I Am Unique

posted in: Miscellaneous | 0
i am unique, #iamunique, unique vintage, nelsons diner, blaire amy, blaire rowland, blaire amy rowland, british retro
Taken by Edan Rowland

Chances are you’ve heard of Unique Vintage’s #IAmUnique campaign. It may not exactly come as a surprise that it is in support of unique styles but it is the encouragement for everyone to embrace their differences that makes it really special. What isn’t inspiring about seeing fashion brands including ‘different looking’ women, who value less mainstream clothing styles, and having them involved in their campaigns!?

Today I thought I’d share why I am unique…

The list is pretty endless and at times probably feels a little weird, so I’ll make this post exclusive to my dress sense.

I love vintage clothing, I enjoy the feminine pin up look and have recently started to integrate a more rockabilly vibe into my wardrobe. Why, you might ask? The simple answer being because it is far more fun! An unconventional opinion but, why shouldn’t fashion be something to play around with? With a penchant for dressing up since a young age; I don’t think anyone has been shocked that I like to play around with my look so much. Sure I could be hitting the high street and following the latest trends but by inventing my own set of rules there is no expectation by others and I can just embrace me.

I am not the world’s most ‘authentic’ vintage lover; I do not have the time to be forever market snooping (although I seem to make up for this on Etsy), nor do I have the money usually needed to be spent on spotless pieces. Meanwhile I do value my piece of mind too much not to get hung up about this. I think this sets me apart as something unique, as even from a young age I haven’t felt this pressure to conform. Whether it was from my school years when I favoured the colour black a little too much, or whether it can realistically be tracked back to the stripy shorts and levi t-shirt my Mum used to dress me in as a toddler. I was and still am unique.

The pin up look also comes into play. I am always sporting cat eye flicks, love the mole on my cheek and am really grateful that I have a waist that suits the style. On the other hand I embrace the freckles that smother my face in summer and don’t swan about in heels all day long, something that doesn’t stereotypically fit ‘the trend’. Also, with a passion for burlesque, I feel like I was always going to become increasingly playful with my clothing and hairstyle. I’ve been known to take inspiration from not only ‘old hollywood’ but also neo-burlesque stars around today.

Rockabilly too has had an increased influence over my style. I particularly love bumper bangs as well as the music and cars associated with the style. All I need is to learn to jive and then I can take the retro festivals of Britain by storm.

What makes me truly unique is the amalgamation of those three different aspects that I love, coming together with a serious I don’t care what you think attitude. In fact the rare quality of wearing something that you love without fearing any retribution or caring what others think seems to be coming into fashion itself. A fashion trend I can seriously get behind.

I am unique, and that quality is something to celebrate. What makes you feel unique? Let’s unite with our differences.

#IAmUnique

iamunique, i am unique, unique vintage, unique vintage ambassador

Hawaiian Wednesday Wishlist

posted in: Fashion and Beauty | 2

There seems to be a hawaiian theme coming along…

With last week’s #OOTD post featuring the Voodoo Vixen Constantia skirt it is safe to say that I am quickly becoming tiki obsessed. Dreaming of holiday’s has inspired this Hawaiian Wednesday Wishlist blog post. With the sun threatening to come out and a holiday booked in Spain for Screamin’ Festival I am already on the summer vibes. I hope that this colourful post will put you into that holiday mood too!

 

hawaiian, tiki, hawaiian Wednesday Wishlist, lush list, tropical, rockabilly

Britiki, Papu, Marqui Marq Tiki Mugs, Cheeky Tiki
‘Debra’ Orange Hibiscus Hair Flower, Lady Luck’s Boutique
1950s Vintage Style Two Piece Hawaiian High Waisted Bikini, Kitty Lou Vintage
Tiki Accessories Kit, Lady Luck’s Boutique
Flamingo-A-Go-Go shoes, Miss L Fire

 

With a cocktail umbrella for the tiki mugs, your hawiian accessories are complete. But what about clothes!? Here are some of my favourite tiki inspired dresses for this Hawaiian Wednesday Wishlist. I am particularly in love with the flamingo print dress.

