Thursday, 28 July 2016

Pinup Q & A with Vintage Doll Laura

Today on the blog I am bringing you the first of what I hope will be many 'Pinup Q&A's'. The first one is with the wonderful Vintage Doll Laura, a UK based Pinup Girl from London.

I had the pleasure of meeting up with Laura a few weeks ago in Hemsby, so I thought she would be the perfect candidate to start my Q&A series with! As you may well know, Laura is a model and a YouTuber with her own channel dedicated to clothing reviews, hauls and tutorials. But if you have not heard of Laura before, read on to find out a little bit more about her!

Pinup Q&A with Vintage Doll Laura
Photo by Portraits and Pinups

When did you start to get into pinup and why? 

I have always loved the music since I was a little kid. My mum used to blast Elvis on the CD player in the kitchen (she still does Ha Ha!). So ever since then I wanted to know more about the pinup style and Rockabilly scene. I started to dress more pinup after my Scene Kid/Gothic stage right when I was around 18 and ever since then I feel like this is my true style. I love the music and the classic pinup and rockabilly look.

How did you get into modelling? 

I started my modelling career back at the end of 2013. I had to have an operation on my nose called a Septoplasty (I had a badly deviated septum and this was the procedure to fix it). It got so bad I couldn't breath through my nose and would often wake up in the night gasping for my breath. It was during the 2 weeks I had to take off from work to recover from the op that I started to practice my pinup hair and makeup! As I was just at home doing nothing othewise! I got Instagram just before my op and that is where it all kicked off for me and that is when I got noticed by a company who asked me if I would be in their Pin-up Calendar (I got to be month October whoop!). I also got to go to events with them around the UK and promote them. That is when I started to do more photo shoots as I would get asked more and more by people/photographers from Instagram to model for them! I could not believe it as I never thought I would be, as some may say 'model material', but that did not stop me! I also signed up to this website called Purpleport which is a site for models to get work and that is how I landed the job of modelling for Hell Bunny clothing for one of their seasons. It was a super cool experience but I was super shy! I really did enjoy it. 

What is your favourite pinup look? 

I have to say I do love all the looks but nothing beats the classic pinup look! Red lips, winged liner, pin curled hair; such a classic style! I would say my style is a mix of both the classic and rockabilly looks. I like to look classic with a touch of bad girl vibes! 

When did you do your first photoshoot and who was it with?

My first photoshoot apart from the calendar I did was with John Bellingham (@portraitsandpinups on instagram). I remember talking to him on Purpleport about doing a pinup shoot and then he mentioned about doing the shoot at his camera club he was part of at the time. I remember there was him and about 7 other photographers and 1 other model and it was super fun. I can't remember where the location was as it was so long ago now but I remember it being cold outside! We did some outdoor shots as well as indoor. That's how me and John met. We are still great friends and often have photo shoots together still! He is an amazing photographer and friend. 

What was it like doing your first photo shoot?

I remember being very shy and not really knowing what I was doing but I soon got into it and found I really had a passion for it later on. I feel everyone is nervous on their first photo shoot (I know I was). It was so new to me but I got told I was a natural at it and that's when I realised I really loved doing it.

What is your favourite vintage event? 

I love the Enfield Pageant of Motoring! It is one of my all time fave events! Last year I even got to be the poster girl for the event. My face was on the flyers so that was real cool! I have more events yet to go to! This year will be my first time going to Atomic vintage fest! Really looking forward to be going with my boyfriend Drew.

What sort of music do you like?

I like almost every kind of music as growing up in the 90's and it now being 2016. POP music is everywhere but it's defo not my fave!

What is your favourite film?

Now this is a hard one! I have way too many faves! But I will narrow it down to my top 3.
I love the movie Cry Baby staring Johnny Depp when he was young! I also love Some Like it Hot with Marilyn Monroe. It's a black and white movie but I really love it! And last has to be an Elvis film! I love him in It Happened at the World's Fair! Such a great film!

What is your favourite food?

Now this is an easy one! I love pizza; my fave food of all time! 

If you could go back in time to one era, when would it be and why?

I would travel back to the 1950's to go and see Elvis perform! If only someone would invent a time machine already!

What is the best part about being a pinup?

There are so many great things about being a pinup girl. I love all the clothes I get to wear and all of the people I meet. The scene is a great place to meet new friends.

You have lots of tattoos - which one is your favourite?

