Wow what a year!...

Reflecting on 2010

This has been one incredible year, it has been full of amazing opportunities and I have met some amazing people along the way. 2010 for me was a year of friendships, love, life and of course work, work, work. The past decade has been and gone-by so fast and here's to entering a new one hopefully equally full of joy... 2011 here we come!

Sometimes wish my memory was far better than, that of a goldfish however here are some of my highlights from 2010...


Upstairs Downstairs 2010 delight

Lady Agnes, Sir Hallam, their family and staff in the reception hall of 165 Eaton Place.
Back row (on stairs) L-R: Ivy Morris (Ellie Kendrick), Harry Spargo (Neil Jackson), Mr Pritchard (Adrian Scarborough) and Rose Buck (Jean Marsh) 
Front row L-R: Maud, Lady Holland (Eileen Atkins), Lady Persie (Claire Foy), Johnny Proude (Nico Mirallegro), Mr Amanjit (Art Malik), Lady Agnes Holland (Keeley Hawes), Sir Hallam Holland (Ed Stoppard) and Mrs Thackeray (Anne Reid)
Must admit I am not usually overly keen in period dramas I usually watch one or two episodes like Downtown Abbey, Larkrise and Mad Men to then miss a few and completely fall out of the plot of it and therefore give up on them. Upstairs downstairs the BBC's latest offering however had me hooked, viewed over three consecutive nights meant it was perfect for me to keep with it. 

I adored everything about this short series, the glamour,  the elaborate sets, the social history and the story-line. Upstairs Downstairs is the 2010 reincarnation of the 1970's iconic weekly show, set in a London Townhouse- 165 Eaton Place to be exact , in 1936. It sees the house divided in two, upstairs the wealthy elite masters, downstairs the servants courters. 

I have never seen the original Upstairs Downstairs, the reason my mum gave for be put off watching it, however this series opened with Sir Hallam and his wife Lady Agnes becoming the new occupiers of the now derelict no.165. Reviving the house in a whole new era with the help of original series actress Jean Marsh whom is the homes backbone and is now promoted to the housekeeper.  

I found the acting strong and powerful and Keeley Hawes character in particular although quite stern had upperlipped you did still warm to her characteristics. The costumes designed by Amy Roberts were exquisite - glamour of a bygone time. Although the troublesome Lady Persie stole the show with her array of clothing from her evening-wear attire (even her silk nightie was lustful), high waisted trousers and tie bow blouse, to her Chanel-esque twinset.  see some of the stills below. 

If you have missed the 3 part episode be sure to catch up on BBC iplayer still available for another week: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00x2yj7/episodes/player 

Maud, Lady Holland (Eileen Atkins), Sir Hallam Holland (Ed Stoppard), Lady Agnes Holland (Keeley Hawes)


Do you want the truth or something beautiful?

Image via Agent 

Just watching T4 and Ms Paloma Faith was performing a few of her stand out tracks as part of T4's music favourites... I am not sure why but it is not until now that I found myself captivated by her and her presence, not that I had never acknowledged her before, I have quite a few of her songs on ipod, but it is just this moment I thought I really admire her. Paloma I must admit is bit like marmite your either love her or hate her, but I like her, I like her nature, her down to earth attitude, not being afraid to express who she is.

In terms of style she admitted it is almost considered fancy dress. I think her style is actually quite iconic how she mixes vintage glamour with a hint of burlesque, film noir and these are her words not mine, a hint of circus de soleil. Her outlandish look could seem really false and 'try hard' but I find with Paloma she really embraces it and it almost seems so natural, she does not take herself too seriously and that is why I wanted to dedicate this post purely to her. Looking forward to seeing more Paloma Faith in 2011.

image via The Guardian

You all know me so well...

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas! did you have a good one? I was very lucky girl (some may say spoilt) Santa brought me some beautiful things.

