Halloween #WednesdayWishlist

posted in: Fashion and Beauty | 2

Get spooking… it’s nearly halloween

Apologies for such a HUGE delay in posting a new #WednesdayWishlist! What better way to ressurect my monthly lush list than with a halloween inspired post? I’ve kept it short and sweet, including only my favourite halloween dresses! You will not find the standard bunny girl costume or bloody nurse here. Instead you can expect vintage inspired dress styles with gruesome patterns – plus a cute cat or two 😉

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After last weeks Violets In May wrap dress review, including the style all vamped up was an obvious #WednesdayWishlist choice. Rumour has it the zombie print is running out so you best be quick if you fancy getting your hands on this dress. Check out the Etsy shop here.

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This Audrey Lindy Bop dress is far more on the cute and fluffy side of halloween (think babies dressed as pumpkins) than the scary side but a good contender none the less. The black cats teamed with the inky dress colour instantly gives it a witchy feel that I love. Also it would be a great dress that you could wear all year round regardles!

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I know I know… Sugar skulls don’t actually have anything to do with Halloween, but in recent years they seem to have been appropriated (whether rightly or wrongly) to become a favourite amoung halloween costumes. Instead of caking your face in paint why not wear this colourful British Retro dress?

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Despite some of the previous girlie halloween dress choices… I thought I’d end this blog post on a more chilling note. I think this Cold Heart Swan Skelleton’s dress, that is available on Tiger Milly, has quite an eerie feel to it. Combine this with some dark eye make up and you’d have a pretty but haunted look.


So that completes my halloween dresses #WednesdayWishlist. Wishing you all a spooky October, hopefully I will be getting my hands on one of these dresses soon, so that I can celebrate halloween in a most gruesome yet glam way!

Violets In May Wrap Dress

posted in: Fashion and Beauty | 1

Clothing for a Pinup

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John Bellingham – Portraits and Pinups
Flamingos have really been a hit this year! From bags to swimsuits, they’ve been featured on everything, with clothing as no exception!

If you follow my blog you’ll probably be familiar with this dress. I featured it a couple of months back in a wonderful Hawaiian themed #WednesdayWishlist post that makes me want to book a holiday up pronto. However I am now proud to say that I am the owner of one! A Violets In May Wrap Dress… flamingo style.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a flattering yet daringly patterned dress. I think this particular bold pattern really makes it stand out for all the right reasons and is particularly striking against the prints more typically featured on these style of dresses.

Even better, this is a Violets In May dress. Lola Diamond is the pin up mastermind behind the designs and brand. Most notably she can be recognised for combining vintage sewing patterns with sparkly lurex and brightly patterned outfits; as well as her trademark Lola tops, which should feature in any self confessed pinup’s closet.

John Bellingham - Portraits and Pinups

With lots of differently patterned materials you can rely on having a Violets In May Wrap Dress that is unique. The fit is good and Lola is always eager to offer help with measurements. I find that my measurements usually mean I am between sizes for most brands, which worked perfectly with this wrap dress as it was slightly loose on my hips, giving the illusion that I am more curvy than I am! Plus, another bonus is that the wrap aspect hides food babies like a pro. I also liked the flexibility of wearing the dress as a halter neck or boob tube by removing the straps, with a simple button design.

If I was to criticize Violets In May, it would be that the stock isn’t ready made. This means there is a wait time (4 weeks maximum in my experience), which is a small price to pay for such affordable and personalised designs.

I’m a big fan of Violets In May and can’t wait to add to my growing collection! In a pinup world where brands like Collectif and Pin Up Girl clothing seem to rule, it is really great being able to support a small business as well as wearing something different.

Looking for Violets In May? Check out Lola’s Etsy shop here

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John Bellingham – Portraits and Pinups

Dress: Violets In May
Hair Flower: Lady Luck’s Boutique
Photographer: John Bellingham
MUA: Ish

My Favourite Things Interview

posted in: Events, Interview | 0

Whilst sunning it up at Retro Festival last month I had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing My Favourite Things. It should have been a daunting task after seeing just how well they perform and how successfully they can get the audience joining in, but they were wonderfully friendly and a total laugh. Read on to find out more about the two My Favourite Things sisters Nicki and Julie, as well as what they got up to as Curator’s for The Spitfire Pavilion vintage tent at Retro Festival. So here it is… Old is Now’s My Favourite Things Interview.

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How did you first get started with vintage?

Julie: It’s actually quite funny, we didn’t realise that vintage was such a massive thing to start! It was much more about the music and the dancing for us. Then because we already did it, we found there was this whole world of vintage around it.

Nicki: Yeah everything we go to you end up spending your money because you find this nice dress, or a new piece of jewellery, or furniture, so I guess we have grown with the whole vintage theme.