I love all of my tattoos and have a few faves but the two I love the most are the one on my right ankle of a black and white unicorn head. My sister Jo actually drew it for me one day and I loved it so much I decided to get it tattooed. The other one I really love is one of my newer tattoos I got while I was in Hemsby a few weeks ago! I got a saying and some flowers on my left arm. It say's "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift". I got it to cover up a nasty scar I have just under my wrist from my past. I love these tattoos so much!

Who is your favourite Pinup and why?

I do love Bettie Page! She was the ultimate pinup girl back in the day! I also love the amazing Dita Von Teese & Bernie Dexter. All flawless ladies!

Which clothing labels are your favourite and why?

Oooh! I have so many! I love Collectif clothing, Lindy Bop & Banned clothings new Dancing Days collection! These brands are amazing for pinup clothing and all have great sales too! I love so many more and could ramble on for ages talking about them!

Do you have any advice for anyone starting out in pinup? 

What I say to anyone starting out in the pinup style or rockabilly scene is that everyone is friendly in this community and we always welcome new comers with open arms. Also, if you are starting up as a pinup girl and are not sure about hair styles or how to do them you can always search YouTube 'How To' videos on certain hair styles and pinup make up. If you are a pinup girl and want to get into modelling I suggest maybe getting some professional images taken and go from there. 

So there you have it! If you have any questions for Laura, please pop them in the comments box below! 

-x- LMDW -x-

Monday, 25 July 2016

July Pinup Picks

I have decided to start a series of blogs in which I review my favourite 'Pinup Picks' of the last month. More often than not nowadays, I have to resort to window shopping online, so I may as well share what pinup pretties I am lusting after with you! So, towards the end of each month, please join me in pouring over stuff we can't afford!! 

30's Beach Pyjamas - Starling

Pinup Picks - Vintage Style 1930's Beach Pyjamas - The House of Foxy

This outfit, which has been deemed acceptable to wear outdoors, contains the word 'pyjamas'. I mean, this is the dream, right? I spotted these 1930's style beach Pj's from The House of Foxy on Twitter and I instantly fell in love. One thing I find with pinup fashion is that my outfit is usually 95% style and 5% comfort, so the thought of these super lightweight, casual and relaxed pj's was just too much to handle. The pj's are loose fitting with a stretch waist, so there is no limit on the amount of tea and cake you can consume in these bad boys! 

The Beach Pyjamas retail at £135 and are available from The House of Foxy

Brittany Playsuit Set

Pinup Picks - Brittany Playsuit Set - Violets in May

I have wanted to purchase something from the wonderful Violets in May for so long, yet deciding on what to go for is hard work; everything is so beautiful. The Brittany Playsuit however has been on my mind for ages. I think it is the versatility of it. It comprises a playsuit and a detachable skirt. Everything on the Violets in May website is handmade by super seamstress Lola Diamond pictured above. 

The Brittany Playsuit Set retails at £120+ and is available from Violets in May. 

Cherry Tartan Shirt-Jac

Pinup Picks - Cherry Tartan Shirt-Jac - Freddies of Pinewood

Whilst pouring over the fabulous range of jeans Freddies of Pinewood have, I noticed this Shirt-Jacket, which I thought would be a perfect solution to the unpredictable British weather. It is lightweight and can be worn all year round. Come to mention it, this whole outfit is perfect (*pops it all in imaginary basket). The shirt-jac compliments Freddies huge range of jeans and shirts for the perfect rockabilly ensemble. 

The Cherry Tartan Shirt-Jac retails at £65 and is available from Freddies of Pinewood. 

Princess Pom Puff Pumps

Pinup Picks - Princess Pom Puff Pumps - Pinup Girl Clothing

I saw these new Princess Pom Puff pumps from Pinup Girl Clothing on Instagram and they are possibly the cutest things I have ever seen! I have about as much elegance as a drunk elephant, so these heels would last 5 minutes under my stompy feet, but they are so simple and cute and pretty and I want them in every colour (they come in Pink, Yellow and Mint)!! 

The Princess Pom Puff Pumps retail at $38 (£28.95) and are available from Pinup Girl Clothing

Beat it Creep

Pinup Picks - Beat it Creep - Vixen by Micheline Pitt

Micheline Pitt's new 'Vixen' clothing line is to die for. I am obsessed with black and red, and this whole collection is practically based around that colour pallet. The 'Beat it Creep' top is so simple yet so stylish at the same time; something which can be said for the whole collection. This top is now back in stock and I NEED it! 

The 'Beat it Creep' top retails at £25.02 and is available from Etsy. 

So there you have it! Those are my July Pinup Picks. If you have purchased any of the above and would like to let me know your thoughts on them, please do leave a comment below. 

