Sunday, 24 February 2013

When She Walks Down The Streets, He's Never Far Behind


I was doing some more sorting out at the family home last week and rediscovered this battered old box on top of a wardrobe complete with my maternal Great-Grandfather's best hat.


Devilishly handsome but, by all accounts, an utter bastard, known throughout the city of Chester as a notorious womaniser and serial adulterer.


This was my other Great-grandfather, from Stone in Staffordshire, immortalised after his death on this silver mourning brooch. 


Christys' London still produce and sell the very same fur felt top hats for £275, way out of my price range. 

Tiger stripe top and 1960s st Michael psychedelic scarf (both second-hand), pink bow bobbles (The one and only Krista)

 Seems a shame not to give this one at try.


Massive heads must be a family trait, it fits perfectly! (Shame I can't say the same for my dress, there's a row of bulldog clips clamped to the back in a vain attempt to stop it from falling off.)


How bizarre, the date on the hat box is 1888, the same year as Jack The Ripper began his reign of terror on the streets of Victorian Whitechapel.


I can hang out with the divine Inspector Reid from BBC 1's deliciously macabre, Ripper Street,


and witness all manner of heinous crimes.

c

The late Screaming Lord Sutch performed this when he supported The Stray Cats (my first ever gig) at Birmingham Odeon in 1980.

1980s-does-Victorian tartan maxi dress (borrowed from the Kinky Melon stock room), muff (hand-made by me from a couple of vintage hats and strung on Great-Grandma's rose gold muff chain.
Back to reality and the Dickensian squalor of our dining room.

Thanks for being so sweet about my live interview, I locked myself in the bathroom when Jon played it and still can't bring myself to look.

See you soon!

PS Linking to Patti's Visible Monday.

99 comments:

Mrs. D said...

I love this post sooo much!
Christys's make lovely hats. I bought a ska style one recently from ebay but it was too big for my tiny head, I sent it to my friend Roger who was more than happy to take it from me!

I'm off to see the interview!

Melanie said...

What a splendiferous post! I adore your outfit and my, your great grandfather was awfully dashing!

Moon to Moon said...

Such a great post. i love the pictures of you in the old photos :)

Louise Mc said...

Wow! What a gorgeous ensemble, that is one helluva dress, and I do love the drama of a top hat. I've totally missed all of Ripper Street, which is a real shame as I find anything to do with Jack the Ripper thoroughly fascinating. Xx

Patti said...

You look glorious in your g-grandfather's hat. Can you take me back in time so I can have a, um, cup of tea with Inspector Reid?

Emma Kate at Painted Style said...

It's amazing that your Great Grandfathers hat has survived in its box all this time! What treasure. Of course you look very glamorous in it.
Your interview was lovely! Nice to put a voice to the face! xx

edie pop said...

When I think I saw enough fabulousness on your blog it always happens that you surprise me again!!
This post is my favourite (until the next one)!!!!!
I have an obsession for Victorian mourning jewels and your brooch is amazing!The 80's does Victorian should be the new black, I love this theme and Screaming Lord Sutch could be the icon of this trend!
Thank you for Ripper Street too, I love to watch tv Series and I can't resist anything that is deliciously macabre!
Obviously the top hat is an amazing treasure and I adore the photos with you holding the box in the pink Krista's bows!!
I hate to see and hear me on a screen too, but your interview was great!!
Lots of love xxxxxx

Valerie Beattie said...

Amazing hat. Now let me tell you, when I was first dating Duncan I had to go into hospital for minor surgery and Duncan came round to the flat afterwards to cheer me up. He offered to do some vacuuming for me and when he appeared back in the bedroom with the vacuum, all he was wearing was a top hat and boots. I nearly burst my stitches watching him vacuum in a top hat and a pair of boots. NOW its all I think about when I see one. Thanks for making my Sunday ;)
V
xxx

Pull Your Socks Up! said...

Hooray for enormous noggins!!! That wicked, norty great grandaddy would have been so proud to see you so GORGEOUSLY dolled up baby!!! The mourning brooch is so beautiful and another proud granddad indeed!! You are such a deliciously gorgeous wench! I would probs have the same reaction to a live interview;). Hooray for huge skulls, as the owner of a large-one they do come in handy when it comes to beautiful old hats:) xoxoxo

Lucy Nation said...

