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Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Brighton calling!

Hello all!

Long time no post, have been very tired and busy - but I'm not quite sure what with?! I have been mending some vintage dresses etc for this weekend! Yes its come round already! Brighton Mod Weekender!!

I am so excited for all the dancing this weekend, the top music, fantastic style and lovely scooters and the lovely people!

Everybody knows about the Mods Vs Rockers during the sixties in England, right?

Well the two subcultures were against one another and it's really interesting history...the penultimate showdown for the era between the two groups was at Brighton Beach. The fights were not as bad as the media at the time made them out to be, and a real mod wouldn't fight as they would be too concerned with getting blood on their clothes, or god forbid a tear in their trousers!

Anyway I am very excited, as although I attend a lot of mod events and club nights, this is my first trip to Brighton!! And it's an effort getting my wardrobe ready for it! :-)

Here's some lovely photos of those boys and girls fighting on the beach and seafront;

If you're keen to learn more about the Mods and Rockers, the film Quadrophenia would be quite a good starting point, made in 1979 it's a remake of the 60s youth era and the clash of the Mods and Rockers. It's an OK film, if not a little cheesy in places.

Or check out this book straight from the mouths of the Mods and Rockers at the time Generation X. Click here for more 'must have mod books'.

Have a lovely weekend all!

Hopefully my camera will be behaving itself (it's going wrong AGAIN!) and I will upload some photos of the weekend, next week! xx

Thursday, 19 August 2010

The vintage experience

I read a couple of posts similar to this recently and it jogged my memory to write my post on how I personally buy and sell vintage and then care for it once I get it it's a personal thing - vintage fashions, everybody has their own way with it... and that's why I like it !

Vintage shopping is head and shoulders above regular shopping compared to the corporate high street dictating what should be worn through mass production and money going to the fat cats, not good!

But also vintage is special as it's romantic, it has a story to tell, it has a history it's been places and it's a teleporter, a time machine, interesting, sometimes quirky often unique and timeless...not like the fast fashions of today - which I do my best to avoid, if I can help it....Vintage allows you to express yourself in an intelligent way, and I don't believe there's a better way of shopping - that allows for such a creative process.

Every vintage shopping spree is like a treasure trail and each wonderful buy is like finding a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, whether it be clothing, accessories or housewares/home ware vintage collecting, buying, selling is an anarchic, serene yet sometimes excitingly chaotic experience, an experience that the main stream high street cannot begin to emulate.

I have previously written a post on vintage sizing... Now to look at buying and aftercare.

  • When buying vintage, I look at seams, it's all about the seams, my dear...

Depending on the piece in question this check should be done very carefully, I tend to buy dresses but this clearly applies to any item of clothing....So get each seam look at it's entire length while pulling very gently, to see where they may be any flaws, any mending needed, or any severe damage. It is often a good idea to hold the garment up to the light, daylight whilst doing so as this shows up any light coming through...

  • Underarms

Always check underarms of a dress or top - as this is a place where there can be considerable staining from sweat, and or deodorant, and this may decay the fabric also - again good natural daylight is important when looking at this. If you think a fabric is easily perishable run your hand on the underside of it, again with good natural light any defects should show up.

  • Smells

No matter how silly I feel stood in the shop, I always smell the fabric of a vintage garment, sometimes they have been cleaned sometimes they haven't - ask the seller if they have and how i.e steaming/hand wash etc and if they have and it still smells like a rotten animal, think twice as the smell is probably ingrained in the fabric and a strong corrosive modern day detergent may rid of the smell, but is more than likely going to spoil the garment in other ways. The risk is yours but you have been warned ;-)

  • Alterations
I used to think, up until quite recently in fact, altering a vintage dress was sacrilege - but although I still find it a little sad - I think it can be a wonderful transformation. Basically I'm talking dress length more than anything else...I have in the past admired beautiful dresses that just aren't right for me floor length, yet now I have come to terms with altering vintage I see potential in so many dresses I may have otherwise overlooked. Never leave a shop without that almost prefect dress you admired just because of the length chop off the length! If you can't do it yourself -ask at vintage store if they do alterations also, many do and pretty cheaply if just shortening!

  • Touch

Touch the fabric, yes that's right just touch it! Understand if it's stretchy, or not, how it may wash, iron, crease, hang on your body shape etc and as some older items are particularly delicate run your hand on the inside of the item in good daylight to see if the fabric is beginning to perish in any places - if so think twice as it won't last long. If an item is perishing or has a hole in a place - is this a place that can be hidden with a small patch job, sewn or the sleeves shortened to rid a hole in one...think creatively, if you love the item.

