Friday, 21 November 2014

Vintage over new - what happend to quality in cloth?

After spending the best part of a day trawling the high street trying to find a pair of well cut wool trousers or simple classic skirt I gave up and came to the conclusion that one of the reasons I buy vintage is for the quality of fabric and the cut of the cloth.



Unless you are prepared to spend over £100 for a garment made from more than 20% wool - it seems impossible to find clothes that do not have a stretch in them?  What happened that we have to have comfort over style - don't get me wrong I know we all need to have some ease of washing garments and that a bit of a lycra never hurt anyone but the nearly all of the fabrics I felt seemed to "squeak"?

There are some great high street shops out there but it seems to me that most of them have forgotten how to make simple classic clothing and are addicted to adding stretch, unnecessary details or trims in the hope that it makes it more appealing.

Quality of fabric seems not to matter anymore - I always remember a number of years ago when training with Hobbs I was told that wool isn't actually wool anymore but wool fibres drawn out and then stuck together with a glue like substance and pressed into one large piece. Years ago there were mills all over the UK producing wools but now it is only the luxury markets that can afford to use "real wool" in there clothing.




Man made fabric is not a new thing but even the polyester dresses of the 70's are better quality and at least have  a classic style that is simple and elegant!!

I know that it takes more time to find vintage pieces and it is not just a case of one size fits all, but one of the joys I find in vintage shopping is that when your hand touches a wonderful fabric or a beautifully cut item catches you eye you heart jumps just a little bit knowing that you have found something "to die for".

Retreat Vintage Norwich,

Vintage can be part of your everyday wardrobe and should be if you are like me fed up with the poor offerings from the high street. Mix it up with some basics from department stores if you need to but don't settle for comfort over style. Buying vintage is re-cycling and you will find that your clothes will last longer - crikey they have survived for a least 20 years (I can't agree yet that 90's is vintage - sorry) - how long do you think your high street purchases will last - not long I guess they will be in landfill before you vintage classic wool skirt even looks worn??!!

So I won't be taking to the high street shops any time soon - it's vintage all the way with me with a few modern twists.

Tell me what you think? Have let go of style in the search for comfort or is there still hope out there for quality clothing??



Friday, 14 November 2014

Modern Muse - Natalie Joos

While researching modern ways to wear vintage for a fabulous new project which is under wraps for now but all going well will launch at Norwich Fashion Week - I came across a very stylish lady who mixes her designer and vintage to the max!!

Natalie Joos is a stylist, casting agent and blogger - lover of all things vintage, I love the way she combines colours, patterns, vintage and designer creating fabulous looks - that sometime really shouldn't work but do!!

Here are just a few of may favourites: You can't tell if it vintage or a modern trend but just plain chic!!

Just love this dress - mixed with the green.

Going to totally work this now it is chilly - midi skirt and cosy sweater

Classic colour combo with a great colour pop









 



Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Afternoon Tea, Dancing and a starry hotel weekend

Last weekend we stayed at another fabulous hotel - this time it was for my brother in laws 50th birthday bash but I not going to say no for a chance to stay spend time drinking cocktails, dancing and living it up!!

This time it was in the heart of theatre land -The Savoy - it was the favourite of many a movie star form the golden age of Hollywood and the famous American Bar.

 
 
I love arriving at posh hotels - we drove up to the entrance and waiting to open the door is a smartly dressed doorman, taking you luggage and inviting you in to the grandeur of reception beyond the revolving doors.
 
 
 
And what a hotel it was - with a recent re-vamp costing quite a few millions it was amazing. Many of the features including the floor are original and totally restored.
 
 
 
 
 
After being shown to our room and the luggage magically appearing we settled in to the Art Deco themed surroundings - getting changed before heading down for a quick drink before our Afternoon Tea.
 
 
 
Vintage 40's dress Shazam Vintage. In the famous American Bar.
 

Champagne Afternoon Tea with style!!
 
 
After a long relax in the bath and a quick power nap we headed back to the Beaufort Bar this time for a cocktail before dinner - I loved this bar - black and gold very Deco interior but due to the fact that my camera is not great in low light we didn't get any great shots (note to self - get a better camera!!), It was the 125 year anniversary of the hotel so they had created some signature cocktails and a "pop up cocktail menu".
 
1930's dress Lulu Vintage, fascinator by me and 1930's tux also Lulu Vintage.

 
 

We actually bought this book from the shop along with a special edition cocktail shaker - so expect lots of drink photos over the festive season as we try some out!!
 
 
Dinner with Steve- the birthday boy and family and friends!
 
While we were enjoying our dinner we were treated to the sounds of the 30's from Alex Mendham and his orchestra - a truly amazing experience recreating the dance band era.
 
In between courses we took to the dance floor - I was moving so fast that I am a little blurry in this picture!! We even managed a Fred and Ginger tap routine??
 
 


 
 
What a weekend - I have been spoilt this year with fabulous hotels and events - will have to start saving and get some ideas for next year now!!
 

 

 





Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Modern Muse - Vintage Fashionista

Last week I met up with Shona Daly aka The Prim Girl who showed me round the lovely home she shares with her partner James and two cats!!

Like me she had a passion for fashion from a young age. Traveling through American developed her interest in thrifting and she loved the beautiful dresses with detailing and so different from the boyish grunge wear that was the fashion at the time. Wearing her 50's gowns with DM's before a was a trend!!