I absolutely love this post. You always look amazing in Victorian inspired outfits and this one is no exception. The hat is marvellous. Please don't sell it, it looks fantastic on you. You remind me of Stevie Nicks! Your great grandfather, as you quite rightly say, was devastatingly handsome. So was your other great grandfather. In fact, you have some right hotties in your ancestory and you know how much I love the fact that you have so many of their articles of clothing and jewellery. The mourning brooch is exquisite. I am fascinated by anything Ripper related but I haven't watched Ripper Street yet. Maybe I'll give it a go on iPlayer. There seems to be quite a buzz in blogland about it. Love this post and all the photos. If I had a hat half as splendid as yours, I would take it off to you! xxxx

I'm off to listen to your interview now...

Liz said...

Love the outfit - the top hat is amazing! Great pics of you in Ripper Street - one of my favourite programmes! Very good!
Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

CameronPoe2409 said...

You have some amazing family heirlooms and I love your candid family history! I think you should contact the BBC to be an extra in the second series of Ripper Street, you'd be fab!xx

Paula lalaboo said...

I do love and envy the fact that you have accesses to all this past and victorian goodies no less!

What a sacy ole devil your grt grandad was! And very fetching looking too. I love how you seem to know so much about your relative of a long time ago.

How awesome is that dress, I so love it and can just imagine it a bit shorter with some tartan tights and kick ass longer black boots. Or DM's. Particularly with that hat. I think you look amazing as a rockin Victorian hot chick.

I have heard about Ripper street but sadly one of those series that have passed me by. I am now intruged once again.

As ever another awesome post!

P x

Ronnie (RR) said...

What a fun blog, loved the photos. You can't go wrong with a top hat I wear mine every Solstice.

Ofelia said...

I love the interview! She asked all the questions that I would like to ask you in person.
You sound charming and happy as I imagine!
The hat looks lovely on you and your family members were all as handsome as you!

Kezzie said...

He looks like James McAvoy!!! You look splendid as a Victorian lady, and you also look like you should be in Cabaret with that top hat! Your voice was brilliant!!! I loved hearing you! x

Wean said...

oh Vix what a great post ! that dress is to die for ! I was going to suggest that you could alter it to fit but then I saw it was borrowed, but it is so you !
Thank you for the 'accessorising' tips you left me by the way, I have the boots and beads, I'm 'watching' a couple of waistcoats on Ebay now - also the link for the recipe you left doesn't work ?
I also went to Bus Stops Vintage Fair in Shrewsbury, I'll be posting about that soon.

silkpathdiary said...

I love this hat too - it looks in wonderful condition. I bet you must have some tails and hotpants to go with it as well? Very Cabaret?!
You sound as happy and sparkly as I imagined you would xx

Carina Rosenholm said...

The hat , the brooch the dress and you of course are absolutley amazing ! Love the story behind it.. Jack the ripper hm....Makes my imagination run mad !

Connie said...

Fabulous style clearly runs in your family...all these sexy crazy great-grandads...and one gorgeous great-grandchild!

judith said...

Me encanta las fotografías!!!
Saludos
http://judithbysucre.blogspot.com.es

Loulou said...

I so love the posts where you show us historic items from you family. So interesting. And so clever and funny how you posted yourself into those scenes. I've been well entertained by my friend Vix today! xo

Jet Kuhn said...

The top hat looks fab on you! Interesting that its the same date as when Jack the Ripper began his reign of terror. I love that you have so many family heirlooms, makes for a very interesting household! Ha you fit in perfect with those scenes from Ripper St! Oh I'll have to tell you my Stray Cats silly story one day! Oh stop you sounded so gorgeous in the interview and your beautiful personality shone through! XXX

thorne garnet said...

You sure do have an interesting family. That hat is a beauty. Love the 80's does Victorian look, wouldn't want to live during that time.

As for Screaming Lord Sutch; I found one of his albums from the 60's at a junk shop probably in 1974. I had no idea who he was and stuck him in the "just another strange English person" file.