  • Always try it on
Of course ignore any size labels. and sometimes on the hanger vintage garments can be deceiving in size. What doesn't look suitable on the hanger can often surprise you when on and vice-versa what you love on the hanger may not be quite right for you when on.

  • Taking the item home
Now it's hard work and each to their own, as I know many of my friends machine wash vintage. I can't bring myself to do it...if its lasted 40 years plus then I want to treat it with the respect it deserves, and I want it to last another 40 years, plus.

I hand wash everything vintage in a mild detergent. Colours fade quicker when machine washing, some older fabrics were designed before washing machines and will not handle a wash either shrinking or falling to bits, even on the hand wash cycle! and many items will lose their shape, fast through modern washing machines!

And be careful with ironing as many man made vintage materials will burn instantly even with a medium/low heat - items such as crimpolene, nylon etc

Hanging the item up as soon as it is washed helps keep it wrinkle free, or put it hung up in a steamy bathroom as you shower. Or if you're careful hold a steam iron above the item and let the steam work it's magic - or you can always have a go ironing the garment with a damp cloth over it. Be careful when ironing!

Also when hand washing it's very difficult to squeeze out all of the water, do the best you can as when it's hanging up to dry, the water can make a delicate item too heavy and pull it out of shape. I squeeze as much as I can straight after washing, and again keep gently wringing the items as they hang if they continue to drip. It's hard work caring for vintage sometimes, and can be time consuming but alas it's all part of the joy and satisfaction when you wear it, knowing it took you some work to source it and get it looking good!

Happy thrifting, hunting, buying! x

Here's a dress I currently have my eye on :-)

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Yours is the first face that I saw...

I remember the time you drove all night
Just to meet me in the morning
And I thought it was strange
You said everything changed
You felt as if you just woke up
And you said,
This is the first day of my life,
I'm Glad I didn't die before I met you
But now I don't care I could go anywhere with you
And I'd probably be happy.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Schizophrenic style tendencies, like peaches and cream my dear...

Sometimes I dress mod, and at other times I want to dress psych - Im not smart enough or patient enough to get the mod look down exactly - and yet I can't find all the hippy and psych clothes I dream of in my head, and well lets face it they need to be worn with confidence so not an everyday outfit.
Three days a week due to the nature of one of my jobs - I dress pretty average - like a student! hehe not that I mind :-) :-) I'm a low maintenance girl! The other job allows for little 60s scooter dresses....and strange looks from work colleagues hehe!

I get a lot of stick now, when I walk down the street - and believe me just because I enjoy style and aesthetics from the past - I don't draw unnecessary attention to myself, as Im very shy - but it still doesn't stop men and women making snide comments or yelling at imagine if I dressed exactly how I wanted all the time, without the constraints of only being able to wear what you can find....vintage shopping is like a stylish treasure hunt! :-)

I'm a very modest dresser, so I dont dress in skimpy items, so why do I get hassle? it seems as if it's just ignorant people who should have better things to care about. Ah well!

I think my style depends on my mood - but also on the love of my life - music! Style and music are inseperable. I enjoy garage, psych, beat, soul, ska, reggae and rythmn and blues mainly ... from the late 50s to the early 70s :-) With the cream of the crop being in the mid sixties!

Here's my latest dress purchase - quite a conservative little number.

Here's my latest 45' purchase a great, great song! can't wait to play this in a DJ set!

Thank you Beau Brummel - a tribute to dandies!

Imagine finding 'Keef' in your tree? doesn't he look fantastic - oh bring back the days of the shop 'Granny takes a trip' and when men dressed beautifully in colour and textured fabrics and pattern.

Thursday, 12 August 2010


I love the word, 'Vagabond', 'Vagabonds' dont you think there's something disturbingly romantic about the notion of quitting life as you know it, for a life on the road? Bathing in gin and wearing black flowers in your hair?

Ah who's society to set the rules? If I pack up and hit the road, can I can take my vintage dresses with me - as one can still be a stylish vagabond right?

Liverpool La

Very excited about my trip to Liverpool tomorrow! So I excited I cannot get motivated to do any work - yet!

I hope to visit Penny Lane, Strawberry Fields and John's old house where he lived with Mimi and would play his guitar in the porch - as instructed by his aunt as she clearly didn't enjoy his 'racket'! Ooh and The Cavern.
I really like the idea of nipping over to Hamburg too at some point, to see were the boys were over there! Obviously, not in the same day! hehe.

