Friday, 31 May 2013

Lazing on a Sunny Afternoon

A sunshine filled day off calls for a bike ride away from the busy lanes towards Hoves' Blatchington Road. Quite the vintage location, between the numerous charity shops expect to find home ware emporium Department, vintage store Bobby and Dandy and you should definitely squeeze in time for a yummy bite to eat at Ethel's Kitchen.
Today I wore:
Dress: Original 1950s Sun Dress-Ebay
Belt: Purchased a long time ago from Oasis
Bag: Vintage
Sunglasses: TK Maxx
May I just say how much I am in LOVE with my new shoes. There are no words! Check them out, mine are their Olivia style, which are comfortable and true to size.
We called into Bobby and Dandy and I couldn't help but pick up a small treat. I have had my eye on this brooch for quite a while so to see it sat there,waiting for me was just too much and I had to buy it!
On my way home I decided to call into Oxfam on Western Road to see if there are any bargains and picked up this pretty sun top for a mere £3.99. How could I resist?! I picture it with some Freddies of Pinewood Classics and my Rocket Original shoes (watch this space...). Excuse my shiny face- I am on a mission to fit nicely into my suit for Goodwood, so flew down the seafront on my bike!
Hannah xxx

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Hold Fast Co.

One aspect of the vintage lifestyle that I love (other than the clothes, make up, jewellery and everything else...), is continuing my passion for mid century design into my home. From a G Plan footstool to Atomic Coat Rack, I love building up my collection of home wares to ensure that my home also represents my favourite eras.
Brighton is such a treasure chest for hunting for the ultimate iconic piece. From charity shops, to flea markets, to all of its individual artists, Brighton is brimming with design and culture that can be carried into your home. I would like to put the spotlight onto my boyfriend Joe, who has recently turned his hobby into a business.
Joe worked for many years as a bespoke furniture maker, working with a range of woods and has made everything from Church doors to kitchens to coffee tables! Alongside this, he also indulged in his passion for mid century design and home wares, and has collected iconic pieces from the fifties and sixties. I would regularly find myself lusting after pieces in Design Shops or Vintage Fairs, to which he would chirp up with 'oh, I have one of those'; I shortly began to realise his great eye for classic design. Primarily interested in creating and restoring pieces to celebrate original design, Joe enjoys celebrating the natural materials more so than 'shabby chic'. A talented artist too, he also does wonderful vintage inspired hand drawings.

His great experience from working as a furniture maker means that he is also able to lovingly restore any of your pieces. He can travel to you, or collect your item to work on in his workshop. I know that I have bought things that needed some love and care, and Joe has really brought them back to life. Take a look at this nest of tables!
Joe is very flexible, creative and happy chat about any ideas that you have. His prices are very reasonable and I can assure you that he will put his all into each piece of work. If perhaps you have that coffee table in need of restoring to its former glory, chair to reupholster or sideboard needing to get rid of its scratches, pop an email off to him at to discuss further, or contact him over the above links.

You can find him next weekend at two vintage fairs; on Saturday 25th Joe will be at the Vintage and Very Nice fair in Chichester. On Sunday 26th, we will both be at Belle's Vintage and Retro Fair in Horsham...we would love to meet any of you so please come over and say hello!
Hope you've had a lovely weekend,
Hannah xxx

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

An Outfit Post!

A sunny day, and vintage fair to be visited called for a vintage get up! I don't know about you, but sometimes I seem to be stuck into wearing the same outfits. I suppose with wearing vintage every day, it is hard to mix it up a bit!

