Tuesday, 20 September 2016

The Vintage Carnival and the Best Dressed competition

You knew I couldn't keep my experience of the Carnival to myself, right? It can be summarised in one, unfortunate word: soggy. The weather was absolutely dreadful. It was such a shame, because there was so much that would have been amazing to do outside, and because of the heavy rain everyone poured in to do the indoor activities meaning you felt like you were in a human crush everywhere you went because the venues couldn't really cope. But that aside - and you'd really think in this country we'd know how to get round this problem by now - it was a great event with lots to see and do (if you didn't mind getting wet doing it).

I particularly love seeing vintage cars and it doesn't get a lot better than a pink Caddilac, right?! There were actually more cars but in their midst was a car that is the spitting image of the car I've hired for my wedding. So much so that I had to Google the one I'd hired to work out if it was in fact actually my car. Turns out it isn't, it was just almost identical. But anyway, to keep the secret I'm just giving you this beautiful Caddilac. 

As you can see from my outfit, while many had opted to use the event as a chance to show off their pretty vintage finery, I'm always one for comfort and practicality, so I based my entire look around the fact I wanted to wear my jelly shoes, which are actually Crocs (I know) and the most comfortable shoes I own and I don't even feel bad about loving them for that reason. Of course, my feet still got wet but at least my shoes didn't get ruined. As I really don't like wearing my dresses without heels as I'm so short, my faithful Bernie Dexter cigarette pants were the way to go. I haven't featured those yet but I will at some point because they're now my go-to pair of pants end of story.

Moving on, there were tonnes of stalls with vintage wares as you'd expect at something like this. It was hard to get a good look because the indoors parts were heaving, so only a couple of snaps here of some brooches and a cute pattern on a homemade dress from a lady who was selling them seriously cheaply. One problem we had was that it was cash only everywhere and we prioritised food above things, so ran out quickly. If that hadn't happened I think I would have got some bits in the homeware section. EDIT: It's due to my own idiocy I missed signs about cards being accepted on some stalls it seems! However I did try to get cash out on site but the ATM was out of order, so I think at that point I felt like it wasn't meant to be anyway... I rather liked a red vintage frame bag, but when I tried to open it I trapped my finger in the clasp and it was genuinely one of the most painful fashion-related injuries I've incurred so it put me right off. Hmph.

At the Vintage Carnival 2016

At the Vintage Carnival 2016

Sorry, one more of that car... 

CiCi at the Vintage Carnival 2016

Like practically everyone else, we sought refuge from the hammering rain in the tea room. I subconsciously chose the cake that best matched my outfit (no one believes me)...

Yummy cake at the Vintage Carnival 2016

CiCi pretending she didn't almost down this piece of cake in one

Shout out to my new favourite bardot top that you've literally just seen in this post. The lobster necklace is from Bow and Crossbones.

Onto the outfit competition! It was a lot of fun, everyone who entered walked up and took a strut and there were some gorgeous outfits. Also, several men entered which all of the judges, me included, loved. One of the men, who I don't have a photo of, took third place in fact :) Even though I wanted 23 to get a prize just for the pose...

Best dressed competition at the Vintage Carnival 2016

Best dressed competition at the Vintage Carnival 2016

Best dressed competition at the Vintage Carnival 2016

This pair entered as a couple and swing-danced their way across the stage. Cute!

The deliberation took a few minutes and I had made sure to perfect my resting bitch judge face for just this occasion.

Best dressed competition at the Vintage Carnival 2016

Best dressed competition at the Vintage Carnival 2016

And then, voila! The two lovely winners - first place on the right (clearly 13 is lucky for some!), second place on the left. We loved all the component parts of the winner's outfit - she'd really worked hard to pull the look together. Both are such gorgeous girls and they were total sweethearts and so thrilled to win it made the torrential rain and damp totally worth the trip.

CiCi with 1st and 2nd place winners at the best dressed competition, Nottingham Vintage Carnival 2016

Maybe next year some sun, eh? Mind you, I'm not sure three big dresses would have fit into this shot!


