Wednesday, 18 June 2014

We now have a DVD library...

Over the years we have built a library of over 200 books on vintage fashion and style, now housed in our Ladbroke Grove showroom. Customers are welcome to borrow books at any time at no cost, and can browse through our online catalogue to see what we have before organising a loan.

It makes sense for us to offer customers a similar service with DVD rentals. The way we source our stock is often influenced by iconic dresses from the movies - both cult and classic - so here is a selection of clips from the films we keep in our studio. We have many more on our shelves, so if you have a particular film in mind do get in touch to see if we have it.

Catherine Deneuve in Belle de Jour (1967)

Bette Davis and Marilyn Monroe in All About Eve (1950)

Michelangelo Antonioni's Blow-Up (1966) 

Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday (1953)

Colin Firth and Julianne Moore in A Single Man 2009

We have the same dress that Julianne is wearing in that clip. To read more about its history, click here. To view in our online boutique, click here [NB the store is offline until October 2015]

Federico Fellini's La Dolce Vita (1960)

Keira Knightley in Atonement (2007)

  Lauren Bacall in To Have and To Have Not (1944)

Ultra-camp glamour in Valley of the Dolls (1967)

Anne Bancroft in The Graduate (1967)

The Eye Has To Travel documentary about Diana Vreeland (2011)

Grace Kelly in Rear Window (1954)

Rita Hayworth in Gilda (1946)

Sharon Stone as 'Ginger' in Casino (1995)

Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)

Grey Gardens documentary (1975)

Please note that we are closing the showroom on certain days in July - if you would like to make an appointment you can get in touch via this link. Online orders will be processed as normal, and all purchases include a Juno Says Hello scented candle in our new hibiscus fragrance. 

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Vintage Clothes Shopping in Miami

My latest blog for How To Spend It is about C. Madeleine's, a 10,000 square foot warehouse with thousands of dresses, shoes, accessories and a staggering collection of costume jewellery. You can read the full article by clicking here

Madeleine with super-stylist Rachel Zoe

When I met the store's owner Madeleine Kirsch, I asked her who she considered to be Miami style icons - past or present. Her responses painted a fascinating picture of the city's fashion scene: 'There are two women from South Florida who changed the face of sophisticated shopping for thousands of ladies around the world. For me, they personified the golden era of retail. 

'The first is Lillie Rubin. She opened her first store in 1946 on Lincoln Road which is now the heart of South Beach. Her niche was party and evening clothes, and she also designed under her own label. At her peak, she had 70 stores and became a major influence on the styles for the coming season. 

'My second icon is Martha Phillips, a major force in luxury fashion retailing for more than 60 years. She was a front-row figure at major fashion shows around the world and a major booster of young designers such as Valentino, Halston, Oscar de la Renta and Zandra Rhodes. 

'The customers at her salons were some of the world's richest and most socially prominent women. When she passed away Mr de la Renta said it was "the end of an era" and that she was "the last of the great ladies of retail". 

Martha (seated) with her daughter Lynn Manulis

'I remember going into their Palm Beach and Bal Harbour shops with my mother and it was an experience you never forget. Stunning models would show you the latest styles as the customer sat back while her European trained tailors would alter pieces to create a perfect fit. The price was always steep but the boost to your ego these items emitted was priceless'. 

The New York Times published Martha's obituary in 1996. To read online click here

I really didn't want to leave Madeleine's incredible store but I had dragged my very patient father up there and I think he had maxed out on dress time. Plus we both had rumbling stomachs.. so I hailed a cab and we went for a late lunch at the Raleigh Hotel on South Beach before heading back to grey, cold London. I loved every minute I spent in Miami and can't wait to go back - taking two empty suitcases with me next time. 

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Swimwear then and now

A selection of the best S/S 2014 swimwear - and the vintage designs that inspired them, from Brigitte Bardot's floral bikini to Bettie Page's leopard-print bathing suit. Enjoy. 

Dorian Leigh photographed by John Rawlings, 1948

Caruso swimsuit by Violet Lake

Strapless Givenchy swimsuit, Vogue July 1953

Swimsuit by Norma Kamali, from Net-a-Porter

Bettina on the cover of Vogue Paris, 1953

Brigitte Bardot

Vogue Turkey, June 2014 

The bikini on the cover is Dolce & Gabbana. This orange blossom swimsuit is available from Net-a-Porter

Photograph by Louise Dahl Wolfe, 1946

Pink swimshirt in Vogue, 1953

Miami, c.1950s

Cleopatra bikini by Huit from Figleaves

Veruschka in Itapoa, Brazil 1968

Kate Moss in a bikini by Rosamosario

Bettie Page

Elizabeth Taylor in Suddenly, Last Summer (1959)

Jena one-shoulder swimsuit by Miraclesuit

Marilyn Monroe

Ursula Andress-inspired bikini from Heidi Klein

Backgammon in the pool. Photograph by Slim Aarons

Raquel Welch

Socialite C Z Guest at home, 1955

Photograph from the 1970 Pirelli calendar

Swimsuit by Eres

Swimsuits in Nova Magazine, 1975. Image from MPP

Photograph by Slim Aarons

Swimsuit by La Perla 

1970s supermodel Veruschka

Jerry Hall photographed by Norman Parkinson, 1975

Grace Kelly with her children in Montego Bay, 1967

We have a vintage embellished kaftan in stock, perfect for poolside. To view in our online boutique please click here

Princess Margaret in Mustique

Photograph by Slim Aarons, 1970

Leaf-print swimsuit by Seafolly from John Lewis

The now-ubiquitous palm print is inspired by the 'Martinique' wallpaper at the Beverly Hills Hotel, designed by Don Loper in 1942. 

Cafe inside the Beverly Hills Hotel

Bikini by House of Hackney

Socialite Alice Topping, 1959

Swimsuit by Givenchy, 1953

Bikini by Melissa Odabash from Matches

To view our full selection of vintage poolside and beachwear, please click on this link. All online purchases include a Juno Says Hello scented candle in our new amber and hibiscus fragrance.

Sean. Just because.