Friday, 29 April 2011

The Royal Wedding : The Dress

The country's gone Royal Wedding mad, and it's only a couple of hours to the big day. As I watch the TV I can see the queue of guests waiting to get into the Abbey for the main event and really it doesn't look much different to any other wedding. Until you realise that there are 1800 guests and many thousands more across the road crazily waving flags and most likely feeling a little worse for wear after camping out on the pavement for a number of days.

Not being a big fan of the Royals, I can't quite share their enthusiasm, but any excuse for a party is fine by me and I hope everyone has a lovely day. Of course I am looking forward to catching a glimpse of THE DRESS. As someone who sells vintage wedding dresses it is quite an interesting moment as this dress, tipped to be designed by Sarah Burton, creative director of Alexander McQueen, will no doubt have a huge influence on bridal trends for years to come. I think that McQueen is an interesting choice as while the house is known for their stunning, opulent gowns, it is a less conventional choice than I would have expected from a very classically dressed girl like Kate. So we shall wait and see what they have come up with....

In the meantime, I thought I would take a look at some previous royal brides. Kate has quite a lot to live up to!

The Queen Mother marrying King George VI, quite a modest dress by royal standards, in 1922

Princess Diana's insane, OTT mega dress for the showy 1980's

Princess Margaret, possibly the most glamorous Royal,  looking elegant in 1960

The Queen marrying Prince Phillip in 1947. Beautiful lace train

Queen Victoria in 1840
For any brides to be wanting to create a royal feel, here is my selection from our wedding dresses, it's suitably spectacular and fit for a princess!

Have a great day everyone!

Monday, 25 April 2011

Happy Easter!

We hope you all had a lovely time!

Friday, 22 April 2011

Car Booting With Minimum Mouse!

Car booting - the epitome of Englishness
Always a chance to stock up on Cliff Richard vinyl
 We were very excited mice today - we visited our first car boot sale of the season! It was a nice little bank holiday treat and with glorious sunshine it would have been rude not to go and do a spot of rummaging. We love a good car boot, it is where we have found a lot of the great vintage that we have sold over the years, and is where we get lots of stuff for ourselves! Today we visited Coleshill car boot (near Birmingham, just off the M42) which is on every Tuesday and Friday. We hadn't tried this one before so we didn't know if it was going to be any good, but we were pleasantly surprised - the good weather and bank holiday had brought out a good crowd and lots of sellers had some nice little knick knacks and oddities to look at.

We came away with some nice goodies too - I got a couple of cute wicker handbags, a giant tomato ice bucket, a lovely stripy satin dress and James found some nice retro sportswear and a couple of vintage suits.
Don't let a mound of stuff like this put you off - have a good old rummage!
 For the next few months we will most likely be at car boots at every opportunity! And you should be too, they are the finest way to find some great stuff on a budget. In fact, I don't think there is much that you won't find at a car boot sale!
 So, with this in mind, we have a few top tips for booting...
  • Go early! A lot of car boots kick off at around 6 or 7am, which is an excruciating time to get up at the weekend, but if you are looking for the pick of the crop, you need to be there with the dealers who get in early before the more casual shoppers arrive. Alternatively, if this sounds too much like work...
  • Go late! Some of the best car booting we have done has been when we have nipped along late for the dying moments of the car boot sale. When people are starting to pack and go home they are more likely to give you a good price on stuff, after all, they are not looking forward to packing it all up and lugging it all home - if they can offload it, they won't have to pack it!
  • Don't be afraid to bargain a bit - you may be shy to, I was at first, but it is always worth asking if you can get a discount. Start by asking the price of an item, if something is 20p then I tend to think you should just pay that (I would feel really awful asking for money off something so cheap!), but for more expensive items then go for it. Tell them what you would like to pay and see if they'll accept your price or perhaps meet you in the middle. Always be polite and the worst that can happen is that they say no!
  • Bulk buying - another way to drive a bargain is to buy a few things from the same stall and see what discount they will give you for the lot. Of course there is no point doing this unless you genuinely want the items, but don't forget to ask for a deal when buying more than one thing!
  • Don't let a multitude of stalls selling cheap toliet rolls and knock off dvds put you off, it's always worth having a quick scout around a sale even if it looks disappointing, you never know when you will spot an amazing gem!
To find out about car boots and jumble sales in your are check out the local newspapers and also Car Boot Junction, which lists car boots in the UK by county (though many car boots organisers don't seem that internet savvy, so there will be lots more that you won't find on here). In the midlands, Dunworkin is a good source of car boot info.

Have fun and happy bargain hunting!

    You'll often find the odd vintage gem on an unpromising clothes rail..

    Wednesday, 20 April 2011

    Feeling Floral

    If you're from the UK you'll know that we've been having unseasonably lovely weather this last couple of weeks, and my isn't it lovely! James even came to work in shorts today. And with all this lovely sun streaming in through the office window I couldn't resist breaking out a little of the summer stock early. Here are a few of my favourite floral pieces hitting the eBay shop very soon indeed...