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Thursday, 15 September 2016

Outfit: strawberry sundae

Ah, September. That month where I play the game of 'how long can I kid myself that summer isn't over?'. Luckily for me, all things considered we've had a pretty decent summer this year with lots of sunshine and warm weather and it's even hanging around for a bit longer than expected so it kind of still IS summer right now. So, one more summer outfit for the road, eh?

Well, hello again there, strawberry bag. You haven't featured in nearly enough outfits this year yet. That's why I thought it about time I found another way to show you off and I think you'll agree I've done you justice. Actually, my favourite thing about this outfit might be the top and not the bag! On the surface of it, it's just another stripey bardot top like the other, er, 4?, I've got in my closet. But no, it's much more than that. What you're looking at here is the only and I mean only bardot top I've ever worn that stays in place off the shoulder. Say what?! I know, I didn't think I'd live to see the day either. It's also super soft and comfortable to wear. In fact, I love it so much I've been stalking Dolly & Dotty's website for the black version to come back into stock in my size ever since. I should add it's on sale right now in loads of colours for £8 so RUN!

Of course the skirt is totally adorable too, there's no denying that. It is a snug fit, I'm not gonna lie - this 8 is on the small side - but I liked the shape it gave me so I went with it. And can we please not talk about the shoes? Yes, those shoes. The shoes I really shouldn't have bought. Them. Why can I leave no pair of Hasbeens in the sale behind?

Dolly & Dotty strawberry themed outfit with Falda pencil skirt and Gloria top

Dolly & Dotty strawberry themed outfit with Falda pencil skirt and Gloria top

Swedish Hasbeens gold braided sky high and Collectif strawberry wicker bag

Dolly & Dotty strawberry themed outfit with Falda pencil skirt and Gloria top

Dolly & Dotty Falda strawberry pencil skirt and Collectif strawberry wicker bag

Dolly & Dotty strawberry themed outfit with Falda pencil skirt and Gloria top

Dolly & Dotty strawberry themed outfit with Falda pencil skirt and Gloria top

Dolly & Dotty strawberry themed outfit with Falda pencil skirt and Gloria top

Bow and Crossbones gold Marilyn hoops with Dolly & Dotty Gloria bardot top

Dolly & Dotty strawberry themed outfit with Falda pencil skirt and Gloria top
Sunglasses: Collectif
Bag: Collectif (available here)
Shoes: Swedish Hasbeens (via ASOS)



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Sunday, 11 September 2016

Previews of AW16 (& slightly beyond) with London Edge

CiCi Marie's round-up of vintage reproduction AW16 styles as seen at London Edge

Another season, another London Edge. But what will autumn/winter 2016 bring from our favourite repro brands? While I can't possibly show you all of it, this picture-laden post will attempt to give you some of my highlights. 

Just before we get to those, a thank you to Miss Amy May for being my Edge buddy and all-round lovely person who totally indulged re-taking this photo so I didn't have to put one of me gurning on the internet. Amy's wearing one of Collectif's new season prints, which I really didn't think much of on screen but rather like in real life.

CiCi Marie with Miss Amy May

What a doll! Now, onto the things, all the things...

Stunning separates & darling dresses

Chicago Chic for Voodoo VIxen
Voodoo Vixen

Voodoo Vixen black pleated skirt
Voodoo Vixen

CiCi Marie at London Edge Sep 2016
On the Voodoo Vixen stand

All of our old favourites are back with some lovely 40s and 50s style pieces in particular this season. You can expect to see a lot of tartan and tweed, Christmas novelty prints galore and a fair amount of glamorous gowns for party season. I know a lot of people are very excited about the range Chicago Chic has designed for Voodoo Vixen (see first picture above) - I would be more excited if it wasn't going to be floor length on me! This is not going to be a range for the shorties, generally speaking. But Voodoo Vixen do have their usual shorter and longer length options so those of you who struggle with lengths like me should find things to love. And if you're tall you're in for a treat with some stunning velvet floor length gowns.

