Sunday 31 March 2013

So Many Frocks, So Little Time

  When you've a wardrobe as stuffed as mine it's a crime not to frock up at the slightest opportunity. Despite having no plans to go further than the wheelie bin today this is how I'm dressed. Mind you, I do have a date with Daniel Craig later.

Here's the last few days in frocks.

1960s crimplene maxi (Vintage Village @ Clothes Show Live, 2011) worn with 1950s Scottish mohair coat, 1970s felt hat and Rajasthani tooled leather peacock bag (all charity shop finds)
This was my choice for Thursday's Night Market. Despite the hideous cold we managed to spend an hour exploring and ate some gorgeous street food before retreating to the pub to defrost. 

Here's the notorious Black Country grannies battling to get to the £1 vintage bargains.

1970s hot pink maxi (Krista-licious) worn with a Sassy Vamps headpiece

I continued with my plan of ignoring the weather and dressing for summer and this was my choice of work wear for the Mad March vintage fair. We had a brilliant day of sales and my head piece was the toast of Bridgnorth. 

Second-hand from head to toe.

My partner in vintage didn't scrub up too badly. 

1970s chiffon maxi (Maisie's Closet Vintage) , Liz's pagoda print shift (made by her own fair hands)
It was Liz (bag-making genius) and Adrian's birthdays on Friday & the birthday boy himself ended up cooking dinner as none of us could decide where to eat. I couldn't wait to give the chiffon maxi I brought back from the vintage fair yesterday a whirl.

After a delicious South Indian curry, a fancy cheeseboard and far too much booze the evening descended into the usual chaos.

Despite an evening that involved necking Cava straight from the bottle on the streets of Bridgnorth (classy), downing two bottles of Rosé all to myself and the loss of an hour I was feeling remarkably bright-eyed this morning, unlike a certain someone.

Psychedelic 1960s neck scarf (Maisie's Closet Vintage) worn with 1970s maxi (99p, eBay years ago), fake Litas and a heap of bastard jewellery.

It's a quiet (and sober) night in watching Skyfall as we're saving our energies for celebrating our anniversary tomorrow. 21 years of unwedded bliss - you'd get less for murder.

Have a fabulous long weekend!

 See you soon.

Linking to Patti and the crew for Visible Monday.

Thursday 28 March 2013

Chiffon In The Snow

 After Minerva commented, Enough is enough! When can we wear our floaty chiffon again? I knew what I had to do. I've had enough of being held captive to a seemingly eternal winter so off came the fake fur coat, long-sleeved crimplene maxi, gloves and the sheepskin hat that's been almost welded to my head for a fortnight and on came my Jean Varon cocktail frock.

For a fleeting moment it felt deliciously liberating, that is until the snow started to fall and I had to scurry back indoors to sit next to the fire and shroud myself in blankets.

Why don't you join me? Crack open your wardrobe and get snapped wearing something totally unsuitable, impractical and floaty, maybe if we ignore the weather it'll get bored and leave us in peace - just don't blame me if you go down with hypothermia! 

Mental? I'm probably still delirious from the £10 a litre bargain white rum I was drinking last night and the news that The Rolling Stones are headlining Glastonbury. Can you believe it? I might just explode with excitement.

I know it's been months since I mentioned a Kinky Melon website & finally it's up and open for business. A long time coming but hey, computers weren't even on the curriculum when we were at school so it's been a long and slow (and argumentative) process. 

Kinky Melon's Retro Boutique

I've made a couple of sales already! Don't worry, I promise not to turn my blog into an advert, I'll pop the link in my side bar and it's entirely up to you to visit.

Jean Varon chiffon dress (50p, jumble sale, 2012), Handmade Indian pendant (the gorgeous Edie Pop), silver headband (75p, YMCA) worn with heaps of bastard jewellery, vintage wellies and some very unattractive thermal underwear.

It's Walsall's award winning night market tonight, an evening of live music, an open air bar, delicious street food and stalls offering handmade, vintage and eclectic goodies. It's forecast to be -8C so it's thermals all the way.

See you soon.

Tuesday 26 March 2013

Monochromatic Madness

According to fashion pages of The GuardianMonochrome is back with an energetic force this spring and this potentially tricky look can work whatever your agethat's if you follow their advice and invest in all manner of overpriced nonsense including a £250 pair of white stilettos, a £29 bangle and a £300 leather skirt.

Sod that! When has monochrome EVER been away, who doesn't already own something black, white or both, and, more importantly, what's age got to do with anything?

