Friday, 12 November 2010

My Blue Suede Shoes

Vintage and second-hand shoes are a funny topic as the majority of shoppers still find it unhygienic and unnatural to walk in someone else's shoes. I myself an avid shoe-lover to be honest couldn't give two hoots! For me, a gorgeous pair of shoes are a gorgeous pair of shoes no matter where they have came from.
Plus wouldn't it be interesting to hear what stories your shoes could tell if they could speak?
Throughout the ages and world, shoes have had and have a very important role to play in society. For some they have religious value, to others they represent luck, they can simply be a pretty accessory on a night out or they can in fact mean the difference between having an education or not.
Have you ever thought about what your shoes mean to you? If you have any thoughts on the matter I'd love to hear your stories for a future post. Please get in touch if you do, via email or commenting below.
In the meantime to find out more on just how much value shoes can have visit the official website of the ethical footwear company toms at and see how footwear can make an active difference.
Photo: A pair of vintage blue suede shoes (on top of French Vogue) that I absolutely adore but I am not sure of their story......yet!

Monday, 8 November 2010

I've Got Soul .. (But I'm Not a Soldier)

I don't know what everyone's political views are on wars or whether you even have a view on it but my personal view is 'violence is unnecessary', although I am extremely thankful that there were and are people out there brave enough to fight for a cause to protect others, and I am internally grateful for this.
However I have no political views and this is a fashion blog so I will explain my reasoning behind that little questioning...
I have always been interested in old things and the history behind them, and recently my Dad mentioned he had something of his Grandfather's; a coin (medal) given to every soldier that had fought in the First World War. My first thought was 'ooh can I see it?' and my second 'could you wear it as a necklace?'. To some I understand this may seem extremely insensitive but I can say with my hand on my heart I do not mean to be in any way.
To me this medal is a part of my family history, a reminder of the seriousness of human conflict and also the medal itself is (for lack of a better word) a 'pretty' example of brilliant craftsmanship. However it made me question what message would I be conveying if I wore this medal out in public as an item of jewellery? What would be the reaction? It is only three days away from Remembrance day and everyone will be wearing their poppies as a sign of respect. However in a week everyone's poppies will be gone so would it still be appropriate to wear something that acknowledges the First World War after this time without being seen as being political? Even subconsciously?
I suppose, I am not looking any real answers to these questions as I think they are near impossible to ever answer but to try to make people think after reading this post of the messages they are conveying every time they put an item of clothing or jewellery on. As David mentioned in the previous post, we are all affected by fashion whether we like to think we are or not. And we are all soldier's of style whether that be to charity shops, Topshop, Chanel, Tkmaxx, clothes hand-me-downs, friends, the media, beliefs, education etc. We all wear a uniform to reflect who we are and what we represent and what our families represent. We all just need to grab our war paint (make -up,clothes, perfume and shoes) and fight the same peaceful war; the one that aims towards the fashion world and society letting us openly express our 'selfs' without fear of persecution or ridicule. So what do you think, would you make a fashionable protest? Picture: The coin and my Grandfather's old pocket watch that no longer has any hands but which can still be used for decoration.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

The Art of Clothes

Here is a blog post on what fashion means for the everyday person, by the ever-stylish David Aiyeniwon.
I coloured the sky red last night and I woke up with a blue sky. I saw a flower withering last night but I woke up and it was blooming. And I went to bed dying last night and I woke up Alive!
Fashion is an art; an art that people need to explore and study a lot harder. Fashion embodies so many emotions and so many thoughts. People think they enter a shop, buy some clothes and somehow think that they are not sending a message. The anti-fashion people are more into fashion, than the people in fashion because they have to know what is going on in order to go against it. The people that just don't care, care more than people who do.
My world is surrounded by fashion and so is yours! Open your eyes, clear your mind, look beyond your horizon, and look beyond what your eyes can see.
Fashion tells people who you are without even knowing your name. I was once one of those people that thought that clothes didn't say anything about you, until I started realising who I was. I realised that when people look at me, they see someone who wants to be seen and guess what, I do! I feed off the bad looks, the surprised looks and the impressed looks. This might sound like I am the most conceited or egocentric, however when I look in the mirror I see someone who is aiming for imperfection. Since I can't be perfect, why can't I be imperfect and find beauty in the imperfection?
You have artists like Lady Gaga, Isabella Blow (R.I.P), Anna Dello Russo etc.... that show their absolute devotion to fashion, and to art by wearing art fearlessly and boldly, while introducing the world to the art of clothes.
These women are the women that make me wear my skin tight skinnes and extra large shirt. And feed off the different type of energies from the people looking at me with admiration or disdain. Positive or negative, energy is always energy, it all depends on what you turn that energy into. If you let it fuel you or if you let it run you over and leave you feeling exhausted,
Fashion is and forever will make me and I forever will make it!
If you want to hear more of David's views on fashion, art and life check out his twitter page at
Photo Credit: Photo courtesy of David Aiyeniwon

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Frock Me! Brighton

Frock Me! hits the seaside town of Brighton tomorrow. Between 11am to 5pm at Corn Exchange in Church Street you can pick up those early quirky Christmas presents. Admission is £4 or £2 with valid Student ID and Under 16s get in free. So therefore there is no excuse if you're near the Brighton area for not having any ideas on a great family day out this half-term!

