Wednesday, 19 March 2014

It's a Twiggy World

One thing we absolutely love about our fairs is hunting through all of the vintage goodies and seeing what treasures we can find from the many outstanding traders. Its always especially exciting when we find a real gem...

And what do we have here? An original Twiggy?!

This gorgeous turquoise frill baby doll dress is a 1960’s original by one of our favourite models and fashion icons, the gorgeous Lesley Hornby, more commonly known as “Twiggy”!
I came across this beauty at our last Southampton event and I just couldn’t say no. As its such a lovely little thing and a rare one to track down, I thought it would be appropriate to tell you all a little about the “Twiggy” brand and how it all started J

The “Twiggy Dresses” brand came about when the famous model was approached to launch her own label by a well-known dress manufacturer called Berkertex.
What Twiggy was soon to find out was that Berkertex just wanted her name on designs that were already in production, and that’s when she decided to work with a company where she would have more input.

Which is where “Taramina Textiles” came into play!
The company was run by two brothers-in-law, Leonard Bloomburg and Sydney Hills. As they originally made old lady frocks and wedding dresses the teenage market was something quite new to them which was great for Twiggy, as it meant a completely blank page. Right from the start it was agreed everything would be things that she would be happy to wear.

Twiggy even had input into choosing the designers – Pamela Proctor and Paul Babb who were young creative types straight from the Royal College of Art. They would meet two or three times a week to discuss designs and ideas, and as someone who had always wanted to be a clothes designer and had made many of her own clothes, Twiggy truly envied the two designers she worked so closely with, but they made a great team

 “I dress very strangely some times and the things that suit me wouldn’t suit everyone else. So things have to be adapted and sometimes toned down to make them commercial.”

The range was launched to the Press in November 1966 via a range of photographs taken bBarry Lategan (whose photo had launched her career as “the face of ’66”), an advertising campaign using the slogan “it’s a twiggy world”, and amazingly Twiggy’s only catwalk modelling. “In those days you didn’t do both and the top girls were photographic models only. Given the fact that nothing ever fitted me (what you don’t see in the photographs is the bulldog clips and safety pins at the back) its a good thing. But the Twiggy Dresses were made with me in mind.”

The range was highly priced – ranging between 6 and 12 guineas at a time when a decent high street skirt would be 50 shillings. Apart from the famous celebrity behind the expensive label, an added sales technique was the unusual “portrait hanger” with the models face on, that came free with every piece of clothing as well as Twiggy mannequins in shop windows.

The personal input and strong branding enabled the label to run successfully for three years from 1967 – 1970.


Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Hey Girl!

                                                                      Bild 'Lilli' 1950s

In 1956, Ruth and Elliot Handler were visiting Germany on holiday with their children, Barbara and Kenneth when they found a novelty doll intended as a novelty for adults based on the Bild newspaper cartoon strip 'Lilli'. Ruth had previously been trying to sell the idea of a 1/6 scale fashion doll to Mattel to no success but when she saw Lilli she snapped her up, took her home, reworked her and named her 'Barbie' after her daughter. Barbie premiered at the 1959 American International Toy fair and the world's first 11 and a half inch fashion model was born!

Lilli was intended as a joke gift for adults rather than a child's plaything. Ruth Handler saw the potential that little girls might want to pretend at playing adults with dolls and a wonderful idea came about.
1959 Barbie in her 'zebra' print bathing suit and high ponytail captured the imaginations of little girls who wanted to be pretty, grown up and independent just like her. 

Barbie's on TV!
 Early '60s Barbie in her stiff costume-like outfit
Barbie proved to be wildly successful and soon acquired a boyfriend named Ken (after the Handlers' son, Kenneth. Not weird at all then!) but after a few years her look became stuffy, she looked like a lady in her late 30s, not the fun carefree young woman she set out as. Her clothing was beautifully made but matronly and dated and her sales suffered as other, more youthful dolls came onto the market. She needed a revamp, the swinging sixties just happened to occur at the right time...

Barbie Goes Mod!

Twist n Turn Barbie 1967

Barbie was back with a bang! Mattel even offered a trade in on your old Barbie when you went to purchase her in the modern 'use it and lose it' sixties style! 

By the late sixties Mattel realised that dollies should be as diverse as their owners and black Barbies finally made it onto the market

And their finger was so on the pulse that they even made a 'Twiggy' doll to cash in on the Mod trend all the way from Swinging London! 

