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The day The Boy and I learnt to Lindy Hop

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The day The Boy and I learnt to Lindy Hop

Ever since The Boy and I went to the Goodwood Revival in 2010 I’ve been wanting to learn how to dance (The Boy was a little bit more hesitant) Now we’ve been to a few most vintage events and I always end up watching all the amazing dancing not able to really join in as it looks so intimidating!

I’ve been looking into weekly dance lessons and came across an all day session hosted by Swing Patrol . I mentioned it in passing to The Boy (not thinking he would say yes) and before I knew it he’d booked the tickets and we where off to brick lane to learn to Lindy Hop!

To say we where nervous was an understatement. I was going to have to learn to follow – to give up control – not something I am particularly fond of and The Boy was going to have to dance in a room full of strangers without any dutch courage! Before we even got to the bloody venue I had already fallen over (it happens a lot) so I wasn’t too hopeful being able to control my limbs! BUT we turned up and where instantly put at ease (well sort of) by our lovely dance teachers Saul and Simone (watch them at work here) got us to warm up doing silly dance moves and then our hours of dancing started!

The day was broken up in to three sections…

12.30-1.45pm – Introduction to SIX BEAT swing

15min break

2.00-3.15pm – Introduction to EIGHT BEAT Lindy Hop

15min break

3.30-4.45pm – Introduction to CHARLESTON

It was intense, quick and boiling but the best fun we’ve had in ages! Think I didn’t stop giggling from start to finish and even The Boy was starting to get a grips with it! I didn’t think I would like the Charleston as it was at the end of a long day and looked so complicated but it was so much fun. I’m so glad we did it! I would like to say we looked like this by the end…

…but I think it will take a LOT more practice for that!

Saul did mention that we should do some social dancing which sounds terrifying but fun!  Might be our next venture into dancing…?

He did also talk about watching the film Hellzapoppin for inspiration, which I’ve never heard of before but after this clip I will be hunting it down!

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I’m in LOVE with my new Collectif dresses

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A month or so ago I saw on Facebook that Collectif was doing a 50% sale… as you can guess lots of girl squeaks happened. I was devastated to find out that it went live when I was on a research day for work so would be in bookshops instead of at my desk! Thankfully with the help of 3G I managed to get my hands on a couple of fantastic dresses!

The fabulous Georgina HorneI’ve  known of Collectif for a while as they have a great shop in the Camden market but I was always a little hesitant because I’ve found that, with some modern vintage clothes,  “plus sizes” don’t always go together well – add in the fact that I’m so tall the waists of most dresses sit under my bust –  it’s never a good look!  It wasn’t until I saw the gorgeous Georgina Horne‘s facebook page filled with photos of her in all her dresses she’s got from there (and this most recent blog post on Fuller Figure Fuller Bust  about how Collectif have taken over her wardrobe) that I decided to take advantage of the discount and add to my ever-expanding wardrobe!

The first dress I bought was already in the sale but as it’s named after one of my favourite characters I had to buy the Rizzo Dress!

Packed with style and sass, just like the lady we named this dress after, the Rizzo is a fitted pencil dress with twist detailing to the bust. Available in Green, Lilac, Red, and Plain Black, this style is full of 1950s charm, with cute ¾ sleeves, turned up and buttoned to perfection!

Rizzo Dress green

The next dress was the Sarong Blue Hibiscus Dress. I had to buy it as I love the cut, pattern and the baboo detailing – so basically everything!!!

Tiki is definitely in, and look, it’s summer again! What a perfect combination! Embody Hawaiian inspired glamour in our Sarong Dress, now available in our fantastic Blue Hibiscus print! This flattering wrap design is completed by a belt to cinch in the waist and lovely gathered detail to the front. Essential for hot summer nights!

Sarong Dress Blue Hibiscus

I’m building up to purchasing one of their circle skirt dresses but for now I’m more than happy to have these two in my wardrobe! The fit is fantastic on both and the skirt length is still a good length on me stopping just above the knee! Can’t wait to wear them somewhere soon!

I managed to finally grab The Boy to get him to take a couple of photos of me in these beauties! Bear in mind that this was after a day long of dancing so my hair is scraped back but I still love these photos! (will explain more about the dancing in the next post!)

Green Dress tiki dress

 

I’m already looking to see what can be the next addition… bye-bye next month’s pay check!

Vintage Fair Goodness

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Vintage Fair Goodness

The Boy and I had a very lovely Sunday a couple of weeks ago, wandering around the Bethnal Green’s Affordable Vintage Fair, organised by the Judy’s Vintage Fair lot, held at York Hall!