Joni said...

Wow! Beautiful hat, especially on you! You and Helga's G belong in the same photo shoot with his recent top hat photos. Reminds me of the Gary Oldman version of Dracula.

señora Allnut said...

wouuuu, you look über-fabulous wearing that old family pieces with your great style!
Love all that victorian inspiration!, and I'm just discovering that bbc's series, thanks to you!, delightful & frightening!!
besos

Please may I? said...

Amazing hat Vix and what an amazing history to go with it.

Loving the photos

x x

Fiona said...

Your ancestors were so interesting Vix, fancy having a lothario Great great grandad! You look ab fab in the tartan frock and top hat combo. I've missed Ripper St as been watching the other side.

Val Sparkle said...

At least your great-granddad stood out in Chester and didn't blend in with the masses.

The hat is amazing, and the fit is perfect! You should wear that outfit next time you go to Asda!

Linda said...

I love the photos of you superimposed! your grand father sounds like a real character

Ulla-Marie Nilsson said...

You never stops to surprise. You are a star, and ought to be at Oscars !

Franca said...

You have the best stuff! That hat is so nice, even if its original owner wasnt!

Sue said...

That looks like our Helga lying on the ground in your third to last shot!! I love how you have all this old family stuff and that you will wear it. The dress still looks fabulous even with the knowledge of bulldog clips!

the gardener's cottage said...

love the hat and wow he was handsome. i'm still thinking about that interview. your voice is really lovely and kind...just like you.

xo

Lucys Lounge said...

you look beautiful in the dress. this could be your new look. I love top hats . it was so great to see and hear your interview. you are a breath of fresh air . I hope some time to see you at one of the fairs you do. love lucy xx

Sophie said...

I love all the history all your belongings have vix!
Sophie
X

Dash said...

Dear Vix, sorry have not been around for ages. Love your Philandering Great Grandfathers topper, it really suits you.

I watched your interview and it was lovely to hear your voice and see you live! Just proves that not only are you stylish and lovely but also charming and warm.

X

The Vintage Knitter said...

It's brilliant that you still have your family possessions passed down to you and you put them to good - and stylish - use! xxx

Helga! said...

How fecking FABULARSE is this post?!
LOVE that topper, how special to have it, not to mention the divoon photographs...valuable family memorabilia!
You've styled it up beautifully, and I adore the RIPPING setting!!! Total funnage!
Love Helga xxxXXXxxx

LETICIA said...

wow! i loved this post! so different and interesting. you looked great. that top hat is amazing! top hats always remind me of stevie nicks. they are so glamorous. well, hats in general. you know i can´t live without them. addict here! your interview was perfect. look at it! you are a contstant inpiration doll!

http://lovelyboheme.blogspot.com/

rosyragpatch said...

Fabulous hat, how amazing that it fits you. And your great grandfather looks so handsome on the brooch.
How lovely to be wearing your family history.xx

Laura Lee said...

wow, just love this look! You look like a very stylish Victorian lady! I just love, love that dress!

Trudie said...

You have such an interesting family history I love hearing all these tid bits and seeing all these heirlooms.

Oh and sweet Vix you should be proud, your interview was fabulous. We all love you for you being you and it was great to see that in motion. X

Kathleen Lisson said...

Love that hat! Some of my kinfolk were womanizers, too!

pastcaring said...

Heehee, Vix goes Victorian! The tartan dress does suit you, shame about the bulldog clips! Your great-grandad's top hat looks amazing on you, especially on the set of Ripper Street. I love the mourning brooch, and I am NOT making any unseemly jokes about muffs. I will leave that to Miss Simmonds...
You sounded great in the interview, because you sounded like you - fab accent, full of chat and laughs, totally delightful. That's the Vix I know! xxxxx

Bohemian said...

Ooooooo... it was like a devilish Soap Opera today and made me laugh out loud! Love your dastardly bastardly Grandpa's Top Hat. I have one that an Artist Friend converted to Gypsy Style and presented to me on my Birthday... it's Beaver Black and Co. made in Cairo... I LOVE IT!

