In the words of Noel Coward, every girl ought to be able to say the morning after, “I’ve been to a mah-vellous party.” A little champagne does not go amiss, but this winter the clothes alone will put a gleam in your eye. There are enough sequins, crystal beads and glittering fabrics to guarantee you are the star attraction. To clinch the deal, I’ve asked some of the most stunning party girls around to give their definition of what constitutes a marvellous party and to put the most dazzling party frocks to the test…
Down with lurgies and stress! Boo, and may I say, hiss. I haven’t felt much like posting here, or anywhere. I’m lining up some listings when I’m able though, and they should be up and running next week I hope. Until then, or until I have the energy to post properly again, here is a lovely, shiny post with lots of lovely inspirational images I’ve picked up here and there.
Sometimes I have those crushing moments of clear, crisp reality and remember that people (people other than Lady GaGa, I mean) don’t dress up in truly fantasian styles these days. Unless ‘wags’ or ‘porn stars’ were your childhood fantasy.
What about raggedy dolls, warrior queens, belly dancers and silent film goddesses?
Whilst I continue to [apparently] shock the world with my, ooh – gasp!, novelty duck and rabbit print Miss Mouse dress. Honestly. They don’t know from shocking…
Much as I love big hair, sometimes it needs to be contained in an upwards direction. The Sixties saw some of the biggest, sleekest and most extravagant styles which took heavy inspiration from Victorian and Edwardian originals but with that new, more expressive modern sexuality.
It’s one of my biggest annoyances that women only really wear their hair in interesting up-dos for their wedding days. You should probably wear a hairstyle which is quintessentially ‘you’, not a style which you think you ought to wear. (My mum wore her hair down for her wedding, which would have been fairly unusual in the early Seventies, and I think she looks amazing for it. And very ‘her’, at the time.) If you are going to wear it up for your wedding, why not try wearing it up on an evening out? It doesn’t have to look WAG-sleek, think more along the Bardot-lines…
Of course many of these looks are so sleek and precisely pinned that you would definitely need assistance, but quite a few are not. And the best way to learn, is to practice. The most basic tips I could give would be to curl your hair first (straight hair is more slippery and curls give more volume and grip – and you need plenty of that!!!) and, until you’re more savvy, let the curls do most of the work for you. Keep it relatively messy until you’re used to how you like it pinned, placement on the head and where you need volume or loose hair. Then you can build up to more precise and extravagant works of art.
And keep looking at photos!!
Just try not to get a crick in your neck when you’ve done a good job. It’s for other people to admire…
And my own feeble and basic attempt from a long time ago. It was so solid I drunkenly accidentally fell asleep and awoke the next morning to find it entirely in tact.
Looks like Lily Allen was out and about in a lovely black Ossie Clark dress last night. I suppose it might be a repro, or a Jimmy Choo for H&M, but I sincerely hope not. Googling around to try and find out, I see she’s planning to launch her own ‘vintage label’ at Goodwood this August. Hmm.
Sounds like a pretty awesome event; Sandie Shaw, The Damned etc. Though with that, Roxy at Lovebox and The Who at the Albert Hall….I am going to be stoney broke if I do everything I want to do this year.
I’m far too tired, achy and discombobulated to post anything too long and rambly tonight, so here’s a random picture post so I can attempt to maintain my unusual prolificacy at the moment….
I wish it were profligacy though; I love how I have to really think about which word I want to use. Ah well, that will come soon enough when I’ve recovered from the multitude of stresses which are upon me at the moment. And when it does, I will be wearing lots of eyeliner and lashes and drinking a lot of brandy. So just you watch out!
The other day I promised to show my Sandie Shaw dress. It’s a navy wool crepe with a very nifty little double layered collar (the top layer being in white moss crepe).
I can’t promise this will be a terribly long or informative blog post, because there’s so little information out there about the label. It opened in 1967 and, needless to say, Sandie didn’t design the dresses and shoes (although she had full ‘approval’). I suspect it didn’t last very long, much like Twiggy and Cathy McGowan’s boutique labels. Perhaps there was deemed a conflict of interests when she married designer Jeff Banks in 1968?
Sandie opening her boutique in 1967
I will make Sandie one of my Fashion Icons at some point, whereupon I shall write more comprehensively (if I ever do such a thing) about her and her style. But if any of you are not familiar with our girl, I should probably tell you that her trademark was to sing barefoot. So much was made of the fact that her label was producing shoes!
The images have been taken from footage shown in the BBC’s Queens of Pop programme.
Yes Sandie, I’d be grimacing if they put me in a wig like that!
A screengrab cannot truly capture the seriously groovy Sixties dancing going on at this point.
Did anyone see the BBC1 Queens of Pop programme the other night? Neither did I. Now I know I don’t watch a lot of telly these days but, when I do, I see every other show being trailed to death. Yet I had no idea this had been on. Luckily I was able to use iPlayer, so hopefully any other UK readers who might have missed out can get to see it.
It’s not exactly earth-shatteringly interesting, more a fluffy bit of eye candy. But oh what eye candy! It was almost quite John Bates-tastic, what with Dusty Springfield in her empire line beaded hobble skirt gowns, and Sandie Shaw wearing what I’m certain is a Bates here.
They also briefly touched on the Sandie Shaw Boutique, even showing some clips of the opening and the designs. My eyes nearly popped out of my head. There’s hardly any information around about this little venture, so to suddenly have the footage was fabulous. I have one, very groovy, Sandie Shaw dress which I recently had cleaned’n’pressed and shall photograph’n’blog about very soon.
So team Dusty and Sandie, with Marianne, Suzi, Siouxsie and Kate….and you’ve pretty much got a perfect line-up of awesome music and even more awesome (what? I’m a fashion girl…not a musician….) clothes and make-up.
Also very well worth watching just to see John Lydon getting all sweet and soppy over Kate Bush. Awwww…..
Thanks to the great British weather, I’ve been a little quieter than usual (NOT suitable weather for taking photographs at all, unless I want people squinting at blobs in my listings….) but I’ve just listed some doozies over on ebay….AND I have even more to come both there and on the website. Getting there…..getting there!
Firstly the ebay malarkey. Well, we have a scrumptious Janice Wainwright jacket (left) in black wool crepe and embroidered with all sorts of lovely flowers and insects(!). Eagle-eyed viewers will note that this is the black version of the suit on my website. Although, alas, this has lost its bottom half – it certainly doesn’t stop it from being excessively wearable. Just imagine over a frilly shirt and jeans!
Other notables include a very, VERY rare Sandie Shaw boutique mini (she of Eurovision and Jeff Banks marriage fame), a jawdroppingly beautiful Thirties evening gown (check out the halter neck and the adorable bow on the tushy!) and a slinky, sultry gypsy dress by Vintage-a-Peel favourite (and scourge of Topshop, apparently), Lee Bender for Bus Stop.
Coming up on the website in the next week will be a red cord Youthquake mini dress (laced up the front….sauuuucccccyy!!), a delicious Forties-inspired moss crepe printed dress by British Boutique woman of mystery Florrie Carr (I suspect she may be married to David Silverman and they both live in Atlantis or something….), a Paddington Bear type check mini dress by Clobber (a.k.a Jeff Banks, of Sandie Shaw marriage fame) and one of the most stunning dresses I’ve had the good fortune to come across by Emma Domb (right)under her earliest label. It’s seriously movie-star-tastic!