-x- LMDW -x-

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Denim Culottes and Bumble Bee Tops! Fun at the seaside with Weekend Doll.

So this weekend we had our dear friends Carl, Jen and their adorable son Ethan over to stay. So, we made the most of living in a Seaside town and took them to Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach! Carl is a fantastic photographer, so I made no excuses for using his talents completely to my advantage and we took a few snaps for the Weekend Doll blog.

We headed first to Great Yarmouth, where I wore the DenimCulottes. In terms of style, I would not normally go for a culotte, as in all honesty, I have not worn a pair since school! But I was pleasantly surprised at how much of a nautical pinup look they gave  (I’m a sucker for anchors as well as polka dots!). The culottes have pockets which is an instant plus point, as well as an elasticated waist, meaning they were super comfy! They are made of Lyocell, which is a super lightweight, rayon type fabric, so I was perfectly cool on one of the hottest days we’ve had this year. 

Weekend Doll Demin Culottes and Bumblebee Shirt

In terms of fit, I am 5ft 2in, so I was under absolutely no illusions regarding the length that these would be on me. The length was a tad on the long side, but being short, this is something that I am no stranger to. 

Weekend Doll Demin Culottes and Bumblebee Shirt

I wore the XS which is a Size 8. This translates to Waist = 25in and Hips = 34in. I have a 26.5inch waist and 34inch hips, so I would say that the culottes come up slightly large as I could have done with a bit less room in the waist, especially as they are elasticated. I would therefore recommend sizing down for this item. The quality was perfect and I especially liked the red stitching detail on these. 

Weekend Doll Demin Culottes and Bumble Bee Top

My husband and I then headed to Gorleston Beach for an evening stroll. I wore the denim culottes with the Bee Shirt. This shirt is cut for a slightly loose fit, so for a more fitted look, you should size down. I didn’t do this, as I am quite broad. Plus, this shirt is not designed as a cropped shirt. It is a standard length shirt, but it has been styled as a crop. Therefore, I decided to stick with my normal size for a bit of extra room. I am a 35inch bust and wore the shirt in a Size 8 – XS. This is described as a 32 inch bust top. So I would definitely suggest sizing down if you want a tighter fit. I think in hindsight, I could have worn a smaller size, but I was perfectly comfortable in the 8. 

Weekend Doll Demin Culottes and Bumble Bee Top

Again, quality was perfect on this shirt and I liked that it was versatile enough to wear long or cropped. It was a very hot weekend, but I was perfectly cool in the whole outfit and felt extremely comfortable; it was a welcome change to being trussed up in a wiggle dress or a high waisted belt!

-x- LMDW -x-

Monday, 18 July 2016

Dolly & Dotty - Dinosaur Fun in the Anna Adorable Dress

So this weekend we had our lovely friends Carl & Jen Ara over to stay with their 7 year old son Ethan, which gave us the perfect excuse (although one is seldom needed) to go to the Dinosaur Adventure Park in Norwich! Spencer and I had our engagement photo shoot in the park last year, and the pictures were amazing, so I couldn't wait to go back again and take some pictures in the Anna Adorable Striped dress from Dolly & Dotty.

Vintage, Pinup and Rockabilly dresses by Dolly & Dotty

Until this weekend, I had not tried anything from Dolly & Dotty, and oh have I been missing out! They have an absolutely wonderful range of Swing Dresses, Day Dresses, Wiggles, Skirts and Tops and what is even more wonderful, is that they don't cost the earth. The Anna Adorable dress is a measly £29.99, yet there is zero compromise on quality. The dress is of a high quality fabric, yet not too heavy, so it is multi-seasonal. It was over 25 degrees on Saturday, but I was perfectly cool in the Anna dress.

Anna Adorable Dress Dolly and Dotty
Just hanging out with a Triceratops - I think? 
The dress has a secure side zip, scoop neckline at the front and a small scoop at the back. In terms of fit, I have the following measurements: Bust - 35in, Waist - 26.5in and the Size 8 dress that I am wearing was described as: Bust - 31-33, Waist - 25-26. So given these measurements, I would suggest that the dress is true to size, with ample stretch if you need it.

Anna Adorable Dress Dolly and Dotty
This dude was definitely digging my stripes. 
What is also nice about this dress is that it is perfect to dress up or down. I dressed it down on Saturday with a paid of flats from George at Asda and it worked perfectly for a chilled day out at the park. But if you add a petticoat and some accessories, I think it would also work really well dressed up for a night out.

Anna Adorable Dress Dolly and Dotty

I wore the Anna dress in white and black, however, it comes in another 4 colourways! Black and White, Red and White, Black and Red and White and Yellow and I am utterly convinced that I need them all! It was stylish, comfy, lightweight, not too dressy for a day out and I felt fabulous!

