Cake At Kew #1: A Photo Story

A few months ago, a couple of vintage-loving gals suggested a picnic meet-up at Kew Gardens in London. On Saturday, we were finally able to get together – huge thanks to Leanda, Amelia and Rhina for their brilliant organisational skills! Here are @darktechsupport‘s wonderful images from the day.

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Keep an eye out for a follow-up post on Sunday – you can find out more about these fabulous femmes then!

London Edge 2017 with Papow & Flo

Having heard all about London Edge (a pin-up and alternative fashion trade show), Flo and I were itching to attend this year. We didn’t really know what to expect but we knew we’d be overwhelmed by lots of fashion and accessories…  Please be aware – there will be a lot of nautical prints!

The Dream Team Assembles!

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Voodoo Vixen

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Victory Parade

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Lindy Bop

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Banned Apparel

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Unique Vintage

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Hell Bunny

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Collectif

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Other Brilliant Brands

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Pamela Mann
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Miss Candyfloss
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Dancing Days
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Hearts & Roses

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Lola Ramona
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Lulu Hun

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Elements Rainwear
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Zoe Vine

Meeting & Greeting

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Lynsey from Le Keux Cosmetics – such a doll
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The beautiful Miss Ruby Roxwell – always a good laugh!

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@darktechsupport mid-convo with Mat from In Retrospect Magazine

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The stunning Lady Eccentrik – I’ve followed her online for so long, I was so excited to meet her finally!

Messing About

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Over The Moon with Miss Jenny June

Since starting the blog nearly two years ago, I have spent time with a lot of hair and make-up wizards. I love learning and I really enjoy seeing different people’s interpretation of certain looks. Thanks to a very awkward meeting at a Tiki Meet Up in London and a bit of a natter online, I got the chance to experience the magic of Miss Jenny June’s vintage styling skills!

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Miss Jenny June’s bio:

I’m a vintage hair stylist and makeup artist based in Birmingham, England. Originally from Southern California I visited the UK for the first time 5 years ago and have been in love with it’s sunny weather ever since. I started getting involved in vintage lifestyle about 6 years ago after being Frenchy from Grease for Halloween. I had so many compliments and lovely people saying that it suited me so well, and it was down the rabbit hole from there!
I’m in the process of going vegan myself, and in turn want all my products I use in styling to be vegan, cruelty free and as ethically sourced as possible, particularly in supporting small businesses. At the moment I’m based in Birmingham but also do mobile work throughout the UK. I love to travel and hope that one day I will be able to use my styling work to take me not only around the UK but anywhere in the world!
Contact jennyjunebooking@gmail.com for more info on rates and booking. Feel free to view more of my work and lifestyle on Instagram (@missjennyjune) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/MissJennyJune).

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Before I got to my styling session, I gave the brief of ‘something I’ve not tried before’. I certainly wasn’t disappointed – I found out I was getting 30s evening look with a modern twist. Anxious to see the final result, I plonked myself in a chair and let the  magic begin!

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Jenny started by heat-setting my hair and then she moved on to make-up while the curls cooled.

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Once my face had been painted, Jenny went back to my hair. My hair holds curl fairly well so it usually needs a decent brush-out.

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I’ve never attempted a 30s style as I thought my face-shape wouldn’t suit flatter hair. Jenny didn’t do the traditional heavily-gelled finger waves, instead she kept some volume around the top of my head and used a mix of clips and hairspray to put in the waves.

Here’s the final look:

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I really love how it turned out – I wish I’d tried this style sooner. The dark, sultry eyes were so different for me as I usually stick with a simple eye-liner flick. This particular session of hair and make-up wizardry has really made me want experiment more.

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Throughout the styling, Jenny was warm and easy to talk to: she was happy to chat about all kinds things – even the relatively odd subjects that I can’t help bringing up. I’d be more than happy to be styled by her again!

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What do you think of the end result? Are there any styles you would love to try out?

Jean Genies #2: Lady K Loves

This is the second instalment in my series about the perfect vintage-style jeans – you can read my first post here.

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Lady K Loves is a small, fair trade, UK clothing brand. I’d heard about them through Diablo Rose who was modelling a pair of their Hug Me Baby jeans on Instagram.

I’m quite cautious about ordering clothes from new brands online – when possible, I like to try on clothes for the perfect fit. It wasn’t until my shoot with Cherry Dollface that I had the opportunity to visit their workshop in Bristol.

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I tried the Hug Me Baby jeans first of all. This style just didn’t work for me as I didn’t have a big enough hip-to-waist ratio. It was suggested that I try their ‘Classic’ style and…success – they fit perfectly!

