Monday, 30 December 2013

As One Year Draws To A Close...

May I start by apologising for this very overdue blog post. It has been quite some time since I dedicated some time to blogging! I guess that starts my plans for the New Year...I will blog more!
Before I decide what I would like to achieve in the coming year, I like to look retrospectively back at  what I have achieved in 2013.
The year began with a series of photoshoots for Dollydagger. I still look at those shots in astonishment that that girl in those photos is me! What a wonderful experience, I feel very lucky to have had such an amazing opportunity!

I suppose my next highlight of 2013 has to be finding my feet and really getting to know some amazing people in Brighton! Being new to a city, so far from home, can be very daunting and can take a while to find similar minded friends. I have been lucky enough to meet some wonderful people.

Vintage lovers Daisy, Danielle, Hayley and Ellen
Who can forget a memorable visit to the Goodwood Revival! I think this will be a permanent fixture on our calendar now.
We also took a small holiday to the Isle of Wight for a vintage vacation!

After lots of hunting around boot sales, eBay and Snoopers Paradise we made serious progress on collecting an assortment of mid century furniture and homewares. We also moved into a much larger flat!
And I can't leave getting this little lady out...
I recently received some amazing news that I have got a promotion at work (woop woop). I really hope that 2014 is my year as I may have a few more pennies and a little more time. I have worked so hard during 2013 that I really hope that it all pays off so I can really enjoy 2014. I prefer to set myself aspirations rather than resolutions so am setting myself the challenge to go on more holidays, visits to weekenders and, of course, acquire lots of wonderful vintage clothing.
I must just finish this post by thanking everyone for reading this blog. I have been amazed by quite how friendly, open and helpful everyone is out there! I also love reading everyone else's blogs for inspiration so look forward to seeing what you all have to come in 2014 too.
Wishing you all the very best for the New Year,
Hannah xxx

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Christmas Is A Comin'

Hello everyone, and hello December! Haven't these past months flown, it seems barely any time since I was thinking about a transitional wardrobe! Since I last blogged, I have had what can only be described as a vintage siesta. It turns out that moving house is as exhausting as I remember, but will soon have some pictures to share of my new flat. I have felt quite uninspired vintage-wise, so decided to compile a Christmas wish list to get myself back on track!
I believe that Christmas is about finding unique and one off gifts, rather than items from well known brands. Where better to turn than Etsy; home to some of the best handmade, reasonably priced and vintage inspired brands.
A firm favourite of mine is Rosie Alia Designs. She has recently stocked up her store with an array of festive treats; I particularly love this Christmassy hair clip.

Floral cluster hair clip featuring wild flowers, rosemary, red rose buds and leaves - Vintage inspired, pin up hair flower, roses
Another accessories go-to store comes from Newcastle based Luxulite. Her unique take on classic sweetheart brooches are absolutely adorable and really kitsch. What a great way to do a modern take on a classic piece of the vintage wardrobe.
Heart of gold confetti lucite style handmade cherry brooch 40s 50s
Other Etsy favourites include '1940's Style For You', 'Naked Without One' and 'In Grips We Trust'.
More browsing on Etsy quickly came up with more gems...
Bakelite Bangle Set
Pendleton '49er Jacket
1960s Lucite Handbag / vintage 1960s Copper Brown Lucite and Black Basket Weave Handbag Purse
Lucite handled handbag perfection
Adorable Vintage 1940s / 50s Wool Knit Kelly Green Sweater and Skirt Set // Alfred Hitchcock Vixen // Pin Up Sweater Girl
You can't forget some classics from some of the best reproduction brands out there, with Freddies of Pinewood full of amazing stock, any of the Vivien of Holloway pencil skirts nor Dollydagger dresses!
Oh how I dream of endless budgets, Christmas' and birthday's...
What is on your wishlist? I would love to hear who are your favourite Etsy sellers, or what you are particularly lusting for.
Until next time,
Hannah xxx

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

High Street Hoarder to Charity Shop Chic

Welcome to my very own X Factor style 'journey'; From High Street Shopper to Vintage Lover.
As vintage has gradually infiltrated my wardrobe, I have had to come to terms with the fact that I can't afford nor justify filling my wardrobe full of reproduction or expensive vintage. Half of the fun of bargain hunting is bending everyone's ear with quite HOW cheap it actually was, so here goes...