I really cannot wait to try more from Dolly & Dotty!

-x- LMDW -x-

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Keep it under your hat, old chap! Cocktails with the scoundrels at Cahoots!

So Spencer and I were away in London at the weekend for our friend Stuart's 30th Birthday. We saw Mumford & Sons at the British Summer Time gig in Hyde Park last Friday, which was amazing. We then had an extremely civilised and very British picnic on Saturday (complete with prosecco, strawberries and cream) at the Italian Gardens in Kensington Gardens. It was beautiful.

After a quick stop off at Liz's gaff (Buckingham Palace) we headed back to London Liverpool Street to catch our train home (or so I thought). We walked all around the houses at which point, Spencer said that we had time for a quick beer before catching our train home. Never wanting to turn down the opportunity to drink beer, we went into a hotel bar. Spencer got the beers in and showed me our room keys; he had booked a couple of extra nights in London for us to celebrate our 1 year anniversary! He is such a good egg. He explained to me that he had nothing planned in terms of activities and asked me what I wanted to do. I pulled out a list as long as my arm, which I don't think he was expecting, and at the top, was Cahoots!

I first found out about Cahoots from their website. I have no idea how I came across it, but as soon as I did, I knew I had to go. Cahoots is described as "an illicit underground den where spirits are always high and drinks never run dry". The venue is small and can only accommodate a small number of people, so booking is essential. We managed to get one of the last remaining slots at 3:45. Booking a table is free and you get a time slot of 2 hours of table service. The confirmation email I received back was great; right from the off, Cahoots were 'in character'.

We arrived at Cahoots about 30 minutes before our allotted time, as we had quite a bit of trouble finding it! The entrance to Cahoots in at the entrance to Kingly Court in Soho. Yet all there is to mark the bar in a sign which reads "To the Trains". We walked past it several times before we realised where it was. This is, I can imagine, totally intentional, to keep the uniqueness and the character of the place alive, which I have now spoilt. Sorry about that!

We walked in and a very smartly dressed man in full 1940's get up welcomed us. It was at this point, we had to ask for "the Captain". As soon as we did this, he telephoned downstairs (in a wonderful '1940's BBC voice'), told them that Mr & Mrs Dye were here and that we should "walk down the apples and pears to the ticket office!" We walked down a set of stairs to the sound of "tally ho old chums" from the doorman, where another 1940's time traveler took us to our table.

The whole place was dripping in 1940's memorabilia and kitted out like an old underground station. It really was wonderful. You could tell that every little detail had been considered. Even the bathrooms were decorated in the 40's theme, with a soundtrack playing which explained the meanings of cockney rhyming slang and its origins! The Men's (according to Spencer's accounts) were decorated with vintage healthcare posters warning of the dangers of syphilis! Delightful!

The menu for instance, was a newspaper, with vintage articles for The Seamstress of Bloomsbury. I was in my element! Spencer on the other hand, had no idea what I was talking about, he was just happy to be out of Selfridges I think!

While we were pouring over the extensive cocktail menu trying to decide what to try first, a lovely waitress came over with some complimentary popcorn in an old food tin with 40's graphics. The waitress also took the time to explain the various elements of the menu to us, as there was a lot to take in. There were a number of sections:

Landgirls & Homeguard: Mainly fruit and veg based cocktails.
Starlets & Sirens: Cocktails made for "leading ladies" (Spencer really wanted to order one!)
Wideboys & Goodtime Girls: A range of real 'easy drinkers'; nothing too strong.
Tommies & Dickies: These were geared towards the guys with whiskey being the main ingredient.
Aristocrats & Fat Cats: Fancy cocktails with a number of wonderful ingredients and concoctions.

Cahoots also serve 40's themed snacks including meat and pickles and crisp and salad cream sandwiches, which was a welcomed change for Spencer who was sick of posh food from Selfridges! (He had a terrible experience with a beef 'sandwich'. Don't ask).

The first cocktail that I tried was a 'Don't Berry Your Head' from the 'Wideboys & Goodtime Girls' range - Russian Standard Vodka, cranberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackcurrants, lime and ginger ale. It was...delicious. Total easy drinker and sooo tasty. The presentation of the cocktails was also wonderful.

