Monday, 31 January 2011

The best vintage looks on the red carpet

Award season has started. After the nominations are announced, the focus of the ceremony is not so much the acting but what the guests are wearing. Given the intense scrutiny of the red carpet - and Joan's acid tongue on Fashion Police - many actresses prefer to wear something conventional, but for those who choose to make a statement about their own style, a chic vintage dress is the ne plus ultra in elegance. Here is a selection of my favourite vintage red carpet gowns from recent years:

Kate Moss in a stunning 1930s Dior satin dress at the V&A Museum.

Renee Zellwegger at the 2007 Golden Globes, also in vintage Dior.

Renee at the 2001 Academy Awards in a lemon chiffon Jean Desses column dress.

Penelope Cruz in a vintage princess-style Balmain gown at the Oscars in 2009.

Emma Watson at a premiere in a 1970s Ossie Clarke maxi dress. The floaty fabric means her tiny frame isn't drowned by the length.

Kristin Davis at the SATC2 premiere in a sexy 1970s Norman Norell gown from Decades INC.

Reese Witherspoon at 2006 Academy Awards in vintage Dior. Too beautiful for words.

Jennifer Lopez at the same ceremony in a Jean Desses chiffon gown. Did she fall out with her make-up artist?

Julia Roberts at the 2008 Academy Awards in ultra-chic vintage Valentino.

We have an entire category dedicated to red carpet-style gowns at the Juno Says Hello online boutique. Our selection of formal floor-length dresses has been hand-picked from vintage collections all over the world.

If you see something you like but want to try before you buy, our central London studio is open for daytime and early evening appointments. All visitors receive a limited edition JSH canvas tote and scented candle - contact us to put a date in the diary.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Vintage shopping in Brussels

I had been planning to visit a girlfriend in Brussels for a long time, but when she told me that the city has some of the best high-end vintage shops in Europe I booked my ticket immediately!

I did a bit of research and there are scores of online guides to vintage shops in Brussels. A particularly useful one is this top ten list of boutiques from the Guardian and this one from Tales of Endearment blog.

First on my itinerary was Gabriele on Rue des Chartreux, supposedly the boutique that kicked off the trend for vintage shopping in the city. Here's a photograph of my friend Sonia (another vintage aficionado) outside the shop:

I found three amazing dresses and bought them for Juno Says Hello. Here is a photograph of one of them on our model, Nora Mixova. It's an early 1950s silk satin dress with a blue and green floral print.

The photograph below is a behind-the-scenes shot of our brilliant make-up artist Helen Pike with Nora. This dress is available to buy online here.

I also came across this gorgeous (and very vampy!) 1960s red dress, available to buy online here.

I'm currently in the process of uploading 25 new dresses to our online boutique. Follow us on Twitter for live updates!

Friday, 7 January 2011

Accessorising with vintage jewellery

Every so often I post for The Collective Review, a contributor network of 250 writers including journalists, bloggers and industry insiders. My most recent contribution was a post on where to buy vintage jewellery in London and online. Check it out here.

Iconic actress Elizabeth Taylor boasts one of the finest collections of vintage stones in the world. In 2002 she published a book called My Love Affair with Jewellery; her range of fragrances include Black Pearls, Diamonds and Rubies, Brilliant White Diamonds, Diamonds and Sapphires... and so on.

In my post I mention where to buy vintage jewellery in London and online, but if you want to check out the rocks before purchase and don't want to travel to do so, then the jewellery counter at John Lewis stores in Kingston, Bluewater, Cambridge, Milton Keynes, Edinburgh, Newcastle and Cardiff now stock Eclectica Vintage, run by Liz Wilson. The glamorous costume jewellery is accessibly priced and personally sourced by Liz, and her selections are absolutely fabulous. John Lewis in Oxford Street, London, hosts the largest collection which changes weekly.

My online boutique Juno Says Hello is giving away a copy of Caroline Cox’s lavishly illustrated book Vintage Jewellery (see cover photo above), which features designs by Cartier, Christian Dior, Fabergé, Tiffany, René Lalique, Boucheron and others through the 20th century. Just enter your details via this link. The winner will be drawn at random on February 1st. Good luck!

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Win a copy of Belle du Seigneur!

To be entered into this month's competition to win a copy of Albert Cohen's wonderful book, Belle du Seigneur, simply sign up to our newsletter via this link.

Set in Geneva in the 1930s, Cohen's endlessly inventive satire of middle-class manners and ambition revolves around Solal, a man of remarkable gifts and disappointed ideals. As Under-Secretary-General of the League of Nations, he has become disillusioned with a world dominated by personal and national interest. His one hope for redemption is through love, and he embarks on the seduction of the beautiful Ariane, wife of the dull-witted Adrian Deume who works for Solal.

'The last of the great modernist novels, a genuine literary event' - New York Newsday

'A masterpiece that stands alongside the classics of French literature... a virtuoso work on a Joycean scale' - Boston Globe

The book is being made into a film starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Natalia Vodianova, to be released in 2012.

We have just uploaded a beautiful - if very fragile! - 1930s silk velvet gown, named after the heroine Ariane. To view click here.

The winner will be drawn at random on February 1st and notified via email.

Good luck!

EDIT: We have a winner! Congratulations to Jane Cook.