Get The 1920’s Look – Live By Night

Live By Night is a very cool, stylish and captivating movie. Written, directed, co produced by, and starring Ben Affleck, (crikey, he’s been busy!) and with Leonardo DiCaprio taking on the shared role of Producer too, you know you’re in for an exciting watch. Set in 1926, it focuses on a Boston bred mob of gangsters who set up shop in balmy Florida during this prohibition era, facing off against their competition. You’ve got everything to make your heart beat and your eyes go heart shaped; beautiful vintage sets and fashion, money, molls, love, sex and speakeasies. It’s a dang thrill for sure. This ace film is already available as a digital download, but from Monday 22nd May we can get our hands on the DVD or Blu-ray here in the UK, hoooray! So, with it’s release being imminent, I wanna help you get the perfect roaring 20’s look, for day or night, because, trust me, after gettin’ your peepers on this flick you’re gonna wanna get some of that vintage lushness in your life!

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With the talented gals that are Elle Fanning, Zoe Saldana and the utterly captivating Sienna Miller all in this film, the fashion reigns supreme for me, gah, the beauty of it all! You get all the looks in this flick, casual daytime looks and the faultless flapper look that every girl loves, right, We ALL love a flapper dress? When it comes to this era of fashion you need to be thinking; femininity, pretty florals, dreamy pastel shades, cottons, silks, and beads. If you wanna wear a daytime look from the 20’s, think delicate cottons, slim flattering cuts, cloche hats (or a Fedora or Newsboy Cap for a more relaxed look too), neat leather bags, and Mary-Jane or T-bar low heeled shoes. A delicate sophistication, a simple and effortless elegance. The women of this era dressed with poise and politeness. But then in the evening, they turned into dazzling and sparkling coquettish glamour girls, with piles of pearls hanging from their neck, tassels, beading, dainty bags, cool cigarette cases; it’s a gorgeous fanciful and frolicsome look, I LOVE it!! Embroidered silk shawls, stockings and red lips make this a really sexy look that you can either add elements of to a modern look or go the whole way and re-create the look to perfection. With authentic vintage items from this era, well, we’re talking about pieces that are nearly 100 years old and so not only can they be rare to find, as many have been lost to time, but also, it can get expensive. But, if you do wanna spend on an original 20’s dress in good condition, hey, it really is worth every penny as it’s an investment and a gorgeous piece of history to keep. If you just wanna add a 20’s touch to a modern outfit you could source a little beaded bag, or a beaded collar necklace to add to a new dress, to hint at the style. Below are some pieces I think are just wonderful, the pink beaded dress is a modern version of an old flapper dress, so you get one in new condition that is less fragile and is generally more affordable than an original 20’s flapper dress, this one is just adorable for a party or wedding! The dress with the bow on the back is (absolutely DREAMY) and is an original dress found on Pinterest, just as inspiration. The original 20’s peach cotton day dress is for sale in my online shop and is a perfect example to team with Mary-Jane’s and a cloche hat. The minty beaded one is also in my shop and is an 80’s dress which clearly has 20’s vibes, finding an 80’s beaded dress is often a cheaper way of getting the look too! All other items I have shown here are on Etsy, get looking on their pages to find gorgeousness galore, and you may just find your dream dress or the perfect accessory to create the look. Hey, a cute idea is to get some 20’s style going on and spend time with friends watching Live By Night; that sounds like a sweet treat of an evening to me!

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Live by Night is out on Digital Download now and available on Blu-ray and DVD from Monday 22nd May 

What To Do If You Don’t Consider Yourself ‘Fashionable’

So, you don’t consider yourself fashion. There are no rules out there really as to what ‘fashionable is’. You might look at somebody wearing a plain t-shirt and jeans and think they’re fashionable, while somebody else might look at the eccentric outfits of Carrie Bradshaw for inspiration. If you don’t consider yourself fashionable but you’d quite like to be, here’s what you can do:

Overcome Any Self Image Issues – Maybe you don’t consider yourself fashionable because you have self image issues. Everybody has these to some extent, so don’t beat yourself up. The key is to make sure you try to work past them. Where have your self image issues come from? What do you believe about yourself that might not be quite true? By making sure you’re consistent and work on your self image issues each day, in no time your thinking might just begin to change. Your mindset is everything! One thing many people like to do is listen to subliminal messages as they sleep. You could also try reading many self help books on the subject.

Work Out What Clothes You Really Like – Make sure you figure out what clothes you really like. Maybe you don’t really like that shirt and jeans you wear all the time; you just like them because they hide your figure, which you’re conscious of. You need to get over things like this if you’re going to start enjoying the clothes you wear. Here are some tips for figuring out what you like:

  • Decide which clothes you like the look of on your body best. What shapes and styles suit you?
  • Decide on your own personal color scheme. What makes your look radiant?
  • Which clothes make you feel unstoppable when you wear them?

