22 May 2012

A Vintage Fair: Full of clothes, hats and lots of sparkles

This blog is way way overdue and I can only apologise that I haven't blogged in over two weeks! I have been up to my eyes in yummy cake mix and I had an unplanned stay at Hotel de Grandma with Jasper my cat, which is sadly lacking in the Internet department. It's a bit like Fawlty Towers, but without the moody Mr Fawlty and with a cuddly grandma that wants to feed you all the time, not that I'm complaining. 

On Sunday the 6th of May, Mummy Second Hand Rose and I went to a Vintage fair in my local town. There was an array of amazing stalls with things for sale ranging from suitcases to gorgeous clothes and little nick nacks to jewellery. As a Vintage magpie it was total heaven, what can I say I just love a bit of nostalgia.

 There were four big rooms full of items, we felt like we had gone through a wardrobe to a vintage fuelled Narnia, oh if it only existed. We went upstairs first which was full of a range of stalls selling clothes, magazines and even some swallows to put on the wall, that really appealed to my 60's sitting room loving taste. 
Here are a list of some of the amazing stalls that I came across at the fair. But be warned, after reading this post you may get a call from your bank manager asking why an obscene amount of money has gone out of your account and been spent on clothes and homeware, not that's ever happened to me.

Lynda Ryan

The lovely Lynda had a stall full of absolutely gorgeous hats that really caught my eye. I was desperate to stand and try them all on along with all the satin gloves that she was selling. Lynda sells ladies vintage clothes and accessories ranging from the 1930's to the 1950's, you can contact her at laryan@btinternet.com. She even had some original stockings that I was tempted to buy, but I knew as soon as I put them on I would rip them. Cleverly putting stocking on without ripping them is not my forte.

Home Sweet Homestyle

Home Sweet Homestyle's stall was literally a magpie's dream. Marilyn Monroe was definitely right when she said that diamond's are a girl's best friend and I will happily settle for some gorgeous vintage jewellery. From 80's glitzy necklaces to big stud earrings the stall was absolutely full of jewellery, Elizabeth Taylor would have been proud. Not only that the stall also had a range of old sewing books, vintage magazines, suitcases and boxes. 

In the treasure trove I found an original Avon Lady bag. A lot of you maybe too young to know what I'm talking about and think of Reese Witherspoon with her gleaming smile saying 'Hello tomorrow', but before the Hollywood smile and TV adverts, Avon used to be sold door to door by Avon women dressed impeccably, carrying a bag of demo products. A bit like a double glazing salesman but with less catches and more glamour. So I snapped the case up and spent a good ten minutes trying to decide which earrings to buy.

 This was a hard decision and I could have easily snapped them all up, but in the end I decided on a pair of light blue big triangle ones with a silver border. I managed to do a deal and got both down from £25 to £22, just call me Del Girl. I suggest you check out their website here where you can find sparklers ranging from jewellery to furniture and even some great items for Christmas! There's nothing like being prepared. Avon calling!

Funky Junk
If you are like me and absolutely adore vintage homeware then this would have been the stall for you. It was completely full of original cocktail glasses and Babycham glasses to the very first plastic containers. I adored this stall and wanted to take it all home with me, but sadly I don't have a house the size of the Jolie/Pitt mansion. They had some amazing old tins and absolutely amazing kettles and teacups. There were so many bits and bobs including old saucepans and bowls, that made me want to turn into Nigella just so I could use them. If you are interested in any of these treasures you can contact the lovely Patrick at patricktracey@rocketmail.com.
I will let the pictures speak for themselves, but all I can say after seeing them you will definitely be looking on rightmove.co.uk for a bigger house.

U Old Bag
Love old suitcases and treasure chests? Adore vintage magazines? Then this is the shop for you! U Old Bag sell accessories and homeware made from vintage and found objects. They have been upcycled with decoupage made from vintage magazine photos and original sewing patterns. The one off pieces of art are absolutely stunning and it was so hard to even choose a favourite, let alone choose which one to buy. If I had it my way I would be buying them all, birthday fairy I hope you're reading this! You can check them out here U Old Bag and indulge in their Etsy shop U Old Bag Etsy Store, save some for me!


Acorn and Will

Acorn and Will take you right back to the 60's with their plastic swan brooches and flower brooches. All of their brooches and rings are made of plastic in bright colours and fantastic shapes ranging from owls to deer. They also sell badges with vintage pictures on, button hair slides, little birds and deer to decorate cakes with and some oh so gorgeous vintage fabric cushions. Let's just say I was in HEAVEN. Once I earn some money or I summon up the willpower to stop buying clothes from Asos I will be going to Acorn and Will and expanding my brooch collection with some of their gems. The best thing is that all items are under £10, I'll meet you there!

