Salute to the 40s – Flo’s Top Five Things to do…

It is officially Spring, thank GOD!!! The weather is warming up and Papow and I have already been busy planning which vintage festivals we are heading to this summer. Being massive fans of all things nautical, back in 2015 we went along to Salute to the 40s for the first time and make no mistake this is one you do not want to miss…we will definitely be returning in 2016.

The festival is held at Chatham Historic Dockyard in Kent, and last year fell over the gloriously sunny weekend of the 19th – 20th September. It was voted one of ‘Britain’s Best Vintage Festivals’ by the Daily Telegraph in 2014 and it is clear to see why. It is simply full of vintage delights and wartime activities; there is plenty to do all weekend! As we have done before, I felt it necessary to put together a quick top five things not to miss should you decide to pop along yourselves this year.

1. Shopping

Let’s get straight to the point, Papow and I love a vintage festival for the shopping opportunities and Salute to the 40s does not disappoint. You can quite literally shop until you drop here. There are several separate shopping areas on site including “The Courtyard Vintage Fair”, “Tinker’s Alley”, “The British Family Fayre” and “The 1940s Fete”.
There is a lot on offer including vintage and replica 1940s clothing, accessories, jewellery, collectible homewares, radios, music, films, books, toys, preserves, cake, fudge, and vintage memorabilia. You can enjoy a leisurely stroll around the stalls on the grassy lawns of the vintage picnic area while soaking up the 1940s village fete vibe. Alternatively you may wish to take a break from the sunshine and pop inside where you can stop between stalls for some tea and cake or to get your make-up and victory rolls attended to at the vintage salon. Why not bag yourself a few bargains and once your shopping needs have been fulfilled, throw on some of your new purchases and join the 1940s’ re-enactors as they take part in a ‘Parade of Vintage Fashion’ across the dockyard?

2. 1940s Knees Up
2015 marked the 70th Anniversary since the end of World War II and Salute to the 40s had a particularly special party atmosphere indeed. There are three stages across the site and many performers to keep you entertained including 1940s radio shows, swing, jive and lindy boppers, various 1940s tributes bands, to the likes of Justin and the Argonauts, and The Polka Dot Dolls. The acts all re-create a celebratory 1945 street-party feel and you find yourselves having a sing song and dancing along. Papow and I took part in a dance lesson with Gypsy John and the Clinque Port Lindy Hoppers and found ourselves among a group of WWII nurses doing the Lambeth Walk…Oi!

3. Spitfires
As a self-confessed vintage aeroplane geek, the static Spitfires and Hurricanes at Salute to the 40s brought a massive smile to my face and are a sight not to be missed. However, when I realised that at this event I had the chance to sit inside an actual Supermarine Spitfire I literally went weak at the knees. What an experience this was in itself, but so close to the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, it would be an understatement to say that this meant a great deal to me. I got my five minutes inside this beautiful plane, and the lovely gentlemen from the Italian Air Museum who have restored it to its former glory told me a little about the history of this exact spitfire itself during the war. Having entered service on 5th July 1944 it was the personal aeroplane of F/Lt. Anthony Cooper and was named “Peter John III”. Together they were involved with fighter sweeps, shipping reconnaissances, low level boming and escorting bombers, gliders and, tugs. They even crash landed in Belgium towards the end of the war. Amazingly both pilot and plane returned to the UK and back to service. As if this wasn’t enough for this vintage aeroplane boff, later in the afternoon another Spitfire, the ‘Spirit of Kent’, took to the skies. As it soared overhead everyone in the dockyard stopped their shopping, singing and dancing to look up and take in this incredible plane.

4. Locomotives
There is a vast number of vintage vehices on display at Salute to the 40s. you can stop to have your photo taken with some of these, or even have a chat with their owners, however one of the highlights of the weekend has got to be the “Locomotives in Motion Coming Home Vehicle Display”. This display of various military, civilian and emergency service vehicles is breathtaking. Everybody took to the streets to catch a glimpse of these amazing trucks, jeeps, cars and bikes. The re-en-enactors aboard these vehicles only add to the 1940s atmosphere, one such troop called from his truck to commend Papow and I on our outfits which, of course, is all part of the fun!

5. Simply Enjoy Your Surroundings
Lastly, but by no means least, Chatham Historic Dockyard is such a beautiful place, that once you are there you find yourself not only taking in the atmosphere but simply enjoying your surroundings. As you stroll through the site, fans of “Call The Midwife” will instantly recognise some of the streets and buildings from the BBC show. There is then the beautiful Comissioner’s House, where you can visit the Dig for Victory garden and have a chat to the re-enactor land army girls. While we were there Papow and I took a walk around the glorious gardens of The Commisioner’s House and were instantly transported back to the 1940s as we passed beautifully dressed families enjoying a picnic in the sunshine.

Next you have HMS Cavalier, a World War II Destroyer which fires its guns to pay respect to those lost in the war. The chilling 2nd World War air raid sirens scream out every so often, followed by speeches from Winston Churchill and King Geroge VI and you find yourself reflecting on what life was really like in the 1940s back here in Britain while the troops were at war.

