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FEB 2017 ISSUE 75 £4.50

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IN 2017?

W W W. V I N TA G E L I F E M A G A Z I N E . C O M

FEB 2017 ISSUE 75 £4.50

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Contents FASHION 10. A Vintage Vibe.. Steff Benton takes a look at three different styles of vintage coats – perfect for keeping warm this winter! 13. Thoroughly Modern Millies Liza Hollinghurst continues to look at underwear styles across the decade. This month, the 1920s and 30s. 16. A Rockabilly Bride Kate Beavis from the National Vintage Wedding Fair shares a rockabilly bride with tonnes of attitude! 20. Coral Flair Inject a little colour into your life! Melanie Calland shows us how...

WELLBEING 42. Do You Know Love? Why you don’t need to be in a relationship this Valentine’s Day. 43. Furr Ever Love The physical, mental and emotional benefits of owning pets. 45. How Social Media Can Help Us Be Body Positive In 2017 It’s time that we are inspired by others to feel good about ourselves again. LIFESTYLE

22. Vintage Life’s Sewing Corner Flick Rackstraw finishes her beautiful handmade jacket with lining.

48. The Jelly That Moulds Us Elena Falcon looks at what can make people gel in the workpace.

25. A Vintage Valentine’s Day Get the look this Valentine’s with a selection of clothing and accessories.

50. Living a Champagne Lifestyle on a Ginger Beer Budget Harriet Ball shares more tales from her student life.

26. Lady Vintage The clothing company share items from their new collection. BEAUTY & HAIR

Cover photo: shutterstock/masson

40. Love is in the Hair Russell and Brown share their foolproof guide to creating iconic victory rolls.

34. English Rose - 1940s Make-Up Look pretty and polished for any event with a gorgeous make-up tutorial.

51. Will You Be My Valentine? Charlie Adams looks at the history behind the 14th February celebration. 53. Feel Sexy At Any Size Haili Hughes proves that women can look and feel great, whatever their size.

35. The Beauty Queens The duo talk products, vintage beauty, and answer your questions!

55. Burlesque Hall of Fame Find out about performer Dixie Evans, and when burlesque was almost as famous as Broadway.

36. The Evolution of Hair Sarah Bloor of Pinup Curl looks at the hair trends of the 1950s.

57. You Should Go And Love Yourself Take time out this Valentine’s to take care of yourself and rejuvenate.

38. A Dramatic 1920s Look Sarah Dunn demonstrates how to create a flapper inspired hairstyle.

58. Vintage Family Photoshoot Aloisia Wickett shares her tips for partaking in a photoshoot celebrating motherhood and family. | 3

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HOME 62. Greetings From Prague Take a look around a retro inspired home in the Czech Republic. FOOD 68. Keep It Seasonal! Your fast guide to what fruits and vegetables are in season near you! 69. Three Tasty 1950s Desserts Create tasty vintage treats using simple ingredients that can be whipped up in no time! 72. Sugar Free Jam Seren Hollins shares three recipes for jam with a healthier twist. 74. Five Classic Pink Cocktails Make some delicious rose hued alcoholic beverages this Valentine’s Day – even if they are just for you! 76. Feed Your Family For a Fiver Georgia Harrup shares a classic hearty and tasty recipe for the remaining winter months. CULTURE 78. This Month in History Carrie-Ann Dring steps back to the past and finds out what happened in the month of February. 79. Snakehips Swing Jim Williams looks at the life of the popular singer, Ken Johnson. 80. Becki Fishwick Lisa-Marie Rose catches up with the vintage style singer and performer. 82. Magic of Music The Tootsie Rollers talk about their performance with Joe Stilgoe.

83. Louise Brooks Katrina Simpson investigates the life of the famous 1920s film star. 84. Book Reviews Take time out to look at our reading recommendations this month! 85. Miss Twinwood Sarah Dunn chats to the 2016 winner of Miss Vintage at the Twinwood Festival. 87. The Art of Letter Writing Kathy Siney looks at how the art of letter writing has been lost in modern times and why we should take this up again. 88. Head To The Slopes Emma Edwards looks at the history of skiing and finds out how this became a popular pastime in the mid 20th century. 90. The Sandringham Estate Why not take a trip to Norfolk and visit this famous royal property? Carrie-Ann Dring shares her thoughts... 92. Most Marvellous Meetups The group tell us what they have been up to over the past few weeks. 94. The Jukebox and Retro Fair Lianna Haynes reports from the 50s inspired event. 95. The Adventures of Fu Manchu Michelle Hollamby experiences a stunning show at The Canberra Club. 98. Last Christmas... Gemma Miller didn’t get a night out. So she took her friends to an amazing show at The Gilded Merkin... 98. Events

Issue 76

on sale on Thurs 2nd Mar 2017

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Editor’s Letter


ow is it February already? This year is flying by and it makes me realise how important it is to take time out to relax and take stock. How often do we go about our daily routines without thinking or noticing things around us? I’m going to make the effort to stop once in a while and just take in the sights and sounds around me.

It probably hasn’t escaped your notice but Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. However, you don’t have to be in a relationship to celebrate this day - why not take time out to love yourself? Often, we forget to take care of ourselves so why not take a few minutes to pamper or treat yourself? This issue has lots of fabulous articles! There are lots of tips and tutorials to perfect hair and make-up looks, tasty treats to make and eat including 1950s desserts, sugar free jam and Valentine’s cocktails, and there is a gorgeous retro styled home to take a peek at. With all of those in mind, I’ll leave you to get stuck in! Until next time...

Rae Evans Editor in Chief Follow me on: Instagram @vintagelifemag_ed

Image of Rae: Photographer - MyBoudoir ( Hair & Make-up: Sarah Elliott MUA ( / Peignoir: Florentyna (

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Editor-In-CHIEF Rae Evans Deputy Editor Lisa Harrison FEATURES EDITOR Haili Hughes Production Editor Judith Evans Designer Twigs Art development Manager Lisa Harrison Social Media Manager Rosie Astbury Advertising Manager George Miller Advertising Executive Allie Garside Advertisement Design Nic Lock Finance Manager Pam Carey Finance Executive Mark Evans Distribution Manager Keiron Jefferies

Editorial: +44 (0)1260 291536

Subscriptions: +44 (0)1260 291536

Marketing: +44 (0)1260 291536

Advertising: +44 (0)20 3603 7939

Vintage Life Magazine, Dragoon Publishing Ltd Dane Mill Business Ctr, Broadhurst Lane, Congleton, Cheshire, CW12 1LA UK

Managing Director /Publisher

Rae Evans

Publishing Manager Lisa Harrison Production Manager Judith Evans Finance Manager Mark Evans

Printed in the UK by Pensord /Distribution by Warners Contributions in the form of articles are welcomed. Whilst every care will be taken of submitted material and/or photographs the publishers cannot be held responsible for any loss or damage which may occur. The material in this magazine (including ad design) is copyright of Dragoon Publishing Ltd 2017 and may not be reproduced in part or whole without permission of the publishers. Any individual providing material for publication must ensure they have obtained the correct permissions before submission to us. Every effort has been made to trace copyright holders. The editor and publishers apologise for any unwitting cases of copyright transgression. Opinions expressed by contributors are not necessarily those of the publishers. No political affiliation is implied or intended. ISSN 2052 8825 Vintage Life Magazine is published twelve times a year.

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...while keeping warm

It’s the perfect time of year to get out for a stroll. Spring is starting to peek its head around the corner and signs of new life are appearing. There’s a chill to the air though, so be sure to wrap up. How do you remain stylish and incorporate a vintage vibe, and still stay warm?

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CREDITS: Photographer: Light Memories Photography. Hair and Make-Up: Jo Chatterley / Models: Steff Benton, Jacqueline Benton, and Kat Hoskin

one thing all of these coats have in common is that all three of them are charity and second hand finds


ou can hunt down true vintage, which is exquisite, but sometimes too exquisite to wear out for fear of dirtying the fabric (this happened to me one winter with a particularly exquisite reversible cape coat). There are also some wonderful reproduction brand coats on offer, which can be a worthy investment, but perhaps need saving up for. Then there is also the route we all took for this shoot, one fine winter afternoon. The one thing that all of these coats have in common is that all three of them are charity and second-hand finds, costing no more than £30 for all three. Because sometimes, you need a coat that looks great, but that you also won't be afraid to roll in leaves, walk through puddles, or eat hot food in! My mum – Jacqueline – is doing the 1950s. This is a faux-fur edged swing coat, which is a little fitted at the waist. She has chosen to team this with matching black gloves, and a fun polka-dot print to peek out of the bottom of the coat when done up. When this coat was first bought from a local charity shop it was musty and dirty, with matted fur. It was a fixer-upper. With some TLC this coat was restored to its former glory and remains one of my mum's favourite coats. Kat is doing the 1960s. The lines of this coat are typically straight as per the era. This was bought with plain black buttons but I replaced them with geometric-style buttons as a nod to the Mods. It | 11

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is a very forgiving coat style as proved by the fact that Kat was (at the time of this shoot) 9 months pregnant. By the time you read this, she will have a beautiful bouncing baby! This is being worn with a black mini-skirt and tights underneath. I am doing the 1970s – a departure from my favoured eras! I am wearing a gold lurex number underneath as a nod to the age of disco. This is another faux-fur edged coat in a poncho style. It is a well-loved coat of mine that was found at the back of a charity shop rack. It is lightweight but also very warm, especially if you wrap up underneath with a jumper. It's best suited – due to the open front – for autumn, spring, or even a summer evening cover-up. Some tips for finding charity shop gems: • • • • • •

Take time to have a good look around the shop. Don't take it at face value. Sizes may vary depending on the age of the clothes. Forget the label! Try it on before you dismiss it. Some items look so much better on you than on the hanger. Get to know your local shops. They can tell you if they get anything in that you'd like. Just ask! Be prepared to fix an item up – or take it to a seamstress – to uncover a diamond in the rough. Keep an open mind. You're looking at items out of context! Imagine them as parts of outfits or hung up on the back of your door.

And lastly… happy hunting!

steff benton Steff is a singer, model and blogger who goes under the name Bye Bye Bailey. When not doing this, she is a music teacher.

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1920-1939 Thoroughly Modern Millies Words liza hollinghurst

In the second article of our series charting the development of underwear in the 20th century, we’ve arrived at the inter-war decades where flappers bobbed their hair and shimmied to jazz rhythms, and dresses cut on the bias were the epitome of eveningwear glamour.

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hereas the Edwardian era was all about voluptuous and exaggerated curves, the 20s silhouette of choice was the androgynous figure. Hourglass waists and ample bosoms were perceived as ‘old fashioned’ and matronly, whilst naturally lithe, small-breasted bodies were now deemed to be the modern ideal or the in slang of the time: the ‘cat’s pyjamas’. In order to attain this fashionable boyish shape, many women resorted to binding their breasts to achieve a ‘flat-chested’ look or relied on new advances in corsetry. During the early 1920s the scene had been set for the evolution of the knee-length, dropped waist dress that was to typify the decade. Dresses were now designed along simple lines in lightweight fabrics; having no shaping at the waist or bust – just straight-upand-down side seams, with basic ‘v’, scooped and boat necklines being popular. The fluidity of these dresses required underwear to be invisible; after all, no woman wanted any unsightly ridges to show through her dress and spoil the look of her outfit. So, to cater to their clients’ needs, underwear manufacturers began to produce corsets that were tubular in construction with rubberised or elasticated panels, which flattened out the breasts and attempted to eliminate any curves from the waist, hips and bottom. Although the traditional lace-up corset was still popular with older women and those requiring firm all-round support, younger women and those needing less support were starting to wear either corselets or girdles. As the name implies, a corselet comprised a lightweight version of the corset made from flexible steel boning and stretchy textiles. With its camisole-like shoulder straps and prettified with an outer layer of crêpe de Chine, machine lace or embossed satin, the corselet was as attractive as it was practical; especially if it was a ‘wraparound’ version, which was easy to put on and do up with its hook-and-eye fastenings. In contrast, the girdle was a lot briefer, essentially consisting of a wide elasticated panel that encased the waist,

being worn over silk or satin slips, camisoles and cami-knickers (also known as ‘tap pants’) or longer-length cami-bloomers that stopped short of the knee. The majority of women were highly adept at sewing during both the 20s and 30s and many made their own lingerie not only out of necessity, but also as a pleasurable pastime. Even basic brassieres were stitched out of lightweight and diaphanous fabrics such as crêpe de Chine, voile and ‘Rayon’ artificial silk; although one suspects these were generally more decorative than supportive. The standard white-coloured underwear of previous decades was now shunned in favour of pastel shades of peach, eau-de-nil, tea rose and sea foam, and for the more daring: black. Intricate ecru lace applique was sewn into underwear often as neckline or hem edgings, or lingerie was instead embroidered with dainty floral motifs and embellished with tiny satin rosettes. Commercial sewing patterns for underwear separates were widely available, with embroidery transfers being given away free with many women’s magazines of the day; ‘Weldon’s’ needlework magazines included special lingerie issues with titles like ‘Slim Line Undies’ and ‘Outsize Underwear’. Correspondingly, knitted underwear was also fashionable, especially during cold winter months. Women could knit gossamer-light cami-knickers sets or all-in-ones known as ‘step-ins’, from fine 2ply and 3ply wool using delicate open-work stitches; coloured ribbons were often threaded through finished edges for an extra feminine touch. As dress lengths grew longer from the mid-1930s onwards and the fashion pervaded for dresses to be cut on the bias that sensuously complimented the body’s curves, the androgynous silhouette of the 20s gave way to an overtly feminine shape. Softly curving figures with a natural bust were now in vogue and corsetry in all its variations again helped women to achieve this desired form. The wraparound that extended from the waistline to mid-thigh was particularly popular as it could be worn with the newly developed brassiere based on the 1914 prototype designed by Caresse Crosby.

Structured brassieres were now being mass-produced to cater for a range of sizes and to some, were a welcome relief from the former bandeau-style brassiere made out of flimsy fabrics, which didn’t do much to support a larger bust. ‘Kestos’ was one UK brand that keenly took on board new developments such as piecing together a bra (as it became known in the 30s) from numerous sections to enhance the bust’s appearance and uplift under clothes. Early forms of underwired bras were also being produced and many bras started to incorporate the hook-and-eye closure as we now know it, rather than the bra having to be secured via tied straps. Kestos sold their bras in a range of sizes from a 26” bust through to a 42” and promoted their wares via glamorous adverts in magazines promising an “…incomparable brassiere, with an exquisite lock-knit detachable vest which clings closely to the figure and supplies the discreet restraint that every dancer needs”. Such underwear would have been ideal to wear under a satin or chiffon bias cut evening dress and Kestos’ advertising cleverly played to wearers of evening dresses, who realised that their underwear could be as equally stylish as their outwear. By the end of the 30s, women’s underwear had in three decades seen a vast change; from rigid boned corsets and floor-length petticoats of previous years to flexible, coloured lingerie, corselets and girdles that used new developments in textiles such as Rayon and ‘Lastex’ for an improved and more comfortable fit. However, with political unrest in Europe foreshadowing the onset of the Second World War in 1939, these textiles and other materials used in corset construction like steel and rubber were soon diverted away from the underwear industry for urgent military purposes. The knock-on effect from this had a significant adverse impact on the availability of women’s underwear during the war years; especially affecting those who hadn’t been able to stock up on their underwear necessities in advance of the decrease in supply and stringent rationing.

Further reading: Foundations of Fashion, Philip Warren (2001) Leicestershire County Council / Image Credits: Fashion Drawing and Design, Luie M. Chadwick (1926) B.T. Batsford Ltd / The Girls’ Own Paper & Woman’s Magazine, November 1927 / Good Needlework & Knitting Magazine, February 1932 / Good Needlework & Knitting Magazine, April 1935 / Good Needlework & Knitting Magazine, December 1935


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Rockabilly Bride... Kate Beavis from the National Vintage Wedding Fair shares a Rockabilly bride with tonnes of attitude, shot in Bristol, UK

...with a tonne of attitude! Kate Wedding.indd 2

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When we think of Rockabilly, we picture the 1950s and the great sounds from that time. But in the 1970s, as part of the punk era, young people embraced this look again but with a more modern edge. I am excited to share these images of a Rockabilly punk bride wearing vintage, who reminds us that we can wear what we like at our wedding, rather than what everyone else thinks we should wear. Kate Ashwell, from the Bristol boutique Heartfelt Vintage styled the images. She describes her vision, “I'm always keen to show customers that choosing a vintage wedding dress gives you a huge amount of creative freedom. When I found this wedding dress I knew I wanted to do something special with it. It had the potential to become a bit too cutesy so I wanted to style it with accessories and flowers that would toughen it up and tone down the cute factor. “We also wanted the shoot to reflect who we are as a team and where we come from. The city of Bristol is hugely important to all of us, our business reflects our city. Earlier this year, we discovered this hidden gem of a hair salon, “Victoria Jane”. It has been in the same location since the 1940s and is now run by the daughter of the initial owner. Nothing has really changed since it was opened, so it is like walking back in time, a vintage salon in the true sense. Similarly, North Street (where the salon is) is famous for its street art. It is the location for the street art festival UpFest. We knew we wanted to take advantage of all the amazing graffiti along the street. It's a very Bristol thing!” It is great to see such an edgy vintage look for a bridal shoot. If you want to get this look for your wedding come along to the National Vintage Wedding Fair this spring which kicks off in London Feb 12th where you will find vintage and vintage inspired dresses, cakes, flowers and lots more. For more information on our further nine dates, visit 100 |

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Creative Direction & Styling: Kate Ashwell at Heartfelt Vintage / Photography: LeeLou Wedding Photography / Videography: McGill Sisters Films / HMUA: Able Mabel & Bethany-Mae MUA / Flowers: Emerald & Jade Flowers / Assistant Stylist: Lizzie Williams / Model: Bethany-Mae Phillips / 1960s Wedding Dress, 1950s Emma Hope Shoes: Heartfelt Vintage / Leather Jacket & Belt: Model's own / Location: Victoria Jane, North Street, Bristol


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Well it’s not the time of year for dolling up and going out for the day – it’s way too chilly here up North for that sort of thing. We decided a spot of decorating was a better option. Our dining room has always been an issue; it’s dark and shady and we have tried special paints that claim to throw extra light around the room, but they still seemed dull and uninviting. I then had a sudden realisation that we were tackling it all wrong. Instead of fighting the darkness, maybe we should just throw caution to the wind and go for a fabulous colour? We opted for Dulux feature wall ‘Coral Flair’ and we weren’t disappointed.



he paint was slapped on but I still thought it needed something, so I toyed with a giant mirror or even a series of vintage mirrors as a feature, to add reflections, light and movement. I looked at the pile of poodle ornaments we had taken down from various walls whilst decorating and decided they actually looked a bit ordinary scattered around our abode. Then I had a second epiphany – throw them all onto one wall! Even add to them! Next came my pictures of Hollywood stars with their poodles (those gorgeous Technicolor shades!) and then all of the little damaged chalk fairground prize poodles – maybe I could work with them too? Poodles are a real icon of the era, used in fashion, fabric prints and novelty accessories such as handbags, home wares and brooches. They were the most popular dog breed of the 1950s. I have quite a collection of things, which started before I even had my first real poodle. Some items were gifted to me, which I adore. As the poodles actually sleep in this room, it gathers quite a bit of dust, so I didn't want to hang delicate handbags and things on the wall. I wanted everything to be easy to clean wherever possible. My original 1955 book, Our Pal the Poodle written by Macdonald Daly, inspired me. It contains poodle facts and figures, traditional clips and trims, the history of the ancient breed, hints and tips and stars of the time with their poodles – mainly miniatures.Famous names include: Dolores Grey, Janet Leigh, Betty Driver, Elizabeth Taylor and Joan Crawford with her poodles Cliquot and Camille. I have various prints and postcards lying around and I wanted to portray that golden Hollywood era with Doris Day, Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe and Debbie Reynolds who were all again, famous poodle owners of the time.

