Missy Vintage goes shopping at Collectif

 I've been holding on to this post in the hope that I'd be able to add some pictures of my Collectif dress being worn out and about on a picnic - but as that doesn't seem likely to happen any time soon due to the weather turning quite chilly, or hailing, or pouring with rain or a combination of all three............. I'm going to have to wait for a picnic. It will be worth the wait though because I have the perfect dress!

Collectif first approached me a few months ago when they were opening their new shop in Old Spitalfields Market. They invited me to a grand opening - which sounded simply spectacular. Any event that promises London's answer to Johnny Cash has got to be an interesting affair right? Sadly I wasn't free to go - which was super annoying as Old Spitalfields is just a stones throw from Liverpool Street station, so location wise it's ideal for a a quick shopping trip when you step off the train or before you step on it.

Collectif Clothing is an independent UK retailer that creates reproduction forties and fifties style dresses with a size range from 6-22. I'm personally a big fan of this brand so when they approached me again asking me if I'd like to review a dress I was happy to oblige. When I agree to work with companies, I do it on the basis that my reviews will be honest but fair, I had a trip to London planned so I decided not to just review a dress, but checkout the new Collectif store, having only bought from Collectif online before I was interested to visit one of the shops. I wasn't disappointed - rails and rails of patterned loveliness, lots of sizes to choose from. I visited the Old Spitalfieilds store and although it's not a massive store it's small but perfectly formed. It's all really well laid out and the changing rooms were nice and spacey - which is so important when you're wiggling in an out of dresses. 

The choice of dresses is immense. I was in dress heaven, I took several to try on. Pencil dresses, dresses with circle skirts, plain ones, floral ones - I tried on a lot. I'm quite short at just over five foot - and when I say just over I may actually mean half an inch over..... Generally speaking I like my dresses to be on or just below the knee. So If you're over the average height ( I'm told my height is below average - who'd have guessed that?!) then you'll probably find these dresses will be above your knee - which is absolutely fine if that's the look you want to go for, but being petite it can be a nightmare to get dresses that don't need to be taken up, so I was thrilled to bits to be able to try a dress on and the length fall perfectly.

Move over Wilma!
 There now follows a series of pictures of the dresses I tried on - taken with the self timer on the camera - the Collectif CCTV will have several images of me dashing across the floor and striking a pose. They may also have footage of me surfing the floor in my stockinged feet ....... I am old enough to know better but the music was playing, I was surrounded by cheery dresses, I was having a nice time and a little silliness happened.....The dress needs killer heels but as I'd been walking across London I was in my ballet pumps. I *adored* this dress, has a cave girl dress ever been hotter?

Frollickingly fun florals. Talk about saying it with flowers! These are dresses to be adored and noticed in. If these don't cheer up a rainy grey day then I simply do not know what will. What's also super about these dresses is the material has some stretch to it making it easy to find a dress that fits your curves. If like me you have plenty of front you'll know it can be a nightmare buying dresses. This is quite hard for me because I am a girl who loves her dresses.

Dress buying when you're short and have ample bosom can be tricky, which can sometimes take the fun out of shopping. I've practically given up trying to buy vintage dresses that are made with fabric that has no give in it - because if it fits my boobs it will be to big everywhere else and vise versa. None of these dresses gave me the changing room woes, so for me Collectif is becoming a bit of a go to label. So which dress do you think came home with me?............................................................................Which one would you have picked? .............................................................................. *drum roll*.....................................................................

I chose this one because it's not the usual shape that I would go for, when I've shopped for this shape of dress before they've always been so long I've felt swamped so I'm super pleased to be adding this beauty to my wardrobe. Take a look at Collectif for yourself, pop in to a store or visit the website . You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter.

Happy Friday, The weekend is here!! X
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Mid week link love

 We haven't had one of these for a wee while, those of you who may be new to the blog - this is where I share websites with you that I've enjoyed lately. They may be other blogs or just links to interestingness!

So starting off is one that some of the readers who've been with me a while may be familiar with. Last year I was photographed for a project for an online gallery that features folks leading and loving a vintage way of life.