Blessings from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian

Paula Ruta said...

lol vIX! Love the pics with the ripper stuff!
We dont have many high hats that survive here in the states--they must have gone out of favor here buy the time we got here.

Emalina said...

Woweee you look AMAZING, the sexiest wench on Ripper Street! That look really suits you, beautiful lady, and how clever are you to have made the muff out of hats! What a wonderful thing that you have so many incredible items from your ancestors, it's an honour to see them and to share in the history.

PinkCheetahVintage said...

I love that top hat-- REALLY love it. I just saw all these sort of gypsy style ladies at the Ren Fest today and one of them was cavorting around in this massive old green velvet top hat and I even pointed it out to X-man... I was like, "I'm feelin' this top hat business." And here you are in the best top hat ever! The brooches are so special, I really love them and they're even better because they are actually your family.
Do I need to check out this Ripper series now? I'm scared!
Becky :)

Sew Coco said...

Love this post....your family history is such fun you should write a book! Loved hearing your voice on your interview...it was great!

DeniseAngela

Frocktasia said...

I've always wanted a top hat, it's one of those things that I really look out for at car boot sales but strangely I haven't come across yet, not even one that was too expensive, buhu!
I did bag a vintage bowler a few years ago and was happy to get that one ticked off the list :)
Your hat is better though because it comes with the added family history. The photo is great, I can definitely see how he was able to charm the pants off the ladies of Chester...devilishly handsome indeed!
Crap, I wish that someone would just flipping hurry up and invent time travel, I'd love to walk the dirty streets of Victorian London, dodging the ripper and hanging out with Dickensian characters.
You look fabulous and may I also say that I absolutely loved your live interview, brilliant!
Lot's of love,
Jennie
xXx

Veshoevius said...

Loved this post! I do love hearing the stories about your ancestors - and they were pretty handsome dressers too by the loot you've inherited! You look wonderful in your great grandfathers top hat and the dress is divine!

tanaya said...

Love your photos Vix, what a beauty of a dress. Your family is so interesting and now i want a top hat...love the green eye-shadow and pink lips xxx

Reva said...

Hi vix!
so good to see you!
i love your photos!!!!!
what editor did u use to pop yourself onto the streets?
too cool!!!!
as are u,i might add :)
hugs
Reva

Tami Von Zalez said...

Great theme post - well done!

Popped by from Visible Monday.

thriftshopcommando.blogspot.com

Misfits Vintage said...

Dastardly ancestors and delicious top hats - and you locking yourself in the bathroom. This post has everything! I absolutely ADORE the tiger top and scarf and super cute hair clips and the MUFF. Why don't I have a MUFF!?

Love you more than The Stray Cats!

Sarah xxx

DearHelenHartman said...

You look like the cover of a super cool steampunk book cover.

Trees said...

I think its great you have so much family history in your home! It seems to be much less common here, I guess many people couldn't take their family treasures to "the colonies". You look great in your top hat! The one time I did do a tiny bit of family research I found a relative who had been in the courts for being a racist bastard and not letting a Maori rugby player stay at his hotel. After than I decided I didn't need to know anything more:P I love that frock!!

Lynn Brooks said...

loved the interview, it was nice to put a voice to the face.

freckleface said...

Your family home must have been an Aladdin's cave of treasures. Your ancestor was obviously a man of standing to have such a magnificent topper. Do you feel the weight of responsibility for all these possessions?

You look so amazingly perfect in a foggy Dickensian setting. I have missed Ripper Street, didn't realise what it was about. Need to see if I can pick up on it, all that stuff fascinates me.

Your interview was so lovely. You came across beautifully. xxxx

shooting star said...

am loving your green eye shadow so much!!! and the hat is awesome..you definitely look like gone into time warp with the hat...

http://www.myunfinishedlife.com

Rebecca said...

OK. I began my day with this post and also watched the video. I am be-witched! Your authenticity, natural grace & charm are magnetic. (That's the only word I can think of...)

Rosemary the Shopper said...

LOVE that dress!!! How much does Kinky Melon want for it? (Presuming it would fit me, of course.)

Anyway, love the memorabilia, especially as they are heirlooms. The hat is a hit. Gorgeous Husband has 2 top hats, and I never thought to check if I could wear them. Hmmmmm.....

