Sunday, 28 October 2012

Just Like a Chap

Hello, this is just a quick post as I am awfully tired after a rather wonderful Halloween (thanks to the Vintage Mafia girls for putting on a splendid party).

Mr B has just released his video for his new song Just Like a Chap and I thought you might like to take a peek.

Filmed in the dying days of the summer at the headquarters of the New Sheridan Club, it involved sitting in a pub for five hours with like-minded sorts (mostly members of the aforementioned club) and standing outside for approximately 10 minutes.  We were joined by such esteemed chaps as Gustav Temple (Editor of the Chap) Mr Bruce of the Correspondents, (who had very recently broken his foo).

Featuring lots of fabulous people including Clayton, Pandora, Auntie Maureen, as well as a certain Vintage News presenter...


Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Eating invisible pocorn and drinking Cosmos on the bonnet of a car...

We thought it was about time we got some professional shots of us at the Vintage News, and we could think of no-one better than our good friend Hanson Leatherby (assisted by his girlfriend, the lovely Jeni) to take them. 

Our first stop was the amazing Worthing Dome cinema. It is the most splendid and sumptuous cinema I have ever been to.  The luscious, plush crimson seats, the gold balconies and mirror adorned walls really make you feel as though you have stepped back in time to when the studio system ruled the silver screen.  Add to that the fact that I had accidentally dressed as an usherette (albeit with a slightly more ostentatious hat) and you had the complete effect.  We had a lovely spot of lunch in the adjoining vintage tearooms before heading to our second location.

I was quite nervous when the photos were being taken at the cinema, but by the time we had found the perfect country lane for the second half of the shoot, I was more relaxed (the Cosmopolitan cocktail I had for a ‘prop’ may have helped).  Jeni and I had wisely sat in their car while the boys were outside in the cold setting up the shot.  The original plan of me changing a tyre (!) was quickly put aside and I chose instead to sit on the bonnet of our trusty car Betsy (I couldn’t very well do anything effortful like standing).

I’m so pleased with how the photos came out, especially the one above - I think Hanson is right, it looks like an Edward Hopper scene.

Thank you so much to Hanson and Jeni and the lovely people of the Worthing Dome for opening up the cinema early for us.

 ©Hanson Leatherby

I’d love to hear what you think of the pictures, feel free to leave a comment.

Look at the acting!

Friday, 19 October 2012

Hollywood Costume at the V&A

I had been looking forward to the Hollywood Costume exhibition at the Victoria and Albert for at least a year – whenever it was that I heard it was opening.  So when I found out we were going to the press launch I was understandably rather happy.

Like a child in a sweetshop, I was running from costume to costume, catching my breath at the names of who wore some of them: Joan Crawford, Katharine Hepburn, Ginger Rogers, Mary Pickford and Claudette Colbert to name but a few.  Not only is the calibre of actors who inhabited these costumes the highest you could imagine, to be able to see costumes from luminaries of design such as Adrian, Edith Head, Travis Banton, Orry-Kelly and Travilla was amazing.

The exhibition is split into three sections ‘Deconstruction’, ‘Dialogue’ and ‘Finale’.  Deconstruction deals with how a designer can create a character from just a few clues in a script, even if the effect goes unnoticed by most of the audience.  Highlights for me were Kim Novak’s green ensemble from Vertigo and Vivien Leigh’s ‘curtain’ velvet gown from Gone with the Wind.

The second room, ‘Dialogue’ examines the collaboration between directors and costume designers.  It also looks at how the role of the costume designer has changed with advances in film-making and how the aesthetics of each era influence period films made at the time.  Claudette Colbert’s green satin gown from Cleopatra and Joan Crawford’s red-beaded dress from The Bride Wore Red are absolutely exquisite.

The Senior Guest Curator, Deborah Nadoolman Landis (the Oscar-nominated costume designer on films such as Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Blues Brothers and Coming to America) said of the finale, “it’s just meant to blow your mind”.  There were some wonderful costumes (particular favourites in room 3 were that green dress from Atonement, Marlene Dietrich’s top hat, white tie and tails from Morocco and two of Marilyn’s dresses, from The Seven Year Itch and Some Like it Hot).

The exhibition is full of digital displays of the creative processes the designers go through, interviews with directors, designers and actors as well as clips from the films themselves.

The exhibition marks the first time a pair of the Ruby Slippers from the Wizard of Oz have ever been displayed outside of the US (only for a month though!)  The V&A was also able to announce that they have just been given 700 costumes from the British Film Institute, making them the national archive of cinematic costume overnight.

The end of the exhibition seems a little cramped with Kate Winslet’s incredible hobble-skirted white suit from the beginning of Titanic was also sadly lost at the back of a scene.  The final costumes of the exhibition (two dresses that will possibly draw the crowds  more than any others), the iconic white halter dress work by Marilyn Monroe in The Seven Year Itch and Judy Garland’s Dorothy outfit from The Wizard of Oz, are just tucked away at the end which seemed a bit of a shame.

The exhibition is absolutely amazing, and for anyone interested in cinema, design, fashion history or just pretty things it is a must.  I can’t wait to go back!

Oh, and I was interviewed for Chinese TV while we were there!

Hollywood Costume opens tomorrow, 20th October and runs until 27th January 2013 and tickets start at £9.00. You can find more information here.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

...But gentlemen marry brunettes

We were thrilled when we were asked to film Sarina and Jonathan’s wedding.  Not only was the ceremony to take place in Eltham Palace, a delectable Art Deco masterpiece in Greenwich, but the dress code was 1920s and ‘30s.  We were in for quite a treat! 

Rather than ramble on about what a wonderful day it was, how beautiful the bride looked and what a fantastic time we had, I will just put up some pictures of the day so you can see for yourself.

I should mention, many of the dresses the guests were wearing came from Sarina’s own clothing company which you can find here

One of Sarina's designs
Again, a big thank you to Sarina and Jonathan for asking us to be part of their special day.

Monday, 1 October 2012

There was a little girl, who had a little curl...

I was waiting to do a photo-blog about how to do pin-curls, but I’ve not had an opportunity to take any photos when I’m doing my own hair.  However, with a sense of unbelievable foresight, I recorded a video for work a few weeks ago therefore saving me the bother of taking photographs (the pictures are moving so it’s even better!) 

All you’ll need to create curls Shirley Temple (or someone a lot more glamorous and less of a child) would be jealous of is:  

A wide-tooth comb
A tail-comb
Lots of bobby pins/Kirby grips
Something to curl your hair round (I’ve used a permanent marker, a packet of polos and a tube of mascara in the past)

Let me know how you get on and if there are any other hairstyles you’d like me to show you how to do.  Happy curling!