Picture Credit Southern Retro by Mat Keller
 It's constantly getting updated with new subjects so is always worth checking on a regular basis. If you're not familiar then do take a look. southernretro.com

Over on blog Eclectic Ephemera you'll find dapper chap blogger Bruce Partington- Plans has added David Niven to his style icon series. Lots of divine pictures of the dashing Mr Niven along with an interesting look at his life which you can read here

This week I was talking on face book about how I'd set my hair with perm rods! This is a separate post of it's own and there is a crazy picture of me with rag doll hair that I will amuse you all with. I did tweet it, so those of you on twitter have had a sneak peek! The talk of my uncomfortable nights sleep due to said perm rods, resulted in Fiona from blog Straight talking Mama sharing with me something she'd tried with success. Fiona has come up with a way to make cheap foam rollers easy to sleep in. Read all about Fiona's roller idea here

I stumbled across the next link thanks to google. About tenish years ago I gained a City & Guilds level 2 qualification in Photography. Three Distinctions in fact, which I was so thrilled and shocked about at the time, I actually emailed my tutor to request that she checks this again for fear I had been sent someone else's results.

Digital was only just becoming more mainstream and I certainly couldn't afford a digital camera at the time. I can develop my own film and know my way away around a dark room, but this is a skill I no longer use (although I'm still pleased and proud to know I can) I didn't become a photographer and simply used what I'd learnt for pleasure and fun. Digital has made me quite lazy and I found myself rarely flicking the camera on to manual anymore so I decided to go back to school! Well sort of. I've signed up for a short photography/photoshop course.

I *love* being in a classroom environment. Don't let the lipstick and catflick eyeliner fool you, I am a geek at heart and love the process of learning. Hate hate hate not being able to do something new but that's another story! So I've dug out my books again and I'm back to browsing photographers and art, which I've never really stopped doing but now I feel it has more than just a pleasure element to it, it's research. So back to the link I mentioned about 300 words ago...... A little bit of history on old cameras and some beautiful images It's a site called photo.tutsplus.com

Last link is just to let you know that The Historical Sauces now have an online shop so you can get your What Katy Did Seamed Stockings, tights and Besame lipsticks delivered straight o your door!

Happy Wednesday everyone, the weekend is on it's way...........

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Flicks, lips, cocktails and vintage

Happy Monday! Hope you all had good weekends. Again, it was a busy but very exciting one for me. I'd been longing for Saturday morning to arrive as there would be no alarm clock to snap me out of my sleep. I *hate* waking up to an alarm clock but without one, I'd wake up late every morning. Very rarely do I wake up of my own free will. So Saturday felt like a much needed treat. When I did emerge from my slumber I headed to a carboot sale only to find that it was cancelled when I got there as the field was too muddy. April showers give me the blues. So it was off to the charity shops for a browse and I'm really glad I did!

We don't have room for a cocktail cabinet, as I may have mentioned (several times) so I've created a cocktail shelf and I now have a new addition! Rather lovely aren't they!

They are small though, like cocktail shots! Speaking of which I had a cocktail or four yesterday. On a Sunday night, what a way to end the week! The evening started with The Historical Sauces mini masterclass. Which was a hoot, we had great fun showing the ladies (what shall we call our clients - Saucettes?) how to get the perfect pout and hints and tips on creating cat flick eyeliner. We like to work quite informally at these, make up should be fun! So it was super that the room was soon alive with chatter, laughter and the clinking of teacups that held cocktails. It was brilliant helping our Saucettes get their wings, embrace red lipstick and watching the look come together.

Sauce HQ is in a gorgeous cafe/bar on one of the oldest streets in Norwich. We'd arranged for the doors to be thrown open after the workshop for a little event we decided to call Sip and Shop and the place was soon full of people chatting, drinking and tapping their toes to music. (Who doesn't love a bit of Emelda May.) Sadly we were to busy/having a good time to take many pictures. Which means there are no pictures of me sploshing my cocktails everywhere, no images of me arm wresting (that would only ever seem a good idea after two Manhattan's) I lost, I knew I would.

There are also no images of me being taught to jive, I was a rubbish pupil. You will also be unable to view any pictures of me ordering people to google images of Eddie Redmayne so they can see for themselves how gorgeous he is............ However - I promise at the next one I well endeavour to get lots of pictures. Of course if you're Norwich way on May 27th you could always come and have a drink and shop!

More details on the next Flicks and Lips mini masterclass
More Information on the next Sip and Shop event
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Long live that Friday feeling

Anyone who follows me on Facebook or Twitter will know that I was just a bit excited on Friday.... Despite the early morning start and the fact that it wasn't great weather (goodbye mac hello faux fur kind of weather) I fought off my sleepiness for an early morning meeting with The Historical Sauces and a client on a very exciting project we're working on.....