Here's my concession to Spring 2013 fashion with a Vix-style 1970s twist. The entire outfit cost less than one Guardian-endorsed bangle.

Monochrome maxi dress (details HERE), Devore maxi coat (last seen HERE), Baroque bag (hand made by Liz for Xmas 2010), Plaited headband (99p Stores), Bastard massive vinyl platform boots (£2, car boot sale)
Not visible is the long sleeved thermal vest (from a jumble sale), knee high socks (nicked from Jon's underwear drawer) or the fleece-lined leggings Liz bought for me from Birmingham Rag Market - all essentials for our British springtime.

  Great-Grandfather's silver Victorian Vesta* case strung on a bath chain bought from the ironmonger's and some complimentary cat hair.

* A hinged case for matches, after Vesta - the Roman goddess of the hearth.

Hand Bag woollen mittens on a string (I bought with my pocket money from Van Allan in 1976), monochrome bangle made by the gorgeous Edie Pop, the rest were second-hand finds.

 1960s pearlised grape earrings (Inherited from my Mum)

Yes, it's still excruciatingly cold with the occasional snow flurry & no sign of any let up for the rest of the month. It's the first spring in seven years we haven't jetted off to Goa for the end of season pre-monsoon party session, what were we thinking?! I'm going to have to crank up the central heating, cook Chana Masalla, crack open a Kingfisher and watch a Bollywood movie in my bikini.

I haven't forgotten about taking a photo of the rag and bone man but he's swapped his horse and cart for a truck this week due to the inclement weather conditions! 

See you soon.

Sunday 24 March 2013

Life's A Drag

I left Birmingham's Alexandra Theatre yesterday on a high.

Watching Priscilla, Queen of The Desert made me want to embrace drag queen chic - ridiculously impractical heels, massive bell-bottoms, crazy head pieces, fake fur, lame, false eyelashes, lurid lipstick and neon eye shadow, lurex, sequins, glitter, catsuits, animal print, feathers and big hair. 

Then I realised I'd been dressing like that for most of my adult life.

Whilst my classmates mooned over the rugby-playing lads from the boys' school and dreamt of wedding dresses, diamond clusters and the happy-ever-after I was climbing out of the bedroom window and podium dancing to Miquel Brown & Hazell Dean at Birmingham's legendary super club, The Nightingale.

The clientèle were a exotic mix of leather boys, drag queens and Boy George wannabes so a skinny teenage girl in 1960s dresses, fetish boots, orange eye shadow, black lipstick and a back-combed to buggery spiral perm barely raised an eyebrow. It made a refreshing change from being the laughing stock of the mainstream wine bars of Walsall. 

Although my gay boyfriends were forever calling round, doing my make-up or borrowing from my massive wardrobe of vintage clothes, my parents never found out about my secret clubbing life or that one of my mates lived in my bedroom for months after his parents disowned him for coming out. I think Mum was quietly pleased that I wasn't very interested in straight boys so there was no chance of me coming home knocked up.

Although I did eventually develop an interest in men I still haven't grown out of climbing the nearest podium (or table) when I hear a banging tune.  

Mary Quant Tiger print cat suit (Helga the Great), Massive platform boots (£2, car boot sale), Accessorize sequined scarf (Birthday present from Liz, 2008), 1970s coat (inherited from Mum), 1970s felt hat (Darling Zoe), Neon feather earrings (75p, Superdrug)

I'm trying not to harp on about the 60 hours of continual snow and sub-zero temperatures the Midlands (and a large part of the rest of the UK) have been subjected to this weekend but this poem says it all.

Ode To Spring by Sonia Florentino

It snowed today
Like yesterday
And once more
Snow tomorrow

A harsh winter

That's what they say

Colder than it's ever been

Snow like we've never seen

Spring... it will be late

But I will wait, for like fate

Spring always follows
Spring always comes
Spring has never failed me

Even under 6 feet of sorrow
No matter how long I burrow
Spring somehow always finds me 

Friday 22 March 2013

Don't Have Nightmares - It's The Vintage Swimsuit Edition

 A scarily large amount of people find my blog every week using the keywords "Mature woman in bikini" and occasionally "Hot over 50 in bikini" (Cheeky, I'm only 46!) so, just by way of a change I thought I'd treat them to some "mature woman in a swimsuit" pictures instead.

