Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Wednesday Wishlist: 18th July


We are now the best part of the way through July (which means it's nearly my birthday!) and the weather is still a giant pile of pants. Big 'Ol greying granny pants. So what I am craving this week is some sun, not so I can get a tan or even vitamin D, but so I can justify spending a stupid amount of money on beautiful cotton 50's dresses.

The following two dresses are part of the collection I currently have in the shop at the moment. You can find them online at www.darlingsvintage.co.uk and prices start from £35.

Find the dress  HERE


Find this dress HERE

There is however someone at the moment who gives me serious dress envy. Miss Liz Tregenza. You NEED her blog in your life, you can find it HERE. The best thing is that she's currently selling off some of her collection on eBay to fund her masters at the Royal College of Art. She is going to be a modern day Coco Chanel, so if one if these dresses wasn't a good investment anyway, the fact that it belonged to her certainly makes it so! Here's a link to her eBay (However I cannot be held responsible for the ridiculous amount of money you WILL spend.) Below you can find some photos of those fabulous frocks!

Listed HERE



Listed HERE



So enjoy all and make sure you send me some pictures of you wearing your cottons. Oh and it's my birthday on Monday so if anyone fancies gifting me one of these beauts I'm an 8 :p

Keep smiling :)

Ellie



Monday, 2 July 2012

Llama Llamaface

6 very long months ago I took the photo below of by beautiful big sister (looking like a snail ) before she traipsed off to the southern hemisphere! She ran the Garden of Unearthly Delights in Adelaide, Australia for a number of weeks before heading to New Zealand and then to south America.  In her bag I packed many silly little cards for her to open throughout her journey. The best being the Llama related card.



I don't really know why but me and Rach always revert to being about 4 and 8 when we are together and sing a number of ridiculous songs including "The ladies Bra" made popular by radio 1, and this lovely little llama song.

Please don't watch the whole thing, it's massively tedious.

Taken at Machu Picchu

However her returning home meant two things a night of llama related banter and CAKE! This is my mums beautiful creation! You can find the pictures of family fun below!


My haul from the tacky magnet contest.
An owl for my collection and some baby Alpaca wool.



Llama socks.
Donning my Llama related goodies with my sister!


Wednesday Wishlist- 27th June

As many of you know, I am totally against high street shopping. Mostly because the fabric is dreadful, synthetic tosh and the quality of craftsmanship is just awful. However in Nottingham city centre we have recently had an Aubin and Wills open.



Aubin and Will was opened in 2008 by *cough* Jack Wills *cough*. I will try not to go on for too long about this but I hate Jack Wills and EVERYTHING about it. You really cannot fathom how much hate I have for it. So on visiting Aubin and Wills for the first time I had very low expectations.

However it's a beautifully presented, light, modern, uncluttered shop with plenty of space to browse the lovely evenly spaced rails. Although none of the designs or prints are particularly ground breaking the styles are super easy to wear and the fabrics are amazing. They are so soft. Mmmmmmm.

I know it still doesn't really sound like my thing, but working from home now I don't want to wear anything too restrictive or delicate, yet my pyjamas just make me want to go back to sleep. I just want to throw something on with socks or tights and not look like a total tramp.

Although it's very much on the pricey side they have a sale on at the moment with 50% off a lot of their stuff. This makes it more slightly acceptable considering how much I'm going to wear the stuff! You can shop online here : www.aubinandwills.com


And so I leave you with two bits I'm hoping to unwrap on my birthday!!

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Wednesday Wishlist- 20th June


I've decided that I don't blog enough. I'd like to get a bit of a rhythem going so I decided to set up a little feature called Wednesday Wishlist inspired by my beautiful friend Frances Jennings who keeps a very exciting Tumblr which you can see HERE.

This week I didn't want to feature something in the shop and so I have decided to share something I am seriously lusting over. Hats. I have always had a bit of a thing for a nice hat but since getting heavily in to the vintage scene, dear lord, I have MEGA hat desire.

It has since been further fuelled by meeting both Ellen from B Millinery and Katie of Katie Vale and talking to them about how their hats are made. I had no idea that so much effort, patience and skill was required. 


So for that reason all good milliners get a giant nod of respect from me. 