 

voodoo vixen, tiki dress, hawaiian #wednesdaywishlist
Felicity dress, Voodoo Vixen

violets in may, lola diamond, hawaiian #wednesdaywishlist,
Flamingo Wrap Dress, Violets In May

 

emmy, emmy designs, hawaiian dress,
Honolulu swing dress, Emmy

lindy bop, lindy bop hawaiian, lindybop vanessa
‘Vanessa’ Rainforest Print 50’s Wiggle Dress, Lindy bop

 

It is great to see so many brands picking up on this fun theme. At a rockabilly summer festival you are guaranteed to see at least one guy wearing a hawaiian shirt; why shouldn’t the girls be able to embrace it too? Having pin pointed some of the top hawaiian picks available this summer, all that’s left to do is hope for sunshine and to grab yourself a cheeky pina colada 😉

Hawaiian #WednesdayWishlist

London Burlesque Festival Review

posted in: Burlesque and Cabaret, Events | 1

London Burlesque Festival – Opening Gala

LBF, London Burlesque Festival, Master Cameron Eric Leon, Chaz ROyal

So the London Burlesque Festival is currently in full swing. Living outside of London can really take its toll sometimes but it is good to venture into town when you are confident that a good night lies ahead.

The Opening Gala was held at Dingwalls in Camden, a venue I hadn’t visited before but seemed fine enough, if slightly lacking grandeur. Having got to the venue in good time, after a couple of Kraken and cokes, we chose our seats and benefited from sitting at the front of a tier. Our unobstructed view was excellent and we were far enough away to not get accosted by the performers!

London Burlesque Festival, Kiki DeVille, Chaz Royal, London burlesque, opening gala

First up let me say that the billing was packed with recognisable and award winning performers; including our hilarious hostess Kiki DeVille. Last year Kiki won Vintage Personality at The National Vintage Awards, a well-deserved title, as within a few sentences she had already asked an audience member why she was wearing a dressing gown (which turned out to be a baggy cardi) as well as questioning if someone was carrying a baby or a basketball! Not only this but she was wearing a gorgeous hot pink silky number and met my Boyfriend at the bar; referring to him on stage as the cute geeky guy – something he was baffled and a little bit chuffed with 😉

With a strong set of performers I’ll focus on my favourites…

London Burlesque Festival, Lady Myosotis, Lisbon Underground, London Burlesque, Chaz Royal

Lady Myosotis is a Burlesque performer and singer, both gifts in which she excels. In case you weren’t in the know, Myosotis is a plant family that includes the forget-me-not; something no one in the audience is likely to do, as she was my firm favourite act of the evening. Not only is she a gorgeous and petite lady but she has an unexpectedly powerful singing voice. As she sang ‘whatever lady wants, lady gets’ I was under no illusions that this was not the case! Every bit a singing showgirl in her glistening costume, she demonstrated just how in charge of the audience she was by slowly teasing off her stockings in a heavily seductive yet cheeky manor. This was all rounded off with a fan dance, which was classy and sexy with luxurious plum coloured feathers.

London Burlesque Festival, old is now, aurora starr, surrey burlesque, chaz royal

Aurora Starr came out in a dark outfit with a fierce gladiator performance. She wore a very sexy costume, with leather paddles across her chest that would have made Xena Warrior Princess increadibly jealous. I also think that in a fight Aurora would wipe the floor with Xena. However the most thrilling aspect of her tease was the sword swinging that went on amongst rolls and aggressive kicks. I want to see more of this woman.

Ivizia Dakini, London Burlesque Festival, Burlesque Portland, Chaz Royal

Ivizia Dakini closed the show with a seductive fire display. As the lights went off and she walked on stage, the audience grew tense with excitement. We were rewarded with a dramatic display of dancing fire as she skimmed her own body with the flames, swallowed and blew fire and sashayed the lit batons around the stage. However the really exciting part was yet to come. Fire poi, fireballs at the end of chains, were whizzed around the stage and were skilfully used to command different quick spins. The audience were held in rapture as the fire was bounced off of her body and around her own head – a highly thrilling performance to watch.

