Monday, 26 September 2011

The secret to success... It's all in the recipe!


I love going to the theatre, the formality of it all, dressing up then sitting down with a nice drink and relaxing for the evening, being away from all the troubles that go on day to day, well that's what I think anyway.
So when I heard of a 1950s inspired stage show opening at the Charing Cross theatre last week I had no excuse but to go, 50s and the theatre?! What more could this girl ask for.
Me and Sarah before the show

The show was Recipe for a Perfect Wife. A cute hour long performance Produced and written by Christina McCulloch, set in the midst of the 1950s when women were known for their housewife expertise and frankly not a lot else.

The year is 1956 and  British Television is reaching out to the masses with it's witty and charming game shows. Cue Berty Baxter (Matt Houlihan), the host of new show 'Britain's best housewife' and his wife Betty (Antonia Reid) who between them have to find the lady who treats her man like the god he apparently is, because isn't that what women loved to do during this period?  Five ladies compete to win the title of the show,while reflecting on their thoughts of when they were once happy (apparently being a housewife isn't always what it is cracked up to be). With one by one dwindling down until the winner is revealed, the 1950s version of X factor some of you might think, well yes this is correct because there's singing and dancing as well as finding out the best dish to cook your husband.


Recipe for a  Perfect wife is a non stop giggle from the start to finish, a camp parody of the stereotypical 1950s housewife and how sweet and innocent our times once were, or so you'd think. The cast seemed to be having a lot of fun through out the show with their own individual personalities from a lady of the Women's institutes to a young wife that wouldn't dare say boo to a goose. There is a strong emphasis on the quaint British accent and makes you somewhat quite proud to be British because of the delightful mannerisms this show had.


I loved the simplicity of the show, the little innuendo's that popped up here and there that made me chuckle to myself through out. The cast was a mighty small number of 10 with the characters of the game show and also the ladies who were the 'Kitty and her Cats' a three piece girl group that greeted the 'gameshow audience' with witty advertisements showing washing powder amongst other things and singing harmonies that reflect the innocent era such as Stupid Cupid and Mr Sandman.


The cast were lucky enough to have my lady friends the Vanity Box on board creating vintage inspired hair styles to help give the show that stand out feel from all the rest and boy did they do a good job, all the ladies in the show had perfectly curled do's that would have suited any show in the 50s. As for the costume, most of the dresses were made by an Islington costume designer and friend of the producers, unfortunately my only negative comment against this is that the ladies looked very similar to one another not saying that they were not nice dresses, oh no, I would certainly wear some of them! However after speaking to PR beaut Olivia Farnesy of Moon on a stick PR, I found out there is talk of having vintage retailers Beyond Retro on board for the show, I think this is a great idea  because it would give the show that bit more of nostalgia and make the individual personalities stand out that bit more.


Verity and Gemma of the Vanity Box

The show has come from  a sold out season at the Kings Head theatre straight to the Charing Cross theatre which is a cosy little place that makes you feel you are really included in the show instead of having to sit in the gods with a pair of binoculars trying to figure out which ant is which on stage. I recommend the show to anyone that wants to take a step back in time for an evening of fun and frolics from the 50s because it will have you singing along as well as dancing in your seat thanks to the London Swing Dance society who jived their way into the hearts of the audience at the beginning and end of the show.


After the show there is a 50s inspired party full of cupcakes and dancing until late so make sure you get to see it, it is running until December so get in while you can.
Until Next Time
Toodle Pip
xxx

Photography by Christopher Allen

Monday, 19 September 2011

Anita's Vintage Fashion Fairs




Recently I got a lovely email from Zara King, the fab PR and Marketing lady at Anita's Vintage Fashion Fair's saying that she had come across my little ole blog,loved it and invited me to the next fashion fair in London as an 'Official blogger' to help promote it and to generally have a jolly good spending spree, now how could I turn this down!?

I found this on Anita's website, oh I am so excited for this!


I'm very much looking forward to it as I haven't been to a vintage fair in so long and as I've just started back in my third year at university, my student loan has come in at what I would say is impeccable timing, although I must add that I am going to try to be good and not spend too much... I hope, well my fella will be with me so I'm sure he will keep me on a tight reign!

