Why I Ditched Fashion For Fifties

This post may come across quite lengthy and candid but I thought I would share with you how I came to find Vintage and how the Rockabilly scene has changed my life. I love hearing about other people’s stories and after meeting the lovely Nicola who featured on a channel 4 documentary about how Rockabilly has changed her life, it made me reflect on my own journey.

Since I began the trek back in time I have learnt a few things, one of most importance is that I feel I have found myself. Having felt lost for quite a while drifting somewhere between 80’s vampire and commercial wannabe, I continuously compared myself to other women on the commute to work or wanted that ridiculously over priced jumper in Topshop that I could never afford. I was drowning in my own style crisis.

After a stint at a rather high profile PR and Events agency I quickly (within 4 weeks) resented everything about it, being an intern needless to say I was treated poorly here and alongside the long hours and no pay, Tea Making and Dry Cleaner trips were also on my To Do list. A month later, after working at many fashion events and parties, I realised it’s just the same crappy so called celebrities these agencies keep churning out on guest lists, the same crappy catering, the same ‘DJ’s’ or in other words which ever fashion model had decided to add music to her bio that week…because that’s cool didn’t you know? The same PR people high as a kite on cocaine, oh but it’s OK, it’s only the Fashion Week diet!

So after having verbal abuse thrown at me, as well as a post it note (that was especially comedic), been asked to remove the Julien Macdonald dress I wore to work at a London Fashion Week event because ‘Julien would be very upset’ if he saw my then size 8 frame in one of his (diffusion line) designs and not to mention how belittled I felt on many occasions, I decided I would rather put pins in my eyes then kiss so called VIP arse for a living. I like to think I can generally hold my own and have good rapport with my colleagues however the fashion industry has been able to reduce me to a stuttering wreck of a person instead of a knowledgeable and hard working woman with a degree (let alone feelings).

So this is where my story ends…or sort of begins? I went from being a fashion student with an active interest in Designer Collections, Trends, Who wore what and spotted high street styles filtered straight from the catwalk in an instant…to who I am now. Slowly I began building on my existing vintage wardrobe and stopped stopped shopping in high street chains, instead I turned to eBay and Charity Shops. I moved to South End after I finished University and some how the laid back, time warped little area I lived in (mixed in with the sea air and the smell of fish n chips) seemed to give me a real sense of nostalgia and being away from the hustle of London gave me time to realise who I was and what person I wanted to be.

Starting off with some YouTube tutorials on Victory Rolling, then scouring the amazing charity shops for 50’s style clothing and tuning into the brilliant Rockabilly radio stations that are available, I took on a whole new lifestyle. I drank less when I went out to these Rock n Roll nights, the music made me so much happier and of course, I started to blog. It’s infectious.

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Until I started Social Networking I hadn’t realised that the Rockabilly scene had it’s own little community as I like to call it, and I have been so welcomed into this by many wonderful followers on Twitter, people who read my blog and more recently some lovely ladies I have actually met up with through Twitter. This is a lifestyle not just a trend and in so many ways the Rockabilly scene has helped me overcome many obstacles in my life and made me a much happier person. I think it’s the innocence of the scene and how everyone in it is just here to have a good time.

Rockabilly Ladies

Rockabilly Ladies

Lovely gift from my friend The War Bride

Lovely gift from my friend The War Bride

So there you have it, my story (in a nutshell) and why Rockabilly for me is so much more than a word, it’s a lifesaver.

RRx

Bettie Bangs for Life

This post is quite simply about how one hair cut has changed my life forever!

After a serious hair disaster 5 years ago (Peroxide, Scissors and one serious blunt cut involved) I have been growing my locks, dodging any kind of sharp instrument or heated iron and skipping the hairdressers for almost 2 years.

I have always been incredibly fascinated by Bettie Page, her story, her life and her endearing naivety, ultimately it’s her style we all aim to recreate and what better way to ooze that pin up glamour than the Bettie Bangs! I have yearned for a Bettie fringe for a long time but have always been to scared to take the plunge, that is until my Dad booked me into Rockalily Cuts as a surprise and changed my life as a knew it!

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Although I have mastered the victory roll and quite confidently roll without the aid of a mirror, I am not quite what you would call ‘a morning person’! Creating a a glamorous up do for work every morning is just too much for me to bare so I need a hair style that requires the minimum amount of effort with maximum results, my Bettie bangs gives me just that! Walking out the salon I Instantly felt sexier, more confident and more beautiful than I ever had before, there’s something about by gone era’s that just make me feel more naturally attractive and this hair style has given me a much needed boost of confidence.