 When I finally gained the confidence to brave full vintage attire,  I was desperate to kit my wardrobe out with amazing golden era clothing. This meant I was frantically hunting them down as it just felt so good to be wearing the clothes that I had wanted to for years. I remember the feeling of disbelief when I discovered the Collectif and Dollydagger websites!
How did I not know this was out there?! Because I had been hell bent, splashing the cash on fashion magazines and in high street stores in an attempt to 'keep up' with the ever changing trends. Another top, dress or pair of shoes that was always 'nice' but I never got that sense of pride for finding it, and could still never find anything to wear in my wardrobe.
WARNING: Old pictures alert...

Above I was beginning to brave something a little bit different...

And above is my very first venture into trying to vintage myself up. I remember watching a CherryDollFace tutorial and it taking me about 3 hours to do! This photo really does make me want a fringe!
I feel that I have gradually changed my perspective. I am now a keen bargain hunter, and proud to tell people that actually, my outfit did only cost £20! No longer do I continually buy magazines, I gain so much inspiration from reading other blogs, chatting on Twitter or watching films and learning about history. I really have turned a full circle to now; I am determined to see how good I can get for as little as possible, rather than proudly showing off a pair of £80 jeans or a top from All Saints. Both of which end up being thrown out. 
Here are some of my favourite pieces that I have found or made over the last few months:
I made this Rockabilly style top

Top: Oxfam £4.99
 Skirt: Vivienne of Holloway from eBay £20
 Shoes: Ebay £10
 Necklace Oxfam £1

£8 from Brighton Racecourse Boot Sale

Stork £4 and Coffee Set £5, both from Martlets on Western Road
I recently wrote a blog post about some of my favourite Charity Shops in Brighton, you can read it here!
Hannah xxx

Thursday, 7 November 2013

The Edge of Love

Ok, I have a confession. I am a big Keira Knightley and Sienna Miller fan. They may split opinion on their acting ability, but it surely can't be disputed how beautiful they are?! The Edge of Love even has the Brucie Bonus of not just Keira and Sienna, but Cillian Murphy too. Drool. 

Anyway, back to the film! Set in wartime Britain, it is a complicated love story between two couples. With Knightley's husband sent to war, she begins an affair and faces the consequences when he returns. I was really hit by the realisation of how lonely war must have been for both those fighting, and those left behind. In such a terrifying situation for all, you can only imagine how frantically all sought solace and similarly struggled to return to normality once it was over.

A real highlight of the film was the incredible wardrobe throughout. I must admit that the outfits of both Miller and Knightley whilst in London did seem much more opulent than their circumstances would suggest, however I certainly wasn't complaining! However, the later parts of the film are a great lesson in the knitwear and tea dress combination that is perfect for transitional times of year.

I think that this coat above is so stunning. Just look at those darts!

What is your opinion on this film?

Hannah xxx

Friday, 25 October 2013

Pin Curl Setting Styles

Normally a complete rollers enthusiast, it takes a lot to persuade me to try a different setting technique! I stumbled across these 'Hollywood Hairstyles- and how to do it yourself' guides, which even show how to get some of our favourite Golden Era Gals' do's.
These techniques are all done by a Pin Curl set. To roll a pin curl, take your strand of hair that you wish to curl, give it a spray (or three) of setting lotion and comb it through. Pinch the hair between your thumb and index finger, then make a loop using your other hand and roll the hair up the head. Clip it into place with two crossed Kirby grips and your are away! Just ensure that you use the same amount of hair to get uniform curls! I find this tutorial from Vixen Vintage particularly useful.
I decided to use this Lauren Bacall tutorial as I am continually looking to perfect my Pageboy!
For once in my life, I made sure to follow the instructions exactly, and was SO pleased with the results. When I do my usual roller set, I am always pleased with the front but never quite achieve the back quite how I would like it. It seems like the pin curl method gets perfection! Please excuse the dodgy lighting of my flat (I really do hope my hair isn't two toned like it looks!) but here are the results...