 Here are a few of my current favourites:


 HERE is this weeks high street find from M&S, but for some reason that black and white hat isn't listed on the website :(  (It's £39.50 in store!)
Found HERE on Etsy

I've been wanting a large straw hat for a while now to just shove on with the summer dress. Although I'd want to tie a big chiffon scarf around it not a ribbon.




Both of these are lovingly crafted by Ellen at BMILLINERY. Shop her beauties  HERE 


And last but by no means least this darling little number by KATIE VALE DESIGN.


Let me know which hats you've been lusting after this week!

Ellie x


Friday, 25 May 2012

The Real Reason I Wear Vintage

Now this is a topic that is extremely close to my heart and one I have never talked about before with anyone other than my family so please be kind! It also requires a little bit of back history about me, but stick with it!

At the age of 18 I was diagnosed with severe depression. I had a tough time at school be it someone stealing my pencil case aged 6 or being called an 'ugly bitch' aged 12. Life goes on though and I learnt to cope with all these things. I began having depressive episodes about age 13 and that was when I first tried to hurt myself. As if being a hormonal teenager wasn't tough enough!!

So at 18 I was put on a large concoction of medication and was watched 24 hours a day, I wasn't even allowed to pee on my own. I'm not going to sing the praises of the NHS, my doctor was great and fixed price medicine is a God send. Everything else was dreadful!

Now anyone that has suffered any form of depression will tell you there is no joy in anything. It's as if you're trapped in a little glass box which has had the colour drained. You can see the fun things, you know they are fun things, but you can't join in. 99% of the population won't understand this though and if I have a penny for every time I'd been told to pull myself together!

One of the only things that gave me a small amount of pleasure was vintage clothes. Perhaps not in my darker moments but certainly through recovery they have been a fantastic focus. They got me out of my pyjamas for a start! The thing is over that last 100 years (which is what my personal collection contains) there has been such a great variety of styles and with each of them went a different lifestyle.

To me the era that screams fun, lovely, bouncy, happy girls is the 1950's. I have never put on a good full skirted dress and not had the urge to spin in it. They make me want to ride a Vesper very badly through the streets of Italy a la Miss Hepburn in Roman Holiday. Then there are the ball gowns, dear lord, I would wear one of those to buy a pint of milk from the shop next door if I could. They are A-MA-ZING!!


Vintage clothes gave me an opportunity to forget what was going on in my life and choose a someone else's life for a while. Yes it was escapism, but it gave me a tiny bit of joy that I could cling on to, and for a split second it made me want to get better. For a moment these dresses gave me a fighting spirit and most importantly they gave me hope. They let me believe I wasn't always going to feel this way forever and that death wasn't my only way out.
Fast forward two years and I'm about to turn 20. I was finally given some medication that helped back in January and for the first time I'm starting to feel, what I imagine it feels like, to be a regular human being. Vintage is part of my life more than ever and although sometimes I just want to chuck on a comfy knit dress at least I'm getting dressed!

 My business has grown to  reflect my experiences and I'm always trying to find the most beautiful, luxurious pieces. It might not seem like much but I want to sell dresses and clothes that make someone feel really great about themselves when they are worn. One of those show stopping numbers you can dress up, dress down, chuck on after a difficult day at work and it still makes you feel great.

My favourite 60's shift!
I do realise most people that buy things from me will just consider the garment a beautiful piece to add to their wardrobe, but if I can help one person to find a dress that gives them the same feeling that mine gave me I would feel I'd done my bit :) You can find our website HERE

Love

Ellie x



If you'd like to know more about mental health problems go to www.mind.org.uk or you can contact me via the form on my website HERE


Wednesday, 16 May 2012

The Woman: Part Two- The Twig Phenomenon


So now we have established what a real woman is I'm going to talk about why they now feel the need to be slim. I have to be honest I did get a serious amount of writers block whilst doing this and wrote several articles which I decided were all awful longwinded and boring. So sorry for the delay and I hope this isn't to terrible. If it is though you could use it as an insomnia cure and then I'd still feel good knowing it had a purpose!

 So after a great deal of thought I eventually came to the decision that the main reason girls want to be thin is because they are growing up with a lack of *drum roll please* ROLE MODELS!