London Burlesque Festival, London Burlesque, Mimi Amore, Chaz Royal, Opening Gala

My final mention is Mimi Amore. She has a fierce act titled ‘Egyption,’ which features a red beaded costume and billowing fans. It is an impressive performance and I think her crowd interaction and the many faces in which she pulls to entice a reaction are particularly entertaining. Last year, when she won Best British Newcomer, I saw her perform and was blown away by her. This performance was just as good however I had already seen her perform the act. Personally I think, knowing that you are performing at a similar burlesque night for the same producer, that it would be good to switch it up and deliver a different performance. I was disappointed not to be able to see what else Mimi has to offer.

This was the same with another performer who also repeated her performance from last year’s festival from the same night; it would have been great to see something new from at least one of them.

London Burlesque Festival, Chaz Royal, Mexican Masked Man,

Overall a strong performance from all, the audience atmosphere was friendly, fun and in most cases very drunk. Next time though I’ll be sure to pick a festival night that only has performers that I haven’t seen before. Multiple repeat performances, however amazing they can be, can be annoying to sit through for someone like me who has made such an effort to get into London! Despite this I was kept wildly entertained by a huge mix of acts including tease, fire, comedy, feathers, a Mexican Wrestler with Dorito’s in their pants as well as a juggler.

London Burlesque Festival, Blaire Rowland, Blaire Amy, Burlesque Blogger

If you are looking for award winning international performers, London Burlesque Festival will always have something to offer you. Just don’t be afraid to visit your local shows too!

Hawaiian #OOTD – Voodoo Vixen Constantia Skirt

posted in: Fashion and Beauty | 0

Someone hand this girl a holiday cocktail

voodoo vixen, old is now, blaire amy, constantia, voodoo vixen constantia

When my Voodoo Vixen Constantia skirt arrived I was stunned upon opening the packaging. The item that dropped out of the bag was so damn vibrant, my colourful bedroom was left feeling inadequate. Holy hell the array of red, green, yellow and black that is the Voodoo Vixen Constantia skirt is a wicked combination that screams look at me in the best kind of way. The pattern should be pretty daring combined with those bright colours but it just creates a spot on hawaiian skirt that is fun and flirty with the addition of a sultry dancing girl in the print.

voodoo vixen, constantia skirt, hawaiian girl, blaire rowland, pin up, old is now
Yup that’s a hawaiian lady on my bootay…

After taking the skirt out of it’s packaging I was impressed with how sturdy the material felt and also, by giving the stitching a quick inspection, the quality of the garment. On putting the skirt on not only did it fit, I got the chance to take in the little details that were previously lost in the awe of colour and pattern.

voodoo vixen, old is now, blaire rowland, constantia pockets, constantia skirt
Excuse the knobbly knees but there was a lot of pocket excitement to be had!

Not only did I like the belt with the cute wooden buckle detail, that was in keeping with the tiki feel, this skirt had pockets! Pockets I hear you yell… what is the obsession bloggers have with pockets – it seems to be fast becoming the ultimate clique! But honestly when did you last have pockets on a garment? Maybe I am just shopping too impractically, but what a novelty. Also due to the vast amount of material used for this skirt, something that didn’t swamp me but was nice to swish as I walked; I could also fit a petticoat under for extra poof. (Although for these photos I haven’t.)

voodoo vixen, voodoo vixen constantia, old is now, vintage blog, hawaiian

With a date to the Birmingham Botanical Gardens on the cards, I took the skirt out for a spin with bamboo bangles and some huge flower earrings that matched my hawaiian theme perfectly. It was also the first time I’d worn my new Espadrilles which, were are a bargain from Tesco and proved to be crazy comfortable.

voodoo vixen, bamboo braclet, bamboo, bow and crossbones

flower earring, drop down earrings, hawaiian earrings

tesco espadrilles, espadrilles, f&f espadrilles

But back to the skirt, as I am sure you can tell from my review so far I have been very impressed with the Voodoo Vixen Constantia skirt. My one and only complaint would be that the belt isn’t removable, however that’s only because I would have liked to incorporate it into a headscarf for versatility – so that really is just me being picky!

voodoo vixen, constantia blog review, old is now, tiki

I couldn’t recommend this skirt enough however if you are a fan of Voodoo Vixen you will probably be aware that this pattern is available as a dress or shorts too! I saw a wonderful dancer at Atomic Festival wearing the ‘Maggie May’ dress and I can vouch that it looks even better in person than on the website.

voodoo vixen, old is now

All in all I’d say be bold and don’t hesitate to order this hawaiian Voodoo Vixen material in any type of clothing. It feels and looks great and who isn’t looking for that in their next summer outfit?

