Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Recent Purchases

A couple of weeks ago, I bought a beautiful little watch from the Shoreditch Vintage fair. This is it:

As well as that, I bought a couple of lovely little plates from Oxfam - about £3.50 for the whole lot!

I've been having a succession of bad days and busy days, so many apologies for the lack of posts. To attempt to make up for the distinct lack of outfit posts and webcam selfies, here are another two of my favourite photographs from The Hour party a couple of weeks back, courtesy of the wonderful Jack Doyle:

I have been given a 1960s record player, and have finally been able to play my huge box of records we found in a skip. Dance was very fun this week, too, and I stayed on 'till half 10 watching the advanced class learn the Charleston, which I think I have been able to just about pick up. I'm off to the A-Train in Hammersmith tomorrow, if I'm feeling a little better, to have some more lessons and to enjoy a couple of hours of social dancing! And finally, I have plucked up the courage to get a ticket to the upcoming Savoy Ball! Now the only thing left to do is to find a wonderful outfit to wear in less than a month...

Jess xx

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Eau de Cologne 4711

I recently started to run out of my perfume (Daisy by Marc Jacobs) and was looking around for something new when I read that Eau de Cologne 4711 was something that was used by a great number of people in the '40s and '50s, so on my next trip to town, I popped into Boots and went to have a little smell. I was absolutely enchanted. 4711 is a fresh, clean scent, citrussy at first, but turning sweeter the longer it is worn. Not only did it smell good, but it was relatively inexpensive! And the bottles were beautiful. I came out of the shop with a bottle for my room and one to carry around with my to top up during the day. 

Jess xx

Monday, 25 February 2013

Home Alone

I spent most of last week home alone, which was nice in the day-time, but very scary in the night. A lot of ghost stories have been told about my house and it does frighten me when it is cold and dark, with the wind rattling the window panes.
Anyway, I went out for a couple of walks when I wasn't at university, and took some pictures:

As I was going to cycle everywhere - and uni is five miles away - I had a cooked breakfast of some description every morning. Here I had scrambled eggs, toast, a pot of tea and Swallows and Amazons to keep me company.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

A thousand apologies!

I'm ever so sorry for not posting anything of late! I have been tremendously busy with uni work, and managed to burn my finger whilst cooking sunday lunch today, which has made it quite difficult to type. I have also had poorly eyes, and have been makeup-less all weekend, and not taken any photos. There are a couple of posts in the pipeline though, so expect a couple this week. Keep an eye out!
 Jess xx

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Keats House

On Saturday my sister and I went to London for the day, primarily to go to the Shoreditch Vintage Fair. I was looking for a new dress that I could wear to the upcoming Savoy Ball, but unfortunately, only came away with a wristwatch.
After wandering up through Hoxton to Haggerston, we got back on the Tube and went up to the rather posh Hampstead to visit the house of one of my all-time favourite poets, John Keats. Hampstead is absolutely beautiful, and full of quaint little side streets. We were quite enchanted, despite the rain.
We came out of a rather beautiful looking underground station onto the main street and walked to the site, munching on some cold chicken and mushroom pasties (it was 2 o'clock and we were starving!)

The stunning exterior tiling of Hampstead underground station

Probably one of the most beautiful conservatory-type-things ever.

As you can probably tell from the photographs, the weather was absolutely atrocious. It didn't seem to know whether it was coming or going. 
Finally we found the road to Keats place! I decided it was time to have a cheeky pose by it, and managed to keep my excitement hidden from the camera...

The house itself was beautiful. It was originally known as Wentworth Place, and was built between 1815 and 1816 as a pair of semi-detached houses, but made to look like one building. John Keats lived in Wentworth Place between December 1818 and September 1820 with his friend, the poet Charles Brown. Keats met and fell head over heels with Fanny Brawne, a seamstress, who lived in the other half of the house. In 1819, he wrote the majority of his most famous poetry, many inspired by Fanny, including the likes of La Belle Dame sans Merci, Ode on a Grecian Urn, and Ode to a Nightingale. Keats contracted tuberculosis  eventually departing to Italy in 1820. He died aged 25 on 23rd February 1821.

