Friday, 27 March 2015

Vests Ahoy and Ready To Rummage

So Curtise instructed when she suggested a trip up to Chesterfield. I'm glad we heeded her advice, it was freezing!

A restorative coffee and a gossip after meeting up at the train station, Tania & I were introduced to Curtise's lovely camera-shy mate, Joanne and off we went for a wander around the legendary Thursday Flea.

What a great prop this would be for Kinky Melon's Pop-up shop. Not sure that Jon's back would agree.

Curtise and Joanne rummaged through a beautifully curated stall of grown-up clothes heavy on the posh labels and muted colours.

I rather fancied this ridiculous cat-garoo for my dressing table.

 The fruit and veg was cheap and prettily presented.

Tania fondled the vintage furs.

Do you ladies like the 1970s? Asked one stall holder, 'Cos I've got a bagful of dresses in the van. What on earth gave you that impression? We replied. Curtise look a fancy to this Gillian Paul rhinestone trimmed maxi but we decided it was too big and rather tricky to adjust so let it be.

We were captivated by this early 1950s circus game.

You'll have this this freakish thing on Curtise's blog from her last trip to Chesterfield. No surprise it hadn't sold. What the hell is it?

Whippets? No Northern jokes here.

I was almost tempted to buy an old stepladder (even though I've already got several) just to carry it home on the train.

After saying goodbye to Joanne, we did headed off to Wetherspoons, the extremely busy Portland Hotel. We cackled, chatted, laughed, exchanged gifts & put the world to rights whilst tucking into gourmet veggie Mexican burgers, chips & onion rings washed down with pints of lager and a pitcher of Porn Star Martini for pudding.

A Paul Smith shirt for Jon, a perplexed poodle and a fabulously groovy St Michael maxi for me...cheers, Curtise!

A quick touch-up in the fancy lavs.

Curtise gave both Tania and I identical Horrockses 1970s teeny tiny maxi skirts. We wriggled into them in drunken hilarity, unable to do up the waistbands. Tania decided to turn hers into a sun dress but was a bit disturbed by where the pockets would be positioned. Curtise decreed that boob flaps were the in-thing.

A kind stranger offered to take a group photo in the toilet. Oh the glamour!
Check out Curtise's account of the day HERE.

After spending most of the day in the pub we had a quick dash round the chazzas before catching our respective trains and buses home. As I'm working a festival with Tom Jones headlining in a couple of months time I'm almost regretting not buying these vintage bloomers to chuck at him.

What a difference a day makes! I can get into the Horrockses maxi this morning! Just the job for a run out to Lidl in Ebbie.

Wearing: 1970s Horrockses maxi, cropped vintage leather jacket (Charity shop, £5), Mongolian lamb boa (Jumble sale, 20p), Ted Lapidus sunnies (Charity shop, £2.95)
What a fab day out. The only money I spent was in the pub (you can't take the Black Country out of this girl) and I still came back with goodies. Can't wait to hang out with more of my blog mates.

News Update Saturday's fair in Nottingham has sadly been cancelled but Kinky will be trading at Shrewsbury on Saturday and Easter Compton in Bristol on Sunday. Pop along for some authentic vintage finery, reasonably priced, pre-laundered and chosen with love!

Monday, 23 March 2015

Seventies Girl - Why I'm Sticking To The Real Thing

When Dee blogged about this amazing print she found a couple of years ago several people commented that she looked a bit like me. In my dreams! 

Wearing: 1970s Dollyrockers maxi (eBay, 2010), vintage pendant (the gorgeous Em)
Image my surprise when the postman delivered her to me this morning. I might stick her in front of a mirror when I'm having a bad face day (most of last week).

This wasn't the only parcel the postman delivered. Check out my new skirt. When I say new I mean a 40 year old maxi Lucy rescued from the 10p basket in a charity shop in Pontypridd. It goes a treat with my car booted polo neck, my Swedish Hasbeens (thanks, Sarah!) and the vintage lace-up suede waistcoat Liz gave me for Xmas a couple of years ago. The whole outfit cost me 50p - bargain!

This shoot includes flares by Victoria Beckham for £235 and a chain costing £581.23!
This weekend The Guardian told of how the Seventies are "back in" and treated us to a handy How to dress like our mothers feature in the fashion pages.

While the Mums looked fabulous I can't help but be disappointed by the modern take on my favourite fashion era.

1970s - flamboyant, fabulous and full of life.

2015 - safe, mediocre and dull. Sorry Jess but the best thing about this photo is the wallpaper.

The Guardian thinks we should dress like a young Jane Birkin. Yeah, you'd have to be that beautiful to turn heads in a khaki tee shirt.
Lesser mortals like me prefer Yootha Joyce. Marabou, capes, neon brights and a great line in Jean Varon maxis. Glorious. She might not have had a bag named after her but she was on the cover of a Smiths single, which to a non-handbag worshipper like me, is the best achievement by far.
Just some of the real 1970s fashion you'll find on Kinky's website.
Mum's wardrobe of my childhood was fabulous. Jean Varon maxis, psychedelic catsuits, Indian block prints and clogs in every colour of the rainbow. Fabulous vintage 1970s fashion isn't that hard to find (and usually a fraction of the price of the modern equivalent). I don't need watered-down repro, I'm sticking with the real thing.