Top: Freddie's of Pinewood Norma Jean Top
Cardigan: H&M Mohair
Necklace: Hand me down from my Mum!
Belt: Leather plaited belt from H&M
Skirt: The Vintage Rogue
Shoes: ASOS
Bag: Vintage

I made the most of the fair weather to debut my latest purchase, my skirt from The Brighton Vintage Fair last weekend. I bought it from trader, The Vintage Rogue, who also had a stand at Wear at the Western Front. She has lots of lovely items and is slowly but surely filling my entire wardrobe! A quick look on her website, shows her styling credentials. If you give her an email at, she will add you to her mailing list and let you know where she is next going to have a stall!
I also highly recommend you take a look at Freddies of Pinewood. They do great reproduction day wear and I am always desperate to scrape some money together to purchase more! Unfortunately it doesn't look like they sell my top from their website any more.
Lots of vintage love,
Hannah xxx

Sunday, 12 May 2013

I Want To Ride My Bicycle

A wet and windy Sunday in Brighton left me undefeated and I hit the town with my trusty bicycle. Yesterday I tweeted mentioning that I had purchased a super strong hairspray and I thought the wind was a suitable to test to see if it worked!

I have been a fan of L'Oreal Elnett for years now, and found that it is great when you wish to keep changing and restyling the hair, or for hairstyles less precise than some vintage styles. However, I had recently been looking for a hairspray that will be able to keep a set or tumbling fringe in all day and Elnett wasn't quite doing it for me. I bought Schwarzkopf Silhouette from Sally's on Western Road. The black bottle is the strongest and a 300ml bottle cost me in the region of £5.

What can I say, it certainly worked! It was tested by a battle along the seafront and the picture above was taken afterwards, with everything still in place!
 To do this style I first curl my fringe section with curling tongs, rolling the hair towards my face. I then roll it up into a pin curl, and do my make up whilst it cools! Afterwards, take the pin curl out and gently brush the hair in the direction that you would like it go in. I choose this S shaped style. Gradually take the fringe into sections and back comb gently at the roots on the underside of the fringe-this way the front section (that everyone will see) is completely smooth. Spray a little hairspray onto each of the back combed root sections. When this is all done gently brush them all together to form a magnificent quiff. The little curl at the bottom is really easy to style as it should already be in a little ring from the curling tongs. Just roll and position this wherever takes your fancy, secure with a Kirkby grip, and another blast of hairspray should hold this too. Don't be too alarmed, because the hairspray is so strong, it takes a little longer to dry than normal. Once the more precise bits are all held in place, I then do another spray of hairspray all over the general fringe area to secure any fly away bits!

We had a severe case of jealousy looking at all of the beautiful MGs lined up on Madeira drive!

One thing that didn't work today was my pleated circle skirt, sorry residents of Brighton but you may have caught sight of my undergarments as I whizzed past you!
Hope you all had a wonderful weekend,
Hannah xxx

Saturday, 11 May 2013

The Famous Spiegeltent!

As part of the month long Brighton Festival, we have seen the Old Steine taken over by the mystery that is The Famous Spiegeltent! I was lucky enough to be asked to model the wonderful creations of Milliner Lilly Lewis, at the launch night last Tuesday over at one of my favourite bars, The Mesmerist.
Official Spiegel Photographer, the lovely Sarah Olivier of took these wonderful pictures of us. Take a look at her Facebook page to see what goes on inside the tent!

Copyright Sarah Olivier Photography

The Vintage Ladies and Scotty the Big Blue Bunny! Copyright Sarah Olivier Photography
I finally got around to meeting so many beautiful vintage ladies, it was a pleasure to spend time with so many like minded people! We were lucky enough to be featured on page 2 of The Argus...fame at last!