California Girl
 You know when you try out a look and you get so many compliments that you end up sticking with it for years and years? Hello 'Malibu' Barbie. This look from 1971 cemented her as the sun worshipping, blonde and she's never really shaken it off. Her classic aqua bathing suit, sunglasses and beach towel encapsulated the early 70s California sunshine vibe that was so popular and in one way or another has continued to be. 

1971 Malibu Barbie-the original prototype for the golden limbed, honey haired beach babe
By the late 70s she'd kept the tan but lost the suit and become a full blown Disco Diva!
Superstar Barbie 1977
1980s Princess
Peaches n Cream Barbie 1984

 Here's the first one I remember. Every girl at school I knew had this beauty, I still remember the texture of her crazy paving bodice and how it looked after it had been kicking about in the bottom of a toy box for a few months.

I still have a fondness for peach chiffon. 

Benetton Barbie and friends 1990

WOOO! I had this one! I loved her so much that SHE NEVER HAD HER OUTFIT OFF. I kept her completely in tact, bah, hat boots, socks earrings neckerchief and all. That's high praise indeed. I loved her crimped hair and the wild use of colour and pattern and she's probably what pushed me into pursuing fashion as my main interest. Thanks B! 
The 90s saw a lot of stuff happening for Barbie, she had loads of careers, made lots of new friends from around the world, there was even a a Barbie released who was in a wheelchair, never more had she represented the massive social changes that were happening globally. Say what you like about her, I think she may have not always got it right but she's done almost as much good as she has caused damage (see: a world of crazy boob jobs and hair bleach) or at the very least, she tried. Since the 60s she's had a range of diverse friends, hundreds of different careers, mastered the skills to drive or pilot almost every type of vehicle, stuck it out (mostly) with her BF Ken (even with his strange hairstyle and pant choices) and all the while she's done it whilst on the cutting edge of fashion. I think she's alright. 

Lots of love, 

Lou Lou's Vintage Fair

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Promises, promises….

Did everyone have a good Christmas and New year? We certainly did, you could say we had too much fun and now we're feeling pretty sorry for ourselves and so in annual tradition we've decided we're going to go on a self improvement mission! 2013 was a blast but if you're feeling the financial pinch and post excess blues this January here are some New Year's resolutions and solutions that cost nothing, keep you entertained and teach you some skills in the process!

1: Spend Less On Hair and Beauty

There are literally HUNDREDS of hair tutorials on Youtube. Mostly all you need are a comb, some hair grips, decorative bits (slides, flowers), hairspray and some hair to recreate them yourself at home. Practice really does make perfect and most of these girls have been working on these styles for years. Lisa is one of my favourite youtube teachers, her vast back catalogue, cheeky smile and relaxed attitude really does make following her tutorials super simple and fun. I have no doubt that whatever hairstyle you're looking for she has it covered.

2: Make Do and Mend

Come on, admit it, how much money did you spend on dresses and skirts last year that have never again seen the light of day because they're just a bit too long or need taking in a smudge? We're all guilty of it, it seems like such a good idea at the time and then you just never get around to taking it to the dry cleaners to be altered. Well guess what? Wonderful Youtube to the rescue again! Lots of tutorials to show you how to do everything from threading a needle to tailoring a jacket. They sell packs of cotton and needles at the supermarket so there's no excuse for not being able to sew your own buttons on. 

3: Learn To Cook Like Grandma

Fed up of eating ready meals? Tried every modern World cuisine and frankly a bit bored with it? Not to worry, there is a wealth of (sometimes wild and) wonderful vintage recipes floating about out there. If you don't trust the lurid, green tinged pictures of them displayed in the books head over to The Mid-Century Menu who tests them out so (maybe) you don't have to. Be warned, the recipes are in American measurements but there are tons of online converters that you can utilise. 

4: Get Bootylicious 

Ok so not all of us have either the inclination or desire to be gym bunnies. Some of us have, like, lives, you know but it's always a good idea to keep yourself in some sort of shape and if it's the shape of a pin-up girl, all the better! Here Natalie demonstrates some original vintage work out moves from the 1950s with charm and humour. Much nicer than sweating it out on the elliptical. 

Good luck and Happy New Year! 
Love from LouLou's Vintage Fair

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

December Will Be Magic Again-A Christmas Gift From Lou Lou's Vintage Fair

It's a shame the BBC don't do things like this any more with modern pop artists as it really does give an amazing glimpse into that often overlooked post punk time in the very late 70s and it would be nice to look back at 2013 in the same way. 