What was quite amusing was that I received two gifts both books that I already have... my family and friends truly know me so well.  So I now have a lovely set of the Goddess Guide and Goddess Experience books. However my cousin buying me 'Style Me Vintage' did make me chuckle, 'I must be doing something right' being part of the team that helped promote it at The Painted Lady, my cousin was oblivious that I had even had any involvement with it... just thought I would like it, and how right she was.

So my beautiful vintage cup and saucer I received as a "Secret Santa" gift from work, and look how beautifully wrapped it was, even if that did give it away abit.

Festive wishes to you all xx

        Beautifully wrapped secret santa gift. 


The Nightmare before Christmas...

I don't usually like to divulge to much of my immediate personal life on this blog and usually try to devoid moaning, as much as I do enjoy it.  However this has truly been an epic crisis before Christmas, my luck must of run out for 2010, Karma may of well truly hit me in the face... although I am unsure what I have done to warrant such a slap back of Karma.

Ok I may have been over hyping it slightly and to others this may seem abit obtuse, but I have lost my memory stick! yes one of those little portable usb deceives that I stupidly stored most of my major uni project and presentation on. No one is kicking themselves more than me, I can ensure you...

I know what you may be thinking... how could you be so foolish as to only store it on this one lonesome stick... well at first I didn't realise this was the case, but yes it seems the files on another stick only appeared as Alais's (or what ever they may be called) which basically meant they never properly copied over and as these where huge powerpoint presentation files, I am talking huge numbers of MB's they must of been to big to save to my constantly full laptop hardrive.

Ohhh wooooe is meee I hear you cry... oh yes woe me indeed! I have essentially lost weeks and weeks of work (as my final presentation took over 3days to put together alone) and this is my final year!!! my most important year of all and I have now come to lose work. I am usually very vigilant and careful with these kind of things but as it is my third year it has to be now that I lose it.

I have looked high and low, and even driven the 44 mile round trip to my uni's deserted library on CHRISTMAS EVE, but all to no avail... I am completely demoralised and angry at myself! After an emotional few days I have decided to face the facts, I have to pull myself out of this hole as this is not helping one bit. With my deadline ever nearing, looming around the corner I really do not have the time to deliberate this, instead I have to learn form my mistakes, pick myself up and get on with what I need to do... yes I may now have to work twice as hard, but I am not prepared to let this hiccup hinder what essentially is 3 years of study! 

Full Stop. 

Oh and Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!!! Here's to 2011!! 


Like Mother, Like Daughter... Quick Uni Survey

Mother & Daughter

As part of my final major uni project as you may have noticed below it has strong links to Vintage the lifestyle and the aesthetics. So far  I have researched into Vintage sellers, boutiques, websites and the varied vintage consumer - developing stand out tribes such as the Mother & Daughter and Vintage Virgin. Attending nearly every Vintage Fair that has been going and considering what is next for vintage - what is the future? Looking at possible styling and vintage educational events. 

So as part of my developmental stage I have decided to focus on the Mother and Daughter consumer, What they like to do together and how they will pass on style tips and clothing down through the generations. 

I developed a mother and daughter wardrobe on polyvore, from the stylish duo above, showing that mothers and daughters styles can be individual yet with touches of similarities however they are suited to their ages.  

I would really appreciate if you could possibly spare a few moments to assist me in my current research and fill out this short survey below, on Mothers & Daughters. It would really be appreciated. 

Any other comments and suggestions are more than welcome, please get in touch via a comment below or you can tweet or email me! Look forward to hearing your feedback...  

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey, the world's leading questionnaire tool.

Thank you for taking the time to complete this survey. All answers are solely for the purpose of university research and will not be shared or reproduced in anyway. 


Selfridges & Super(market) Sarah.

Supermarket Sarah format is simple, she will create a display wall inside her home whereby she will merchandise vintage pieces’ along with designer and some objects of desire. The idea being you can click on any item to buy. Items can range from anything from a £1 to £1000… it is a real eclectic mix of finds. 