I'm also hoping to go to the docklands Beatles Museum. Now I'm not the biggest Beatles fan, but every now and again I fall back in love with them. And yes I know they were a partnership - but Im not overly fond of Macca - hate his solo stuff, but together they worked. Macca on his own is cheesy and middle of the road (apart from Helter Skelter! where he did kind've prove a point) but generally his music is insipid and safe - add Lennons bitter bite, and working class angst and you get experimental, romantic, poetic pop music!

I was in love with The Beatles from the age of six to seventeen, and first loves don't pass easily, so I will always hold a fondness for them in my heart. John Lennon was on my wall, when I was just six, and I own all the apple records and Lennons early solo stuff, all my mums old vinyl - that I used to play daily.

I do love George Harrison though, John and George...and George never gets the recognition he deserves!

Sunday, 8 August 2010

The 10 varieties of Mod - which are you?

Discovered this article on the website and it never fails to make me laugh! I'm cross between a swirly and a old school mod, depending on my mood....any mods reading, which one are you?!

The old school mod
Distinctive by: A love of R&B-based club nights and dress codes.Loves: Authentic tunes from the early 60s, blues, R&B, some ska, strict door policies at clubs, tailored clothing, a button or two on the trouser leg, Levi's with sewn-in turn-ups and loafers with a tassel.Hates: Indie, 'non-scene' folk turning up at clubs and cluttering up the dancefloor, anything post-1963 (especially 'swirlies') and live bands that don't play authentic jazz and blues.Where you'll find one: At a club with a strict door policy, which is probably in a function room somewhere above a pub.

Revival mod
Distinctive by: A love of revival-era tunes and reunion gigs.Loves: The live return of an old revival band, Paul Weller, nostalgia, Sneakers playlists from the 80s, reminiscing about tear-ups with skins and casuals 'back in the day', white socks, blazers, bowling shoes and of course, the humble parka.Hates: Elitism of other mods, getting old, the lack of revival being spun in clubs and the lack of respect for power pop bands from the wider mod community.Where you'll find one: Down the front at a Teenbeats gig.

The 'not a mod' (aka the 'nonner')
Distinctive by: Constantly telling everyone that they're 'not actually a mod'.Loves: Certain parts of mod - often the scooters, a small fraction of the music and some of the clothing, but usually just telling anyone who'll listen that they're 'not actually a mod' is their favourite thing.Hates: The 'scene' part of mod, mod clubs, parkas and much of the music associated with mod. Where you'll find them: At a house night, an indie club or probably on the Modculture forums. Even though they're not mods. No really, they're not.

The 'I used to be a mod'
Distinctive by: The line 'I used to be a mod, but I just grew out of it...'Loves: Telling everyone 'mod is dead', especially at soul clubs. Also loves wearing high-end casual gear because 'it's the new mod'.Hates: All things to do with mod, their mod past and anyone who suggests they still look like a mod.Where you'll find them: At a soul club or event, sneaking into the mod room when no one is looking. Or running their own soul night.

The indie mod
Distinctive by: Adidas trainers, polo shirt and Weller-style hairdo.Loves: Oasis ('a modern-day mod band'), the Arctic Monkeys, all the other bands who sound like either Oasis or the Arctic Monkeys, live gigs, dad's old Jam albums and the Pretty Green range (even if it is 'a bit pricey').Hates: 'Old bloke' music, 'old bloke' clothes and spending money on clobber when you can spend it on a night out, going to a gig or four cans of lager.Where you'll find them: In the queue for tickets for Liam Gallagher's new band. Because he's more Mod God than Weller ever was.

The mod-ern day elitist
Distinctive by: Being clad in Japanese denim and an Albam fisherman's cagoule. This week at least.Loves: Big price tags, casual clothing sold in small numbers, anything out of Japan, vintage scooters and amassing a huge trainer collection without actually wearing them.Hates: Doesn't have much time for 'mod' music and loathes anything stereotypically mod - because today's mod should be clad only in the cutting-edge casual labels of 2010.Where you'll find them: Thumbing through the racks at Oi Polloi.

The Quadrophenia mod
Distinctive by: The war cry 'We are the mods, we are the mods...etc etc...'Loves: Quadrophenia, quoting Quadrophenia lines, tribute bands, The Jam, The Who, seeing Phil Daniels on the telly in some duff drama, parkas, Ben Sherman and anything from TK Maxx with a target slapped on the front.Hates: Anyone slagging off tribute bands, new bands, old soul and clothing that costs more than £20 a throw.Where you'll find them: Jumping up and down at the next Jammmmm gig singing...well, you can guess...