Many thanks to Voodoo Vixen for gifting me this skirt. It will be heading to Screamin’ Festival with me in June.

voodoo vixen, old is now, constantia, voodoo vixen skirt, birmingham botanical gardens

Voodoo Vixen, Constantia Skirt
Top Shop (from a long time ago), Top
Bow and Crossbones, Headscarf and Bamboo bangels
F&F, Espadrilles
My Mum’s Earrings

Atomic Festival Review

posted in: Events | 2

atomic festival, atomic, rockabilly festival, cars and helta skelta, atomic festival 2015

Atomic is a great Mid-Century festival bursting with things to do and see, attracting the rockabilly and vintage scene and creating a fun atmosphere despite the reluctant sunshine.

I wasn’t going to write an Atomic Festival review, quite simply because I am going a bit mad with the amount of posts I am putting up at the moment! However after all the hullabaloo started about the price on Facebook I thought I’d weigh in.

Atomic Festival, Atomic, atomic cars, atomic field

Bullet points are the order of the day, and some photos of gorgeous cars. (If someone would like to gift me an old Ford that would be a dream come true!) So without further ado, here are the pro’s, sat on the fence remarks, and con’s of Atomic Festival; from what I saw on my Saturday there.

Pro Atomic Festival:

  • The music was phenomenal. One of the highlights for me was Little Victor Mac who had a really original sound and a lot of charisma. I saw several bands as well as listening to DJ sets and enjoyed both types of music.
  • There were a lot of classic cars plus a couple of bikes and air shows. Personally I really enjoyed watching the Drag Races, the milkshake pink automobile being my favourite!
  • Atomic Festival, Atomic Festival Review, atomic drag race, drag race,

  • Taking advantage of the free dance lessons. I only made it to one of these, although there were three across the first day, and it was excellent. The Trainer’s claimed we’d learnt 6 weeks’ worth of moves in an hour – which I would like to believe I attempted because I was highly confused but bopping regardless! The lesson had ladies spinning around the room and went really well; especially with such a large group of beginners.
  • The Jive Contests. Talking of dancing, every time I watched someone jump onto the dance floor I was amazed but the jiving took on new levels in the heats. The room was packed out, as would be expected, but as my Boyfriend and I are tall we didn’t have any problems seeing! I loved watching and hope that if my dance lesson plans go ahead that I can make it onto the floor next year.
  • atomic festival, 40s 50s meet up, 40s 50s meet up group, atomic

  • How lovely are rockabilly people? Rockabilly might just be the friendliest subculture ever?! I learnt how to stroll after a lovely woman took pity on a group of us who were making a mess of things. It was great being able to get onto the dance floor. Further proof of people being lovely is that I was offered a free waffle; well food is the quickest way to my heart 😉 I also had the opportunity to meet with some ladies from the 1940’s/1950’s Most Marvellous Meet Ups Facebook Group, which was awesome.
  • Clean toilets (This is a HUGE deal – if you’ve ever been to any festival before you will understand!)

atomic festival. atomic drag cars, atomic car, rockabilly car, drag car

Sat on the fence:

  • If I am being super critical then I could mention the outdoor cinema. I didn’t visit it in the end, although that was why I’d chosen the Saturday – whoops! The main factor was the weather, although being mesmerised by dancers added to my decision to stay inside! Also, maybe a misconception, however my reason for labeling it as ‘sat on the fence’ would be because it didn’t look like there was much room for people without cars. I think I’d have got neck ache as I’d have been too close! But that’s from the outside looking in so I don’t really know. Plus if you have a vintage car then no problemo.

atomic festival, atomic 2015, green car, green monster car

Con’s:

  • Personally I can only think of one and not a particularly genuine one. My only ‘issue’ with Atomic Festival would be the price, although it could be my own fault! I went for a day and was under the impression that everything would be included. This meant that things like the ‘wall of death’ and the fairground rides weren’t as free, as I’d previously thought.