Don't get me wrong there are a great deal of people out there who are deemed 'role models' but it's another one of those 'real woman' phrases. It's a load of bull. No one has defined what a role model is and those who are supposed to be one don't actually seem to have done a great deal for society. It seems to me that having views that match everyone else's so you can fit in has become more important than expressing and being true to yourself. The people that should be considered role models are often considered uncool by today's youth. (Think Mary Portas, the Queen etc.)

"I am not a role model."




To me role models should have 4 main qualities:

1. Treat themselves and their bodies with respect and both  their mind and body should be healthy (obviously there are factors out of our control e.g. coughs, colds)
2. Exercise their right to speak freely
3. Don't bully, condemn or ostracise people for shallow or unimportant reasons
4. Accessible to people from all generations and walks of life

At the moment I have 2 people who stand out to me as role models. The first of these is GAGA! Now you may think I'm jumping on the bandwagon here but she is an exceptionally clever lady. She's found a way to be heard by the people who currently need it most. I mean how many 14 year olds read the news and listen to politics? Now compare that with the number who watch MTV, listen to the radio or read gossip magazines. Music is a great way to be heard by people all over the world and her music isn't offensive to the ear, my mum would listen to it, and that makes her accessible. The message her music carries in inclusive and aims to stop prejudice.

 You only have to look at her twitter feed to realise how much attention she pays to each of her 24 million followers, something I'm not sure any other famous person does. She's grateful for fan art and all the little things they do for her, be it say they love her concert or send flowers for her sick friend. She's like a modern Mother Teresa except she cures low self-esteem, not leprosy. She dresses how she wants and doesn't give a rats arse what people think. After many tabloids declared she used to be a man she didn't go running OK! magazine demanding they do a feature on her saying it wasn't true. Although she didn't say this I imagine she may have said something like this:

"What if I was a man? I'd ROCK a penis and it would be the best god-damn cock in the world!"   

She respects herself and that is cool.

 So Gaga if you ever see this, you rock and please keep populating the world with little monsters.

My second role model is someone you have probably never heard but someone you need to know about. Her name is Lori Smith ,also known as @lipsticklori, and she describes herself as a 'sex positive LGBT feminist.' She may not be so accessible to everyone due to her extreme opinions but her articles are always superbly written and she's not afraid to say what she thinks. I personally think she's brilliant and I love her sex related pieces because honestly who doesn't enjoy sex, be it with themselves, one (or several others) or their favourite adult shop purchase!? She represents and speaks out for a minority (the B's and the T's), oh and did I mention she has a super sexy burlesque alter ego @misslollypops.


Clearly she is just an awesome person who is proving that it's possible to be a combination of a confident sex loving minx and an intelligent interesting feminist writer. Her blog should be put on the curriculum for sex-ED. End of. Read it here. Right now.

If you have someone with these qualities that you feel you can relate to as a role model please leave a comment and let me know. We need to find these people and make them known so young people have someone to look up to who's main aspiration isn't to look like a twig.
Ellie x

Thursday, 10 May 2012

The Woman: Part One - What is a real Woman?

There are a great deal of things in this world that really wind me up. Today it's the size issue in society and the use of the phrase 'Real Women.' It's a phrased that has become used by large corporations in advertising campaigns to sell anything from body lotion to underwear. After reading an inspiring blog post from 'The Lingerie Addict' I wanted to share my opinions.

A popular marketing campaign representing 'Real women'

Nearly two years after leaving an all girl college I can tell you my views on this issue have done a full 360. Bullying was rife in the school and with that came a great deal of self-esteem problems and eating disorders. To some extent this tainted my views on what a woman should be. I felt that in order to be successful one had to be a super slim 6. Why? Because that's what all successful people there looked like. (However I came to realise eventually that popularity wasn't success.)
The slim size 6 many girls aspire to

I was then seduced by all this 'real woman' advertising and came to believe a woman should be curvy with boobs and hips and a little waist. A traditional hourglass shape. In my mind though this woman still had no flaws, no saddlebags no squidge over the top of her bra and PERFECT soft dewy skin. I don't fit this image either though and I'd like to be considered a real woman.

