Tuesday, 18 September 2012

London Adventure: Fashion Retrospective & The Ritz!

First of all, welcome to all my new readers!  I had no idea that stationery would be so popular, I shall have to keep an eye out for other sets to giveaway.  Good luck to everyone that's entered - I will be double-checking each comment before I do the random number generator thingy next Monday and hopefully I will find some new blogs to read too as a result.

Anyway, this post is a little report of my weekend adventures in London, firstly the Fashion Retrospective show put on by Bourne and Hollingsworth at the Bloomsbury Ballroom.  I went with my friend Laura, who looked like such a doll in her outfit, and spent the entire day sourcing sewing materials and then sitting with her mini John Lewis sewing machine (in Pistachio!) MAKING a net underskirt to give her dress some 'pouf'.  She did a great job too!

Laura's Outfit: Dress - Karen Millen, Hat - Sakura Designs
My Outfit: Dress - Stop Staring, Shoes - New Look, Seamed tights: Jonathan Aston

My photos of the event itself aren't great, so here are just a few - for photos of the catwalk models themselves please go to Demotix for some great shots, and I am hoping that the photos of the crowd (including me!) will appear somewhere on the internet soon.

Below is a sample page from the guide - I just wanted to illustrate that while there was some older clothing, most of it was a lot later.  There was only one item from the 1950s, a coat.

My overall thoughts on the event were a bit mixed to be honest.  On the plus side, it was a great venue, the cocktails were gorgeous, folks really made an effort with their outfits (in particular I remember a girl in a shining '60s hostess gown, and another in a cobalt blue '70s maxi dress with angel flutter sleeves and giant eyelashes to match!) and what's not to love about a fashion show?

First and foremost, my biggest complaint - and I have already messaged B&H events about this - was over the state of the models.  I know models are supposed to be slim, but these looked malnourished.  Also, at a vintage fashion event, why do they even need to be 'slim'?  Using vintage clothing, the organisers had access to fashion from every decade in every size possible, and weren't forced to use super slim models because of sample sizes from designers (which is the usual London Fashion Week excuse).  I really don't feel the clothes were shown to their best advantage (I think I used the term 'human coathangers' in my message!) and I'm not sure that showing super tiny clothes on super tiny models does anything to endear a new audience to trying out vintage, as it gives the impression that all vintage clothing is petite, which is simply not true!

Finally, I do have some reservations about whether the aim of the night was really addressed, which was to show how vintage fashion could fit modern trends.  For example, a girl came out wearing a beautiful 1920s' night dress, but there was no 'styling' of it with modern accessories, it was just a girl in a 1920s' dress.  No belt, bag, gloves, hat, or anything to give it a look other than the one it already had.

Did anyone else go to the event?  What were your thoughts on it?

There was a bit of a crush at the bar (also a downside) and the music was very loud and so we decided to move on elsewhere in search of a quiet corner where we could relax like ladies and have a proper catch up.  And where else would one do that, but... The Ritz?

After demurely drinking our £19 (ouch!) cocktails and devouring all the free nibbles that came with them (eat your nuts Laura, you've paid enough for 'em), we went to powder our noses and take a few silly shots before heading home, happy and a little tiddly.

I woke up giggling the next morning, it was such a fun night!


  1. Ahhhh, I've been to the Ritz for afternoon tea, but now I want to go and try one of their extortionate cocktails!! x

  2. I went to the Ritz for tea, had an amazing time. I've also been to the Rivoli bar, the drinks are really expensive but every now and then you have to treat yourself. I remember ordering the Ritz 100, which had gold leaf in it and a glass of Bollinger x


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