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


Ellie x

If you'd like to know more about mental health problems go to 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!