We went to the big ‘Swedish store’ to buy a few box frames, as I had decided on a black and white theme; most of the chalk and ceramic poodles were in these colours and I framed some birthday cards that I had received, designed by the amazing Pennychoo. I even popped a pair of flat backed, chalk poodles into the frame to give an extra dimension to my wall. Of course, this idea could be incorporated into any theme. It would be fab with old packaging and adverts or maybe sewing patterns and old bobbins, etc. Even knitting patterns with old Bakelite knitting needles and yarn framed together. The choices are endless! Our dining experience is now with added va-va-poodle! Bright, light but not white! A more appreciated space altogether. My outfit is a dress made from an original 1950s flannel skirt; I much prefer dresses, so I incorporated the waistband (which was too small for me anyway!) into the jersey bodice. My fab poodle brooch came from Charcoal Designs; she actually makes pink repro poodle brooches but I asked if she could possibly make me one in white. The shoes are the first pair of Rocket Original shoes I ever bought, ten years ago. They are called ‘Betty’ and have actually just been re-released. Bettie, my five year old standard poodle joined me and little Jet, our toy poodle who we re-homed three years ago, who is now 10! He is a proper little star and has modelled twice with Bernie Dexter on the catwalk in vintage fashion shows! The carousel puffs came from a jumble sale over 30 years ago, where Frankie paid probably a pound for them. They are printed plastic with straw inside, so best to be kept away from the fireside! So, go ahead! Pick a colour and maybe a theme, or just frame your favourite knickknacks and dust collectors. Get creative and bring a fun accent to your home! | 21

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Welcome back to Vintage Life’s

Runs a small independent dressmaker’s in North Staffordshire called Esme’s Vintage Closet. She is a dressmaker, specialising in creating clothes and knitwear from the 1920s to the 1960s.

Sewing Corner Now that we have stitched the outer layer of the jacket, it is time to deal with the inside lining. Lining a jacket can be a daunting prospect, but once you get your head around it, it’s really very simple to do.


he first step is to cut your lining. Do this in the same way that you cut your outer layers; adding notches and any other markings called for by the pattern. TIP: If you are using printed cotton as your lining, make sure you place any markings relating to darts etc on the wrong side of the fabric. This pattern does not require any darts or markings, other than notches. The eagle eyed reader may now spot that I had previously said that I was going to be using white lining fabric. However, a mishap with a cup of coffee put paid to that idea, so I dug out some green taffeta that had been lurking in my stash. Now that I am working with it, I think

that the green looks better, so it was clearly serendipity! Following the pattern, we are asked to stitch the two back pieces together, followed by attaching the front pieces at the shoulder and underarm. These pieces fit together in exactly the same way that the outer pieces fitted together. Here is where it gets a bit complicated. I attempted to stitch the lining to the outer in the way indicated at step 34 and 35. It did not work. No matter what I did, I could not make it work. So, I bypassed step 34 and wrote an alternative step 35. With right sides together, pin the open edge of the jacket lining to the open edge of the outer jacket interfacing. You may need to ease the lining or outer around the

curved neck seam. Once stitched, if you need to, you can notch (or clip) the seam allowance to allow the fabric to stretch open to accommodate the curve. You can then flip the lining, so that the right side is visible on the inside of the jacket. Again, press your seams. This is the point where you will have the best idea of the finished look and fit of your new jacket! How exciting! I opted to not have cuffs on my jacket, as I wanted a simpler, more streamlined look. So I need to attach the lining to the outer at the cuff edge. Again, this seems like the tricky part, but once you get your head around it, it’s the simplest way to finish any jacket sleeve without adding cuffs. With the whole jacket the

right way out, and with your sleeve lining sitting inside the outer sleeve, slide your left hand between the outer and lining, emerging at either seam on the cuff. Turn one section of the raw edge of the lining into the gap between of the cuff, and turn a section of the raw edge of the outer into that gap. Using your left hand, pinch the turned in sections of the outer and lining together. Without letting go of the fabric, pull your hand back through, pulling the sleeve in on itself. Working your way around the sleeve to either one of the seams, pin once at the seam. You can then stitch the outer and lining together. Once stitched, you can push the sleeve back into place, and “hey presto!” your

Photographer, MUAH: Paramorph Zena (Evgeniya Nadina), model: Mariya Yashkova

Flick Rackshaw

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lining and outer should be attached. Take care when pressing to make sure that the seam sits around ¼” under the turn of the outer so that it doesn’t poke out whilst the jacket is being worn. Repeat these steps for the other cuff. All that remains now is to turn under the lower raw edge of your lining, and turn under the raw edge of your outer, pinning it in place as you go. TIP: whilst pinning, hang your jacket inside out on a dummy (or a willing victim!) so that you can check that you are turning up the right amount on both the lining and outer. Once you are happy with the lower seam, you will need to slip stitch the lining to the outer. A slipstitch is done by hand, and is intended to be invisible. You need to catch a small section of the lining fabric, and a small section of the outer. TIP: try to keep your slip stitches fairly loose – pulling them too tight will cause your fabric to ruffle up, which is not the effect that we are after in this garment. All that now remains is to attach your frog fastening. TIP: use the same colour thread as your fastening, so that it is hidden. When stitching, take care to only go through your outer layer of fabric. And that is your 1950s cape jacket finished; ready to wear and wow your friends! Next month, I will be doing a short tutorial on how to make a quick and easy pencil skirt. As a member of 1940s/1950s Most Marvellous Meet Ups, I have decided that I would like to auction this jacket to raise funds for our nominated charity, British Lung Foundation, in March. If you would like the opportunity to bid on this item, you will need to join the group and keep an eye out for my post… good luck!

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Why not embrace a vintage style this Valentine’s Day with my favourite red items available now that are perfect for a romantic night out? If you have no one to spoil you, why not spoil yourself?




a illy, cover up with As it still will be ch e tag vin a or oose vintage leopard coat – ch , xy Fo of e us Ho e s Th inspired one like thi £155, www.theho

I love these 1960s style shoes in white with cute red patent toes and geometric heels. Mod Shoes, £80,

Wear structured vintage inspired lingerie to enhance your shape such as this set with a bullet shaped bra and detachable suspender girdle. House of Satin,

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This red dress captures the style of the 1950s in a wearable style which is perfect for the daytime or evening, from the office to a party! Pretty Retro, £59,

Add some real vintage with a structured handbag. This mock snakeskin bag will be perfect for the rest of winter and will go with so many outfits. Revival Vintage, £23.99 Don’t forget your hair accessories to finish the look. This large bow is super cute and the perfect finishing touch to your Valentine’s look. Pin Up Curl, £30,

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W W W. V I N TA G E L I F E M A G A Z I N E . C O M

FEB 2017 ISSUE 75 £4.50

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21/10/2016 18:00


1940s Make-Up


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1. Firstly, prepare the skin. (I applied Dermalogica’s ‘Active Moist’ to control oil on the T-zone and hydrate dry cheeks which acts as primer base for make-up). Then, apply a light coverage foundation (I used Mac’s Face and Body Foundation) with a foundation brush from the centre of the face working outwards. Take care to conceal any areas such as blemishes and dark circles under the eyes. To ensure eyes look perfect all day, also prepare the whole eye area with a primer (I used Mac’s pro long wear paint pot in ‘Soft Ochre’). 2. Groom and define the eyebrows, filling in any gaps with a pencil or tinted brow gel. The 1940s brow was defined and arched. 3. With a medium sized eyeshadow brush, softly apply a matt eyeshadow in a neutral shade all over the lid. Then, taking a soft tapered blending brush, apply matt taupe eyeshadow in the crease. 4. Using a fine angled brush, apply a dark brown or black gel liner close to the top lash line, flicking out slightly at the sides. 5. Define eyelashes using lash curlers first and then apply a few small and medium individual lashes to the outer corners to open up the eye and give a feminine 1940s look. Finish with a coat of black mascara. 6. For that flushed ‘English rose’ look, apply a lip and cheek stain such as ‘Benetint’, blending well with a soft brush from the apple of the cheek upwards. 7. To finish, sweep a fine layer of translucent powder on the T-zone, leaving cheeks dewy and natural. 8. For a more natural look, apply the lip and cheek stain to the centre of lips and blend outwards to give a soft ‘rosebud’ effect. 9. For more of a statement lip (shown here) apply a red lip liner followed by matte red lipstick, such as Mac’s ‘Ruby woo’. Written by Julia Jeckell Hair and MUA

Tools: Back combing brush or comb with a tail, volume powder, pomade, hairspray 1. Start by making an across head section from ear to ear top using the tail of the brush. Grip the bottom section out of the way at the nape. 2. Take one to two inch sections and begin lightly backcombing at the roots. Go through the entire section doing this. 3. Now from the front I decide on the placement of the first few curls because these will decide on where the rest of the hair is placed. 4. Depending on the size of the curl I begin wrapping a section of hair (from mid length) around either two fingers or my thumb - not too tight or you won’t be able to slide it off! Then, pin these to the head. 5. The rest is a continuation of the same

1950s ‘Half a Poodle’ up-do A ‘Half Poodle’ is a great way to save time and have a very effective hair style. It is best done on slightly dirty hair, so a few days into your set or use your preferred volume powder. You are aiming for lots of barrel curls and twists.

Now the bottom section. You have a few options here… 1. You can curl it 2. Place the hair in a snood 3. Gibson Roll Written by Niamh Kavanagh of Gypsy Rose Salon, Sheffield.

TIPS I like to work on the middle section first and then bring the side sections up to create a crown effect. It can be helpful for structure to have bobby pins running through curls so that sections are pinned together, not just at the base. Sometimes you will find that you may need to split a section to cover up gaps. If you have been setting your hair you can use the waves to create cover for gaps pinning these lightly into place. Depending on how much hair you have, you can create a forward roll creating a fringe like effect or a large victory roll. You may want to consider using a light wax or pomade such as ‘Sauvicita’ to tame fly aways. Just smooth the hair slightly with your brush ensuring you don't brush out the backcombing. Once you have everything in place spray it lightly and allow to dry. To speed up the drying process, blast lightly with your hair dryer and then spray again. Repeat if necessary. If you wish you can place a hair flower at the side or the back behind the crown.

Photography by / Hair pieces and accessories / Model – Lucy Smith / Model – Jazz Alexandra / Make-up by / Vintage hair by Niamh Kavanagh


This Make-up look is perfect for any vintage event to look pretty and polished!

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Brushes make such a difference to make-up application

Q. I want to start applying my make-up properly with brushes. Without breaking the bank, are there any good sets that you can recommend? A. It’s always good to make changes to your make-up routine as it makes you feel a bit better about yourself and it keeps it from being a daily chore! Brushes make such a difference to make-up application and create a look that is a lot more professionally applied. There are two types of brushes you can buy – synthetic and natural hair. The rule with brushes is that you should use synthetic for liquid (helps the product slide off) and natural for powders (the fibres hold on to the product to allow easier blending). A lot of the cheaper sets are just synthetic hair, which aren’t great when it comes to blending your eyeshadow and blushers, so it’s a great idea to have a combination of natural and synthetic. Try Crown brushes (, they have an excellent choice for all budgets and are very good quality. We’ve had some of our Crown brushes for years!


OUR BEAUTY CROWN This month’s “Beauty Crown” is a perfect Valentine treat! Lush’s “The Kiss” Lip scrub: Whether you’ve got someone to kiss this Valentine’s or you’re on the look out for a cheeky romance, make sure your lips are in tip top condition first! Made with a blend of fine sea salt, caster sugar and Fair Trade cocoa butter, this fab lip scrub will buff away any winter dryness and make them truly kissable! Available from Lush, priced £5.50.




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Chr istelle DiL aren zo

This month’s featured reader is Christelle Di Larenzo: “I love vintage beauty so much because through it, you can feel self assured. No matter what all the fashion dictates, you are free! You can be who you want to be. Vintage reflects an era where women were powerful, feminine, sexy, and brave and dared to be different. And that is true beauty!”

The Beauty Queens Professional make-up artistry team founded by Gina Dowle and Laura Hunt.




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The Evolution of Hair

Sarah Bloor Sarah is the face behind Pin Up Curl, a vintage hairstyling service! She was a contestant on the BBC’s skills based show ‘Hair’ and makes her own range of hair accessories.

the 1950 S

World War II was over and compared to the 40s, the 1950s was a time of relative prosperity. However, fashion was more conservative and gender specific. Women were expected to be homemakers, mothers and wives, and men were working family men, clean cut in appearance.


nce rationing in the UK ended in 1954 disposable income increased, as did the spread of mass media, which encouraged the spread of fashion and, of course, hairstyles. In particular the American film and music industry became highly influential around the world on mainstream and teenage fashion. The teen population was a sub culture in itself, with companies actively directing their marketing towards this demographic. Young girls wore their hair short or in ponytails, often tied with a scarf, and paired with a short fringe. Along with the American influence, the early 50s sparked a love for Italian fashions, attitude and lifestyle from which sprang the “Italian cut”, as made popular by screen goddesses such as Gina Lollobridgida and Sophia Loren. This was a short and full style, sculptured and feminine with lots of sex appeal. All over waves and soft fluffy curls would be formed by pin curls or a perm, set in specific patterns to give the shape, texture and volume. It gave a chic, rounded look, and was worn by super stars such as Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe, and my absolute favourite, the one and only Doris Day. There was also the ‘bubble’ or ‘poodle’ cut, which featured tighter curls, the ‘gamine’ cut – think of Audrey Hepburn in Sabrina – and the ‘bouffant’ cut, the main element of which was volume and height. Towards the mid 50s longer hair came in vogue again. The pageboy popular in the 40s continued into the 50s and became very fashionable. It varied in length from a short bob to shoulder length. It was sleek and smooth, with a wave in the front, which was either subtle or a defined “S Wave”. You can see the more defined wave on British bombshell, Diana Dors. Grace Kelly also favoured this look. The ends of the hair were turned under, and due to the Middy haircuts of the era, formed a horseshoe shape around the face. The longest length would be at the back, the shortest at the front. Layers were cut into the ends, which made for easier pin curling and perming. Diagrams are available on the internet of how this cut is done, and if you take this along

to a good hairdresser they should be able to replicate it. Although when I first showed a previous hairdresser of mine she looked quite horrified, exclaiming, “That’s not how you cut hair!” She got it in the end! If in doubt, research for your nearest vintage specialist hairdresser to guarantee the right look. Hair length in the 50s was diverse, as were hair colours. With new products available it became easy for women to colour their hair at home, thus avoiding the expense of the salon. They could really experiment and play with colour and like today’s temporary formulas, coloured sprays and paint-on colours were seen. Metallic gold and silver powders or liquids were painted on the hair in streaks, and even products not meant for hair at all, such as car spray, were used! My favourite idea, and one that I would love to try, were ‘Chameleon Streaks’ .These were small pieces of coloured hair, temporarily glued onto the front hairline with spirit gum. You can find several film clips of these online. They are truly fascinating and you can’t mistake the influence of the past on today’s creative colour effects. Such a fun way to temporarily match the hair to the outfit! If you were slightly less brave, one step home colourants allowed you to become a blonde bombshell like Marilyn Monroe, or a fiery redhead like Lucille Ball (she used henna). Now I wouldn’t be talking to you about 50s hair if I didn’t tell you more about the famous Lucille Ball. Born in 1911 she began her career in 1929 as a model, and went on to be a film star, comedian, film studio executive and producer. She also famously starred in and produced her own TV sitcoms – the most famous being I Love Lucy. The hairstyle she is most famous for is The Poodle. It was a style popular in the 40s, but usually in a more structured way. It was softer and fluffier in the 50s, with all the hair brought upwards on top of the head. The fringe could have been styled in either a roll, or swoop, or even cut short. The art of setting and then styling hair is one that is nowhere near as prevalent as it used to be in mainstream culture. Back in the day, the cut was done to prepare for specific sets – cer-

tain styles needed certain cuts, and it was not the done thing at all to go out with unstyled hair. Nowadays, modern hairdressing is mostly about the cut and the colouring. So many styles are ‘wash and go’ to fit into today’s many trends and hectic lifestyles. Society has become more multicultural, and less restrictive for women, which has been reflected throughout the decades. In the 20s we had the short boyish bob, representing a new freedom for women with more opportunities usually reserved for men. The 30s gave us a new femininity, a softer look which served almost as an antidote to the androgyny of the previous decade. The 40s was ultra feminine, and with the advent of war was patriotic, functional and beautifully styled to help boost morale through pride in ones appearance in the face of diversity. The 50s were as diverse as the decade, with the film star at its highest influence giving us glamour and sex appeal, making a desired look more achievable with more disposable income. And next, we have the Swinging 60s! Easy 50s ‘S-wave’ with swirl 1. Section off the fringe and place in stand up barrel rolls or pin curls, all facing away from the parting. Clip in place to cool. 2. Once well cooled, release the curls and separate with fingers. Backcomb gently in sections to give height and structure. 3. Smooth over the top surface with a bristle brush, dressing out brush or comb. You can add a tiny amount of pomade or serum at this stage to help tame flyaways and add shine. 4.Mould the wave and curl over your thumb or hand. The backcombing will help keep it together. 5. Position and start to pin in place. I usually use a sectioning clip to secure the front while pinning to leave both hands free! 6. Pull the sides back with grips or combs, or even a headscarf.