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Fold-Away Fashion

Here's an interesting piece I came across the other day about taking green fashion to the extreme. I strangely kind of love it and honestly believe it would make choosing an outfit in the morning a whole lot easier! Let me know your thoughts. Here is the link....

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Advancing Style

The other night I was lucky enough to chat (via phone) with the very talented and interesting Debra Rapoport, of the blog Advanced Style. Not only is Debra a joy to chat to but she also talks a lot of sense when it comes to expressing who you are through your wardrobe and gaining confidence in yourself (which she assures me comes over time).
Here is just some of the useful tips Debra had to share when I interviewed her...

Do you think having your own unique style is important?
OH YES...because you are expressing you...any and all days. It is how you present yourself to the world.
What is your view on modern fashion and how it is represented?
I don't really follow fashion...I rarely go into stores. However one store that I like is H&M because they are current and affordable. You can have fun with some of their items without spending too much..
I think the fashion industry is too CONSUMER ORIENTED and needing to keep people feeling like they are NOT GOOD ENOUGH if they are not wearing the current trends. I don't "believe" in trends. When you follow trends without any personal input you look like EVERYONE else! I believe in building your own image with elements you like and enjoy "PUTTING THEM TOGETHER".
Do you think it takes time to become comfortable with your fashion identity, and if so why? any art form, you learn and develop as you go. There is a whole lifetime to explore, develop and change. It is about change, to embrace who you are at every episode of your life. Sometimes, like in any period of making art, you like your work more than other times. Everything builds on everything else. That is the process of life. But continue to have fun and see it as play.
Where do you get your style inspirations from?
I am inspired by particular garments, their shapes and the textiles. And a few terrific designers who work with great fabrics, interesting silhouettes and fabulous overall Comme des Garcon. Lillith, Morgan Le Fay, Rick Owens, Marni, Victor and Rolf
I also know what works and ENHANCES my body.....that we can learn, as we see if it FEELS right.
Who would you consider both in the past and the present to be a style icon?
I really don't have any style icons except perhaps for IRIS APFEL....
Where would you shop if looking a statement piece?
Comme des Garcon. Barneys for one of my few favorite designers, Babett. Rick Owens, Lilith. However often I try thrift shops and am often lucky, but that is a chance happening!! So if I need something at the moment ...which is not how I shop.... then I must go to special shop. I often just shop in my closet to create an outfit. I am always looking in thrift shops for something OUTRAGEOUS!!!! That is my constant past time!
If you had to pick three fashion staples, what would they be?
1. A really sculptural, fabulous shirt/jacket/top to really create an outfit and to set off the upper body and enhance the face. I think the neck and shoulders are very important as they show off the posture and attitude!
2. Really stunning sculptural shoes that say something.
3. An unusual/interesting/sculptural hat that enhances and frames the face.
Do you have any fashion and style tips for anybody who is struggling to find confidence in their own style?
Know your body and TRY to decide how you want to look and feel. Define the SHAPES that work on your body. Decide on a color direction you wish to go in....monotone, neutrals, bold primary, pastels, muted. Then try a variety of things, putting various things together and SEE/FEEL if it is making you feel the way you want. Don't give up ...keep trying and continue to play. That's why THRIFTING is great because you can experiment without spending a lot. You are also being very GREEN as you are recycling, being sustainable and helping a good cause! There are often MAJOR sales where all goods are $1. Then you can really have fun and experiment.
It is also important to apply several things on your body to make a add a scarf, a hat, socks, accessories and jewellery to augment the basic garments. Don't be afraid to try and mix things up.THEN REALLY LOOK and see what you see and feel.
Think LAYERING and Think BUILDING...I call it the ABC's............
A- assembling
B- building
C- constructing.

And finally, over the next 5 years if you could see one major change in the fashion industry what would it be?
For fashion to be more grounded as the fashion industry is one of the biggest polluters of the planet. For designer fashion to be more affordable, like what H&M is doing with its current designer ranges, and for more people to be WEARING HATS!

To find out more about Debra Rapoport please check out, and take a look at how fabulous you really can be and feel.
Photo Credit: Photo taken by Ari Seth Cohen of Advanced Style

Friday, 1 October 2010

Frock Me! Vintage Fair - Chelsea, 19th September 2010 - PART 2

Photo Credits: Photos are courtesy of Matthew Adams of Frock Me! Vintage Fashion.

