Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Date for your diary: London vintage wedding fair

Just a quick one to flag up this Sunday’s London Vintage Bridal Fair, taking place at Kensington High Street’s Olympia Hilton Hotel. There’ll be vintage fashion for brides and grooms, plus accessories and vintage-style wedding gowns.  It’s run by PA Antiques, known for their fantastic Hammersmith vintage fashion fairs – so it should be worth checking out if you’re hunting a vintage dress.  

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Vintage dressmaking courses

I love the sound of The Papered Parlour’s vintage-inspired workshops in their Clapham studio space. This weekend they are hosting a DIY dressmaking workshop where you can learn how to run up a nice little number on a vintage Singer, using recycled fabrics and vintage prints. They also run masterclasses in reworking vintage patterns (always the nicest in my opinion!), as well as courses in screen printing, quilting and wallpaper printing. It would make a great vintagey hen do venue too - hosting craft workshops accompanied by cockteas and cake... 

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Vintage Wedding Dress sale

I just saw the Vintage Wedding Dress Company is hosting a Trunk Show this weekend – offering 50% off their bridal dresses, including original vintage pieces from the Victorian era to the 70s. It’s held at chichi London hotel The Sanderson, so you can always recover from the inevitable crush with a cocktail in its Long Bar.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Hat making at Atelier Millinery

It’s so quickly that I forget how satisfying making something can be – not just making but really crafting something and seeing the finished result. Yesterday I spent five hours cutting, steaming, sewing and moulding and the time went in a flash. I was at the gorgeous new Atelier Millinery just off Carnaby Street – at an afternoon’s millinery course, a birthday present from my very thoughtful friends (they know me SO well!).

I was booked in for the Sinamay Headpiece course. I had no idea what Sinamay was, but I soon learnt that it’s the by-product of banknote production in Thailand, and its original form is banana leaf. The stiff, woven fabric-like material can be cut, folded and moulded to make elaborate headpieces. So there I found myself, at the back of the Atelier drinking tea and eating biscuits, learning how to create a black-and-pink oversized bow headpiece that involved cutting, folding and steaming the fabric into stiff ribbons, stretching and moulding them into the desired shape and then painstakingly sewing the whole thing together.

From this….

To this….

I’d highly recommend one of the Atelier’s courses –they offer everything from how to craft panamas, cloche hats and 50s scull caps to classic fascinators and floral corsages. The boutique is also perfect for anyone looking for a vintage-style wedding hat or headpiece to buy – they have a great range of high-quality hats; plus ribbons, buttons and corsages if you’re making your own.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Vintage Honeymoon: part 2

The next stop on our Andalucian road trip was the Hoopoe Yurt Hotel, tucked away in the cork oak forest up in the mountains near Ronda. Set in a rolling meadow, each luxury yurt felt totally secluded – ours had two hammocks outside where we spent the afternoons lolling about in the dappled sunlight, gazing at the blue mountains. Lazy mornings were spent dipping in the pool (cleverly designed to resemble a natural rock-pool), ordering fresh juices and a little bit of not-too-strenuous yoga under the trees.

We then headed down to the Atlantic coast for the last couple of days, staying in the pretty town of Vejer de la Frontera - perched dramatically on a hilltop with steep winding cobbled streets and beautiful hidden squares blooming with bougainvillea. Our guesthouse had a gorgeous private terrace overlooking the rooftops and the Moorish influences of the area could be seen in the décor – all white-washed walls, sun-faded colours and blue-green ceramic tiles. We spent most of the day at the beach (and had the place to ourselves between 2 and 5 when the locals went in for lunch), eating fresh seafood at the gorgeous Los Suenos café and watching the sun go down – bliss!