Vintage Style book give away! The winners are............

Drum roll..............

The 5 lucky winners of Vintage Style by Sarah Kennedy are.................

1) Emma-Lou (aka EM170, @teainthecity)

2) Mac234 (aka Ian Maciver)

3) I Am Fabulicious

4) xbeautybee

5) zbody (aka @mawhittaker)

Winners - can you please email your full names and addresses over to me missyvintage@hotmail.co.uk

Well done everyone! I've really enjoyed reading about whose style you find inspiring. I will work on getting a post together listing all the icons mentioned!

Thank you to all that entered, I'm glad you've enjoyed the review. Thank you also to Carlton Books for not only the fabulous books but for your super vintage tweets on twitter.
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Style icon: Louise Brooks

(November 14, 1906 – August 8, 1985)
With The Artist taking cinemas by storm (not that I've had time to see it yet, which is annoying to say the least) and The Great Gatsby due to hit the big screen at the end of the year, it looks like 2012 will have more than a sprinkle of 1920's fashion inspiration. I wonder if this will be reflected in the Oscar fashions?......

Louise Brooks was American born but had great success in Europe following a move to London at seventeen. A wonderful dancer and an all round bit of a character, who was declared bankrupt in 1932,  she liked to splash the cash that's for certain. Perhaps it was following her bankruptcy that she gave the famous quote:

“A well-dressed woman, even though her purse is painfully empty, can conquer the world.”

The bob hairstyle must surely be one of the most repeated styles over the decades? It may have been similar to the Louise Brooks cut, longer, asymmetric or the famous Vidal Sassoon bob, bobs have evolved - but they are still bobs. Yes even the famous Victoria Beckham 'pob' was of course a bob.

Vidal Sassoon
Danni Minougue
I had a bob about 2005 too, but I've not been able to find a clear enough picture to add to this blog, my hair is much longer now as I currently like to wear it in victory rolls or quiffed at the front - but I haven't ruled out going shorter again at some point. So that's iconic hair, what about if you'd like to recreate a twenties look with your wardrobe?

Well it's not all feathers and pearls (unless you want it to be!) Simple shaped dresses can be given an instant twenties twist with a pair of Mary Jane shoes.  

Black shoes BHS £25     Blue shoes ASOS £18 (sale)

Just a few accessories can really vintage up your look. You don't have look like an original twenties flapper to carry off the look. Little hints back to another era are a really workable way of adding a sprinkle of vintage style to your look.

With snow possibly on the way, what better time to brighten up your wardrobe with a hat. Also perfect for bad or just can't be bothered hair days! You may be familiar with cloche hats?  A simple shaped hat popular that was a popular style in the twenties. Still a very popular style today.

Red hat Topshop £25     Black hat George £8  Grey hat BHS £12.60 (sale)

If you've been into vintage for ages or if it's something you might just be starting, may be you are just at the thinking stage? My advice would be don't worry too much about eras and looking authentic. Vintage in such an interesting sub culture of fashion because many of us are not purists and we do mix and match the eras. For me that's part of the fun. One day I could be sporting a 1940's wartime sweetheart look, the next I might be feeling in the mood to put on a pencil skirt and look more 1950's. It's all about just finding out what you like.

You also don't need to ditch your existing wardrobe either! You may be surprised to know what vintage inspired looks you can put together with a pair of trousers and a blouse, or a pencil skirt and a t shirt. You can see me chat more about this in a previous post I wrote called 'Getting that vintage look'.

If you want a look at fashion through the decades then I currently have a competition running  this week and there is still time to enter! Courtesy  of Carlton Books ,I have 5 books by Sarah Kennedy called Vintage Style, featuring Elizabeth Taylor as one of 25 icons of fashion. Carlton books have been having fashion week on Twitter with vintage inspired tweets as well as give aways, if you're on twitter but you haven't been following them yet then you have missed some fab tweet. Do pop over and follow them for the final day. If you're on twitter and you have seen the hashtag #VINTAGEWEEK this is why!

If you haven't entered the give away then don't worry, you can enter up until midnight 27 Jan 2012. Just click here to read the book review, the competition rules and details of how to enter.

