Sunday, 23 September 2012

The Day I Fell In Love With A Town.

For a while now I've been thinking of what to do when I've graduated. I know I'm going back south (I'm a softy southerner for life, there's no denying it), but where oh where shall I go? Well, I think I've solved the conundrum...BRIGHTON! If I was a town, I'd like to say I was Brighton. It's everything I love in a town: the sea, lots of little shops and things to see, and lots of nice people that don't stare at me like I'm a ghost or a freak.

Last Tuesday I pootled down on the train (only an hour and a half from Southampton too!) to scout out the possibilities I could encounter if I moved there. First, I headed to the sea - it called to me you see - and, oh, how glorious it was! It was sunny, yet had a little breeze, and I ate my sandwich gazing on the remains of the old pier. Bliss! It took me a little while to find The Lanes (I headed up the wrong way) but with a little help from a nice lady in Bert's I got myself there. I wasted away a good few hours just browsing the stores (I could have spent thousands of pounds but alas, I am poor), admiring the variety of things available. You can only imagine my joy when I found a shop dedicated to rockabilly fashion that sold Freddie's of Pinewood jeans! They also had loads of events advertised in the window that only added to my ever growing list of why-Hannah-should-move-to-Brighton. One final mention to a shop that I could have possibly lived in: Irregular Choice. You may have seen Irregular Choice's shoes in Schuh but this was there proper store and wow! The stuff they had in there was phenomenal! Yes, they are quite pricey, but they are so, so, so pretty! Just look at the window display for a little taster of their goodies!

Irregular Choice window display - Give me them ALL!
Nice bit of tiki! There are a fair few tiki bars in Brighton too
I took luncheon by the Brighton Pavilion, as one must! It was possibly my favourite lunch of all time, and I can see, if I move there, an addiction developing. I had a pastrami, swiss cheese and mustard bagel with Root Beer. How American!

The archaeologist and general museum lover got distracted by the Brighton Museum & Art Gallery. Unfortunately I was one week too early to enjoy the Biba & Beyond exhibition, but it's on until Easter, so I'm sure I'll head down to see it at some point. The museum itself is really wonderful - there is something there to entertain anyone and everyone, whether it's modern art, traditional art, design, history, archaeology...the list goes on! And, best of all, it's free! I inquired about jobs and volunteering there, and got a few numbers, so it seems the ball is already beginning to roll!

(Going Clockwise) 1930s glass tea set, 4000 year old Egyptian sandals, tea cup with  moustache protector, 1920s silver thread wig
Oh Brighton! How I love you! I can only hope that one day I will become a proud citizen of your town!

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Chaps at Goodwood

As I said in my little ditty on this years Goodwood Revival my personal highlight was the antics of the Chap Olympiad. Usually held in July, the fellas over at The Chap magazine also put on their alternative (and, in some counts, far superior) Olympic events. The afternoon started with the ceremonial lighting of the Olympic pipe and continued with events such as Bicycle Jousting (two chaps - or chappettes - stride forward on their triumphant steeds brandishing umbrellas and briefcases), the deadly duel with lobsters (first to pluck bodily hair from his opponent is the winner), and moustache tug-of-war. There were three instalments of the event, culminating in the award ceremony, with Mr Marlowe taking first place, and the ceremonial extinguishing of the Olympic Pipe.

I shall say very little else on the event, and let my 'wonderful' photographing do the talking...

Editor-in-Chief Mr Gustav Temple starts things off
Chappette Bethan looking the pinnacle of British elegance
Bicycle Jousting was my personal favourite. I don't think Agatha could handle it though.
Not a fragment of Lycra in sight
No lobsters were harmed in the duel
Heave Ho!

Bravo, chaps! Splendid show!

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Rockabilly Essentials: Hair & Make Up

With my upcoming rockabilly tea party (The Mad Hepcat's Tea Party) I'm putting together a mini series of entries of everything rockabilly: Clothes, Accessories, Hair & Make Up, and Music.

No rockabilly look is complete without a slick of red lipstick and an edgy hair cut. This entry will show you the basics of hair and make up. It might look scary, but, as with anything, practice makes perfect and soon enough you'll be looking like the perfect pin up!


There are three very simple hair styles that you can perfect and individualise to your own tastes, whether that's all out or just a subtle touch.

1) The Bettie Bangs 
So named after the Queen of Pin Ups Bettie Page, this is a short fringe cut into a 'U' shape. These, surprisingly, suit most face shapes, and if you don't like it, it grows out in a couple of weeks! If you are going to get it cut in, remember to take a photo of the lady herself so the hair dresser knows exactly what they're doing.

2) Victory Rolls
These look really scary to do, and they will be a little tricky to create at first, but once you get it, you will be on a roll (please, pardon the pun!). You can just do one at the front, two at the side of your head, or as many as you want. Curl the rest of your hair, or roll it up in a bandana for the best result!

Here's my little tutorial on how I do mine...

