Saturday, 29 June 2013

1950s Frocks

Floral print gown Juno Says Hello

As promised- here are a few of my favourite options for vintage gowns online at the moment- Juno Says Hello is a great vintage supplier, who also hires out some of her dresses. 
Hamptons silk dress Juno Says Hello

Adored Vintage is a wonderful vintage shop in the States- I love their blog too. I haven't bought from them before, but when I once mentioned interest in purchasing one of their dresses, they did mention that you can split payments over a couple of months, which is really useful for some of the spendier dresses. If I were to get married, I would want one of their gorgeous Edwardian dresses.
Lemon prom dress, Juno Says Hello 

1950s wiggle dress Timeless Vixen Vintage

Timeless Vixen Vintage is an incredible site in the States- they really have the most stunning collection of 1950s gowns.

1950s gown Timeless Vixen Vintage

1950s beaded floral lace dress, Timeless Vixen Vintage
Other great vintage stockists in the UK include Atelier-Mayer, WilliamVintage who currently has a pop-up in Selfridges, Merchant Archive, Penny Dreadful Vintage and Advantage in Vintage on ebay.
Of course it's hard to find a lovely vintage dress when you're a curvy size 14, so I often have to resort to replica vintage, or vintage-inspired styles. For the last ball at the palace, I loaned this dress from WishWantWear and loved it- so for the ball in July I'm considering borrowing this one. You can see more about the ball here- I hope you can come!

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Moonlight and Stars Bright

I've been working on a project that's been a bit secret until now, but I'm thrilled that I can finally reveal all the details! I'm producing and styling the summer ball at Kensington Palace on 12th July: Moonlight and Stars Bright. It ties in with Fashion Rules, a new exhibition opening at the palace, celebrating the influence royal fashion has had on mainstream fashion over the years. The exhibition will look at what the queen wore in the 1950s, what Princess Margaret wore in the 60s and 70s, and what Diana wore in the 80s.
We decided to go with the 1950s for the ball's theme- it's such a gorgeous era and suits the venue so well. So, the dress code for the evening is your best 1950s frocks- debutantes and prom dresses, screen icons like Elizabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn, and early Beatles versus Stones for the boys. I've included some photos below for inspiration! And we commissioned the illustrator Faye West to create this beautiful image (above) of how we imagine the ball will look outside the orangery at Kensington Palace.
Margaret and Elizabeth at a ball

Yellow evening gown by Robert Piguet, 1950

Pierre Balmain, 1950

1950 December Vogue, by Horst P Horst

There'll be beautiful floral corsages ( from The Flower Appreciation Society) for the best outfits, awarded by the curator of Fashion Rules, as well as Gabby Young and Bishi who are both big fans of vintage fashion.

On the night of the ball, you'll be able to visit the exhibition itself in the palace, where you'll be able to use a unique ipad app to design your own vintage dresses alongside fashion illustrators. There'll be food and drink in the orangery as well as a marquee on the lawn. Acts for the evening include gorgeous pin-up girl troupe, The Tootsie Rollers, expert swing band The Inteli-Gents and electro-swing songstress Little Violet. There'll also be DJ sets from Ms Chameleon's mechanical melodies (old school shellac on a gramophone), Kate Hutchinson and Gabby Young and Other Animals, whilst Marawa the Amazing's Majorettes will be performing their hula hoop act and helping you pick up some hooping skills yourself!

On the lawn palace experts will tell tales from parties during the 1950s, whilst Mien Magazine will be on hand with etiquette tips from days gone by, and stationery designer Alice Gabb will be handing out her old fashioned dance cards. 
Tickets are £28, you can buy them here. If you're a member of the press or a blogger and you'd like to cover the event, do drop me an email and I'll see what I can do. 
Hope to see lots of you there on the night for a wonderful summer ball- I can't wait to see everyone's dresses. I'll try and do another post before then on the best places to source vintage frocks- and please do leave any recommendations you have in the comments!

Sunday, 2 June 2013

The Month of May

The end of April and the month of May are full of birthday celebrations in my family- starting off with my sister Sophia's at the end of April. This year she turned 21 and had a lovely birthday dinner at my parent's holiday flat in the Cotswolds. It's located in a beautiful old stately home that's now been divided up into flats- we had a wonderful meal in the orangery above. My sister Phi managed to find a replica of the dress from 'How to lose a guy in 10 days' on ebay- she looked incredible in it. And I made her a headdress out of flowers from the garden! Apologies for the lousy quality of some of these pictures- it was a bit too dark for my ipad!

We're incredibly lucky to have access to this beautiful property- it's a gorgeous place to get away from it all- truly in the middle of nowhere. There IS a bus stop in the village but the bus only comes once a week! Some of the flats are available to rent- but that's probably only practical to do if you have a car! My mum is also in the process of doing up our flat so one day we'll be able to rent that out - will keep you posted.

Phi and our brother Jack.

Our other sister Florrie!It was then her birthday on 3rd May.

My sister and me- my dress was also a vintage find from ebay!

This was the necklace my parents got Phi for her 21st- it's a gorgeous vintage charm necklace sourced by the wonderful Annina Vogel. She'd been sourcing the right charms for it for a few months under instruction from my mum- so there were charms that corresponded with all areas of my sister's life, from ballet shoes (she's a dancer) to scales (she's studying law). I honestly can't think of a better present!

So May was a month of a cake- which meant I was actually quite relieved that I missed out on the gorgeous Patisserie Valerie cake Phi got (above) as I had to get back to London. I made the cake below for my boyfriend's birthday on the 2nd May- it turned out a touch more effeminate than I'd planned, but it was still delicious! I used this recipe for the cake- though my layers didn't really work- and then got the idea for decoration here.

My boyfriend then got me this Snow White cake for my birthday- I'd seen it in a cake shop in Dalston months ago and said it was my dream cake! However, I'm not going to link to the bakery, as it actually turned out to be a bit of a disappointment taste-wise, and from what I gather I think it was pretty expensive too!

On my actual birthday I spent the day at Porchester Bath Spas, and then went on to have a birthday champagne tea at The Haymarket hotel with my mum. All the food was delicious, but I thought the scones were particularly good. Just when we thought we couldn't eat anymore, they also brought me a special extra slice of cake with a candle! I was caked-out by the end of the day!
At the weekend my boyfriend and I went to stay at the Pelirocco hotel in Brighton- we've stayed there before and love the themed bedrooms; this time we had the 'Soul' room which included a retro record player and a load of vinyl. 

So now May is over, I've JUST about got back to my pre-birthdays weight and the house is finally free of cake- I actually used the sponge from my Snow White cake to make great cake-pops. Summer diet starts now...!
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