Vintage Style by Sarah Kennedy, published by Carlton Books, £20, is available in all good book shops and online now.
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Style Icon Elizabeth Taylor

Following on from the last post about the Vintage Style book by Sarah Kennedy, I've been thinking about who my style icons are. I love Marilyn because she was truly beautiful and always looked gorgeous whether she was wearing a floor length frock, a pencil skirt or jeans. But who else do I think personifies style and glamour? Well one icon I was glad to see in the Sarah Kennedy book was Elizabeth Taylor. Does she get enough credit for being a screen siren? I think possibly not.

Yet she herself sparkled with charisma as much as any diamond she may have worn. She certainly had a screen presence and the phrase 'it's better to be looked over, than over looked' could have been written for her it's so perfect. She was a true screen siren, possibly a diva but always dressed up to the point of being OTT at times. I once saw a lady on a mobility scooter who was just like Liz Taylor in her later years. Flamboyant, decadent but utterly glamourous in her beret, fur coat and huge sunglasses! Yes, when I hit my pension years, may be that will be me!

The 50's Elizabeth Taylor look is all about glamour. Think styled hair, red lipstick AND heavy eyes . None of this one or the other business. To recreate her look think of colour. Jewelled coloured 50s style dresses (or may be 50s originals if you're lucky!) Mostly what I think is so utterly fabulous about her was her confidence. She seemed to have led a life that was as times as OTT her some of her wardrobe, but she certainly had a full life that's for sure.

January can be a tough month as we all wait for pay day, we still need glamour in our lives though! Why not get dressed up to the nines and have everyone over for dinner? Send out invites with a theme such as Hollywood glam. Host a come dine with me style get together, or have a living room dinner dance!  Even beans on toast will be scrumptious if you're eating it dressed up in black tie event attire, pop a Marilyn film on, get the fairy lights back out of the loft and you have yourself a soiree!  

If you need a treat then courtesy of Carlton Books Publishing, I have 5 books by Sarah Kennedy called Vintage Style, featuring Elizabeth Taylor as one of 25 icons of fashion. Carlton books are also having a fashion week on Twitter with vintage inspired tweets, if you're on twitter do pop over and follow them (and me too!)

If you haven't entered the give away then don't worry, you can enter up until midnight 27 Jan 2012. Just click here to read the book review, the competition rules and details of how to enter.

Vintage Style by Sarah Kennedy, published by Carlton Books, £20, is available in all good book shops and online now.
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Book review and give away!! Vintage Style, Iconic Fashion Looks and How to Get Them

The lovely folks at Carlton Books have very kindly given me a copy of Vintage Style, Iconic Fashion Looks and How to Get Them by Sarah Kennedy to review.  What’s more, they’ve also given me five – yes five – copies of the book to give away.  So first, let’s get down to the review and then if you’d love the chance to get your hands on your very own copy, read on…

Firstly, there’s been a lot of buzz around this book, with British Vogue recently listing it in their guide of books to curl up and read at Christmas.  The cover of the book, as you may have realised, is the gorgeous Debbie Harry.  Now, while she may not be my personal style icon, she is, without doubt, certainly an icon.  As soon as I got the book in the post, the first thing I did was to open it up to find what reference had been made to Debbie Harry.  Straight away, it was obvious this was going to be a style book with a difference. 

There’s twenty‑five women used in this book to demonstrate different eras and looks, from the twenties to the nineties.  There’s a good deal of detail about their lives and the impact their look had on the fashion‑scene at the time.  Within each icon section, there’s also bullet‑points to key looks, style and beauty tips, key designers of the time and shopping advice.  For example, with Debbie Harry there’s a guide to achieving smoky eyes and hot red lips.  So, which other icons has the author selected to illustrate style through the decades? 