Suzie Sharp

The Suzie Sharp stall was full of fabulous finds and some absolutely gorgeous material. You could buy beautifully wrapped up bundles of material along with some super cute buttons. Cards were available to buy, along with some vintage gloves and some cases that were to die for.  If you love the items on the stall, you can find more about Suzie Sharp here. We had been looking for some china all day, but until we went to the Suzie Sharp stall we hadn't found anything that we really liked. Our lucked change when we saw this green and gold flowery plate set that was in pristine condition. We snapped it up for £15 and couldn't wait to get it home to have some delicious cakes on, any excuse for some serious cake eating.

We had a great time at the fair and saw some spectacular things that just made me want to go on Location, Location, Location. I urge you all to check out the stalls I went to and go to a fair near you. 
Even if its just to oogle at the clothes and smell the books, yes I do get immense pleasure out of smelling old books, that's just me.

Second Hand Rose

07 May 2012

Delicious unseen Marilyn Monroe photos: Yes, I'm obsessed!

Vulnerable: Marilyn Monroe's fragility is clearly evident in this photograph taken by Philippe Halsman in 1952 Now Ladies and Gentlemen I'm sure after reading this you will think that I'm Marilyn Monroe obsessed and I should be admitted to The Priory for watching Some Like It Hot with a bar of Galaxy far too many times. In March I wrote about the Marilyn Monroe Exhibition, that is open in London until the 23rd May and the Hollywood Legends Auction in Beverly Hills, that contained over hundreds of Marilyn photos, which you can read about by clicking the links. Well now I'm writing yet another post about the curvalicious babe, I doubt anyone in the bloggersphere is complaining about this right now though, particularly the male species.

Pink to make the boys wink: The inconic actress pulls another pose in the shoot which is being published in new book Marilyn By Magnum
As well as the Exhibtition, there is also a book full of pictures of the blonde haired beauty that has been released in commemoration of 50 year's since the world lost one of it's sparkliest stars. The book Marilyn by Magnum features 80 photos taken by photographers ranging from Eve Arnold and Bruce Davidson.

It features unseen photos by Philippe Halsman shot in her apartment in 1952. Marilyn strikes a range of her best poses in a chiffon pink suit, with her hair emaculately curled and legendary bone structure. The photos were taken when she was 26 in 1952, a full ten years before her death. This was the same year that she filmed Niagara and got the role Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. It's easy to see why after seeing these gorgeous photos that make me want to put down the Custard Creams, at least for 5 minutes anyway.
If you would like to oogle over Marilyn some more, you can find the book Marilyn by Magnum here for £12.99 and at Amazon.com $19.77.

Revealing: The images, signed by photographer Bert Stern, were taken just six weeks before her death at the age of 36 in 1962Now for full Marilyn overload I have some more photos for you all. These photos were taken six weeks before her tragic death taken on her last ever photo shoot in 1962. They are a complete set of rare chromogenic prints taken by photographer Bert Stern. They are topless photos of the star. Well, when I say topless I don't mean FHM topless, I mean you see the top of her chest a teensy bit, sorry lads.

Exposed: The screen siren was described as being 'very photogenic' and someone who knew 'how to seduce the camera'. She was said to enjoy posing because it took her mind off other thingsAged: Because the photographs have been displayed the colour has shifted slightly - or attenuated - which is what can happen to chromogenic printsOriginal shots taken from the session called 'The Last Sitting' are in huge demand across the world and were originally taken for Vogue. The pictures have been displayed for many years, so the colour has 'shifted' somewhat, ie. they look a bit like your Grandma's faded photos from the 60's of her and your Granddad living it up.

The three day session was a return for her after a few difficult years, being sacked from Something's Gotta Give because she kept failing to turn up to the set and she had to embark on a few publicity stunts to get her name back in the papers. In 1960 Marilyn was deeply jealous of Elizabeth Taylor's fame and posed nude in a bid to become more popular then her with her relationship with Richard Burton being a huge source of publicity. Conversations between the photographer Larry Schiller from 1960 to 1962 show how upset Marilyn was that Elizabeth was earning $1million a film for big hits like Cleopatra and Marilyn was really disappointed and disheartened that she hadn't won any Academy Awards.

The photos are up for auction tomorrow and the set is expected to reach at least $25,000 at an auction house in New York. I'm sure there will be many people bidding for these with their panels, watch out David Dickinson.

Marilyn has touched the hearts of so many people and the books, auctions and exhibitions fifty years after her death, only go to show that she is still as popular as she was and is adored by millions across the world.

So all you Marilyn fans out there enjoy these photos of the beauty and watching her fabulous films with some chocolate biscuits and hopefully a hunky man to cuddle up to, I'll see you in The Priory.

