Old is Now Vintage 2015 Round Up

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2015 is coming to a close! That little sentence will cause total relief to some and maybe give others the luxury of a celebratory cheer. But putting whether you’ve had a good or bad 2015 aside, I thought I’d take stock of some of my favourite and most popular Old is Now Vintage blog posts of 2015!

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Vintage Treasures

First off has to be my hugely popular blog post on Vintage Treasures; a cute shop in Basingstoke that brings some much needed vintage and retro looks to the town! Victoria is the lady behind VJ Vintage, so was already established as a reliable vintage advocate in the area. If you have had the pleasure of meeting Victoria or her equally lovely mother Angie then you will know that a visit to Vintage Treasures is a treat, as they are always great for a chat. If you are looking for vintage in Basingstoke, then this blog post is a great place to start. I’m just sad that having moved I don’t have the opportunity to visit as much as I would like.

Vintage Guide to Barcelona

From Basingstoke to Barcelona! I am totally besotted with Barcelona and to move to Cataluña would be a dream come true. If you are heading to this exciting city then this is a great mini guide that will help you blitz the vintage shops. I actually managed to go around all the shops featured in a day, with much needed beach and ice cream rests. In all honestly whether you are interested in vintage or not, Barcelona is the city for you 😉 It really does have everything from shopping to nightlife to culture… and not forgetting THAT FOOD!

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John Bellingham – Portraits and Pinups

Violets In May

I have to mention my Violets in May Wrap Dress blog post. Not only is Lola Diamond, the mastermind behind the brand lovely; but I also had the chance to interview her in 2015 for Vintage Life magazine. I love that my passion for writing means I can type away on both my blog Old is Now Vintage, as well as have the opportunity to work with prestigious magazines. That being said, I have a few Violets In May items in my wardrobe now and my wrap dress is definitely my favourite so it has to get a mention.

Screamin Festival

I had such a frickin good time at Screamin Festival this year, that I have to include my post for first timers. The festival attracts a really fun and friendly crowd, as well as very talented musicians… oh and it’s in Spain so it was always going to be a winner with me! This blog post was really interesting for me as I got to find out a little bit more about the festival before I went myself. A must read if you are thinking about going.

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Pinup Picnic In The Park

Last, but not least is my blog post for Pinup In The Park. It was great to meet so many pinup enthusiasts from the 40s and 50s meet up Facebook group, as well as those I’ve been lusting over on Instagram 😉 Give it a read if you are looking for outfit inspiration, as there was plenty to go around. Can’t wait for the next one, thanks again to the British Belles for organising the day – it was a huge success.

So that’s the Old is Now Vintage 2015 round up… Wishing all my readers a happy 2016!

An Interview with Andy Hosegood

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Andy Hosegood

Andy Hosegood is a pinup painter, taking inspiration from Elvgren, Ekman and Frush, whilst successfully capturing their 40’s and 50’s illustrations’ cheeky and glamorous ladies. Having only studied his Foundation year at art college (‘many moons ago’, his words not mine) he then went on to continue his studies alone. That’s right, Andy Hosegood is pretty much self taught, which only goes to make his work appear even more impressive! Four years into painting in the pinup style, I wanted to find out more about Andy Hosegood.

What first attracted you to pinup art?

Airfix kits!!!! No, really! When I was about ten, I had a model kit building phase, and while researching paint schemes, I first encountered bomber nose art. I thought the pin up ladies were much more interesting than the planes! Maybe it’s an age thing, I’m not sure, but growing up in the late 70’s and early 80’s, I remember there being a lot more older films and TV programmes being shown. There was obviously stuff from the 50’s, and it always struck me just how lovely and effortlessly stylish the ladies were. Not just film actors and actresses, but the whole mid century design and style appealed to me, due in part to the fact that there were a lot of household items still left over from the 50’s in our house. I was born 13 years after the decade ended, which isn’t really a huge time span!

To me the pin up art from the 40’s and 50’s encapsulates the feeling of those two decades; one of hope for a better future I guess, which is a splendid reason in my book to like any art. The pictures are always cheerful, yes they are cheeky too, but it’s nothing too risque! And God knows in this day and age, people need cheering!

Got to be honest though, although I was aware of pinup, I didn’t really know about pinup art as a genre until I stumbled across a Vargas book at art college. I’m not really a huge fan of his work, although he was undoubtedly brilliant, but the book had a few Elvgren pieces which certainly turned my head! To me he is the master of the genre, not just for what he painted, but how he did it. He had this genius ability to be pretty loose in his rendering, yet the pictures have so much detail. I can only dream of being that talented, I’m a very ‘tight’ painter, and tend to get hung up over silly little things!