So you were performing before My Favourite Things?

Nicki: Yes, we worked in the same kind of genre. For myself I was working for a musical so obviously that was the harmonys and the old school stuff anyway. Then my sister and I started My Favourite Things.

Julie: We do the sister duo thing but then we also perform as a trio and then the three, four or five piece band. So lots of options!

Have you curated before?

Julie: At Retro Festival this would be the first time, we were performing last year. The girl who was doing it previously was stepping down and because we’d worked with the organiser David such a lot and knew his vision, we knew where he wanted to take it. Fortunately enough he trusted us to do that.

Nicki: It’s obviously a different team now, the guy in charge is Paul but apparently David would have been really happy with what we’ve put on this weekend. With the whole curating thing we’ve only helped out here and there at different events or putting on our own workshops and things like that as well.

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How are the workshops?

Julie: Yeah good, we do tap workshops. We were doing one with a dance group called Swing Brave and yeah they loved it! We did ‘Diamonds are a girls best friend’ and we taught the harmony and the dancing.

Nicki: We then performed it before our set. Also because we’ve been teaching for over ten years, we are putting on a week with My Favourite Things, so we’ll do harmonys, dance routines, the hair styles and afternoon tea.

Is the curating something you’d like to do more of?

Yeah I think as My Favourite Things grows, we’ve got the entertainment side of things but we are looking to go into events as well.

Julie: We’ve got the Workshop and are looking at education too. We went into a school recently, for year 1’s, and they were doing a 50’s project. So we popped in and did a few numbers and spoke about the fashion and the hair. We did some demonstrations and that was really nice. Hopefully we can grow with that and go into other schools too. We just love giving ourselves more work! But you know what we do is so much fun and we get to meet lovely different people. For us it is hard work but we’re doing what we love and you can’t get better than that can you?

Will you be back at Retro Festival next year?

Nicki and Julie: Yeah!

Julie: I feel like we’ve got quite a large marquee, we’ve got a big dance floor and it’s been quite full on, but everyone has said how amazing the marquee looks. All the acts that we’ve had have been great. They are all people that we’ve already worked with or have seen at other events. I feel like last night for example, the Cabaret, has room to grow. I’ve heard that people were raving about it and we can fit more chairs in! I think it’s quite nice how this is the vintage area. Of course there are other stalls outside, but even the Fish n Chips have been on about changing their image to a little bit vintage, so even they have embraced the atmosphere and the theme!

Nicki: I think it’s been good for a first time to see what works and what doesn’t work but on the whole I think we’ve been really pleased with it. Obviously we’d like the opportunity to expand and get a few more bands in as well and maybe have some even bigger names.

Many thanks to both Nicki and Julie from My Favourite Things, not only for a great interview but also for curating so passionately at Retro Festival. I spent the majority of my wonderful Sunday with your performers! I’m looking forward to more next year :)

Meet Emma McLaughlin from the 1940’s/ 1950’s Most Marvellous Meet Ups Group

posted in: Interview | 0
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Emma McLaughlin, second from left at an Atomic Festival meet up

Meet Emma McLaughlin, the vintage enthusiast who started the 1940’s/ 1950’s Most Marvellous Meet Ups group on Facebook, which now boasts over 3,500 members and is growing each day. With all the ladies and gentlemen behind the group the hope is to create a mass meet in the form of a VE Christmas Ball. Read on to find out more…

So Emma, how did you first get into vintage?

When I was little, I used to spend summer holidays watching old, black and white films with my Nan cuddled up on the sofa. It was then that I fell in love with the old Hollywood glamour. Upon learning about the Second World War at primary school, my Nan took me to the Imperial War Museum in London and I fell in love with the era, as well as home front life in the UK. When I was 15, in 1995, I got to dress up for the fiftieth VE Day celebrations as a 1940’s civilian, love grew from there.

Did you realise the group would grow so quickly?

Initially I thought the group would grow to around 200 people if I was lucky. I thought that as long as meet ups could occur, I’d be happy with those numbers. I never anticipated it to grow as much as it has, and we have new members joining daily!

What do you think has made vintage take off so well on social media?

I feel vintage has taken off on social media, as anyone can become part of the scene, if from afar and living vicariously through other peoples posts. Also the community spirit that once was alive in many towns and cities has gone. In a virtual community we can be who we want to be, away from our daily lives and can instil the manners and etiquette our society is lacking. Our group promotes a community spirit of years past and encourages people to help one another through the bad times, just like people did in our Grandparents generation.

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What has been your proudest moment with the group so far?

My proudest moment was seeing everyone come together to help with the online auction in my Mum’s memory and helping the charity that helped my Mum when she was alive. Also, members donating money to someone they have never met, to buy flowers for a member when their Mother passed away was beautiful and a prime example of community spirit.

