Vintage Victory Rollers Vintage Hair Workshop

posted in: Events, Fashion and Beauty | 1

vintage victory rollers, raye leonard, raye vvr, vvr, vintage hair workshop, vintage hair salon

Whether a seasoned vintage hair ‘doer’ or a total newbie, Vintage Victory Rollers vintage hair workshop is here to help you!

I have to be honest; I’ve always been slightly hesitant to attend a hair workshop. I can whip up some victory rolls and on a good day I can usually pull off a Gibson roll without any frustrated screams; although this may be down to luck more than skill! I’ve watched YouTube tutorials and adapted styling tricks from books and magazines, plus let’s face it persistence and practise is a big factor in creating any hair masterpiece! So what made me want to attend Vintage Victory Rollers vintage hair workshop? VVR owner Raye Leonard of course!

I’ve been fortunate enough to watch Raye’s business grow as I befriended her through a vintage meet up group on Facebook, at around the same time that I started blogging. She is such an inspiring boss lady to follow, as she just keeps going! I wanted to get behind VVR, so attending Raye’s vintage hair workshop made the most sense. Not to mention the gorgeous hair inspiration photos she regularly uploads onto social media.

vintage victory rollers, vvr, vintage hair workshop, vintage hair salon, vintage salon, vvr hair

vintage victory rollers, vvr, vintage hair workshop, vintage hair salon, vintage salon, vvr hair

She hasn’t been in her current salon space for long but it’s already had a major overhaul and been totally made over in the Vintage Victory Rollers style. The first thing you will probably notice is that it has flamingo everything! It’s really been VVR’d and looks very cute with bunting outside (much to the amusement of locals), flamingo wallpaper inside and wonderful vintage dressers for workstations. Raye also knows how to make a good cup of tea, a very important factor when choosing a vintage hair workshop. 😉

Raye’s enthusiasm and easy going nature made for a comfortable environment to work in. I didn’t mind asking questions and wasn’t embarrassed (too much) when I went to pick up the hot tongs by the wrong end. Throughout the day, that ran from 10am-3pm, the VVR tutorials demonstrated pin curling, a vintage brush out, victory rolls, poodle hair and a quick vintage festival up do.

vintage victory rollers, vvr, vintage hair workshop, vintage hair salon, vintage salon, vvr hair

vintage victory rollers, vvr, vintage hair workshop, vintage hair salon, vintage salon, vvr hair

I really enjoyed the pampering feel to the day. It was really fun to meet other vintage lovers who were at the tutorial, visiting the saloon for a trim as well as the hair models themselves. I received an impromptu lindy hop lesson right in the middle of the salon! It was equally lovely to finish the day, having had my hair styled by Raye into a messy poodle doo that lasted 3 days.

All in all if you are totally new to hair Raye can help you and I think it would be a great and totally not scary place to start. She has such a friendly charisma that you will instantly feel included and comfortable to make mistakes. Personally I have been creating basic vintage inspired hairstyles for a couple of years now. What I liked about the workshop was the reassurance that I have been doing things the right way. I also enjoyed the creative aspect and have come away with a fearlessness to try out new things and in some cases to adopt better practises to create more professional looks. Oh and I came away armed with a much better brush!

At the end of the Vintage Victory Rollers vintage hair workshop, not only will you have a fabulous vintage hairstyle in place but you will also be armed with lots of styling and product tips, as well as a cheat sheet for each style covered. Despite this, I think the most important thing that I learnt was to be more patient with my styling. My own personal VVR goal is to try and spend a little bit more time on my hair as it can go a long way in making a better vintage do.

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Thanks for all the support Vintage Victory Rollers, I look forward to my next styling session!

Black Country Living Museum’s 1940s Weekend

posted in: Events | 8

black country living museum, amy bliss, old is now vintage, 1940s weekend

With sunshine planned for the weekend I decided to buy an impromptu ticket for the Black Country Living Museum 1940s Weekend. What a great plan, not only was the weather absolutely beautiful on the Sunday but the museum put on a really lovely day.

Last year I heard about the Black Country Living Museum’s 1940s Weekend and really enjoyed the great photos that were circulated from the event. I had completely over looked the event this year and it was only by chance that I was free on that particular weekend. Hooray! I got to finally visit BCLM and enjoy the special 1940s extras that they introduce for the event.