Frock Me! Vintage Fair - Chelsea, 19th September 2010 - PART 1

For those people who have yet to visit a vintage fair, here are a few photos from last month's Frock Me! Vintage Fair in London, to give you a bit of a taster of what to expect and give you some inspiration.
Photo Credits: Photos are courtesy of Matthew Adams of Frock Me! Vintage Fashion.

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Back to Vintage

Well the official back to school/work year has started yet again and that means so have the vintage fairs all around the UK. Unfortunately I was unable to make it to FROCK ME! vintage fair on the 19th September in Chelsea but I am sure it was full of amazing gems and I hope to make my way over to either the next one on the 31st October or the following on the 5th December. I cannot wait!
However I was at another fantastic Frock Around the Clock last Sunday in The Holiday Inn in Belfast and there were plenty of sparkly things to satisfy any woman (or man)'s jewellery appetite. The next event on the 21st of November is sure to be the place to be to pick up those early Christmas presents.
To find out more about Frock Me! and Frock Around the Clock please find the links to their official websites under Vintage Fairs and Events down the right-hand side of this blog.
Pictures: A gorgeous ring and bracelet I picked up from Frock Around the Clock. The bracelet was bought from Jennifer Robinson Jewellery (

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Smells Like....Houdini

Another style interview for all you music lovers out there, with lead singer Greg Webster (pictured centre) of the band Houdini. I strongly recommend you check out their sound if you havent already. After listening to their songs I am always taken back to my teenage days of listening to Nirvana which is no easy task. And personally I do not think there is anyone else out there at the moment who can create that sense of nostalgia and still have their own unique this blogger is putting her nose out and saying Houdini are definately a future band to watch out for.
Here is what Greg had to say in the interview.....

Name: Greg Webster
Occupation: Recording Engineer and Studio Manager
What would you say are your main passions in life?
Music, music, music, poetry, prose, recording music, gigs-playing and watching.
What made you first get involved in music?
hmm.. I remember getting some tiny casio keyboard when i was about 9 or something and starting to learn things by ear, and later at some point Nirvana and Sonic Youth and Soundgarden appeared at school. Well they didn't appear at school - THAT would've been amazing! but I mean they appeared in my school life and became the ultimate escape route from all the crap I guess. I think at that point I realised I'd love be able to do that for other people either through music or words or both.
How would you describe your sound?
By asking someone better than me at describing our sound to do it for me. We're pretty darn loud and noisy, that's a given.. and sometimes there's a melody in there when I can actually sing. we're some sorta 'alternative rock' I guess. I hate genres and all these sub-genres now. It's just sub sub sub the same old trash.. maybe we're post-classical-neo-rnb-grime-core meets the dead kennedys??
Would you say you have an interest in fashion?
Not in terms of I'm a follower of it but it intrigues the shit outta me. Totally different world to where I am at.
What do you think of vintage fashion?
I've always been in to retro clothing because it's just so much better than the shit on offer at whatever 'Top-River-Fried Chicken' places you get in the high street. I buy a new piece of clothing maybe once or twice a year and I'd most likely get it in a charity shop. And yeah it would most likely be something 'vintage' but I find vintage shops just rack up the prices for the same stuff generally.
If you had to pick a decade to live in which one would you pick and why?
I reckon the sixties for many different reasons. To be able to experience the social changes seems idealistic but in reality would probably be something quite different depending on what part you played in it all and how it affected your life and community etc. However I'd have loved to have seen some of the classic 60s bands live.. that would've been ace.
What would you say if anything influences you most when deciding what to wear? The weather and what's clean.
Any tips for readers on either style or music?
Love music. It's good for you.
And finally, What is on the cards next for Houdini?
We're busy recording a 4 song e.p. right now so I guess that'll be out before Christmas at some point, and just getting out there and playing live as much as we can really..
To find out more about Greg and Houdini check out there official website at

PICTURE CREDITS: Photo of Houdini taken by photographer Matt Bonner

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Colour Pop-ing

Winter may be fast approaching but this doesn't mean your wardrobe has to be drab or that you have to stick to one colour palate. Recently I myself have been mixing it up with clashing my blacks and purples with my bright blues and oranges. It may feel wrong when you originally throw them together but if you like wearing certain items what should it matter if the colours clash?
Here in Northern Ireland where I live, fashion can be somewhat restrictive in the fact that you sometimes have to think about what you are wearing in case it would cause offence to others around you. I was made very aware of this when I went to school on non-uniform day as even then there were limits to what you could and could not wear. For example to this day I would not wear anything that had the Union Jack (despite being a past Spice Girl fan) or wear greens, oranges and creams all together because although I am not making a statement personally I could subconsciously be taken the wrong way.
I am sure in other places there are the same kind of restrictions but I think it is all a bit pants really, anyone should be allowed to wear what ever they want as long as it protects their modesty ( there are some things we should never see!).
What does everyone else think? Should we abide by the original colour rules? I would love to know what you think...
Picture: My take on colour-popping: I apologise for the state of me, I had just got soaked with rain and the wind was currently blowing in my eyes when the photo was taken.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Do You Know This Girl?