With this idea simplistic yet genius nature of producing an interesting way of selling, changing round stock and the way in which items are sold online has of course attracted much press and collaborative attention.  Supermarket Sarah has done walls/displays for Fred Butler, Donna Wilson and Tatty Devine. What is also nice is her ability to incorporate young designers/ illustrators into her conceptual displays and showcase their work, which when you click on them you are given more information and how to get in touch with them.

It is interesting how items curated and displayed in a creative way, captures the viewer eye and imagination and makes you want to buy  the pieces whereas if you say them individually you may not have the same desire for the objects.

Selfridges have been recently been working closely with bloggers, embracing the new wave of technological communication with their consumers so the progression on with working with Supermarket Sarah seems like a logical step. After the success of S.S recent installation ‘Royale with Cheese’, a permanent concept store is on the cards, seeing Sarah Supermarket transferring from online to  purely being in store from 10th Jan 2011.  Selfridges renown for their amazing window and visual merchandising displays, Sarah’s Supermarket should not appear out of place and the concept does lend itself to be put into a reality context rather than  just online imagery.

As excited as I am to see the final construction of Supermarket Sarah Selfridges concept store once launched I do feel concerned that the humbleness and quaintness of the project being done just from Sarah’s home to being imported into a vast retail space will loose a certain je ne sais quoi, but let’s just impatiently wait and see. 

Super Market Sarah Website: it won't be round for long...


On the Seventh day of Christmas my true love sent to me...

James Blake a-Singing 

Words cannot describe how I truly felt when I heard I first heard this beautiful track... driving along the M3 one night (inspiring huh!) I was transported to another world when Zane Lowe debuted it on his show... unbelievable... even more unbelievable is that I have only just downloaded it from itunes

This track is stunning, sends shivers down my spine and it has a real earthy, soul quality to it that I just fell in love with. James Blake is a true talent, cannot wait to see what 2011 brings. He recorded this in his bedroom and it is that rawness that adds to his sound... moving away from his previous electronic-y dub-y vibe (and yes they are music genres?!?)... this track provides something, new and fresh.

You may recognise the song, it was originally done by Feist ...which I have only recently listened too. The Feist track is beautiful in it's own right and of course the similarities are there but for me Blake adds a whole new spin on it, soulful, meaningful and should I borrow the words of Simon Cowell it is 'very contemporary'.

Seriously please take a listen, your be blown away... we should all support homegrown talent!

James Blake- Limit to your Love - Out now
Available for download from HMV & itunes  

In and around Portobello:

Without mentioning for the umpteenth time that I am currently swamped by uni work, however some uni research can be fun right? Well I popped down to portobello... again on a typically british friday and snapped a few lovely shoppers. I have also been looking at the key vintage pieces for each area's of London and the shoppers that are associated with that area. See below my attempted polyvore inspiration sets.   

Venus Fur Coat (Circa: 1970's) | Bowerbird
140 AUD - bowerbirdvintage.com.au
Fur coat »

Rachel Comey / Bering Boot
$449 - lagarconne.com
Flat boots »

Handbags »

fall fashion


On the Sixth day of Christmas my true love sent to me...

Ducie hooded fur scarf 

Ducie clothing has a come on a long way from it's portobello market roots, now husband and wife duo Ducie and Dan are selling their exceptional collection worldwide. With vintage touches it is no wonder that they are a firm favourite with models and celbs alike such, their garments  add a glamourous touch to any outfit. 

Drawn instantly to this stunning hooded scarf, Ducie pieces add versatility and a warm and cosy feel. slightly on the costly side, I must admit, however you will be pleased to here that, The Ducie showroom will be opening it’s doors on Monday 20th December and Tuesday 21st December: 3.00pm 'til 9.00pm for an exclusive Christmas sale with super-hot prices. 
Gorgeous Snow-White Tassel Gilet

BRAND NEW STOCK includes: tassel gilets in classic & new colours; hooded gilets; long & short fox gilets; snoods; fox trapper hats; fur hooded scarves; fur ponchos; knitted fur jackets; leopard print fur jackets 
ALL silk styles available at wholesale prices

They will also be offering a bespoke tailoring service on their coveted leopard print fur jackets between 7.00pm and 8.00pm on Monday 20th.
So make sure you don't miss out to pick up some Christmas gifts(?) & bargains (even if they are for yourself) at The Ducie Showroom: Unit 14, The Tay Building, 2a Wrentham Avenue, London NW10 3HA

You can also buy online from the Ducie website www.ducie.co.uk  


On the Fifth day of Christmas my true love sent to me...

