Monday, 18 April 2011

Vintage Vibes

I am currently reading a book Lisa Eldridge recommended on her youtube channel called War Paint;  Elizabeth Arden and Helena Rubinstein - Their Lives, Their Times, Their Rivalry. It's very interesting to read as a social history of make-up since the Victorian era. I'm about 1/3 of the way in, and so far I will admit I prefer Rubinstein as the book says Elizabeth Arden (whose real name is Florence Nightingale Graham, which I thought funny) was an anti-semite. I've tried Elizabeth Arden products in the past (a hand me down lipstick and the odd slick of a friends 8 hour-cream from the communal bathroom) and they were good; I know they're good... but now I've been put off. I prefer Rubinstein having never tried any of her make-up or skincare at all.

Anyway, the point of this post is I haven't been wearing any dramatic make-up for the past few days (I just haven't been in the mood) so I thought I'd write a post with some old family photos inspired by my reading. I've been meaning to post this photo of my paternal grandma for a while. Here is Daisy putting on her face...

I love her hair. My dad looks like Daisy but I don't really. I suppose I have her hair colour, but her feet were a tiny size 3 (mine are a 7) and her hands were so thin her wedding ring doesn't even fit my pinky!

Her daughter, my aunt Janet, looks more like me, I think. She is 14 years older than my dad (what an age gap!) She has Alzheimer's these days and lives in a nursing home in Cambridge where she is well looked after and seems quite happy, even though she doesn't know who anyone is! Here she is as a kid (in 1948), with a picture of me for comparison (I am 6; she is 11).

Isn't she cute? Mostly I thought of Janet as a bit of a tom boy, she always liked hiking and horse riding and was generally a country girl (even though she grew up in a town). I know she had a pony called Silver (this horse is obviously not a pony, I suppose she liked GIANT horses as well!)

She passed all the horsey-ness on to my sister, clearly. She always told me she liked sparkly things just as much as me when I was a little girl and obsessed with glitter, sequins and my gold coat. Recently I was looking through some of her papers (she grew up in the same house as me), and stumbled upon these incredibly glamourous shots. (Does she remind anyone else of Klaire De Lys on youtube?)

Hubba hubba! I really love 50's style things and was never sure why. I don't particularly like the music, it just feels right. My parent's are more kids of the late 60's and 70's and have a bit of a dislike for anything that came before.

Another personal favourite is this: my mum (the black haired one) as a mermaid on a parade float in the 70's. I like the 70's too, I'm not gonna lie.

Mum claims her favourite make-up was the Mary Quant eye-crayons (they look like NYX Jumbo pencils except they come in a box of all colours) and that she used to wear orange and yellow eyeshadows to co-ordinate with her lairy loons. When I told Lisa Eldridge this on youtube, she said she has a video on the subject of Mary Quant coming up soon... Yay!

I suppose as a consequence of these things, I love, love, love bright colours and vintage infused clothes and shoes. I can never find quality 40's/50's clothes in the UK for a cheap enough price, so it's always repro or highstreet that's inspired from older styles. I do have some Mary Quant tights, but that's all. I recently repaired my Bettie Page brand dress (my big bum split the split when I was in London!) and my latest clothing purchases were some highwaisted dark blue jeans from H n M and two pairs of Miss L Fire shoes.

They came in beautiful boxes (which matters to me, ok) and the second pair even have a dust bag. Hey, at least it's not more make-up... right?

Ruthy x

No comments:

Post a Comment