At the end of June, Papow and I (and our trusty photographer darktechsupport) began an epic road trip to the North. We packed ourselves, half of our wardrobes and a load of photography equipment into the car and set off (fuelled along the way of course by countless protein balls made by my own fair hands). Where were we headed? Several locations in fact (more on those later). Stop number one, however was Franky & Gerry’s Retro Studio in Gateshead, Newcastle Upon Tyne.
Frankie and Gerry’s pride themselves on being “The UK’s number one retro studio for product photography, invisible mannequin, cut out photography, fashion and pin-up photography, makeovers and boudoir shoots”.
For years Papow and I have swooned over the images taken at this studio. It wasn’t until Miss Victory Violet gave it a whirl last year that we decided it was somewhere that we absolutely needed to visit and so set about planning our trip.
And who can blame us? The studio contains the following gorgeous sets:
- A 1960s lounge (as seen in this blog post).
- A pink and blue 1950s-inspired kitchen.
- A pink 1950s-inspired bedroom.
- A Tiki bar.
- A vintage bathroom containing a glorious roll top bath.
You can book in for a retro/pinup makeover and shoot or hen party at Franky and Gerry’s, however the studio is also available to hire (for amateur and professional photographers alike). The latter option is exactly what caught our eye.
Papow’s hubby darktechsupport hired the studio for the day as a birthday present to Papow (and naturally her pin-up wifey Flo got to tag along). Papow and I styled our own hair and did our own makeup. When we arrived I was simply gob-smacked at the size of the place. It was so spacious and the sets were of such high quality. Not only this but in each set there were simply millions of props. I am sure any vintage/pinup fanatic like myself would be completely in their element here. As we arrived we got to meet the one and only Gerry Roxby. She showed us around and introduced us to the endless rails full of her Glamour Bunny clothing line that we were able to use for the shoot. Not only this but we also got to meet her Border Terrier Billy. By this point I had nearly died and gone to vintage/doggie heaven.
Papow and I tried out a number of the sets during the day, not to mention vast amounts of Glamour Bunny clothing, and rest assured there will be more blog posts to follow on these. The one that I had to tell you about first, and my absolute favourite, was the 1960s lounge. A strange choice for Flo, you may think. And I would probably agree. Because I am so pale I normally go for bright bold primary colours, however I wanted to use this experience as a chance to try something completely new. The browns and oranges in this set are simply colours that I would not normally wear on a daily basis. But we were at Frankie and Gerry’s so I raided the clothes rails and came up with a dress from the collection that I feel fitted in perfectly with this set…The 1940s retro Maggie dress.
Glamour Bunny say it is “inspired by the style of the 1940’s” and “this little retro pin-up dress has a very vintage look with all the benefits of a modern-day dress. Using our usual quality fabric to give it an extra luxurious feel, this dress will stand out in a crowd”.
Here I am wearing the dress in a small (Bust 32″, Waist 24-25″, Hips 35-36″, Length approx 40″). The extra small was too tight for me and although the small has a little more room around the waist, I was able to easily nip it in with the matching belt. Features of this dress that I simply adore are the two front pleats, the V-neck line and check out those pointed cuffs! Absolutely stunning. The dress retails at a reasonable £85.00. The quality is simply superb, and I definitely intend on investing in one for my own wardrobe (out-of-place as the colours will be).
For this shoot I styled my own hair and makeup. For my hair I did a heat pin curl set the day before the shoot. The morning of the shoot I brushed this out, swept my hair into a victory roll at the front of the head, and pulled the rest of the hair up and clipped to the top of my head. I then tied a hair scarf with a matching colour scheme around my head. For my make up I pretty much followed my usual pin-up makeup routine (see my recent post “Face-to-Face: Pin-up Makeup for Different Skin Types and Tones – Florence Flounce”). On this occasion, however I added Eylure Volume No 107 fake eyelashes for extra impact.
In terms of accessories I teamed this dress with a very neutral colour pallette: pearl earings, pearl necklace and my nude patent court shoes from New Look. I think you could easily change the look completely by adding a little colour also. When I purchase this dress, I totally intend on picking out the red in the flower print by accessorizing with a red waist belt, heels, earrings and head scarf.
Wow, What a fun day at Frankie and Gerry’s this was indeed. And what sunning images darktechsupport managed to take! Stay tuned for further posts in this series from both Papow and I! And if any of you can recommend any other retro studios around the country we would be delighted to hear your views!