There are a handful of stalls at BCLM’s 1940s Weekend and I admit this was the first thing that I stopped for, despite not actually making any purchases! We then walked down towards the main site, only to be stopped by a very friendly American army officer who advised us that there was a camp site hidden in the woodland area. This wasn’t marked on the map, whether this was by mistake or not I couldn’t say, but it was great to discover. In the undergrowth was a camp, complete with look outs and a jeep. I think we interrupted brunch! There was moral despite the tiny tents they were staying in and it was astounding to be told that not only were they original but in the war they would have slept two people in each. Even these knowledgeable re-enactors afforded themselves the luxury of one tent each!

black country living museum, bclm, bclm 40s weekend, old is now vintage, 1940s weekend

bclm, 40s weekend, black country living museum, amy bliss, old is now vintage, 1940s weekend

Next up was a debate as to where we should visit on the map first and after a quick browse of the traditional fairground we came to a garage with vintage motorbikes and cars outside. I was approached by a jolly chap who asked with mystery “would you like me to make your day?” Bemused I told the uniformed gentleman that I would love that. To which he responded by starting up the motorbike, “I’ll get you my jacket to sit on for comfort.” Eeeee and with that I was off! I crossed my ankles over and tucked my skirt in between my legs, like a proper lady and held onto his belt for dear life. I’m just kidding; he drove in a very idyllic manner around the whole site, probably worrying Joshua that he’d lost me. 😉 It was great being driven around, smiling and waving to everyone. I really felt like I had been taken back to the 1940s as the whole site is of course a village museum. Touring on the motorbike and seeing everyone dressed in vintage clothing and hearing a big band playing really transported me back and was a real treat and highlight of the weekend.

The rest of our day was filled with visiting the BCLM’s different village shops and houses, enjoying music in particular the Ashby Big Band and catching rays. We had a picnic rug and made good use of it at The Bank’s Stage and I must admit that although so many people I know via social media attended the Saturday, we definitely got the best weather on the Sunday. We checked in on the dance lessons being held at the Workers’ Institute stage and although we were too late to join in, I have to say that the small group looked like they’d polished off quite a routine! Singer Pete Wayre also put on a very slick performance and captured the dreamy 40s singer image very well.

black country living museum, pete wayre, old is now vintage, 1940s weekend

black country living museum, bclm, 40s wedding, 1940s wedding, old is now vintage, 1940s weekend

We also gorged ourselves on possibly the best fish n chips of my life!? Two words… beef dripping. There should literally be no other way to make fish n chips. Also having never tried spam before I can swear by spam fritters, again cooked in beef dripping. It honestly isn’t as gross as it kind of sounds!

My only grievance would be that I didn’t manage to visit the pub! If you know me, then you will know how bizarre this is! I guess there is always next year 😉

black country living museum, amy bliss, old is now vintage, bclm, 1940s weekend

black country living museum, old is now vintage, bclm, 1940s weekend

Black Country Living Museum’s 1940s Weekend Tips:

Book your tickets online – the biggest and best tip of them all! I went on the Sunday, which was the least busy day and the queue to get in for those without tickets was still an hour long. I arrived at 10:30 and thankfully had my e-ticket on hand. It took me all of 2 minutes to make my way from reception into the museum!

Despite having the most amazing fish n chips ever… other food seemed a bit lacking (although Joshua loved the pork bap). Next year I will be bringing a picnic for lunch. A final note on food… don’t enter the fish n chips queue hungry, we had a 30 minute wait which is totally reasonable since the food is delicious but only if you aren’t ravenous. The whole area surrounding the fish n chips shops smells AMAZING and if you are anything more than a little bit hungry the queue will test all hangry distraction devices the person queuing with you has. The best hangry distraction technique Joshua came up with was sending me off to buy a Gin and Elderflower cocktail; I came back very happy and I think he enjoyed a moment of peace and quiet!

Parking at BCLM quickly fills up. I don’t know about previous years but they had an overfill car park at the Dudley College Broadway, with a shuttle bus to the site. There are people handing out flyers with the post code for the parking but in case you are far too organised for that, here it is: DY1 4AS. (Apologies if this changes after 2016)

I hope those tips help and hopefully see you there next year!

black country living museum, bclm, old is now vintage, 1940s weekend

Pinup Picnic in the Bar

posted in: Events | 1
portraits and pinups, amy bliss, old is now, old is now vintage, frizzy lois, pinup picnic, pinup picnic in the park, kanaloas
Portraits and Pinups: Frizzy Lois and Amy Bliss

Whether you want to call it Pinup Picnic in the Park, Pinup in the Bar or the Pinup Pissup, this year’s British Belles pinup event was excellent. I went to the first event last year and had an amazing time in the sunshine, which you can read up on here. However with the completely unpredictable nature of the British Summer plan B was initiated by Atomic Amber who saved the day last minute by securing a tiki bar to host us.

But before we even think about the tiki bar I have to mention how much of a stir us pinups were making outside the Chancery Lane tube stop! I was asked to pose with strangers and told I looked wonderful so many times whilst trying to decipher google maps and work out a route to the bar.

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Portraits and Pinups: Vintage Doll Laura

Everyone was on the receiving end of such positive attention. I think with the immediacy of pinup lifestyle on my phone, through Instagram etc, I actually forget that I don’t dress normal. It is always reassuring to meet up with a group of lovely, like minded ladies (and the occasional gentlemen twit twoo) to celebrate a collective difference in style from the norm. The group of builders, who we trotted past on the way to Kanaloa’s tiki bar, were particularly hilarious if not totally bowing to all stereotypes as their jaws dropped as they gawped at us. Not your usual sight for London’s business district, on the weekend.

