A truly beautiful Minxy mix of charm, inspiration, practical advice, and pretty projects to simplify and beautify your life and home. - Jane Brocket, The Gentle Art of Domesticity
I’m hosting another upcycling workshop next Thursday 18 April at Ashfield Library (fully booked but there is a waitlist) however, here’s something else for vintage lovers: Eleanor Keene, Historic Fashion and Textiles Specialist is teaching an 8-week course at North Sydney Community Centre on Tuesday evenings, starting 30 April.
Eleanor lived in the UK for 9 years where she studied a Masters in History of Fashion & Textiles, then went on to run the Costume & Textile auctions for Bonhams over there. She now lives and works in Sydney. Eleanor will be bringing along items to see and feel in the classes, and sharing stories from her years of working in the industry. This looks fab to me.
The campaign I’ve been working on with Vinnies finally launched across the nation yesterday, so now I can share some images from our fabulous fashion shoot back in August, styled head-to-toe with clothing & accessories from Vinnies stores.
This was such an incredibly fun project for me to be involved in. I’ll continue to be a Brand Ambassador for Vinnies – we’re making a series of web videos early next year with tips on how to update, alter and completely overhaul Vinnies clothes. Read below for more on the shoot & stay tuned for lots more news in 2013.
Vinnies was the first place I really started shopping and experimenting with fashion as a teenager, and it’s continued to provide so many of my wardrobe staples since then. So you can imagine how excited I was when they asked me to style the retail campaign (beyond). What wasn’t there to love? I was given carte blanche to all Sydney stores and told I could borrow anything I liked for the photo shoot. And I had the pleasure of working with the Vinnies marketing team to craft the campaign; a seriously inspiring bunch of people.
We worked out why people need Vinnies clothes – for work, casual and special occasions, and events such as music festivals – and sourced real people rather than models to show how they’re really worn. None of the images from the photoshoot have been retouched – they’re all as they were shot on the day. I love that we didn’t use models or retouching; these were real people with connections to the charity in one way or another, and it just felt right.
Photo shoots are always stressful because there’s so much riding on getting it right, but ours was a blast. I was creative director as well as a model, and loved every minute of it. We just had fun with the clothes and poses, and everything else fell into place. There were at least fifteen people involved – can you imagine re-scheduling that amount of people if we didn’t achieve the shots we needed? But the team at PMP Digital were professional and talented, as were our brilliant hair & makeup artists. The vibe was buzzy and fun but still completely relaxed.
Visit your local Vinnies to see some of the posters and advertising created with the shots from our campaign, and keep an eye out for booklets in Avant Card displays all over. They’re even running a competition to win $500 worth of Vinnies fashion and a day out with a stylist (yours truly) to help you spend it. Yes, that’s a whole lotta clothing!
A while back I received an email asking me to style a photo shoot for Vinnies. My first thought was ‘aargh, no time’ because it was the first day shooting my next book, and I couldn’t wrap my head around anything else. Then it occurred to me I was being presented with one of the best opportunities I’ve had since starting up The Crafty Minx.
I am so proud to be a newly-appointed brand ambassador for Vinnies. Vinnies, how I love thee – let me count the ways:
1) You cemented my love of fashion. When I was 12, I visited you with a bunch of tear sheets from Dolly and The Face and nary a clue on how to dress myself. Before long I was reading up on the 60s and 70s, and performing my best impression of a bygone rock star, much to my parents’ dismay (Janis Joplin is not a suitable role model for a teenage girl). Vintage fashion and a history lesson to boot – bonus.
2) You do good and help me do good, in a way I can contribute. Your charity keeps people off the streets with food in their bellies and access to your significant network of resources beyond government organisations. I am in awe of the work you do, and who knew the good I could do just by donating my well-kept but pre-loved clothes? Think: warm and fuzzy.
3) Your stores have soul, and a whole heap of buried treasure ripe for discovery, if one knows how to look. The thrill of finding a mint-condition Sonia Rykiel jumper for $8 can’t be beat. It just can’t. Or that naughty secretary look I rocked for years, thanks to your proliferation of eighties power suits and silk pussy-bow blouses. I heart you Vinnies, big time.
In a few short weeks I will be helping Vinnies produce a new retail campaign to draw people to its stores. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram for sneak peeks at the shoot and my finds, and stay tuned for pics of our real-life models sporting Vinnies from head to toe, including yours truly.
Time to share my favourite things made with hand and heart again, and first on the list is Ginny & Jude Designs. Check out the latest vintage-inspired beauties by clever Miss Rabia Lockwood. Select pieces from the signature range of feathered headwear are on sale, as well as items from her seasonally-inspired ranges of clothing, jewellery, belts, knitwear and other assorted knick-knackery.
