It’s that time of year again, the time in which I start to consider the warmer days ahead and wonder what the blazes I am going to wear to cope!
It should come as little surprise to look at me when I tell you that I was not built for the hot weather. I love the sunshine but it is not my biggest fan – I burn almost instantly and wear the marks for weeks and months – and I still want to look fabulous as my make-up slides off my face and I am a puddle of a person, melting, meeeeelting!
I’m looking forward to filling my wardrobe with colour and prints, floaty fabrics and flowers.
The perfect place to gather Spring/Summer inspiration for any vintage-loving lady is London Edge. I visit twice each year to pre-shop my summer wardrobe and once again I was joined by the rather wonderful Regula Ysewijn who came over on the Eurostar from Brussels just to hang out! You can click here to read about our last visit for the A/W2017 collections.
We began at The House of Foxy, a firm favourite of mine for many years now. My next opportunity to shop this collection will be at The Festival of Vintage in York and I have a few pieces earmarked to pick up then – yes, I know I could order them online but I’m saving my buys for this little trip! If you are looking for faithfully recreated vintage styles with exquisite detailing, check out The House of Foxy.
London Edge is a great place to preview products before they launch and I was very excited to hear about Fatale Cosmetics from Bethany Jane Davis of The Vintage Beauty Parlour who has created a line of three 1940s red lipstick shades in partnership with The House of Foxy. These lippies will not be available until July 2018 but they are all designed to replicate vintage shades and are cruelty-free, which is important to me. I have been actively trying to replace anything that runs out (I cannot afford to throw things away for the sake of it… and I’ve already done the damage by paying for the offending items) with cruelty-free versions. It is really not at all difficult if you go to Superdrug and buy their own brands – I am pleased to say that all of my hairstyling is now cruelty-free!
I am already following Fatale Cosmetics on Instagram and will be eagerly watching for the launch this summer. Should I get the top or bottom shade? Choices.
You’ve got to love a big earring and, my darlings, they don’t come bigger than the earrings at No Basic Bombshell. I fell in love with the brand as soon as I heard the name! Just look at this insane selection of earrings.
Whilst I love a big earring, I have zero tolerance for heaviness from the lobe. Thankfully, I can confirm that these laser cut goodies are pretty much weightless and I picked the biggest pair to try on. How much do I need these? I also love the lipsticks, stars, hearts, and lips. Life is far too short for sensible ear wear.
Keeping with the accessories theme, we visited Bow & Crossbones and chatted to designer in chief, Cam. Again, these earrings are pretty much weightless and the range of colours in both Bakelite and ‘fakelite’ are stunning. With Bow & Crossbones, you can go as novelty as you like and there is plenty for the days when you just cannot get away with a pair of hamburgers in your hair.
I have my eye on the faux tortoiseshell pieces to wear with white dresses and over-sized headwear this summer.
I spotted this amazing blue, pink, and purple set at Bow & Crossbones which I think would work perfectly with that House of Foxy print. What do you think? The light seems to shine through the leaves on these, giving them a luminescence that is quite fetching.
When I think of prints, I always think of Victory Parade Collection. The website can be a little confusing for the newbie but all you need to remember is that every dress that you see is available in any other dress shape. Look through each style of dress and choose the fabric that you like best, before selecting the shape you want the dress to be. I particularly liked this relatively simple Hawaiian print and the shape of this dress, which feels very Sophia Loren.
This. With a big hat. Big hats are happening this summer.
Matching neck scarf! I am not afraid of a little matchy-matchy and I thought this was adorable.
I even found a Sid dress of sorts!
There is always some great people-watching to be done at London Edge. As Regula and I cooed over the prints at Victory Parade Collection, this lady’s beautiful headpiece caught our eyes. As is happens, the stylish lady is also the designer and we were given flyers for her website Kleinkariert. These headpieces are made in Germany and, having all stroked the tiny fox, I think Kleinkariert has a few new fans in Regula, Fran from VP Collection, and yours truly.
I loved the new accessories at Voodoo Vixen. Of course, their S/S 2018 collection is gorgeous and I cannot wait to get my hands on their floaty dresses and gorgeous separates, but these black lace sunglasses spoke to me. Imagine these under a big hat…
Voodoo Vixen even has a bridal range! The dresses were gorgeous and weighty, feeling much more expensive than a £200 price tag. Typically, I did pick up the most expensive wedding dress, most of them retailing for just over £100, which is not to be sniffed at for Brides on a budget or for Brides who would prefer to spend their budget on shoes. My own wedding outfit came in at around £200 and I had a pair of Louboutin heels. I didn’t regret my choice as a glass of wine ended up down the front of my skirt!