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STEP 1: Create a deep side parting. Then using a small barrel curling tong, curl your hair and pin it up in rows with ‘pin curling’ clips. Alternate the direction of the curls on each row.

STEP 3: Once the curls are completely cold start to brush them out and style them. If you have long hair you can re-create the look of the short styles of the 1920s by creating a ‘faux bob’ and pinning your hair up at the back to create a short look.

STEP 2: Leave the curls to fully cool down which normally takes about 15 minutes, so you have time to make a cuppa or finish your make-up.

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Credits: Article, hair and make-up: Sarah Dunn, owner of Sarah’s Doo-Wop Dos / Model: Hannah Prichett / Photography: Jez Brown

The Flapper with her bold make-up and short hair is the most iconic image of the 1920s. Here’s how to re-create the look.

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beauty STEP 4: Mould the curls on the bigger side of the parting into a wave shape & fix these in place with long clips. Fix with hairspray and leave the hair to set in place again.

STEP 5: The hair on the other side of the parting can just be brushed back and pinned in place behind your ear.

STEP 6: Take the clips out and use a little pomade when finishing this style to keep it smooth and in place. STEP 7: You can finish by adding a beaded necklace as a headband and a scarf for a bit of extra 1920s decadence.

Sarah Dunn

Hairstylist and MUA with years of experience under her belt. Sarah loves vintage and is passionate about the hairstyles and fashions of the past.


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Love is in the



egend says that after completing a successful battle, RAF pilots would barrel roll their planes to celebrate their success. This roll manoeuvre was quickly taken up for the ladies of the country at the time who began to roll their hair in a similar shape. Low and behold, the victory roll was born. Pretty cute! Step 1: Get the right tools! To create this look you will need: a heated styling tong (a ¾ inch barrel is perfect), a backcombing brush, a soft bristle brush, pin curl clips, hair pomade, hairspray and bobby pins. Step 2: Section your hair into three sections using your backcombing brush. Create a parting from the arch of one eyebrow, back towards the crown, then separate the back of your hair from the front by taking a section from one ear across the crown and down to the other ear.

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, we thought we’d treat you to a step-by-step guide on how to create the most romantic of vintage hairstyles; the classic style of the 1940s – the Victory Roll! A style that is said to have originated during WWII as a symbol of love and solidarity between the ladies of the home front and the gents of the RAF.

This will create two asymmetric sections at the front of your head and a third section out of the hair at the back of your head. Step 3: Using tongs, curl each front section up towards your parting in the direction that you want your victory rolls to roll. You can do this in small sections, using pin curl clips to hold the curls whilst they cool. Step 4: Continue to curl the back of your hair in small sections, this time, curl your hair going down from the crown of the head towards the nape of the neck, securing with pin curl clips as you go. Leave the curls to cool completely. Step 5: Take out one section at the front and brush through. Spray on a hairspray and backcomb the curls together, starting close to the root and moving towards the ends of the hair.

Step 6: Now that you have back combed this section together, begin to gently smooth over the surface of the section to hide the backcombing. You can use hair spray and hair pomade to help you with this. Step 7: Take two fingers and place them over this section near the root area and hold the hair up with the other hand at around a 45 degree angle from the head. Using your hand, being to wrap the hair around the two fingers close to the head to form a roll. Once in place, secure the roll with bobby pins and spray. Repeat steps 5, 6 and 7 with the other front section to complete your victory rolls.

Carl Brown Professional hairdresser and co-founder of Russell & Brown’s Vintage Salon in Liverpool.

Step 8: Take out the curls at the back of your head. Brush these through in long sweeping motions with your soft bristle brush. In order to get a vintage finish, you can brush the curls under to form a softer finish. Spray your hair to secure and enjoy!

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28/09/2016 11:26

do you know love? Valentine’s Day is upon us, where we get to tell that special someone how we feel, celebrate our love and romance and have an excuse to generally be all soppy. But what if we don’t have ‘a special someone’ in our lives? Does that mean that we are love-less?

kimberly wragg Kimmy is a keen baker, is extremely house proud and has her own blog. She tries to always be positive and bright and see the good in every situation.


t is amazing when you find that certain someone that you want to be with, that person who rocks your world and you can’t imagine life without. Lust, love and friendship all rolled into one. You become a little team and enrich each other's lives. You have someone with which to share the trials and tribulations of life, enjoy good times with and who ultimately makes you happy. Being with this person and the experiences shared makes us feel good. Everyone likes to feel loved and wanted – it’s human nature. While this is true for a lot of people, not everyone needs to have a partner in their life to feel ‘whole’ or loved. What can be essential to one person and impact the quality of life that they have, may not even register as important to someone else. Many people are single through choice and others are open to having relationships, but haven’t found ‘the right one’ as yet. This does not mean their lives are void of love in any way, shape or form. Relationships are not a necessity to be able to enjoy love and feel loved. Being single through choice is a considered life decision, made because that is what is best for that person and the direction they want to take their life in. Being single is awesome! You have no one to consider

but yourself, you can do what you want, when you want, without ever having to worry about anyone else. Sharing all that you are with someone else is a big ask and shouldn’t be given away flippantly. Being single is a wonderful place to be in – love has no limits or binds. Love can develop from any interaction or bond. You may not have that special someone in your life, but you still have special people. People you cherish and value, who you put first and you’re safe in the knowledge that they would do anything for you. Wouldn’t you call that true love too? It’s the unconditional love you have with your family and dear friends. They make your heart smile, they’re vastly important to you and you can’t imagine not being able to see their face on a regular basis. Loving your life – everyone has something that they ‘live for’, that drive from within, something that you are passionate about and is second to none. For some people that’s a spouse or their family… for others it’s a job, a career, a sport, hobby or activity. Most of us have something that we ‘love’. That one thing that is on your mind when you wake up and the last thing you think about before going to sleep. A type of love that a lot of us struggle with, but really should put more

effort into obtaining, is self love. It’s nothing to do with narcissism or vanity or selfishness. We should not be afraid to put ourselves first. Most of us can be our own worst critics, picking at the way we look, our weight, our mistakes and what we consider to be our flaws. We wouldn’t dream of being so cruel to anyone else. A good first step to self love is to try and treat yourself the way you treat others. Would you ever say such nasty things to anyone else? Give credit where credit is due – look at yourself and give yourself a compliment once in a while. Look at everything you have been through in your life and say, ‘Yeah, you’re doing pretty damn well…’ We all need to appreciate our bodies, our feelings and ourselves a little more. Be kind. Love has lots of different fractions and forms in a variety of situations and scenarios. It is one of the most diverse emotions we are able to feel. Passion, family, friendship, romance… there is the love between close friends, between a parent and a child, siblings and other family members, possessions, experiences, careers and maybe most importantly, self love. It is suggested to you that the key to love is happiness. If your heart knows happiness, you know love. Be happy and love freely, but most importantly, allow yourself to be loved.

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Words: Kitty Von Tastique Photos:

furr ever love Anyone who owns a treasured pet can be in little doubt about the immediate benefits they can bring: companionship, entertainment and the ability to provide unconditional love to even the prickliest of human purrsonalities. However, there are also loads of physical, psychological and social health reasons that loving your furbabies can be so, so good for you. Physical reasons to love our pets! 1: Pets can help reduce stress and lower blood pressure In a 2002 study, people with dogs and cats had lower resting heart rates and blood pressure, they had less spikes in heart rate under stress and their heart rates and blood pressure returned to normal more quickly. Other studies have shown that just stroking your pet can lower blood pressure and cholesterol and it may also ease anxiety in children. Pet owners also had improved recovery rates after heart surgery.

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Kitty Von Tastique A qualified personal trainer, group fitness instructor, fitness nutrition coach and wellness coach. She has a passion for everything eco, ethical and sustainable.

2: Increased physical activity Pet owners (especially those with dogs) are more physically active and have a reduced risk of obesity. Pets help motivate us to get up and go outdoors on a more regular basis, regardless of the weather. My cats often get me to stop staring at a screen to play with them or feed them (who needs to use Pomodoro?) lol! 3: Immune system benefits Children who grow up with pets are less likely to develop allergies and exposure during infancy can strengthen the immune system. Children with pets are less likely to miss days of school due to illness.

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Psychological Reasons to love your furbaby! Number 1: A reduction in loneliness, depression and stress Pet owners (including teens) are less likely to experience loneliness and depression. They also appear to cope with grief, stress and loss better as well. Pets also give us a sense of purpose. Number 2: They are social ‘wing men’ Pets help us meet other people. They help improve our social skills and are great ‘wing men’ to help us initiate conversations with strangers. Number 3: They care! Whenever we are down or sick they look after us in the way that only they can. Having a furry bundle of love snuggle in beside you when you’re under the weather or home alone is enough to bring back the sunshine to anyone’s day! Ways of giving back to our furr-ever friends: Number 1: Time Giving our furry friends our time is the number one thing we can do to show we care. Dialling back our screen time and increasing time with our pets, is a great way to share the love. Number 2: Learn to speak their ‘language’ Pets communicate a lot differently to us, so try to learn some of their cues. Some examples are that cats consider you staring into their eyes a confrontational and perhaps hostile move, so by including lots of slow blinks when you look lovingly into their eyes, you’re actually saying “I care and I’m not here to pick a fight”. In a similar way, dogs consider it rude to approach in a straight line or make eye contact. Dogs prefer you to approach in an arc and avoid staring them straight in the eye. Number 3: Don’t judge them too harshly Our pets may seem like furry mini-me’s but really they are just doing their best to fit in with us humans, who are a completely different species. When they seemingly fail to meet our high expectations it’s important to realise that nothing they do is in malice. Pets don’t think the same way that we do so it’s unfair to expect them to follow our rules 100% of the time. At the end of the day it’s those furr-givable little furr-paws that make them three dimensional, unique and totally irreplaceable. For the huge amount of love we get in return, our unconditional love is the very least they deserve this Valentine’s Day. You can check out my behind the scenes video from this furry photoshoot on my Kitty Von Tastique YouTube channel:

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How Social Media Can Help Us Be Body Positive in 2017


e are all goddesses. Well, perhaps not quite goddesses, but if Constance Hall is to be believed we are all, at least, Queens. If you haven't yet discovered Connie, she's a blogger, author and self-love advocate from Perth, Western Australia, whose outspoken and frank insights into the ups and downs of parenthood have amassed her an ever-growing band of fierce female followers. As well as her humorous, brutally honest blog-posts, Constance won't miss an opportunity to post a motivational body-positive picture, on the beach or in the back garden, reminding us that all female forms – especially those which bear the markings of motherhood, have worth, value and beauty. And good for her for doing so, because I genuinely believe that the trickledown effect of such confidence and courage is beginning to be felt by more and more women. And it does take courage – no matter what the critics say. To post true and honest pictures of your body online, when the majority of what we see is put through a filter, or photoshopped; well, I call that courageous. Constance also addresses these issues in some of her posts: in February of last year she wrote a piece entitled Body Love in which she talked candidly about her past struggles with an eating disorder, and in May in a post she called simply, Enough, she slammed how quick beauty magazines are to criticise minor physical imperfections in female celebrities. Alongside this uplifting sincerity, I have seen also the rise on social media of videos 'exposing' the lengths magazines go to when retouching photos of celebrities and models. Or even, as recently came to light with one major high street outlet, doing away with the models altogether in favour of computer generated versions of the female form! Of course, the majority of people have known about such practices as airbrushing and photoshop for years now, and critics to this argument would say that these shots are aspirational; they are glamorous and consumers know that what they are being presented with, is, in part a fantasy – that's what they are buying into. Sure. Ok. I get

Words: amy goddard that. But perhaps what these exposés show us is the extent to which these transformations go – especially when they feel the need to slim down a celebrity who is ultra slim to begin with: someone who has access to a personal trainer, a nutritionist and age-defying magic elixirs, most of us can only afford in our dreams! It is this exposure, and the way that social media has allowed bloggers like Constance Hall to spread her message of female empowerment, that is partly responsible for this positive shift in what women are willing to accept as images and ideas of what constitutes beauty. As well as encouraging people to speak openly and honestly about parenting and the way in which we view our bodies, Constance Hall's blog aims, in part, to elicit camaraderie, compassion, and a network of women who are willing to support each other. It is this open and candid dialogue that she fosters on her website and Facebook page which, I believe, helps promote good mental health and self esteem in her followers. She's not perfect – whatever that means – and she admits that in most of her posts. She has parenting setbacks and relationship problems, she has self-doubt, anxiety and times where she feels like she wants to jack it all in or run away from it all, and it is this honesty and willingness to be vulnerable which makes her so Gosh Darn appealing! Another blogger who I think has played a role in this rise of body positivity (perhaps not as vocally, but as sincerely) is Kat Williams AKA The Rock ‘n’ Roll Bride. As the name would suggest, the focus of Kat's blog and magazine is alternative weddings and styling but, like Constance, she uses her Facebook page to promote body positivity by posting selfies and comments about her feelings towards her own body and accepted beauty standards. Because her website features real weddings, this idea is reinforced there too, because the pictures are of real brides, not of models. Having said all this, please don't think I believe everything to be completely rosy in the garden for Eve. Fundamentally, the media still assails us with images of super-toned celebrities, (who are then trimmed down some more by the power of technology) but there are

these little sparks of light out there. Something that I noticed early on when reading this very magazine was that it didn't just use typical models for its fashion shoots. I found that when I was flicking through the pages, I was quite surprised, and comforted, by the fact that I was seeing a range of women represented. Vintage styling is about creativity; it's about self-expression, enjoyment, 'having a go', trying out something new, (or something old in fact!) and that is open to everyone. I see this body-positivity mirrored on my Facebook feed daily, by pages like Burlesque Baby, Pinup Fashion and Retro-Lovely - sure, the women are glamorous, and styled and gorgeous – but they are not always a size 0! When I first became interested in vintage fashion, I hadn't realised that this would be one, very positive, outcome of my adventures. There has been some criticism of course about the inclusion of plus size models in fashion campaigns; for instance that it promotes an unhealthy lifestyle, (which is perhaps a little absurd, because I shouldn't imagine that the inclusion of models at the other end of the scale promotes an altogether healthy one.) I wouldn't disagree that a discussion about health and nutrition needs to be happening alongside a promotion of body positivity – after all the two go hand in hand – but I believe that there has been a shift in this debate too. A few years ago the focus seemed to be on making dramatic changes to your diet for short term, quick fix results. I am not denying that there aren't still Instagrammers and YouTubers promoting such extremes, but I also think that more people are considering making gradual and realistic changes to their diets and lifestyles which can be sustained and which are not just to do with the effect they give on the outside, but on the inside too. If you haven't yet checked out Constance Hall, you can do so here: queensofconstance. com or find her on Facebook, or to see some of Kat's real weddings (including one I was a bridesmaid at!) go to Be body positive in 2017 Vintage Vixens! | 45

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The jelly that moulds us

together Words: Elena Falcon

Two words that have forever tainted the reputation of delicious jelly everywhere – Tomato Aspic. According to Wikipedia, Aspic is a dish in which ingredients are set into a gelatin made from a meat stock or consommÉ. Sweeter dishes often made without stock or consommÉ, are usually called gelatin salads, or as we affectionately know them, jelly salad moulds. Moulds that could strike fear in the hearts of those whose dreams are still haunted by a savoury jello mould in the shape of a fish, lovingly made by Aunt Merle featuring olives as the unblinking eyes of her masterpiece.

I elena falcon Leader in healthcare in California, inspiring and connecting people through vintage fashion to create more access to healthcare services. Elena is known for her expertise in policy, community advocacy and passion, but also for her colourful business suits, power bouffant and wearing her grandmother’s jewellery.

found myself in this position recently, along with my mother, who in the heyday of entertaining was front and centre in the marvels of 1950s jello mastery and somehow, hadn't served us a mould in more than 40 years. Looking for a recipe that would "wow" for our vintage Christmas menu, I invited her over to search the tricks of her midcentury trade, various better home and garden cookbooks and Betty Crocker's Picture Cook Book for a glistening, jiggly example of jello perfection. One must consult the oracles in attaining true jello wisdom, and the Knox On-Camera Recipes; A Completely New Guide to Gel-Cookery cook book also emerged. As we thumbed through the cooking annuals of her past, 1950-1965, she soon became transfixed on a fish shaped jello mould, deep burgundy in colour that held within its cranberry coloured walls, asparagus, and very

likely creamed tuna. Trimmed with eggs and shaved carrots, the image of the mould had her in its grips, taking her to a place of jello imperfection that left her questioning her generation. "Who made these?" she gasped, shock emanating at the thought that such a jello mould was ever construed. Throwing a proverbial life ring, I quickly tossed her the iPad, reeling her in with a delicious sounding jello mould trimmed in red and green, perfect for a holiday menu. As her fish jello mould tunnel vision subsided, slowly my friendly face came into view, smiling over the perfect recipe as detailed on "It has pears, Mom!" I exclaimed excitedly, scrambling to hand her several different moulds from my original plastic Tupperware art starter collection from the 60s. I am sure it was the jou-jou of the Tupperware

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set that helped pull her back from the tomato aspic brink, as the hospitality of jello moulds past emanated from its sculpted sides, reliving promises of luncheons yore. Later, she made that recipe, Double Pear Salad, as tested by blogger Ruth Clark of The Mid Century Menu and a glorious mould was born. Filled with lime jello, pears, maraschino cherries, and cream cheese, set in the peaks and valleys of a dynamic jello ring of emerald green, the jello mould was a beacon of sparkling perfection. As we all sat around the table that evening, my Dad, my Mom and me, we connected over the good recipes of our jello pasts. She could remember recipes of her own mother and aunts, that mould transporting her like the click of Dorothy's red heeled shoes, to no place like home, back to the better tabletops of her childhood. After a good hour of connection, and a conversation that finally moved on to prune whip, I decided to post the jello mould on my Facebook page, after shooting a picture off to my boss of course, to plant the idea of an all jello mould work potluck. The adulation and connection to that post was instantaneous, garnering a landslide of comments and likes, making it easily one of my most popular of the year. Friends and family from across the world began sharing their time and thoughts with me, my friend Selida from Spain commenting, "I actually want to eat that." Shaun from Los Angeles exclaiming, "You lovely jello mould maker! Your photos make me very happy and reminiscent!" Marta of New York and Banning sharing her favourite recipe with me, "Jello is so underrated. I make one that rocks. Lime jello, cottage cheese, crushed pineapple, pecans and marshmallows. Insanely good." Dave from Arizona posting, "The astro weenie tree would make a good pairing to your beautiful jello mould," sharing the versatility of the weenie tree being alternatively decorated with sugar-glitter rolled donuts to finish the perfect decorative table setting. Suddenly it hit me that this dynamic, the easy sharing of ideas and connections was creating a culture of belonging through a shared experience of food that was the foundation of how teams worked. One person posting an idea and then several

others adding to it, shaping it until the experience left us better connected and more familiar with each. This exchange took place between approximately 15 people over the course of an hour across the world, and established an immediate common ground between us through the unlikely connector of...jello. In our workplaces, we often overlook the simple connection of shared experiences of tabletops past, of dishes that we had in our families, or among friends that create atmosphere in our psyche. This "reserve" of experience can be tapped in the workplace to provide energy and inspiration, in some cases 30 years later as the jello post did, unifying and creating a moment of belonging for a group of persons looking to accomplish a shared goal. While we all know potlucks can be the bane of any workplace existence, an intentionally planned experience of sharing around worktable favourite dishes with the strategic aim of connecting teams closer together in their performance can be a powerful management tool. Bringing a researched dish to a team meeting and planning for a brief food related discussion before jumping into the agenda can accomplish two things, 1) information sharing among team members that connects appreciation with our common human experience, 2) serves as dedicated team building that enhances the relationship of the team. You can facilitate this brief dialogue through questions like, "What was your favourite food as a child? What is your favourite thing to cook? Wuhat was your traditional holiday menu?" This last question is an especially powerful one in a room filled with team members from different backgrounds and cultures. Hearing about so many delectable dishes will change the face of your workplace potlucks and your team dynamics for the better. Betty Crocker wrote, "Salads are refreshing, coming upon a woodland spring, clear and cool. Beauty will be the reward of your understanding touch. And health benefits will abundantly bless your table through the precious minerals of crisp sparkling salad ingredients." So dear reader, I ask you, in the workplace and around your dinner table, what favourite, sparkling, precious jello moulds will bring YOU together? VL | 49

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universiTy: livin g a champagne lifesTy le on a ginger beer bud geT we’re now in february, The monTh of romance, where you Take your loved one or significanT oTher ouT for a dinner on valenTine’s day. of course, if like me, you are a single, poor sTudenT who by now can hardly afford a ginger beer, leT alone champagne... you can’T eXacTly go ouT for a romanTic dinner wiTh yourself. i found a soluTion To This!