'La Clique' is the show performed every night until 2nd June. A superb spectacle, with everything from comedy to incredible gymnastics, it had me giggling and gasping for the entire show. We found ourselves sat on the front row, however I think my boyfriend is still recovering from almost being pulled up on stage! Things just kept getting better, as when the show ended all chairs are pulled aside and Mikelangelo and The Black Sea Gentlemen took to the stage and lots of dancing took place. We rolled in at 1am...not a bad Thursday night out!
I would love to hear if you have been, or if you have visited any other Brighton Festival Events. Tickets for La Clique can be bought directly from the Brighton Fringe website, found here
Lots of vintage love,
Hannah xxx

Friday, 10 May 2013

What's To Come At Beyond Retro

I recently had the pleasure of being invited to a breakfast at Beyond Retro to find out what's coming up for Spring/Summer 2013. Over a cup of tea and croissant, we were shown the range and different trends that are set to come, and my goodness are you in for a treat!
For us vintage ladies, there really is a bit of everything to take our pick from. The swinging sixties are back, with monochrome and graphic prints a plenty, right through to bright coloured, smock mini dresses from Beyond Retro's in house label. This label is focused on upcycling vintage garments into key pieces, with their beautiful smock dresses priced very reasonably around £35.

Think delicate lace, ruffles and sheer prints for the upcoming Thrills and Frills collection. Original vintage pieces have been carefully selected to create a collection that will allows you to incorporate a vintage style into your daily life, if you don't already.
Rockabilly style can also be sourced from Beyond Retro over the upcoming months. Their Varsity collection is focused on baseball tops, bomber jackets and all things Americana. Nautical too, with their in house label stocking sailor shorts and tops.
Not to forget the gentlemen, they can choose from the upcoming Knit About The Boy range which focuses on 1940's style cardigans, knitted vests and jumpers. The (ah-a) Prints Charming collection features a range of vintage silk shirts, with graphic and paisley prints a plenty. The ladies are catered for by the in house label, with a range of cut of silk shirts, shorts and skirts!

I fancy this with some capri pants!
Don't forget to visit their Brighton store on Vine Street, tomorrow 10-6pm to get either an existing, or new, piece of clothing embroidered with your choice of traditional tattoo designs! I will be heading over in the afternoon.

With lots of vintage love,
Hannah xxx

Monday, 6 May 2013

A Very Vintage Vacation!

A long weekend off work with the promise of good weather meant that I couldn't resist a cheeky last minute booking with Vintage Vacations. With the choice of eighteen vintage American and British caravans all lined up in a field near to Ryde, on the Isle of Wight, we couldn't wait to arrive to head straight back to 1962.

We stayed in the 1962 Safari Airstream, which came equipped with a waiting bottle of Babysham, cakes, vintage board games and books, and fresh local produce all ready for breakfast in the morning! Helen and Frazer, who run the site, have also compiled a very useful guide to the island, which lists their choices of places to eat, visit and even recommend the best vintage shops...perfect!

Once we had settled into the Airstream we decided to have an explore! We first headed to Shanklin, a very cute little village with thatched roofs a plenty. We soon found a wonderful cider shop and were sure to pick up some drinks for later that evening! We then carried on over to the coast at Ventnor. Oh it was so lovely here! Not a lot of shops, but great ones at that. Plenty of antiques, furniture and charity shops, it made for perfect browsing. Here, there is also the wonderful Oh So Vintage which is a little treasure chest of goodies. I was incredibly smitten by the most perfect, original 1940's jacket, and by a fantastic vintage hat which I bought that still had its original tags in it! Even better, for those that stay with Vintage Vacations, you get 10% off in Oh So Vintage!
We then carried onto Newport, which had lots of charity shops, including a big one that had lots of furniture in it. Unfortunately, we were just a little too late and it had closed much to our disappointment-tip, everything closes at 4 on a Saturday! There was also a well stocked dress agency that was probably full of goodies!  

We really had the most wonderful stay, transported away from everyday life and the technology we are accustomed to, it was lovely that my phone wouldn't work and there was no TV, laptop or phone to be distracted by! Spending Saturday evening reading Breakfast and Tiffany's, with the sounds of the swinging sixties playing and a summer breeze coming into the Airstream, it was a welcome change and a sure way to relax.