Wow, what a festival! As you can see, Papow and I had such a great day and we strongly encourage all you vintage lovelies to get the 17th and 18th September 2016 in your diaries now…this is one not to be missed!

 

Falling into the Forties with Scirocco Photographic

SCANDAL IN BOHEMIA

Back in February, I was lucky enough to get in contact with Rojer Weightman of Scirocco Photographic.In Rojer’s words:

I have been taking photographs since I was about 10 years old starting with my Dad’s box brownie and eventually, after working with film, graduating to a digital SLR.

I love the tradition of photography and the work of people such as Man Ray, Horst, Erwin Blunfeld through David Bailey to Rankin. I love experimenting with differing types of photography from still life to landscapes to portraits and playing with the styles from the 20s, 30s and, when shooting fashion, from the 40s and 50s with the rich colours used by the glossy magazines of the day.

If you are interested in working with me, please see my portfolio on
http://www.facebook.com/sciroccophotographic or http://purpleport.com/portfolio/sciroccophotographic

After initial discussions, we decided to collaborate on a forties-style shoot. Rojer’s style focuses much more on vintage street-style looks rather than traditional pin-up shots. I found the transition from pin-up to more natural posing a little tricky to begin with, however Rojer was very patient and gave clear direction. It felt great to try something new and different. Looking at the images from the shoot, I am so impressed by how they’ve turned out. Rojer’s photography really does hark back to years of old; it is as if the images were taken in the past. I would really love to work with Rojer again, maybe looking at styles from other eras.

The outfit for this shoot was made up of a mix of vintage and reproduction vintage pieces. The dress is a 1940s dress from Vivien of Holloway. I adore the style and fit of this dress – it hugs all the right places. The length is demure and flattering. I was really attracted to the subtle floral print which contained tiny orange flecks. This tiny accent colour paired well with my jacket from an Amsterdam vintage shop and my vintage scarf from a stall at Twinwood  Festival.

CACAO_9_pp

CACAO_11_pp

For hair, I wet-set my hair two nights beforehand. I then brushed the life out of it and fixed in place with a mega-ton of hairspray. I took the bold pink colour from the dress and used a similar colour on my lips. Eyeliner was kept more subtle to suit the forties look.

CACAO_2_pp

CACAO_3_pp

Rojer takes a lot of his influences from vintage films and you can really see this in the images he creates. I really enjoyed this project and I know Flo can’t wait to collaborate with Rojer either. Thanks for a wonderful experience and gorgeous images!

CACAO_10_pp

CACAO_15_pp

CACAO_17_pp

Mint and Pink with Sue Phelps Photography

SPP_2667

Spring is on its way; flowers are popping up and the days are becoming a little less dark and dingy. I love this time of year – especially the bright, fresh colours that begin to emerge.

SPP_2687

Another ensemble from my shoot with Sue Phelps Photography took inspiration from the season and looked beautiful against the backdrop of South Hill Park in Bracknell.

It was freezing cold during the shoot so I kept off the chill with my favourite Collectif Clothing jacket. I also have the skirt that goes with this jacket but I love using it as a separate too.  The soft faux fur trim is a glamorous touch  and contrasts against the turquoise-mint colour.

My skirt is a Vivien of Holloway circle skirt in a vibrant pink worn with their black petticoat for some extra volume. The way this skirt hangs and moves is wonderful – you can’t help twirling and whirling about in it. I teamed these bold pieces with simple black  flats. Mint and pink are such a great pairing; they really work well together.

SPP_2673

I kept my hair and make-up the same as in my previous blog post but I added these gorgeous sparkly earrings from Bows and Crossbones (I need to get them in more colours!).

SPP_2676

SPP_2684

These images came out beautifully, in spite of the cold! Thank you again to Sue Phelps Photography – I think something summery is one the cards for our next shoot.

 

The Dita Project: Month 2 Evaluation

You can read about The Dita Project here.

Month 2 of The Dita Project was all about Dita’s daily green smoothie. Here is a brief round-up of how it went:

  1. Did you stick to it?

I’d say around six days out of seven, I managed to have a smoothie. My husband even joined me.

2. Was it easy to fit in your daily routine?

Yes. I ended up using Waitrose’s Green Smoothie Mix bag most of the time, which made the whole process much quicker. The best time for me was usually post-gym but before dinner.

3. Did you notice any benefits?

My skin looks a lot brighter and my dark circles are less noticeable. It added more fruit and vegetables to my diet.

4. Were there any drawbacks?

Not really. Though I will say this – DO NOT drink this AFTER a meal. I did this on two occasions and it was BAD. I had terrible bloating and stomach pain. It’s best to have anything fruity on an empty stomach really.

5. Will you continue with this in the long term?

Definitely. I probably won’t have it every day but a few times a week would be good. It’s been a pleasant surprise to find something new that I really like.

Month 3 is the month of perfume – I’ve dug out two bottles to pop on my dressing table.