I also found quite a few other techniques, I just need to decide which to try next!


I think this (above) would create the ultimate Betty Grable look in Pin Up Girl!

Which is your favourite? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter (@ABrightonBelle_)
Hannah xxx

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Vintage in Brighton- Charity Shop Who's Who

As my purse strings seem to get tighter and tighter every month, I am continually finding myself browsing and buying in Charity Shops. I am lucky in that I have three right at the top of my road that each have something a little different, in fact I rarely stray further afield!
First up is the British Heart Foundation on Western Road, near to Waitrose. It seems that every time I go in here, I walk out with something! Expect to find plenty of clothing, with the shop sectioned into tops, skirts, trousers, dresses etc. There is currently a great knitwear selection in there at the moment. I must admit that this is one of my favourite charity shops as you will often find original vintage in here! Delve deeper into the shop and you will find a few small but well stocked homeware shelves. More often trinkets and smaller homeware items, these shelves often turn up trumps.


Turning right out of there, if you can make it past Sally's beauty supplies next door (where they sell super strong hairspray and Crazy Colour semi permanent hair dye), you will reach Oxfam. Always with a beautiful window display, inside there are always lots of dresses to browse through. There is currently a wonderful array of winter coats to choose from. I have had quite a lot of luck in here recently as they seem to have added more knitwear and skirts to their stock. I always find there to be a good selection of menswear in here too. Upstairs you can even find records!

Crossing the road, you will find the Martlets Furniture shop next to Taj. Whilst they do stock clothes, I am most impressed with their collection of furniture in here. With this shop in particular, I find it best to go in there as often as possible as it seems that stock regularly changes around. There is a huge array of wool and knitting needles, as well as books too!

Heading further into the centre of Brighton, I always make a beeline for the Martlets Shop on Church Road, near to the Corn Exchange. This outlet specialises in Vintage, and even has its own Instagram and Twitter feed! Search for 'vintagemartlets' on Instagram and @Martletsshops on Twitter. I am always spoilt for choice in this store! They are even having their very own Vintage Me Christmas Fair on 30th November at the Unitarian Church. I think it will be dangerous for the old purse strings but all for a good cause!

Do you recommend any other charity shops around Brighton? I am yet to let loose on George Street in Hove, and believe London Road is also promising!
Hannah xxx

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Glorious 39

Settling into bed on Saturday night, I noticed that British Drama 'Glorious 39' was on TV. Knowing I was bound to fall asleep partway though, I decided to sit down and watch it properly...and am I glad I did!
I really don't want to reveal too much of the tale, but can guarantee that it is so worth a watch. The plot is gripping, cast full of British talent and an amazing wardrobe to boot. Set on the eve of WW2 in wartime Britain, Anne, the adopted daughter of a rich and formidable family, discovers secret recordings in her Father's shed and suddenly her life dramatically unravels.
I find myself incredibly inspired by the wardrobe and understated elegance of Anne. The wealth of her family is definitely reflected in the outfit choices, from lame to silk gowns, all outfits are incredibly opulent. Simple, classic late thirties/early forties styling was made incredibly realistic by attention to detail. Anne was given a 'capsule wardrobe', so we see the same pieces of clothing being used slightly differently throughout the film. How authentic! Even better, we even see her sleeping in pin curls. How frustrating is it when we watch reproduction films were they sleep with no set but awake to incredible curls!