I held a tea party for a group of friends at my friend’s salon. I realised when pricing up, that even if I bought the food at the cheapest price it would cost me more than I could afford to make something half decent. So, I decided I’d wait until the summer

holidays to put on a marvellous spread for those who have helped me get through this year! It’s certainly been rocky. Following this decision, I thought it would still be nice to get everyone together, so I came up with the idea that maybe we could bring a bit of wartime spirit to university! I asked everyone invited to bring some food and my, oh, my, what a spread we had! Cucumber sandwiches, ham sandwiches, egg sandwiches, even SPaM sandwiches! all with crusts off, of course. We also had cupcakes, flapjack and I used a recipe to make a wartime chocolate cake which I found on a website called “Dying For Chocolate.” I could have devoured the whole thing!

But we had to think and eat like there was a war on. I provided the entertainment by singing a few songs of the period, which everyone enjoyed. any food left over was given to me and it fed me for a further few days! Everyone who attended the tea party thoroughly enjoyed it and I can’t wait to host another one. Shortly after the party, I was told that we are to make a five-minute film that we will have to write, direct and produce for university. This has taken over any plans for tea parties between now and summer. But it’ll be interesting to see if I can create a half decent film on this Ginger Beer budget!



s mentioned in my previous article, for one of my new Year’s resolutions I was going to learn vintage culinary skills and show them off to my friends. January was my first chance to show this off. I re-read the articles in Woman’s Own and perused my many vintage style cookery books – I even got a copy of a Mrs Beeton’s book to look at different recipes.

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Will You Be My

Valentine Words:CHArLIE AdAMs

wiTh valenTine’s day fasT approaching, love is in The air buT iT is also in adverTisemenTs, in almosT every shop and in our bank balance. i Tend To boycoTT valenTine’s day, believing iT has Turned Too commercial, wiTh focus placed upon spending and less upon romance. i plead To all my readers To celebraTe The vinTage way, where The only focus was placed upon being romanTic and senTimenTal, and moneTary worTh had no value.

love is priceless, and

mosT imporTanTly, free


alentine’s Day is commonly believed to have originated from the letter Saint Valentine sent to his jailer’s daughter on the eve of his execution, whereby he declared his affection to her and signed it ‘Your Valentine’. as tragic a love story this sounds, sadly it is merely a legend with no historical facts to confirm it took place. The ancient Romans celebrated the pagan fertility festival of Lupercalia on February 13th -15th and as part of the custom, single people were paired up via a lottery system. Valentine’s, as the day of celebration of love as we know it today, started in the middle ages, as shown in Chaucer’s poem Parliament of Fowls where he wrote “For this was on seynt Valentynes day, Whan every foul cometh ther to chese

his make”. Further proof of its popular acceptance in society is in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, whereupon ophelia declares “To-morrow is Saint Valentine's day, / all in the morning betime, / and I a maid at your window, / To be your Valentine.” Valentine's Day reached its height of celebration in the Victorian Era, where it firmly laid its roots as an established celebration. The main focus was still the gift of words, a letter consisting of all the attributes you admire and cherish of your loved one or a handmade card decorated with the likes of lace, ribbons or dried flowers; gifts were also exchanged. Victorian gifts included ‘love tokens’ which were often made from a silver Liberty Seated dime flattened for the loved one’s name to be engraved upon. They also gave jewellery made from their hair;

it is commonly mistaken that hair jewellery was only used for mourning items but the Victorians also saw the romance of having a part of your loved one always with you. Hair was made into watch chains, bracelets or decoratively put inside a brooch, this was a favoured gift of love from young women – the perfect gift to take part of them anywhere you go that will never rot. Valentine cards were often more cherished than Christmas cards, with their popularity bringing the first commercially printed cards in the mid 1840s. Designing cards became a highly competitive market, which introduced the end of unique hand made love gestures into cards being mass-produced in the thousands. Even though they were commercially made they were still heavy with embellishments, some so heavy that

Charlie Adams Charlie has been collecting 1940/50s clothing and accessories for over a decade, being addicted to novelty prints and Bakelite. | 51

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they came in presentation boxes, while others had moving parts that made butterflies flap their wings or figures dance or unfolded like fans, and most importantly they all were unabashedly sentimental declaring everlasting love. They reached the height of their popularity during the 1870/80s, but as times changed, so did the customs; with the onset of WWI, less became more and extravagant Valentine cards became a dying art. In 1915 Hallmark Cards produced their first Valentine card, for many this saw the end of romance and birth of over consumerism of the event. Since this first card Valentine’s Day has become a staple Hallmark Holiday, out of all national celebrations only Christmas is higher for the amount consumers spend. The greeting card industry owes much of its success to V-day; the popularity of V-cards in the mid-1800s helped the growth of the first greeting card companies. By 1920s in the USA V-day cards were a $60 million business. With the rise of its commercial industry other businesses such as chocolatiers, candy makers and florists joined in, changing it from an inexpensive day of exchanging tokens of affection to a day of mass spending (not just for partners but children, parents and friends too). By the 1950s onwards gifts began to be the main focus for expressing love, with the more gifts or value representing the more you were loved, with words of expression being fully left behind. These gifts are often red roses, chocolates in heart shaped boxes or jewellery. Flowers always cost more on that day, the special boxes are more expensive and of course the jewellery will have to be the best! Commercialism had now fully captured the Valentine market and they profit the most now from this occasion. In the 1980s, the diamond industry began to promote Valentine's Day as an occasion for giving diamond jewellery. Much akin to the 1940s when De Beers marketing agency in a real life Madison Avenue Mad Men campaign created the idea that only diamonds were suitable for engagement rings. Diamonds were promoted as being the only way to express everlasting love. From the original cost of just a piece of paper and some ink, with the only extravagance being the adding of embellishments; consumers in the UK now spend an estimate of £1.9 billion to express their love. To my mind St Valentine’s Day is much better celebrated in the vintage way. Love is priceless, and most importantly, free. It really is the thought that counts and not spending the earth. I would much rather have a sentimental hand written letter or poem than a shop bought card. For those who are not good at expression yourself, why not find a poem that shares how you feel, writing it in your best handwriting and signed from yourself would make a perfect framed gift. Gifts are welcome when thoughtful and from the heart, for example a brooch or keyring that your loved one can wear when you are apart, but remember to include a note saying why you bought the love token, as the sentiment behind it is what will make it priceless.

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se y at any size! Words: Haili Hughes

Like the majority of the population who have over indulged this festive period, I was dreading dolling myself up for Valentine’s day. Not only did nothing fit but I feared that the choice of plus-size clothing, which I wanted to wear, would be woefully inadequate. | 53

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few years ago, plus sized fashion was populated by baggy, shapeless tunics paired with leggings and tent like maxi dresses. now more buxom ladies are celebrating their curves and injecting some glamour into their style and fabulous repro brands are helping with making ladies of all sizes feel fabulous. army style tent bras with no sex appeal are now a thing of the past. I have often longed for a vintage style long line, pointy bra and flattering knickers but have never been able to find something vintage looking in my larger size. House of Satin make vintage style underwear for ladies of all sizes and I paired my set with a stunning robe and see through tulle robe from Glitter and the Moon, while I was getting glammed up for a night on the town with my husband. not only did the underwear look great but it also gave me a fantastic, bump free silhouette for under my party dresses! For my evening I couldn’t decide between two dresses, so I went with a blinged, elegant, floaty chiffon silver number from Lindy Bop and

paired it with a vintage pearl and diamante encrusted skull cap. I truly felt like a decadent flapper from the roaring 20s and the dress really accentuated my waist, without making me feel self-conscious. For the second outfit change, I went for a show stopping, Hollywood style dress from Voodoo Vixen and spent all evening imagining I was on a red carpet. Both styles go up to a generous size 20 and the Voodoo Vixen has plenty of stretch on it, which makes for a really comfortable evening. We have all been in the situation on a night out, when our feet are hurting so much that we are limping around and fantasising about kicking our shoes off. For us plus-size ladies, this can be even worse as many vintage style shoes are a narrow cut and the pain can be excruciating. For my evening out, I wore a pair of 40s style sling backs and spectator pumps from Royal Vintage. not only did they look really authentic, I felt like I was walking on air for the whole evening. Ladies…everybody deserves to feel sexy this Valentines. So whatever your shape, just work it with a bit of vintage swagger.

CREDITS Model – Haili Hughes Photography – My Boudoir Red dress – Voodoo Vixen White underwear – House of Satin White cape & red robe – Glitter and the moon Shoes – Royal Vintage

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eep in the nevada desert, on an abandoned goat farm, is not where you’d expect to find a museum dedicated to the art of striptease, but when retired dancer Jennie Lee dreamed of setting up the Exotic World Burlesque Museum, she had visions of fans making the pilgrimage to view photographs and costumes from the burlesque stars of yesteryear. There was a time when the burlesque stage was almost as famous as Broadway and vaudeville circuits like the orpheum and Chicago were kings of cash. When Jennie Lee died of breast cancer in 1990, one of the biggest names in burlesque took over and paved the way for the Burlesque Hall of Fame as we know today. The “Marilyn Monroe of Burlesque,” Dixie Evans was an enormous star throughout the 1950s. Famous for her killer curves, dynamic moves and of course her striking resemblance to the superstar Miss Monroe, Dixie managed to sustain a glittering career. In 1991, Dixie started the Miss Exotic World Pageant

to bring tourists and performers along to the museum and decided to bring the former stars of burlesque to the ranch in Las Vegas, where the museum was then located. These women, many of them now in their 60s and 70s, jumped at the opportunity to come together and talk about the old days, but also pass along their wisdom to an emerging burlesque scene, which was slowly making its way back in to underground clubs in the USa and Europe and so, the annual weekender was born. Sadly, there are few household names of burlesque. Some like: Gypsy Rose Lee, Sally Rand, Lili St Cyr and Dixie Evans are paid homage to at the museum, which has given people an opportunity to glimpse into the lives of these glamorous stars. Whilst other vaudeville stars could make the cross over from the stage to the screen, notably Laurel and Hardy and Bob Hope, few stars of burlesque ever did more than bit parts in movies. There was a disconnect between what people would tolerate on stage and what they would allow on screen. This limited the earning potential of these hardworking


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There was a Time when The burlesQue sTage was almosT as famous as broadway and vaudeville circuiTs like The orpheum and chicago were kings of cash women to what they could earn on the “circuit.” There were few people being paid the astronomical sums demanded by Gypsy and Lili. Fast forward 40 plus years and there were many retired dancers, stars of their time, with little or no savings and no real earning potential. of course, there were the exceptions. Beverly arlynne went on to run a successful acting agency and of course some were to marry and never look back at their careers of yesteryear. With no universal health care and many without health insurance, the legends looked within their community for help, and the BHoF stepped up. The job of the weekender, along with the museum, is to raise money to help support the Legends of Burlesque in whatever way they need. For some, it may be bringing them to Vegas for the weekender, others it may be medical bills, but the support is there and grows bigger every year. on the BHoF Board, along with Dita Von Tease and Dirty Martini, you will also find the UK’s very own neil ‘nez’ Kendall. award winning photographer, neil’s passion for burlesque is almost unmatched. He is the curator of the museum and has painstakingly brought together hundreds of photographs and collectables from the careers of these wonderful women. over the years, he has got to know many of them personally, and his encyclopedic knowledge of the industry is unbeatable. The stories he tells are equally inspiring and heartbreaking and his personal friendships with many of these stars make his curatorship even more powerful. “I met Dixie in 1990 before the weekender started, prior to the resurgence in BurlyQ. I went to the Museum in Helendale, California and met her there. She wanted to attract people to come and see the collection, housed in an old goat farm in the Mojave Desert.

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She had spent her professional life on stage; she was a real show woman. She told me, ‘neil, I wanted to raise a profile for our little museum and back in the day I had been a Miss Flameproof negligee, a Miss Tinned Tomato, a Miss California so why not have a Miss Burlesque?’ That was how her mind worked!” That meant in the pre-internet era she mailed old press contacts and fans by snail mail or phone. Dixie was very bombastic so she wrote a grand press release stating that the burlesque legends would all be there: Tempest Storm, Lilli St Cyr et al. For the first show they weren’t there and when the press came to see the first competition she said, “oh I said they were invited, I didn't actually say they would show up!'' She was very funny: a real character. From that little seed, the Burlesque Hall of Fame grew. It grew because Dixie was the spirit of burlesque, she was our Godmother really. The Kitten DeVilles, Dirty Martinis, Dita Von Teeses, they all went to see her and the museum. It was called The Road to Mecca by industry pros because it was our home, it inspired us all. Her wonderful vision of what burlesque was and more importantly could be again, inspired us all. She passed away four years ago, and in neil’s last conversation with her she said, “you know neil, burlesque is like a calling, it’s like being a priest or something.'' neil reminisces that he loved that those words were their final contact. The Burlesque Hall of Fame is in the heart of Las Vegas’ arts District and is open all year round. The BHoF Weekender is held annually in the first week of June. Sources: Burlesque Hall of Fame, Behind the Burly Q by Leslie Zemeckis.

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you should

...go and love yourself Words: georgia harrup


ed hearts with roses and kisses on noses, champagne in glasses and how greener the grass is – we hear it every year… Valentine’s Day is coming. While love might be in the air leaving some wishing for diamond rings and luxury chocolates, as a new mum I am simply hoping for five minutes peace and the chance to pee alone. Nearing the end of my pregnancy, I heard time and time again about how to “prepare for no sleep” and “never expect to spend time with your partner or on your own again.” There were those mums already on their third or fourth child that warned me that luxury moments spent doing my hair and make-up would now be a thing of the past. I contemplated how I would make it through parenthood dressed in hoodies and leggings and shuddered at the thought. Safe to say, I dreaded it. I was sure that there would definitely be no time at all to love myself. Then came along my little girl. I didn’t sleep much in the beginning and dry shampoo was the elixir of life. I began to think that what I had heard was the truth! Now don’t get me wrong, it IS hard and there are days when all you want to do is curl up on the sofa and eat your body weight in crisps but those days don’t last forever. Postpartum bodies are hard enough to accept with all their new lumps and bumps and nothing seems to fit you in quite the same way as before. I have lost count of the times that I have looked in a mirror and wondered if other mums have the same marks, loose skin, and shape that I have. I have had the same body hang-ups as all the rest of you but I try and remember that from start to finish, my body did an amazing thing and out

of it all came a new love and a new life. Don’t be too hard on yourself and your new body. You are fierce, you are unstoppable and you deserve to be loved just the way you are! 1: Create your own spa day. Because no child sleeps “when you want them to”, get your other half or a family member to watch your little sprogs while you prep for this one. Run a bath, complete with bubbles, bath bomb – the works. Pop some scented tea lights all around the bathroom and play your favourite music. Whenever I get a rare bath to myself, it’s some classic Marvin Gaye for me! Chocolate bars or nibbles in the bath are optional but squeaky bath toys are absolutely not welcome. Paint your nails, wash and condition your hair without rushing and enjoy NOT having to share the shower with the little pitter-patter of tiny feet. A DIY face mask and a good exfoliator will make you feel relaxed, pampered and ready to face sticky little mitts again when you have to go back to mum life. 2: Have breakfast in bed. Now you could share this with your little humans if you like, but before I became a mum I enjoyed lazy lie-ins with my breakfast brought to me. Nowadays I would settle for a morning snuggle and a bowl of Weetabix. Set your alarm for a little earlier, creep downstairs, make your breakfast then tiptoe back upstairs and enjoy it in peace. My little one does “that stare” (the one that says: how dare you eat that in front of me without sharing it with me) every time I try to enjoy my coffee and crumpets. Read the morning paper, catch up on social media or just take five minutes to yourself and prepare for the day ahead.