Louder Than Silence are currently searching for a woman who was at Goodwood Vintage Festival on the 14th August snapped wearing a dress by SIKA.
The person who can identify who this girl is and put them in touch with her can themselves win a SIKA dress, to find out more click on this link If you know her please let me know as I am curious, she is definately a girl with style!

Fashion Revival

New Posts at Please let me know what you think.
Photo: New orange suede stilettos - £5

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Who Said You Were A Plain Jane?

As promised, here is an interview with another fabulous person, the wonderful United States-based blogger Alannah Scott (pictured). Not only does this girl have style, she is also like a fashion encyclopedia of knowledge and her blog is always one of the first I check out for inspiration. Taking images and videos from editorials, pop culture, and shopping outlets, Alannah combines all her inspirations and truly reflects who she is, without apologises. Truly someone to take note of, so with out further a do, here is Alannah in her own words....

Name: Alannah Scott
Age: 20 years old
Occupation: Fashion Design student/ Visual Artist
What are your main passions in life?
My passion in life is to inspire other people while still inspiring myself at the same time. My passion is to create beautiful things
How important is fashion and style to you?
Fashion and I have a very love and hate relationship…Fashion in itself is cruel, and can be bias but the design and presentation aspect when it comes to fashion is what I’m in love with the freedom to express yourself visually on your body is amazing. Style to me is not so important because everyone has their own unique style but I think its plays an very important role of how people view you.
What in fashion gets you excited?
Some of the things in fashion that get me excited are the detail and back story that designers put into their collections. Because anyone can assume what the designer’s inspiration was for the collection but to actually see a mood board and how designers think (which is rarely done) is amazing and inspirational in itself.
If you had to choose 3 fashion staples what would they be?
1. A Rick Owens leather jacket, a Chanel Black lamb XL jumbo flap bag (, and a pair of YSL shoes…Its so hard to narrow it down to just 3!
Who are your favourite designers?
I have way too many favorite designers! Raf Simons for Jil Sander, Ricardo Tisci for Givenchy, Marc Jacobs, Luella Bartley, The Mulleavy sisters for Rodarte, Miuccia Prada, Viktor & Rolf, Jeremy Scott, and Stefano Pilati…There are a lot of new designers out there that I should be mentioning but these are the main ones that I truly adore.
With the choice to pick anybody from any decade as a style icon who would you pick?
I would pick Andy Warhol. The genius himself
How would you describe your own style?
I would describe my style as Plain Jane (hence my blog name) I’m really into neutrals when it comes to colors; black, grays, white, tans, etc. I’m not a very stand out-ish type person. Right now I’m not really into loud prints and patterns but hey my style always changes so I’m always up for change.
Where would you say you get your style inspiration from?
I get my style inspiration from anywhere and almost anything but right now I mostly get style inspiration from old ad campaigns from the 40s-90s, like at the moment I’m really in love with old Prada and Jil Sander advertisements. I think they’re so classic and that’s the sort of style I’m into.
Do you think sometimes fashion can be restrictive in what is available to the general public?
Of course high-end fashion brands that I’ve noticed only carry certain items in certain places like in specific countries. I think it’s really sad. But now a days other budget friendly stores are knocking off high-end brands and making their own spin off of what we see on the runway and selling it for a wallet friendly cost.
Why and when did you first start to blog?
I started my blog PLANEE JANE in the summer of 2008 I basically started it because I wanted to have a place that I could store my inspiration of pictures, thoughts and ideas or whatever came to my mind. Back in 2008 blogs weren’t as exciting or as important as they are now but also I didn’t even really feel the need to share it with anyone but until one day when I thought to myself why not share the things that inspire me with other people? Present some things to my friends and also other readers that maybe they wouldn’t really be into… and from there it’s been history!
Would you recommend others to try it?
Yes I would recommend people to try blogging it’s a great way to vent and talk about the things you enjoy or network and share information. Although I do think that bloggers have killed true journalism in a way…I can go on and on about this but to make a long story short we’re living in the 21st century and technology has taken over! So there’s not much we can do!
What is next for Alannah and Planee Jane?
The next thing for me is to create a new personal blog! I’m so excited the new blog that I’m working on right now will involve more of my life and myself and more art, visual concepts, and my work. I’ve been working on the new blog for maybe a year and a half now because I want things to be perfect. I‘ve also been saving up for a high quality camera for quite some time now so hopefully 2011 I will be able debut the new site. As for Planee Jane, it will be a sweet transition into a new site my new site will be a more grown up version of PJ.
Finally, any fashion and style tips?
Style tips…hmm stay true to yourself (I know that sounds very cheesy) but through life we go through phases and our style changes as we change. But some people find themselves trying to be everything but like anyone else when really you’re a combination of everything else…stop taking things so seriously and literal and just have fun when it comes to dressing!
To find out more about Alannah Scott and Planne Jane please visit her blog , you won't be disappointed!