FIVEPOINT Etre gloves

I am glad the tech wizards at Etre noticed this problem too iphone/ipad/ipod (or any other touch screen products for that matter) do not mix with winter! I find myself endlessly and frustratingly trying to tap on my phone screen without having to take my leather gloves off... every-time I forget that they do not work, and end up always with cold hands.

These fivepoint gloves however put an end to all that palaver, allowing you to check your all important emails even in sub-minus temperatures. Available in Oxford Blue and Grey but soon to be coming out in more styles these gloves are a great unisex Christmas gift option... I sure will be asking santa for some this year!  

The perfect solution

Fivepoint gloves are available from the online store (Etre Shop) and other select stockists. For £24.99 GBP (That's about $39.54 USD or €29.85 EUR).


Luca - Thrift with a conscience

Every once in a while you come across something that just makes you stop in your path, something quite different to what you have seen before and Luca is just that. A site full of  handpicked affordable thrift items that are styled in a realistic and aspiring way. So long have we been used to the vintage online stores looking well... old-fashioned, oh and those that do try the modernistic approach tend to typically fail. Luca however is different it is not condescending, it respects its customers and provides a unique service which is relevant and easy to view for vintage aficionados and vintage first-timers alike.

I managed to catch up with the lovely Felicity owner and founder of www.myluca.co.uk to find out what her inspiration behind Luca and her own personal passions are. She also revealed her plans to develop Luca into entrepreneurial creative hub...  

When did you first start Luca? 
 I first had the idea for Luca when I discovered an amazing strip of charity shops in a town near my uni. I always loved charity shopping but it was getting to the point where I was bringing home sackfuls of stuff and I had no room for it anymore. It was actually getting silly, and if I left something behind that I loved I'd actually be genuinly annoyed and go back and get it. The strip of charity shops i discovered just had so much amazing stuff, I decided I couldn't afford to keep it but at the same time I couldn't afford to leave it behind either. I always had friends asking me to go shopping with them or help them charity shop, people see the rails and rails of stuff and cant think of anything worse. For me, I cant leave til i know I've seen everything! I genuinely love it.

What was the concept behind it?
The idea was to just sell on any gems that I'd find, and pass them on to other people. From my own experience I find vintage shopping tends to be either hand picked to fit the current market so well that it becomes way overpriced. I also find that there aren't many good UK online vintage sellers. I also find the ones that do exist very condescending with their 'offers' and promotions, when you know it's just a girl sitting in her bedroom flogging any grandma looking stuff they can get their hands on.

Where did your passion for Vintage clothing first develop?
I've always been a very frugal person... I've always worked hard and never really been able to justify full price items. I almost refused to do it without getting a discount in some way or another. Up until this September Ican hand on my heart say i'd never bought something for myself for over £40. I was lucky enough to live in a town with some amazing charity shops, and once I started I just couldn't stop. I've waited up to a year for some chelsea boots in my size to crop up, refusing to pay for them in Topshop - but i got them! For about 1/8th of the price.

Where do you source your garments from? (you don’t have to give away your trade secrets!) Just generally…
Most of the time it is just charity shops, I have so many at my disposal, near my family, work, uni house. It's the cheapest way for me to do it without ordering by the kilo which means you don't get the choice. A couple of the items I have up now are from a vintage shop in St Paul in Paris - which is amazing for vintage. I also absolutely love looking on ebay for that one person that doesn't understand the worth of what they are listing. I looked for days for a vintage Moschino belt, but i got it for £20 in the end. I have a couple of tricks, but mainly its perseverance to a ridiculous level... 