Anita's vintage Fashion Fairs have been running for quite some time now and have become a popular on London's vintage scene, sponsored by Lipcote, the fairs don't just showcase clothing but everything from home wear, jewellery, fabric, you name it, you will likely find it there, and not only attracting the general public but celebrities, designers and journalists from all over London. What I love is that they don't come across as your usual vintage fair which are just stacked up with 1980s 'vintage'(if you can call it that), no sir, antique finds date right back to the 1800's so there really will be something for every fashionista out there.

As it is currently fashion season, the fair is going on the theme of the 4 capitals of Style, which are of course New York, Milan, Paris and not forgetting London town, I've chosen to cover London in my up and coming post on it so I'll be looking out for lots of quaint nostalgic bits and also some of you glamour girls and guys making a strong fashion statement (we all know London folk do it best).

As well as posting on London Themes for the fair I am likely to post about anything that catches my eye, my finds and the general overall response on the fair, I do feel honoured for being asked to be one of Anita's official bloggers so I hope I will do everyone proud!

My official Bloggers tag!

So if you're around in London this Sunday 25th September come pay the fair and me a visit and you never know your face might turn up on my blog, the fair is at Battersea Arts Centre, Grand Hall, Lavender Hill, London, SW11 5TN. Times are 9:30 am - 4pm (get there early to find the best bargains!)

Until Next Time
Toodle Pip
xxx

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Too many tattoos spoil the broth


Tattoos in the 21st century have become something that isn't really that big a deal anymore and I've always been a personal lover of them as you've probably seen in many of my photos that I put up every now and again. However everyone seems to think I'm covered in them, when in all honesty, I don't think I've got that many compared to a lot of people nowadays, which got me thinking: when is enough... really enough? 

My love for tattoos started many years ago, my dad's always had them and because I've always been a tad on the alternative side whether it was goth, punk, hippy (you name it I've been it) ,I've always had a soft spot for people covered in pretty pictures. I knew by the time I was 16 that I wanted a hell of a lot of them. So I started there and then getting my first one, underage and with a naff flash piece of what is a set of playing cards on the top of my right arm. When I first got it I was obsessed and wanted to show my arm off at every chance possible, but 5 years on and I've got to say it's my worst tattoo because It was just picked at random and the quality isn't all that good,but I'm quite glad it still fits in with my style and who I am and I didn't decide to have it planted right in the middle of my arm like you see so much of now.

It doesn't look that bad in pictures in all honest but close up, yuck!!

From then on, each year I pretty much got another tattoo and now I've got a whopping number of 6, my favourite of which is my half sleeve I designed myself a few years ago at college in Art history (see college was useful for me!)  and also my back piece of lilies I've got going from top to the bottom, this was the most painful one yet, because I've got quite a skinny back, I felt every needle going in and out of my skin, it wasn't nice to say the least.

My sleeve and chest tattoos
My back-nowhere near finished but it's so pretty!

Recently me and my fella were talking about what tattoos we wanted next and I said to him that I wanted to get a half sleeve (or sleeve) on my right arm to even it up with my left arm and get my back finished and possibly something on my thigh. His reaction to this was "Don't get too many more because you'll look butch". I was in shock, how could my boyfriend who always said I looked beautiful think I could look butch?!

But then I started to think about it and to a degree (only ever so slightly) he was right, even though I do love a good tat (ooh er). I think when you've got a certain look, i.e a vintage look then a lot of tattoos can be a bit too much,not saying that women look butch, because I know a lot of beautiful ladies who are covered in tattoos and they carry it off so well but I think as an individual you have to know your limits and what suits you. In Lowestoft I noticed ages ago older women walking around with lots of tattoos and they did look butch, with a picture of winnie the pooh plonked on their boob, this wasn't a good look.

The Gorgeous Cherry Dollface sporting her tattoos,

An older lady I found on google images, is this what I could turn into??

It also depends on how "vintage" you want to look, because most enthusiasts are never going to be something that stepped out of a time machine because they are still using their modern technology such as the Internet and mobile phones, so in that respect tattoos work OK to a degree. I guess it all depends on who you are as a person and how  you perceive them. I like to think that I won't look butch because my tattoos are suited to my lifestyle and I've actually thought about where I want them, who I want them done by etc etc. I think some people in older generations possibly didn't think as much about what tattoos they wanted years ago and there was less choice, lower quality equipment blah blah and that was quite possibly why they were looked upon badly and now why some women appear 'butch'. I'm quite a philosopher when I put my mind to it, well so I like to think.