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As described by Lady K loves:

Our Classic style comes in nice and tight leg at the top and are a little loser around the ankles. They’re cut for girls with ample curves and around 10″ difference between their hips and waist, for instance a 27” waist with a 37” – 39″ hips. They have a classic front zip and pocket details, a rise of 13 and our sweetheart yoke.

New and improved finish, but the same fantastic cut as the original Classic jean style. Based on measurements given by our Facebook fans to work out the best waist and hip measurements. Please see the table below for measurements in inches.

Made from stretch denim, with a high waist and slim leg.

Featuring – Front zip – High waist – Sweetheart Yoke – Front pocket – Fully riveted front and back pockets – Back pockets with embroidery detail – Two tone twin stitching – Belt loops

This style of jeans is well and truly out of my comfort zone – they’re the closest thing to ‘skinny’ jeans that I own. I love how they make me feel like a fifties teenager though!

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They’re made from decent denim so, as well as being comfortable, they hold me in. I love wearing them with shorter/cropped tops and jumpers.

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What do you think? I’m glad I have another style option in my wardrobe – even if it’s something I need to get used to!

Huge congratulations to Lady K Loves on their successful Kickstarter campaign. Now I just need to be patient enough to wait for my ‘Le Wilde’ jeans!

 

 

Papow Ponders #7: Saying No To Motherhood

Before I discuss the reasons why I’m choosing not to have children, I wanted dispel a few myths about those who are child-free:

  1. We don’t like children – I’m a teacher so nearly every working day is spent around 30+ children. I can’t imagine doing anything else. If I didn’t like children, I would be in this job. I’m happy to dry tears, laugh at terrible jokes, clean up cuts and tie shoelaces. I’m the same with the children of friends and family members.
  2. We don’t care about the future – Just because I don’t have someone to survive me when I die, doesn’t mean I’m not invested in the future. I write, support and shout to change the world. One of the reasons I went into teaching was to help educate or future generations.
  3. Our lives are empty – To put it bluntly, my schedule’s rarely free, I’m dead after work and  I have more than enough in my life to keep me happy.
  4. We have no sympathy with those who are unable to have children of their own – Through friendships and family connections, I have seen the pain that others experience when they can’t have children. Though I may not be able to fully understand what they are going through, I can sympathise and show compassion.

I do know that not everyone has these views on child-free people but I have come across these opinions more than once so I felt it was worth saying something.

Approaching thirty and having been married for over three years often triggers the question of childbearing. When I give my answer of “never”, I am faced with disbelief, laughter or “that’ll change”. Lots of people see me as a ticking time-bomb of hormones that’ll go off at any moment, changing my mind about children. Most patronising of all are comments about how having children will change things at work – “you’ll understand when you’re a mother”.

I have to say it’s becoming increasingly frustrating which is what’s driven me to write this. Deciding whether or not to have children is down to the individual and varies from person to person. These reasons are mine and mine alone.

The main reason I don’t wish to have children is my fear of everyone in my family dying before me. I’ve always had morbid thoughts but towards my late teens, I felt very sad and hopeless. Thankfully, I’ve become more positive but I don’t think I’ll ever be able to shake off this fear. Over the past four years, I’ve seen my grandma disappear bit by bit as her dementia has worsened. I am not exaggerating when I say that it is the worst pain I have ever felt; it’s like it’s swallowing part of my soul or filling the world with never-ending darkness. If I had a child, I could experience the same with them – but I would have been the person to bring them into the world. I don’t know how I would cope with that and I don’t want to have the option to experience it.

I have pretty terrible anxiety and I struggle when I can’t control certain situations. From my teaching experience, I know that you can never truly control a child; they make their own decisions and form their own opinions. I don’t want to spend part of my life being a nervous wreck and I don’t want to be a suffocating mother – it wouldn’t be good for anyone!

I have so many more reasons I could go through but I think I’ve got across my views. I have nothing against children or the people who have them – I just wish that I didn’t have to explain myself when I tell people about my choice to be child-free.

What are your thoughts on the matter? Have you had issues with others judging your life choices?

 

 

A Little Meet-Up with The Vintage Girl

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I’ll be blunt – I’m terrible at making friends. As some of you know, I have social anxiety and I’m quite awkward so that doesn’t really help! I don’t have many friends but the ones I do have are very precious to me indeed. As one of my resolutions this year was to buy less and do more, I decided to get to know some of my acquaintances a little better.

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I’d met Holly at the first Tiki Pin-Up meeting but it was really brief. The second time round, we actually managed to have more of a conversation. After a bit of chit-chat online, I plucked up some courage and suggested a meet-up.