1960s St Michael denim swimsuit (Maisie's Closet Vintage)
My friend Reva wrote on her blog today about camouflage and what we do to enhance our appearance, be it Photo-shopping the wrinkles and flabby bits out of photographs or by using cosmetics and magic undies in real life.

What about me? Effects-wise I've cropped the crap from the side of the wardrobe. My blonde hair is dyed black, my eyebrows are tattooed on, I'm wearing 6 inch heels, eye shadow, kohl, false eyelashes, nail varnish, blusher and lipstick, 

and I'm sporting a state of the art prosthetic hip joint, which, if you look closely you can see the scar running down the hip closest to you.

1960s St Michael psychedelic skirted swimsuit (40p, jumble sale), Candy-coloured platforms (£5, local retail)
My body is due to a vegetarian diet, limiting my booze intake to just four days a week, loathing of sugar and junk food and a 30 minute a day exercise routine. I'd rather spend 10 minutes a day doing sit-ups than subject myself to the horrors of beige control pants, thanks very much! 

So, how much of a fake are you?

I could show you the blizzard raging outside or the 6 inches on snow on the ground but I'll leave that to someone else, I'm off to the pub in my fake fur, Cossack hat and wellies and I promise to substitute a vintage dress for a swimsuit.

Have a fantastic weekend!

Thursday 21 March 2013

(Wo) Man About The House

A couple of my friends say this catsuit is like something Mildred from Man About The House would have worn but when I Googled "Yootha Joyce in a catsuit" all I got was....., my sewing room, my bag and my bathroom!  

Whether I look like one of my 1970s heroes in this catsuit is besides the point, I'm on tea-making duty today and combined with the full-on thermals underneath it's keeping me warm when I dash outside with a tray whilst Jon tinkers with Gilbert outside on the used car lot front drive.

A bloke messing around with a vintage Volkswagen inevitably draws a crowd of interested bystanders so I've been brewing up for all and sundry for most of the day.

Not that I've any plans to wander far, it's cowing freezing. I got my shopping fix yesterday when I popped into town to peruse the weekly flea market and came back with these rather marvellous 1950s barkcloth curtains.

They're a bit knackered and smelt like they'd been kept in a cellar for half a century but at 25p for the pair I'm hardly going to complain. 

I couldn't resist these suede platforms either and at £1 I'd probably have been been mad not to.  

I feel some curtain couture coming on, just as soon as they're dry.

1970s catsuit (Maisie's Closet Vintage), 1960s Jeff Banks W1 blouse (Courtesy of the gorgeous Alex)

Off to put the kettle on, there's a man in need of tea anxiously waving at me.

See you soon.

Tuesday 19 March 2013

Girl, Interupted

Try as I might my photo shoots always seem to descend into chaos, if it's not an invasion by a photo-bombing cat or the camera battery going flat then it's the rag and bone man trundling past in his horse and trap, playing his trumpet (I'm not joking, it happens on a twice-daily basis around here).

Take this morning for example, no sooner had I put my bag down to pose for a few shots before heading off into town when we heard someone yelling, "I'll give you something worth photographing,"

Out came our neighbour Ray, wheeling the bin out in his dressing gown and treating us to a flash of his saggy Y-Fronts. It's hard to maintain chronic bitch face under such trying circumstances.

As promised here's one of Sunday's purchases, my lime green paisley print maxi skirt from my sister-in-vintage, Claire. At under a tenner you'll need your head looking at if you still think vintage fairs are over-priced.

...and Saturday's jumble sale buys.

Clockwise from top left: 1950s pure silk blouse (Already re-homed), 1980s St Michael tea dress, two pairs of ladies' gloves, 1970s St Michael safari jacket, 1950s Scottish mohair scarf, 1960s zip-front day dress, Pair of 1970s Poole Pottery egg cups, 1970s Donegal Tweed trilby, Pretty hand-made 1970s midi dress, 1970s cropped wool bolero, embellished kaftan, 1960s ties and a YSL shirt.

Jeannie Jersey, England 1970s psychedelic maxi skirt (Georgia May's Vintage Wardrobe) worn with 1960s cotton velvet pseudo-Victorian jacket by Posh Frocks of England (£1.99, Banardo's), Cerise leather gloves by Dents (25p, car boot sale over 3 years ago), 1960s wool felt hat (£3.50, Birmingham Settlement), Fake Litas (£5, off the market) and a heap of junk jewellery

I'm layered up to the eyeballs under this lot as, yet again, we've got snow flurries and freezing temperatures, when will Spring ever arrive?

See you soon.