  •  Louise Brooks: Flapper
  •  Jean Harlow: Tea Dancer
  •  Marlene Dietrich: Femuline
  •  Wallace Simpson: Mistress
  •  The Mitford Sisters: English Aristo
  •  Marilyn Monroe: Goddess
  •  Audrey Hepburn: IngĂ©nue
  •  Grace Kelly: Ice Princess
  •  Elizabeth Taylor: Hollywood Glamour
  •  Jackie O: American Classic
  •  Brigitte Bardot: Bombshell
  •  Twiggy: Ultra Mod
  •  Jean Shrimpton: British Classic
  •  Marianne Faithfull: Rock and Roll Girlfriend
  •  Talitha Getty: Boho Contessa
  •  Francois Hardy: Euro Chic
  •  Bianca Jagger: Studio 54
  •  Grace Slick: Combat Chic
  •  Joan Jett: Rock Chick
  •  Debbie Harry: New Wave
  •  Lauren Hutton: Simply Seventies
  •  Diana Ross: Diva
  •  Kate Bush: Free Spirit
  •  Molly Ringwald: Indie Girl
  •  Cindy Crawford: Glamazon
Picking out a few of the icons I particularly enjoyed reading, I found the Louise Brooks: Flapper chapter very interesting.  The Roaring Twenties is not really one of my go-to eras, so I found this full of useful detail and beautiful illustrations.  Within each chapter there’s a quote from each iconic lady, maybe this one from Louise Brooks appealed to me due to the time of year?!

“A well-dressed woman, even though her purse is painfully empty, can conquer the world.”

Moving on, the chapter Jean Harlow: Tea Dancer, discusses how fashion evolved from the twenties to the thirties and very helpfully suggests some films worth watching if you do aspire to achieve the Harlow look.  There’s also some history on the Marcel Wave and the history of tongs, with the book frighteningly informing the reader that

“in the early days, tongs were heated over a gas burner and first tested on paper: if they burned a hole, the tongs had to be cooled down before being applied to the hair.”

Eek! If you do want to give finger waves a try without the use of a hot appliance, then there is a tutorial in this section.  Now I can tell you from experience that finger waves take practice.  It always looks simple in books, but if you do want to try this look, I really would advise that you have a practice run before an actual big  event. 

The chapter with Bridget Bardot: Bombshell, sees the author describe Bardot as an “antidote to Hollywood vamp glam”. I think that's a perect description. Bardot was certainly something very different to the likes of Marilyn Monore and Elizabeth Taylor with their curves, sets and lipstick. This section includes tutorials on how to get the Bardot Face, with cat eye eyeliner and that famous pout. 

It’s actually very difficult for me not to run through every icon in this book because there really is something worthy of discussion in each chapter.  What I really liked about the book is that whilst every chapter includes a tutorial of some kind, it’s not just a 'how-to' book. 

Whizzing forward to the chapters covering the eighties and the nineties….vintage lovers can often raise eyebrows when the eighties gets mentioned.  Personally, I wear quite a lot of eighties clothes but I wear pieces that reflect back to the forties and fifties.  There’s always fashion trends that lend themselves to previous decades.  How this book covers the eighties, though, is to choose the Indie Girl look, which I actually think is quite an inspired choice, because although it’s not my cup of tea, when you walk through the street, you do see this look on teens today a lot.  So if like me you read the list of icons and saw Molly Ringwald’s name and thought “really?”, well I can honestly say that having read that chapter in full, I get what the author is trying to demonstrate. 

The book is as much about the history of fashion as it is about inspiring the reader to experiment with a look.  It’s an informative look at fashion through the decades and whether you decide, as I did, to read the book from cover-to-cover or just dip in and out of the sections, you won’t be disappointed. With an RRP of £20, it may not be the cheapest book out there but it's packed with not just ideas but historical facts. It’s a beautifully illustrated guide to fashion, that casts its definition of “icon” as widely as possible to cater for every taste.  It's a book I would recommend adding to your book wish list.  