After all this I say I'm not going to get many more, I definitely want a half sleeve, it's just finding the pennies to do it. But knowing me I'll probably go against myself and end up being covered head to foot, now that'll be a good look...

Until Next Time
Toodle Pip
xxx

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Behind the scenes of No Strings Burlesque


The No Strings Cabaret and  Burlesque club has been going for quite some time now and yesterday was the first time I'd actually managed to get a viewing of it, some of you may be shocked by this because of how popular the club is in Norwich, with sell out shows nearly every month, I must have been mad to miss it. I generally think this was the case, until now that is.

I emailed the no strings organiser Lucy (and a member of the sizzling Hot Bopping Girls) asking if she needed a helping hand out at any of her shows a while back because I'm interested in events management so it'd be handy for my CV and also that dreaded D word, yes the dissertation, because it would give me a backstage view of what really goes on at a burlesque show. Luckily Lucy got back to me saying she was in need of a stage kitten for the show on September 3rd, and me, not really knowing what a stage kitten's job was, excitedly accepted the offer. When I met up with Lucy I found out it was the general clearance of the stage, not that I minded, it gave me something to do before I went back to university and also it gave me some primary research to have a look at.
She told me that I didn't have to wear boring black like most stage kittens have to so I decided to go green for the night wearing my vintage 50s white flowered Capri pants and an 80s does 50s green shirt that my mumma bought me this week at Gold Rush Vintage in Norwich.


Posing in the parents mirror before heading on my travels.

I got to the Norwich Puppet theatre around 5pm for run through's and making sure I had a look at the schedule, I wasn't really sure what to do with myself as luckily I found out that there wasn't much for me to tidy up over the period of the show so I introduced myself to the sound girls and some of the acts.


Schedule for the night... which soon got jumbled around due to stuuupid public
 transport making Late night Shop well and truly late.

The acts included angle grinding performer Keda Breeze, smutty singer Ophelia Bitz, terribly British Count Adriano Fettucini and local performers the Hot Bopping Girls, Zannie Fraser and Late Night shop, who were all really lovely and friendly to talk to which made me feel very welcome, and of course their performances were unique and kept the crowd entertained. There wasn't a lot of actual burlesque so I didn't see a lot of boob which was good for me because I wouldn't have known where to look. This was more of a Variety show,full of singing, dancing, comedy and yes fire. It made me think this was what theatre was like years ago before television took over our lives and made us all go square eyed.

Count Adriano sound checking

The Audience started to arrive at 7pm, I noticed so many made the effort in their outfits with many women wearing corsets, bustles and all types of 'burlesque' attire. The butterflies started in my stomach, I was terribly nervous and was scared that I would do something wrong or trip up on stage but the lights were dimmed and on went compere Paul Preston Mills (another Lowestoft local like myself!) who got the crowd going with his improvised humour. The first act went on, which was the Hot Bopping Girls as the Hip Hop Honeys, a great realistic routine of chavtastic vulgarity which I thought so many could recognise in our current society. Only a few minutes later I was on clearing it all up, even getting a mention from Paul.


Paul keeping the crowd on their toes

Ophelia Bitz doing her titillating performance

Fire Extinguishers at dawn, Keda Breeze doing her fire eating routine

The show went on with lots of interesting acts including Count Adriano's boylesque on a unicycle (if you get a chance you have to see it, it was tremendous!) and before I knew it, it was over and done with and I managed to get away with not messing anyone's set up or falling over! I generally think my first job as a stage kitten went marvelous and I would definitely be up for doing it again just because it is a great way of networking and meeting lots of super performers!
Keda Breeze sparkling angle grinder

After the show Dj Jazzlord kept the crowd going with a great selection of music from the 50s and 60s which of course was right up my street so I couldn't help but have a little dance. I also got to meet the mustache clan who were handing out  make shift mustaches for the night so you too could have your very own mustache, I couldn't resist!
I don't think I'll be growing one anytime soon somehow.