Take A Look At The Celebs – There’s probably a tiny percentage of celebrities out there who actually dress themselves. They pretty much all have personal stylists, so take a look and see who’s style you like best. You can find them in trending stories on the internet and on the news. Buy a few magazines and make a collage. Doing this will help you to figure out the kind of styles you love the most, and it’ll be a big indicator of what you should be wearing. Don’t feel envious of other styles, wear them!

Don’t Compare Yourself To Others – Stop comparing yourself to others. Finding fashionistas that inspire you is a great thing to do, but comparing yourself will only get you down.

Take Pride In Your Uniqueness – Start taking pride in your uniqueness. Love your unique look and body shape. Your unique personality. There’s only one of you in the world. Emulate this with your clothes and see how you feel!

Experiment – Experimenting could help you to improve your confidence a little and get used to wearing new styles. Sometimes all it takes is trying out something new for your eyes to be opened.

Try these things and you might just start considering yourself to be fashionable sooner than you think!

The 70’s Cool of Free Fire

I got lucky and was invited to the preview screening of Ben Wheatley’s new movie Free Fire at Cinema City in Norwich this week, the evening included a chat afterwards with Ben too. A movie, a glass of wine and exclusive talk from the Director. Nice. Happy me. I hadn’t heard much about this film beforehand but I knew three things; it was by Ben (Kill List and High Rise are two of his films I had already enjoyed) I knew it was set in the 70’s (massive cool points) and I also knew that Cillian Murphy stars in it (swoon)…. so I was anticipating a pretty ace bit of entertainment. Set in the 70’s, this film all takes place in one location, a dusty, derelict warehouse, where Justine who is superbly portrayed by Brie Larson, sets up a meeting between a gun dealer and Irish gang members who wanna buy the weapons. What should be a relatively straightforward exchange of cash for goods, becomes a tense, gripping and hilariously heart stopping game of survival when shots are fired and a free-for-all frenzy erupts. I’m not generally an action movie kinda gal, I tend to lose interest and get bored of the dizzying direction and muddled attacks, but, the sheer simplicity of this film kept me captivated the whole way through. And, it’s really funny, the audience laughed out loud a lot. It’s one and a half hours in the same space, with 10 characters, all of whom are flawlessly played. The styling of the film gives it a dark and muted palette, with hues of gold, dusty sand and sunset 70’s orange. The action isn’t fussy or messy, it’s sharp and witty, it holds your attention rather than making you feel like you’ve been whacked around the head with a rifle 100 times, which some action movies make me feel. When a movie is set in the 70’s it’s usually one of two things, a parody of the era, or absolute coolness; Free Fire is most definitely the latter. We’re seeing 70’s fashion at its very best. The guys are all big collars, plush fabrics and flares. Sharlto Copley as Vernon stands out as a fashion peacock in his pastel blue suit ‘from Saville Row’ who doesn’t wanna get blood splats on his threads! Larson’s Justine parades that classic bohemian meets Farrah Fawcett chic in a teal blazer, jeans, big hair and a neck scarf, it just doesn’t get much cooler than that. When asked why he chose to set this in the era of the 1970’s, Ben said that he had been reading about gun smugglers shipping weapons on the QE2 in the 70’s, from America to Ireland at the height of the IRA reign, and that fascinated him. Also, the lack of mobile phones at that time made his decision; “in an action film like this, if even one person had a mobile phone the story would be fucked” he said. I loved that it was set in this time, it felt truly authentic and had an awesome mix of glamour and grit. I personally would have liked more female characters in the film, but, Larson’s lone female role kicks ass in abundance, she kinda had the female representation covered all by herself. Ben got Martin Scorsese on board to be an executive producer which gives this movie even more prestige; Ben’s playing with the big boys now. Ben explained that he read of Scorsese complimenting one of his films and got to meet up with him, Scorsese then offered to get involved with his next project. Hell yes. What a guy. Free Fire is very slick, very fast, very seductive of your senses and is very, very cool.

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Free Fire is released on 31st March 2017

A Dress From Audrey’s Wardrobe

I, have been working in vintage fashion for over 15 years now, and, by far, one of the things I MOST love about vintage is the history and stories behind the clothes. I adore the fact that many of these dresses have been around longer then I have been alive, have lived a life, enjoyed outings and been loved by others before me. I especially relish in a dress when I find out who it once belonged to and where it has been before it arrived in my hands. I love pink, I love gold and I love vintage dresses, so, my heart skipped a beat when I came across this amaaaazing sugar pink and gold satin brocade cocktail dress. I saw this beauty on eBay and, to be honest, I couldn’t stop thinking about it, it had captured me and I knew I needed to make it mine. I’m a determined girl and that dress wasn’t going to go anywhere except for my closet. It was destiny for sure. I bought the dress, hitting the ‘buy it now’ button without hesitation, I knew that it and I would be a perfect match. Helen, who sold it to me messaged me straight away explaining that it had belonged to her Mother, Audrey Watson, and that it was a part of her huge collection of clothing that she had lovingly collected throughout her lifetime and that she hoped I would love it as much as her Mother had; that it had been a hard one to let go of. It immediately added charm to the dress that I now knew who it had belonged to. Then it arrived. It fitted me as if it had been tailored just for me and I knew it was gonna go straight into my own personal collection of vintage dresses that I will never be able to part with. It is a pure stunner. I love it so much I included in in my collection of dresses recently showcased in The Vintage Show as part of Norwich Fashion Week, I just had to show it off. In the package with the dress, Helen kindly enclosed a copy of an article in Saga magazine about Audrey and her vast collection of clothing. I was thrilled to know more about the previous owner and hurriedly messaged Helen to tell her that I loved the dress even more than I thought I would and to ask if she could let Audrey know that it will be forever cherished. She was delighted, I was delighted, and I hope Audrey was delighted too, that her dress had found a new happy owner. IMG_9870

