Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Pin Up Pets!

Photo by Luna Photography, make up by Ms Moo Make up
I posted last year about mine and Maybellene's photoshoot with Flashes and LashesFlashes and Lashes are a photography and make up artist team specialising in pin up and vintage make overs.

Maybellene by Luna Photography
 The photography side of Flashes and Lashes is Luna Photography.  They runs a separate photography business, specialising in portrait and wedding photography.

Edward by Luna Photography
They have a special offer on at the moment, you can have a pet photoshoot for only £20!  Yes £20, this includes a half hour session and one image, you have the option to purchase more images too.

Ziggy by Luna Photography
So if you fancy a portrait of your best mate, give Emma an email! 

Also check out their website and facebook page.

I will leave you with an out take from Maybellene's shoot...

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Shaheen Dresses and Cocktails

It has been the first mild day for weeks,  and i am already thinking of summer.  And when the sun shines that means only one thing, a Shaheen inspired wrap dress and cocktails... that's two things... oh well they go hand in hand!

Rose Desire and I at the Riviera, Nottingham last summer
I have been making Shaheen inspired dresses for a few years.  I blogged a bit about the history of Alfred Shaheen a while ago here. So if you are unsure what of what the hell i am on about, have a read.

I showed you my first wrap dress i made back in summer 2011. Have a look at the blog post for more dress details.

Photo by Samantha Gallagher Photography
I then sourced some fabric made using original prints designed by Alfred Shaheen himself! Read more about the dress here.  I made this wrap dress that the lovely Frankii Wilde is modeling at Americana fashion show last year. 

Photo by Miss Rain photography
 There are still a few Alfred Shaheen prints available, but be quick only a limited amount were made.

 Here are some recent Shaheen inspired dresses i have created.

Here are some examples of Hawaiian fabric i can get from my supplier in Hawaii.

If you are interested in having a custom Shaheen inspired dress, drop me an email at

Monday, 28 January 2013

Business cards, past and present

I spent today planning a lecture that i will be giving next week at Nottingham Trent University.  It will be part of whole day event for art and design students aimed at inspiring them to start their own businesses.  I have been asked to speak about my business, how it came about and how i have developed the brand over the past three short years.  I dug out my old business cards for the students to have a laugh at.

This was my first attempt, i used a Vista Print template.  I even spelt 'dressmaker' wrong, how bad is that!!

I drew the cat myself and edited it on photoshop, quite a cute little drawing... but doesn't scream buy my dresses does it!  I used to print these off using my works printer.. so if you are reading this and are an interior design company based in London who was always running out of printer ink... it was me.. sorry (i am not really)

If you have met me or have ordered from me, you might recognise these.  Designed a few years ago by Craig who runs the Hoochie Coochie club.  I love these and i still use them.  But as my business is developing to more bridal i am in the process of getting more designed to showcase my bridal work!

Photo by Natalie J Weddings
Out of interest, does anyone have any of my original flyer's or business cards?

For all bespoke dress enquires please email me at

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Meet Scarlett Daggers

Ina Glo Photography

Where did yourstage name, Scarlett Daggers come from?
 - It was a bit of a cobbled together name really. I always tend to wear something red every day so Scarlett came first. The Daggers part was an off hand joke that just stuck! But I'm glad it did. It's funny and gutsy and a dainty, delicate name totally wouldn't suit me or my style.

Do you have a signature act?
 - I have a few unique acts. A B movie Sci-Fi Queen homage called "Kiss of the Cobra Woman", and a gift wrapped showgirl simply called "The Present", but I think my most iconic act is my "Hot Rod Honey" routine which is inspired by Vince Ray's sleazy 50s pin-ups complete with fishnet stockings, an oil can and a pair of chequered racing flags with red glitter poles! 
I'm hoping my new fire act, which is not quite finished and is still under wraps, will top everything I've done up to this point. With big props and another extravagant costume I've set a big challenge for myself. You'd think I'd learn my lesson and make something small and simple after this but I have plans that are only slightly less daft for the summer! 