So eventually I came up with this:

"A REAL woman is a female who has completed puberty"

That's it. Simple really isn't it? However I'm more than aware that after puberty you can still have tits that look like two aspirin on a plank. Does it make me feel less like a woman? No! The best thing about this is that is includes everyone. You can have silicon bits, inky bits, scars, stretch marks and all the rest. Take a look at "My Body Gallery" , if you can give me one reason why anyone on there isn't a real woman I'll eat my (metaphorical) hat.

It's simple. Body shape is fashion. Being a woman, that's biology. Period.


An honorary real woman!

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Journey to the Fatherland Part 3


Sorry for the delay on this, it's been a pretty turbulent week for me :) Anyway that's for tomorrows blog!

On our final day in Cairo we decided to have a chilled day together as a whole family (beau included!). This meant that we didn't get up to early. First we headed to the British embassy to pick up a letter :) Exciting right! It's strange though, military service in Cairo is compulsory, I swear some of the soldiers were only 15 or 16. They were like babies with guns, seriously they have this massive gun slung over their back and they whack it on bollards and cars as they are running eating their sandwiches!
Then we popped over to what is considered one of the best restaurants in town, Kebabky. It was amazing :) I had the best humus I have EVER had and I am a humus connoisseur( pronounced con-osser, it's a family thing :p) You can see from the pictures how fantastic everything is! Plus the service was great! (btw that grill was for all 4 of us, not just me :p)

Oh, and did I mention the meal per person cost less than a Costa coffee and Panini? Mental isn't it!

Then we did what I had been gunning (unintentional bad pun!) to do, TAHIR SQUARE :) It's not that it's physically an amazing place but it's significant because of the revolution. It has a feeling about it like no other place, for me, it's a little bit magical.


There it is ! It is just a roundabout! You can see some tents there still it's essentially an occupy Cairo camp. You can see the Egyptian museum there in the background and can you imagine living in one of those flats when the revolution was happening?!



After that I just wondered through all the back street markets and junk shops to soak up the atmosphere. It really is my favourite thing to do, simply pleasures and all that :)

More soon,

Ellie x <3


Saturday, 14 April 2012

Journey to the Fatherland Part 2


Today was our first real day of being ‘tourists’, so me and the beau headed over to Giza to see the Pyramids! Yipee! He’s a bit of a history buff and so found it all a little overexciting, bless! There’s so much to see, three main pyramids, secondary tombs, temples and a million traders selling a million and one things you would never need! Maybe that’s just my inner Egyptian coming out though. There’s a sort of self built platform a little way away from the pyramids and that’s the place to take the photos. When we were there this little man came up to me and said “ You have photo, I am arab” You have to pay for these things but he was kind if cute!




We also saw the Sunboat. It’s hard to believe that this is nearly 5000 years old! I hope you enjoy the pictures of me and my mum rocking out some eygption fashion here! I wanted to wear my 50’s day dress but we went for lunch in a kosheri cafĂ© and so any flesh wasn’t reaclly acceptable. On a tangent seeing girls dressed in just hotpants and a vest top really bugs me, it seems a little ignorant of the culture and disrespectful to the people. Anyway more on that another day!









One of the things that really upsets me in Cairo is the poverty. It’s a great city if you have enough money (and by British standard you don’t need much) but its horrendous if you don’t. If you take the back exit at the pyramids it brings you right out in to the Giza slums. As I waited for the car to come round the block a little girl of about 5 or 6 came and stood by me and didn’t say anything, just motioned for money for food. (It’s a very generic hand gesture in Cairo) It breaks my heart to see little girls begging on the street like that when education out here is free. She will grow up to beg, as her mother has taught her, and can only ever expect to be a beggar. Then as the car pulls away they stand and tap on the windows. It makes me want to take my TEFL and start a school for women. As Caitlin Morain would say, it made me want to stand on a chair and shout ‘ I am a strident feminist!”

That too however is a story for another day! So I will leave you with this little gem.... am the only person  who thinks this is a little ironic?!






Journey to the Fatherland Part 1


 So as many of you know, my dad has lived out in Cairo for 18 months. This meant that over Easter with all the days off work it was an obvious time to come out and visit. Sadly the day after I arrived my beau came down with the Pharaohs Curse which meant two obligatory days in the villa watching the entire star wars box set……. So not entirely wasted!