    Have fun in the sun folks! Don't forget your sunnies...

    Wednesday, 6 April 2011

    2011 so far

    As I mentioned previously, we've been a bit lax on the old blog this year. There's no excuse really, but we have had quite a busy old start of the year. So let's have a bit of a catch up over a nice cup of tea and some biscuits...

    The Photoshoots

    Marianne from Minimum Mouse does a bit of work as a stylist here and there, plus we do the odd photoshoot for our own promotion. It's quite addictive - as well as being lots and lots of fun playing dress up, we keep meeting great new creative people with new ideas that we want to get involved with! So far this year we have done numerous photoshoots and worked with some amazing people, some of whom I have mentioned in previous posts.

    We have worked with the amazing Ursula Roxy on three different shoots this year, including some menswear shoots which I was really excited about as it isn't always easy to get male models to work with. She is based in Stourbridge, West Midlands, and she does high fashion editorial work which is really stunning, as well as offering wedding photography with a difference. So, if you are looking for some stunning images for whatever reason, get in touch with her! Here are some of the things we have worked on together-

    Country meets urban!
    Country chic
    Rock goddess!
    This Is England meets Twilight!
    Old school vintage style

    We also worked with one of our favourite conspirators, Jemma Dodd. We love Jemma's work and have supplied clothes for her shoots lots of times. Recently we did an Alice in Wonderland themed shoot and were so happy with the results!

    The Events

    So far this year has been our busiest ever for vintage fairs and events. We have been all over the country from Bristol to Sheffield - where disaster was narrowly averted as snow showers risked runing the day but stopped just as we were opening the fair! We also visited Macclesfield, where there was a celeb guest - Noddy Holder! We've also been back in Birmingham and Sutton Coldfield, and also Leicester (in the Cathederal - how posh!) and uncharted territory for us - Norwich. We're now filling up our diary for the summer and it looks like it is going to be a busy year for us!

    Here are a few pics from our travels...

    A fab fashion show at Macclesfield's Make Do And Mend Fair

    Vintage Glamour Days organised a beautiful tea room at The Vintage Fair in Leicester

    Vintage hungry crowds in Norwich

    Amazing dog-kitsch in Sheffield


    We've been working away this year to improve our website. We have a new look front page, an easy to use events page and also we've set up a new, improved online shop on our website which we are slowly filling up, so if you don't want to use eBay or Etsy you can now shop direct. Plus we have been working harder than ever to source the best vintage clothing, as well as coming up with lots of lovely new jewellery designs. So watch this space for new items popping up every day!

    As always, to keep up with our news of upcoming events, new products, sales and special offers, join our Facebook page.

    Tuesday, 5 April 2011

    Ruby Slipper's Retro Romp

    Hola all! And apologies for our lack of blogging this year, we've been very busy mice (but that's a different story for a different day). Today, boys and girls, I'm going to tell you a story of a far away land, filled with glamourous ladies and well spoken heroes where people shop, jive and eat many a cream tea. That place is Ruby Slipper's Retro Romp!

    Organised by Kinky and Quirky, it was a weekend to remember and the first of its kind. Fans of all things retro, burlesque, vintage and rockabilly descended on Torquay's Rainbow Hotel for a three day extravaganza which included jive and lindy hop workshops, retro make overs, and many amazing performances. There was also lots of lots of shopping, which is where we came in.
    Local rockabilly band Back Hand, who entertained the shoppers on Saturday afternoon
    Dance workshops went on all weekend

    Our stall in the Soda Fountain bar was just one of a number selling fantastic vintage, alongside stalls selling superb burlesque inspired lingerie, corsets, vintage knick knacks and lots of pretty handmade goodies. Our neighbours were the lovely Second Hand Rose from Worcester, who wowed us with their amazing selection of vintage dresses, all at very reasonable prices. You can shop online with them here.
    Lots of shoppers!
    Frills aplenty!

    Love this bar!

    I just loved these goodies, the stallholder sells at Torquay flea market every Thursday

    The guests at the event were real vintage enthusiasts and were very friendly too. They particularly liked our vintage menswear - many a dapper chap picked up a smart waistcoat or some braces over the weekend. We even sold a suede jacket to the owner of the hotel, who said it made him feel 20 years younger. Minimum Mouse - making dreams come true since 2007!

    The highlight of the weekend had to be Saturday night's entertainment, which featured the fabulous Flirtinis, the amazing Anna Fur Laxis and Mr B the Gentleman Rhymer, who I had been looking forward to seeing for ages. Needless to say, he didn't disappoint, and we had a great night - it was nice to see some of the crowd wearing things they had bought from us earlier in the day too!
    A big statue of Marilyn graced the stairs!

    The whole place had amazing decor

    The crowd loving Mr B

    Anna Fur Laxis

    It was a busy weekend, but it was well worth it and we hope they hold the event again soon... any excuse for a trip to the seaside!

    I'll leave you with a little ditty by our favourite chap hop artist...

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