It’s only A style icon but I like it…

Style icon: Jean Shrimpton.

I have a link to Jean. A tiny link. In fact it’s not even my link but my Mum’s. Meet my Mum – Andy. She’s quite a babe these days and, as this photo from about 1969 shows, she was quite a babe in the 60s too!
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My Mum worked in a local bank in a very rural part of Mid Wales for a few years before she went to College. It so happened that Jean Shrimpton had a holiday cottage nearby and she came into the bank one day to open an account. My Mum happened to be free and so she helped out and took Jean through all the paperwork. Later, Mum’s colleagues wouldn’t believe her when she told them who’d just visited. Like I said, it is a very rural part of Wales and we don’t get many interesting visitors!

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A few weeks later Mum went to the cinema and saw Jean there, she remembered her and said hello and the next time she was in the bank she asked mum if she’d enjoyed the film. I love this story. It’s always pleasant when you meet a celeb and they take the time to make conversation with you.
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Jean Shrimpton is one of the key figures of ‘Swinging London’ and is often cited as one of the world’s first supermodels. She started modelling at 17 and was soon dubbed ‘The Face’, one of the highest paid models of the time and Glamour magazine named her ‘Model of the Year’ in 1963.
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She was involved In promoting the miniskirt and caused a stir when she stepped off a plane in Melbourne wearing a dress that stopped 10cm above her knees! No hat, no gloves and wearing a man’s watch too. I say!
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She dated photographer David Bailey for several years, in fact he left his first wife to be with Jean. They were engaged and she has stated that she owes her career to Bailey. It was a mutually beneficial working relationship as many of Bailey’s early photos of Jean were well received, helping further his career.
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So, why style icon? Well, she has pretty amazing eyes and it cannot be denied that the camera does love her. I must admit to being a sucker for the 60s styles she wears and the fact that she was definitely instrumental in the creation of the miniskirt is a pretty immense thing to have on your CV. I mean, seriously, what have you done with your life?! Also, those pins. I would kill for legs like that. Yes, she’s gamine (waiflike and boyish – I looked it up) and I guess she may have begun the fashion industries’ love of the boyish figure and subsequent media obsession with women’s weight. But that’s hardly her fault. And it’s changing. Ever so slowly, I believe it is changing.
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But most of all, she was nice to my Mum. I’d expect the same from any supermodel…

It is with an anecdote for the grandchildren I say:
It’s only vintage but I like it!

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It’s only Retro Peepers but I like it!

I’ll be honest. I’ve been weak. I was tempted and as Oscar Wilde advised, I gave in to that temptation.

I have blogged before(https://itsonlyvintagebutilikeit.wordpress.com/type/link/) about Retro Peepers (for link see list on the right) Annie Towler’s brilliant website for buying retro frames. I bought two pairs of her Peggy specs last summer and blogged about buying and fitting them. Deciding I’d like something in a more 1940s vein I perused Annie’s site and settled on the Miller specs.

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They arrived a week or so ago and I headed out to the park on a ridiculously cold and sunny Sunday morning to take some pics. I took my new tripod and my new lens. It’s true to say I’m still learning to use both of them and far from happy with the results but hopefully you can get the picture from these.

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The Miller frames are a lovely tortoiseshell and catch the light beautifully. They’re a much fuller, rounder lens than my Peggy frames but they aren’t heavy. I’m very happy with the look and fitting them was a doddle. You can read about how here in my earlier post. I was much more confident this time. In a matter of minutes I’d shaped them and I’ve not had any slippy specs moments at all this week! Once again Ciliary Blue(see right for link) were swift and professional with their glazing and if you’re in the market for specs I’d definitely recommend Retro Peepers and Ciliary Blue.