You have recently given up your ‘day job’ to become self-employed, describe your average day?
- Yes after working in the NHS for over 8 years I've finally taken the plunge into full time self employment. It's only been a couple of months and I haven't really got into a set routine yet. The novelty of being able to stay in my pyjamas all day hasn't quite worn off! 
After letting the dog out and seeing my other half off to work I'll check my emails and bumble about online for a bit before getting stuck into the typing, emails and phone calls that make up my virtual PA job. The rest of my day is taken up with promotion work for my shows, scouting for performers to book, working on new acts, contacting promoters about my own bookings, doing costume repairs and cuddling the pup (obviously the most important part of my day).

Being self-employed is great isn’t it, I love having time to have a nice breakfast, it really sets me up for the day.  What's your favourite thing?
- Ooh my favourite breakfast is jammy toast (with raspberry or marmalade) and a big cup of tea. And maybe a marshmallow for dessert (I have a bit of a sweet tooth).

Harry Duns Photography

You have your fingers in a lot of pies, tell us about those pies?
- I do keep myself busy! I produce two shows at the Glee Club in Nottingham City Centre: The Gilded Merkin, which is a big budget burlesque and cabaret show and Dr Sketchy's, a cabaret/life drawing class, which I run with artist friend CharlotteThomson-Morley.
I also perform all over the UK, zipping up and down the country most weeks to all sorts of weird and wonderful places doing shows and parties and the other week a BBC filming workshop! Ontop of that I run my own handmade craft business called Red Anchor Emporium (if I ever get time to get my sewing machine out). I make fabric accessories like bags with bamboo handles, quilted stocking pouches, phone cases, purses and other bits and pieces and am heavily influenced by the 1950s and americana/tiki styles. Lately I've had a few performers ask me to make bits of costume for them so I've branched out a bit. I''ll be making small items like pasties, panel skirts and merkins now too. One of my goals this year is to fill my Etsy shop up with goodies, it's looking a bit dusty and neglected at the moment.

Candee Photography

Wow, you had your fingers in a lot of pies!  How did you fit it in before you quit your day job?
- I didn't sleep! haha. No, I'm just a really good multi-tasker. I cut my day job down to 20 hours per week about a year ago and as I had no access to networking sites on my work PC my lunchbreaks were usually spent on my phone replying to messages, looking up performers and booking acts, while scoffing a quick sandwich at my desk. Everything's a lot less frantic now I'm working from home and I certainly don't miss the red tape and frustrations of working for the NHS. To be honest I wish I'd done this a long time ago.

Photo by Paul Larkin's Photography, dress by BooBoo Kitty Couture

You run your own burlesque and cabaret night in Nottingham, The Gilded Merkin.  What inspired/ drove you to start your own night?
- After spending so much of my time performing at other great shows around the UK I really wanted to bring something of that calibre to Nottingham and I was keen to get my teeth into producing another show alongside Dr Sketchy's. I wanted a big show with a packed line up of headline acts in a fabulous venue. There was nothing like that in Nottingham.  
I approached the Glee Club as I already had a good working relationship with them from hosting Sketchy's there. They had a big stage, a big bar, full cabaret table and theatre seating, food service, a great dressing room and a great atmosphere. They were really keen on the idea and were full of enthusiasm for helping me to make it a big success.
My other half Johnny, bassist in Derby based punk/garage band The Atoms, is to be given full credit for the name of the show. And yes he feels incredibly smug about that.

Scarlett hosting Dr Sketchy's Nottingham

When is the next Gilded Merkin and what can we expect?
- It's on Sunday 10th February which isn't very far off at all, they do sneak up fast! Doors open at 6:30pm and I strongly recommend booking in advance and arriving early to get the best seats!
You can expect a fantastic mix of burlesque, comedy, circus, fire, music and much more. This month the stars of the show are: Kitty Bang Bang, a burlesque wild child who dances en point and breathes fire; Mat Ricardo, the gentleman juggler who has entertained Royalty and appeared on the Jonathon Ross show; Leggy Pee (and her little friend Charlie), a silent songstress with a totally unique musical cabaret act; Amelie Soleil, the sideshow spectacle known as Britain's tiniest tease; Ginger Blush, the comedy saucepot with a side of slapstick; Em Brulee, a glamourpuss vintage jazz and blues vocalist and me of course.
If you dress to impress you could be in with a chance of winning some fabulous prizes, the biggest of which is provided by our fabulous sponsor Boo Boo Kitty Couture! One lucky lady will win a made to measure dress made by Aislinn's own fair hands. So put your best party-pants on and come to the show!