3: Dance the night away... Or maybe the afternoon away instead. When you are on your own, you HAVE to do all the chores, simply because those clothes won’t iron themselves right?! It is so easy to feel like things are on top of you, especially when there is only you left to do them all. What is life without a little DISCO in it? Get on your dancing shoes, grab your toddler and dance the afternoon/ chores/blues away. It might still make you feel like you are doing household jobs but at least you are tiring out your little one in the process which is always a winning situation! Burn off those sneaky chocolates you ate all morning and sing at the top of your voice – because music + your best moves = happiness. However you make time for “mum” this Valentine’s Day, do whatever helps you feel like yourself again. Surely a happy mum equals a happy home and a happy home equals a happy life. It is not selfish to take time out, relax or (dare I say it) do something that you want to do for a change. The mini humans in our life learn from example and if my own little girl ever becomes a mum, I want her to know that she is loved and that it is okay to love yourself too. When you have watched so many re-runs of In The Night Garden that you could practically BE a Ninky Nonk, it is most definitely time to remember your life as it was pre-motherhood. Whether you have loved ones who are ready to spoil you or just those that you love to spoil, one thing is for sure. You should go and love yourself. To a Mum: Happy Valentine’s Day – you are ENOUGH. Love a Mum xo | 57

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lifestyle Tips for a


family photoshoot

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little babies, it’s hard to believe that either of them were ever in my belly! That is why I am so glad I invested in a pregnancy photo shoot and why I would urge you to do the same.


was 28 weeks pregnant with an ‘obviously pregnant belly’ when I decided to book our shoot with a lovely local gentleman who had been recommended to me by a friend. I would suggest that when looking for a photographer, you ask around fellow mummies first as they may have some suggestions for you. I wanted something very simple that focused mainly on me and my 4-year-old son and his relationship with my pregnant belly. Of course, I wanted my husband involved too and it wouldn’t have been the same without our furry baby, our little Chorkie. I thought it was lovely that he could be featured as he is such a big part of our family; don’t be afraid to suggest including your pet, whether it be a dog or a cat, a fish or a lizard! Most photographers love to do something a bit different. When choosing an outfit for the shoot, I really wanted to wear something that would show off my baby bump without showing it. Naturally it had to have a vintage feel, so I chose an empire line wiggle dress from Collectif, two dress sizes bigger then my norm, to accommodate my bump. I then had to alter the bust to fit, but this was quite simple and not time consuming, so wouldn’t cost much if you had to take it to a seamstress. I couldn’t find anything suitably vintage in the maternity sections on the high street, so this was a fabulous solution to give me exactly what I wanted and it made me feel super glam on the day. If you have chance, get your hair, nails

and even your make-up done. Anything that you believe would help to make you feel super confident about your body at a time when you might be feeling a little insecure about your changing shape. Make sure to wait until you ‘pop’ before scheduling your shoot. You don’t want to be booking photos before the 6 months mark, as you want it to be all about that beautiful, glowing, rounded belly! When choosing your photographer, ensure that there are plenty of reviews that state the way in which they interact with children. Our photographer was brilliant as he had children himself and really made my son feel comfortable and happy and not at all ignored or bored. This in turn made it a very enjoyable experience for us and for him and he was able to get some brilliant, natural, smiley shots. If you aren’t able to find your photographer through a friend’s recommendation, then I would suggest a meeting prior to the shoot so that you can really become comfortable with them. It is a great idea to bring images of other pregnancy shoots that you like, to give the photographer an idea of the aesthetic you are hoping to achieve. Finally, remember it is all about celebrating the here and now. Though it may not feel like it at the time, your pregnancy will soon be over, so relax and take your time with the shoot, cuddling and cradling your belly. Looking down at your bump will make it the focus of the photographs. It is after all, all about that clever belly.

Photo credits: Aran at Latitude Photography

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in the home

Greetings from Prague


Vintage Life caught up with Adam and Jirí from Nanovo, to find out how their love of retro furniture inspired the decor of one woman’s home.

How did the opportunity to create an interior solution for the house in Beroun come about? The house’s owner, Jana Valachovicova, is a long time customer at Nanovo. She has known our company basically from its first steps, and she always liked quality vintage designs and designers – she can discern from interesting and quality vintage designs and knows what’s great – thus she is a very valued returning customer-turned friend! We knew she was furnishing her new home and she wanted us to be part of it. Were all of the items sourced by yourselves? No, because Jana’s home is a combination of both modern and vintage items – it’s not all vintage, and we specialize in vintage designs only. However most of the vintage items we sourced ourselves and some she sourced herself, too.

Were there any items that required a lot of work doing to them?

All vintage things require a lot of love and work, because they have been used before and their history is written all over them. Some lamps don’t work and need fixing, varnish might be coming off or clocks may not run correctly. We fix all these issues, both large and small at our workshop in Prague 9. Taking care of quality vintage designs taught us a lot about renovation (we now have a specialized workforce but in the beginning, we fixed it all ourselves). For Jana’s home, we had to fix several beautiful dressers designed by Jiří Jiroutek for the famous Interiér Praha company. That means edging works, replacing all the old bolts, staining and varnishing work – that’s hours put into renovating these beautiful timeless Czechoslovak design icons. We love to discuss how items will be renovated with our customers, so sometimes we sell items in their pre-renovation state, hoping that some designer-lover will be eager to change all

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in the home

the colours and materials. When we do it ourselves, we like to respect the original forms and bring back their unique beauty.

What was the idea behind the finished look?

The homeowner, Jana, has a very distinctive taste and she has an amazing eye for combining old and new items. Reaching a vintage look with modern elements was the goal, and I think that worked out amazingly. For us, this was a very relaxing collaboration because our taste is very similar to Jana’s, and she had great ideas. We drove to her hometown, Beroun, with all the desired items and just helped her set them up. Sometimes our support requires more of an architect’s eye, but with Jana, it was sheer bliss and a lovely easy cooperation.

Did the owner of the property have any specific requirements?

Mostly she left the renovation to us, I think partially that’s because she shopped with us before, knows our taste and preferences and knows that we like to restore the items in a very gentle and sensitive way.

The kitchen has a modern look but you have incorporated a retro feel – how was this done?

Yes, the kitchen is brand new, modern, but it’s always about the combination with the little details. Porcelain, cutlery, crockery, vases and other elements bring out the vintage feel while keeping the handiness of a modern kitchen. There are plenty of such items we sell, including lamps, vases – even ashtrays – basically anything you can think of. I have to say though, it’s Jana’s final touch; she has a great sense of combining items, plants, flowers and also pictures. Without Jana’s final touch... it would just be a nice home.

Were there any difficulties with the project?

Not really, the only thing I can recall is that we were also fixing a very fragile wall clock and we had to fix it three times. The clock face was so delicate that every time we were putting the last screws on, the glass broke. Other than that, this collaboration was lovely and is still continuing to this day, which makes us very happy!

Are you pleased with the finished look?

Of course we are! Jana is one of our favourite customers. She knows what she wants but she’s also very reasonable in her choices. She likes what we do and we like her style – that’s a perfect combo (laughs)! But honestly, her choices are timeless, some things can be 130 years old, others 60 years old and other things can be brand new, yet they are in tune with each other.

Where can readers find out more about you?

Definitely on our website, or if they are in Prague, Czech Republic, they can stop by at our shop and talk with us about design, Prague, or whatever they’d like to! We also have Facebook (www.facebook. com/nanovoshop) where we post things we like, recommend, or just inspirations and ideas, so to keep up with the vintage design, I’d recommend following us there! Finally, we keep some inspiration and ideas up on Pinterest, ( Ask us anything you’d like, we’re design geeks and we’re always up for some nice chat!

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! e i t e e w S l a n o s a e S Keep It

YOUR FAST GUIDE to What’s in sEason nEar You

WORDS: kittY Von taStiQUe

northErn hEMisPhErE

southErn hEMisPhErE

Pomegranate this lovely old dame got her name from the medieval latin for ‘seeded apple’, although she is definitely not the latter. Pomegranate has been found in the tombs of egyptian queens and carbon dated in the soil of Jericho to the Bronze age! it is woven into the history of numerous cultures both symbolically and literally. these days we revere the not-so-humble pomegranate for less regal reasons. today the pomegranate is held up as a nutritious superfood, containing antioxidant vitamins like vitamin C, plus vitamin k and folate. the seeds are also a great source of dietary fibre and micronutrients. added to salads, desserts, drinks or even breakfast, they add a light tartness to any dish.

Raspberries these are my equivalent of lollies in the world of fruit and veg! remember amelie happily sucking them off her fingers too? they certainly conjure up images of happiness to many of us. the name comes from the anglo-latin for ‘a sweet rose-coloured wine’ or the Germanic word for ‘thicket’. Great for vitamin C and a raft of other nutritional goodies, they also satisfy those of us with a taste for the sweeter things in life. they are amazing in drinks, desserts (every night lately for me!) and even salads!

Squash reportedly squash were present in the americas before the arrival of humans and are likely to have originated in Mexico. they were domesticated around 8000 years ago and the name ‘squash’ comes from ‘askutasquash’, which means ‘a green thing eaten raw’. luckily these days we have the option to have our squash cooked or raw, although both are yummy! Squash is rich in vitamin C and also contains B6. although they are delicious steamed with a little bit of butter and garlic, i’ve also had them shaved with zucchini (courgette) ribbons in a salad and they were amazing! Brussels Sprouts now i know these aren’t everybody’s favourite but…they are actually rich in vitamin C and k, as well as containing folic acid and B6. My favourite way to eat these is to steam them first, before giving them a gentle fry with sesame oil, nuts and topping them with sesame seeds. Come on, you’ve got to give it a try!

Peaches recent studies have suggested that peaches may have been domesticated as early as 6000 BC in China before travelling with the romans and then the Spanish to the americas, then on to england and europe and the rest of the world. although they are a good source of fibre and vitamin C, the best thing about them is their amazing flavour punch. Speaking of which, they do indeed make a tasty addition to a punch and work well warm with some honey and nuts. Sweetcorn Sweet corn was first domesticated in Mexico around 10,000 years ago and has now become a staple in many cultures. Fun new ways to eat this old favourite include ‘corn pops’ with small cobs on sticks like lollipops that can be dipped into sauces or toppings, or i like to eat corn as part of my ‘sunflower salad’; whitlof/chicory leaves arranged in a circle like a flower, then topped with healthy options like meat-free protein mince, corn and my dairyfree ‘Parmesan’ made from cashews, nutritional yeast (this tastes like cheese), a pinch of salt and a dash of turmeric!

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Strawberry Fool

3 Tasty 1950s Desserts Words and Photographs Catherine Beck @vintage_frills introduction: Charlotte white

One of the things I love most about classic vintage recipes is the gorgeous desserts that were made using very simple ingredients. They can be whipped up in no time and make the perfect end to a meal. These are three of my favourite 1950s desserts.

Strawberry Fool You will need: 1 tin of strawberries ¼ pint evaporated milk ¼ pint whipping cream plus extra to decorate Juice of one lemon Fresh fruit to decorate 1. Strain the juice from the strawberries and push through a sieve to form a purée. 2. Whip the evaporated milk and cream together until the mixture is quite thick. 3. Add the lemon juice and strawberry purée and mix well. 4. Pour the mixture into a glass dish and decorate with cream and fresh fruit. 5. Leave in the fridge until ready to serve.

Catherine beck

& Fanny On

Has a passion for the past, which began as a child helping in her Grandparents’ antique shop. She collects vintage recipe books and kitchenalia and loves to recreate vintage recipes. She writes about all things vintage on her blog Vintage Frills. | 69

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Banana Whip Jelly You will need: Lemon jelly 2 lemons 2 bananas 1 egg white 1. Make up the lemon jelly – use the juice of two lemons to replace some of the water and add a little finely grated lemon rind. Leave in the fridge until almost set.

2. Whisk the egg white until it forms stiff peaks. 3. Mash the bananas. 4. Add the mashed bananas and nearly set jelly to the egg white. 5. Whisk together until fully mixed. 6. Pour into bowls and leave in the fridge to set. 7. Decorate with sliced banana and serve.

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Fruit Sundae You will need: Strawberry jelly Lime jelly Mixed seasonal fruit Vanilla ice cream Chopped nuts

4. Add a spoonful of ice cream 5. Add a layer of the lime jelly and repeat the fruit and ice cream layers until the glass is full. 6. Sprinkle with chopped nuts and serve.

1. Make up your jelly and leave it in the fridge to set. 2. Spoon a little red jelly into the bottom of a glass. 3. Add a layer of the chopped fruit. | 71

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Refined Sugar-Free

Jam Making

It’ll Make You Look Younger


ike it or lump it, the Western diet is now very high in sugar and whilst I am not against a sweet treat, too much sugar carries health risks. Overloading our systems with sugar has a harmful effect on metabolism and can contribute to all sorts of diseases. Having looked into the health benefits of following a reduced sugar diet I was tempted to make some sugar reductions in my own diet, however, when I realised that a direct link has been established between the amount of sugar circulating in the blood and how old a person looks I packed away the beauty cream and stepped away from the biscuit tin, whilst pledging to reduce my sugar intake. After all, scientists from the Leiden University Medical Centre in the Netherlands, and Unilever in the UK, have discovered that for every 1mm/litre increase in blood sugar, the perceived age of that person rose by five months. Well, the incentive of looking 20 years younger was a big lure in reducing my sugar intake, but my reason for looking at reducing sugar was that refined sugar robs you of energy and with two little ones in tow and a growing menagerie I need all the energy I can muster. My philosophy is and always has been, ‘a bit of what you fancy does you good’ and so my only plan has been to reduce my refined sugar intake and not cut it out altogether. As I spend a lot of time and effort preserving and love nothing more than a slathering of jam on my toast for breakfast, making refined-sugar free jam seemed like an ideal starting point. However, when it comes to jam I am a bit of a purist and have

Words & Photos: Seren Hollins

always been a great advocator of traditional methods and recipes that all include sugar so making a refined sugar-free jam was a monumental step for me. When developing recipes for jam that did not include cane sugar, a few issues popped up and it took a little bit of experimentation and thought to get some good results. The food safety of the sugar free jam was never an issue because it’s not the sugar in jams that makes a recipe safe; it’s the acid level. Here, the acid level is high enough to keep the sealed jar contents safe and unspoiled, but the jam is not going to win any beauty contests because it has a duller appearance and is lacking that sugar-filled glossy lustre that traditional recipe jams have. I’ve also found that sugar-free jams can discolour and become brownish in their jars over time. There is also the matter of keeping; unlike traditional jams, the sugar-free version only keeps for two months in the fridge (unopened) and once opened you only have a week in the fridge before it starts to turn mouldy. However, when it comes to the taste I have been pleasantly surprised and to be frank, rather delighted. The thing to remember with jams that exclude refined sugars is that what you put into it is exactly what you’re going to get out of it. Now whilst I always preach about using the best fruit in jam making, when it comes to sugar-free jam you really need to select the sweetest, most perfectly ripe fruit you can find. After all, there will be no added sugar to mask tartness or pep up the end result; the taste of the ingredients you add into the jam pan will be what you are tasting in the finished jars of jam.

No-Added-Sugar Pear & Lemon Jam Ingredients: 4 llbs. pears, peeled, cored 2 lemons 59 ml (2 fl. Oz) white grape juice 3 teaspoons pectin powder (for jam making) Method: Take the peeled pears and quarter them. Cut each quarter of pear in half. Place the pear pieces into a saucepan and cook (covered) with enough water to cover the bottom of the pan for 10-12 minutes, until soft. Cool the softened pears and then blend with a food processor, hand blender or good old-fashioned potato masher if nothing else is to hand. Set the pear puree aside. Finely slice one lemon, after removing the pithy core – to do this cut the lemon in half along the stem line and remove the pithy centre, turn each lemon half over and slice it finely. Place the lemon slices into a small saucepan, cover them with water and simmer for ten minutes. In a large saucepan add the water in which the lemons simmered into the pear puree and add the squeezed juice of the remaining lemon to the mixture. Bring the pear mixture to a boil over a medium heat and then reduce to a gentle simmer, stirring regularly to prevent sticking or burning. As the pears and lemon juice are simmering, blitz the lemon slices in a food processor. Add the lemon pulp to the simmering pears and stir well. When the pear mixture is a soft smooth consistency remove it from the heat and add the white grape juice, stirring well.

Bring the pear mixture back to a boil and quickly stir in the pectin solution. Cook the jam, stirring constantly, for exactly 1 minute. Bring it back to a boil and remove it from the heat. Pour the jam into sterilised jars, wiping the rims clean before adding the lids. This jam will keep for 8-10 weeks in the fridge and is delicious in its own right, but best spread on thick toast. Refined Sugar Free Strawberry Jam This recipe for strawberry jam does take some time to make in the absence of sugar cane but the end result is pure strawberry goodness. It is not sweet in a traditional jam way, but it is sweet enough and has an amazing buttery smooth and creamy consistency. It’s a natural taste of summer and if you are not keen on very sugary jams then you’ll love this recipe. Ingredients: 500g fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered 1 tablespoon water 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 2 teaspoons arrowroot powder Instructions Place the prepared strawberries in a jam pan and simmer them over a low heat, mashing them gently with a potato masher. Continue this process until the strawberries are soft. Meanwhile, whisk the water, lemon juice and arrowroot powder in a medium saucepan then add to the strawberry puree. Bring the mixture to a boil slowly over a medium heat, stirring frequently. Lower the heat and simmer gen-

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tly until it thickens. As it begins to thicken, stir frequently to avoid burning. You will know it is done when you draw a rubber spatula through the centre and it creates a gap that stays open for a few seconds and then fills back in. Once this happens, remove the pan from the heat and decant into sterilised jars. The arrowroot is the thickener in this jam, but imparts cloudiness to the finished product, so the resulting jam is a pinkish red and not the glossy deep red of traditional strawberry jam. Keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 months. Blueberry Heaven My children adore blueberries. Considering the quantities that they eat, I am really surprised that they are not Smurf coloured. I had really good results with making refined sugar-free blueberry jam because blueberries are naturally sweet, and when cooked down the sugars seem to caramelise and intensify the flavours of the fruit. Ingredients 750g fresh blueberries 1 tablespoon water 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 1½ teaspoons arrowroot powder Method: Place the blueberries in a jam pan and over a low heat, gently crush them with a potato masher to create a rough puree. Meanwhile whisk the water, lemon juice and arrowroot powder in a medium saucepan and then add to the blueberry puree. Bring the mixture to a boil over a medium heat, stirring frequently, and then simmer until it thickens. Once the mixture is of a thick and a spreadable jam-like consistency, remove it from the heat and decant into sterilised jars. This jam will keep for two months in the fridge. Top Tip: when making jams that rely on arrowroot powder for thickening, you must allow for the fact that the jam will thicken further upon cooling. If the finished jam is too thick or gloopy then you can return it to the jam pan and add some water before reheating and this will often resolve the problem. Well I cannot promise that I will be exclusively making sugar-free jam from now on, but I have certainly enjoyed being able to serve up a healthier option at breakfast and the results have been tastier than I ever expected. | 73

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five classic pink cOcktails



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Catherine beck


hether you’re having a romantic night in with your significant other or a girlie night with friends, Valentine’s Day is a great excuse for a cocktail night. In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, here are a few of my favourite pink cocktails. Each recipe makes one cocktail.