If you’d like to win one of five copies of this book (UK entries only on this give-away), then here’s how.  Firstly, all you need to do is follow the Missy Vintage blog using any or all of the following methods:

Google Friend Connect (the box is on the right hand side of the screen)
- Twitter (don't forget to tell me your twitter name)
- or subscribe via email (this box is also on the right hand side of the screen)

Secondly, you then need to leave me a comment on this blog post with your name, tell me how you follow the blog (list all the ways, each follow is one entry so there’s a possible four entries per person!) when leaving your comment why not tell me who your style icon is.  It can be anyone who inspires you, Marilyn Monroe, Jane Russell, Cheryl Cole, your mum.... me ;o)

 *It's really easy to leave a comment: where you see the 'comment as' under the comment box  a drop down box opens -  if none of the options apply to you, just select annonymous - but remember to leave your name!*

Five winners will be picked at random using random.org.  This competition runs from today right now! (Monday 23 January 2012) to midnight on Friday 27 January. 

Each method of following equals one entry, but only one book can be won per person.  If the same person is randomly selected more than once, another name will be selected instead. 

I will announce the five lucky winners on Saturday 28 January 2012.  If you are on Twitter, then why not follow the Carlton Books PR team This week, they’re having a special vintage week so there’s no better time to follow and see exclusive tweets about vintage goings-on. (You may have started to see the hashtag #VINTAGEWEEK bouncing around twitter already!) 

Good luck everyone! 

Vintage Style by Sarah Kennedy, published by Carlton Books, £20, is available in all good book shops and online now.
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Face Hair Friday......

David Niven

 Lots of bloggers do a frock Friday, but today I'm doing a face hair Friday! Partly because it gave me a reason to use this picture of the dashing David Niven (I've had a few conversations over wine with other vintage ladies about this man, but what happens in the pub, stays in the pub!) and secondly because I wanted to highlight the brilliant effort chaps all over the world made back in November for the face hair fest that is Movember.

For those of you who may not be familiar with this event chaps get sponsored to grow a mo (also known as a tash) for the whole of November. The money raised goes to programmes run by Movember and their  men’s health partners The Prostate Cancer Charity and The Institute of Cancer Research.

For me it was a glorious month of watching my chaps in the office become, well chaps quite frankly. There was much excitement and some serious conversations and inquisitive comparing going on. I've watched several conversations take place bout adapting eating techniques for certain types of food. For someone like me, who is fascinated by folk and loves to people watch it was an amazing month!

This office activity along side all the social media and the man on the street, means November 2011 was a face hair fest indeed. I love walking down the street and seeing two men walk past each other sporting mo's and you could just see that although they didn't know each other there was some sort of recognition there.  Respect for the mo. 

So because it's important that we are all aware of our health, I'm going to re post some stats from my previous post. Awareness of how healthy your bits are chaps is not just for November. I know this isn't really a vintage post, but this blog started off as a fashion blog and has evolved into a lifestyle blog really so today it is face hair, next week who knows?! (Okay, actually I do know, but I can't tell you yet. I know something else too, I'm a tease! I can't say a word until Monday)

Some important facts and stats courtesy of the Movember UK website
Prostate Cancer Facts
  • 1 in 9 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in the UK – one man is diagnosed every 15 minutes 
  • A man will die from prostate cancer every hour - more than 10,000 men will die of the disease this year in the UK
  • African Caribbean men are three times more likely to develop prostate cancer. 
  • You are 2.5 times more likely to develop prostate cancer if your father or brother has had it Occurrences of prostate cancer in men are comparable to the rates of breast cancer in women
  •  Testicular cancer in the UK affects younger men between the ages of 20 and 50. There were 1,990 men diagnosed with the disease in 2007
  •  Men are 80% less likely to visit their GP and stay in touch with their doctors than women in the UK, thereby denying themselves the chance of early detection and effective treatment
So well done to all you chaps who rocked your mo's for the month of November. I was sorry to see them go, but I know many of you were relieved to have your faces back! Thanks to those who offered their pictures for this blog, I'm sure you will be an inspiration for Movember 2012 and I look forward to seeing how creative your mo's are this year!

Mat from Southern Retro.  Do have a look at Mats ongoing project that involves people who live their lives in a vintage loving way (I'm in the gallery!) 

Mike - loving the Selleck pic!


