I’ve been tagged to answer some bloggy/fashiony/beauty-y questions by The Taxonomy of My Wardrobe. No need for a long introduction, let’s just dive straight in!
1. Why did you create the blog?
I noticed that lots of the blogs I followed also had online stores, so when I decided to start selling vintage myself I thought it would make sense to have my own blog. It was actually a bit scary, and without the store I would never have attempted it. At first I thought I would have nothing to say, no-one would be interested, and I would just be making a fool of myself. I’m thankful that I forced myself into it, because now I love nattering away, getting to share the cool things I find , and hopefully sometimes making people laugh or telling them something they didn’t know before.
|My amazing skills of vintage organisation
2. What kind of blogs do you follow?
I follow a ridiculous amount of blogs. A don’t-try-this-at-home-kids amount of blogs. Much of that is just keeping up with trends and labels and seeing what people are doing with fashion in different parts of the world. The blogs I actually really love (rather than just skim reading) are ones where the personality shines through and I feel like I am engaging with a real person. In particular, I am a sucker for a good sense of humour. You girls know who you are.
3. Favorite makeup brand?
I chop and change with eyeshadows, pencils, foundations etc, but for lipstick I pretty much always use Mac. They have a huge range, are reasonably priced for the quality, and most of all I love that they give you so much help when choosing a colour. The help is the thing I vaue most – I have got it really wrong with lipsticks in the past, so it is great walking out of a store knowing that what I have just bought really suits me and I will get a lot of wear out of it.
|Moi in Ruby Woo
4. Favourite clothing brand?
This is why I am useless at being tagged for these things. I can’t ever choose a single favourite of anything. Favourite fashion label? As if I could decide! I can’t even say I have more of one brand in my wardrobe than another, I really am a magpie with how I select clothes. Not to mention that naturally loads of my things are vintage – some from designers, some from very old brands, some without any labels in them, some home made.
I guess I can only say that I think most labels have something to offer, and my favourite thing is not to have too many preconceptions and keep an open mind when you go shopping. Some days I will go into Zara/H&M/Monsoon/Reiss/et al and see nothing I like, at other times I love everything in store. And it is the same with designers – we all know how different collections can be from season to season, sometimes you love it, sometimes you hate it. And sometimes, something I used to hate becomes a style I love.
I’m not even going to give you a single name, because it is too hard. Oh alright, the vintage label of Blanes is brilliant for gorgeous evening gowns, that is a good one.
|Vintage 50s check Blanes dress
5. Your indispensable makeup product?
I NEED blush. Even if I don’t wear anything else, I’ll chuck a bit of a colour on my cheeks because otherwise I can look a bit flat and washed out. Being thrifty by nature, at the moment I am using a cheap pink lipstick that looked awful on me. By good luck, although it was terrible on my lips it works fine on my cheeks, so I rub a bit in every morning. Good tip for getting the most out of your cosmetics, multi-task whenever possible!
6. Your favourite colour?
Here we go, another ‘favourite’ question. You won’t be surprised to know I don’t have one. In clothing, warm colours suit me because I have an olive skin tone and dark eyes. I am naturally drawn to red but I also love deep green, mustard yellow, teal, electric blue, rusty orange, hot pink and gold. I used to always wear silver jewellery until I realised it didn’t suit me, but I still love it on others – as I do the blues, whites and faded pastels that I can’t wear myself.
For my home, I like yellow in the kitchen for cheeriness, muted green in the living room like a 1920s jazz house, white in the bedroom for crisp cotton, dark reds and gold in the library like embossed leather books, slate grey in the bathroom like water running over pebbles… of course I live in a rented flat, so actually what I have is grubby white walls in every room. And we don’t have a library (unless you count the living room), but it is my DREAM to one day have a house with my own library. It will naturally be lined with books, have a Turkish rug, leather chairs, a small side table to hold pots of tea, a tartan blanket to put over knees, windows looking out to the garden, a fireplace, and a cat snoozing on the rug in front of the fire.
See? This is why I can’t discuss favourite things, we end up side-tracked.