Words & Photos: Catherine BeCk

1. Gin Daisy You will need: 4 ice cubes 1 tsp grenadine Juice of one lemon 2 tbsp orange juice 2 parts gin 1. Put the ice cubes into a cocktail shaker. 2. Pour the grenadine, juice and gin over the ice. 3. Shake well. 4. Strain into a glass. 2. French 75 You will need: 4 ice cubes Juice of one lemon 3 drops of Angostura bitters 2 parts brandy Prosecco or champagne 1. Put the ice cubes into a cocktail shaker. 2. Pour the juice, bitters and brandy over the ice. 3. Shake well. 4. Strain into a champagne flute. 5. Top with the prosecco or champagne. 3. Pink Seafoam You will need: 4 ice cubes Juice of one lime 1 tsp grenadine

has a passion for the past, which began as a child helping in her Grandparents’ antique shop. She collects vintage recipe books and kitchenalia and loves to recreate vintage recipes. She writes about all things vintage on her blog Vintage Frills.

1 egg white 2 parts vodka 1. Put the ice cubes into a cocktail shaker. 2. Pour the juice, grenadine, egg white and vodka over the ice. 3. Shake well. 4. Strain and pour into a glass. 4. Gin Floradora You will need: 4 ice cubes 1 tsp sugar Juice of half a lime 1/2 tsp grenadine 2 parts gin Dry ginger ale 1. Put the ice cubes into a cocktail shaker 2. Pour the sugar, juice, grenadine and gin over the ice. 3. Shake well. 4. Pour without straining into a glass. 5. Top with dry ginger ale. 5. Singapore Gin Sling You will need: 6 ice cubes Juice of half a lemon 2 tbsp orange juice 1 part cherry brandy 2 parts gin 3 drops Angostura bitters 1 slice of orange 1 slice of lemon Cocktail cherries Soda water 1. Put 4 ice cubes into the cocktail shaker. 2. Pour the juice, cherry brandy, gin and bitters over the ice. 3. Shake well. 4. Put 2 ice cubes into your glass. 5. Pour the mixture over the ice without straining. 6. Garnish with the orange, lemon and cherries. Top with soda water to serve. | 75

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Feed Your Family... For a Fiver! As a mum on a budget, it is not always the penny pinch of Christmas that I feel the most but rather the January broke blues soon after. With the last of the tinsel being packed away and relatives returned to their rightful places, the promise of payday seems a million miles away.


lthough my fridge is a little lighter and my cupboards now empty of festive fancies, I still feel grateful that I am able to afford and consume so much delicious food. With basic rations in WWII being little more than just 4oz of bacon and ham, I simply cannot imagine what on earth I would have been able to cook for my family! Simple soup, broth, casseroles and stews all seem like firm family favourites made from the available rationed ingredients – many of which are still on my own family dinner table. Having heard stories of nettle soup, and bread and butter pudding, meal times seemed a very different tale back in wartime. With families growing their own vegetables and making rations stretch to last, those that cooked were inventive to say the least. Food back then was more about what would fill you up and give you energy for the day’s work ahead rather than convenience. Being from Yorkshire, my chosen “go to” recipe when

it’s cold, wintery and miserable has got to be a trusty Yorkshire ‘Toad In The Hole’ – it’s budget friendly and you can feed a family of four quite comfortably. If like me, you are in the middle of weaning your little one then it is suggested to watch the salt content in the sausages and premade batter mix. My little girl loves this dish as it’s squidgy enough for her to use her hands to feed herself but it’s also a good hearty meal too. Whether you are a mum on the go, weaning little ones or trying to juggle fussy mouths with hungry tummies, you need something that is super quick to make and a good all rounder. For less than a fiver this easy, filling meal is guaranteed to have your little ones asking, “Please sir… can I have some more?” Ingredients: 1 tablespoon olive oil 8 pork sausages Salt and pepper (optional) Batter – or purchase a store own brand of batter mixture for about 50p! 165g plain flour

2 eggs 160ml milk 120ml cold water Method: Preheat oven to 220 C / Gas mark 7. Spread oil in the bottom of a square baking dish. The key is to have the oil super hot before pouring in the batter. Try putting the sausages in for ten minutes on their own before adding the batter. Sift flour into a separate bowl, and then beat in the eggs. Gradually stir in the milk, water, salt and pepper. Beat well. You can also just use the packet of store bought batter at this point if you prefer and haven’t made your own. Add a dollop of Dijon mustard to make your meal awesome. Pour the batter over the sausages, bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden and risen. This is easy to portion up and freeze for when you need something quick and yummy. Many thanks to Zane Horsfall and the Horsfall family for photographs and Kelly Anne Dancer for the recipe.

Georgia harrup Fully immersed in living a ‘vintage life’, Georgia Harrup performs nationwide both as a soloist and as part of 50s/60s girl group The Northernettes.

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This month in history

Carrie-Ann Dring A vintage style blogger at Something Definitely Happened, and puts her passion for vintage down to her love of history, fashion and stories. And shopping – she likes that too.

February February may be the shortest month of the year, but an awful lot has happened in this month throughout history. Here are some of the key events from Februarys past...

1920s – used to • On 14 February 1929, Sir Alexander Fleming introduced penicillin world. the to – t acciden by ed discover cure bacterial infections and

1940s the • During World War II, on 13 February 1945, Allied forces firebombed ive destruct most single the In rubble. to it reducing , German city of Dresden bombing of the war, more than 3,400 tonnes of explosives were dropped on the city over two days, killing up to 135,000 people. 1950s • During a speech in West Virginia on 9 February 1950, Senator Joseph for McCarthy claimed to have a list of over 200 known communists working in ives subvers about hysteria de nationwi sparking State, of the Department the American government. Eliza• In the UK, on 6 February 1952, Princess Elizabeth became Queen beth II when her father died after a long illness. James • On 28 February 1953, two scientists from Cambridge University – Watson and Frances Crick – announced they had determined the structure

shutterstock/ Who is Danny

1930s Dean • The 1930s were a good decade for the arts, with the births of James Cash Johnny and 1932) (8 February 1931), Elizabeth Taylor (20 February (26 February 1932).

of DNA.

1960s the • On 20 February 1962, John Glenn became the first American to orbit Earth. • On 21 February 1965, African American nationalist and religious leader Malcolm X was assassinated during a speech in New York City. 1970s , • During a gig on 10 February 1972, David Bowie introduced his alter-ego and Rise The album concept His world. the to , Stardust Ziggy an spacem Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders of Mars is considered one of the greatest albums of all time. Are there any to add, readers? Join the conversation on our Facebook page – search ‘Vintage Life

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Everette Collection/ shutterstock

shutterstock/ Who is Danny


uring the 30s & 40s British Jazz was heavily influenced by developments on the other side of the Atlantic and home grown talent soaked up the innovations of their American contemporaries like sponges.For one young man the draw of swing and jazz proved irresistible and he made the decision to turn his back on his medical studies and dive head first into the jazz scene. Kenrick Reginald Huymans Johnson was born in Georgetown, in what was then British Guiana (Modern day Guyana), on 10th September 1914. His father was an eminent doctor in the town and a wealthy man. Johnson was a bright lad and understandably his father had hopes that he’d follow him into medicine. Following his initial education at Queens College Guyana, Johnson’s father dispatched him, aged 14, to England where he attended the William Borlase School in Marlow, Buckinghamshire. The shipping manifest of the SS Nickerie shows that the young Johnson travelled alone and arrived in Plymouth on 31st August 1929. He settled into school life and excelled at his studies and in sports. He was a big lad, topping off at 6’4” and of an athletic build. He played football, where his size and athleticism placed him naturally in goal and cricket for the school, standing out both in ability and appearance. Let’s not escape the fact that his was one of the few black faces attending public schools in those days and this wasn’t to be the first instance of Ken breaking down barriers. Like most young people, Ken Johnson had other interests and one of these was music and dance. His interest in swing had been ignited whilst at college in Guyana and this interest burned bright during his time at William Borlase. It’s said that he went on to start his medical studies at Edinburgh University but sources vary and others say that he left school and immediately embarked on his career in music. However one thing is certain, Ken Johnson did not study anything for long after he left school since he sought out American dance teacher and choreographer Buddy Bradley. Bradley had worked with the stars of stage and screen stateside including, Ruby Keeler, Lucille Ball and Fred Astaire. In one of those strange twists of fate, Astaire

culture suggested to British theatre magnet Charles Blake Cochran in 1930 that he should bring Bradley to London to work with Jessie Mathews, a rising star of dance on the British theatre scene. Cochran concurred and Bradley duly arrived in London. Cochran was a flamboyant showman who amongst other things introduced Revue to the Savoy Theatre and Roller Skating to Germany. He was an Oxford educated man of means who worked with Wild West shows, boxing and Shakespearian productions and along the way won and lost his fortune on more than one occasion. Bradley was a few years older than Ken and they hit it off. Bradley was impressed by Johnson’s fluid style and athletic ability and somewhere along the way he earned the nickname “Snakehips”. His love of swing music eventually lured him to the US and more importantly to Harlem. Here, in 1934 he experienced firsthand the music of Calloway and Henderson and resolved to form his own band. In the meantime he got film work appearing in Oh Daddy and he also found work on the cabaret circuit. Incidentally if you want to see Snakehips dance there is only one 34 second clip available from the film Oh Daddy; you can find it on You Tube and it’s worth watching. He returned to Britain in 1936 and was recruited by band leader Leslie Thompson to act as a dummy band leader in front of his outfit, The Emperors of Jazz. Thompson wanted Johnson to sing and dance out front while he handled the serious musical side. This seemed to work and the Emperors toured looking for work. They were approached by Ralph Deane, a music agent whilst in Sheffield and Deane booked the Emperors for a six month residency at the Old Florida Club in Mayfair. They were to start on New Year’s Eve 1936. Things were on the up and it seemed that Johnson had made it. However events took a turn when Thompson discovered that Johnson had signed a separate contract with Deane after a few months and in a heated exchange Thompson declared that since they hadn’t signed another contract neither he nor his band were obligated by Johnson’s new contract. However Thompson states in his autobiography that the band ended that night and once the inevitable happened the entire



Words Jim williams

rhythm section of the Emperors moved with Johnson to his new outfit Ken Johnson and his Rhythm Swingers. To complete the ensemble Johnson recruited his long-time friend Leslie “Jiver” Hutchinson and Carl Barritou. His band were as keen as Johnson to reproduce the classic swinging sounds he’d heard in Harlem three years before and they stayed on at the Old Florida Club to rave reviews. As his reputation grew Johnson’s band featured in BBC radio broadcasts which helped to cement his place at the heart of Britain’s swing movement. It’s fair to say that at this time his popularity exceeded his white contemporaries. Interviews in Melody Maker and the press further enhanced his name to the extent that the band were asked to appear at the exclusive Café de Paris in 1940. It was at this time that Johnson renamed his outfit the West Indian Orchestra, to coincide with taking up residency at London’s premier West End night spot. It was here that there was a wobble, The Café de Paris was an exclusive venue and the audience wasn’t quite ready for Johnson’s energetic music. In his book A History of Jazz in Britain, Jim Godbolt states that Johnson was forced to play more commercial music to his audience and in Johnson’s own words he states that “he was determined to make the Café de Paris swing or die trying, and I nearly died!” That said he won the audience over and by 1941 he was packing the place night in and night out. It’s worth briefly describing the Café De Paris; it still exists in Coventry Street and lies four floors beneath London’s bustling streets. It’s not a big place, the dance floor is quite small but it was popular and considered safe. When World War 2 broke out, fears of catastrophic bombing lead the government to close night clubs, theatres and cinemas in the heart of our cities. When the onslaught failed to

materialise they relaxed the ban and these venues became the focal point of off duty servicemen and women and those trying to escape the war. The Café de Paris was four floors down and was never ordered to close, being considered by all as safe. On 8th March 1941 fate struck again and in the midst of an air raid a bomb fell into the Café de Paris and exploded. 30 people were killed and 60 injured. Amongst the dead was Ken Johnson, aged just 26. It’s been debated exactly how the bomb managed to find its way into the club, some say it struck the stairs and ricocheted down into the club, most say it entered via an air shaft. Eye witness testimony seem to support this as survivors recalled the glass ceiling imploding seconds before the blast. It is also agreed that the bomb was a 50kg device. Suffice to say music in the UK suffered a major loss with Johnson’s death. Carl Barritou kept the legacy alive afterwards but the sad thing is that Johnson only recorded 16 sides for posterity, the majority on Decca. This along with surviving BBC recordings and a 34 second clip of his dancing is all that remains. His widowed mother stated on hearing of his death, that the light had gone out in her life.

Jim Williams Host of Swing Time on in London and Racketeer Radio in Seattle. His passion is swing, jazz, blues, R&B, shuffle & jump blues. All backed up by the history of each genre and the artists involved. | 79

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Vintage Singer and Performer

Based in Liverpool, Lisa loves vintage country and rockabilly music. She spends her days teaching and her evenings singing songs.

Becki Fishwick Becki is a singer with a passion for all things ‘vintage’. Whether she is donning a beehive to perform as Amy, performing for the elderly as a 40s sweetheart or rockin’ out with her band, she always entertains while looking utterly fabulous. I caught up with her to find out more. How would you introduce yourself to our readers? I'm Becki Fishwick, a 33-year old singer and business-owner from the Lake District. I spent my 20s working overseas and on cruise ships, then living the city life in Manchester but I've now returned to my hometown and have built up a reputation as a singer with a distinctive vintage style. I’m also mum to two beautiful Pugs! You recently became a full-time singer, how does it feel to be making a living doing what you love? I never gave up on my dream of becoming a singer for a career. It didn't come easily and I’ve worked some cool jobs and some that I’ve hated, lived in some wonderful places and aw-

ful flat-shares, sung in the smallest of pubs to the most beautiful hotels but I got there in the end. I have my love for vintage-style to thank as it really set me apart from the rest, along with having a varied repertoire of songs. Most of the weddings I’ve performed at have been themed around a particular vintage era. Do you prefer to sing solo or as part of a live band? As well as singing solo at events such as weddings and parties I also work with an 8-piece band called The Retros, which is wonderful. We work so well together and they bring the best out of me, as I really push my voice to compliment the powerful music they create. We also work together on an Amy Winehouse tribute show.

Images by Becky Ryan

Lisa-Marie Rose

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WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE vINtaGe era aNd WHy? the 1950s is my personal favourite. it’s upbeat and colourful and the look can be very casual yet classy. i mix my style up with jumpers and capris in the day and wear circle dresses for performances, i love the sounds of the rock ‘n’ roll era and find singing the songs of connie Francis, Patsy cline and elvis brings a sense of nostalgia to my audiences. WHo are your bIGGeSt INflueNceS IN termS of vocal Style? Most recently Amy Winehouse has influenced me both with her style and jazz and blues influences. She wrote such amazing songs. the late greats such as Patsy cline, etta James and Dusty Springfield are voices that are very influential to me and currently I'm just in awe of imelda May. i can't wait to watch her live again next year! WHo IS your vINtaGe faSHIoN IcoN aNd WHy? i've always loved Audrey Hepburn for her casual, classic approach and Marilyn Monroe and elizabeth taylor for their Hollywood glamour. currently, Dita Von teese can do no wrong; i really admire her beauty. IF YOU HAD TO CHOOSE 5 ‘VINTAGE’ ALBUMS TO LISTEN TO FOR tHe reSt of your lIfe, WHat Would tHey be? Back to Black / Amy Winehouse, Frank / Amy Winehouse, Mayhem / imelda May, Cheers To The Fall / Andra Day, The Collection / connie Francis, At Last / etta James. HoW bIG a part doeS vINtaGe Style play IN your everyday lIfe? i am inspired by the 50s era and wear both repro and vintage for all my events, mainly i go to my Vivien of Holloway dresses as i feel great in those! in the daytime i go for comfort

over style and often wear basic pieces from the high street paired with my Freddie's jeans. I find accessories by the likes of splendette and Luxulite really enhance my look. WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE vINtaGe Item? My brown faux-fur coat. WHere do you lIke to SHop for vINtaGe Style? Vivien of Holloway and collectif for dresses, Freddie's of Pinewood and Lady k Loves for more casual pieces. i love rocket originals and BAit for shoes and splendette is just amazing for jewellery, i have lots of their stuff. WHat do you lIke moSt ABOUT THE ‘VINTAGE SCENE’? Meeting new people and seeing people with similar interests all in one place is a real thrill. it’s great to be around other people who enjoy the same music as me (which isn't so popular in my home-town). it's really wonderful seeing everyone dressed so beautifully too. If you could collaborate WItH aNyoNe lIvING or dead, WHo Would It be? imelda May! (Hope she is reading this, hint hint!) HoW caN readerS book you for tHeIr eveNt or keep up to date oN upcomING GIGS? i’m on social media at or I have my own website They can email me at QuIck fIre! • Beatles or Stones? Beatles • Circle or wiggle? Circle • Jeans or dresses? Dresses • Heels or flats? Heels • Jive or stroll? Stroll • 40s or 50s? 50s • Vintage or repro? Repro | 100

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Magic of music Welcome February! 2017 got off to a grey skied start but Blue Monday didn’t beat us, and hyggeligt* habits have kept us cosy when the sun was nowhere to be seen.


e tend to find the start of the year allows just a little more free time than usual. We love to hunker down, assess the previous year and set new goals. We find ourselves hunched over our laptops clicking through YouTube, watching back-to-back documentaries on Netflix, surfing through music, and reading, reading, reading! January is a great time for absorption and organisation. Empty paged diaries for the year ahead call out for arrangements to be made. As we made plans we reflected on the previous year, agreeing that playing The Lyric Hammersmith with smooth toned sensation Joe Stilgoe was a fabulous highlight for us! We are vintage girls living in a contemporary world, bringing vintage bang up to date with our music and style. Joe is a man after our own hearts; a long-time fan of Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis and a Jazz vocalist come occasional drummer.

Sharing a bill with him was a match made in retro nostalgia heaven. We brought the hot harmony and satin glamour to Joe’s exquisitely entertaining big band shebang! Based on the assumption that at the start of the year you, like us, plan a few dates to look forward to, Stilgoe has upcoming tour dates across the UK and a new album out: New Songs for Old Souls. If you aren’t already, we urge you to get in the loop with this gentleman’s music (and a true gent he is.) What better time than early in the New Year. Joe says: "It's modern nostalgia, it's me looking back to all the great music that has influenced and inspired me - from the 40s, the 50s, the 60s - but then fitting that influence into the modern day to make a modern sound." The Tootsie Rollers take the best of the old and mash it with the best of the new. At a recent reception with Prince Charles (see Tootsie article Issue 74) Prince Charles suggest-

ed how important it is to keep the magic of music from bygone eras (with particular reference to Cole Porter’s lyrics) current and accessible. Joe does this with his own wit and charm offering a modernised version of a classic style. If you are reading this in Hygge heaven at home we say you deserve a treat so get ‘Googling’ and discover this gem of musical joy, Joe Stilgoe. Enjoy. With love, The Tootsie Rollers More upcoming Tootsie Rollers’ gig dates to come soon! *Hygge is the Danish art of living well. In simplistic terms the philosophy centres on cosiness. @thetootsies Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!