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Vintage Starts at Home

For those who say 'I cannot afford to buy vintage' remember
you might already own a few items or be close by them without even knowing.
That old musty colourful sweater you used to see your mum wear when you were little, now equals a vintage warm winter dress.
The spotty green long-skirt your granny hasn't worn for years, is now a lovely 50s inspired prom-dress with the help of some netting underneath.

Your dad's old checked work shirts now become the key piece in your country girl look.
Even your younger brother's old t-shirts now become retro crop-tops with Elmo and Kermit prints.
And the good thing is it never cost you a penny and you are free to try out your own creations on them as they are no longer of use to their original owner (though do ask permission first).
I encourage you to give it a go, you never know what you might find!

Photo: My own vintage home find: my dad's old Barbour jacket. Although a little big I love the way it hangs and think it goes great for grunging-up any girly outfit.

A Day of Doubt

We all have them; moments of self-doubt, where we look at ourselves in the mirror and ask can I pull this off, I'm I qualified, I'm I really what they want etc. Well I was/still having one of those days today.
It all started when I woke up and realised that the stress I have been going through lately with the aftermath of the recession was showing all over my face in large red blotchy spots. At the best of times I do not have perfect skin but today it is extra bad and I unfortunately do not own any concealer so if I have a bad case of acne, I just have to live with it.
I then decided as I had a few spare hours to myself I would take some photos, however they did not exactly turn out how I'd hoped when I uploaded them to my computer. The main focus of the photo was in complete darkness due to bad lighting; I do not have or believe in photoshop and really did not feel like trying to shoot them all over again so in the end it resulted in a very non-productive day.
Saying this today has really got me thinking...self-doubt is something I have struggled with most of my life but even more so over these past few months and I have realised it really isn't healthy. If I would have had the confidence to begin the day positively this morning maybe I wouldn't be in the situation I am in now; beating myself up over the stupid things I did not achieve.
Self-doubt is really only the failure of the challenges you have set yourself in your own head, not the failure of anything else. We have to remember each human being is unique and we have our own special gifts and looks. And maybe if we just stopped setting ourselves unrealistic goals for a moment then possibly the glimpses of self-doubt we have would be easier to deal with?
I would love to know how anyone else has squashed their own moments of self-doubt and if they have any positive tips for others. If you do just leave a comment after this post. And remember there is no need to fear; doubt is a universal problem and not just your own.
Photo: One of the photos taken today while I was testing the camera. Unfortunately I cannot erase the acne from my chin.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

I'm No Model

As you all know I am not exactly photogenic but I love fashion and the reason I started blogging a year and a half ago was to show my ability to write, however I feel the fashion blogging world is an altogether different story. To be a successful blogger of fashion it seems you need to be photogenic, have amazing photo locations, preferably some designer clothes and a frame that would make most models jealous. I have none of these attributes but yet I still call myself a part-time blogger of fashion. Am I right to do so?
Do not get me wrong the reason I love most fashion blogs is because of all the glamourous things I mentioned but I just want to show that just because you do not have the 'look' it does not mean any fashion knowledge you have is irrelevant....
In other words I am trying to say it is okay to have off days most of the time and still feel fabulous and worthy of being called a fashionista! And I encourage all those people sitting on the fashion blogging fence to definitely give it a go, you'll be pleasantly surprised at what you learn...
Picture: Me in an unflattering pose as well as my head being cut of, wearing my new vintage find - a gorgeous long-sleeved DL Barron dress. Oh and if you are wondering why I look a lot shorter it is because I am without my treasured heels.

Friday, 27 August 2010

It May Not Be Fashion.....but it's still Fashionable

I was recently staying at my Grandmother's house and I just had to take a photo of this pretty biscuit barrel that belonged to her Mother. I know it is not exactly fashion or body image related but I thought it was too nice not to share.
Though a barrel like this is too magnificent not to use so maybe if we all tried to pick up pretty barrels like this for our homes we wouldn't need to justify having the chocolate biscuits in the house? Only a thought....
Photo: Great-grandmother's biscuit barrel.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Tell the World

The main purpose of starting educating vintage was to show fashion and image are not just confide to a certain stereotypical person. They do in fact creep into nearly every one's life in some shape or form, whether conscious or sub-consciously. I also believe it is very strong in certain creative individuals which is why I have now chosen to do a regular feature which focuses and interviews people who I feel have that passionate edge.
And the first person I have chosen to interview is the very talented Andrew Twigden (pictured above), the songwriter and bassist of new and up and coming London-based band State Of the Union....