Nick. This was one of several pictures sent by Nick (thank you!) I chose this one because of the Simon Cowell finger on face position! ;O) Nick's a really talented photographer so do pop over and check out his Flickr photos  
Well done chaps, thanks for the photos. Hope you're not missing that face wool now it's turned nippy! Get your diary's out and remember Movember in 2012!
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Mid week link love

Picture : Brassai (1899 - 1984)

Time for the first mid week  link love of the new year I think! Apologies the blog has been quiet the last few days, I've been a busy bee making lots of plans for Missy Vintage, The Historical Sauces and also for Vintage Norwich too. That's a lot of planning. There's been highlighter pens, folders, individual note pads and yes, slight panic attacks when my pen ran out of ink followed by the lead breaking in my pencil.........

So it's been a flurry of activity, much research and about a zillion emails have been exchanged. I've so many ideas in my head, that I continue to sleep with post it notes by the bed. I'm also working on a super give away so watch this space for news on that soon....

I've also finally upgraded to an iphone! Yes! I knew I had to move with the times when a lady of at least 80 whipped out her iphone. Now I like a bit of granny chic, and I'm used to often having beret envy at ladies I pass in the street but this was actually the first time I'd *really* had iphone envy. So this has already revolutionised my world and has made my twitter twitches worse...... social media, it's a thief of time but I love it so!

So when I've not been planning, texting,tweeting etc, I've been reading.........so because it's good to share, here are links to some reads I've enjoyed recently.

Firstly, the picture I've used at the top of this post is by photographer  Brassai who's work included combing the streets of Paris at night in the thirties to capture life of a Parisian. Beautiful pictures. Please be aware there is some nudity in a few of the pictures. Just so you know...... www.atgetphotography.com/The-Photographers/BRASSAI

Over on In with the Old out with the New you can see what blogger Rosie wore to go and watch The Artist 

If you haven't seen this film yet, or can't quite make you mind up if it's for you then here's a review by Eclectic Ephemera 

Finally........... Charly AKA hilarious Land Girl 1980  shares The tale of a home hair cut

Happy Wednesday!
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Iron Lady Fashions

I know, I know, Margaret Thatcher is an unusual style icon. Sometimes you just find style inspiration in the most unexpected places. Ever watched the comedy Only Fools and Horses and swooned at an armchair? Or Pat's Cocktail bar in Eastenders?

I mentioned in my previous post about going to watch the film The Iron Lady and that I was quite taken with a shot of her wardrobe full of blue dresses, blouses etc. I've previously posted about the 'granny chic' look, using Dot from EastEnders for style inspiration.......... stay with me here, I assure you I am not going crazy (perhaps the jury is out on that one) BUT let's have a wee look at Margaret Thatcher and some of her looks...............

I know I may be asking a lot, but forget the politics and look at theose images again looking just at the clothes. The shapes, the colours and the styles. Lots of pussy bows, structured Kelly handbags, pearls and of lots of bold colours.

Pussy bow blouses look incredibly sexy in my opinion, despite the fact they completely cover the flesh up. They add glamour and femininity and are so versatile. Wear them with tailored trousers, jeans, pencil skirts....... I LOVE them. I'm also a fan of dresses and skirts that fall just below the knee (see dress lengths above) It's a very flattering length. 

If you like this look then the high street has lots on offer at the moment. My first suggestion though, would be to hit the vintage boutiques, charity shops or a relatives wardrobe.....especially for the handbags where your money will go a lot further.

I picked this up in a charity shop about a year ago for under £5

If the high street is the way you choose to go then you may be able to get some bow action for your wardrobe in the sales...

Oasis reduced to £28 

Happy hunting! 
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The Iron Lady

Last week I went to see The Iron Lady. The film about Margaret Thatcher that's been causing a fair bit of controversy. I deliberately hadn't read any reviews but I couldn't help hear it being talked about in the news etc. I went with an open mind, I wasn't expecting a political documentary on the life of Mrs T but I also wasn't expecting what I ended up watching either...............

Within the first five minutes of the film starting I was putting aside any political feelings I had, having found myself watching a fragile old lady struggling to deal with dementia and the passing of her husband who died some years previously. Jim Broadbent is a god as far as I'm concerned. An absolute screen legend.