 The Mustache Clan
Keda and Adriano

What great people though, I had such a lovely time and even managed to meet a fellow blogger Missy Vintage who looked stunning in a blue and black satin corset and pencil skirt.

Missy Vintage ( I apologise for my useless quality camera, this image does not do you justice!)

By the looks of it everyone had a first class time at No Strings  and by 12am I was well and truly ready for bed, after only having two glasses of wine I was going into hibernation mode so even though it was a super night I was glad to go.

I hope to work at No Strings with Lucy again sometime or maybe some other burlesque night somewhere, it has given me more confidence in working with strangers and has made me more intrigued about what else goes into events.
Until Next Time
Toodle Pip
xxx

Friday, 2 September 2011

Ain't that a splash on the head


Well would ya look at that August has been and gone so that means summer is well and truly over, not to say we had it in the first place but now we're into September, the leaves will be falling the nights will be drawing in etc etc, so as a way of ending the summer in style, last weekend I headed over to the 10th anniversary of the Glen Miller Festival at Twinwood in Bedford with my fella. I have to say I was a Twinwood virgin, I had never been before and if I'm honest with you I wasn't really interested in going either because it was based on 1940s swing music, which I'm afraid ain't really my thing, but I managed to wangle free tickets for me and my better half because I was helping out hosting the Tin Hat hall and was also in the top 10 of the Vintage Life glamour pageant so really I had no excuse but to go!

I did find out also that there were several rock n roll bands and a 50s dj on over the weekend so it wouldn't be all sanitized swing for me, not that I have anything against it but as some of you might know, I'm more of a rockabilly girl at heart and I find swing and jazz music just that bit too tame for my liking, but life wouldn't be exciting if we all had the same taste right?

 
Me and my fella arrived Friday afternoon to what was sodden grass, puddles and yes that dreaded word, rain and lots of it, had I somehow taken a detour and ended up at Glastonbury? Surely this wasn't it? unfortunately I was reassured I was at the correct camp site so I had no other choice other than to trundle on and get tented up, being the ditzy lady that I am, I decided not to pack any practical attire or footwear and only took dresses,sandals and suntops, a lesson that has well been learnt believe me.

For all you wannabe campers out there, rule 1. Don't wear suede Loafers, they will get ruined,
your feet will become wet and your other half will want to hit you because of moaning that your feet are wet and your shoes are now ruined.

So we managed to get the tent up without too much swearing, this was a first time for both of us, swearing and also putting up a tent, and to be honest I think we did a good job, not that I did a lot, I just sat there trying not to get wet, once that was done we went heading off for a well deserved alcoholic beverage.

Our humble abode for the weekend

There wasn't much really going on Friday night,everyone was arriving and setting up for the weekends events, it's not like your average weekender which starts Friday day time and finishes Sunday, oh no sir, all the weekends events were spread out over the Saturday, Sunday and Monday, which makes sense as it's always on the bank holiday, so people can really make the most of their long weekend off. After having a quick look about we headed back to the tent so I could put my glad rags and attempt to style my hair with a brush and not a lot else. My outfit decision was a black and white fleck wool pencil skirt, blue and white diamond sun top and my collectif cardigan with Rokit Shoes.
Outside the Tin Hat, you wouldn't think I was freezing my backside off!


I headed off to the Tin hat though and started meeting and greeting and handing the flyer's to everyone and anyone I saw, what I noticed straight away here, everyone was so friendly, which lets be honest you don't really get everywhere else so this was a refreshing sight, watching everyone walk past and listening to the music coming out of the Tin hat was really getting me in the mood for a boogie so we soon headed over to the Marquee where Strolling Steve was spinning the wax and what a great night that turned out to be, I didn't stop dancing until we were kicked out of the marquee, during that time we met some great people, who we got to know over the weekend and had a lot of laughs with.