I couldn’t love the styling of these pieces more, made from feathers, felt, lace and ribbon both new & old… how gorgeous are they? Snap them up, I say. Make mine a beret.
Desperate to tag along on this divine-sounding adventure, but sadly I think it might be out of the question for this year… Perhaps you can go and report back? Promise to quell the envy. Dreaming of Dior’s Charlotte Smith has collaborated with Travelling Divas to create a tour of Vintage UK, including fashion, culture, gorgeous accommodation and stunning historic sights for an intimate group.
“I am so very excited to introduce this tour: London is my favourite city in the world and countryside UK is unbeatable, particularly in the Somerset, Dorset and Devon areas we’ll be visiting on our fabulous luxury journey. Dynamic, sophisticated, full of so much history, culture and now a true gourmet’s delight with some of the best restaurants in the world, this elegant and stylish tour is a combination of all the places I love most, with inclusions to die for.
We stay in beautiful accommodation at the Bath Spa Hotel, will be pampered at the divine Bovey Castle in Dartmoor (why not indulge in a little falconry or sloe gin making?) and finish in London at the stylish Montague on the Gardens, a converted town house in the heart of Bloomsbury which was once the favourite stamping ground of Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Set. Indulging our need for retail throughout, we visit some of the best vintage shops you can find, including those frequented by the celebrity set; in London we spend a day learning how to combine vintage with high street, including a private shopping session at Harvey Nichols. To get our fill of the fabulous British culture, we hit some of the greatest museums on offer and visit beautiful stately homes; spend time with a world expert on Indigo Dye and clothing on the silk route; go behind the scenes with the Curator of the Museum of London costume department; enjoy a private tour and breakfast in the Orangerie at Kensington Palace before it is open to the public, and spend an afternoon with Victoria & Albert, checking out the amazing exhibition of ‘British Glamour: Ballgowns since the 1950′s’, finally heading out on our own private London Bus for sightseeing and lunch at Fortnum & Mason’s. Oh, and did I mention French Bubbles on the London Eye? We haven’t forgotten pampering either with a spa treatment at Bovey; the food aspect is covered with many meals included (including a private dinner at River Cottage) plus a night at the Theatre. But with so much to talk about I think the itinerary is the best place to get the full details!”
For more info, click here.
Visit the Events page to find some of the places I’ll be appearing at this year to speak about Minxy Vintage. Free styling sessions, workshops and champagne soirees aplenty… hope to see you at one or more.
I went to see this at the Open Air Cinema a few nights ago and anticipated admiring the recreations of 1920s and early 30s-era screen style, but was unsure about a silent, black & white film enthralling for the full 100 minutes. But I adored The Artist, the new French film nominated to win a Golden Globe tonight, which is pure delight from start to finish. Featuring one of the best tap dance scenes in cinema history, it also gets my vote for best film ending ever.
But back to the vintage-look threads: costume designer Mark Bridges previously styled Mark Wahlberg and Heather Graham (aka Dirk Diggler and the memorable ‘Roller Girl’) as 1970s porn stars in Boogie Nights, and Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz’s as 60s drug dealers in suits and maxidresses for Blow. A good part of my enjoyment in each film came from soaking up the era-appropriate set design and costumes, and The Artist is no different. I was in danger of missing some excellent sight gags while off on a brain-tangent admiring the painstakingly-detailed frocks and embroidered cloches in this charming, clever film. And who knew a top hat and tails could be so very appealing?
Vintage lovers, you must watch this. Then opt for a spot of real-time fashion, forties-style with The Maltese Falcon and Notorious, two of my favourite old-Hollywood b&w flicks, which I’m currently digging out of the DVD cabinet. Watch the film trailer for The Artist here, and feel free to comment with your own favourite costume films. Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris was another recent favourite.
I know I shouldn’t play favourites, but here’s three supercool new entries in the Minxy Vintage Treasure Hunt. Daisy’s a cutie, but you know what would make her a knockout? Some added 60s vintage beading at the neck and hem. Dee’s already snipped her off to a better length for pin-strutting. Watch out.
More, please… vicarious thrills for me, and fab prizes for you.
My friend Tyng told me about this divine-looking place – it’s on my list for a visit next time I’m down in Melbourne.
L’ucello is a vintage haberdashery selling old & new wares, as well as covet-worthy scarves from awe-inspiring French needlesmith Sophie Digard (also available at Calico & Ivy for Sydney and Perthsiders). Check out their beautiful range of paper ephemera, ribbons and other lovely bits & pieces at their blog here.