This is how 2011 looked for me

With my beautiful best friend
I can’t believe that 2011 is coming to an end, it is a petrifying thought. 2011 has been the best year of my life. I remember at the end of 2010 my best friend and I Katie Rickard stating this is going to be our “year of opportunities” and goodness me, it has been (This is true for both of us by the way, my amazing best friend this year got a first in her undergrad degree from Warwick in politics and international studies, is now doing a paid internship with the OSC and has been offered a place at Oxford for her masters).
I started off the year working for Hampshire museums service on my placement, which I began in 2010. Although, it was really 2011 that was my crowning glory. Seeing the Little Black dress exhibition that I had worked so hard on open in February and receive amazing comments and feedback was really enthralling. It felt like such a vindication to see all of the wonderful objects I had chosen bring back memories and provide people with inspiration. One of the best things though was seeing the exhibition  awarded with a guide award in November 2011 for “best exhibition”. Wonderful stuff!

I continued my time at the museum service working on a number of other wonderful projects and meeting some truly amazing people. Although one thing I have to say is that my placement allowed me to meet one of the most wonderful people I know, my supervisor Alison Carter. Alison knows more about dress history than I think I could ever aspire to know. In the time I worked with her she taught me so much and offered me so many opportunities. Not only is she a fantastic curator and historian but she is also one of the loveliest most giving people I have met, and I don’t think 2011 would have been even half of what it was without her.
This year blogging and twitter have taken me to all new places ( I now have more views on my blog per day than I got per month at the beginning of the year!) Social media allowed me to meet Naomi Thompson, one of the friendships I feel most privlledged to have made this year. Naomi is best known as stylish and vintage personal shopper Vintage Secret. I helped Naomi out with her book Style Me Vintage which is out in February. (Just a tad exciting!) You can pre order on Amazon now!!! Naomi is another insanely kind and generous person who has allowed me to see some wonderful pieces from her collection and also allowed me into the vintage world of London. Without her I don’t think I would have plucked up the courage to go to some of the events I have been to.
On the Beautiful Naomi’s birthday in December. She was poorly, but still looks lovely as ever i think 🙂

Undoubtedly two of the best nights I have been on this year have been The Vintage Mafia presents the Ric Rac Club. Fine frocks and fine company. Even if one did leave me with  a horrendous drunken injury (scarred hands, scraped knees and a bruised chin anyone?)
 Sophie, Simone and I at the second Ric Rac Club, photo by Hanson Leatherby
Both of these events I went to alone. But everyone was so welcoming that it didn’t matter. I have to say special thanks to Mara, Johanna , Sophie, Simone and all of the VM for really making these events so fun!
I turned 21 in August too and I have to say a huge thanks to all of my beautiful friends that came. Especially to the Tribe girls. There is no need for a gushing love in here girls, you know how much i love you all : )
Some of the tribe girls on my 21st birthday
Coming back to University  was a scary experience after a year out. But I am in the process of writing my dissertation which I hope should become a piece of interesting an exciting research on the wearing of historical dress. And my two design modules aren’t going anywhere near as badly as I thought they might do.
And at the moment I am applying for masters, here I am with fingers crossed that maybe I might just get offered a place at one of my universities of choice. I need to live the academic life!

 Emily, Laura and I showing off our dance moves

I have to also offer my thanks to my wonderful housemates, Vic, Ally, Emily and Laura. I love them all to pieces and my uni experience wouldn’t have been half of what it is without them. I have to say a huge thanks to them too for putting up with the vintage selling I do from my bedroom, taking in the ridiculous number of parcels I sell and putting up with all the fur coats I had stinking out the place for months!
So yes, professional life on track, uni life on track and for once maybe even my personal life is on track.
Wonderful.
Thanks for treating me so well 2011 and roll on 2012.
As Katie Rickard and I have defined it “A year of taking risks”

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Nina Leen

I absolutely adore a good bit of vintage photography, and I am a massive Beatonophile (yep, I’m really that obsessed with Sir Cecil that I have a word for it : )) So imagine my glee today when I came across a midcentury photographer whom I had never come across before.
Today I introduce you to Nina Leen. Leen was a Russian born photographer who primarily worked for Life magazine in America. She was very well known for her animal photography but I’m most interested in her fashion shoots.  She started working for Life in 1945 producing over 40 covers for the magazine and countless other stunning shoots too! I love the way in which Leen organises her compositions very artfully done with a hint of quirkiness for good measure.

                           
                                 Look at these for novelty print circle skirts. Sigh. Want them all!

This beautiful lady comes from 1953. I adore her hat. 

Another dreamy dress from 1949
Candid shot of a home ec class possibly?

Pretty vintage dresses

I’m a bit quiet on le blog front at the moment as I’m working full time (loving life!). Just thought I would share a few outfits of late in the meantime : )

Loveeee this dress. I purchased this last Saturday from Hope and Harlequin in Brighton. The shop that got me into buying vintage in a BIG way. I wore this for the NSC christmas party. I had originally intended to wear a delightful pink sparkly number but due to a hideous knee injury i had to purchase something new to cover it up!

This delightful dress is a 30s heavy velvet example which i believe was probably altered in the 40s to give it a new life (I’m guessing a resourceful wartime alteration) I reckon it was probably originally full length and that the only fastening was the rouleau loop buttons. It now has a side zip and is much shorter than it would have been originally but that made it just right for me! A perfect seasonal little number : )

This dress was worn for a simple outing to the pub. It has pretty much become my failsafe winter dress as i seem to be incapable of buying any winter clothes. It is quite a heavy blended fabric, i think it has moygashel in it. It is “An original by Marie Phillips”. I bought this dress over three years ago now and I must have worn it at least 20 times. It is a perfect berry like colour pallete. When i bought it I was told it was 1940s, and this I’d always believed until i started to think more carefully about how it buttons at the neckline. Increasingly i’m now thinking its a 50s number. No doubt it is a beauty though.