Name: Andy Twigden
Age: 30
Occupation: Musician
What are your main passions in life?
Music, Football,Clothes, TV/Film
When did you first get involved with music?
Well I learned the guitar when I was 17 but when I first moved to London I would say. I moved to London to join the band Louie. We were signed to universal and got to play and tour with Kasabian, The Fratellis, The Prodigy and also Leeds and Reading Fest. My new band State Of The Union is much more me and we are an amazing live band
How would you describe your sound?
Were all the best bands rolled into one. I think you can tell our influences but I wouldn't say we sound like any one band y'know.
Would you say you are interested in fashion and why?
I guess so. Clothes are important and being in a band, I guess there is a need to be conscious of
Do you have a particular style?
….if so how would you describe it?
I guess its my own, cliche I know!
Do you think your music influences how you dress?
I think it does in a sense. I mean if I was dressed like gaga and started doing Beatles covers, it would be a bit mental wouldn't it!
Any tips for readers on style or music?
Music; listen to Modest Mouse and just do something that's real to you, I think there are too many people out there trying to do the same thing for a slice of fame, but music is about just that, music. Not trying to be something just to be on TV! Style; just believe in what your wearing and what you are and go with it!
And finally, What is the future for State of the Union?
Well we have only been a band 6 weeks, but we are already booked in for a TV performance for sky TV, and have loads of gigs booked up, and of course, finally get some guitar music back into peoples heads!
To find out more about Andrew Twigdsen and State of the Union check out there myspace page at

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Letting Your Accessorises ROAR!

In recent years with the introduction of supermarket clothing and shops such as Primark etc becoming part of many people's daily shopping fixes - the pleasure and joy of purchasing accessorises has kind of wained.
Back in the day when it was a luxury to purchase a new outfit or have it dyed to make it seem new, accessorises were all the range in tailoring an outfit to your personality. Nowadays people buy an outfit that they feel is representative of them and the accessories are simply an after thought, mainly that of 'throw-away' costume jewellery.
However I myself am a complete costume jewellery addict but even I have of late found no pleasure from the high-street stores in satisfying my addiction. I simply find no matter how much I spend on something it simply falls apart in a matter of days or weeks and really if I have spent the money and really like the piece, ideally I'd like it to at least last a year.
This is yet again where vintage shopping has its benefits especially that done at fairs; there is simply no contest between the jewellery there than that in your local shopping complex. Not only are the pieces nearly 100% unique but they are also long-lasting which is proved by their age already and personally for me they just feel a lot better on. These pieces were made to make a statement and you should feel like you are making a statement wearing them, which is really the whole point of wearing jewellery.
And finally, for those vintage virgins out there who when hearing the words 'vintage jewellery' may have some random images of pieces shown on the Antiques Roadshow, do not fear I am not talking about antiques. For really good pieces you may spend a few hundred pounds but if you are like me and cannot be so extravagant you can pick up unique pieces for sometimes even less than a tenner! They may have possible wear and tear marks but for me that makes them all the more special as it shows it has previously be worn and loved which is why I fall for jewellery in the first place; as everyone can and should appreciate something sparkly in their life....
What does everyone else think; is vintage jewellery better or is the high-street the place to get our costume jewellery fixes?
Photo: Two vintage large-cat jewellery pieces, bought at two different fairs by two different sellers. One is a medium-sized brooch with a few stones missing including one of its eyes. The other is a clasp bracelet with scoring to the side, but to me it does not matter....

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Life Is A Catwalk

This a short but sweet post to show how body image can effect us in our everyday lives.
Yesterday I was at the zoo with my family taking many photos and acting like a big kid (especially in the gift shop), when we spotted the sign for the large cats (Tigers, Lions and Cheetahs). Now not only am I a huge fan of big cats I am also a fashion enthusiast (obviously) and got very excited over the huge letters saying cat walk or catwalk as I like to think of it.
My excitement was so apparent that my mother insisted my brother took a photo of me beside it. And above is that very photo but when I now look at it I do not see the irony or the memory of that moment, instead I see the 'flaws' I see in myself. I am not going to point them out because that is not the point of this post but I do think it is important to remember photos are fundamentally there to tell a story, to capture a moment and to share. They are not to have us perfectly flawless standing in front of backgrounds where we do not even remember the moment they were captured. Photos are there to be wept with, cringed at, and laughed over, that is the joy of photography it is just a shame that we sometimes forget this. So I am taking my first step by keeping this photo up till I start remembering the memory and stop focusing on myself because life is a catwalk and we should always be strutting no matter what we look like....
Photo: The catwalk at Belfast Zoo, Northern Ireland