3) Waves & Curls
Whether you do these with curling irons, heated rollers, foam rollers or pin curls, the result will always be rockabilly. By brushing out the curls in a certain way you can get a variety of looks from page boys to poodles! Just remember to use plenty of hair spray!

Katy Perry sporting a victory roll come Bettie bang fringe

Make Up

The make up is really very simple. Matte foundation, black winged eyeliner, red lipstick. Of course you can complicate things with eyeshadows and what not, but if its simple you're after just stick with that. Mac probably do the best lipsticks, but 'drugstore' brand ones are just as good. Remember to shop around to find the best red lipstick for you; if you have a yellow skin tone orange based reds work well, and if you have a pink skin tone, stick with the blue based reds. The eye liner will take a little practice, and a steady hand, but just be patient and you'll get the hang of it!

For both hair and make up the best Youtube channels are:

LisaFreemontStreet (my personal favourite)
Cherry Dollface (she's a model, she knows what she's doing)
ClassicRetroGlamour (Great for updos and 'second day' hair)

I hope you enjoy that little walk through rockabilly hair and make up! Stay tuned for the fourth and final part: The Music!

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Goodwood Revival 2012

Oh where to start? Words cannot express how much I absolutely love this event. This event was where my decision to dress/live(ish) vintage was born; when I was thirteen I saw beautiful ladies and gentlemen walking around just looking so stylish and sophisticated I aspired to be just like them. Ever since then we, that is the family and I, try to go every year, but this has been hard for me, what with the move to university up north. So it was an immense pleasure to go this year! Well, we sort of went...we went into the 'car park' where they had moved the majority of the stalls, the fair ground and the hair dressing parts - better known as the parts where myself and mother spend most of the day! Our logic worked that as we had not had to pay for tickets we had thus saved around £100 (and 3 gin and tonics thanks to the Gordon's vouchers!) and so needed to spend that amount to balance the books out. My personal highlight of the day was the Chap Olympiad, which was put on three times in the day, just after brunch, lunch and tea. I loved this event so much I am going to dedicate an entire entry to it, so stay tuned for that! I am also going to be dedicating an entry to my purchases as I think they need a special mention because they were absolute bargains! Hopefully next year I shall get a ticket to go into the show ground as I do enjoy some of the racing and the general atmosphere, but this was the perfect supplement!

For now then I shall leave you with some photos of the day...

The ladies working miracles on vintage styled hair - supplied by my old friends the Vintage Hair Lounge
Some of the action moved outside to where we were
I absolutely fell in love with this suit
Anyone got £2.8million spare?
I think that's a Hurricane, a Spitfire and a Messerschmitt but don't quote me on that... 
Chaps & Chappettes looking splendid, but more on them later...

And finally, what I wore:

Topshop Jumper (I've got to guess from 2009)
Freddies of Pinewood Dungarees
Vintage sunglasses bought at the event - up coming blog on that business soon!

Monday, 17 September 2012

Rockabilly Essentials: Accessories

With my upcoming rockabilly tea party (The Mad Hepcat's Tea Party) I'm putting together a mini series of entries of everything rockabilly: Clothes, Accessories, Hair & Make Up, and Music.

So we got the clothes sorted in the last instalment, and now it's time for the accessories. Personally, I wear very few accessories, but I do always wear one. I'm a little bit famous for my bandannas, always in either red or blue - but mainly blue - as I frequently have one tied around my head. At work, I wear a few bangles, as I feel they add a little vintage tiki to any outfit, and sometimes a necklace, usually in a tattoo design. Although having my ears pierced I very rarely wear earrings; I'm not entirely sure why I don't decorate my aural lobes, but they're just something I never really think about. I make my own hair flowers (it's really very simple!) but there are numerous shops online to cater for these. There aren't really any restrictions for handbags, from wicker, to lucite, to leather satchels to vintage clutches.

Me vainly posing my bandanna wearing

Most online shops sell a mixture of the above so here is my selection of the very best:

I own this! It's awesome! Swallows are a big theme in rockabilly jewellary
This comes ready folded so just tie and go! Like clothing, leopard print is popular with accessories

I group various colours and shapes altogether for variety
It's wicker, it's cherry-fied, it's tiki, it's everything in one bag.

Great little set (I own the earrings!)
Mexicana style skulls are also popular
Etsy is also great for finding little producers who make their own accessories for you to buy. Just searching 'hair flowers', or prefixing any accessory type with 'rockabilly' with through up numerous results to browse through.

Black anchor hair flower
Hawaiian flowers are a my favourites
What have we learned from this accessory lesson? Well, wear as much or as little as you like, and you can stick to one theme or mix and match!
Stay tuned for my next instalment: Hair & Make Up

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Rockabilly Essentials: The Clothes

With my upcoming rockabilly tea party (The Mad Hepcat's Tea Party) I'm putting together a mini series of entries of everything rockabilly: Clothes, Accessories, Hair & Make Up, and Music.