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miss vintage UK 2016 Interview: Sarah Dunn

The Mr and Miss Vintage UK competition is part of Twinwood Festival, the UK’s leading vintage music and dance event held each year over the August bank holiday. The competition was started in 2011 as a way of celebrating the incredible vintage style and dedication of the festival’s many glamorous visitors. The 2016 live final, held in front of a packed audience in the festival’s decadent Colonial Club, saw the dapper Matthew Palmer win the Mr Vintage category title and the elegant Laura Hollowell take home the coveted Miss Vintage trophy.


ntries for the 2017 competition are already open and there is still time to submit your own entry! Just email a picture of yourself in a fabulous vintage look and you could be attending the festival for free and also win some incredible prizes from our competition sponsors, including Collectif Clothing, Tickety-Boo Photography (who did Laura’s Hollywood shoot featured here) and of course Vintage Life Magazine! See the Twinwood Festival website for full competition rules and details. We chatted to the reigning Miss Vintage, Laura, about her experience in the competition and her love of all things vintage. Hi Laura, so tell us a little about yourself? I'm Laura, 28 and from sunny Northampton. I moved to Liverpool over two years ago after studying Theatre Design at LIPA in 2007. I am currently Deputy Wardrobe at the Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse. I love my job; I make, alter and customise costumes and play with wigs and hair almost everyday – hair being one of my many obsessions. I started my own vintage

hair and make-up business in 2012, "Madame Medusa Beauty"; this helped me develop and achieve so much. Without Madame Medusa I would not be where I am today. How did you get into vintage? I've always had a love for vintage, from an early age I would watch old movies with my Grandparents, recreating scenes from musicals and making costumes out of my Nan's old bridesmaid dresses. I loved the glitz and the glamour and wanted to re-create this for myself. How would you describe your vintage style? Is there an era or a particular vintage style icon or movie star that inspires you? Lately my daytime vintage style for work is a 50s circle or pencil skirt with a knitted sweater or blouse adorned with one of my many brooches. On any shopping trip I'm always guaranteed to come home with a new brooch. My vintage style varies – I can wear a 1940s dress or suit to a late 50s wiggle dress. I feel pieces from this time suit me and I feel great wearing them. | 83

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I like to mix genuine vintage pieces with repro brands – Rocket Originals and Freddie's of Pinewood – and I have many favourite Etsy shops, but nothing beats the feeling of finding the perfect vintage dress that fits like it's made for you. Being able to sew and mend clothing is a bonus when you love vintage. I buy pieces that are too big or small for me and items that need some TLC, and I bring them to life again. I do have a habit of doing this and currently have a box full waiting for me to work my magic... My Instagram feed is full of so many fabulously dressed ladies it's hard not to be inspired everyday. What’s your favourite vintage outfit? My favourite vintage outfit has a very special story. I was on tour with a theatre show staring Hayley Mills. We were in Nottingham for a week and everyday I would pass a vintage shop to get to the theatre. In the window was a beautiful bright blue 1950s dress with hand painted detail in primary colours. The dress had a big blue bow and a fabulous collar. I went into the shop to try it on and it fit me perfectly, I was so excited. I had to wait until payday to buy the dress and had it put aside. I loved it so much I told everybody about it at work including Ms Mills. The end of the week came and when I got to work there was an envelope on my sewing machine. Inside was a letter on lilac paper from Hayley expressing her gratitude towards me with regards to the show and a cheque with a note on it saying to go and buy the dress, and that's exactly what I did. What made you decide to enter Miss Vintage UK? What was the final like? I had entered the competition two years previous and had a great time meeting so many like-minded ladies; I wanted to experience it all over again. I thought I'd try my luck at winning tickets to Twinwood Festival and be in for a chance at winning some great prizes. The live final was so much fun. All the ladies and gents involved were wonderfully dressed and all so supportive and complimentary of each other.

Why do you like going to Twinwood Festival? I like going to Twinwood Festival because there is so much to do, great music, lots of dancing and hours of shopping. Everybody is so friendly and welcoming it's a great atmosphere. What is your best Twinwood moment? This can be from any year. Apart from Winning Miss Vintage UK, I don't think I can pinpoint one moment, there are so many... squeezing into the Nags Head for a good old fashioned sing a long and watching the big bands on the main stage in the rain. My boyfriend is a trumpet player and I love experiencing the festival with him. What is your favourite thing about Vintage Life magazine and are you enjoying your winner’s subscription? Yes, I am enjoying the new format; hearing from genuine vintage writers is a great read. I love Melanie's fashion section with her gorgeous poodles. I look forward to my magazine each month. Thank you Vintage life xx

Tickety-Boo photography by

What is it like to have won Miss Vintage UK? Wonderful, I was so overwhelmed and didn't expect to win. I am enjoying the experiences coming my way so far... Part of the prize was a Hollywood photo shoot at Beck studios, also known as Tickety Boo photography. I had a great afternoon in the studio with Peter who is so knowledgeable and passionate about creating authentic photography. It was a fabulous experience and I'm thrilled with the pictures.

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culture Before there was Marilyn, before there was Audrey, before there was Bardot or Bergman or Bacall, there was Louise Brooks. Born in Kansas in 1906, dancing for a living by 15, Louise was the archetypal, hedonistic jazz baby. She had no formal acting training and said that

Louise brooks

Silver screen stars

she just played herself, which was, according to her, “the hardest thing in the world to do – if you know that it’s hard. I didn’t, so it seemed easy”.



t 19 she was dancing as one of the legendary Ziegfeld girls, but she remained in New York when they went on a national tour in order to appear in a minor role in a Paramount film called The American Venus. She signed a contract with Paramount and began to be noticed by the press. A clearly enamoured Photoplay reporter wrote, "She is so very Manhattan. Very young. Exquisitely hard-boiled. Her black eyes and sleek black hair are as brilliant as Chinese lacquer. Her skin is white as a camellia. Her legs are lyric." In 1928 she left Paramount and went to Berlin where she filmed her most iconic role, that of Lulu in Pandora's Box. The story of Lulu had already been made into a film in 1922, but Louise played the role with an innocent amorality that contributed to it becoming one of the great classics of the silent era. Louise made most of her 25 films before the 1930 Motion Picture Production Code censorship guidelines (often referred to as the "Hays Code") came to Hollywood. The code attempted to remove the stigma of immorality around film-making that had lingered since its earliest days; its declared intention that: "No picture shall be produced that will lower the moral standards of those who see it." Louise came to hate Hollywood and after finding success in Europe she refused to return to Paramount for the dubbing of her voice for The Canary Murder Case that was being turned into a talkie. This led the studio to start

the vindictive and damaging rumour that Louise didn't have the voice for talkies, sending her career into a rapid decline. In 1932 she declared bankruptcy, then spent a brief stint dancing in nightclubs, marrying her dance partner Deering Davis in 1933. They divorced a year later. It was her second and final marriage; her first marriage to director Eddie Sutherland having ended in 1928. She did eventually return to Hollywood, but her moment in the limelight had passed. Her last film was Overland Stage Raiders in 1938 playing opposite John Wayne, after which she retired from acting aged just 32. After Hollywood, Louise fled back to her family in Wichita, Kansas, which she described as "another kind of hell". She opened a dance studio but the venture failed and in 1943 she returned to New York where she worked in radio soaps for six months. After being fired from two further jobs, now living in "a grubby hole on First Avenue" and dependent on gin, Louise contemplated suicide. A monthly stipend from an ex-lover was enough to bring her back from the edge and she now attempted to prove herself "an honest woman" with a job as a sales girl at Saks on Fifth Avenue. After two years she resigned and became what she called a "kept woman". She told writer Kenneth Tynan that "Pabst [the director of Pandora's Box] once called me a born whore, but if he was right I was a failure, with no pile of money and no comfortable mansion. I just wasn't equipped to

spoil millionaires in a practical, farsighted way. I could live in the present, but otherwise everything had always been a hundred per cent wrong about me." Louise eventually settled in Rochester, New York, where she began her second successful career as a writer. She had a love of good literature, theatre and music that she had inherited from her parents, but she was self-effacing about her intelligence. She called her autobiography Naked on My Goat (a quote from Goethe’s Faust) but after reading it through she threw it into the incinerator. She later wrote an article entitled, Why I Will Never Write My Memoirs in which she observes revealingly that she was “Born in the Bible Belt of Anglo-Saxon farmers who prayed in the parlor and practiced incest in the barn. And, although our sexual education had been conducted by the elite of Paris, London, and New York, our pleasure was restricted by the inbred shackles of sin and guilt... In writing the history of a life I believe absolutely that the reader cannot understand the character and deeds of the subject unless he is given a basic understanding of that person’s sexual loves and hates and conflicts... I too am unwilling to write the sexual truth that would make my life worth reading. I cannot unbuckle the Bible Belt. That is why I will never write my memoirs.” Louise wrote of her childhood and personality development: "Never having experienced the necessity for lying at home, I went into the world with an established habit of truthfulness,

which has automatically eliminated from my life the boring sameness that must be experienced by liars. All lies are alike. My parents' resolute pursuit of their own interests also accounted for my early autonomy and my later inability, when I went to work in the Hollywood film factories, to submit to slavery." When preparing for the role of the innocent black-bobbed hedonist Sally Bowles in Cabaret, Liza Minnelli asked her father, film director Vincente Minnelli, "What can you tell me about thirties glamour? Should I be emulating Marlene Dietrich or something?” He told her that she should study everything she could about Louise Brooks. The rediscovery of Brooks began in the 1950s culminating in 1957 when Henri Langlois presented a festival of her movies entitled Hommage à Louise Brooks. He declared "There is no Garbo! There is no Dietrich! There is only Louise Brooks!"

Katrina Simpson Katrina Simpson is a writer, teacher and bibliophile. She has loved vintage films since the age of five when she saw her first Doris Day musical. | 85

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Goran Bogicevic/shutterstock


Stick your nose in a

good book

Elvis style From zoot suits to jumpsuits By Zoey Goto This fascinating book examines musical icon Elvis Presley’s style, from his beginnings as a young man in Memphis in the 1950s to his untimely death aged 42 in 1977. The book begins by covering Elvis’s early style in his early career – how he was influenced by what people wore on the famous Beale Street and his relationship with store owner Bernard Lansky, who helped him to create his distinctive early image. Elvis’s style is then recorded throughout the rest of the 50s and into the 1960s, before

focussing on the 1970s and that iconic white suit. The book isn’t just concentrated on Elvis’s fashion choices – there are chapters dedicated to his hair care, the food he ate and his favourite diners, his love of Cadillacs and motorcycles, and the houses where he lived: from his humble beginnings in a shotgun shack sharing a bed with his family to the iconic Graceland. The final chapter looks at the star’s legacy and how his style is still influential. Elvis Style is packed full of information and contains glorious black and white and colour images of the star, plus items of clothing, cars, etc. This is the perfect book for any Elvis fan and is definitely a great read.

Rainbow crocheted blankets

By Amanda Perkins

Crochet is a great hobby and this book features a variety of patterns with a colourful vibe, enabling the reader to create afghans and throws. The book begins with highlighting a selection of colours that can be used before suggesting the appropriate equipment and techniques. There is a handy guide to how to use the book too, which gives tips on reading a crochet chart, a stitch chart and tells the reader the

meaning behind each abbreviation. In regards to the projects, the book beings with traditional crop circles before advancing slowly to more complicated designs. Each pattern gives details as to the colour palette used, how the blankets are constructed, information on the finished sizes and also which tools and yarns should be used. There are also colour charts for each pattern which can be used as a reference as to what the finished pieces should look like. This book is pefect for any crochet hobbyist.

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The Art Of

Letter writing

kathy siney Kathy is a selfemployed pin-up artist from Merseyside, recreating her love of vintage glamour and rockabilly.



The art of letter writing sadly seems to be a fading tradition in today’s technological age. Sending emails and texts have become so convenient to instantly communicate with people, that a lengthy, handwritten letter to a friend or relative is often the last thing on our minds. For many of us, anything sent via ‘snail mail’ as it has now become known, is usually no more than a greeting card or scribbled post-it note to accompany a package.

feel fortunate to have grown up before the digital age and like many 1980s teenagers at school, I had pen pals all over the world and friends throughout the country, to exchange letters with and swap trinkets through the post. I always looked forward to the postman arriving and I have kept many of those letters today. For this reason, I have decided to make a conscious effort to put pen to paper more often. There are many other reasons to revisit our letter writing skills. A letter can convey so much, from a simple hello and exchange of news, to expressing love or offering consolation in times of need. Taking the time and effort to express our feelings and acknowledge someone can mean the world to the recipient. In these modern times of shortened 'text speak'

and the use of emoticons instead of words, a letter is a good way to give some thought to grammar and what we would actually like to say to someone. In fact, writing allows us time to think before we speak, which is quite often a blessing! Writing letters is so personal and each sheet of paper retains an essence of the person who wrote it with their unique style, using their own words from the heart. Letters capture memories and become keepsakes to be reread and enjoyed for many years, far outliving deleted texts and emails. These paper sentiments are often passed down through generations; love letters from grandparents to one another and precious communications from soldiers during the war. For many soldiers, their only solace and comfort was to exchange letters with loved ones back home, and for those who tragically

lost their lives and never returned, those letters became a legacy and a little piece of history to be treasured. Writing is also a perfect way to try out calligraphy or learn hand lettering in new fonts, using glorious flourishes and swirls, in place of a quick click of a mouse to select the style of font we need. It's well worth taking the time to practise and it can even make an artistic gift in the form of framed word art, especially when personalised with names or meaningful song lyrics. With the vast array of beautiful stationery available today, it's a lovely reason to choose some pretty notepaper and perhaps even a traditional fountain pen and begin to capture your thoughts. Perhaps in a hundred year's time, someone may still be reading and treasuring your letters from the heart. | 87

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Emma edwards Also known as Miss Bamboo, her alter ego and reproduction vintage clothing label. She has been on the ‘vintage scene’ since 1983 and adores mid century style and Airstream adventures.

Head out to the

slopes I

nitially, skiers were mocked as “plank-hoppers” given that the preferred activities of the day were ice skating and tobogganing but by the turn of the 20th century, skiing began to emerge as a popular leisure option, marked by its thrilling speed and appreciation of nature. (Skiing into Modernity: A Cultural and Environmental History – Andrew Denning) In the early decades of the 20th century, skiing symbolised luxury, requiring the wealth and means to decamp to remote Alpine locations for weeks at a time. However, it was with the introduction of ski lifts in the late 20s and 30s that we began to see the changing face of skiing as we know it today, with the development of ski resorts and tourism. After World War 2, skiing was becoming recognised as a popular choice for a 'sporting holiday' that continued to grow into the 60s and beyond. Today, skiing is more readily accessible, with a range of resorts and prices to suit a variety of pockets. You don't even need to go abroad as Scotland offers plenty of ski opportunity, weather permitting! In terms of 'vintage skiing' there are some resorts that are still true to their origins such as the Strawberry Lodge in Kyburz California, old-school, with bad taxidermy and historical oddities, or the art nouveau Hotel Belvedere, Wengen, built in 1912 and refurbished sympathetically to provide today’s comforts without losing the atmosphere of the olden days of the "Grand Hotel Belvedere”. However it is hard to find many regular vintage ski events or festivals. In March 2016 the Scottish Snow Festival included a retro ski exhibition where you could have a go at skiing using vintage equipment with a prize for the best outfit. In February 2015 La Clusaz celebrated its centenary with a retro ski event at the resort. While events are few and far between it is certainly worth keeping an eye out for celebrations of this kind. While Miss Bamboo is a 'Pacific' gal at heart and has always

Picture of model wearing ‘Riviera’ vintage inspired ski jacket: Hanson Leatherby France vintage skiing poster: Pictures of Bridget Stanford: c/o Bridget Stanford

Archaeological evidence of skiing dates back to 6,000 B.C when it was used as a means of transportation or getting around in a snowy environment. In the mid 19th century the Norwegians pioneered skiing as a leisure activity and by the end of the 19th century, the social elite were taking to the Alps, seeking a diversion during prolonged winter stays at Alpine resorts.

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France vintage skiing poster: Pictures of Bridget Stanford: c/o Bridget Stanford

been drawn to warmer climes, it was nice to experience a onetime skiing trip to the beautiful resort of Courchevel in the French Alps. It really was truly breathtaking on those snowy pine lined slopes with amazing views. Lured in by ski poster visions of the past and the glamour of 60s and 70s Bond films, I was not thrilled, however, by the realities of having to wear more practical modern ski wear. I nevertheless insisted on 'white' ski boots while sporting a vintage look where possible! The holiday was going swimmingly until I ended up on the top of a mountain that was too terrifying to ski down. After slight (ok, perhaps more than slight) hysteria, the rescue mission set in, courtesy of Phillipe and his snow mobile! By the end I’m pleased to say that Miss Bamboo really could ski quite well though perhaps did not feel fully at ease with this pastime – more practice required! A far more accomplished skier is Bridget (Biddy) Stanford, well known on the 'vintage scene', for her glamorous 40s and 50s style. She has been skiing since she was 10 years old when her parents used to send her and her siblings to Switzerland in the Easter holidays, to a ski school for Parisian children – in the hope that they would learn to ski AND speak French! In the late 70s her parents moved to the Alps and skiing became an integral part of their lives. Biddy has an array of fabulous skiwear from various eras – from the heavy wool of the 40s ("very uncomfortable when wet") to her mother's coordinated outfits of the 60s ("neither warm nor waterproof") and 80s graphic printed Patricia Roberts jumpers worn with 50s ski pants. Her favourite outfit is her mother's pale pink ski pants and matching anorak, trimmed with white rabbit fur around the hood, though always freezing cold when wearing it, it certainly looked amazing. For Biddy, the 40s and 50s are the most stylish eras but as she points out, the lack of waterproofing makes the outfits more suitable for ‘après ski’ than actual ski! So whether or not skiing is your 'thing', you can still embrace your inner vintage ski bunny this winter with vintage ski style. Keep an eye out on eBay and Etsy for original pieces or go repro. Retro stirrup ski pants can be found on the high street from Bon Marche and Mango (stirrup trousers) and look great paired with the 'Belle' alpine sweater from Hell Bunny and a 40s/50s inspired ski jacket from Riviera clothing's online store Morellos. I also found a very 1950s inspired ski patterned sweater in TK Maxx but you could always get a matching hat and sweater combo knitted from an original vintage pattern for a truly authentic look. If only we could still buy those outfits from my 1939 Montgomery Ward catalogue! In terms of vintage memorabilia, check out for a great selection of vintage ski posters, antique skis and lodge décor. Richard Allen, founder of Vintage Ski World, has been skiing since he was a child and has over time, acquired one of the largest private collections of antique ski equipment, clothing, posters and memorabilia in the world. A fascinating website with links to an interesting in house blog and other vintage skiing related sites. | 89

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shopping - she likes that too.


eep in the Norfolk countryside lies the Sandringham Estate (or, as it’s more commonly known, Sandringham), the country retreat of Queen Elizabeth II and the place the royal family spends their Christmases. They’re not the only family to appreciate its charms – mine visits every year (usually on the way to the seaside), and I’ve never quite shaken the idea that I might bump into the Queen or Prince Philip out for an afternoon constitutional. The Country Park (all 240 hectares of it) is where we’ll often spend our time. It’s open to the public free of charge every day, and as well as several trails and walks, there are plenty of lovely spots for a picnic in the sunshine. And when the weather’s dark and dreary (just as likely in July as February), there are plenty of lovely trees to shelter you from the rain!