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For our day out, I put on my beloved Collectif jacket and my new Vivien of Holloway cherry tartan circle skirt with my Dr Martens to stomp about in.

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In contrast to my head-to-toe repro look, Holly donned a Canterbury Tycora sweater (1950s), a 1959 Jonathan Logan dress, a Carl of New York 1947 coat, a Jane Shilton handbag, Marks and Spencer shoes, a 1940s red beret and a 1950s Coachhouse trail scarf.

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We ended up spending the day in Wallingford. My lovely other half @darktechsupport came along too. After getting out of our cars, we went on the hunt for tea. We came across the loveliest pottery cafe which served up the scrummiest Victoria sponge – we will be back!

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After that, we mooched up a storm – especially at the Lamb Arcade. Now in terms of my vintage buying, I usually go along the lines of if I like it – I buy it. Holly is incredibly knowledgable about vintage fashion (a true geek). Here are her top tips for buying vintage:

1. Know your labels.

2. Try ANYTHING.

3. Buy what you love but look ahead – invest.

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Holly managed to grab herself a vintage shirt and a great handbag . She even managed to find me a vintage Liberty print dress – what a bloody brilliant find!

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I think it’s safe to say that we’ll be meeting up again. More than the mooching and the usual vintage/pin-up natter, we had one of those proper discussions about life and it’s good to be able to talk about the heavy stuff as well as the lighter stuff with someone.

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Celebrating Diversity with Velvet D’Amour

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At the start of of 2015, I finally got into a good place with who I was – thankfully that feeling has continued. To celebrate these new liberating feelings, I started doing things outside of my comfort zone: I took part in photo shoots, went to exercise classes and wore clothes I’d hidden at home. Scariest of all was signing up to take part in a 1-1 photo shoot with model and photographer, Velvet D’Amour.

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I found out about Velvet D’Amour from blogger, Georgina Horne (Fuller Figure Fuller Bust). I loved that she photographed such a diverse group of people and that she brought out beauty in every single image.

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Dress from Pin-Up Girl Clothing

Velvet – in her own words:

I share a passion for both modelling and photography. I have had the great fortune to model for John Galliano, Jean Paul Gaultier, Nick Knight, Ellen Von Unwerth, appeared in French Vogue and more. My great success as a model has served me behind the camera as well.

I am much stronger in each of the two fields by working both in front and behind the lens. Being behind the camera gives me control, versus offering myself up to whomever I model for. It allows me to speak and to share beauty which has a tendency to be overlooked. It gives me the power of making dreams reality. It affords me the potential of making someone see how very beautiful they are. I suppose some of my strength lies in taking what may be seen as average, if not ‘unattractive’, and bringing out the beauty that is there. Whether society sees that or not is up for debate, but my experience is that the people who model for me inevitably see it, and the extent to which this seemingly subtle dance of photographer and model impacts their personal vision of themselves is exceedingly moving to me. It is a way of making a positive impact on the individual, as well as combating how limited the current beauty dictate happens to be. I also shoot more mainstream models and I have a great love of fashion photography so it is liberating to partake in this world, which has tended to be more dominated by males.

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In June 2015, I nervously headed to London with a crammed suitcase. Even though I’d read every single email and looked at so many testimonials, I still felt anxious about the shoot. I hadn’t really done any before and I definitely hadn’t done any on my own.

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Dress from Pin-Up Girl Clothing

On arrival at the location, I felt much calmer. I was greeted with a smile by the lovely Rachel who regularly does the hair and make-up for Velvet’s shoots. She sat me down and quickly worked her magic. Whenever I have the opportunity to be styled by someone else, I love to get them to create something I could never dream of trying. Rachel quickly whipped up this sixties dream! I can also tell you that this full face lasted all day.

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For the shoot, you get one hour and as many outfits as you can get on during the time. Velvet shoots quickly but she always makes sure she has a good variety of shots. She showed me the back of her camera to calm my nerves and check the results. As Velvet has a great deal of experience as a model and photographer, she was able to to guide me on posing and relaxing my awkward body. After an hour with her, my confidence was at an all time high.

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Dress from Alexandra Vintage

As the person who was after me failed to turn up, Velvet gave me the opportunity to use her hour and I jumped at the chance – Rachel even changed up my hair and make-up again (I’m keeping those photos for me though!). It was wonderful to spend my time with two seriously up-lifting women, if you ever get the chance to shoot with Velvet – GO FOR IT!

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If you want to have a look at some of the projects that Velvet is working on – take a look at the Volup2 website.

When have you stepped out of your comfort zone? What new things would you like to try out?