The red plaque above the front door was erected by the Royal Society of Arts in 1895. This is one of 35, less than half of which have survived now, and have now been replaced by blue plaques.

Behind me is Keats' parlour, where he composed many of his poems. The room above this, that you can't see from the photograph, is his bedroom.

It was a pretty long day, and after a little look around Camden, we headed over to High Street Kensington to grab a bite to eat at the Whole Foods market, which is housed in the magnificent Barkers Building:

Then it was to the Albert Hall to see Kooza, the new Cirque du Soleil production, which was brilliant (and terrifying - I could hardly watch some of it!) After the miles of walking, the cold and the rain, I slept like a log through the night.

And for your pleasure, here are two poems by John Keats, La Belle Dame sans Merci and Ode toa Nightlingale, read by Ben Whishaw, who played Keats in the film Bright Star:

Jess xx

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

A Trip to the V&A Museum

As always, I managed to forget to bring a camera with me on my short trip into London, so I have had to resort to the V&A archives for the wartime and fashion photographs.
For those of you who don't hail from the UK, The V&A is the Victoria & Albert museum, which was built in 1852, following the huge success of the Great Exhibion for which Crystal Palace was built:

Its founding principle was to make works of art available to all, to educate working people and to inspire British designers and manufacturers. Profits from the Exhibition were used to establish the Museum of Manufactures, as it was initially known, and exhibits were purchased to form the basis of its collections.
The Museum moved to its present site in 1857 and was renamed the South Kensington Museum. Its collections expanded rapidly as it set out to acquire the best examples of metalwork, furniture, textiles and all other forms of decorative art from all periods. It also acquired fine art - paintings, drawings, prints and sculpture - in order to tell a more complete history of art and design.
The museum stayed open for the duration of the Second World War, despite being hit and damaged by bombs.Some of the damage to the stonework is still visible today. It was also used as an RAF training college canteen between 1942-45.

This is what it looks like today:

I went to the V&A for a Medieval and Renaissance tour, which was very useful for my Renaissance and Medieval modules at uni. Once the tour had finished, I had a snoop around the rest of it. They have a fantastic fashion exhibition, showing the evolution of fashion from the 18th Century right up until the present day. I spent a good half hour mooning over the '20s '30s and '40s collections. Unfortunately I missed a fantastic exhibition on 50 years of fashion, but will try to make another post about that soon! One of my favourite pieces was this worsted wool skirt suit, by Michael Donéllan from 1954:
Next, it was time to look for the 20th Century section (which took an age to find). They have a great collection of radios there:

Tesla Talisman 308U (1939)
Pye Portable M78F (1948)
An incredibly controversial radio that was
withdrawn from production as the design
resembled the Japanese flag. There are only
around 200 left as 800 of the 1000 produced
were destroyed. 
Murphy A100 (1946)
This radio marked the transition from wartime to peacetime
in industrial production.
Marconiphone P20B (1948)
One of the fist portable designs for radio.
Unfortunately I didn't get a full outfit photograph, but here's one from later on in the day:

Jess xx

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Charity Shopping

Today I went to visit the charity shops with my sister and friend Tegan:

Tegan (left) is wearing:
Scarf - Camden
Jacket, trousers and shoes - Primark
Top - Topshop
Gloves - Peacocks
Bag - grandma's

Lucy (right) is wearing:
Jacket and jeans - H&M
Shoes - Vans

I wore:
Coat - my mum's
Bag - vintage fair
Scarf - present
Dress - charity shop
Shoes - Beyond Retro

I bought a mint green jumper for £4, Vile Bodies by Evelyn Waugh, Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald, setting lotion, and an opera bag (for £5!)

It was rather windy out, but thankfully my hair stayed intact for the whole day, and there was a lovely sky walking back home too.

Jess xx