It was such a lovely day so I donned one of my vintage summer dresses and headed east ready to shop! Unfortunately I didn’t come away with anything but the Boy got more tweed (a BARGIN at £20 for a tweed jacket with long arms!) off a stall which offered free sunglasses with every purchase – so I’m now the owner of some lovely tortoise-shell cat eye sunnies!!

I was really impressed with the fair! The main hall had all the clothes,  jewellery, bags, posters stalls but also had the Powder Puff Girls set up along one side offering vintage hair dos and make-up etc, a yummy cake stand with traditional lemonade and cupcakes etc, a stall selling discounted Crabbies (just what was called for in that heat!) and the main stage! The side room held all the furniture and home accessories etc so a really lovely mix.

The acts they had up while we where in where really good fun. There was a circus act, a juggler and Mr B…

who was AMAZING!

From deepest darkest Surrey, and with a decade of gentlemanly catterwalling under his belt, Mr.B brings you Chap-Hop, re-acquainting Hip-Hop with the Queen’s English from whence it came. His legendary live recitals have earned him plaudits, largely from top shelf gentlemen’s quarterlies.

Anyone who enjoys a good suit, electric banjo and hip hop (or Chap-hop as he calls it) can’t fail to be entertained by this rather dapper gentleman and he was sporting one rather impressive tash! Mr B is linked with the rather spiffing magazine The Chap and has a very entertaining set list of old school hip-hop and his own songs that won’t fail to have you giggling! My favourite has to be Timothy – a song about an old school chum…

His new album (The Tweed Album) is due to be released pretty soon – click here for a taster

Will be keeping my eyes peeled for any upcoming dates this fine fellow has in the future!

Just going to tag these on the end… not normally a lover of myself in photographs but the Boy is just so good I had to share these with you guys too!!!

Our Blitz NYE

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Our Blitz NYE

I know it’s almost March but it’s been the most mental 2 months (being burgled, having to move, turning 25) so only just getting round to asking you all how your NYEs went!?

Blondie, the Boy and myself decided to run to the shelters and see the New Years Eve in style by hitting the Blitz Party!

RUN FOR SHELTER to the new 1940s night that’s just brimming with community spirit!

Ladies, don your lipstick and tea-dresses and draw on those stockings. Men dust off your medals and wave your Union Jack with pride. Blitz Party is set to be London’s hottest new night, where cocktails, dancing and neighbourly spirit are the order of the evening.

Spread under two arches, the rooms will host the UK’s finest live swing bands, performers and DJs. Big band tunes play for fun-loving party girls who long to share a Gin French with a handsome man in uniform. The Spitfire Bar serves good old Kentish Ale and hearty food to hungry soldiers, and another room will project original newsreels and wartime films, accompanied by live music.

It was just the occasion to wear my new red pleated C&A dress I picked up at Judy’s vintage fair

The Boy was a bit stuck with what to wear so we hit Camden stables the day before and stumbled upon the most amazing store filled with vintage uniforms! We managed to pick up a whole outfit that was easily long enough for him (normally pretty difficult for someone 6″6) and only for £55 for trousers, jacket, shirt, tie and a hat!

In the end I think we looked pretty dapper…

I teamed my dress with my cape I got from the boy for Xmas (see a proper photo of it here)

And Blondie rocked up looking very ladylike (as usual) …

The lovely Blitz people had outdone themselves! The venue was HUGE with loads of different rooms decked out just like a wartime East End air shelter, filled with sandbags, Union Jacks, searchlights, blackout curtains, oil lamps even old movies playing on the wall. Ration books replaced bar menus and they even had a room offering swing lessons!  Blondie and I particularly enjoyed the champagne cocktails! The live music was fantastic and everyone got in the spirit dancing up a storm.

Awesome night all round! The Blitz parties are held every month so if you ever fancy doing something different for a night out this is your solution!

But act fast as tickets sell out so quickly!

Fish and Chips the vintage way…

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Fish and Chips the vintage way…

After a long day of vintage shopping in Spitalfields market why not head to the wonderfully retro fish and chip shop… Poppies

Great food, great value and service without compromise. Poppies is all about traditional East End values, experienced in an authentic style serving great fish & chips with Pop orchestrating the show.

Love the attention to detail with the retro waitresses, jukebox and beautifully design graphics I can’t wait for an excuse to sample the fresh fish that everyone is raving about!

Check out their Facebook page here…

My new favourite store!

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My new favourite store!

Wow I’ve been super busy with run up to Xmas clearly…. but not to busy to shop!!!

The boy bought me this navy blue 1950’s nurse’s cape from Birmingham as a pre-xmas gift… the only problem was it was missing a button!

