Monday, 29 September 2014

Festé

I handed in a completed draft copy of my thesis on Thursday this week, so I was able to have a free Friday and Saturday (had to work on Sunday at my weekend job) to go to the arts festival in town. I've posted about it before, and we did go last year although I don't think I ever put any photos up.

This year we didn't get to see as many of the performances as we have done in previous years, but we still saw some really amazing acts, starting with Southpaw dance company doing their interpretation of Faust. I wasn't close enough to get photos of the performance, but let me direct you towards their website where you can watch a trailer for their act. They mix swing dance with break dance and pyrotechnics; it's visually stunning and totally inspired. I was in raptures over the music and the standard of the dancing - it turns out swing and break dancing make a great mix, and overall the performance was captivating. If you get the chance to see the group perform (they do seem to tour both inside and outside of the UK but I can't seem to find their tour dates anywhere) I would highly recommend that you check them out.

Here's the rest of Friday evening...

derby festé

derby festé

derby festé

And Saturday...

derby festé

derby festé

derby festé

derby festé

derby festé

derby festé

derby festé

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Why Is The Online Vintage Community So Important?


I spend a lot of time online browsing the web, using various forms of social media, reading blogs, and of course writing my own blog.

When it comes to vintage style I love to find resources on the internet such as hair and makeup tutorials, styling tips, shopping, vintage photos, and more. I feel so lucky to have access to an online network of other vintage lovers who I can chat with and feel inspired by. Here are some of the reasons why the online vintage community is so important to me:

Dialogue: Through blogging and social media I am able to be in constant conversation with people from all over the world. I have blog readers from the United States, UK, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Turkey, Greece and Romania. I read blogs written by people from England, Scotland, America, Canada, Australia, Finland, France, Germany, Belgium and Sweden. It's amazing how I'm able to connect with such a diverse range of people who all share similar interests , just through the power of the internet.

Support: There is, essentially, no vintage community whatsoever where I live. We have a couple of vintage shops and there are vintage fairs that take place a few times a year, but since I almost never see other vintage wearers (or at least those that wear vintage in a 40s or 50s style rather than a modern way), I suspect these fairs mainly attract people from neighbouring cities. For those of us who have no fellow vintage lovers to connect with face-to-face, the online vintage community can help us to feel less isolated from people who really understand why we get excited about metal zips or why we can sometimes be found rubbing and sniffing plastic bangles in charity shops*.
(*I've yet to find any bargain charity shop bakelite, but I live in hope).

Inspiration: One of my favourite ways of finding inspiration for outfits and vintage styling is to look at how other girls are wearing their vintage clothing today. Sometimes I want to create a period-accurate look, sometimes not. I like 80s-does-50s items and modern repro. Having access to the online vintage community allows me to draw on inspiration from a huge range of sources which includes, but importantly is not limited to, vintage photos. After all, as much as I adore the fashions of the past, I am a modern girl and I enjoy looking at what other modern girls are wearing.

Shopping: Without the wealth of online vintage shops that I have access to, I wouldn't be able to have the vintage wardrobe that I currently enjoy. While I do buy some of my vintage clothing in vintage shops and at vintage fairs, I find that I can come by some vintage clothing a lot cheaper online (although I know this is not the case for everyone). It can also be difficult for me to get to vintage fairs as they are held at weekends and I have a weekend job. This year has been mad hectic with university work as well, so I haven't been able to shop much during the week. Being able to shop online in the evenings means I can shop in my own time, and from the comfort of my own home.

Although I've put my reasons here into four broad categories which I've listed in no particular order, I think the most important thing for me (and really the inspiration for writing this article) is the support afforded through having contact with others who have the same interests as myself. I am in no way ready to give up wearing vintage; I will look this way for the foreseeable future. However, sometimes it can be difficult when I don't have any friends who dress like I do. I can take my non-vintage wearing friends vintage shopping with me (and have done, on occasion), but it doesn't always seem fair to drag people around shops for hours if they have no particular interest in the items for sale. It's harder for me to bounce outfit ideas off my non-vintage friends (for example how to wear a new item, what key item I need to buy to create a certain look). I don't mean to say that I only want to be friends with other people who wear vintage, but I think we can all agree that having friends who share and really understand your interests is a wonderful thing.

So, do you agree with my reasons for why the online vintage community is important? Do you have any other reasons for why the community is important to you? I'd love to hear your ideas!

Friday, 19 September 2014

Newstead Abbey and Lord Byron

newstead abbey via lovebirds vintage

newstead abbey via lovebirds vintage

Newstead Abbey in Nottinghamshire began as a monastic house (priory) in the 12th century and was converted to a domestic home after the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII. The priory was rebuilt and extended several times prior to its conversion into a country house in the 1500s. The house was inherited by the poet Lord Byron at the age of 10, having belonged to the Byron family for several generations. Byron spent some time at Newstead Abbey on and off between 1808 and 1814 and the Abbey now houses a museum including artefacts from Byron's life.

newstead abbey via lovebirds vintage

The Abbey was in a poor state of repair when it was inherited by Byron; the fireplace above is housed in a room which Byron used for pistol practice because he couldn't afford to refurbish it. Apparently, Dr Livingstone banged his head on this fireplace during a game of Blind Man's Buff.

newstead abbey via lovebirds vintage

This is Byron's bed, which he brought with him from his undergraduate rooms in Cambridge.

newstead abbey via lovebirds vintage

Byron apparently dressed in a manner designed to evoke the romantic heroes from his works. Visitors are given the opportunity to try on different items of clothing in styles favoured by Byron. I tried on a really heavy velvet cloak (seriously, it weighed a ton) which reminds my mum of Scottish Widows but reminds me somewhat more of this. I make an unimpressive romantic hero to say the least.

newstead abbey via lovebirds vintage

These three dresses are from the 1840s. The red one in the centre is actually a wedding dress, and they are all ridiculously tiny. I am always surprised by how much smaller people were in the past; the short beds and low doorways look so different to what we're used to now.

newstead abbey via lovebirds vintage

newstead abbey via lovebirds vintage

newstead abbey via lovebirds vintage

newstead abbey via lovebirds vintage

References/Further Reading

Newstead Abbey: 1, 2
Lord Byron