Now I can go to work every day feeling a million dollars and also feeling that little bit more authentic, whether I add a flower, a bandanna or just curl my hair, instantly I appear to have recreated an effective vintage style. Thanks to Rockalily, my daddy and thanks to Bettie…whose Bang has officially changed my life!

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RR x

Rockabilly Radio

Hard Headed Woman!

Wanda Jackson shows what a great sense of humour and stage presence she has in this video from 1958 – Rockabilly’s leading lady introdues the song as ‘the greatest love song ever written’ then goes onto sing “Keep your cotton-pickin’ fingers off my curly hair!”

Love this song so much and when I’ve had enough of washing old socks I put this on and scowl at my fella…Grrrr

 

 

p.s it’s nearly Friday!

 

RR x

My Trip to Rockalily Cuts

I have been desperate for a visit to Rockalily Cuts Salon after watching the ‘making of’ pics tweeted out by it’s owner and after a long stint of trying to find a truly vintage inspired Salon in London. Being broke seem’s to be common place in my life at the moment so when I received a text at work from Rockalily Cuts saying I had been booked in as a surprise I was overjoyed! I found out the mystery ‘booker’ was my Dad as he had known for quite some time that I was after a Bettie Page style fringe but was too scared to get one (after a traumatic hair disaster 4 years ago) and seen as it was my Birthday he gave me that push I needed!

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Owned by ReeRee Rockette the wonderful lady behind Rockalily Lipsticks and the great vintage blog she religiously updates (whatta woman!) , this Salon was everything I expected. I have to be honest, I have a phobia of going to the hairdressers at the best of times and have been know to skip a haircut for almost 2 years along with being a fairly new ‘member’ of the vintage world I was actually slightly nervous for my visit!

As soon as I walked in everyone was so friendly and when I received a finger of fudge with my drink I knew then that it was not your average salon! After a lovely wash I had the pleasure of Emma Rae cutting my hair and she made me feel completely relaxed as she explained the best cut for my type of hair. Although I let out a slight whimper as she cut my Bettie Bangs in I instantly fell in love with my new fringe and she even cut my hair into a slight ‘page boy’ style as I had mentioned I really liked the typical 1950’s look.

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Firstly, Rockalily Cuts is in no way pretentious and for anyone thinking they couldn’t just pop along for ‘half a head’ or a trim would be mistaken.

Secondly it is in fact the best hair cut I have ever had (even over a certain place I wont mention beginning with T ending in Guy) and is so reasonably priced that I would happily book myself in all the time now. I have even booked Mr RR in for a haircut as he is yet to find a barber that can give him the classic cut he so desires with such out of control hair, so watch out Rockalily if you gals can tame his thick tresses then you’ve got yourself some seriously loyal custom!

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RR x

Honey I’m Home!

Finally!!!

I have internet access in my new home which means I can tend to this poor neglected site and get writing again! Here is a few pics of some vintage furniture I have bought and every item was £20 or less which is even more exciting!

The original 1950’s Formica Table was purchase on eBay and is now my ‘Crafting’ table which I just love, the Jones Sewing machine (from a second hand furniture shop in Southend on Sea) has been made into a sort of side board now as I still can’t figure out how to put all the parts together to get it working!

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We have a newly appointed ‘Music Corner’ and I hate to put a pic of me in here but I had to show off my new Bettie bangs! I’m not really sure what era my beautiful telephone chair (again, from one of the great furniture shops in Southend) has flown from it looks rather 1920’s to me but I love it so much I care not for the date label and often just sit on it and feel important.

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Bye for now, I will be blogging in full force very soon!

RR x

Home Sweet Home

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So after prolonged suspense and anticipation Mr RR and myself have finally moved into our new pad! I am hoping I wont be neglecting the site too much because after 2 months of NO wifi I am literally about to keel over, especially if I’m quoted another 7 week wait for installation! Anyway just wanted to say hello and to let you know I have of course scoured the country for beautiful vintage furniture that costs less than a t-shirt in Topshop and I cannot wait to show them off to you…all will be revealed soon! And that gorgeous vintage Jones machine I posted previously has finally found a resting place in the front room and looks divine, another British Manufactured piece which cost next to nothing. I totally get how ridiculously over priced second hand furniture is now and I refuse to pay it (can’t afford it) but if you persevere, watch eBay like a hawk and set yourself budgets (yes that means walking away from that amazing wardrobe you have seen but costs your annual salary) then when you find a bargain boy does it feels good! 

So happy hunting guys, and remember; it is OK to pick up abandoned furniture left on the street, it is NOT embarrassing and someone’s JUNK is another persons TREASURE…

I would love to see any of your festive vintage finds for a special Christmas blog post, tweet or email me pics (see my Contact page).

I’m off to put Holiday Inn on (the black&white version)

RR xx