A vintage Update

It seems like an age since I last wrote about my vintage and charity shops finds. A glimpse at one of my favourite vintage blogs – Porcelina’s World – this morning inspired me to share a few of my recent vintage and charity shop finds.

Summer is a great time to find a vintage bargain. There are great car boot sales which are a good hunting ground. I found a great blue crimplene skirt for 50p, and a gothic black dress (pictured below) for just £2. Car boot sales allow you to barter and you can often make an offer if you find a few good items. We visit Wales every August and always check out a large car boot that takes place in a farmer’s field just outside Borth – it is well worth a look if you are in the area.

Car boot finds

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1930s coffee pot and four cups and saucers £2

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Vintage dresses £2 each.

Charity Shops

I always find charity shops to have richer pickings in the summer. Maybe this is because people are on holiday so there is less competition to find the designer and vintage buys, or maybe it is because people are having wardrobe clear-outs at this time of year, I’m not really sure, but this summer has already been a great one for me in terms of picking up bargains. My current favourite is the blue/pink 1970s sundress that I wore to visit Mahon on my recent holiday. It is in perfect condition and has a lovely, timeless feel to it.

 

 

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1970s sundress £4.99 Acorns hospice shop, Walsall.

The gold chainmail bag was another great find. I love metallics on holiday because they will match with just about anything, and this 1980s bag is large enough to carry my camera.

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Chainmail bag £4.99 St Giles hospice shop, Cannock.

Charity shops don’t necessarily have to equal vintage. They can also offer good quality High Street names that help you to tap into current trends without breaking the bank. I got this lovely M&S boho style top a few weeks ago for £3.99 and have already worn it loads.

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Boho style top M&S £3.99 BHF Walsall.

I love to hunt for timeless pieces – these may not have a label, but they are items you will wear again and again. A key point is this lilac beaded jacket that I got from Acorns Wednesbury. I wore it casually with jeans, but will definitely be throwing it over a dress for a chic evening look too.

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Beaded Jacket £5.99 Acorns Wednesbury.

This dotted dress is another modern piece, this time from Wallis, but again it is totally wearable as it has a classic cut and print.

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Dress £3.99 Acorns Bloxwich

Shoes

My best finds in charity shops always tend to be in the shoe section. Vintage Mary Janes, metallic dancing shoes, Bally originals, these can all be found by taking a good look around. I tend to ignore sizing and just try them on for fit – many old shoes often have the size worn off anyway so it makes sense to try them if they look right.

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Left foot – Mary Janes – no label £6 Beacon for the blind Wednesbury Right Foot – Monsoon £4.99 St Giles Bloxwich

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Wallis £3.99 St Giles Bloxwich

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Salvatore Ferregamo £1.99 Barnardo’s Wednesbury

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Bally £4.99 Acorns Bloxwich

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Givenchy £1.99 Barnardo’s Wednesbury

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Bally 1980s £3.99 St Bloxwich

More finds

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Vintage Turbans Lichfield

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Vanity Set £12 vintage shop Wales

Dressing table set £12 Shrewsbury

Dressing table set £12 Shrewsbury

Chance glass cake stand 20p Blackpool junk shop

Chance glass cake stand 20p Blackpool junk shop

You can see more of my finds on my instagram account here.

I also have a section on the fashion-mommy facebook page here.

What is your best find?

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

 

Peacocks Press day – I want it all!

Thursday saw the Peacocks Summer Press day, held in the sumptuous  surroundings of the Haymarket Hotel, London. Peacocks is one of Fashion-Mommy’s favourite stores for stylish shopping on a budget, so I was really excited about seeing the new collections being revealed. I was not disappointed!

The unseasonably warm weather outside made this the perfect day to showcase Summer collections and beachwear. The luxurious setting of the Haymarket Hotel’s poolside just added to that Riviera feel.  There were many different ranges being showcased, from The Pearl Lowe collection, to the new Peacocks boutique range that includes Peacocks by Design. Daisy Lowe’s new range of swimwear was also being launched, along with Peacocks womenswear/menswear and childrenswear for the upcoming season. Clearly there was something for everyone.