How do you come up with a concept to paint? They are all so unique!

Daydreaming during the day job usually! Quite a few times I’ll try and reference a film or a book I like, and ‘pinup-ize’ a character if the character isn’t pinuppy. There have been a few paintings like that, one of Stephanie Jay as a pinup Indiana Jones for instance. Sometimes I’ll try and just ‘do’ a traditional pinup, but I won’t slavishly copy an Elvgren or such. And other times it can be quite collaborative, with the model coming up with some ace idea’s!

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Andy Hosegood

When you first meet a model, do you instantly think of a scene for them?

Some of the best idea’s come from knowing a bit about the model and their likes and dislikes. It can give you a springboard for a good idea. Take for instance a picture I painted this year of Ria Fend. Ria loves horror films, and I like the old Hammer Horror films, so it seemed quite a natural progression to put the two together and have Ria as a vampy vampiress!

What if you could paint one of the old pinups, who would you paint?

Only one?! Bah!!! Hmm, that’s quite a difficult question, let me think….. erm, can I give you a choice of three please? Okay, for sophisticated sexy allure, Lana Turner. For having a lovely smile and a sweet everyday charm – oh, and being Princess Leia’s mum, I’d choose Debbie Reynolds. Then for being the ultimate pinup, that people still try and emulate today, Bettie Page!

How about painting a modern lady, does Kim Karsashian not appeal? 😉

It wouldn’t be Kim Kardashian I’m afraid!! In the world of entertainment, it would without a doubt be the actress Hayley Atwell. She’s been in lots of films and plays, but I think at the moment she is best known for playing Captain America’s love interest, Peggy Carter. If you love vintage style, get the DVD of ‘Agent Carter’, you’ll love her 40’s outfits!

So how much work really goes into the process?

Once the idea has been discussed with the model, I then arrange a little photoshoot. If there is something that would help the picture in any way, I’ll have a go at making it. I’ve still got a lifesize snowman in the garage! So I’ll snap away at the shoot, and there are usually a few pictures that are good enough to work from. I’m not a photographer by any means, but I do enjoy it! There is a school of thought that says it is detrimental to your progress as an artist to work from photo’s, but let’s be practical, someone couldn’t really hold a pin up pose for about two and a half hours, so photo’s are the way to go!

Then it’s just the matter of painting the picture! This usually takes about two weeks. The paintings are on wood panels as opposed to the more traditional canvas. I’m not really too keen on canvas, it’s too springy!

Being oil paintings, I then have to wait a year for the darn things to dry…….

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Andy Hosegood

Do you use any other mediums or styles?

I do sometimes use acrylic paint, but I don’t get on with it too well. It’s fantastic because it dries so quickly, but it’s a pain because it dries so quickly! I’ll sometimes try my hand at a cartoony pin up style which can be fun, just for a change!

I hear you have a calendar coming out again this year?

Ah, the calendar! The sum of my years work! It can be ordered via my little online shop. It’s only £10 plus p&p!! If people want to message me, they are more than welcome to contact me through my Facebook page. Plus although I very rarely advertise the fact, some of the original paintings are indeed up for sale (again, please get in touch through FB).

Many thanks to Andy for being interviewed, I really enjoyed hearing all about the artistic process. I look forward to seeing the next painting :)

The Pinup Academy Model Workshop

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The Pinup Academy

If you are into pinup and haven’t heard of The Pinup Academy I would be pretty shocked!

First formed by reigning pinup Queens October Divine and SINderella Rockafella, plus Si from Pinup Pictures; these pinup veterans have created quite the brand. Together they have beautiful and respected pinup models on their roster including Lola Diamond and Frenchie L’amour amongst others. The Pinup Academy provides makeovers and portfolio photography experiences and has most recently started running modelling workshops.

Having already begun my journey as a pinup with TFP shoots, speaking with Si at Sexhibition about the model workshop was the final push to book myself onto one of them, with the hope that I’d start taking myself as a pinup more seriously.

First off, what a day! I was fortunate that my Boyfriend offered to take and pick me up. The day is jam packed and runs from 9 – 6. Although I felt like I was on it all day and coping, as soon as I stopped and touched the seat of the car home I turned into a zombie! (Luckily a fish n’ chips dinner en route home revived me.) That being said, it is an excitingly demanding day that I wouldn’t change at all.