Rare: The set of prints, from Marilyn's last photo shoot before her death, are likely to fetch a high price when they sell at auction
Second Hand Rose

02 May 2012

A very special birthday for Universal: Queen Lizzy you better get on Moonpig

The 30th April 2012 marked the 100th birthday of Universal Studios. Universal have given us some amazing films and we've all spent many hours popcorn munching watching these beauties. Universal was started in 2012 by a man called Carl Laemmle. At the time the Edison Trust that was set up by Thomas Edison, pretty much controlled the film industry. The Edison Trust insisted that producers use it's patented equipment and every theatre had to pay $2 a week simply to hold a license to purchase and screen its films. The trust sued any pirates (we are not talking the Jack Sparrow kind here) who screened or made films without its permission. It also banned film credits for movie stars, because it feared that actors gaining celebrity status would demand more money. It banned films from other countries and set films to just 20 minutes, because it believed that Americans lacked attention spans for longer films. It was officially the control freak of the film world.

Edison hired detectives to un-earth non licensed equipment on production sets and got armed thugs to seize pirate films, evict audiences from outlaw theatres and smashed production equipment of rivals who defied him. Phil Mitchell wasn't a patch on The Edison Trust. Laemmle along with Adolph Zukor who went on to found Paramount Pictures envisioned a film industry with longer films. So on the 30th April, Laemmle along with a few other independent studios (who were eventually bought out by him) formed Universal Film Manufacturing Company, now known as Universal Pictures.

Logo's over the years
In 1915 Laemmle finished construction on his own Californian movie metropolis, Universal City, now home to a theme park and the largest film production facility in the world. Dragon's Den would have been a welcomed help, because Lamelle funded the films all by himself because he didn't want to owe any debt. I bet Duncan Bannatyne is kicking himself now that he wasn't around then to say 'I'm in' to Carl. His two biggest hits that started to get Universal on the map were The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923) and The Phantom of the Opera (1925).

In 1928 Laemmle made his son Carl Jr, head of Universal Pictures as a 21st birthday present, wow that's just a tad bit better then getting a silver necklace. How do you write a thank you letter for that? The business was really a family one and it is reported that at one time 70 of Laemmle's relatives were on the payroll. Carl Jr, encouraged his old daddy to bring Universal up to date and his noticeable efforts include Edna Ferber's novel Show Boat, the lavish musical Broadway (1929) which included Technicolour sequences, the first all colour musical feature for Universal, King of Jazz (1930) and the famous All Quiet on the Western Front (1930). He also created a great horror niche for Universal Horror and produced some great movies including Frankenstein, Dracula, The Mummy and The Invisible Man. Let the screaming and eye covering commence.

During the war Universal continued to please the public with low-to-medium budget comedies, musicals, adventures, westerns and tv serials including the Sherlock Holmes mysteries. A man with a pipe and a Deerstalker hat solving mysteries is bound to raise the country's morale.
Now in 2012 Universal is world wide and is an extremely respected film company. They have also made a huge amount of struggling actors movie stars and if it wasn't for Universal we wouldn't have Marilyn Monroe's dresses to drool over or Elizabeth Taylor's jewellery to gaze in awe at. So that's two big reasons to thank them already. Plus they gave us not one, but TWO Bridget Jones's films. What we would do without that lady in our lives I do not know.
To celebrate being 100 Universal are restoring 13 classic movies, who were chosen by a team of historians, executives and archivists. They have picked films that span every decade, from 1931's Frankenstein to 1985's Out of Africa. Other films include 1930's All Quiet on the Western Front, 1933's Schindler's List, 1962's To Kill a Mockingbird, 1975's Jaws and two of my favourites 1973's The Sting and 1959's PillowTalk. Who doesn't like Paul Newman and Rock Hudson looking yummy in suits?

All restored films are being released on Blu-ray & DVD, with several of them being shown at UCLA'S Film & Television Archive's celebration of Universal, that begins on Friday at the Billy Wilder Theatre in LA and ends on the 24th June. So if you are lucky enough to live in the area, pop down there with a big bag of popcorn and go and cuddle up to your boyfriend to watch Jaws, just don't have a bath straight afterwards, it will scare the sh!t out of you.

Along with Universal making it OK to have the pleasure of staring at sexy men for 120 minutes without being arrested, they have given us some fabulous film posters. I adore old film posters and love looking through the archives of them ie. staring at a very yummy Cary Grant.
So let's all celebrate a hundred years of Universal and sing them a big happy birthday.
It's an excuse to snuggle down and watch one of your favourite Universal films, whether it's E.T. or Pride & Prejudice (Colin Firth in a wet t-shirt, no contest).
Although just having some chocolate cake and a bag of popcorn to yourself is allowed. Butterkist you beauty.

Second Hand Rose