Views from a Paris window + [vintage]

Vintage Fashion and being a Pinup!

Jane Storm is a part time pin up model and full time 40s enthusiast. Fleur loves all things vintage. Vintage furniture, fashion, recipes and even vintage dancing. Her feet are paying for it right now after a weekend of swing dancing! Fleur is the doll to go to if you are in a pin up hair pickle or want advice and tricks on achieving vintage style.

Oh she is also blooming lovely... and kindly let me question her on all aspects of her vintage lifestyle. I asked some questions I thought you may all want to know... Tell us a bit about yourself... who are you? What makes you get out of bed in the morning?

Who am I… well, I am just a girl, who fell deeply in love with the styles of the 30s, 40s and 50s, and have made it my personal crusade to bring vintage glamour back into people’s lives. I am a very creative person, but I currently work in a job that isn’t as creative as I would like, and so I express myself in the way I dress. My vintage clothes, jewellery and hairstyles are like art, with their jewel colours and intricate details. I look forward to getting dressed every morning for that reason – each day is different and (hopefully) fabulous!

What is your favourite movie?
Oh gosh, I have so many! My favourite old movies are all musicals, 42nd Street, Swing Time (all Fred and Ginger films really), Calamity Jane, Cover Girl, and so on. My modern favourites tend towards the silly, Anchorman, Zoolander, Superbad… my all time favourite is the classic Pricess Bride though, I even named my cats after it!

What is your favourite music?
Favourite band or artist?There’s very little that I don’t listen to! I love old music and of course regularly swing dance to it (which would be hard if I hated it) but my tastes run from Metallica and heavier metalcore, dance stuff like Pendulum, electro pop, rockabilly and psychobilly. In the car at the moment, I have the La Roux album playing.

What is your favourite era and why?
It has to be the 1940s. I am not a purist and I do mix my eras, but I always have a 40s, or very late 1930s hairstyle. The early war years are my favourites for fashion, in America anyway, before they joined the war, everything, almost without exception, was fabulous. The fabrics, sleeves, the skirts, the beading, the pintucks, the knitwear, everything.

Have you got a favourite vintage item?
I have a favourite vintage dress, it’s a late 40s house dress with ruffly little sleeves, a tiered skirt, a fantastic oriental-looking print and rick rack trim. It’s vibrant, flattering, good to dance in, washable, comfortable… what more could you want in a dress?? I also just picked up a gorgeous black velvet 40s suit, and I’m sure the jacket is going to be my favourite item come autumn. And I have to give a special mention to my Swirl wrap dress collection, but I love them all equally, I could never pick a favourite! I adore bakelite jewellery too, and wear matching bangles and earrings whenever I can.

Who is your favourite designer?
The aforementioned Swirl dresses are a label that I collect, and I have around 9 I think, ranging in age from the mid 40s to the very early 60s, with most of them being from the early 50s. I have never seen a Swirl that wasn’t delightful, either in print or in detailing! My other favourites all seem to have been hand sewed though, or with no label. As far as modern designers go, I’d have to say that my designer friends are the ones I admire the most, who are recreating vintage fashion with their lines, especially Shona van Beers of Heyday (www.heydayonline.co.uk),I live in her creations! My favourite famous designers are probably good old Vivien Westwood and Betsey Johnson, because they embody the ‘clothing as art’ ethos too, and their stuff is so FUN, as clothes should be!

Favourite Icon?
My style icons of the past are comic actress Virginia O’Brien and Yvonne DeCarlo, aka Lily Munster. She was just soooo glamorous in the 40s! Plus Rita Hayworth whose thick hair I covet. Who inspires you and why?I was typing this in the above section when I saw this… but the people who inspire me most, who are my every day icons, are my vintage friends. When we’re together and all dressed up, you should see the heads turn! I could never hope to meet a more stylish bunch of ladies and gents, with the most drool-worthy wardrobes!

Why pin up?
I’m not sure there is really a ‘Why’ as such, it’s just something I had a go at and discovered I was good at it, and it has become a hobby! Plus, it’s a good way to show off my latest vintage finds to the world! It’s wonderful to be keeping the old styles alive though, it seems to be inspiring to people of all ages, and both sexes.

Why the “vintage way of life”?
I don’t have a vintage way of life, at all. I drive a modern car, live in a modern home and have an iPhone, a proper washing machine and hoover and so on. Lots of real vintage devotees use vintage everything, I am afraid I don’t have the time or the inclination for that. Where do you buy your vintage clothing?The vast majority comes from eBay, and I get a few bits at vintage fairs and weekenders. My reproduction stuff comes from all over the world, but a fair bit from good old Blighty.

Where else do you shop? High street?
I certainly shop in the High street! I personally love it when vintage trends come back in, like recently when peasant tops were everywhere – fantastic for a late 40s look! I do a feature on my blog called ‘V.I (Vintage Inspired) Buys, where I pick out high street items that work for vintage looks. The shops often have great little blouses, t-shirts or knitwear that can pass for vintage when worn with the right bottoms, hair and accessories. Plus you can often find vintage looking shoes, wedges or platforms especially, if you know what to look for.

If you could steal anybody’s wardrobe (past or present, real or fictional) who’s would it be and why?
I’d love to go back and plunder a Sears catalogue warehouse from 1941 or 42, or failing that, any of the divine suits from the set of Cover Girl. I’d also not say no to a trolley dash through Dita’s wardrobe, but circa 5 years ago, before she started getting into modern couture. I’d need her figure and tiddly feet as well though, so I’ll settle for Dita’s hats and jewellery collection instead.

Can you describe your dream vintage day out?
Well first I’d get in a time machine and go back to the aforementioned Sears warehouse… haha. No, my idea of the perfect vintage day out consists of poking around a vintage shop or market, followed by a lavish Afternoon Tea, then swing dancing the night through, all done up to the nines. I have a few events coming up this summer though, like the Chap Olympics, War and Peace, and the Goodwood Revival, with its cars and fashion, that is any vintage-lover’s dream day!