The garage/psych mod (aka the 'swirly')
Distinctive by: Bright colours and long fringes.Loves: Obscure Euro 45s from the late 60s, neck scarves, paisley, Carnaby Rockhunter shirts, Le Beat Bespoke, Euro YeYe, calling mods 'square' and the NME's current love for all things garage since The Horrors hit the front cover.Hates: Soul, R&B, plain colours, being laughed at on the late bus home and having to get out of fancy dress for the Monday to Friday office job.Where you'll find them: In a pair of low-slung hipsters at the Mousetrap Fuzz 4 Freaks allnighter.

Mod-life crisis
Distinctive by: His newly-purchased Ace Face suit and SX scooter.Loves: Being in his mid-40s, having money to burn and the free time to spend it now the kids have grown up, not to mention having a weekend away from the missus at the Isle of Wight rally. Just don't mention a 'mid-life crisis'.Hates: All those wasted years of family life, no longer being 17, having to be back home by Sunday night at 10 or 'there'll be hell to pay', driving a people carrier during the week and the trousers on the new £1,000+ tonic suit being 'just a bit too tight'. So much for mail order bespoke.Where you'll find them: Throwing the cash around at the bar at a night do at the Isle of Wight Rally.

The internet mod
Distinctive by: A pale complexion from not leaving the house. Ever.Loves: Internet forums, Facebook, Twitter, mail order clothing, music downloads, takeaway food and portraying an image of the mid-60s dandy about Carnaby Street despite strong evidence to the contrary.Hates: Going out, shopping in 'real' stores, going to clubs and losing broadband connectivity.Where you'll find them: Online 24/7.

Full article can be found on the website:

'I do'....a beautiful family photo

Here is one of my favourite photos of two of my favourite people, my best friends my British Grandparents......on their special day, their wedding day.
And what a stylish day it was! My Nana was only 19 in the photo and my Opa (that's German for grandfather, you knew I was part German - right? ) just a few years older.
I love them, I love this photo - so beautiful. In another post I hope to interview my Nana about her style in the 40s, 50s, 60s - as she has always been incredibly stylish.

Saturday, 7 August 2010

New shoes, ooh I love a good loafer I do.

Funny isn't it? as a kid I hated loafers they were the ultimate ugly, comfy mum mum used to try and get me to wear them and I hated them! Now I have a gorgeous collection of vintage 1960s and sixties style mod loafers!

Check out my latest purchase above, with a small heel too, lovely with my navy scooter dress!

If you think you're groovy, you don't even move me...

Last night was spent with some lovely friends, I did a spot of DJ'ing my 45s collection of 60s is getting there slowly but surely....

Today, bit of vintage shopping, and then - a 60s night at Rescue Rooms (A nottingham club).

I just wanted to post a picture for you all of one of the most gorgeous ladies of the 1960s Miss Pat Arnold (real name Patricia Ann Cole) better known as PP Arnold.

Originally a member of one of my favourite 60s girl The Ikettes, though they had several line ups over the years....P.P Arnold has a voice that you won't ever forget once you've heard it, all that emotion and power, and a classic beauty to boot.

Friday, 6 August 2010

Are you a Mod or a rocker?

Jimi Hendrix style...Hey Jo, Hey Jimi!

Not only an incredible musician but also an amazingly stylish man from the feathers in his hat to the rings on his fingers. You don't see men with such style these days....which makes me sad.

Come on fellas' get a bit brave, pose like a peacock, get sharp like Beau Brummel ;-)

PS my mum has met Jimi Hendrix - yes my mum is that cool! hehe

Thursday, 5 August 2010

'Something' george did say

Isn't she lovely? Pattie Boyd

Patricia Anne Boyd (born 17 March 1944) former wife of George Harrison and Eric Clapton. A muse who has inspired several songs, including 'Something' written by Harrison whilst a beatle. Beautiful, sincere love song it is.

Loved Pattie ever since that scene in the carriage in 'Hard Days Night' as one of the smitten school girls!
Pattie Boyd is going to be at Vintage at Goodwood Festival, oh to meet her! How fabulous would that be?!

Pleased to meet you, hello and welcome to Porcelain Doll Vintage

This blog is a forum for my ramblings and mutterings that tend to revolve around creativity, music and the 1960s! Enjoy! I buy, collect and sell vintage dresses and other lovely pretty vintage things!

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Nottingham, United Kingdom
A 1960s dolly bird.

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