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The Pinup Academy

Exhaustion aside, the day began with a welcome from Si whilst eeeeee (excited squeal) Amelia Belle and SINderella Rockafella did the finishing touches on their hair and makeup. With an introduction to The Pinup Academy, Si then focused on staying safe on shoots and gave an overview of the basics to remember whilst in front of the camera. Despite having already been on a couple of shoots, I was surprised to learn quite a lot… including that I am a tad naive! (Glad to have been put straight on things.)

The tone for a fun day was quickly set, as both SINderella Rockafella and Amelia Belle interrupted Si with good humoured jibes. Their excitement and confidence soon helped all of us attending the day to feel less nervous.

After seeing the professional models in action, we were up. It was great to pose and have Amelia Belle step in and correct something or SINderella Rockafella jettison onto set reminding you to point your toes, although obviously it was slightly nerve racking too!

The rest of the day was a juggle between hair, makeup, getting changed and getting back into the studio. Two studios were set up and the lighting was changed a number of times for different looks. A camera club set up was also mimicked after lunch, which really put us through our paces and meant we really could make the most of our time at The Pinup Academy’s model workshop. It also gave me the confidence to get involved in a local camera club – once I find one.

The arrival of Santa caused great hilarity but was soon interrupted by the arrival of October Divine. No surprises but she is stunning… and oh what a figure! Naturally no introductions were needed hahh!

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The Pinup Academy

After many more photos, the day concluded with a Q & A with SINderella Rockafella, where we each had the opportunity to quiz her, which I found particularly helpful and was a lovely relaxed end to the day.

The main purpose of The Pinup Academy model workshop, being what it says on the tin; my favourite aspect of the day was having a total girl fest with others who love pinup. I met a wonderful Mum of 4 who owns a vintage business, vintage bloggers from back home who I hadn’t met before (small world) as well as other equally awesome ladies. Everyone in pinup always seems to have something going on in their lives, it attracts the most positive and proactive of people – let’s face it being a pinup can be a full time job in itself 😉 I really enjoyed meeting others with the same passion for pinup as me.

The Pinup Academy model workshop is a great and valuable day. I was quickly made to feel comfortable and the other pinup newbies, professionals and photographers were enthusiastic and fun to work with. I learnt a lot and got plenty of studio experience in a very short space of time, which felt like a very good thing – only future shoots will tell 😉

Many thanks again to everyone who was there on the day; I’d highly recommend it to pinups and photographers alike.

Guys And Dolls

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From the opening scene to the final curtain call, I loved Guys and Dolls.

The opening repertoire of ‘Fugue For Tinhorns’ (aka the horse betting song) was amazing and set the bar for a top performance all round. I really enjoyed the introduction from some of the cheekiest characters as they overlaid their voices for quite the medley.

The set, covered with old advertisements really gives off the feeling of a bustling city. The lights worked well and the set really did capture that New York feel. When we were transported to Havana the set was good but it was the dancers and the drama on stage that really made it come alive and give off that party vibe associated with the destination. A particularly hilarious scene develops, although I will say no more as I would hate to spoil things for anyone who hasn’t watched Guys and Dolls before.

I mentioned the first song, which was excellent but I must say my favourite was ‘Adelaide’s Lament’. It is a hilarious number and hats off to the writer of the script and songs for Guys and Dolls. Each song was well performed and ‘Rock the Boat’ really stood out too. I was thrilled to find that I had heard most of the songs already and was able to tap away in time.

Speaking of Adelaide’s Lament, Miss Adelaide truly was my favourite character, gaining by far the loudest applause at curtain call. The character has a lot of funny lines, not limited to this song and each line is executed perfectly by Sophie Thompson.

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By the end I was truly head over heels for the character Sky Masterson (played by Jamie Parker), not only for how much of a bad boy he was; but come on the man can sing! I am sure I speak for much of the audience when I say I was wishing he was still wearing his gangster getup for the finale! 😉

I watched Guys and Dolls with total zeel, despite not having seen the film adaptation before. For me the characters were great, the singing and choreography equally so. Whilst leaving the New Alexandra Theatre I did hear a couple of people discussing who was and wasn’t cast well but for me, everyone was a joy to watch.

The New Alexandra Theatre was a great place to watch this performance. It’s not only located very close to Birmingham New Street for a speedy get away, but also has a pretty plush piano bar. It was lovely to be sipping drinks at the interval accompanied by the notes of a grand piano.

For me, a musical based in the old gangster culture of New York with romantic interventions is always going to be a hit. What makes Guys and Dolls so enjoyable for all to watch is that it makes the audience laugh out loud in a completely unselfconscious manner, which can only mean it is a success.

Well done to all those involved in Guys and Dolls, it is spectacular! Plus a big thank you to The New Alexandra Theatre for inviting me.

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Photo credit: Johan Persson