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Would ya just look at the beauty? Isn’t it pretty? Made by ‘Marjon Couture’, I discovered that Audrey bought this dream dress in 1962 in a small shop in Sleaford, in a sale, she actually bought two of the same dress and took apart the second in order to make a matching jacket. Oh my. Imagine the days when there was more than one of these dresses on the rail! Audrey will be 88 years old in May this year and during her life so far she has amassed thousands of items of fashion including dresses, jumpsuits, jewellery and shoes. Just imagine! What a fashionable gal! Her collection has even caught the eye of vintage lover Wayne Hemingway, that’s how great her archives are! During the 60’s and 70’s Audrey made many trips from her home in Lincolnshire down to London to hit the boutiques on the King’s Road and Carnaby Street. How I would adore to ask her about all her memories; “I went for clothes that stood out and were unusual rather than a particular label. I didn’t want to look like everyone else” she said to Saga Magazine. The interview in Saga goes on to say that ‘One outfit was rarely enough. Audrey used to put several in the car boot in case she changed her mind halfway through the evening’, she sounds like a true fashion dream! The majority of Audrey’s collection has now been auctioned off and is now being worn by a new generation, you can see more of the story on the Facebook page that Helen has set up. It turns out that Audrey never actually wore this pink dress, so I will be the first person, after all these years, to wear it, and I cannot wait. It has been cared for and saved by Audrey until it found it’s new owner; meeee! Thank you Audrey for this dress, it will be truly treasured. “All my clothes have memories attached” said Audrey, and now it will be making new memories with me. I couldn’t love it more.

Here’s some gorgeous pictures of Audrey and her love for fashion!

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First image by Anna Gowthorpe, images of Audrey by kind permission of Helen and her Facebook page

Tricks For Throwing The Perfect Fifties Cocktail Party

Throwing a Fifties cocktail party can be one of the highlights of your year if you pay attention to a few little extra cute details. The Fifties may have come before the Swinging Sixties but the cocktail parties were somethin’ ELSE! Social events for the upper and middle classes, cocktail parties, featured great food, great music and beautiful, beauuuutiful dresses, gah, the dresses! One of the best theme evenings you could go to is a Fifties night – and not just for the amazing music! With these top tips, you could throw the best cocktail party of the year!

Invites- The Fifties were the decade of formality and etiquette and sending formal invitations out for parties were the norm. Make sure you include the correct details for your RSVP request and ring around the week before the party so you get your party numbers.

Food – To truly impress your guests, make sure you bypass the buffet and go for serving hot and cold finger food passed around by a waitress you can hire. This is exactly what a hostess would have done in the Fifties so emulating that era is a darling thing to do! Fruit kebabs, ham and cheese parcels, and anything in aspic would be a popular option! Offer cloth napkins instead of paper ones for a real Fifties touch of class.Fashion – One of the best bits of a cocktail party was choosing your outfit! As these are formal affairs, strapless dresses with a full skirt and petticoat were all the rage. Throw on some small fancy colour diamonds and you’ll be the belle of the ball for certain. High heels, up-dos such as a chignon and a small handbag would set the entire look off beautifully. Browse online images of 50’s movie stars for inspiration, it’s a super fun way to dress! 

Home –A cocktail party at home would have been the best opportunity a housewife would have to show off the home and all your skills for keeping your home beautiful. Cutting fresh wildflowers from the garden and arranging them around the house would be a classy and gorgeous way of brightening the home without going for standard décor. While you most probably don’t like smoking in the home, dot vintage ashtrays through the room, as smoking was popular in that decade.

Cocktails – If you have a drinks cabinet, it’s time to get those bottles polished! You can put together a drinks trolley and offer martinis, side cars, vodka highballs and whiskey sours for a truly Fifties feel.

Music – You’ll need something to bop to so if you don’t have a retro record player, download some timeless tracks onto an iPod and dock it for the night. Not too loud, mind, as you want to be able to have conversation over the music. Crank it up for dancing later on!Your Fifties cocktail party will go off without a hitch and you’ll be the talk of the town just by following these party tips. Vintage doesn’t get better than the Fifties so it’s time for a shopping trip for a brand new cocktail dress!