He plays Dennis Thatcher, a loving and often neglected husband in the world of Thatcher politics. Meryl Streep who plays Maggie, deserves all the credit that has been bestowed on her so far. Incredible acting. I was truly hooked on the dynamics of their relationship with the highs and the lows being shown via a series of flash backs.   

There are some great flash back scenes to to the 40's and 50's. Whilst Margaret's politics may not be my thing, strangely enough I love much of the fashion she wore in her political days. She's not renowned as a style icon but her look was very smart and stylish. Pussy bow blouses, smart skirts and lots of blue. I kid you not I have just described my own wardrobe!

A scene from The Iron Lady. Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher
Whilst waiting for the film to start I was talking about her fashions to The Boy and mentioned that it had been remarked on several occasions, that I've clothes similiar to those  Maggie would be seen in..... he frowned and said he thought not. However as the film went on. I think he started to see it...... I think my gasp at the scene that shows her wardrobe entirely filled with blue clothing sealed the deal.

I was crying my eyes out by the end. I certainly wasn't expecting that I can tell you. Thank goodness for waterproof mascara. I felt a bit distressed to be honest at seeing age virtually eat this woman up on the large screen. It was an emotional roller coaster of a film. When the credits came up at the end the whole cinema was still. There was a really odd atmosphere as I think people wondered how to react and how they felt about what they'd seen. I've never known so many people stay in their seats not moving as the credits roll.

When people did start to make a move there was quite a bit of debate and conversation about the film. Sign of a good film in my opinion, if people want to start discussing it before they've even left the cinema. This post has probably not helped you make up your mind if you should go to see it  or not, I really found it interesting watching her compete in a mans world. The Boy wasn't so keen on it. In fact we had quite a debate. He watched it from a political point of view and was bothered by some parts of the film he felt weren't quite accurate and bits he felt they should have included.

Have you seen it yet? What did you think? This picture was taken after I'd pulled myself together. I can't believe I cried so much!

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Eve Arnold - American Photographer April 21, 1912 – January 4, 2012

Eve Arnold
I'm very sad to hear the news that Eve Arnold, a photography icon has sadly passed away. She was just a few months away reaching an astonishing 100 years on this earth. She has certainly outlived many of the famous faces she has photographed.

If the name Eve Arnold doesn't seem to familiar then the images in this post certainly will be. What I've always admired and loved about her body of work was this amazing ability to capture an emotion that I'm not even sure her subjects knew they were conveying themselves.

Film Studios in the 50's were so different from today. Film stars didn't tell the studios what they would and wouldn't do - the studios owned the stars and often treated them poorly. How very different from today's world? Eve was in a man's world back then. Photographers and photojournalists were prodominantly men, and she certainly was producing striking non fluffy images that didn't made the stars look wholesome and ...........I want to use the word false? Studios often wanted their starts captured with the holloywood glam and a fixed smile. Gods and Godesses of perfection (So may be somethings haven't changed?)

I make it no secret that I adore Marilyn Monroe and I'll include a pictures of her in a post whenever I can because I find her such a fascinating creature. Fame continues to give us these celebrities who seem to have what should be a blessed life as we view it from a distance but  true happiness escapes some of them, for one reason or another. Maybe it's ghost from the past, fear of the future and it's unknown demons, that just might be waiting there to get them. We can speculate but the majority of the time we will just never ever know.

There is something so utterly captivating about Eve Arnolds work. Her imagery of Monroe especially (but to repeat - I'm more than a little in love with Ms. Monroe) I was just about to go to bed after a really really long day when I saw the news about her passing and this is why I'm sat here writing at almost 2am in the morning UK time despite the fact that I'm so tired I ache. So because the pictures Eve Arnold produced will probably articulate more beautiful things than I could articulate even on my best day I'll  let her pictures do the talking.

"If a photographer cares about the people before the lens and is compassionate, much is given. It is the photographer, not the camera, that is the instrument." Eve Arnold

You can read Eve's obituary in The Guardian by clicking here

You can read a transcript of an interview Eve did on radio 3 by clicking here
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