Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Wendy's roly-poly meeting with destiny in blue

When Wendy woke up at about 7am, one of her favourite tracks was playing on the radio. Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen. She had no idea then how apt the song was. It had her name in it, and that was enough to give her bounce.

Her clothes were all over the floor. Spilling out into the hallway and draped over the banisters. She picked up the blue dress that made her walk tall and blew in the breeze. Flip flops, floppy hat, raffia handbag... she was out the door only a few songs later.

She headed for her favourite picnic spot. A meadow with wild flowers in bloom, an old gnarly tree and a slow moving river as blue as her dress. She'd meet Shelia there. Sheila would bring food and drink. And the grass was so soft there was no need for a blanket or mat.

As Wendy wandered, she could hear music. But this was no Bruce Springsteen. It was nothing she had ever heard before... magical tinkling music that drew her closer and ever closer. Then closer even still. Her smile grew bigger and even bigger with every one of her quickened steps. Until it was as wide as her face and as bright as the moon.

In front of her was a red and white striped tent. A small moustached man came out. He flicked the gleaming tails of his coat, and bellowed: Roll up, roll up.

Sheila was nowhere to be seen. So Wendy did just that, and roly-polyed all the way to the dandy man. He welcomed her in and asked her to be seated. And so, hey presto, she was.


The man introduced himself as Maestro Mike the Moustached Maverick, and kissed her determinedly. It was not unpleasant. Although one end of his curled moustache did go inside her otherwise care-free nostril. She smiled and tried not to sneeze.

He said that her roly-polies were the finest most delightful he had ever seen, and she should join the circus.

'The circus,' she sighed. 'The circus'. And in that moment, not only a dream was born, but Wendy's whole entire future. She pronounced that she would spend the rest of the 70's on tour, and the Maverick said it was a splendid idea. He showed her around the tent, and introduced her to all the animals, clowns, strong men and acrobats, until she couldn't remember any more names, manes or muscles.

He found her a hula hoop that perfectly matched the blue of her dress and told her to roly-poly through it. She jumped, and did just that. Now Mike wanted to do more than just kiss her, and because he had become her destiny, she went with him to his caravan and only awoke once the circus was back on tour.

From then on, she was known as the Beauty in Blue and all her dresses were the very same colour as this one, and all the crowds cheered. She was born to run, born to run away, run away with the circus.

If you would like the very same blue dress to go and find your own destiny, click right here.

Monday, 25 July 2011

The fantasy life of a floral jacket

Naomi loved cats. She wanted one more than anything. But her boyfriend said no. He said they made him sneeze. And he didn't like the damage they could do to the furniture. This made Naomi very sad. She wanted a cat all of her very own more than anything in the whole wide world. But she loved her boyfriend, and he loved his furniture. So that, was that.

She made do by feeding and grooming neighbours' cats. Whenever anyone went on holiday, Naomi was on hand to help out. Charging them nothing, and enjoying every feline minute of it. She was a very popular girl, and the all the neighbours agreed that she was an asset.

Once a week she went to Mrs Kline's house. Originally she had been helping Mrs Kline with her cat. But the older lady had suffered a heart attack, and so now Naomi cleaned for her and brought her flowers to cheer up her flat and make Mrs Kline smile.

Mrs Kline loved the flowers so much that she wanted to thank Naomi. It was difficult for her to go to the shops. So she searched her own wardrobe for something to give her instead. When she saw this jacket, it made her think of Naomi. It was covered in flowers, and the bow at the waist made it look like a gift. She thought Naomi was the best gift anyone could have ever given her. And so she resolved to give the jacket to Naomi. This particular jacket had given her an awful lot of luck in her heyday, she wore it for a job interview at the magazine she would later edit. And she wore it on her ten year anniversary with her husband. A night she would never forget, thanks to the romance, the stars and the dancing.

Naomi thought the jacket was fantastic. She put it on straight away and gave Mrs Kline a twirl. Learning that it brought Mrs Kline luck, she hoped it would do the same for her.

