel without a cause, however  women go for comfort now instead of glamour and wear jeans day in day out, I see this as a big shame as women should be proud to be women am I right?  So today they only seem to wear skirts and dresses on special occasions where as women in the 40s and 50s always wore skirts and dresses. If you want a mans opinion, ask any on the rockin scene, they love to see a gal dressed up to the nines and a bit of glamour does go a long way, even any fella be him rockin or not loves to see a girl in a skirt, I don't care what anyone says. 
Yes ladies, you put a stunning pencil skirt on, you'l have men looking like this, minus the tail of course

  I want to get back into this habit so I'm on the hunt for more pencil skirts, capri pants and day dresses to bring a bit more femininity back into my life. I've managed to pick up a couple of pairs of capris from a friend and on a vintage site, both reasonably priced! So I'm sure you'll see me wearing these day to day and maybe banish the jeans for lazy days only? Oh one can dream! Until then, I'l have to spend my spare time browing the world of ebay.. for a change..
A few vintage snaps I found of gals looking super duper wearin day dresses and capris!