For details of the next Gilded Merkin, see the facebook event page

Thursday, 24 January 2013

My Mid-Century Bedroom

New to me, Meredew dressing table, we also have bedside tables and headboard to match
I have been feeling a bit meh all week, not depressed, not stressed, just meh.  The cold weather and cabin fever has been taking its tole.  This morning, for the first time in a while, i am ashamed to say, i actually pin curled my hair and put on make up.  Dressed in my warm and cosy new cashmere cardi and Freddies jeans.  And you know what, my mood is instantly lifted... who knew just getting dressed can improve ones mood!

Cheeky instagram pic to signify that i actually got dressed today!
Enough about me and my strange moods.  Whilst doing my hair and makeup i noticed that the bedroom was unusually tidy, so what better time for a blog post.  It is still an on going project, we recently moved house and have changed the style of the master bedroom to mid century modern, you can see my old dressing table on this blog post.  That dressing table is now in the guest bedroom, which has more of a classic 40s feel to it.

60s woven capsule chair, my vintage Samsonite vanity matches
The colours of my room are inspired by my swallow bed spread which i got from Debanhams.  I still need to make curtains, i have my eye on some fabric and also add more colour which i am going to do with cushions and maybe an upholstered chair.

Swallows bedding, i just love the colours. 
Note the colours, teal, mint green, grey, limey green and plum.   Lighting is a major headache to find, does any other UK peeps have trouble finding atomic or mid century lamps?  i am constantly drooling over you US bloggers bloody lamps!

Original print from the 50s.  The Red Dress by F.R.S Clemente and orchid plant a gift from a happy customer
The master bedroom is massive, i am not boasting it just is.  Probably about twice the size of a standard double room, you could easily get two double beds in it.  It has looked and still does look quite sparse, but all this meas is plenty of room for more treasure!

My vintage house coat and vintage nighties... i odiously float around the house wearing these... no flannel pjs for me (lies)
Original paint by numbers painting waiting to find a place and an atomic foot stool
On my dressing table, with lots of drawers, its easy to hide my mess!  But whats on my dressing table

perfumes.... yes that is This Morning on my laptop in the back ground... loves Phil and Holly!

Some of my vintage bling
Bobby pins or kirby grips, kept in a glass pot... or on the floor as is more likely the case!
A rather dusty art deco uranium glasss set
vintage decoupage glove box which holds a few of my favorite necklaces

I love reading blog posts by other bloggers about their house just as much as i like outfit posts.  I love reading them for inspiration and ideas, as there is still quite a lot i want to do to my house before i am happy with it.   O maybe its because i am just nosey

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Meet Lucille from Lucille's Locks

On Sunday I interviewed Eliza Delite.  Now i would like you to meet Lucille from Call Me Lucille blog.  I started reading her blog a few years ago.  Then it dawned on me that she was also from Nottingham!  Then i spotted her in a pub and introduced myself like some crazed fan girl.  Now we have been involved in countless fashion shows, vintage events, photoshoots and i class her as one of my friends! Funny how things work out!

Whenever i think of Lucille i want to start singing Little Richards, Lucille, so please play it in the back ground when you read this! One of these days i will serenade her with my singing...  maybe after a gin or two!

What is your favourite vintage dress or outfit?
I have a black and white skirt which splits up the front to reveal their own black and white polkadot shorts sewn in. Its my ultimate favourite and I love wearing it with cropped 50s sun tops and my pink original sun shades. When its colder my favourite thing to wear are my highwaisted 1940s pinafore swing pants. I do my hair similar to how the ladies wore theirs in the military, I feel extremely feminine. Basically, if it has a high waist, is really old and will make me look like I'm from the's mine.

What inspired you to dress vintage?

I remember when I first saw a Pin Up girl on a 1950s advert and I thinking "I want to look like that". At the time I had a boyfriend who was a bigtime mod who thought he was Paul Weller. I googled old 50s magazines such as Wink, Beauty Parade and Titter and the clothes in my wardrobe slowly got replaced by high waisted capri pants, little 1940s blouses and bullet bras. My hair routines and styles regressed 60 years and my make make up also. Following Dita's footsteps I got a beauty mark tattooed on my cheekbone, and never left the house without rouge lips. As my style developed and my preference for circle skirts over mini skirts grew I was getting left at home drooling over Dior's "New Look" collections whilst he was at Northern Soul nights. Needless to say that that relationship didn't last. Rockers rule over the Mods!!