So we went off to brick lane to see if we could find any replacements and stumbled across the most amazing shop…BLITZ

I had heard about it from the Vintage Guide to London a few months back so was very excited to stumble across it on our great button quest

The BLITZ folks describe the store …

BLITZ is a warehouse space with 5 rooms, 9,000sq. feet and more genuinely hand selected, on trend vintage clothing than any other in London.
Blitz has antique furniture, from early 20th century through modernist industrial and reclaimed eccentricities. Blitz has vintage books, records, jewellery, reading glasses and sunglasses. Alongside watches, pens, fragrances, bikes and luggage. What else could you want?
Blitz is the modern concept store selling yesterday’s best concepts.

Not only has it got rooms full of clothes that I spent hours rummaging through (I was so happy to find their selection of What Katie Did lingerie!!)  it also has a fab little cafe and book store for when you need to gather your strength again

I found the perfect set of buttons for my cape and LOADS more! I will definitely be going back

All the vintage goodness I’m going to miss next weekend!

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I’m off to Germany on Thursday to go visit the Boy for a long weekend and it looks like I’m going to be missing SO much vintage goodness I’m almost annoyed!

The shopping I’ll be missing out on…

Bethnal Green’s Affordable Vintage Fair is on the Saturday and if it’s anything like last bank holiday’s fair it will be worth a gander

‘Formed in early 2005, the formula for Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair is a winning one; gathering the UK’s leading vintage purveyors, founder and ex-Selfridges personal shopper Judy Berger set out to create a one-day cosmopolitan marketplace, a celebration of vintage fashion and homewares from the past sixty years. Away from the steep pricing and snobbery of other vintage events, the fair was to be accessible, exciting to every generation and, above all, affordable. Explaining her decision to ensure that no shopper is ever out of pocket, Judy sites a personal reason as well the obvious; “Ultimately, I wanted to create a fair that I wanted to shop at,” she says. To this day, no trader passes through our doors without being scrutinised for affordability and the eccentricity of their stock.

Frock me vintage is back on sunday in Chelsea

The vogue for vintage clothes attracts fashionistas, stylists, models, fashion students, collectors and costume designers for stage and film. Top designers and celebrities can often be spotted amongst the crowds searching for one-off fashion finds.

Frock Me! is the place to find clothes from every era, from 1920s ‘flapper’ style to Fifties glamour, eighties retro-chic or classic 1960s trends with prices ranging from one or two pounds up to several hundred.

Blondie and I have discovered the most fantastic gems from there! its £4 entry but not too expensive if you have a bit of a rummage!

The festival…

The Thames Revival is an annual event that celebrates vintage glamour, classic boats and the golden days of sailing. The event is part of The Mayor’s Thames Festival, London’s largest free outdoor arts festival, taking place annually in September. This looks like so much fun and dead cheap at only £15! With so much going on …

Fashion Show – Retro style and Glamour
Seagull Race – using the famous British outboard motors. Like Maritime Marmite, you either love ’em or hate ’em
Sculling Race – with a single oar off the transom, expect to see frustrated men going in circles
How to Avoid Gaff Gaffes – an expert explains why this traditional rig is still going strong
Motor Manoeuvrability – how to turn a boat on a sixpence
Duck Punt – see the ancient art of waterborne duck hunting, just remember your earplugs
Swing Dance Competition – Learn the steps and try your luck
Paper Boat Race – one for the children, who make paper boats during the day and race them at 1600 hours. Winning boat gets a prize

and there is the rest of the festival to go enjoy all along the southbank!

The vintage club night…

I’ve discovered a new group crush in the form of the Vintage Mafia who have this new club night on the saturday VM Presents…The Ric Rac Club (Let’s Misbehave) which looks so good!

This brand-new club night is hosted by the dangerously glamorous Vintage Mafia – a six-strong girl gang who are, in their own words, ‘Always well-dressed, but not always well-behaved’.
Their inaugural club night is aimed at vintage aficionados and newcomers alike, with the focus on socialising rather than partner dancing.Upstairs, we’ll be playing 50s jive and 60s Northern Soul, with guest DJ All Fringe, No Knickers. Northern Soul Dancing mini class and demonstration too!Downstairs will feature 30s and 40s swinging dance band tunes played by none other than Miss Fleur de GuerreA Ukelele turn by Miss G will serenade our guests as they arrive, with a free glass of ginger punch courtesy of our kind sponsors The King’s Ginger for each and every attendee
Our soon-to-be legendary raffle will take place at 10pm sharp, with useful, amusing and ridiculous prizes, including bottles of booze
And if that wasn’t enough, we promise a fun, welcoming crowd of well-dressed guests.
Indoor smoking terrace, amazing atmospheric pub and a super time all guaranteed!

 

 

 

 

Oh I am annoyed now! There is just too much vintage goodness going on and it has to be when I’m away so I will have to live vicariously through you lot!

I’ve also got to work out how to get the Boy to watch the start of the Rugby World Cup… that might be interesting!?