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It is with a 1940s gaze I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

*I paid for all the items reviewed in this vintage adventure and the opinions expressed are my own!*

It’s only a String of Pearls but I like it…

As I mentioned previously I asked the Dr for a gift for Valentines Day. It was an accessory I felt I was missing, something that I’d get a lot of use out of. Something that would have been a common gift, traditional for an 18th I believe, in my Mum’s generation. A string of pearls.

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He chose well – A plain pearly string with a gold clasp inset with a tiny diamond. They’re real, freshwater pearls and each one is unique. I like the simple yet classic design from www.hsamuel.co.uk. It’s a gift I’ll treasure and have for many years, wearing them over and over with different outfits.

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You may have noticed something else. The lovely Flo (www.facebook.com/florawestbrookphotography) advised me to get a new lens for my camera and I spent couple of hours today playing with my vintage lens. I could not be happier – I figured out the self timer and sat semi-clad in my window taking these! Oh My. Then I edited them. It’s a first attempt and I’m not 100% happy with these but it’s a first step of many.

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Anyway, I’m incredibly lucky. The Dr is too, too generous and I have fab friends to help me with my photography.

It is with a sense of decadence I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

*I paid for the goods included in this vintage adventure and the views expressed are all my own!*

It’s only (Faux) Fur but I like it…

I have a dream. I am dreaming of a winter outfit that I can wear to my Mum’s wedding on the 27th December. I have bought the dress – a delicious offering from Collectif that I feel a million dollars in. I am gutted I can’t show you, but I really want it to be a surprise on the day. The wedding is in Wales and the service is taking place in a tiny stone Church which is just a few doors down from my Mum’s house. Which is the house she grew up in and the house I knew as my Grandparent’s home.

I have a dream of a fur stole. Not a fur coat, just a stole or cape. A sliver of softness and warmth around my shoulders.

So I began my search. I tried the high street, and there are quite a few options but I didn’t feel the styling went with my vintage inspired dress. So I tried eBay. And I revelled in a host of beautiful options, lovely shapes, patterns and shades. But there was one big snag. Most of the vintage furs were real fur. So I searched for the faux furs and they just weren’t as nice. I had a long debate with Dr P and we decided it wasn’t ethical to wear real fur. I became despondent. Where was I going to find this item?

Now a little while ago I saw advertised in Southampton some Drive-in Movies organised by the people from Yellow Vintage Fairs. I squealed, messaged my sister, Mrs JMP(http://mrsjmp.wordpress.com ) and soon we were the proud owners of tickets to see Elf in December. These tickets came with entry to their vintage fair on November 30th too.

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As it happened, my Mum and two of her friends were visiting that weekend so we resolved to take them along.

A chilly Sunday dawned and all my plans to dress up 40s style melted into Just. Wanting. To. Be. Warm. I put on a thick pair of jeans, long sleeved top, thick cardi, coat and scarf. A decision I didn’t regret for a minute.

The event didn’t disappoint. I began my quest for fur as soon as I arrived and there were lots to choose from. Mrs JMP and I even found this little fella – head, legs and claws still attached!

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If I needed any more confirmation – which I didn’t – I could not wear real fur. Ever.

My Mum and I found these fetching numbers. I’m a fan of the turban and I think I can definitely pull it off! My Mum said she had a hat like this in white that she wore to a wedding in the 60s. Amazing!

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We took a much needed break for tea and cake and Mrs JMP and I did some skiing in front of the backdrop.

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Having chatted, discussed and reminisced (“Gran had that china!” “I had one of those when I was a little girl!”) we all headed back into the fray, to the sweet strains of the lovely ladies singing Andrews sisters classics, and made our purchases. I found and bought a lovely faux fur cape and a vintage handbag too. Both are perfect… But I can’t show you. It’s seriously killing me! I tried the whole outfit on just now and it’s everything I wanted it to be. Can’t wait to wear it.

So I have been on a journey. A journey of fashion. A journey of self discovery. A journey of ethics. A journey of finding new weasely friends. And it was a joy my friends!

It is with a love of animals I say:
It’s only vintage but I like it!