Much love from Rosemary,
www.foreveronthecatwalkoflife.blogspot.com

MyStyle said...

Hi there!! How lovely to know what your ancestors were really like!! You look gorgeous in that dress, it's a perfect one for winter and those photos are just so fun and olde worlde!! Have a great week xxx

Miss Simmonds Says said...

I'm laughing at you locking yourself up in your bathroom, I bet Jon wound you up! I love that dress on you. It looks perfect! Well, with the clips. The hat fits like a dream. I think you should write a book about your mad family. I wonder how many hearts your great grandfather broke! These seedy Victorian backdrops are fantastic. And. I love that song! Wonderful all round! Xxxxxx

The Style Crone said...

Vix, I loved your interview. It was wonderful to hear your voice and learn more about you, which only increased my admiration and respect for you.

As for this post, could you be more beautiful? That hat gave me a 'hat attack,' and your hand-made muff is extraordinary. Yes, you are art!

menopauselsupermodel said...

You are rockin' the Ripper Street look!!! LOVE it!!
I absolutely adored your live interview--your accent is adorable!!!

Rose&Bird said...

The tartan dress and hat look great on you, very steampunk! Your great grandad was clearly a very naughty man!

Krista Gassib said...

Vix I could not even imagine how killer you could make that hat look, my my you are a gorgeous creature of the night, spirit of the past, keeper of secrets! The pictures are perfect backdrops and I'm impressed with your editing skills!!!! I love it when you share stories about found family objects, they are so rich with real life history.

Can't wait to see this hat with some crazy ass festival wear too!!!!

LOVEYOU!!!
XXXOOOOOXX

Forest City Fashionista said...

I knew you would absolutely rock the top hat! Excellent theme outfit and I see you've been taking a page from Sarah Misfit's book and perfecting the art of inserting yourself into various backgrounds.

I almost bought a beautiful vintage bowler hat at the Manhattan Vintage show, but I didn't think I would wear it enough to justify the price. Yours comes with a family history and no price tag - perfect!

Vintage Coconut said...

You quite certainly rock that look.
Yep that's right you in a top hat = SUPER COOL!
I love how you have so many family heirloom treasures. I am pretty sure we barely have any in our family.
Some people just never think to keep things...

Sue @ A Colourful Canvas said...

What a great story. I really enjoyed it, thanks. And that hat is a treasure. That and the muff. I always had a fake fur muff when I was little.

Pippi said...

I don't know if anyones shown you this yet (apologies if you've already seen it) but I saw this and I thought you'd like the idea of putting Birmingham's creative bloggers on the map.

http://paperyak.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/sewing-bloggers-of-world-unite.html

(Shamelessly this is a plug for my own blog but it's also a really cool feature off another blog!)

Also, do mourning pictures always come in those frames? I have a double sided Victorian badge one at home somewhere and it looks like yours.

Lakota [Faith Hope and Charity Shopping] said...

Well of course it suits you, I should have known. You really do look amazing in Great Grandfather's hat - even if he was a cad more suited to starring in Hollyoaks (that's Chester, isn't it?)

Your other GG looks rather like Oscar Wilde doesn't he? Have I mentioned that before?
x

The Pugnacious Vegetarian said...

You look gorgeous, Vix! I am behind in blog reading, so I will check out the live interview in a bit :)

Julie bohomumma said...

fab post - I love that hat!! Photos were great

Nat said...

This is such a fabulous post Vix! I love the little insights into your grandparentage and you getting in on the Ripper Street action :-) You certainly rock a top hat like nobody's business!

Style Sud-Est said...

Great post! picmonkey?
Love the ear family stories and ancestors
That hat and dress are just sublime
I tought you were so sweet on that radio interview!

Ariane xxx

Sophie - CGDN said...

shame the dress wont fit! The top hat is a masterpiece, wow! x

Linda Wolf said...

GASP! That hat! That hat on YOU! Vix, you look so wonderfully Rock and Roll Circus!

Wow! Never heard of Screaming Lord Sutch, but wasn't he the trip?! ;)

Hayley Rose said...