Thanks for all the well wishes. The evil cold has done one and I'm back on top form or I will be when I've caught up with the 117 blog posts I haven't read yet.

See you soon!

PS Linking to Patti & the Gang for Visible Monday.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Booty Call - The Return of the Midweek Car Boot Sale

It might be freezing cold but Spring is definitely in the air. The Wednesday car boot sale is back on and Jon & I can get our weekly shopping fix. Yesterday, with a pocketful of loose change and the alarm set extra early we wrapped up, grabbed our bags and headed off to the countryside in pursuit of a few bargains. 

Jon got off to a great start with a vintage car horn for £1.

Amongst a heap of shoddy high street synthetics this vintage cotton velvet & chiffon maxi dress stood out a mile. The elastic in the cuffs needed replacing but that took all of ten minutes to tackle.

It smelt a bit musty so I bunged it in the tumble dryer with a lavender bag on the delicate setting for 20 minutes and it came out much fresher. The only time we ever use the tumble drier (which we inherited) is for reviving non-washable clothing.

If you're wondering, this is the remains of the Edwardian summerhouse that stands in the garden of my parental home (more here). In my childhood it rotated to face the sun but these days I reckon one over-enthusiastic push will result in a pile of timber suitable only for the wood burner. We've removed the stained glass windows for future restoration.

Isn't this scarf gorgeous? Louis Armstrong & Louise Brooks, shame it's not my colour.

Vintage brooches galore. They'll be heading to Kinky's stall next weekend in Nottingham.

These two dresses were filthy but, despite the raw silk one having a Dry Clean Only label, I threw them in the washing machine on a 30 degree wash with a sprinkling of soda crystals and they came out fine.

As you know I'm a huge fan of Samuel Sherman's vintage Dollyrockers label. Sambo Fashions was his original line, established in the late 1940s. With the Ace side zip, this one would date from the 1950s.

Car boots aren't just about the second hand shopping, there's also bargains to be had with fruit & veg. A bagful of carrots, mixed peppers, cauliflower, red onions, potatoes, tomatoes, coriander and chillies came to a grand total of £3. Roasted veg with Lidl's Haloumi for tea last night, veggie burgers this evening, carrot & coriander soup for lunch for the next couple of days and a huge pot of Aloo Gobi (my South Indian gravy is already made and I'll add freshly cooked cauliflower & potatoes) to last us through the weekend.

Berketex maxi dress (£1, car boot sale), Victorian silver hand mirror pendant (inherited)
They weren't all great finds, though. I also managed to pick up a stinking cold, my first in years. Hopefully a heap of Paracetamol and an early night will get me right for the weekend. I don't do ill.

See you soon.

Monday, 16 March 2015

Outfit of The Day - Tribal Gypsy Meets the '70s

The more observant of readers will have seen this dress feature plenty of times on my blog over the past five years.

Being a die-hard vintage chick I wear my clothes again and again and again. I'm not remotely swayed by fashion, trends or the colour of the year, I'm happy with my style and have no reason to change even though it might not make for the most thrilling of blog reads.

Polly Piglet photobomb!

Given the choice between more clothes and new jewellery & I'll choose jewellery every time. Even when I'm naked I've always got several rings on my fingers, one through my nose & another in my belly button.

It isn't jewellery, its armour against mediocrity.

Mention vintage jewellery to most people and they'll talk of blingy brooches and engraved lockets. Ever the weirdo, here's some of mine.

To the uninitiated the metal torque in the top left hand corner could be dismissed as tat when in fact it's a rare tribal piece from Karnataka dating from the late 19th century. While our European Great-grandmothers were wearing cameos, a wild gypsy woman was rocking the hell out of this. The coin belt (with the red thread), is from Gujarat and designed as a show of wealth. Of the coins featured, one dates from 1947 when George V1 was still King Emperor of India.

In a collection built up after 25 visits to India I've accumulated bejewelled hair clips, Rajasthani toe rings, bangles made from scrap metal & Bakelite buttons and anklets threaded with obsolete currency. Nothing cost me more than a tenner and many command mentally high prices on the internet, not that I'd ever dream of selling. Each and every piece brings back memories of good natured haggling in sweaty markets throughout the sub-continent.

There's some hair clips in action!

This is Laxmi, my Lamani friend in South Goa, I bought some of her family pieces (and her blouse!) 

I spotted this 19th Century tribal neck piece on the stall next to us at the vintage market we worked in Bristol at the weekend. It turned out that the stall holder was as obsessed by India as we were and we spent a happy afternoon chatting about the places we'd visited and the joy we still feel each time we visit. At £8, trimmed with bells and featuring a peacock, a bull and cobra I just had to have it. 

Wearing: 1970s cocktail dress (darling Helga)

I could write about how you couldn't get a "statement" necklace from the high street for less than £8 and how feeble a statement you'd be making by wearing a mass produced item owned by at least half the female population of your home town but I've been in Wetherspoons all afternoon and the £1.80 double measures of Pinot Grigio have rendered me incapable so I'm off for a lie-down on the settee and eat crisps instead.

See you soon.