So here's our present to you. There's little other to say about this other than it's 42 minutes long and pure perfection from start to finish so get your bottle of Bailey's and the mince pies out and get comfortable while you wait for Father Christmas. 

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Another Rock 'n' Roll Christmas

Twiggy at big Biba in 1971 - the spiritual home of early 70s glam rockers 

So this weekend the festive period actually begins with two whole weekends either side of Christmas to get your sparkle on and get out there. Whether you're going to the office party or out on the town with your friends there's no better time to channel the glamourous rock 'n' roll icons of yesteryear to get into the vibe without resorting to a novelty jumper. Here's my holiday moodboard that should have you reaching for the kohl and glitter. 

Super(groupie)model and friend to the stars Kate Moss in some seriously amazing 90s velvet

The crowned queen of Rock 'n' Roll fashion design Pam Hogg in the 1980s 

Debbie Harry in what looks like vintage 50s leopard print in the 80s. We certainly weren't the first to borrow style from earlier decades.

Stevie Nicks in a stunning jet beaded lace jacket. 1970s. 

Billie Holiday was never shy of a sequin or two

The perfect gift- Marianne Faithfull 1960s

Sara Moon for Biba - 1970s

Why not match your outfit with your BFF like Courtney Love and Amanda De Cadenet did in 1995?

1960s chanteuse Francoise Hardy shimmers in gold chainmail

90s dreambabes En Vogue in stunning 1950s inspired red and leopard gowns

Patsy Cline killing it in a full length sequin gown-1950s

Absolute hair and makeup perfection from 80s soul singer Sade.

Catherine Deneuve has no time for people that go out without a coat on in December and sports a beautiful 1960s leopard print. Pay a £1 for the cloakroom, girls, seriously. 

Time to party with Jayne Mansfield!

Sequins, satin, velvet and fur are hardly groundbreaking textures for Christmas but when worn together with wild joyful abandon and lashings of eyeliner they raise your status from groupie wannabe to rock 'n' roll starlet. Picking up a vintage statement piece such as a sequin top can be worked around black jeans for the work's do then teamed with clashing sequin hot pants and a glamourous headpiece for a show stopping New Year's Eve look. 

Whatever you wear and wherever you go this weekend we hope you have super sparkly amazing party times and that you feel as fabulous as we think you are. 

Lots of love,
LouLou's Vintage Fair

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

A Very Vintage Halloween: A Few Ideas

So it's two days away and I have only just decided what to wear for Halloween. Being one of those people who just doesn't put the effort in with these things, I have been slightly pressured to go to town this year as our work night out is on Thursday 31st! A very spooky do indeed...

So here are a handful of slightly different costume ideas to make you stand out from an array of ripped white T-shirts and tomato red blood splatters. (I have used Pinterest and google image searches mostly here and I apologise if I couldn't source the original blogs/names - but credit to everyone for these amazing ideas)

1920s silent film stars
White/grey facepaint for your skin and a monochrome dress theme. Complete with script cards and you're done! 

Lichtenstein Comic Book Girl
I have a yellow wig in the post - Yep I'm giving this a go! I've decided to cheat a little with a plain white long sleeve shirt to avoid doing too much painting, but I'll be sure to show you the finished product!

Vintage Harlequin
I am gutted I didn't think of this earlier. If you can't find the right playsuit/jumpsuit/dress then go the opposite way with checked tights and a big neck ruffle, it;s really all about the make-up anyway. I love this so much!

Miss Havisham
Over the corpse bride? Turn to literature for your new Halloween Heroine! This will take some commitment, but boy, it'll be worth it!

Get stuffing your trousers girls! Yes! I mean it! Sarah is too easy, get you're Jareth on. Well, unless you have the perfect 80s puffball sleeved wedding dress of course...

The Birds
Green dress, blonde wig, lots of black birds. 

Pin Up Witch
Classic look done beautifully by Fleur De Guerre here. I have taken this from a blog post I found on her blog here. Some great ideas. If Vivien Leigh can work it then so can we.

The Shining Twins
Matching blue dresses with some sickly sweet lace detail, white tights and some buckle shoes. Throw in some coloured contacts and some fake blood if you want to edit it but this look is pretty hard to mistake and if you have the perfectly sized best friend to do it with, you can't go wrong. Just don't smile.

Another styled by Fleur on Southern Retro, more surreal than scary but a great easy option for your fella or for yourself too. Bowler hats are simply everywhere these days. 