Gladrags are ridiculously important to a rockabilly lass; they are what set us apart from the rest of the crowd. Whether it's a casual day look or a sumptuous night life outfit, it's all about embodying the ladies' curves, emphasising those chests, waists and hips - as Wanda Woodward said in Cry Baby "our bazooms are our weapons!"! So here is my guide to the garments every rockabilly kitten needs in her wardrobe:

Jeans. Everyone needs at least two pairs of jeans in their wardrobe, and the best ones by far are by Freddies of Pinewood. I first discovered this company at Goodwood Revival about three or four years ago, and I've never bought another brand of retro reproduction jeans since. The jeans are measured at the waist so they fit really nice and snug, and have a 33" inside leg so are a great length for turn-ups (unless you're me who requires a 36"). My personal favourites are the Classic Indigo and the Dungaree Dolls, but there are also shorts, 3/4 jeans and ones set to patterns from the 1940s and 1950s (Check out the Norma Jeans, inspired by Marilyn Monroe herself!). Freddies also do a selection of tops that fit perfectly with their jeans, and have just brought out their first range of dresses, modelled by the beautiful Stephanie Jay.

Me in my Freddies Dungarees
Isn't she lovely?
Staying with tops, Rocket Originals have what I think is my favourite top of all time! It's taken from an original 1940s pattern, and it's diamond decoration fits perfectly with rockabilly style. It's definitely going on my Christmas list!

It's also available in black
When it comes to dresses, it's all about the wiggle dress. I have several in my wardrobe in various styles, patterns and fabrics. Teamed with some killer heels (or flats, like me!), a fancy hair do, and red lippy you are ready to dance the night away!

Vivien of Holloway 
Collectif Clothing
Under all those clothes you're going to need some decent undies. Rockabilly style is based heavily on the 1950s when 'bazooms' were pointed. What Katie Did have a great range of bullet bras perfect for this, as well as some of the best shapewear in the business, and stockings to swear by.

Finally, moving onto shoes. There are many options for shoes: biker boots, pumps, brogues, creepers (sadly claimed by hipsters this season), wedges, stilettos - basically anything that takes your fancy but still has that retro, rockabilly edge. Probably the most famous shop for shoes is Miss L Fire, and boy oh boy do they have some delights! I could spend thousands with them!

Rocket Originals also have some great shoes that are much more 'pure' (ie: they resemble 1950s shoes rather than modern rockabilly style)
These are perfect for jiving!

Every rockabilly needs a decent pair of boots. Yes, they look good, but mainly their really warm when you're trekking around shows in the depths of winter! Mine have got a big hole in the sole so this year I think I'll be splashing out and getting this pair from Clarks:

I hope you enjoyed my walk through rockabilly clothing! Stay tuned for my next instalment: Accessories!

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Roll Up! Roll Up! Get Your Tickets!

My Facebook has been bombarded with me asking people to buy tickets for The Mad Hepcat's Tea Party. It's seventeen days to the event, and since tickets went on sale a week ago we have already sold a quarter of our tickets! And now, I spread my word to you! Even if you don't buy a ticket yourself, please spread the message - after all the proceeds are all going towards Macmillan Cancer Support!

Tickets are £7 each and are available here. It would be amazing to see lots of you there, so anyone in the north west, what are you waiting for? We shall be feeding you, watering you and providing you with the best rockabilly entertainment in Merseyside!

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Ein über deutsch herbstlich Tag.

Guten tag! Wilkommen!

Anyone that knows me knows that everyone that meets me tends to believe/assume that I am German. I don't know if that's because I am blonde haired, blue eyed and have that kind of squarish face 'typical' Germans have, or the fact I do, sometimes, mumble to myself in very broken German - I am looking to get back into learning German, so any willing and patient Germans/fluent German speakers in the area willing to teach me, get in touch! Anyway, this is not the point of this blog; the point of this blog is to show you my new outfit which I am very much looking forward to wearing a lot this autumn/winter.

So, the outfit...

I bought this dress on Sunday in Topshop for, what I think is, a bargain. It cost me £30 (well, £27 with student discount) and seeing as it is a thick, winter pinafore style dress I think that's quite a steal! Okay, it's not wool but what do you want for that money? Now, why the German aspect? Well, when I came out the fitting room in it, my friends couldn't believe how German I looked in it. Yes, über deutsch. It also has a slight vintage feel to it, a little more 1960s than I usually go for, but still a little difference is always welcome.

I paired it with a long sleeved top from Gap, that doesn't usually come out of the wardrobe unless I am going to site and it's particularly cold. Over the top I shall keep the slight vintage/archaeologist-at-work thing going by wearing what my mother calls my archaeologist cardigan from Primark.

It was very sunny in my room at this point, sorry!
I suppose I should show you my face too...for the make up I kept it very simple using Benefit's Eye Gotta! Annie Collection (Foiled on the lids, and Spiced in the crease)