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Bargain Shoes

Check out my new shoes at £5 out of my local Tkmaxx and they are one of the most comfiest shoes ever. Proving you don't have to spend a fortune on good footwear to feel and look fabulous. Although like any woman I feel it would be nice one day to maybe have the luxury to do so.
If I were to give you one tip on footwear I will say this; no matter how much you spend on a pair of shoes always look after the heels and do not be afraid to go to your local shoe repairer for minor repairs. If the shoes only cost 5 pound but the repairs cost 6, never fear because if you love them enough and they are comfy the cost is irrelevant (though if they are more than double the cost of the original price I would maybe think twice).
I'd love to hear what my fellow shoe enthusiasts out there think?
Photo: My bargain sandals

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Charity Shopping

For most the words 'charity shop' probably sends images running around in your head of a group of older women spending their pension-pennies on a second-hand Marks & Spencer jumper.
However for vintage virgins out there who have not got much cash to splash around, the charity shop is the perfect place to start.
You might not exactly find a Chanel jacket for £12.00 (though there has been reports of stranger things happening) but the charity shop is the place to find out exactly what are your fashion likes and dislikes as there are no quibbles over prices.
I would recommend starting with the well known charity shops first such as Oxfam or Cancer Research as I realise entering a second-hand clothes shop can be daunting for the first time especially if you have 'wrongly' been told in the past that they are somehow uncool (whatever that word means). Here you will find everything organised similar to a 'normal' shopping environment with everything clearly labelled and organised by size not taking you far away from your usual shopping habits.
After you have gotten used to this I would strongly recommend trailing the lesser known and independent charity shops because this is usually where you find the real hidden gems. However you must be prepared to spend a reasonable length of time hunting through the rails and shelves to find those real bargains.
Then if you have developed a love of finding the unique (which I am sure you will have) your next stop should be your local vintage and craft fairs which are not hard to find as you usually find them advertised in your local paper, and flyer's about town. Plus many have their own websites so if you have yet to see anything you should google 'vintage' and your nearest town or city and I guarantee there is something happening near-by to you.
If this is all still a bit much to take in why not do some online research first and check out the following websites to give you more of an idea:
Frock Me Vintage Fairs:
Frock Around The Clock Vintage Fairs:
Oxfam online store:
Stardust Online's Vintage Accessorises:
Rokit - London based Vintage store:

Photo: Recent charity shop find for a reasonable £6.50

Designer Plus-Size

Check out New York stylist Annabel Tollman's article for the Telegraph on designers now catering for the larger woman (finally).
Though it would be great to eventually see a designer vintage collection walk down the runway sometime soon.

What are your thoughts?

Sunday, 8 August 2010

The Trouble With Labels...

Do not get me wrong I dream of the day that I will one day have ( at least) one pair of designer shoes sitting in my wardrobe but I think society's obession with labelling of late both designer and personal is a real problem today.
Vintage followers and baragain shoppers will know you do not have to spend a lot to feel fabulous but what happens when what you wear portrays you in a certain light?
Being 5ft 3in and pear-shaped, from the age of about 13 onwards I have always felt better in heels whether it is a night out or a trip to the shops, you will usually find me in at least 3inch heels. I just feel more comfortable this way plus I tend to be distracted by the pretty colours and sparkles of these wonderful creations.
However of late I have noticed that there are certain connotations associated with being a high-heel wearer, for some women it looks like a cry for attention and for some men it means you are a certain kind of woman. Which is neither true for me. My background is pretty boring - I neither drink, nor smoke and believe you should never kiss a guy until you have met his mother (not really but this has always been the case for me). However despite this some guys I have met over the last year of being single have somehow assumed I am a very different kind of woman because of my heel height and keenness in fashion. So much so that I have even considered ditching the heels altogether for a life of pumps and trainers but I just cannot do it.
My reason? Well it would not be me. At university I opted for a near complete life of flats (except weekends) to try and blend into the crowd but I did not feel myself and as a result the friends I met at Uni have a complete different view on me, which is my own fault.
I admit sometimes in the past I have worn heels to impress a guy but when I am wearing heels in a chemist queuing up with 'time of the month' things and a chocolate bar I am far from trying to get the cute guy behind the counter's attention!
It has struck me just how much people give up or change because of the certain labels that are put on things and why this is. I went to a keep fit pole dancing class for a few months which I loved and would still be doing if I could financially afford it but I still feel weird saying the name to people in fear of being judged. Which is completely ridiculous because if you saw what I wore to the class and how many bruises I came back with you would hardly think anything sexual at all.
The truth is half the time the judging is in our own head and it is here were we need to learn to let go off the labels and start enjoying being ourselves. So if you find yourself in the morning putting those bright pink trousers away in fear of silly remarks just look at yourself in the mirror count to 5, tell yourself you look gorgeous and walk out that door........because you know you probably do look fabulous...
Photo: In my bargain J for Jasper Conran shoes and one of the jackets that no longer has a size label.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Try before you buy