Hell Bunny Christmas pudding cardigan
Hell Bunny

Hell Bunny silver lurex bow top
Hell Bunny

Hell Bunny on the London Edge catwalk
Hell Bunny

Hell Bunny on the London Edge catwalk
Hell Bunny

CiCi Marie and Miss Amy May on the Hell Bunny stand at London Edge
Hell Bunny

Hell Bunny are all over the Christmas novelty prints - it looks like their jumpers from last year will be sticking around and joined by dresses with reindeer on them and my favourite new piece of theirs, an adorable cropped cardigan with sparkly dainty Christmas puddings. Too cute! They've also got more great separates, my favourite being the sparkly short-sleeved sweaters that you can see Amy and I both simultaneously cooing over here. Coming in silver, red and dark green they'll be a great holiday season staple that will look fab with tartan I'm sure. Which is good, because Hell Bunny have lots more tartan coming as well as that really lovely tweed dress in the above photo.

CiCi Marie on the Collectif stand at London Edge
Collectif

Collectif's AW16 atomic star print
Collectif

Collectif are back for another winter with a range of cosy coats, none of which looked as though they'd not drown me unfortunately. They also have a lot of gold coming, from lurex wiggle skirts to sparkly star print items. There's also tartan and tweed coming from this brand too, you're spoilt for choice if these are your thing this season. Really, it's the Collectif we know and love, with a fair dash of sauciness in the form of fitted leather goodies added in. I didn't get a picture of it, but there's a cropped leather jacket coming that was based on a true vintage pattern that I really liked the look of. I hate leather jackets that don't finish at the waist!

Bright and Beautiful on the London Edge catwalk
Bright & Beautiful

Bright and Beautiful on the London Edge catwalk
Bright & Beautiful

Bright and Beautiful on the London Edge catwalk
Bright & Beautiful

Bright and Beautiful (Collectif's 60s/70s brand) are worth a special mention here. I wasn't wowed by things on the hanger, but it turns out that's because I have no imagination. When I saw their pieces styled on the catwalk there was a lot to love - and that orange coat might just be one I can wear with its shorter length. Also, that green pinafore dress is quite simply adorable, but especially with that hat.

Banned does all the peacock
Banned

Banned's cute ice-skater winter novelty print
Banned

I didn't get many pictures of Banned's new clothing range, but I'm excited about their continued efforts to produce handy plain separates that can be mixed and matched with other pieces. If you like bardot neck sweaters, you're definitely in luck. They also have one of the cutest winter novelty prints on offer this season, as well as a super pretty peacock print with a gorgeous matching bag as you can see.

Victory Parade's geisha pattern
Victory Parade

Seamstress of Bloomsbury Vanessa dress
Seamstress of Bloomsbury

I didn't linger on the Victory Parade or Seamstress of Bloomsbury's stands, as the former is generally out of my budget and the latter is more 40s than my usual style and generally cut too long for me. However, I did snap this beautiful oriental style print from Victory Parade and had a chat with the Seamstress of Bloomsbury lady who told me their Vanessa style (pictured above) is ideal for petite ladies as it's shorter length. It did look like it would hit me at just below the knee.

Unique Vintage flapper dresses
Unique Vintage

Hearts and Roses on the London Edge catwalk
Hearts and Roses

Hearts and Roses on the London Edge catwalk
Hearts and Roses

And finally, a shout for Unique Vintage's insanely beautiful flapper dresses because I couldn't not and these lovely pieces from Hearts and Roses. The latter isn't a brand I generally follow as it usually doesn't do a lot for me (lots of very familiar looking floral dresses), but that green coat is beautiful. And it looks like it fits small on the model, so that could be a win! As for the dress, yes that's more of the familiar looking floral dresses, but I really loved the colour palette of this one.

