Thursday, 15 October 2015

Retro Queens in Sunday Life magazine

A few weeks ago, I was featured in Sunday Life magazine in a story about women who collect vintage clothing from different eras. In the interview, I got to talk about the origins of my vintage obsession, and some of my favourite pieces. Not everything made the article, so I thought I’d share all the photos here, and the stories too!

The photographer was the lovely Bonnie Savage, who is known in advertising and publishing circles for her beautiful food and portrait photography. Bonnie has such amazing attention to detail, it was a pleasure shooting with her, and getting the chance to bring out some of my favourite pieces I don't get to wear too often.

OUTFIT 1: Red mermaid burlesque dress with ostrich feather hem
Back in the burlesque days, I wore this onstage regularly, but for now it just lives in the cupboard. I bought it on ebay many years ago, and the seller had no idea about its history, except that it was from the 1950s. To make the dress even more mysterious, it has no labels, but appears to be a professionally made (and very sturdy) costume. It weighs a ton, and was definitely used in burlesque, because it opens all the way down the front, now with Velcro, but originally it probably had a zipper?

All along the front of the dress, there’s faint stitching lines where it must have been taken in, let out and taken back in again multiple times. Was it a costume that lived in a burlesque theatre to be worn by many different performers? I’ll never know. But if this dress could talk, I bet it would have some great stories.

OUTFIT 2: Green satin jacket by Monte-Sano & Pruzan
This was the outfit featured in the magazine. The jacket was a chance find on ebay, which I later discovered had an interesting history that goes all the way back to Dior. For more details, you can read the whole story in this post.

OUTFIT 3: White fringe top and capris
I bought this outfit from The Girl Can’t Help It, and it’s always so much fun to wear. When I bought it, the storeowner Sparkle told me it had some faint stains on one leg apparently caused by George Clooney. Interesting! It turns out the previous owner was a hostess at an upscale Hollywood restaurant, and George Clooney accidentally spilled balsamic vinegar on the pants when she walked past… Possibly distracted by the swaying fringe? I’d like to think so!

Here’s to hanging out at home in feathers and fringe! If you’d like to read the original article from Sunday Life, you can find it here.

All pics by Bonnie Savage.

Sunday, 11 October 2015

A package from Dita!

Anyone who follows Dita Von Teese on Instagram (which is basically everyone, right?) would know that Dita has started selling pieces from her vintage collection on Depop Market. As a fan of Dita and her enviable wardrobe, I've been following her listings for a while now, hoping to snare a piece straight from her jewellery box. 

Dita's fan base on Depop grows by the day, with over 500,000 followers and counting. That's a lot of competition, so well-priced or stage-worn pieces often disappear within minutes of being listed. 

However, after a few weeks of regular Depop checking, I spotted a piece that would suit one of my dresses perfectly... I was all over it like sparkle on rhinestones! About a week and a half later, this package turned up on my doorstep.

As I opened the box, the first thing I noticed was a delicate waft of perfume, which was no doubt one of Dita's signature fragrances. Inside, I found a small parcel carefully wrapped in bubble wrap and tissue paper... But not just any old tissue paper, the design is the "Toile de Jouy" print created for Dita by Christian Louboutin.

The tissue paper was bound with Dita's distinctive red seal.

Every piece of jewellery or clothing sold in Dita's store is also accompanied by a certificate of authenticity signed by Dita herself.

And here it is! When I saw this pink rhinestone necklace, I knew it was meant to be. They perfectly match the pink rhinestones on this hot pink dress by Mr. Frank of New York. I can't wait to wear them both together!

If you'd like to snare a piece from Dita's collection for yourself, make sure you download the Depop Market app and follow "ditavonteese". You can browse the listings on a desktop computer, but purchases can only be made through the app.

Good luck, and happy shopping!