What was your first vintage purchase?

I first discovered second hand shopping when I was 16. Back then there was so much more of everything and I bought anything I could get my mitts on - I was like a fat kind in a sweet shop. Nottingham had lots of dingy backstreet Vintage shops that I spent my Saturdays in, sadly nearly all of them don't exist anymore. When I wasn't frequenting my favourite alleyways I was on Ebay. That's where my obsession really took off. I purchased some pretty grotesque garments and my first purchase were some mustard 1960s shoes from Camden market. The only reason I remember them so well was because of how hideous they were. Every single one of my friends told me they were vile, but I loved 'em. A month later I ebayed them!! 

Silver screen goddesses are a big inspiration for me, do you have any icon of the past? 

I can draw inspiration from pretty much every lady from the 1920s-1950s. There's something about anything pre 1960 that I find aesthetically pleasing. I find the Wartime fashion very interesting and I have great respect and envy of the Land Girls. However they managed to carry on working so hard and looking so damn good is what inspires me to make a daily effort. My fashion idols include woman of the past and present; Diana Dors, Beyonce, Betty Grable, Immodesty Blaize, Wanda Jackson, Carmen Miranda, Paloma Faith, Gypsy Rose Lee, Lulu Guiness, Scarlett Johansson and of course Dita Von Teese. All hail Dita!! I must also add that I am in awe of Drag Queens like RuPaul. That whole look, demeanour and attitude is bloody marvellous.

Do you dress vintage every day?
I prefer to describe it as 'dressing up' rather than dressing vintage. I've been doing it so long, that it has become a lifestyle, and to me I class it as 'normal daywear'. I still get confused when people point at me in the street or approach me for a photograph. ( which happens surprisingly a lot- to my boyfriends annoyance. I however think it's lovely )Its not until I remember that I'm wearing clothes that are over 60 years old and my hair is in pin curls and a headscarf that I realise, "oh yeah, maybe I do stand out from people around me." Some people probably think that I am dressing this way for an act, or to draw attention to myself. I simply do not feel comfortable in modern dress. As strange as it sounds, I would feel very self conscious without my usual old fashioned clobber on. My friends always laugh over the fact of me turning up to a social event in leggings and a hoody with my hair in a messy ponytail. You wait girls, one day I will surprise you!

Favourite music at the moment? 

Although my dress sense is stuck in a time warp, my music tastes are slightly more modernised. I found a spotify playlist off an old friend named 'Girls'. It's full of songs by Destinys Child, Missy Elliot, Mary J Blige, Kelis and TLC. I love it, and play it when I am getting changed in the morning. Being self employed I need stimulation in the mornings and Girl power is enough to get me bumpin' and grindin' around my bedroom!!

I'm also sucker for country music, anything folky will make its way onto my spotify. Willy Mason's new album 'Carry On' is on repeat and so is Haim's ep at the moment. Since Christmas my boyfriend and I have had the 'Blue 'Hawaii' album by Elvis playing constantly whenever we are together- the movie and it's soundtrack has become a Christmas tradition for us. I have all the old classics such as Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Wanda Jackson and The Drifters on vinyl like to listen to them on Sunday evenings.

Your photography is pretty good on your blog,  do you have any tips?  Who takes your photos?
All photography on my blog is taken on my digital SLR. Inka who appears on my blog regularly has been trained to pose from a very young age and has pretty much perfected the art!! What you may not know is all my photos are taken by 'self timer', which is as tricky as you can imagine!! I've had a few incidents where my Dad has walked in on me pulling my best pin up pose. Slightly embarrassing  and it distracts the fur ball!!

If you want your blog to appear friendly on the eye, I suggest using good quality photographs as opposed to mobile uploads. Always preview your posts before posting. Step back and think 'Is this I would want to read myself?'

Lucille is also a mobile vintage hair dresser in the Nottingham and derby area. So if you fancy getting your locks trimmed by a professional that knows what a darn pin curl is get in touch.  She also does up dos for special occasions such as weddings.  

 For more information pop over to her facebook page and 'like' it to keep in touch.
Or email her
And check out her blog to keep up to date with her fab outfits and vintage adventures.