    At the time I had thought this was a little unfair however in hindsight; when have I ever attended an event and not had to pay for the rides!? Also the things that I didn’t manage to fit in included the museum, roller-skating and the chance to ‘ride in an old car,’ all of which were free.

Atomic Festival, Atomic Main Stage, Atomic Bands, rockabilly bands

All in all, as I am sure you can tell from the differences in list sizes, I would recommend the event! I’d say as long as the expectation is set beforehand that not everything is included in the price then this resistance wouldn’t have even occurred in the first place.

It was a fun festival to kick start the summer and I really did enjoy myself. If you can jive, this festival is a no brainer as whatever the weather is doing you won’t feel the need for any of the other things going on! Although the cars definitely need checking out. Head over to Sywell and let your hair down. Oh and have fun with the crazy golf, I whipped my Boyfriend’s arse.

Hopefully my Atomic Festival review comes across as fair. Did you go? Drop me a comment below, I’d love to hear from you.

Oriental Dreams #OOTD

posted in: Fashion and Beauty | 0

emmy Shanghai Sweetie Top

emmuy, emmy designs, vintage reproduction, shanghai sweetie top

Some of you will know that I spent a couple of wonderful, yet slightly weird, weeks backpacking around China this April. Having backpacked in the past I knew that the stereotypical baggy pants look wasn’t for me and that I was hoping for something vintage inspired and glamourous. That something came in the form of ‘emmy‘.

emmy, emmy designs, old is now, vintage repro, shanghai sweetie top

Wanting to take the opportunity to wear something oriental, due to the Asian location, I was so happy to come across the gorgeous, summery Shanghai sweetie top designed by emmy. If you haven’t heard of emmy they are a Swedish retro inspired company, which focuses on delivering feminine and flattering designs. Something it achieves with ease, as you can hopefully see! Another great thing about emmy is the focus they put on enhancing all female figures; with sizes ranging from UK 6-14 and US 2-20, emmy clothing is for beautiful ladies of all shapes.

emmy, emmy designs, old is now, vintage repro, shanghai sweetie top

This particular emmy top gave me the striking asian inspired look I was after with minimal fuss. From the oriental flower print to the authentic looking red knot ties and mandarin collar. The material felt good quality and the darts resulted in a great fit – fitted but not restrictive!

emmy, emmy designs, old is now, vintage repro, shanghai sweetie top

Beijing was the first city on my Chinese adventures and naturally I wanted to wear the emmy Shanghai sweetie top as soon as the sunshine permitted. So off to the Summer Palace I headed. Here I teamed the outfit up with a mesh skirt by F&F, bamboo bangle from Lady Luck’s Boutique, plus red hair flowers from Claire’s and unfortunately some trainers, to accommodate for the amount of walking on the travel agenda! Some retro inspired sandals would naturally be more in keeping.

emmy, emmy designs, old is now, vintage repro, shanghai sweetie top

emmy’s Shanghai sweetie top is highly versatile and also worked really well with my denim high-waisted shorts that I wore for a date with Chengdu’s Pandas. Yup they were impossibly cute but since I was asked for selfies with a bunch of Chinese tourists, I think my emmy top proved just as popular!

emmy, emmy designs, old is now, vintage repro, shanghai sweetie top

As you can tell I am really happy with my first emmy item. More styling options could be to team the top with cigarette pants or even a sarong ready for a beach party. As well as the cream and navy style featured on my Blog, you can also pick the Shanghai sweetie top up in mint blue, peach or turquoise. Although personally, I have my eye on the dress version of the design!

Many thanks to emmy for gifting me this gorgeous top! I can’t wait to flaunt the Shanghai design in the UK.

Like what you see? Why not give emmy a like on Facebook?