How did the idea for a Christmas Ball come about?

I was unable to take part in this years VE celebrations, so knew I wanted to commemorate it somehow later in the year. The 1940’s/ 1950’s Most Marvellous Meet Ups Ball came about as we wanted our community to come together at Christmas to celebrate and have an opportunity to inject some vintage glamour. Rarely do we have opportunities to truly dress up and be glamorous and celebrate Christmas on a grand scale.

What can people expect at the Ball?

People can expect, a 1940’s and VE Day projection show for the duration of Ball, also the opportunity of Marvelettes becoming part of that show, a burlesque performance from the Northants Burlesque Marvelettes, 1940’s disco and a couple of Christmas songs. There will also be a buffet style dinner, with some menu options done to 1940’s ration recipes, plus a big band and some singers!

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How can people help?

Just by spreading the message about the Ball. We have to pay 50% of the total cost off in next couple of weeks! We have had good ticket sales so far, just need more coming in and quickly. People can volunteer in anyway they would like, from announcing entrants into the Museum to being on the door. Anyone to get 100 tickets sold for ball gets free entry and if anyone is an entertainer and would like to volunteer their services, this would also be highly welcomed.


From the sounds of things, the 1940’s/ 1950’s Most Marvellous Meet Ups VE Christmas Ball is going to be spectacular, the venue alone being at the Imperial War Museum in Manchester will also make it a really special evening. The Ball is being held on the 28th November and with tickets priced at £31.50 it seems like the perfect way to celebrate Victory in Europe one last time this year.

Payments can be made on the Christmas Ball Go Fund Me page, just make sure to list the guests! I hope to see you there, I’ll be hiding by the mistletoe 😉


posted in: Burlesque and Cabaret, Events | 0

From the initial concept of ‘Erotic Event of the Year’ Sexhibition really delivered a racy weekend to Manchester’s Event City.

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To begin with there was enough sexual equipment, yes paddles, toys and even furniture, to sustain the sauciest person you know for a lifetime and beyond. Nothing unexpected there, however what I really enjoyed about Sexhibition was the Fashion Shows as well as Alix Fox’s humorous BDSM for beginners talks.

I was gutted to have missed the What Katy Did and Kiku Fashion Shows (due to awful traffic) but had some serious lust for Lady Alluras Latex in particular. Not only is Lady Alluras Latex really fashionable due to the latex garments it actually creates but some of the designs also incorporated lace for a really unique and beautiful style. Also Masuimi Max graced the stage in an amazing latex winged outfit, which was a total show stopper.

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I visited Sexhibition with blogger and pin up pal Nicole from Coco Von Vintage and together we had a pretty awesome, albeit slightly drunken silly, weekend. We were lucky enough to meet Sukki Singapora, who is just as beautiful in person and lovely enough to allow us to take a photo with her! We also had the chance to meet the lovelies from The Pinup Academy, including Lola Diamond (blog post featuring her amazing Flamingo dress soon) and Frenchie L’amour who is a total babe and a delight to chat with (and apparently a wonderful audience for when I am pulling grossed out faces – still sorry for that).

The Sexhibtion Expo was a great way to spend the day. I visited the stalls, different rooms and even signed up to a shoot with Andrew Wood Photography so watch out for my return to Manchester! There was also the opportunity to attend workshops covering burlesque, belly dancing and pole dancing and from peeping through the windows, they looked like a lot of fun. The Pin Up and Pornstars Party was slightly disappointing as there wasn’t a lot going on, however Sexhibition: After Dark provided just the debauched soiree it promised!

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Each of the Burlesque artists featured in Sexhibtion Supper Club were really impressive but my obvious favourite has to be Sukki as she was a big pull for me to attend the event in the first place! She performed her glamorous diamonds routine with a glistening and wet finale on top of a huge ring, of course 😉 Total superstar!

Compere Miss Polly Rae was also on fine form and kept the entertainment flowing, mingling around the candle lit dining area, as well as demonstrating her amazing singing show girl persona.

Elsewhere at Sexhibition there were pole and lap dancers (it was great seeing topless men on the pole – just saying). The only thing that slightly let the side down was that unfortunately Event City had miscalculated how much Sexhibitionists would like to drink. The bar queues were insane for most of the evening, which resulted in me ending my evening drinking Cider… something I now know to be avoided unless I am looking for a hangover the next day… but it was worth it for all the hilarity.

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With the drag stars, burlesquers, weirdos and just risking it all for the evening attendees (or all of the above), I like to think that everyone who did visit, helped make Sexhibition the toxic and fun night it became!

We are all Sexhibitionists and I look forward to even bigger and better next year.

blaire amy, pinup blog, vintage blog, old is now, forbidden furniture, sexhibition