On the first disease free day we had a pretty chilled time then met my dad in his office, which is essentially a small house, it has a big American kitchen and a butler and everything! We had a glass of Limone, which is basically Egyption lemonade, then headed in to town.

We went to this cute little restaurant called Asia, it’s on a riverboat called the Blue Nile which is moored on the outskirts of Zamylek. The food was incredible, sweet and sour chicken, teriyaki chicken, sweet chili calamari. The most exciting bit was the view though, these long colourful boats cruise down the nile covered from tip to tail in fairy lights of all colours. Aren't they pretty?!

To finish the evening we headed to the Cairo Opera House to see Cairo Ballet perform swan lake. The principle really was lovely and the costumes were divine.

Either way I have a very exciting few days ahead so I’ll make sure to keep you updated!

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Nottingham Vintage Fair- With Judy's Affordable Vintage Fairs


I actually didn't attend this one as I had my super cute four-year-old cousin all weekend.....naturally they don't mix with standing around a stall all day. I did however pop along and we sat and did one of her favourite things.....EAT CAKE ! 


What a sweetiepie!

I stopped by and said hello to my favourite Judy's ladies but I have to be honest, In my eyes one stall totally stole the show. Annie Geenabelle. I have been lusting after their stuff since I spotted them at the Derby Vintage Fair the week before. The stock seems to vary and they have things that appeal to both vintage lovers and normal teens. The best part about it all is that it's handmade (in the UK) and its all FAIRTRADE! YIPEE!
Oh, and did I mention the prices are low? I picked up this lovely number for only £25 !!



It fits really well too and is SO beautifully made. I wish they made this in other colours I have barely taken it off all week! The two ladies that make it ( a mother and daughter I think) are also super lovely and helpful. I really just cannot say enough good things about them and their brand.

You can check it out ---> HERE <----


Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Spitalfields- Judys affordable vintage fair !

Thank you to everyone that made our day at spitalfields such a successful one ! It really was a brilliant day. Darlings vintage can't wait to be back to see all you lovely vintage hunters ! Here's a photo of my beautiful mum snuggled up in front of the stall!

Sadly our journey back up to the north was not quite as successful an after 7 long hours and 120 miles ( yes that's right, we only live in Nottingham!) we finally made it home. I just want to say a big thank you to the 3 boys that pushed our big Volvo estate a whole mile uphill in Nottingham city centre. We owe you big time and it's people like you that restore my faith in the general population of the human race :) I hope karma is kind to you or I meet you again to thank you properly. It was however the first time I have ever declared my love to a stranger !!!! Here's a quick photo of the M1 yup not a little road the big ol' M1!

Either way, here's to a great day ! See you next time...... But maybe only in the middle of summer !!!

Monday, 30 January 2012

The story of that Red Dress

So as many of you will know at the last few vintage fairs I've had a beautiful near mint red 50's ball gown with me. We all know these things aren't cheap but £250 is a pretty good price as many places would charge up to £600 !!!

Anyway I actually bought the dress for myself in America to wear to my school leavers ball. Sadly I lost a bit of weight before and it didn't fit ( but if I'm honest I never had curves in the right places of you know what I mean ! ).

After that it lived on the mannequin in my bedroom looking pretty for over a year. So when I started doing fairs I decided it was time to send it to a goo home. What I never expected though we're people willing to pay the price only to butcher it ! People wanted to chop of the velvet and bows, make it a mini dress and all sorts of other horrible things.

So as you can see I have a bit too much of a personal attachment to it so when I was in Norwich this happened.

You have to admit , she looks like a superstar. Sadly she didn't take it off my hands but said she might change her mind..... So for now, it's still up for grabs .

We'll have to wait and see what happens at Spitalfields on the 4th !

Norwich Vintage Fair

So we had another successful day in Norwhich on Sunday. Although it was a little bit quiet we had lots of interest in our little stall and so many people asking when our website is going live ( soon I promise !!! ) Either way we thought we'd show you some photos so you can get excited for when we're in a city near you !! Feb 4th in Spitalfields here we come !!!