I am a big fan of Voodoo Vixen for affordably priced, beautifully made pieces. This 1930s style dress is less than £60 and I adore mine (I have the navy version). I love this olive shade against Regula’s colouring – though she is not quite as fluorescent as the lighting makes her look!
London Edge is a great place to meet brand new designers, like Kennedy Designs who are based in Glasgow. Their website proudly proclaims that they “make 70s aesthetic clothing which allows you to channel your inner Bowie or Bolan,” so I had a feeling that this was a girl after my own heart.
The more I look at this picture and the look of pure joy on my face, the more I think I need this Bowie-inspired dress in my life. I’ll wear it down Tescos. With big sunglasses… and a bit hat.
Your clothes should make you happy. I see myself as a 35 year old woman who never grew out of playing dressing up. This pastel-coloured rainbow dress from Collectif made my heart soar and I am not usually into pastel colours. I think it is because the shades are quiet bold, rather than being wishy-washy, which is what pastels do to my skin tone! I tried on a pastel coloured dress once and I looked like a corpse. I think I could pull this one off with a bigger hat.
Collectif is a real staple name in my wardrobe with everything from floaty summer frocks, to fur-trimmed cold weather wear, to my winter coat, to my summer mac. The quality of the fabrics used for infinitely reasonable prices is great. If you are dipping a first tentative toe into the world of vintage-inspired fashion, sign up for the Collectif mailing list and watch out for one of their barmy sales – if you can pick up a reduced frock for £15, there is no harm in trying it out.
Regula tried on this stunning coat with a detachable cape. If you want to swan around looking like a Russian princess, Collectif definitely has the coat for you!
On a chilly day in London, I wore my Collectif ‘Darling Check’ Suit. I am also wearing a burgundy Voodoo Vixen Von Teese Top, and lipstick brooch. My earrings are from Bow & Crossbones and that hat is from the 1990s… it’s Kangol! Remember Kangol? Thankfully the label is on the inside so I’m not channeling Samuel L Jackson.
Wandering over to Miss Candyfloss, I was heartened to see my hunch about big hats validated. This navy suit was just dreamy.
Finding the suit available in a raspberry shade for the summer, I fell a little bit in love. Miss Candyfloss are great for nipped in waists and elegant pin-tucking at the bust.
Their summer lines had me longing for the ability to wear this much yellow in one outfit. Surely a dress like this is bound to bring out the sunshine on the dullest day.
Who needs a Ru Paul mug? Seriously, hands up and I’ll bulk order a load from Extreme Largeness because I think we could all do with one of these next time we spill the tea!
A highlight of every London Edge is a catch up with the team from The Seamstress of Bloomsbury and their newer sister brand Rock’n’Romance. Head Designer Mike is always charming and happy to show us around the new frocks, emphasising each carefully reconstructed detail. The buttons are always true vintage and the fabrics are specially made crepe de chine, as they would have been back in the 1940s.
I fell a little bit in love with the Mae dress, in a stunning wine shade with delicate ivory piping and those vintage buttons. Have you ever seen anything so exquisite? Mike and I had a good old gossip about Mae West as we cooed over this frock.
Charlene looks after both The Seamstress of Bloomsbury and Rock’n’Romance but I get the sense that R’n’R is very much her baby brand – one of the most popular dresses in their collection is named for her and it is a keeper.
I am new to separates and I love a matching separate – buy a shirt and a skirt and you can wear both as a dress too! How gorgeous is this red and blue tartan check print? It’s nice to see a tartan that will work in the summer. My plan is that the shirt will look good tied at the waist with a pair of jeans and the skirt will look great with a simple white peasant girl style blouse. Always outfit planning.
Suitably exhausted from all of this pre-shopping, Regula and I collapsed into a restaurant and ordered a bottle of Prosecco to help us recover! London Edge is not a shopping event, it is for trade visitors to put in orders but between a summer of Foodies Festivals and series 2 of Bake Off Vlaanderen filming this summer, these are two travelling showgirl chefs who need to plan their wardrobes in advance. No lazy chefs whites for these two!
Fabulous frocks, stunning accessories, and big hats at the ready.