A day without dressing up is wasted as we say! your outfit is great love the colours and top hats are brill, my bowler hat went missing in December Im quite upset still! loved this post! xx

Comtesse de ferveur said...

How amazing is that hat! You look fantastic! xxx

delia hornbook said...

There was something spooky about this post maybe it was talk of the ripper. You suit that hat so well what a fantastic piece of family history i would love to know more about mine. You had such an interesting family i love it when you talk about them and show there things. dee xxx

Scarlett said...

Wow sets rocking the mourning brooch and hat combo. What great pieces of family history you have ( as so stylish!) Scarlett x

CityScape Skybaby said...

I can't believe how much top hats are going for, me and Pat saw some in a shop in Edinburgh and thought they were too dear at £15.00, I wish we'd bought them now! And I didn't know your great grandfather was from Chester, we used to go trips there all the time when we were kids, it's such a beautiful city. I love the pic of you in the olde Victorian street, You look very fitting, though you look equally fitting in your living room with all its vintage bits and bobs. And why did you hide when your video was on, it's great! Much better than a lot of interviews I've seen on the TV. XX

Little Blue Mouse said...

You look amazing in that dress and top hat!

Shubhi said...

How amazing you look decked up in both your great-grandfather's heirlooms! I adore that top hat, it looks amazing on you, you should wear it more often :)

Love,
Shubhi's Revels!

Sabine Gimm said...

I l♥ve crazy people ♥
A wonderful outfit.
Sabine

daiseedeb said...

I love that you have so much history around you.
Just wonderful.
And you are fab,too, BTW.
; )
d

Jean at www.drossintogold.com said...

Adorable as a Victorian lady (?!) The mourning pin is so interesting, as his expression looks downright animated which isn't typical of photos of the time. Makes him look very contemporary (and mischievous!) It appears you come by your good looks and lively ways honestly. The muff is fab and I love the fact it's on your great grandmother's chain. AND last but not least, I love your living room!!! The stove/fireplace is especially wonderful. XXXOOO

Camelia Crinoline said...

That is one great hat. You look fabulous in it. It's so awesome that you have stuff that belonged to your great grandfathers.

FASHION TALES said...

Love this Vix, that dress is gorgeous clipped and everything. I've only seen a bit of Ripper Street when it started, Love! I adore Grandfather's hat and how wonderfully dressed of a family you have. xx

Rosalind said...

Your superimposed images made me giggle - brilliant addition of Vix to Victorian London. Your great-grandfather was indeed a handsome devil as well as a cad and a bounder.

Minerva Black the shoppe keeping cat said...

Wow! Love your blog and adventures. Have to read backwards and catch up on everything. Great top hat, I bought my husband one for Royal Ascot, cost a fortune ... Minerva ~

Cristi said...

I freaked when Krista told me you found your Grandfather's top hat-wanted one since the teen years! Like Frocktasia, I've just never have come across one. It is interesting that vintage items really vary by place. The West Coast doesn't have as much as the East and of course not as much as the Mother Land of the UK. It's always much more special to have an item from one's family and even more so to actually know the history of it.
And, must add to the with the rest of the girls here, your GF was quite a handsome man! I wonder if you have any family members that you don't know of with that history...and, it's interesting that you know the dirty laundry of the family as usually that's the kind of stuff that's not talked about and tried to be forgotten.;)
Looking forward to more hat pics, and off to check out that interview!:)

Susan Partlan said...

Vix, you are so funny! How cool to still have your great-grandfather's hat and be able to take it out for a spin!

Lynne DeVenny said...

I am SO jealous that you have been photographed with my latest TV boyfriends, Inspector Reid and Sergeant Drake. I NEED this technology! :D

All the women in my family have big heads. I'm still determined to find a cloche hat that fits.

pao said...

You look great in your ensemble with top hat and the BBC rendition of Jack the Ripper! What a story about the ancestors too. And a great interview with you. You sound great, wish she gave you a bit more of a chance to talk though. Yea Vix!

Devil made in Heaven said...

Hahahaha love the photo's. :D Hubby came to check on me and was looking at your blog. He thinks you are adorable! (I agree)
xxxx