Working in retail for a number of years I have came across many instances especially in Vintage shops where women have come up to the counter asking the measurements of a garment and then have quickly refused to try it on if it is not their 'normal' clothes size.
I myself have been in that situation where I have been in a changing- room refusing to go up a size in a pair of jeans because then that would be labelling myself a size bigger. Though that is the thing it would be me labelling myself and no-one else. It is not as if your body shape has changed just because you are a UK 10 in one shop and a UK 12 or 14 in another.
I however have tried on many a garment at a vintage fair or shop that was a few sizes too big or small and have found they fit like a glove and the clothes I picked that were my 'size' have left me feeling frumpy or squished in like a sausage.
Therefore I think it should be a policy in all shops to try before you buy and to stop asking shop assistants what size a garment is but to start asking if they think it would fit your body shape.
And the after feeling guilt of buying something that is two sizes 'too big' ? Do what I did with two new jackets I got recently, cut off the labels and next year you won't even remember the original sizing. Though with the ones that are smaller? Keep them because it never fails to have a little lift!
Photo: First of the Vintage Sunday Fairs at The Empire in Belfast as part of Frock Around the Clock

Finding Your Inner Star

I think it is essential to remember it is never wise to be someone you are not but I think it essential to have role models in life to guide you into finding your inner shining star. After you hit puberty the task of finding yourself becomes all the more difficult, as Ernest Hemingway once comment 'As you get older it is harder to have heroes, but it is sort of necessary'.
It's the way that we look at our role models that sometimes needs to change rather than who we look up to. For instance I admire many women - both famous and non-famous and I am not personally I feel like any one of them, which is not necessarily a bad thing.
Finding your inner star is all about taking admirable qualities from people and places around you and transferring them to the person who you are and want to become.
For example I'd love to take a mixing pot and put in the model Kate Moss, the Danish-born French actress Anna Karina, the journalist Carrie Bradshaw ( yes, I know she is a fictional character), Beyonce (we do have a shapely bum), Paloma Faith ( I can sing just like her in my head), and every woman I have met in person with inspirational qualities and come up with my inner star.
However life isn't like this - we all are not perfect and it is human nature to make mistakes but we can take inspiration from Beyonce and her alter-ego Sasha Fierce - better to try and give things a go then hinder the person you could become due to the fear of being judged.
Therefore I'd like everyone (including myself) to take the rest of 2010 to explore who you really are and want to become without fear and worry from others. The only person you need to be accepted by is yourself.
Photo: An old Postcard dated 1952 of the Effiel Tower , which I purchased in a Vintage and craft fair a few months ago. Hopefully one day I'll let my 'inner star' shine here in Paris.

Friday, 23 July 2010

I need you!

Are you a fan of vintage clothing? A person who holds strong views on body imaging? or simply a lover of fashion? If so, I need your help. I want this blog to be a place for everyone to express their views so if you wish to add a comment or submit a post or even just a picture of yourself having fun with fashion do not hesitate to get in touch. You can do this by email at or by commenting here. I'll look forward to hearing from you soon.
Photo: Recent jumpsuit purchase that makes my pear-shaped body look even more exaggerated but clothes sometimes are not all about the flattery...

About Educating Vintage...

From ever since I can remember I have struggled with my body image and looks despite being reassured by the people around me that I have nothing to worry about.
It doesn't matter if a man whistles at me in the street or friends tell me I have the ideal figure, deep down I just don't feel comfortable in my own skin unless I am wearing that special dress or heels that make me feel a million dollars because that is when I feel most myself.
I have started this blog as I feel a lack of self-confidence and worth is at an all time high and if nothing is done it could be fatal for the next generation coming along.
My answer to this epidemic? Well it is simple to educate and show women (and men) that fashion has no size or style limit and that to reuse your wardrobe staples with vintage and second-hand purchases fashion can in fact be a fun experience.
I want people to throw away their fashion do and donts books, to cut all size labels of their clothes (only use the number as a guide and remember it's just a number), stop buying the celebrity magazines that focus on telling you someone's weight and dress size, and above all else go on your impulses when buying. If you see a bright pink ruffled dress and it makes you feel alive when you put it on don't shove it to the back of your wardrobe to avoid distasteful comments, wear it with pride because in fashion there are no such thing as mistakes only fashionable mishaps.

Photo: 'My dress' - a vintage fair bargain that has everyone threatening to steal it. Makes me feel like a 'ruffled' princess.