My amazing new hat!
Sunday morning we tucked into an amazing breakfast of sausage and egg sandwiches (yum!) then drove over to Bonchurch Village, for a 1940's Day at East Dene. Let me tell you, Bonchurch Village is the most beautiful little place! I think that I could have happily stayed there forever!
We became aware of the event through the Vintage Vacations Facebook page. If you are considering a stay, check it out as they keep it very updated with local events. We arrived to glorious sunshine, a 1940's band, a tea and cake stand and some vintage stalls; it was lovely watching the sea with a piece of cake, accompanied by the sounds of the forties.

With that it was time to go home, but hopefully to return again very soon. In the words of Gary Barlow, we had an 'absolutely fantastic' time and will definitely be staying with Vintage Vacations again, hopefully for longer! I have lots more pictures of the Airstream and Island on my A Brighton Belle Facebook page, which can be found here! I would love it if you can give it a like too!

With lots of vintage love,
Hannah xxx

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Get Stitched!

Ladies of Brighton, listen up! Vintage emporium Beyond Retro Brighton, is joining up with the Brighton Festival and will soon be having an embroidery tattoo parlour! Perfect for those who love tattoos, vintage and retro designs, or even those scared of needles, here is your chance to spruce up some clothes with some old school goodness!


Talented Jenny King has worked for many high fashion brands such as Erdem, Stella McCartney and Mary Katrantzou. Her website shows some of her amazing work, Using her sewing machine, she practises an original 50's technique to embroider your choice of old school tattoos onto a favourite piece of clothing or something you have purchased from Beyond Retro. Choose from a classic swallow, horse shoe or her array of retro designs. You can choose whichever you like, and can even personalise them!
This will be taking place on Saturday May 11th at Beyond Retro from 10am to 6pm. It is free to get in and designs start from a mere £5!
I will definitely be making a visit with a suitcase of clothing to be stitched!
Beyond Retro is located at 42 Vine Street, Brighton, BN1 4AG
With lots of vintage love,
Hannah xxx

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

With An Arched Eyebrow

A flick of eyeliner or a shock of red lipstick are commonly seen as the staple to a classic vintage look. I believe that a classic, well shaped eyebrow really seals the deal and frames the face, look at the difference it makes to Grace Kelly!

We have all read the classic tutorial in every magazine which shows us how to use our nose to measure the three different points of the eyebrow, but it has taken me a long time to finally find a product that frames my eyes well, but keeps me well away from a scouse brow!
Less of this...
And more of this!

I use MUA Pro Brow Ultimate Eyebrow Kit which I got for around £3 from Superdrug. It comes with two different shade powders, highlighter, petroleum jelly, an angled brush and small tweezers, all in a cute little set with a mirror too!

I mix the two eyebrow powders on the top row to create a shade that emphasises the shape enough, but isn't too dark.
Here I am above, all made up but with natural brows! I am lucky to have fairly full brows, however they can be quite sparse in some places and don't really have much shape to them. They are also considerably fairer than my bright ginger hair! I begin by defining the point of my eyebrows, to were I want to highest point to be. Depending on my look, I either build these up for a more pronounced fifties look, or slightly more natural but shapely forties look.
I use my angled brush included in the kit to help define the arch. I use a stippling or dabbing motion to press the powder on, rather than sweep it on as you would with eyeshadow. Once I am happy, I then move on to fill out the thicker part nearer towards my nose. I try not to have the powder too dark and intense here to maintain a natural look, blending it from natural towards the defined arch. I then follow the natural arch and hair down to the outer point.
 And here is my finished look! I must admit to not being a fan of the current trend to almost on the shape of brows and colour them in, I do prefer a natural look that just emphasises your natural features. A quick swipe over of the included jelly can set the brows and powder in place to last all day (and all night!). I sometimes use a highlighter for a more special occasion, but use Benefit High Beam just lighted dabbed underneath the outer brow rather than a powder one which can end up all over your face.
I hope this is useful and I would love to hear your best eyebrow tips!
Lots of vintage love,
Hannah x