Wearing the jacket reminded Naomi that she was her very own person. And so she paraded around in it whenever she could. Lit up by the compliments she received and the love stories she had heard Mrs Kline tell.

The more she thought about these love stories. The more she questioned her own. Her boyfriend had asked her not to bring friends over anymore. He said that he was allergic to them like he was allergic to cats, and was worried they could do just as much damage to the furniture.

The more she wore the jacket, the more she thought, and the more she questioned. Until one day, she told her boyfriend that she could do it no more. He didn't seem too bothered, and she realised that neither was she. So, she put on her jacket, and went for a much needed breath of fresh air.


If you want your own jacket with a love story past, click here for a happy ending

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Second class workers, second hand clothes, second class citizens?

Not all movies that inspire vintage lovers were made in the era whose fashions they showcase. Films produced now should get a mention too. And especially those that remind us there are women to whom we owe a great deal. A great deal of our pay packet in fact.

When Made in Dagenham came out, I was excited for two reasons:

1. The late 60's fashion we'd get to see on film, of course, I dressed up in a yellow 60's shift when I went to see it.
2. But more importantly, the reminder that inspirational women stood up and fought for equal rights and equal pay.

As a self declared feminist, I am frequently disappointed by women who refuse the title, ascribing it to hairy unattractive women who probably hate men anyway. Not. The. Case. Bill Bailey (pictured below in a Fawcett Society t-shirt may be hairy, but...)

A feminist is a person who believes in equal and fair rights for men and women. And that is what the women in Made in Dagenham are all about. We can learn more from them than simple fashion lessons. We can learn how to fight, why to fight and what the outcome of victory could mean for women kind and human kind for years to come.

I raise this now because we are at a time when feminists are needed. Political, economic and cultural changes mean that we are not at a point when we can take our eye off the balls (couldn't resist).

If you're in doubt, consider what has been happening in the UK and further afield over the past few months:

- Kenneth Clarke, our Secretary of Justice, implied that date rape was not 'serious rape'. This is not just a matter of semantics. Until 1991, a husband could not rape his wife, marriage meant an agreement by the wife to have sex with her husband. Having an exemption like this turned over in the courts requires a ground swell of citizens, and a strong government who understands the complexities of rape. This change happened 20 years ago. If Ken Clarke had been in power then, would it have happened? A man who fails to label date rape as serious. What would he have done when faced with a marital rape case?

- Only 31% of councillors are women. If progress continues at current rates, it will be another 150 years before women are equally represented.

- The recent much criticised Slut Walk was first organised by a group of young women in Canada, angry that their Chief of Police told them to dress modestly to avoid rape. The media treated this as a joke, and many failed to grasp or explore the real freedom and rights these women were marching for. If you want to get an idea of the reaction, just read this piece in the Spectator. The writer likens a woman wearing a short skirt to leaving your window open at home and expecting not to be burgled. Seriously.

- And if you want to get back to the issue of equal pay, women are still paid an average of 15.5% less than men. This is 40 years since the Equal Pay Act which the brave women portrayed in this film fought for

I am sorry that this post has turned into an unashamed feminist rant, but surely we should all be angry right now? And yes we can dress like vintage sluts at the same time.

If you need any more convincing, or just want to find out what you can do, then get to The Fawcett Society- read, support, join.

Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Back to blog

Back to blog

Belle Amie Vintage is back!

I took a few months off to settle into my new job at the Cancer Recovery Foundation. And to er, get married! (Shot below taken by the magical Ed Peers)

Being back doesn't just mean I'll be blogging, or that my home will turn vintage boutique once more.

It means that I am heading on to pastures new. Well, websites new to be precise: asos marketplace

So, now when I blog about outfits, you don't have to look at blurry shots taken in my bathroom mirror with a mobile, as I invite you to come on over if you want to try or buy. Instead, you can head straight to here. Enjoy. Xx