Duffy and Squiffy

bloggers, brian duffy, christine keeler, grace coddington, ossie clark, wendyB

Since returning from Paris, I’ve managed to do considerably less work than I ought to have done. However, it has been in the name of enjoyable vintage-related shenanigans so I don’t mind too much. I am working on new listings now, so I will let you know when they go up!

On Thursday night, I was at the launch of the new Brian Duffy book (published by ACC) which I will be reviewing (or salivating over, if you know me at all) soon. Idea Generation gallery in Shoreditch are having an exhibition and sale of Duffy prints, which are all superb. I particularly adore the picture of Grace Coddington with her boobs out, and Christine Keeler….also with her boobs out. A pattern is emerging, methinks.

Talking of boobs…. As lovely as these photos are, I have seen them all before. This meant that I was a smidge distracted by the howling, and I really do mean that, typos on the captions beside each image. It brought out my worst side, Miss Pedantpants, and here is my gallery of shame (I’ve highlighted the worst offenders…). The book doesn’t have these typos, I hasten to add, so the Idea Generation lot really need to buck their Ideas up. It’s not a professional look. Unless they really do have Yoda writing for them…

Pedantry aside, it was a great evening. The photos are well worth having a gander at, even if you can’t afford to buy a print, and it’s a lovely, airy exhibition space. I would recommend peeking into the smaller side room, since there’s a glass covered table full of Duffy ephemera and smaller, less well-known photos on the walls.

We also ended up having a little chat with Brian’s younger brother (why on earth am I so terrible with people’s names? Shameful. He was a dude!) who was genuinely lovely and happy to talk about his big brother. I was unusually sober, unusually for such an event, due to the fact that only beer was on offer. A state which was not achieved when I attended the 4th Annual Transatlantic Blogger meet-up on Saturday.


It’s become tradition to meet, eat and drink [Pimm’s] when the gorgeous WendyB visits London in the Summer. It’s also my tradition to forget my camera and rely on other people’s photos afterwards, so thank you to Wendy and Kate for providing me with a few shots to share (if you haven’t already seen them on their blogs!).

It was as lovely as always to see gorgeous laydeez Kate, Margaret and Sharon Rose, and an absolute joy to finally meet the legendary MrB. Needless to say, conversation came around to recent newspaper events, and there was much gossip, advice and a valuable and hilarious education in blunt euphemisms from the brilliant Kate.

I was wearing an Ossie Clark crepe skirt and a pink and yellow knitted top by Erica Budd. I’ve seen Erica Budd as a name in my Petticoat and Honey magazines for years now, but never possessed or even seen one. So I was chuffed to find that particular beauty. The Ossie is an absolute staple of mine, and the shoes are the most insanely comfortable wedges (comfortable given the 5 inch heel anyways…) from Marks and Spencer. I realise I lose cred for them being M&S, but they look and feel good so I don’t give a hoot! But I did have a hoot on Saturday (even if I did pay for it with a Pimm’s headache) so thank you ladies!

Blake, Dreadful and Giles

annabel giles, bath, bloggers, holburne museum, peter blake

I have been off gallivanting again. Tsk. With good reason though. On Friday, I played the part of ‘plus one’ for the opening of the Holburne Museum in Bath. Closed for three long years, it has been extended and renovated and now relaunched with a wondrous exhibition by none other than Peter Blake.

I was a little too scared to take photos, the gallery attendants looked rather fierce, but decided that you all ought to go and see it anyway. It’s a single room, seemingly small, but with Blake’s found objects and miniature artworks on display that hardly seems to matter at all. From Tom Thumb’s boots, to a waxwork bust of Leslie Caron (taken from life, and very spooky), to Ian Dury’s rhythm stick, via pictures of Brigitte Bardot and her ‘B-side’ (thank you to Tarkus for introducing that phrase into my life) plastered all over a cabinet and two original heads from the Sgt. Pepper album cover. It really requires more gazing time than I was able to dedicate. The rest of the museum, from what I saw, is looking rather splendid and I have fallen in love with a few Gainsboroughs I wouldn’t mind owning.