I then went for a 'Starlets & Sirens' cocktail in the form of a 'Vera Lynn' - Tanqueray No. Ten gin, ginger wine, apple juice, elderflower cordial, pear puree and fresh lime. The cocktail also came in a fantastic glass / mug / face which was beautifully decorated. Again, this cocktail didn't taste too strong at all, which was evidently starting to become a problem as the aforementioned pop corn was rapidly disappearing. Plus it was salty popcorn, so the need to drink was ever increasing! The rascals!

My third and final cocktail was again from the 'Starlets & Sirens' section and was an 'Anne Shelton' - Russian Standard Original Vodka, St-Germain elderflower liqueur, cranberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackcurrants and fresh lemon, topped with sparkling wine.

What was also nice was that at the time of booking, we had the change to add a note as to the occasion of our visit. As I told them it was our 1 year anniversary, we were congratulated by the doorman on our anniversary, and also presented with a card and cakes!

The service was impeccable, the atmosphere was delightful and I could not recommend the place highly enough. If you like swing music, cocktails and all things 40's, then this is the place to come. The cocktails, as you can see from the menu are not the cheapest, but it is worth paying for the atmosphere in which you get to enjoy them.

Cannot wait to go back again. Toodle pip old bean!

-x- LMDW -x-

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Drinks and giggles with Vintage Doll Laura and Drew Fisher

So I had the absolute pleasure of meeting the gorgeous Vintage Doll Laura (Laura Salmon) and her wonderful fella Drew last night in Hemsby. I have been a fan of Laura's since I first started getting into pin up and vintage towards the back end of 2014, so to finally meet her in person was really lovely. When I was first starting out, it was Laura who helped me organise my first photo shoot with John Bellingham in London, so when I heard she was coming to Hemsby on holiday again this year, I knew that we should really try and meet up.

We met in the Lacon Arms in Hemsby last night and it was significant for me as it was the first time I have met someone else who is into the whole pin up scene. I follow so many people on Instagram and 'know them' in a virtual sense, but I can't say that I have ever met any of them! None of my lovely circle of friends at home are into the pinup scene like I am, so I have made it my aim this year and next to meet more people within the community, which I did last night. 

My first impressions of Laura and Drew were that they are just a lovely couple. Laura is very shy and those of you who know her best will know that she suffers social anxiety. However, we had so much to talk about that it didn't take long for her to come out of her shell. She and Drew compliment each other perfectly, as she is shy and he, well, he is not! He is happy to go up to people and say hi! Laura is also very down to earth. She has over 10,000 followers on Instagram, but you wouldn't know it from talking to her. She is, in her own words "just a normal girl" and in many ways she is. But she is also a mentor for so many girls and is a really positive role model. She is also a published pinup model and now a successful YouTuber. 

We talked about a lot. I had a lot of questions! We talked about photo shoots, our favourite (and not so favourite) photographers! Tattoos, clothes, fashion, Instagram, Youtube, Pinup Picnic in the Park/Bar, Viva Las Vegas, Hemsby, work, Lindy Bop sales and hauls... It was so refreshing for me to be able to talk about all the things that I like, to someone else who likes them also and, who knows what I am talking about and why it is all so very exciting! 

Laura, as per usual, looked amazing! She was dripping in pinup labels and me, well, I was wearing what I wore to work!!! Her and Drew really do look the part together. In his Hawaiian shirt and his duck tail hair doo, they really do make a perfect pinup couple. Laura can often be found in front of the camera, and Drew behind it. He is a budding photographer, which only adds to their perfect pairing. So, naturally, it would be rude not to take some photos to document the occasion! I only have one, as Laura and Drew took them, but it is a lovely one. 

I have to admit, I was nervous to meet Laura, but she was adorable and sweet and lovely and I am glad that we got the chance to meet. Let this be the start of my next chapter in my pinup journey - meeting new people! 

-x- LMDW -x-

Friday, 1 July 2016

Mini Post: Blogging for Weekend Doll - Vintage Inspired Clothing

I am really pleased to be able to let you guys know that I am now working with Weekend Doll as their new blogger! Weekend Doll were looking for someone to review their beautiful range of vintage inspired dresses and separates and I am so glad to be working with them.

They stock everything from day and evening dresses, separates, knitwear and coats, as well as accessories, in both classic 40's and 50's styles. They stock a huge range, so there really is something for everyone. 

My latest post reviewed the lovely English Rose dress by Eucalyptus clothing, which is completely convertible and versatile. 

I also reviewed their gorgeous blue polka dot shorts (I just cant get enough of polka dots!) and one of their lovely sailor tops, which come in a large range of colour ways. 

If you have not seen it yet, you can read the whole post here. I am going to be posting new blogs a couple of times and month, with shorter versions on my own blog, so please do look out for them. 

-x- LMDW -x-