But anyway… to Kanaloa’s! First off can I just say that this is a very bamboofied tiki bar. Thanks again to Atomic Amber who arranged for them to take us in just a week before the event, great find.

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Portraits and Pinups: Nicole aka Coco Von Vintage, Sarah from Lipstick and Dress

The half price cocktails were tasty and helped me not to break the bank when the picnic (and bring your own booze aspect of the event) had been abandoned! My only criticism would be that I don’t think Kanaloa’s had appreciated just how many pinups were intending to descend on London for Pinup in the Bar. The 5 back bar queues were testament to that; however it was a great setting for the event and I previously mentioned, the cocktails were good. I also feel like the bar venue meant everyone was more chatty than ever! Last year, yes everyone mingled apart from me who was busy being shy (thanks Coco Von Vintage for putting up with me hahh), but a lot of the picnic seemed to be limited by the picnic rugs. At this year’s event I went around the whole venue chatting to so many wonderful people and meeting half of my Instagram; @gussetsandgodets, @vintagedolllaura and @dontletyourteagocold, to name a few!

There was a great celebratory feel to the day and I was reminded just what a lovely lot the vintage community is. I got onto the dance floor for a stroll, managed to squeeze in some sunshine by dashing out to the smokers area and met some absolutely awesome people who I hope to meet up with again soon.

amy bliss, old is now, old is now vintage, portraits and pinups, john bellingham, vj vintage

I couldn’t say which was better, Pinup Picnic in the Park or Pinup Picnic in the Bar but I think everyone who attended would agree that more events should happen each year 😉 Thank you once again to the British Belles for an excellent meet up and for of course raising so much money for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity.

42nd Street: The Coventry Musical Theatre Society Review

posted in: Events | 0
42nd street, the coventry musical theatre society, the belgrade theatre, belgrade theatre, coventry theatre
42nd Street Production Shot

42nd Street promises an evening of the glamour and glitz of the 1930’s, so it will come as no surprise that I was pretty excited to see it! This theatre show follows Peggy Sawyer’s journey as she stumbles at her first step into the chorus line and then sets about tapping to the top.

Director Steve Boden explains the choice of 42nd Street and really captures the whole feel of the performance:

“42nd Street is the epitome of great musical theatre. It provides a fabulous opportunity for grand staging, elaborate and spectacular scenery, beautiful period costumes and some of the greatest tunes written for any musical.”

I think Steve Boden expresses what makes 42nd Street a magical production really well. However what really impressed me about this theatre show was who it was performed by…

The Coventry Musical Theatre Society is a group of amateurs. I am embarrassed to say that for me a group of amateurs conjured up images of my local village panto… Oh how The Coventry Musical Theatre Society have corrected me!

There was a serious lack of an amateur feel to 42nd Street, which I am sure comes from the whole passionate team. The orchestra music was perfect, the group tap dancing pieces were thrilling (how did that many people tap in time!?) and the acting truly was amazing. I think I often overlook the acting in my theatre reviews because I assume that someone on stage should be able to do this but with the very wrong idea of what amateur means on stage, I was not prepared for the abilities of the characters. Personally I thought Julian Marsh and Dorothy Brock stole the show.

42nd street, the coventry musical theatre society, the belgrade theatre, belgrade theatre, coventry theatre
42nd Street Production Shot

Julian Marsh, played by Jamie Sheerman, was the perfect depiction of an old Hollywood entertainment boss, making me think of Louis B Mayer co-founder of MGM. He delivered his lines with the correct power, easily demanding the stage presence necessary for his character whilst showing off a respectfully softer side too. I think that a fair few members of the audience were swooning alongside Peggy Sawyer 😉

Dorothy Brock, performed by Hannah Farquharson, on the other hand plays ‘the baddie.’ Oh does she do a good job! I think I actually boo’ed her at one point, much to the amusement to the people around me (sorry). She really was a total diva on stage and had an amazing voice. She was really fun to watch.

Back to dancing, as I don’t think I’ve mentioned this enough for such a dance centric performance! I particularly enjoyed the use of the slow rising stage curtain to tantalise the audience as the dancers performed a fast pace tap number with only their legs and feet on show. Another highlight for me was the ‘Shadow Waltz,’ which was highly comical with the use of lights, shadow participation and well-orchestrated choreography.

The Belgrade Theatre always has a great and varying range of shows on offer. I must add too that this might have been one of the busiest nights I have experienced there (having watched Miss Nightingale and Flare Path previously). Even the Mayor put in a visit, again demonstrating the reputation The Coventry Musical Theatre Society has for itself. I look forward to next year’s performance but I also want to say a quick thanks to The Belgrade Theatre for putting on big tours and local shows alike. Visiting The Belgrade Theatre is always a joy!