Thursday, 12 December 2013

Minimum Mouse at Clothes Show Live 2013

Last Thursday we set up camp at Clothes Show Live at the NEC for the third year running, for another crazy week of fashion madness. Since we are Birmingham based, Clothes Show is pretty much a home from home for us, but we never cease to be amazed by the size and scale of the event. It really is huge, with different areas such as the new 'Vintage Avenue', the Beauty Hall, Style Boutique and our home, the Offbeat Boutique. And it's busy. Busy, busy, busy! The whole place gets packed out with fashion hungry ladies hunting for a bargain.

We had lots of fun at the event as usual, with people loving our jewellery lucky dip, and James's amazing leopard print suit. We also managed to cram in some shopping, picking up bargains at Models Own, Barry M, Bomb Cosmetics, and having a good old rummage in the vintage area, where James picked up an amazing printed shirt from Trunk Junkies Vintage.

Can you tell which one is the real Alex?

James modelling our furry leopard print hat

Alex's face was everywhere, she even made it into the official show guide!

Steph and Alex ready to serve!
Lucky Dip at the ready!
Girls getting a go on the Lucky Dip in exchange for joining our mailing list.
We spotted a few celebs too, Proudlock from Made in Chelsea had a stand just a stone's throw away from us, and we saw Amy Childs and Jamie from Made in Chelsea about the place and Misha B from X Factor bought some sunglasses from us. We also saw Caryn Franklin speak about her new initiative to promote healthier attitudes about beauty in the fashion industry, which was really interesting. We even had our stand filmed for an S4C children's programme which is airing on Friday (Tag at 5pm if you're interested!)

Caryn Franklin speaking in the Heat Radio area

Welsh TV channel S4C filming on our stand.

As usual, the show in the fashion theatre was a highlight. This year's theme was 'a weekend in the country' and it was the usual blend of catwalk and dance with some amazing clothes and dazzling lights. So much fun!

So after our crazy week, today we're catching up on sleep and taking it easy. But we're pleased to announce that we have already confirmed for 2014, so hopefully we will see you all there next year!

Thursday, 7 November 2013

We're An ASOS Marketplace Boutique!

Exciting news! After dabbling a little in selling on ASOS Marketplace for some time, we have finally decided to take the plunge and launch as a full on, super shiny, brand spanking new boutique. We've been working hard with our lovely model Alex to snap lots of lovely new season vintage clothes, with inspirations from bold and brash streetwear to early nineties Clueless style preppy chic, via seventies girl about town loveliness. We'll be adding lots of new items every week, and our jewellery and accessories collections will be on there soon as well!

So, keep your eyes peeled, to be the first to find out when we add new stock, click 'follow' and we'll show up on your personal ASOS feed. Plus we'll love you forever!

Here's a look at a few of the items available now...

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Cheltenham Vintage Fair, 27th Oct 2013

Last weekend we found ourselves in Cheltenham for the first LouLou's Cheltenham Vintage Fair. We were pretty excited to visit Cheltenham as it's a lovely place, but also it's only an hour from home for us. It had been an age since I took the camera along to a vintage fair and since our stock and stall is always changing I thought it would be a good chance to snap a few shots of the stall to use on the website. We recently got a new lens and I have been loving playing around with it. So here they are...

The fair was very busy, in fact too busy at times, there is clearly an appetite for vintage in Cheltenham! Tweed jackets, novelty knits and print shirts were our best sellers of the day for vintage, and our bargain £3 rings pretty much sold out! I also took the chance to have a bit of a look about the fair once it got a bit quieter later on, and I grabbed a few snaps then too. As always at these fairs, there was a great variety of styles and eras, something to suit all tastes! I was a bit naughty and bought a lovely 1960's Welsh tapestry shoulder bag and a really lovely new brooch which will look great on my new winter coat. I might have been there to work but it was such a fun day.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Autumn Fashion Inspiration From The Catwalks

Catwalk shots from

Here at Minimum Mouse we're not the biggest followers of the catwalk trends, we're more about people who create their own look, treating the decades like their own personal dressing up box. But that doesn't mean that it isn't interesting, and indeed fun, to look to what the designers are doing as the stuff is very pretty to look at. And ridiculous. And downright bonkers. And way, way out of our budget.

So often we look at images from catwalk shows and think to ourselves how we have seen such similar things in our own stock or at vintage fairs: fashion constantly references what has come before, which is why looking to vintage is often a fantastic, and more affordable, way of recreating those beautiful catwalk looks. So I like to head over to from time to time and see what the fash pack are getting their knickers in a twist over.

Tartan and sheer slips at Saint Laurent, classic punk styling at Versace. Images from
Elle's top ten trends for A/W '13 include The Rebel, which is basically a punky, grungy look heavy on the zips, studs and leather. Seen at Versace and YSL. We like the mesh dresses, oversized knits and tartan prints which seem fresher than the studded leather looks we've seen a million times before. We're not tired of the early nineties revival just yet!
Nun chic at Valentino, face mesh and Elizabethan vibes at Alexander McQueen. Images from
Falling neatly into the 'bonkers' category is The Church, a trend seen at Valentino, Alexander McQueen and D and G, this ecclesiastical themed trend might look great on the catwalk but waiting for the bus in a wimple is always going to be a fashion don't.

Overcoat and beret at Margaret Howell, velvet and tailoring at Emporio Armani, and borrowing your boyfriend's suit at  Richard Nicholl. Images from
Boy Meets Girl, a trend which sees a natty blend of masculine tailoring and feminine touches is much more wearable and so easy to draw on vintage pieces to create. A man's suit can look amazing, especially if you get some alterations done to get the perfect fit, and men's overcoats are so easy to pick up at a great price if you go for vintage.

Chic skirt suits at Prada, nostagic outerwear at Christian Dior, metallic detailing at Louis Vuitton. Images from
The prim, ladylike look seen at Christian Dior is an absolute gift for a vintage fan - it is vintage, just rebooted for another season. Tweed pencil skirts, pretty blouses, ladylike coats and such are vintage staples.

Ultimate eighties power dressing at Balmain, boxy monochrome at Roland Mouret, a punky twist at Haider Ackermann. Images from

Similarly, Elle's trend The Warrior is basically eighties power dressing. Think broad shoulders, spike heels, tailoring.

Asymmetrical embelishment at Emanuel Ungaro, textures and pattern mash up at Tom Ford and regal opulence at Dolce and Gabanna, Images from

Excess All Areas, the opposite of minimalism seen at Tom Ford is basically an invitation to throw on a random selection of the contents of your wardrobe. Our kind of trend!

Opulent berry toned velvet at Marios Schwab, volume and velvet at Christopher Kane
Finally, the Dark Arts = goth. We all know what that means, but whether or not you are of a gothic persuasion, sumptuous velvet is pretty irresistible at this time of year.

Pretty much every trend (excepting maybe 'The Church'!) can be created by visiting any vintage fair in the land, where you will probably be able to kit yourself out in a whole new look for well under £100. Which is why vintage rules.

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