Shona said that she the quality of the fabrics, the details and the fact she wouldn't be wearing the same as everyone else was a factor in her love for old things.

After working studying and working in fashion for a number of years and always feeling as though her creativity was crushed she set up a vintage fashion shop online but when her partner suggested moving to his home town of Norwich Prim Vintage  the shop was born.

I was interested in her take on vintage style and this is what she told me!!

"Love mixing it up - my look for everyday is normally skinny jeans and a blazer but possibly with a vintage blouse or piece of jewellery and I am never with out a vintage bag. But for an event she goes full on glam with a vintage dress - "I always wear a dress for a wedding or party, I just love the chance glam up"

We talked about how she sees the "vintage scene" going and if the bubble will burst - "her comments are very similar to my views - "she believes there will always be life in vintage and that it should be just one of the options of fashion - not for fancy dress or "event" dressing but for everyday but she says that it is hard to get this through to people; Vintage seems to fall into 2 markets - the collectables designer pieces that fetch high prices worn by the likes of Kate Moss and on the red carpet or the cheap 70's and 80's worn by students"

 Shona like me would love to see vintage being embraced by everyone - those people who shop in the mid- range high street stores going for something different rather than the safe option. She says that it is easy to buy the ready made options on the high street but vintage dressing needs confidence to look different from the norm and more effort to find key pieces.

I could have sat and chatted all day about fashion, style and our favourite vintage pieces. I was lovely to wander around seeing her  collections and fabulous house.

Just a few of the fabulous vintage frocks
 
A few of her favourite things - the ceramic cat that sits on the mantle place and the current "go to" bag. Along with the magazine pile in the office and vintage as wall hanging.
 
More vintage on show and the lady herself busy at her desk.
 
Views around the house.
 
 
If you want to get some of Shona's vintage style take a look at the  Prim Oline Shop - filled with fabulous vintage from all eras all hand picked by The Prim Girl herself. And check out her blog The Prim Girl where she muses her passion for among other things - vintage, Kate Moss, the V&A and cats
 
More fabulous Modern Muse posts coming soon - in the meantime tell me how you like to mix your wardrobe - fashion and vintage style??
 

 









 
 
 
 


Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Norwich Cocktail Week

Last week was Norwich Cocktail Week - my lovely friend Gemma aka Retro Chick. Her and her hubby worked really hard getting all the bars involved, organising events and tasting cocktails.

The launch party was held at Farmer Browns and we were treated a Stoli Vodka cocktails.

I was hoping to get along to more events but the cold bug I had been fighting for weeks hit hard and the only drink I wanted was lemsip.

But it was a fabulous week by all accounts and I will look forward to next year. So I will leave you with some great images.

All photos - Retro Chick







Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Fabulous Miss K gets fit!!

For a long time if the vintage frocks have got a little snug it has been an easy task to cut a few calories, dance a bit harder at the weekend and with all the running around I do the few pounds soon come off.

But now as I am technically middle aged it doesn't work that way, the weight is staying on regardless of what I eat and due to the fact that I have been immobile for about 8 weeks due to the crash more than a few of my favourite vintage outfits are too small and no amount of shape wear or moving the buttons across is going to make a difference!!

So the time has come for action - enter Hyde Johnson Personal Training and Group Fitness - a good friend of mine qualified as a personal trainer in her younger days but put it on hold for her family and now as they are grown up she has gone back to it - re-training and earning Grade Three Personal Training qualification and is registered with the Keep Fit Association and EDMP - Exercise Movement and Dance Partnership. She is now offering personalised fitness and diet programs on a one to one basis.

Working along the principals of Rudolph Laban who in true vintage style developed his fitness regime in the 1930's - you can read about his methods here.



A whole new shopping experience was in order - I had no idea that buying trainers was such a chore and why are they so expensive for something so UGLY!!

 
 
Monday morning bright and early I headed to Waterloo Park for my first training session. We took it easy to begin with as my ribs are still healing and I am stiff from sitting around.
 
But with a mixture of slow jogging, walking and squats and lunches along with a little bit of weights for the arms my body had its first workout in weeks!!
 
 
 
 
Carmen also gives advice on nutrition and healthy eating so workout over I headed home with my eating and exercise plan ready to take on the day.
 

Post work out brunch - eggs and green tea.
 
Carmen offers one to one personal training sessions £30 per hour, Small group sessions up to 4 people £10 per person or group fitness classes £5-7 per person - up to 30 people - contact her by email - carmenhydejohnson@gmail.com
 
 
Looking forward to continuing my fitness programme and getting back in to my vintage favourites.

 

 


Friday, 3 October 2014

Behind the scenes - Fashion Forward Vintage Shoot.

Last week I got together with Retreat Vintage for a fashion shoot to feature some of the fabulous pieces they have in the shop and show how you can get a modern fashion vibe with vintage clothing - taking our inspiration from the Autumn/Winter trends we spent the day photographing amazing outfits.

I am working on a little project that will be revealed soon I am super excited about it but it is still work in progress so I can't tell you all the details so  in the meantime here are a few of the images from the shoot.

The location for the shoot was a great studio in the "getting very cool" North City
 

 


 
The gang for the day were:
 
 
Hair and Make -up: Freya  and Amy Rose O'Leary
 
Models: Amy Woodman, Oksana Smirnova, Anna Konstantynowicz, Hilary Halalay.
 
 
The whole shoot was also filmed by my good friend Liz Hollis - which is being edited as I speak and will be available on my You Tube channel very soon.