Having a dance Friday night, no shoes, what's new, probably would explain the crippled feet

Saturday morning came around bright and early, that's definitely a downside to camping, sunrise waking you up at 6am and boy did we feel the joys of camping straight away, joints stiffening, legs numb with cold, but that is probably our fault for not thinking ahead, as usual! We had a wander around the camp and saw so many people dressed up to the nines in 40s gear, some women looked so glamorous, taking every little detail into consideration from the hair styles, the accessories and of course the outfit, then obviously there were the uniform posse,men and women wearing American and the British armed forces uniforms from the 40s, this isn't something that appeals to me really because I find a lot of 'part timers' use it as their dress up gear for 40s weekends and not a lot else but some of the men did look rather scrumptious in their uniform, as many women say, I do like a man in uniform, ooo er missus.


I got to catch up with some great friends Saturday and Sunday and also got to see some fab bands such as the one and only Si Cranstoun, who for me never puts a step wrong, I can't really remember a lot of the other bands I saw over those two days but the ones I saw I know were more 50s based so they got my seal of approval.


Myself, Graham and Clare

Si Cranstoun himself, I want him to make a work out video, it would make my life.

 
Then of course came the Vintage Life glamour pageant and I was terrified, in my long twenty one years I've only done one pin up contest before this so you could understand why my nerves were ever so slightly trembling. In the face book (wahey) contest I had managed to get to number three in the top 10 but that meant nothing to what was coming, to be honest, it wasn't all that bad, all I had to do was stand on stage while I was looked up and down like picking cows to go to slaughter.Luckily I had a friendly face keeping me company, Miss Stephanie Jay, a beaut I met at Hemsby in May.

Well whaddya know we're almost matching! Me and the gorgeous Stephanie.

 
 I didn't get anywhere, not that I minded, the ladies that came third,second and first truly deserved it and they all looked stunningly authentic, to which I didn't with my tattoos but hey ho, in the end I was glad I got it over and done with because I could go enjoy the rest of the night without having to make sure everything was looking pristine. For the contest I decided on my red satin outerlimitz sarong dress. 

Vintage Life top 10, see if you can spot me!

 
Saturday evening came around which meant more dancing, how my feet kept up I will never know, like a friend of mine said, we had to make the most of a rock n roll or rockabilly song because we didn't know when we'd hear the next one so we really did make the most of it, my feet had blisters to prove it.

When the nights events finished we trotted off to the tent and went to clean our teeth and get ready to get pneumonia, only to find out there was no water,heaven forbid how would I survive!?

Sunday followed similarly to the day before, I did manage to catch a bit of the West end hit show Million Dollar Quartet, what I saw made me want to see the show in London even more than I did  before, lots of high energy performers playing some classic hits from the magnificent four of Sun Records.


 Other bands I got to see were Lucas and the Dynamo's, a well known rock n roll band which somehow I'd managed to miss seeing all my life, so I made sure I got a glimpse of those, a really lively fun band that had the crowd jiving throughout their set.


The evening included more dancing just for a change, I helped out hosting the Tin hat for a couple of hours and even managed to be filmed for a Show Reel on Twinwood so somewhere there will be me on film, sounding like a man. Fantastic. I decided to wear a vintage 50s yellow embroidered pencil dress and matching cardigan, something a bit warmer than the rest of the weekend.

Having a dance with my fella wearing a vintage circle skirt and 49er jaceket

Unfortunately over the weekend the weather was not what I expected ,I was shivering most of it which for me did put a dampener (no pun intended) on it, not to say I didn't have a good time, if I knew then what I know now, I would have definitely been more prepared and took warmer clothes, food and drink etc because paying £6 for Chinese noodles wasn't really my idea of fine cuisine but it's festival food so I shouldn't have really expected a lot. I decided against looking at clothes stalls because I didn't take any spending money and it would have simply been torture looking at them. I'm glad I went overall but I personally wouldn't pay to go because of how much I have decided I hate camping, if someone was to loan me a caravan then without a doubt I would go again, because having to put my curlers in at 1am in the dark is rather tricky to say the least, so I definitely missed my electrical appliances.

This is what dry curlers do to my hair, this is why I use tongs.

 I know many people that are into the 'fun' of camping and the forties scene and I am not disputing them for it but for me personally it got a bit too much for me, I met some great people, a lot that had already recognised me from my face book page and UK Rock( I really do have a lot to be thankful for that magazine!) and I had a hell of a lot of laughs but gimme the Rockabilly Rave any day.
Until Next Time
Toodle Pip
xxx