Exploring Britain

the sandringham estate

If you’d like to explore the estate more thoroughly, adult tickets for the house, museum and gardens are, at the time of writing, priced at £15.50. In researching this article I’ve discovered that private evening tours of the house are available, which sounds pretty exciting. But before I get side-tracked about sneaking off for a nose around the pantry, let’s talk a bit about the house’s history. It was built in 1870 as a private home by the Prince and Princess of Wales, later Edward VII and Queen Alexandra. Edward was the eldest son of Queen Victoria and the great-grandfather of the current Queen, and the house has been passed down (and remained a private home) through four generations of British monarchs. During your visit, you can check out how they’ve added to the décor over the years. Visitors can look around the main ground-floor rooms, which the royal family regularly uses and

which are still heavily influenced by the Edwardian style. Well, that’s if you’re paying to visit the house. Should you receive an invitation directly from HRH, I’m guessing you’ll have access to a few more. Staying indoors, the nearby museum contains a variety of vintage motor vehicles owned by the royals, including children’s cars and carriages. You’ll also be able to see the first car owned by a member of the British monarchy, a 1900 Daimler Phaeton, and the fire engine that the estate’s fire brigade once used. If arts and crafts are more your thing, you can head through to the old coach houses and stables, which have been converted to house a wide variety of wonderful objects (for want of a better word). You’ll find various commemorative pieces ranging right the way back to George V’s reign, as well as ceramics and plaques from the Sandringham Dairy,

which sadly no longer exists. And so to the gardens! Laid out across 60 acres and changed extensively as each monarch has incorporated their own style and taste, you’ll find sweeping lawns, a rockery and even a stream walk. If you’d like to explore Sandringham further once your visit is over, the nearby St Mary Magdalene parish church contains a great deal of local history. For those of you who love a bit of royal family trivia; it’s the church they attend every Christmas (and where my cousin – aged three – gave the Queen Mother a bunch of flowers and cheerfully told her, ‘You’re welcome!’, but I digress). As with previous articles, I’d like to close by telling you about the scones. They’re pretty special and you can buy homemade jam – made using estate produce – to take home too, which is always a bonus. light

Also known as Miss Bamboo, her alter ego and reproduction vintage Carrie-Ann Dring clothing label. She has A vintage style blogger been on the ‘vintage scene’ at Something Definitely Hapsince 1983 and adores pened, and puts her passion mid century style and for vintage down to her love of airstream adventures. history, fashion and stories. And

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I n this section



intro pagesTHIS ONE.indd 15

28/09/2016 11:26


Most Marvellous Emma Pringle Community leader of the 1940s/1950s Most Marvellous Meet Ups

Meet Ups

Welcome Back Vintage Life Readers, wow what another action-packed month of meet ups and new friendships! This issue, we will be telling you all about our fantastic annual Christmas Ball and our very first awards ceremony.

As Most Marvellous Meet Ups is about forging a community with new friendships, businesses and people looking out for one another, we decided that in honour of our little community, we would have an annual Christmas Ball to celebrate the achievements within the group over the last 12 months. This year, we went 1950s and held ‘The Enchantment Under the Sea Dance’ from Back to the Future. We decided after several options that we would hold the event at ‘The Deco’ theatre in Northampton, as the theatre fitted our ‘vintage’ requirements. No Back to the Future themed event would be complete without the ‘Delorean’ and ours was no exception; we were like giddy children when we managed to finalise the booking. Over the nine months planning time, we had lots of offers of support and donations of items from our members and businesses that are in our group. This included fantastic donations to the ball’s raffle, with all proceeds going to ‘The British Lung Foundation.’ One such item was donated by Michelle from Magnificent Makes – the banner that went above the stage in the film, advertising the dance. We could not have had this on the budget we had available. We were looking at making a version, when the kind offer from our member came in. This is exactly what the ethos of our group is about and the businesses and members certainly lived up to that. We also had the wonderful ‘Rose Devine’ sing for us at the event and again she gave her services for free. We were also entertained by ‘Paul Ace’, the in-house DJ and ‘The Jailbreakers.’ After all the preparations and help from our members, the evening was soon over and we said our goodbyes for another year. But the very next day, we announced the theme for next year: ‘Puttin’ On The Glitz’ (The Jazz Age) and the excitement began all over again. We would love to hear your suggestions for next year’s theme and if you want to participate in the event.


s well as having our annual ball, we decided this year to also recognise members and businesses in the vintage industry who our members feel were most deserving. Once the nomination categories were chosen by members, we put out the categories for our members to nominate who they felt should win. Once the deadline was over, we then set up a secure and confidential system for voting and this proved popular as we were inundated with votes. Clare, one of our team members, set to work liaising with the nominees and doing the hard work of putting the awards together. Now, no awards would be complete without a fancy name and ceremony, so we decided to call our awards The Marv's and have this take place straight before the ball started. Lucy, one of our members, volunteered her services as compere for the evening and even dressed in a top hat and tailcoat for the event; she did a fantastic job. Here are the winners of our awards: • Best Vintage Photography: TicketyBoo • Best Vintage Blog: Georgia May Williams • Best Large Vintage Event: Festival of Vintage

• • • • • • • • •

Best Small Event: Pin Up in the Park Best Hair & Beauty: Sarah Bloor Best Original Vintage: Rachael Wragg Best Vintage style: Lori Jade Best Seamstress / Knitwear: Felicity Esme Rackstraw Best Reproduction Brand: Rocket Originals Best Independent Retailer: Scarlett Rage Best Vintage Entertainment: The Tootsie Rollers The 'Jenny' award: Holly Foster

The Jenny award is named in memory of the woman who inspired the group, and was the most prestigious award of the evening. This could only go to a member for outstanding achievement within the group. Holly Foster, as well as being a regular in the vintage community, has also been active, given advice to members, set up and attended several meets and actively encourages the groups ethos of 'Community Spirit' so it was well deserved. After another month of fun and frolics, we are now putting our feet up temporarily and looking to the new year and the fun we have in store.

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Credits: Ball Pic 1 - Credit Ben Adams / Ball Pic 2 - Holly - Credit Stewart Rogers | 125

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the jukebox & retro fair Lianna is a singer (sometimes model) specialising in singing the hits of the 50's and 60's. She has a strong passion for the music and fashion of these eras.


hadn’t even stepped in the building and I was already immersed in a fabulous 50s vibe. The Jukebox and Retro fair is the longest running show of its kind in the UK and from the outset, it isn’t hard to see why the show has kept a loyal audience whilst continually gaining more visitors. The Jukebox and Retro Fair merges together all the elements of the vintage, rock and roll and Americana scene to create a haven for any fan, whether you’re looking for a jukebox, vintage treasure or a repro dress. There is also plenty to see and do if you’re not a shopper whilst you’re soaking up a 1950s atmosphere, including a theatre with brilliant live bands and a DJ playing throughout both days. A small tearoom

was also open with a side room where Lipstick and Curls were providing a wonderful vintage hair styling and makeup service, and I was serenading the tea-drinkers and cake-eaters with some 1950s and 60s classics. There was also plenty to satisfy any shopper as there were two enormous halls full of various items for sale from (of course) jukeboxes and diner furniture to music memorabilia, records, clothing and much more. The huge variety of vintage style items on offer, alongside the classic cars and the heavy focus on live music, really make you feel as though you are fully absorbed in the feel of the 1950s rock and roll era. The atmosphere in the theatre was very lively and such fun, with many people

dancing along to the live bands and DJ. “Surrey Jive’ were also in attendance so the dance displays were particularly impressive. The bands who were keeping everyone on their feet throughout the weekend were The Hicksville Bombers, Memphis Flyers, The Vee 8s and Greggi G and his Crazy Gang, as well as the Rocking Rebel Music Machine playing throughout the day. This ensured that from 10am until 5pm you were sure to be kept rockin’! The next Jukebox and Retro fair is due to take place on the 22nd and 23rd of April at Brighton Racecourse. It’s a great day for any vintage, rock and roll, 1950s enthusiast with every aspect to be enjoyed.

Photographs by Simon Callaghan Photography

Lianna Haynes

When I arrived at the Jukebox & Retro Fair at Chessington Community Centre I was surrounded by a large array of the most beautiful classic American cars. As I strolled through the impressive selection In The Still Of The Night played on a loud speaker. if it wasn’t for the chilly weather I felt as though I was literally on the set of Grease!

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The Adventures of Fu Manchu

The Canberra club

michelle hollamby


Walking into the Canberra Club, Salmesbury Aerodrome on a Saturday evening, you can’t quite believe your eyes… the scene is reminiscent of a lavish ornate setting in the middle of China Town.

hile there are no waiters to show you to your table, you are greeted by one or more members of the gangster squad and a whole picture perfect setting of lanterns, Chinese symbols, banners and tables adorned with flowers and fortune cookies. All around are the most splendid wares to compliment the evening’s themed dance 'The adventures of Fu Manchu'. The gangster squad love to bring people together and Fu Manchu creates a perfect focal point for tonight's dance and all things associated with this fictitious criminal genius, who was created by the British author Sax Rohmer. As the guests arrive in their finest oriental and vintage themed outfits, the room becomes vibrant with colour and charm. Dress to impress is the order of the night and the wide smiles cross their faces, as they see the rich colours and decoration of this fabulous Art Deco inspired room. The stage is set – complete with a gold adorned chair for Fu Manchu himself, scorpions, dragons and palm trees, lush backdrops and quirky table extras such as 'Allens cocaine tablets’ (it's just sherbet in a dish really!), fans for the ladies to keep themselves cool in between dancing and the aroma of burning incense floating through the room. The drinks flow as the DJ Katz Korner plays music from the 1920s, 30s and 40s and the dance floor begins to fill. Everyone is having a fabulous time embracing the mood of the night, laughing, chatting and loving the photo opportunities created by the many props placed in the room with help from the evening’s official photographer, Rob Vanner.

The night is in full swing and soon the gong sounds. On to the stage enters Fu Manchu himself, closely followed by his bride. They both seat themselves on the stage and the evening show then begins. 'The daughters of Fu Manchu' (the victory girls) enter on to the dance floor with a dance routine to a medley of songs from Miss Saigon, dressed in oriental style dresses. The girls move around the floor full of vigour and style and the guests applaud each step of the way. Fu Manchu steps forward and addresses the room with a menacing stance and soon has everyone laughing as his accent takes on an unexpected twist (a little Italian or even Indian more than oriental it seems!). It all adds to the fun and with that he moves to exit the stage and is followed by boos: perfect audience reaction for any villain! Gifts are given out by his bride to those chosen by Fu Manchu, to have exceeded his expectations with their outfits. The chosen guests are brought together for a social dance. The raffle is drawn and more dancing is done until the clock strikes 12 and it's time to go home. A night to remember and enjoyed by everyone, just one of the many themed dances being hosted at the Canberra club Salmesbury Aerodrome by The Gangster Squad. The next themed dance will be 'Cuban Pete’s Havana club' with DJ G.I. Jive. This will be held on Saturday 18th February 2017. Think mambo and cocktails and join the gang for another fun night in this fabulous venue. For tickets contact Ray or Chris on 07739 231 991 / 07719 907 818 FB: The gangster squad. | 95

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last christmas Wife to a grumpy husband, mother to three grumpy children, 1950s fashion obsessive, record collector and award winning vintage events organiser! Tell Gemma about YOUR event and why she should visit it!

I didn’t get a night out... As much as I adore being self-employed, the one big thing I miss is the ‘Works Christmas Do’. Yes, you read that correctly. I genuinely miss those seasonal nights out with work colleagues. It’s been so long since I’ve had a tepid Christmas meal, wore a paper crown in public AND got to dance to Last Christmas that I decided that this year I’d gather together a group of friends and venture out of my tiny village in search of festive fun.


uch to my dismay, not many of my friends were up for a ‘Party Night’ but luckily I managed to persuade them to take a trip to Nottingham for ‘The Gilded Merkin – Burlesque & Cabaret’ hosted by the one and only Miss Scarlett Daggers. Guiding us through the evening’s entertainment in the most amazing green sequined kaftan was my gorgeous friend Kiki DeVille, so I knew from the outset that it was going to be a fantastic night! Think Elizabeth Taylor telling of her love of The Archers punctuated with the often intimate and downright hilarious everyday life of this grande dame of Burlesque. ‘The Gilded Merkin’ shows have been running since 2012 and I was lucky enough to have Scarlett curate a show for us at ‘The Summer of Vintage Festival’ earlier this year. With her incredible background as both a performer and organiser, she brings together the perfect balance of burlesque, comedy and cabaret. I was even more excited for this performance as I finally got to catch my first ‘Boylesque’ performer Russell Bruner and appearing alongside him on the bill was Kiki Lovechild – who doesn’t love a clown?! Russell not only treated us to a step perfect display of ballroom dancing with fellow performer Bonnie Fox, but we also got to see his cheeky side as he stripped down to reveal several different pairs of heart print pants… culminating in him protecting his modesty with just a bowler hat. We were a raucous crowd. He was very brave!

But for me, it was Kiki Lovechild who stole the show. I will never be able to listen to Total Eclipse of the Heart in the same way ever again and it was one of those occasions where I genuinely wish I’d been chosen from the audience to participate. Those guys on stage looked like they were having the best time EVER! It’s made me even more determined to catch one of his live shows in 2017. How he conveys so much by saying so little is just pure genius, go see him live. You won’t be disappointed! But enough of the boys, let’s talk about the girls! Gilded Merkin regular Missy Malone is an old school vintage goddess who oozes glamour and decadence. She is the perfect contrast to Scarlett Daggers’ tongue in cheek festive routines, complete with saucy balloon popping and unwrapping herself as the ultimate Christmas present. We left The Glee Club full of Christmas cheer and smudged mascara from laughing so hard we were crying! It was the best Christmas present I could have given my pals and I love that slowly but surely, I’m introducing even more of them to the wonderful world of burlesque. You can catch ‘The Gilded Merkin’ on Sunday February 26th at The Glee Club Birmingham and on Sunday March 29th at The Glee Club in Nottingham. Go to for ticket info.

Photos by Martyn Boston

Gemma Miller

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Featured Event 26th February Pop Up Vintage Fairs London, St Stephen’s Rosslyn Hill, Pond Street, Hampstead, London NW3 2PP. 50 stalls packed with vintage fashion, menswear, jewellery, homeware, antiques & collectables. Jazz trio Café Manouche performing live. Vintage Allsorts Tea Room serving homemade cakes, refreshments & savouries. Opens 11am – 4pm Entry £2 Adults/£1 NUS

12th February Pop Up Vintage Fairs London join the IACF Antiques & Collectors Fair at Alexandra Palace, Alexandra Palace Way, London N22 7AY for vintage & antiques shopping under one very large roof! Public 9.30am – 4.30pm. Get 2-4-1 entry on the website and pay just £3 per adult. Normal entry £6.

18th February LouLou’s Vintage Fair. Newcastle Civic Centre, Barras Bridge, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8PP. 11am-5pm

26th February Lou Lou’s Vintage Fair. King’s Hall, Kingsway, Stoke-on-Trent, ST4 1JH. 10am-4pm, £2 entry, under 12s free.

19th february The London Vintage Fashion, Textiles and Accessories Fair. Hammersmith Town Hall, King Street, London, W6 9JU. £10 from 8am-10am, £5 from 10am-5pm.

26th FEBRuary The South Manchester Vintage Fashion and Accessories Fair. Britannia Country House Hotel, Palatine Road, Didsbury, Manchester, M20 2WG. 10am-4pm, £3 entry, £2.50 students.

12th February The National Vintage Wedding Fair. Chiswick Town Hall, Heathfield Terrace, Chiswick, London, W4 4JN. £4.

25th February Glasgow’s Affordable Vintage Fair. Wasps Artists’ Studios, 141 Bridgegate, Glasgow, G1 5HZ. 11am-4pm,

4th March Cumbria’s Affordable Vintage Fair. Rheged Centre, Rehills, Penrith, Cumbria, CA11 0DQ. 11am-4.30pm

16th FeBruary Nantwich Civic Hall Antique and Collectors Fair. Civic Hall Nantwich, Beam Street, Nantwich, Cheshire, CW5 5DG. Public 10am-4pm, £1.50 adults, £1 concessions, children free of charge. Trade 8.30am-10am (free with card).

25th February Vintage Jumble Sale. Rangeworthy Village Hall, Rangeworthy, South Gloucestershire, BS37 7LZ. 10am1pm, free admission.

4th March Vintage Saturdays at the Shipping Forecast. 15 Slater Street, Liverpool, L1 4BW. The first Saturday of every month. 12-5pm, free entry.

17th February The Vintage Collection LFW. Courthouse Hotel, 335-337 Old Street, Shoreditch, London, EC1V 9LL. 18th February Oxford Vintage Kilo Sale. Catholic Chaplaincy, The Old Palace, Rose Place, Oxford, OX1 1RD. 11am early bird entry, £3 on the door. General admission 12pm, £1.50.

26th February Holmes Chapel Antiques, Vintage and Collectors Fair. Holmes Chapel Leisure Centre, Selkirk Drive, Holmes Chapel, Cheshire, CW4 7DZ. Trade 8.30am-10am (free with card), public 10am-3.30pm, adults £2, children free of charge. 26th February BathVA Vintage and Antiques Markets. Green Park Station, Green Park Road, Bath, BA1 1JB. 8.30am-4pm.

5th March The East London Vintage Furniture Flea. York Hall, 5 Old Ford Road, Bethnal Green, London, E2 9PJ. 10.30am-4.30pm.

Events in jan – FEB

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