Romola Garai in Glorious 39
For me, the hair is absolute perfection. Not too over the top, but understated and elegant styles accessorised with wonderful snoods, berets or slides. Even better, look how few pin curls she appears to have in! In the film, she has just pin curled the entire front part of the hairline.
The make up for Anne is incredibly simple as she really is a natural beauty. For the daytime scenes, I wonder if they have used a lip stain, such as Benetint. Her eye make up also appears very simple, with the slightest bit of black eyeshadow used instead of eyeliner. Of an evening, a rich red lipstick is used (possibly Russian Red) with some more definition to the eye by a tiny bit of eyeliner and eyeshadow in the socket.
I think it is fair to say that the DVD, a red beret and navy snood are most definitely on my wish list!
Glorious 39 should be on the Iplayer this week if you catch it quickly!
Hope you enjoy,
Hannah xxx

Friday, 11 October 2013

Vintage Guide to Suffolk

At the beginning of August, I had a wonderful week away in Suffolk with my boyfriend and his family. Alongside lots of games of badminton, cricket and rounders, we found time to drink quite a lot of wine, eat lots of food and find lots of vintage shops! Here are my finds...

We stayed very near to the Snape Maltings, which had something for everyone, from a Concert Hall, locally produced food store to a large room full of Shabby Chic interior pieces. We quickly found the Antiques and Collectables store tucked around to the side of the development. There was a huge amount of vintage clothing, but I didn't really find anything that jumped out at me, although I'm sure with a more dedicated hunt there would be some great finds. I would say there was better quality collectables than clothing, and very similar to a small Snoopers Paradise here in Brighton. Make sure to nip down the road to The Golden Key, a fantastic country pub that makes a seriously good Fish and Chips!

Aldeburgh is a beautiful, picturesque town by the sea. One of my favourite shops there was a great independent wine and beer merchant who sold a selection of the more obscure tipples. I was disappointed to find a surprising lack of vintage, however Vintage Angels on the way into the town makes up for it. A wonderfully extensive selection of vintage clothing on offer; for once the men also have plenty of quality vintage clothing to browse through too. I have a feeling that a lot of money would have been spent had we not cycled there! Vintage Angels contained one of the best selections of menswear that I have seen. Even better, there is a small but well stocked vintage furniture emporium attached!
Near to Aldeburgh is Thorpeness Emporium, which looks like a new development, but probably contained the best array of vintage I could find in the whole of Suffolk! The selection of clothing was perhaps more female orientated, but on a whole, the Emporium contained a wide range of quality and kitsch homewares. I really loved it here, and even found the hat I intended to wear for Goodwood! (silly rain prevented it). Even better, nip across the road afterwards to the tea rooms, down to the sand beach or even have a row on the lake!
I must admit that I was slightly let down by Ipswich. I did expect more vintage shops but perhaps I am spoilt by Brighton! Carr Street was the best place to visit for charity shops, with them even situated conveniently next to each other. Fairweather Vintage has a lovely selection of ladieswear and the benefit of in house alterations upstairs and mod menswear downstairs. Vintage and Retro homeware is best found on St Peters Street.

On one of our last days, we headed over to Felixstowe, a seaside town with a small amusement arcade that we made sure to visit...

In typical seaside town fashion, there is plenty of charity shops to choose from but hey, who can complain at that?! Head over to the bottom of Hamilton Road, nearest to the sea, and you can find a vintage homeware shop and a new favourite of mine, The Thrify Thistle. I really enjoyed seeing the selection of crafts made by local people, and picked up some beautiful felt brooches that I haven't stopped wearing recently! These brooches were made by the very talented Lucy of 1940's Style for You who I think could very easily persuade me to part with a lot of money! Alongside the brooches, she has an amazing collection of knitted jumpers perfect for this time of year that she has on her Etsy shop.
Have you been to Suffolk or are you from there? I would love to hear about any places I missed out in the comments below!
Hannah xxx