If you have any ideas we should know about, PLEASE throw them over to! We'd love to hear from you and we'll put them up online! Have a very creepy (and safe) night out! Happy Samhain to all of our pagan followers too.  We'll be putting up an array of vintage halloween pics for more inspiration and just to tickle your curiousity buds too over the next two days :)

Gina xxx

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Making Your Rented Room a Vintage Haven

Oh hello everyone! It's been a while and for that I can only apologise. But it's been super busy at LouLou HQ! But I'm back with lots of vintage ramblings for your wardrobe and home. 

Now we've all been there, blue curtains, blue carpet, MFI furniture, white walls. The standard student bedroom has never been the cool kooky haven we envisaged in our daydreams. But what can you do when you're skint and let's say, well, prioritising your funds for other things?! We've got a few ideas for you to style up your bedroom vintage style without running too far into yopur overdraft!

Now instead of plastering your walls with photos from last Saturday night, how about pegging them up on a long piece of string? They could drape across the entire width of a wall or criss cross down and alcove or across your door. Not all of us have polaroid camera, but lots of us do have Instagram! You can get these printed off fairly cheaply, have a look here. They look so much more decorative.

Tailors Dummy
Now, it took me quite a while to not get scared in the middle of the night, but my tailor's dummy has a different outfit on all the time, and I get to display my favourite vintage dresses and accessories! Usually it's because I can't quite fit into them...! But at around £35-£30 you can get on off eBay and it makes a big statement in a blank room. Look at this example from A Harem of Peacocks.

Bed Linen
A tidying your room cheat I learnt at Uni, is that if your bed is made, it makes the room look ten times neater! You can have that one for free. But if the linen is pretty and vintage inspired, it'll look even better! We love french toile prints, (it's even the wallpaper in our office) and this Ikea set is on eBay for a cheapy cheap £24.95.

Tins and Teacups
Vintage tins and mismatched teacups are simply everywhere at the minute. Nip to your local vintage fair, antiques centre, charity shop or even on ebay and you'll be sure to stumble upon a wide range of them. They do so much more than just look pretty. Teacups make for lovely little dressing table ornaments that can hold your earrings and rings, loose change etc and tins can hide so much mess on your desk! Pop all your stationary in them. Plus, they're dead cheap.

Suitcases and Trunks
You may consider them a little overdone, but vintage suitcases and trunks are fantastic DIY projects for the home. We even did a blog post on all the uses we could think of, take a look here! But if you just need a quick and easy storage solution, stacking a few of these in the corner of your room for files, shoes, or just junk is a great and affordable space saver. Get searching in charity shops, flea markets and car boots.

Door Knobs
If you have a little time on your hands, it's worth rummaging at car boots, markets and hunting online for pretty vintage drawer and door knobs. If your landlord's furniture is a little, um, crap then a new set of screw on door knobs is a lovely little way of putting your own stamp on your room. Plus you can keep the original ones and replace them when you move out. No damage done.

Lampshade Mobile
This idea came to me when I was out on a charity shop spree. I saw a little pile of mini tasseled lampshades, you know the ones, Nannan definitely has a fair few! If you simply attach string to the centre of the lightbulb fitting inside, you can then hang them from the ceiling with a bit of tape or a thumb tack as they;re ever so light. Hang between 3 and 5 at differing heights to create a quirky feature to your room over your bed perhaps. Obviously, there are no lightbulbs in our little idea, but here's a bit of inspiration to give you an idea.

Flower Garlands
Not only did they look superb in your hair at Latitude fest, they look very pretty draped over your bedhead, on your wardrobe, fireplace or round your window. eBay have lots to choose from but Live Laugh Love have a great selection of other vintage inspired decor too. If you struggle to find any, search for wedding garlands as they're often used for these too. You could mix them up with fairy lights too!

Mismatched Walls
Now, before you tell me that your landlord doesn't let you hang things on the wall, I know, it's rubbish. But do ask! If you're super lovely about it, there's no harm in asking. Because who doesn't want a feature wall, such as your chimney breast, full of random bits and pieces! Clocks, taxidermy, photos, postcards, mirrors etc look so cool all bundled together. I love what Lereese from GIRL STOLE VINTAGE has done with one of her walls. I love the orange 70s clock.

(If you really can't use a hammer and nails, use posters, vintage postcards and magazine cuttings. You could even cut our paper picture frames to put them in - use your imagination.)

So there you have it, lots of little, affordable ideas to help get you stylin' it up in your first rented room. We'd love to see who can rise to the challenge! Send us your pics of your kitsch decoration ideas and we'll feature them on our page!