So if you happen to be in, or fancy a trip to Norfolk on the Jubilee weekend then the event I recommend for you on Sunday 3rd of June is ............The History Fair at Gressenhall. Celebrating the 'Fabulous Fifties' it's gong to be a super day of fabulousness and fun. We're going to be there with the Pop Up Vintage Reading room, which will also house our 'Lips & Flicks' tutorials, and during the day, we'll be popping over to the chapel to give talks on fifties fashion. Exciting! The building we are going to based in, is like a little house, it's going to be brilliant creating a room in a room! We're very very excited. Can you tell? We've even made the front of the flyers! Eek!

As well as us, there's also dancing, music, activities including a fifties classroom, fashion shows, cars, if you come dressed in fifties style then entry is also free, so we're expecting it to be a bit like stepping back in time! Gressenhall was formerly a workhouse, now a museum they host several events in the year. Whilst we were there, we got to have a good look around so we could make plans and I just had to pop in and visit the 1950s room. Just divine. If you read my post about the 1940s house in London's Imperial War Museum, you'll know that I love, love, love stepping in to a room and being transported back to a different time. I find it quite magical. In fact, I find it more magical now than I did as a youngster.

I have another set of flying ducks on my wish list.

I'm a ballet pump/flats girl most of the time due to my hectic lifestyle and always needing to dash everywhere, however ideally I'd wear heels with this lovely dress, but I'm still getting over a sprained foot that's still quite painful, so heels have been more or less avoided completely for weeks now. I hope it sorts itself out soon! The dress I'm wearing by the way is a charity shop find. It's home made and the little scarf is attached. I'm guesstimating  it's 50s/60s from the fabric and style, but it's tricky with home made dresses to be precise. The little scarf/tie is attached, I feel like a bit of a trolley dolly, it does need heels though!

I loved the cocktail cabinet. I so need one of these in my life but we simply don't have space *looks around the room at walls* We really don't, I've tried to be imaginative with were it could go but alas it's not going to happen. I just missed out on some fifties tumblers on Ebay this weekend which was a bit of a boohoo moment. Tumblers don't come along that often, shot glasses are plentiful which I think is down to the fact that they were probably kept for display or just for best. Shots are not an everyday drink of course. Not even for me.......

Now I'm happy to admit that I don't want to go back to using wooden tongs to do the washing, but the 1950s room is very very interesting. I'd like to spend the day there at the very least. I think seeing rooms set up like this is great for style inspiration. The house we moved in to had been in the same family for 90 years.... but the person we actually bought it from, had bought it as a 'do up and sell on' job. We do have some lovely feature fireplaces, but the kitchen is new. I can't help but wonder what the old one was like. The room in Gressenhall isn't roped off, you can open cupboard doors and peep inside. If only they had an entire 1950s house. That would be quite something.

The other reason Friday was an excellent day - despite being the 13th.......was because we sold more tickets for The Historical Sauces 'Flicks and Lips' session - which took us to almost a sell out and yesterday we sold the last tickets in the morning so hooray! We've also been in discussions to hold some kind of vintage event for quite some time now. As we have the mini masterclass this Sunday at the Sauce HQ, we thought we may as well just open up the bar afterwards and have a couple of hours of cocktails and shopping. We're calling it 'Sip and Shop', we'll turn up the tunes, have a few stalls and of course a cocktail menu!

If you're in Norwich on Sunday, pop down! There's no admission charge, it's just a nice way to spend a couple of hours on a Sunday evening, have a nice drink with friends and maybe bag a few vintage bargains. You'll find us in Olives on Elm Hill, Norwich. Doors are open 7pm-9pm this Sunday - April 22nd.

We're really keen to get some more events on in Norwich, we've been in talks for quite some time now and of course Gemma is an old hand on the vintage event scene, having thrown some spectacular events of her own already. I'll keep you updated on developments as they happen but if you are looking for something to do then Norwich/Norfolk is lovely. I am completely biased and it's been said many times over the years that I should work for the tourist board, but really it's got such a lot going for it. We're rich in history, Norwich has beautiful buildings despite the fact we suffered from heavy bombing in the second world war. We're a short train ride to the coast and of course there's an ever growing vintage vibe which I'm happy to be at the heart of, writing and working for Vintage Norwich.