Is there a particular era that you go for? did you self teach about vintage pieces- what to look out for? 
No, that's not necessarily what i'm interested which is why i've included the term 'thrift' into my store bio. I know it gets very competitive on the vintage markets, if something is from as late as the 80's its frowned upon! I just pick things that are good quality that have been made well, and that you are never going to find anywhere else. I have looked into designer bags before, i got a burberry travel bag from a charity shop and a Louis Vuitton sac from an antique shop, ive also sold Louis Vuitton on ebay so i needed to know if they were real. They have some great tutorials on what to look out for if you ever need to check.

And also just a bit nosey but find it intriguing to find out, where do you store all your vintage gems?
Oh god, in my bedroom, on my floor, under my bed. At one point i had a flat with absolutely no storage - not even a cutlery draw in the kitchen. There were clothes growing from every corner, I lived with stepping over a pile on my floor for about 6 months. When my housemate moved out i used her entire room. Luckily I just moved into a place and my housemates kindly gave me the biggest room because they felt sorry for me! I have a big built in wardrobe and i have a rail and boxes for my Luca stock. It is a nightmare. It's the first thing people comment on when they come into my room. I feel sorry for my boyfriend.

Do you purely just sell online? Or do you do any Vintage fairs and if yes which ones? If not why, and do you attend any vintage fairs yourself?
Right now i'm only online. I have considered selling at vintage fairs though; I set up a stall recently in Epsom market but it didn't work that well. Half of the love of this for me is styling it all, showing people why it's good and doing all my own photos - that's part of my course too. I'm not ruling it out but I prefer to do it all online. I have all the big vintage fairs on my facebook groups but i always seem to miss them. It's definitely something I need to get on and do.

I love your modern take on styling of your vintage pieces… extremely refreshing to see,  But what do you believe is the future for Vintage clothing?
Thank you! Its the foresight that people lack, I learnt that from working on Topman and displaying clothes for the way men shop, you literally have to put it on a plate for them to see how it can work but its something I really enjoy practising.

I've never really thought about the future of vintage - I think the prices are definitely getting competitive. East End Thrift store sells some amazing things and doesnt charge over £15 for any of it. Brands these days either look down on their customers, or are really trying to level with them, sometimes it can be almost embarassing or patronising. I think for the future of brands at least will be taking their customers more seriously. People think their customers are stupid! I don't know if thats just me or if other people think that too.

With my site its going to turn into a creative outlet for all the entrepreneurial friends I have. Im lucky enough to be around so many amazing creative people who are really pushing themselves. If it wasn't for them i wouldnt be doing this now, and I want to create a platform to propel others into doing something they love on a higher level, eventually I want to be a brand that consists of mini independant brands, much like how Asos stocks brands but on an independant level.

Also lastly but on a more personal note, how would you describe your own style? What are you wearing today for example?
I imagine from this interview I  sound like a bag lady! I hate to be cliche but I take a lot of my style influences from the likes of Alexa Chung, and even people like Cheryl Cole - I love how polished she always is, i'm really not like that. I really like Coco Sumners style. I am very aware of having that 'wanker' look when I get ready. There's nothing worse, so i try and avoid that. Right now it's snowing, so i'm wearing black leggings, those snowflake tribal ish print socks, black chelsea boots, a long white jersey top from H&M and an oversized mottled grey felt crop jumper - its really old Topshop, back when they had their old logo and white labels. I love finding that kind of thing!

 For more information please email felicity@myluca.co.uk or visit www.myluca.co.uk

On the Fourth day of Christmas my true love sent to me...

4 Vintage Postcards

How charming are these gift... came across Florence & Florence in my great scheme of research, they beautiful re-store and re-love such treasures as the postcards and penguin books. They also do ceramics, kitchenwares, postcards, maps, boxes, cases and generally desirable things. 