Then on Saturday, I attended the gorgeous Penny Dreadful’s launch party. Too briefly it would seem. It was lovely to meet up with some other bloggers who I hadn’t met before, and to see Margaret and Sharon Rose again. Seems I missed some Dolly Parton karaoke, but I was heading all the way back to Brighton and didn’t wish for my train to become a pumpkin. Margaret has a gorgeous pad, and some gorgeous vintage, so I would recommend booking in for a session at Maison Penny Dreadful.

Last night, to round off a lovely weekend, I went to see Annabel Giles in ‘Annabel Giles talks too much‘ at the Brighton Fringe. Engaging and very beautiful (cheekbones to die for) she’s also rather funny and self-deprecating. She will speed through her life story, with photos from her modelling days (several I recognised, and would never have guessed were her), stories of Midge Ure, Paula Yates and naff gameshows from my childhood. It’s a surprisingly enjoyable night out, rather like agreeing to go to the pub with someone you haven’t seen in ten years, and who then doesn’t ask you a thing about yourself. Which is rather nice, to be absorbed in a life other than your own, but a risky business. It’s a fine line between brutal honesty and prattling self-obsession, but she walks it confidently.

My only criticism would be, don’t advertise that you will be answering questions about ‘anything’ at the end, and then get a little cagey when someone wants to know why you split from your husband. All or nothing, for me.

I’m doing a little more gallivanting over the next week or so, but I’m trying to line up some blog posts and get some listings up, so please bear with me dear readers. And if you are so inclined, I’d be awfully grateful if anyone felt like voting for me on Lulu’s Vintage.

Cleo, Camping, Bloggers and Pimm’s

bloggers, carry on films, florence, pimm's, wendyB

It’s been a bizarre and lovely few days since I returned from Florence. After a quick return home to sift through emails and post out items, and after a delicious Latte Macchiato (my new ‘thing’) at the highly recommended Belmondo cafe in Orpington, I shuttled myself across South London to Bromley’s very dinky (as the name might suggest) Little Theatre to attend a performance of Cleo, Camping, Emmanuelle and Dick (originally a National Theatre production about, unsurprisingly, the Carry On films). I haven’t been to an am-dram production of anything for a seriously long time, and I was pleasantly surprised.

Despite the heat and the patchy performance (I’m being kind there) from one cast member who-shall-remain-nameless, it was a rather good, clean, fun evening out. The actress playing Barbara Windsor deserves special mention for perfecting Babs’s delightful giggle and for successfully recreating the bikini-popping scene from Carry on Camping.

I was attempting not to recreate such an event on Saturday when Five Bloggers Went Pimm’sing in London.

Wendy, Kate and Margaret have blogged about the event already, and I was brilliantly useless as ever with my lack of camera facilities, so please do take a look at their blogs if you want to see how frazzled I was looking – even with my cut-out Lee Bender sundress. I don’t do heat very well. Pimm’s does a mighty fine job of cooling you down though, as does the great gloomy British pub. Al Fresco? No thank you. I should like a dark, damp corner please…

It was ever so lovely to meet Margaret, Winnie and Disneyrollergirl for the first time, and as delightful (if not more so because there were no irritating children or waiters around this time) as last time to see the lovely Wendy and Kate.

For both these sweaty post-Florence events I managed to completely forget to take my fan. I purchased on my birthday in dizzy desperation, and it was definitely the best €4 I’ve ever spent. The best €2 you could ever spend would be on Florence’s very own black and white photobooth, which is positioned near the Santa Maria Novella train station. It’s nicer if you just ‘happen’ upon it, but you can look these things up online as well. Click the photo to become a ‘fan’ on facebook. A-ha-ha. I am funny.