If you do plan a visit, then take a look at the Vintage Norwich website, you'll find an events calender, guides on places to shop and eat etc. We take researching things like afternoon tea and cocktails very seriously. We're nice like that.....
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Liquid eye liner review: Vivo

Cat flick eye liner is a big part of my signature 'look'. I like 50's style flicks and if you've been reading my blog for a while, you'll know that I mix and match eras, I'm no purist and I have no issues dressing in a 40s style, wearing 50s style make up and my hair? Well it could be a beehive, victory rolls, headscarf - it all depends on my mood. I have been known to throw it all up in dare I say it.... a top knot. Not very vintage but I think make up can add a vintage edge to any outfit. Flick eye liner, lipstick and I'm good to go.

 I started playing with eyeliner on my eye lids when I was fifteen. I still vividly remember reading my Just Seventeen magazine and seeing this 'how to' guide on a very sixties look. Lots of eye liner on the eyelids. I grabbed my kohl pencil straight away and loaded up my eyelids and went out expecting everyone to coo at my new look. No one did - not even my boyfriend at the time who I'm assuming probably opened his eyes at some point as we snogged, so he must have noticed surely? I can't rule out it was the night my hair got stuck in his braces and took some time to untangle but either way at some point he *must* have noticed surely? No one said a thing. I can only assume it possibly looked so awful that everyone was too polite to mention it........

I stuck with pencil for years, my typical make up developed in to a thin line of eye liner on my eye lids to define, with the occasional subtle flick. I stayed clear of liquid liner. I'd tried it a few times and it always ended in disaster and quite often with lots of swearing. Liquid eye liner takes practice. It is a skill that's worth mastering though and when you have, you'll be super pleased with yourself.

If you are looking for a new liquid eye liner to try,or may be you have avoided it because it terrifies you, then I think I've found a bit of a gem, that in my opinion is a really good product AND it will cost you less than a latte in your average coffee house.....

I'd like to introduce you to the liquid eye liner I can't stop recommending to people. The brand is called Vivo, it's exclusive to Tesco but you can now buy Vivo products online . There's so many things I like about this eye liner and the price is one of them. This is the cheapest eyeliner I've ever used, I discovered it when I'd misplaced my eye liner and couldn't afford to just buy another one of the same brand until the other one turned up (it had rolled under the sofa in case you're wondering!) So I picked this Vivo eye liner up as a cheap temporary measure and hoped it would do a half decent until the other one could be located. How much did I pay for this Vivo eye liner? ..................... £2.

Yes £2 and I've hardly used another eye liner since. This is my go to eye liner for almost every occasion. So apart from the price what's good about it? Because let's be honest cheap doesn't always mean cheerful when it comes to cosmetics and I've certainly been dissapointed a few times with products that have claimed a lot for the small price tag but offered little.

The lid/brush handle is tapered but not to such a width that it becomes fiddly to hold, the brush is bendy but firm enough, that the bristles don't separate in all directions. The colour I use is carbon black, but other shades are available including slate grey which could be a good option if you felt black was to dramatic. The other thing I liked about the brush is that it's really really easy to create a thin line or a more noticeable thick line (as my not so photogenic hand is demonstrating....) - perfect for a 50s/60s look and also ideal for creating a fine line in the inner corner of the eye.

The liquid eye liner goes on really smoothly, I know I'm well practiced in applying my eye liner - so much so that with The Historical Sauces I teach how to apply it, but I still have days when mine doesn't go perfect first time, In the same way that some days my hair curls better than others. Those days just happen, and they happen to everyone!  Liquid eye liner just takes practice and a bit of experimenting with a product that you feel comfortable with. This feels like that kind of product for me. It's easy to apply and it feels as effortless as liquid eye liner is ever going to be!

My 'concentration' face is quite miserable looking obviously! eek!

My top tip for make up application is a hand held mirror. This is a 30s one I picked up in a vintage shop for about £6 ages ago. I've also some beautiful ones picked up from charity shops and carboot sales. They really are brilliant. You're completely mobile to do your make up in any room you want to. You can easily chase the best light and importantly you can just angle the mirror to where you need it.

Mascara is an essential finishing touch to add some meow to your cat flick eyeliner.

Cat flick eye liner can be as subtle or as dramatic as you want it to be. There are no rights or wrongs, it's your make up and your look.If you're not sure you want to invest a lot of money in starting to use liquid eye liner or you just can't spend lots of money, then the Vivo eye liner is a brilliant choice. It's long lasting and hard wearing. Out of ten I would give it a nine! The only thing that would make it even more perfect would be if there was a waterproof option. This compares very very well to more expensive liquid eyeliners I've used including Mac and No.7. For £2 it's well worth adding to your make up bag.
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