7. Your perfume?
My top pick is probably Kingdom by Alexander McQueen. I first used it as a free mini purse sample and thought it was horrible, but kept using it as I was a poor unemployed graduate and it was all I had other than a bottle of cheap no-name something or other. After a while it grew on me, and now I love it and have bought many replacement bottles since joining the working world. It is quite a sharp fragrance, almost sweaty I would say – it has the same sense of the sweetly bitter body smell of someone you are attracted to. I’m not a perfume expert so that is the best description I can come up with, but you can see why I like wearing it. So much more interesting than flowers.
At the moment I also wear Black Orchid by Tom Ford which is quite a dark, incensey fragrance, and I like Maitresse by Agent Provocateur for evening as it is quite an intense, powdery floral. I haven’t got any of the following at the moment (need replacements) but I love L’eau D’Issey for summer as it is really fresh and light and brings to mind fresh breezes and sea waves crashing. Also Opium by YSL as it has the dark smokey floral vibe I love, and it is also my Mum’s perfume so it reminds me of being a little girl and smelling my Mum looking and smelling beautiful on the rare nights they went out. And finally Dolce Vita by Christian Dior, which I bought as the character Stephanie Plum wore it in the Janet Evanovitch books which I was reading at the time (not a good reason for buying a perfume I agree). At first it seemed much too sweet but as it settles down it has a peppery tang to it and I have always received lots of compliments on it, so it was a lucky random puchase.
One of them is The Long Hot Summer, which doesn’t seem to be as well known as it should be. I first watched it, appropriately enough, during a long hot summer when I was growing up. At the time, one of the TV channels had been playing lots of late night classic films. It was densely hot that evening - too warm to sleep, even after misting ourselves with cool water from a spary bottle. Rather than tossing and turning on top of my crumpled sheets I joined Mum in the living room and we stayed up watching Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, until the film was over and the night air was cool enough to attempt sleep.
If you know anything about Paul and Joanne, they were one of the longest married Hollywood couples. This is the film on which they first met and fell in love, and the chemistry between them really crackles. It also stars Orson Welles, Lee Remick and Angela Lansbury, and I really can’t recommend it enough.
|Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward in The Long Hot Summer
9. What country would you like to visit and why?
Another endless answer. One of the many countries I would like to visit is Egypt. Now that I live in the UK, Egypt is actually quite cheap to get to and you can get loads of good packages holidays. But no no, that isn’t good enough for moi! One of the things I really want to do in Egypt is to recreate the feel of an Agatha Christie novel – cruising down the Nile on a paddle steamer, dressing for dinner, going ashore to tour the pyramids then re-boarding and sipping whisky in the drawing room (hopefully with no murders). Unfortunately that version ain’t so cheap, but I don’t want to ‘do’ Egypt until I can afford the whole experience. So for now, it remains a dream.
10. To be chosen by blogger.
Okay, this is a recent story, from Saturday night in fact. Mr Dreadful had been out with friends for the night, while I spent the evening taking it easy convalescing from my cold. By the time Mr D came rolling in, I was tucked up warm and cosy in bed, gently drifting off to sleep.
Now Mr Dreadful gets a little gregarious when he has had a few. He likes to talk and tell jokes and ask me about my night and cuddle and eat biscuits and listen to music and DO things. Not necessarily attractive qualities to someone who has just been jerked out of their dozy pre-sleep haze of thoughts. As Mr D blustered into the bedroom, flumped on the bed, and brought his freezing cold, boozy, cigarette smoked mouth over for a smooch, I tactfully said “Eeeeeaaaeeeewwwwww! I’m not going to kiss you smelling like THAT!”. He looked a little hurt, so I compromised. “If you want to be romantic you can hold my foot”. With that I stuck my cashmere-clad foot from under the covers, and Mr D dociley stood and held it affectionately for a minute before retreating to the loungeroom to watch football and eat cheese sandwiches.
I am not sure who has already done this – I know it has been doing the rounds but if you girls haven’t already done it I would like to tag: