It's not often I do things that are completely out of my comfort zone, but as soon as British brand Voodoo Vixen started to advertise for bloggers to represent them at the London Edge fashion show this year, the cogs in my head started turning... then I heard the words 'complimentary dress' and, well, it was rude not to, right? By nature I'm very introverted and the idea of being surrounded by a load of strangers in an event this size was pretty terrifying... but I realised I didn't have to be on my own! It dawned on me that my long-time blogger friend Porcelina of Porcelina's World might find the thought of a pretty dress and seeing the new ranges of some of the best vintage repro brands as exciting as I do. And she did - and fortunately Voodoo Vixen were keen on the idea too, or that would have been a bit disastrous!
More on meeting Porcelina (and what we wore thanks to Voodoo Vixen!) later, but first there's the small matter of many photos of dresses etc to share...
And for those of you who didn't read my interview with Sammi a while back, unsurprisingly my real name isn't CiCi... (I know, you're stunned, right?)
First things first, as this is the main reason we were all there. Being a trade show, primarily London Edge is about brands bringing along their new ranges and hoping to tempt buyers into stocking them (as I understand it), so being a blogger there felt like being let in on a world of fashion secrets! As anyone who reads this blog regularly knows, I'm obsessed with Collectif and was desperate to see their stand and indeed, pretty much loved everything on it (a lot of which they're previewing in their SS lookbook), but there were also a few newer, less well-known (to the UK at least) companies there and it was amazing seeing their stunning pieces too.
Highlight for me had to be the amazing chocolate print dress below. Chocolate print! How did they know?! Victory Parade who make this dress had some absolutely gorgeous and unusual prints, from dalmatians to kitchen utensils - definitely one to watch this summer. Another new favourite are Whispering Ivy, who have really hit the nail on the head with attention to detail in terms of authentic vintage necklines and trims. They didn't have a huge range on show, but what they did have was outstanding.
It is worth mentioning that while we are probably all familiar with Besame, LeKeux Cosmetics seem to have a pretty wide range now - and just look at those brushes! They were as soft as they were pretty. I'm intrigued by their lip paints as you can see below... but mostly I really want that brush set!
The immensely knowledgeable UK distributor for Besame had some great previews to show us - from a squeezy tube of mascara you can apply with your utensil of choice (very authentic) to something it was impossible to not feel incredibly nerdishly excited about - fragrances that were each a tribute to a particular vintage decade! We smelt the 30s, 40s and 50s and let me tell you, they smell GOOD! And like they'd last an entire day. Apparently the perfumes are already out in the US with the 40s fragrance selling exceptionally well thanks to a certain Agent Carter... but what you might not know is that there will be some beautiful vintage style bottles with atomizers for them soon. In the UK, the fragrances are due to be on sale in 6 weeks' time, we were told.
Really, the fact I got to experience this day with Porcelina was the entire reason I enjoyed it as much as I did. Fact: she was one of the first people to ever comment on this blog, before I'd even fathomed blogging could be a conversation and not just me monologuing my wardrobe... and we've been in touch ever since, for what must be over 2 years now (EDIT: actually it's just over 1 year, but I clearly feel like I've known her longer due to how often we talk!). I was so excited to meet her for the first time - although we both felt like we were going on a blind date, which is somewhat ironic considering I've probably seen more photos of her than of my own boyfriend. But as soon as I saw her waving with a huge smile on her face and a flower crown on her head I wondered why on earth I was so anxious! I'm happy to report she is just as lovely, if not more, in person and so gorgeous, as these photos demonstrate... She even gave me a little gift bag of goodies <3
I'm also grateful she was not wearing her heels in the below picture of us together, as there would have probably been a foot difference in height - fortunately for me, she had flats on to my heels!
The outfit (and the jukebox)
I should also mention it wasn't just Porcelina I spent the day with, as we met Kariss from Shy Strange Manic along the way, who helped take a couple of the photos in this post. Another example of a lovely fellow blogger and I had to really admire her as she turned up solo, which is more than I could ever manage. How lucky to spend the day in such good company (for me, I mean, not Kariss!).
So, the dress! We were given a selection to choose from and because I have peculiar taste I managed to choose one I didn't see anyone else wearing... I don't understand it as I love this dress - although I did choose it as it was above knee length on the model, so I knew it would be more flattering on my short self. I love a shirt dress and it fit really well, which is always a risk for buttons and I was panicking about it a bit before I got to try it on - but Voodoo Vixen's size guide was spot on for the bust (and waist) measurement. It'll be great for summer and I can't wait to try it with a petticoat. And even though it was about 3 degrees outside, there was no other way to dress it than with pink and flowers. This Banned bag is one of my favourite recent purchases and if you love it as much as I do - heads up - it will be out in mint green soon. It has a long shoulder stap too - I've started to realise that bags with multiple straps are one of my favourite things, all bags should have them!
Oh and on the hair flowers, if you're in the UK you should check out Sink or Swim Bowtique for a huge variety of inexpensive but very pretty handmade retro hair pieces - these flowers were £2 each in the sale! I had a problem with my first order and the lovely owner was so helpful in resolving it quickly.
Hair flowers: Sink or Swim Bowtique
Dress: c/o Voodoo Vixen
Bag: Banned via Audrey Stars Boutique
Shoes: Clarks (last season - similar)
We each walked away with huge goodie bags and gifts from various stalls, some of which will no doubt feature on here soon. I'm really glad I pushed myself to do something I found so scary - and have to thank Voodoo Vixen for the great opportunity :)
Anything from the above catch your eye? Oh how I want a dress (or anything, really) with chocolates on...
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