After a highly successful Pinup Picnic in the Park, hosted by the British Belles, over the weekend; I thought I’d put together a photo diary of the event. Keeping my chit chat to a minimum, after the initial meet at Marble Arch, we all headed over to Hyde Park embracing the stares, questions of ‘why is everyone dressed like the 50’s’ and just generally having a giggle.
I really enjoyed the opportunity to meet up with so many ladies, and a few well dressed gentlemen, that embrace the same style as me – plus who doesn’t like drinking Pimms and eating strawberries in the park on a sunny afternoon. I apologise for doing my usual shy shuffle, although I did get to chat to lots of amazing people as well as get snapper happy! Thanks to everyone who struck a pose for me.
Another thing to mention would be that the raffle, organised by the British Belles, which raised over £500 for Macmillan Cancer Support. It was great that the merry time we all had at the Pinup Picnic in the Park would prove beneficial to others too.
Ignoring the Taylor Swift tunes coming from another, far less exciting, event in Hyde Park; we headed for the shade of the trees after sunburn had started to set in for a few of the attendees!
As I am sure you can tell from my colourful photos and upbeat post; Pinup Picnic in the Park was a wicked event that saw smiles all around, as well as the most adorable baby kitted out in a cute nautical outfit to match the pinup Mama.
My only concern about the event would be that there isn’t another one lined up! British Belles, not only a photo diary, this is a plea for more Pinup Picnic in the Park events please! I promise me and Nicole will continue to keep the old bill in check 😉
An interview with Internationally published model, Frenchie L’amour
Instantly recognisable for her cheeky pin up style and a Yorkshire accent that will catch you off guard, Frenchie L’amour has had a triumphant start to her pin up persona. Not only teaming up with The Pin Up Academy she is also making a debut at Sexhibition this year; all whilst running for Miss Tease and Cake 2015.
What first attracted you to the pinup style?
For me it was the hairstyles. I absolutely love the 1940s and 50s hairstyles. Being a hairdresser myself I’m always looking for new styles to try and have become attached to styling my hair into pin curls and sleeping with a head scarf on. All the women in the 40s and 50s looked so glamorous with the hairstyles they had! My favourite is the page boy.
Was it an easy decision to become a pinup model?
It was indeed. My Mum and Dad have always supported me in what I’ve chosen to do in my life! They love it.
My Sister (Amelia-Belle) is also one of the UK pinup models, which is brilliant because she is my best friend. It’s so much fun sharing the experiences with each other.
How did you feel on your first shoot?
Well on my very very first shoot I was nervous because I was still unsure of what poses worked well for me!
But on my “official” first shoot where I was technically coming out as one of The Pinup Academy dolls I felt so incredibly comfortable! It felt like it was something I was always supposed to do.
Si and October, owners of The Pinup Academy, are also so much fun to work with which definitely made me feel more relaxed.
Could you tell me about some of your most memorable and enjoyable shoots?
Gosh, I wouldn’t even know where to start, all of my shoots have been enjoyable!
But if I had to narrow it down I’d have to say my most memorable shoot to date would have to be at a trade show I did where one of my fellow Pinup models lost her balance and fell through the back drop! Thankfully the back drop was hurt more than her!
My most enjoyable shoot would have to be when me, Amelia-Belle and October Divine were recreating some of the famous John Willie’s “sweet Gwendoline” images! I was playing Fi-Fi, the maid, and I had to be gagged and tied up on the floor. Trying to get me into the exact position which matched the original image was so complicated, yet so funny. I couldn’t stop laughing by the end of it because I was basically just getting rolled around the floor! Haha
Joining The Pinup Academy must have felt like a big step, how has that helped you?
They have been such a massive help to me because they have given me opportunities I could have only dreamt of before! If it wasn’t for them, I don’t think I’d have been in the position I am today! I have a lot to thank them for and I have never regretted joining The Pinup Academy.
How did it feel to be invited to take part in the Sexhibition Expo?
It will be my first time at Sexhibition and I’m so excited! I was so happy when I was asked to take part. I can’t believe I’m going to be working with some incredible people there!
What will you be getting up to there?
I will be on the catwalk and walking around modelling some incredible clothing from some of my favourite designers!
I will also be meeting some of my fans and signing images. It’s so lovely to meet the people that admire your work the most!
Do you think that having such an Expo signals that sex is a much more public topic?
I think sex is a much more public topic nowadays, but I do think that it is a good thing!
I’ve always believed that when things are new to us we become more inclined to try it, take for instance a chocolate bar, when you’ve just discovered one you want more and more but if you’ve always been around it then it doesn’t bother you as much!
I like sex, I think it should be a more welcomed thing because at the end of the day it’s a human and natural thing to do! People just have different ways of enjoying it. That’s why I think Sexhibition is such a fabulous expo because it shows everyone that no matter who you are you should always be yourself!
What are your hopes and plans for the rest of the year?
I hope to work with some more incredible people and visit lots more events. My plan is to just keep having fun and keep smiling. You’ll be seeing a lot more of Frenchie L’amour in the future!!!
Thank you Frenchie L’amour for the interview. If you’d like the chance to meet her make sure you book your ticket for Sexhibition, which is taking place in Manchester the 21st – 23rd of August.
Vintage Treasures is Basingstoke’s newest addition to the high street. Not only newly launched, it is a pretty new concept for Basingstoke; as the name suggests it is a trove of vintage goodies.
Victoria Kennedy who you might know as VJ Vintage, creator of local vintage markets, has upped the ante and ventured into the world of being an independent shop owner.
I started my business VJ Vintage because I loved and hoarded vintage stuff! I decided it would be fun to sell vintage clothing! I traded online and at vintage markets first and as word got out about my business I was asked by Proteus Creation Space to host their vintage markets.
It was at one of these markets I was approached by BCoT. They were looking for a local, vintage business to trade out of the shop they owned on Church St. The deal being that I worked with their fashion retail, fashion and business students and ‘mentored’ them in running a retail business. Plus providing the opportunity for the students to create ‘vintage inspired’ products and sell them in the shop-student enterprise. So ‘Vintage Treasures’ is the name we (VJ Vintage and BCoT) trade under.
Teaming vintage with local talents seems to be working well. Certainly if her gorgeous window display is anything to go by, things are off to a good start!
It is a reasonably sized shop decorated not only with cute tea cups but the kind of creative shelving that would impress Kirstie Allsopp! Even the way in which the items for sale are displayed makes it an instantly pleasing shop to walk into.
The shop has been received so positively. So many people comment about how Basingstoke (and ‘the high street’ in general) needs something different. I’m trying to provide that ‘different’ in Vintage Treasures!
The shop itself plays host to an array of vintage inspired riches including clothing, jewellery, bags, books, homewares and bric-a-brac. I wrote this after my second visit to Vintage Treasures and my hand was itching to pick things up just as much as the first time – a benefit of having such a diverse range of items. It feels like a real treat to look around Vintage Treasures because you never know what you’ll find. Fingers crossed the black patent bag I was lusting over will still be there on payday!
Need further convincing of Vintage Treasures worth? Victoria has lot’s of plans for the future…
We’re running some ‘make do and mend’ themed workshops. The idea is to use something you have and don’t like to create something new! For example, a lampshade recovering, decoupage an old shelf, revamp an item of clothing, or even make a vintage brooch.
We are also holing a ‘Prom shopping evening,’ which is a chance to find a dress for prom, have a go at some retro hair and make-up styles, plus a free goodie bag!
This entrepreneurial spirit mixed with local talent from BCoT will hopefully seal a great fate for Vintage Treasures. If you are looking for an item to treasure, I can recommend making a stop here first.