Bags, shoes & accessories galore

Voodoo Vixen wicker bags
Voodoo Vixen

Voodoo Vixen bow bags
Voodoo Vixen

Voodoo Vixen's bag range is really coming along. A lot of the styles we've already seen are back, with the addition of tonnes more cuties. I particularly love that cherry tote bag and those bow bags. The latter have rings on the sides that make me think they'll have a longer strap too, which I especially love as I rarely buy bags that don't have a shoulder option. I want that red one so badly! I've been trying to find a decent red bag for too long now...

Hell Bunny sparkly frame bags
Hell Bunny

Speaking of decent red bags! Although, if this paragraph had its own title, that title would be 'Epilogue: The mint green sparkly Hell Bunny bag'. I'm not great at titles, but what I'm getting at is that these three beauties are the sisters of the mint green bag I saw last London Edge and fell totally in love with, only for it to never release. I've never been so heartbroken about a bag. If I could design a bag, it would be a frame bag that sparkles, is mint green and a decent size to fit all my crap in. That was this bag. I will have to console myself with one of its new incarnations. I can't decide if I love the red or silver one more though...

Collectif Tammy travel bag in black velvet
Collectif

Collectif bags and accessories for AW16
Collectif

If you liked the Collectif Tammy travel bags before but missed out like I did on getting one, look out for its return in black velvet. The above photo illustrates how much larger this bag is in real life, which doesn't come across at all in the online product shots! I can basically almost fit in it, it's so big. And also, you know how I feel about leopard print frame bags... Guys, there's a leopard print frame bag.

Banned bags and shoes
Banned

Banned's bright patent frame bags
Banned

There's two areas where Banned really impress me - one is their huge range of plain separates as I've mentioned and the other is their beautiful bags. So. Much. Beauty. They love a frame as much as I do. Their shoe range is also ramping up with tonnes more styles coming and it's great to have another option for vintage style shoes to choose from that aren't at too high a price.

Bettie Page shoes
Bettie Page

Lola Ramona red suede shoe
Lola Ramona

On the slightly higher end of the price scale, we've got Bettie Page and Lola Ramona. Bettie Page's range is getting pretty big and impressive these days - they're definitely corning the pastel shoe market! I really love the simpler styles like this lovely red shoe that Lola Ramona do. I don't like shoes with loads going on, I find them really hard to pair with outfits, but I'm always in the market for new red shoes!

Exciting things to come

So, it's no secret that I'm probably the only blogger in the world who isn't all 'yay, autumn, gimme all the pumpkin spiced lattes and layers' and would live in perpetual summer if it was on offer. That does tend to feed into how I feel about autumn/winter ranges. I just don't get excited about knitwear, long-sleeves, boots and coats. The latter there the most because there is not a coat in a repro range that has ever fit me perfectly off the hanger (you should see how long the famous Collectif Pearl coat is on me - it's good for a laugh). So this is the first time I'd been to the AW London Edge and enthusiasm levels were not high, if I'm totally honest. And on the whole, I proved I know myself pretty well - there wasn't much I saw I really wanted. Not because it wasn't lovely, just because I would be quite happy never wearing knitwear again in my life.

There was one shining light in the wintry darkness though - I knew that Collectif would have their SS17 range on display. I'd seen the leaked lookbook, I was excited for more. And, my friends, it did not disappoint. I'll put this up front - we weren't allowed to take pictures, I'm very sorry. What I saw though was very exciting - I'll put myself out on a limb in fact; I think it might be my favourite ever range of theirs from any year, any season. There's a lot for petite girls and tall girls alike and they're doing some really innovative things. I hope I can get away with saying (Pippa, if you're reading feel free to make me edit this!!) look out for the cutest border prints, pretty shirtwaisters, exciting jumpsuits and matching sets that button together to make a transformer style mega outfit! Oh, I just can't wait for this range... any more than I can wait for next summer. Which really feels quite far away right now!

Oh well, at least I have cardigans with sparkly Christmas puddings on to keep me company until then...


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