Pearl Lowe

Pearl Lowe’s brand new vintage inspired dresses have been available in store since March 31st and are another unqualified success for the former singer turned designer. The whole collection was on display, a fab range of tiny floral printed teadresses in a range of flattering fabrics. The dresses are a slightly longer length than in previous collections (hurrah!), but are in a range of mouth-watering pallets – violet,coral and cream. Puffed sleeves, tiny button details and tie backs make the whole collection just beautiful – and sure to be another sellout.

Beachwear

The beachwear was a good mixture of cute,cotton brights and dreamy,floaty kaftans. There were maxi tube dresses in primary colours and animal print sheer kaftans. The amazing price points – most items were less than £20- meant that these are summer essentials that can be rolled up and thrown into a suitcase for that amazing summer holiday.

Jewellery trends

The jewellery trend for Summer was all about colour. From retro floral print bangles to colour  clashes Asian inspired chandelier earrings, colour was everywhere. Flowers were also a big trend, I predict that the new ‘Halo’ floral headband will be a huge statement come festival season. This is a laurel style headband with adorned with small flowers like daisies.

For Autumn/Winter statement pieces of goldtone jewellery return, with long strands of beads and heavier necklaces to be worn against those party frocks.

Peacocks by Design

This is a fab designer inspired range of dresses launched last week.  Inspired by 1950s silhouettes and prints, this collection has Audrey Hepburn style dotted prints, chiffon bib front dresses that would be perfect for Carey Mulligan and Kiera Knightley, and a range of pastel and muted shades that make for a very pretty collection. There are big belts and cinched in waistbands that create a very flattering feel to the dresses.

Although the collection is mainly tea-dress style – there were a couple of amazing maxi dresses, including a beautiful blue Halston style one sleeved dress, and a black floral boho style dress that I just loved!

Boutique collection

Imagine you stumbled into an attic and found a perfectly preserved collection of never worn, exquisite vintage clothing. Would never happen? Well, this perfectly describes the Boutique collection, which is straight from mother;s 1950s/60s closet.

There were amazing lace dresses in black and coffee colour with embellished pearl collars. Beautiful black lace and floral full-skirted dresses with Peter Pan collars and ribbon belts. Frill neck blouses just crying out to be paired with skinny jeans and a sharp tuxedo style blazer ala Coco Sumner. This is a collection with Mia Farrow, Michelle Williams and Alexa Chung at its heart. Totally amazing and all under £50.

Womenswear collection

Continuing the vintage theme,the Peacocks womenswear collection had a standout lace dress that will definitely be a best seller. Coming in white and coral, this pretty dress has the trademark Peter Pan collar and silk ribbon belt. Also sure to be successful were the Halston style chiffon mini dresses. These were also in coral/pink and a pastel multicoloured version and were reminiscent of the purple dress worn by SJP in Sex and the City 2. There was also a bright, stripy vest dress with Prada style stripes that would be a perfect holiday dress.

As well as short, flirty dresses, the collection had a host of  full length dresses that proved the maxi dress is definitely a wardrobe staple that is here to stay. Ranging from batwing sleeved styles that shrieked global traveller, and just needed some large shades and an oversized bag to  complete the outfit, to more boho style with tiny floral prints and skinny belts, these are amazing  dresses that I will be adding to my summer wardrobe.

Autumn 2011 previewed

Camel and muted shades will still be around, with black having a major revival.  My pick of this collection was a green cap style coat which looks like  a designer find and yet will cost just £45.

Accessories

A great selection of shoes and bags were on display. There were shoes to suit every occasion in a mixture of styles, from animal print skyscraper heels, to silver ballet flats. I loved the beach inspired dotty wedges and straw hat that had a long, hot summer feel.

All in all Peacocks have produced  fantastic new ranges with affordable price points which would grace any fashionista’s wardrobe.

Designer Vintage Bridal Show – Oh! To be a bride…Pt 3.

