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Thursday, 29 July 2010

Jacques Town House

Now I 'm not usually one for celebrity parties. That is to say; I don't usually get invited to them. Sometimes the universe does work in mysterious ways however..

Having read about the 'erotic' life drawing classes at boutique hotel 40 Winks I dropped David Carter a line to book. I have met David a couple of times now, and he really is one of the most dandyesque people I know. Complete with top hat, vintage suit and 'dahling' accent ("Always a pleasure dahling, exquisite to see you!").

Through my work we have publicised 40 Winks, and I wrote to him that we intended to include Jacques Townhouse (he designed the interior) in our upcoming innovation report. I also mentioned that I would be popping along to have a look next week.
I was most surprised when along with my tickets to life drawing, came the offer to attend the Jacques launch party! Unfortunately no plus one though as apparently it was 'press and celebrities' only. Oh well, I'm sure I could amuse myself unaccompanied.

So after gratefully accepting the invite and stressing over an appropriate outfit, the day came and I tottered off to Fitzroy Square in my ridiculous heels. Upon entry (so far so good) I had a golden key and small tea-towel thrust upon me, somewhat inexplicably. It turned out that the tea-towel was your map of the various rooms in the house and the key was the access your free drinks. Thankfully I stumbled upon Mr Carter quite early on in the proceedings and he kindly showed me downstairs to the Benefit make-up area, where false eye-lashes were studiously being applied to a clutch of willing ladies.

I was introduced to Benefit events co-ordinator Lisa, who soon had me as ease and picked out some rather stunning lashes for me - super long, with white beads at the tips. She also gave me a quick make-up refresh while I was there. So what was next? Dressing up of course!
Also downstairs was a veritable Aladdin's cave of vintage apparel treasures.

Pan left:

Pan right:

I was rather quickly pounced on by an enthusiastic lady who insisted I try a particular back dress, complete with long necklace and fascinator. Well, who was I to argue? Soon I found myself on the 'Jacques set' posing embarrassingly like the best of them.

Ahem, anyway moving on.. Once back in my own clothes again, I mounted the stairs to the first floor. Loving the suspended pouffs!

Conveniently the bar was my next discovery, along with a gorgeous table of cakes.

Cute cupcakes courtesy of Vintage Patisserie, but more of that later.

See any celebs yet?

I actually did pass by Sophie Ellis Bextor and her entourage at this point and later also spotted Jodie Harsh, in even bigger lashes than mine! Otherwise I'm generally pretty rubbish at identifying famous people.. I should probably watch more tv.

Moving past the bar, I found a little whimsical forest just made for loafing. It even had a lady who would read your tarot if you asked her nicely.

Love the cushions!

And the dangling china..

Finally I could let my feet rest for a bit and enjoy some of the free cider (I recommend the pear and peach variety).

Upon exiting the 'forest' I came upon Mr Cater being interviewed by someone or other and took a sneaky shot of them perched on the stairs to the 'boudoir'.

One of the waitresses in funky uniform.

Wandering back down to the ground floor, I overheard a lady chatting to the concierge about a 'secret room'.

The concierge promptly summoned a bell boy (again, nice uniform!) to take her to said secret room..

Well, I had to ask too and guess what? I got my own bell boy to guide me! The secret room turned out to be a small room with DJ decks and a couple of tables which were all pretty empty seeing as it was still early evening. But I did find the lovely Angel, who runs the Vintage Patisserie and recently appeared on Dragon's Den to successfully pick up funding. I commended her on the cupcakes (I have tasted many in my day) and had a nice chat about her future plans etc. I hope it goes well for her!

So.. I had been 'lashed', made-up, dressed up, plied with cider, fed cupcakes, photographed and had made small talk. What else was there to do? Oh yes, have my fortune told.

On the ground floor were two ladies encased in a lace booth (sorry no pics) each armed with crystal balls and mystical cards. After a bit of a queue I finally made it. I won't disclose the details, but basically I need to set daily, weekly and monthly goals. Ok then..

Time to go, before I make more of a fool of myself, but one last parting shot:

Hang on, isn't that the guy who was on 'The Salon', who now runs Blow, who.. oh never mind.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Lace revolution

You may recall this dress from a while back. It was a great charity shop find, accompanied by lovely G. It's been on a few outings already, but L's French Revolution themed Birthday garden party demanded something a bit more out there. With lots of lace.

With a rough idea of where I wanted to go, I laid out the dress and began to prepare for its surgery:

First the sleeves. They were disappointingly lacking in lace, and I needed something which would swish prettily. Thankfully Soho Silks obliged me with a cheap off-cut of lace, while another customer wittered on about how she's currently having to wade through hoards of teen girls to get to her current client: one of the Jonas Brothers. Quelle hardship.

Right, after chopping off a slightly random length of lace I ruched it and sewed it in place:

Much better! My wonky sewing was later covered with some lace salvaged from the collar, but more of that later..

Next it was the neckline. The current collar was a little too demure for my 'Renaissance heaving bosom' mental image. We definitely needed more decolletage:

More lace was cut and pinned in place:

Handily, I had a length of pearl trim with was almost exactly the correct length. I took that as a sign and hand-sewed it on after machining the lace:

That was pretty much it! My enthusiasm definitely made up for the 'I don't have a clue what I'm doing' and somehow it turned out alright.

But now I needed some fru-fru shoes..

New Look obliged with a cute pink pair, but they needed to be prettified. Out came the trimmings and lace boxes!

Some bows were constructed, necklace butchered and hey presto!

I sewed a brooch back to each bow to ensure that the shoes could be de-prettied afterwards and attached 'em.

So now it was down to the final bits, thank God for Claire's Accessories!

This You Tube video was also ace for helping me with the hair. I knew that afro wig would come in handy!

So there we go. Not as hard as had imagined! I think this will inspire me to grasp the scissors with a little more confidence next time.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Fashion Police strike in SE1

Ambled past this rather striking vehicle on my way home the other day. On closer inspection I see that it belongs to none other than Mr Waterfall himself, or at least one of his Social Suicide cohorts.

M is a huge fan of the fashion brand Social Suicide, and is the proud owner of several wacky SS creations, including the 'Beaufort Scale' jacket. Bummer that they only do men's wear..