On the Third day of Christmas my true love sent to me

Three vintage rose pens

Ok I am abit of a self confessed geek when it comes to little gifts like these. I love practical things and pretty pens and pencils and notebooks I love them, you can never have enough!... this vintage rose pencil set is from Paperchase


Vintage treasure trove - Anita's Vintage Fashion Fair

On a rather chilly Sunday morning I headed up to London to Anita's Vintage Fashion Fair in Battersea. Recently I have been submerging myself into the culture of vintage as part of my final major uni project and have been attending as many vintage fairs/markets and boutiques that I can. 

I have never been to Battersea Fashion Fair before, set in the enchanting BAC, the architecture inside and out is mesmerising. The setting is perfect for the fair which is equally matched with the variety of items and stalls available. It is a manageable size fair which allows you take the time to truly appreciate each sellers pieces, often discovering that little gem tucked away. There was fur and capes galore - so tempted to splash out on a gorgeous 60's peter pan collared cape. 

I must say this has to be one of the best vintage fairs that I have experienced, the atmosphere was relaxed  yet had an upbeat and creative vibe.    

Inspiring from every angle with even Vivienne Westwood's husband making an appearance. The stall holders and shoppers were a lovely bunch and I was lucky enough to catch up and have a chat with a few of them. 

Part of my current research I have been looking at the varied vintage consumer - developing stand out tribes such as some of these one's shown below:  

Mother & Daughter

Nothing new with mother and daughters accompanying each other on shopping-trips however this mother and daughter duo are sharing the same passion in Vintage.  Mother’s have the nostalgic value, while daughters value their mum’s opinions. 

The Stylish Indivduals

Quite a mix generally here from the vintage era enthusiasts to the rather laid back Barbour-esque girls. one thing that shines through with all vintage shoppers is they all tend to have element of uniqueness, especially through there touches of vintage attire. From a vintage bag to a vintage coat, rarely will you ever see two of the same. 

monsieur 'vintarge'  

The men were on fine form and although on this particular day there was not an awful lot of mens clothing on offer, the men still managed to search out key pieces. 

The guy central purchased his dinner tales suit jacket, which he kindly modeled. He was over the moon with it and said he plans to wear it as much as he can, ‘far to amazing to keep for special occasions’. Suits seemed to be the popular choice among the male shoppers and one charismatic gentlemen even took to wearing his full 3 piece suit home. The Seller was overjoyed as she said she felt humbled to know that it was going to a good home. This is where vintage sellers are unlike most sales people we  encounter, many of  whom rarely care who purchases their items. Vintage sellers grow attached  to their items and want them to go to a good home where someone will look after the garments and truly cherish it.  

I think mens vintage is quite a significant gap in the market, however I now understand the possibility of why this is ... one theory being that men tend to wear their clothes until they are pretty much worn out, hence the shortage in mens vintage clothing in general.  

Vintage Partnership duo's
These pairings come in many forms, from friends, to partners or even colleagues. They see each other as the the perfect shopping companion, usually an honest advisor and one which they can bounce ideas and style inspiration off. Similar yet different in so many ways... these are some super-stylish duos!  

The Vintage Virgins

These lovely groups of ladies are pretty new to the vintage scene, however they are intrigued by price, quality and unique pieces that are on offer. Highstreet can only serve so far, these ladies have cottoned onto the high-street game and have now decided to come to the source of the inspiration or should I say the originals of the high-street homages.    

I would say I personally fall into this latter category and am also seeing all the benefits that vintage has to offer. The quality of these items are key, if they have been around for significant amount of time already that is sign they will tend to last for many more years to come. 

I would be intrested in hearing any of your own personal thoughts views or suggestions regarding vintage? Are you a vintage shopper? where do you shop, do you attend fairs like this one above? feel free to get in touch either via email or twitter

Anita's Vintage Fashion Fair is currently at the NEC in Birmingham and the next fair date is 20th Feb 2011 at The 20th Century Theatre.