I was totally enthralled with the exhibitors at the Designer vintage wedding show – the beautiful dresses, exquisite flowers, amazing jewellery and millinery, so I now took a little bit of time to do some people watching. The glamorous brides-to-be had dressed up for the occasion with acres of vintage lace, corsages, glittering beaded headbands and pearls on display. There were 50s style polka dots and prints, 1940s era chintz floral prints, nipped in waistbands, fake fur coats and platform heeled shoes, all worn with the excited glow only a prospective bride can have.

There was the dulcet tones of Frank Sinatra drifting across the main hall. This sound was coming from the Dorothy Lloyd room, which had been transformed into the ‘Speakeasy’. The music was courtesy of ‘Its a wind up’ and the room had been described as a vintage chill out zone. This was also the place to meet real wedding experts, as this was where the wedding bloggers Kat Williams and Annabel Beeforth were residing. I had a quick chat with Annabel first. Annabel is the founder of the super stylish wedding blog ‘Love My Dress’. She started this in 2009, and it is now one of the most influential wedding blogs in the UK, giving stylish vintage inspiration to brides. Annabel, who resembles 1930s Hollywood star Constance Bennett told me she was having a wonderful time at the show. She praised the organisation, and said that she was getting lots of good feedback about the venue and exhibitors. Annabel looked beautiful in a Grace Kelly style strapless vintage wedding dress which reflected the vintage elegance of Love My Dress.

Annabel Beeforth of Love My Dress photo copyright Cat Hepple

Kat Williams’s Rock N’ Roll Bride is the UK’s most popular wedding blog.  The award-winning blog was launched in 2007 with a view to providing inspiration and a little bit of individuality in the wedding world. On meeting Kat I can tell you that SHE is the quintessential Rock N’ Roll bride. Resplendent from the top of her neon pink hair to the tips of her aged DM boots, Kat is every bit the gorgeous punk/rock n’ roll wedding princess. Warm. friendly and approachable, Kat told me that she was really enjoying her day, although people were far too polite to take the retro sweets she was providing on her table. This was probably due to wedding day diets, but as that doesn’t apply to Fashion-Mommy, I was more than happy to eat the pink shrimps! Kat showed me some of the articles that she produces for Photo Pro magazine and Wedding magazine, and also gave me advice about my own blog, which I was very grateful for.

Kat Williams - The original Rock N' Roll bride!

My next port of call was a chat and a quick drink with Bran Cook. Bran is the women behind PR company MOTHERbrown. Bran, who had organised the event with Clare Guest of the Wedding Club and Rachel Simpson of Rachel Simpson shoes,  had been working extremely hard behind the scenes in order to get the exhibitors and events together, and was bustling around on the day in order to check the smooth running of everything…and was enjoying every minute of it. I grabbed Bran to answer a few questions about the event.

Q. How did you put all this together?

Bran: Twitter! Twitter has the ability to form communities of like – minded individuals with the same interests. In this case it was the wedding/bridal community. People like Kat @ Rock N’ Roll Bride and Annabel from Love My Dress. I met vintage photographer Emma Case through Kat. You can just find the right people and exhibitors through the Twitter Community.

Q. Are you enjoying the day?

Bran: This is definitely my thing – the setting is absolutely stunning. I just love being here surrounded by these people! I’ve just tweeted that I’m sitting in a bar next to a football table listening to 78s being played on a gramophone. Its surreal and wonderful.

Q. This is the first Designer Vintage wedding Show, will there be more?

Bran: Definitely. Birmingham needed this, it is the right time. We are looking at the possibility of having it twice yearly, with maybe a second show in December with a mysterious new theme!

Bran Cook

After chats with the amazing photographer Emma Case and Sally Harper of Sharper Millinery(articles on both to follow so stay tuned!), It was time for a fashion show in the Drawing Room. This featured a range of dresses from Jenny Packham brides, Tobi Hannah and Lindsey Fleming amongst others, and also included pretty little flower girls wearing amazing neon pink tutus. I was happy to see the Lindsey Fleming flapper style dress I had so admired earlier being part of the show, especially as the model was clearly in sync with the dress, swinging her long pearls and dancing a mini Charleston.

And with that, it was time for Fashion-Mommy to go home to Baba, with the smell of fresh flowers, the touch of pure silk and the sounds of Glenn Miller still fresh in my mind…