Most of you will know that I’ve shared my entrepreneurial journey with Louise of Contrariety Rose. While I took a while to find my ‘thing’ (or several things as it turns out), she’s always had a way with fabric and a passion for pin up clothing. So it was only natural that her label should develop in that direction.
Last week we headed up to Olympia to exhibit at London Edge, a trade show for alternative, rockabilly, goth and pin up fashion (which would have been our idea of heaven even if we hadn’t been exhibitors, to be fair).
It was great fun, absolutely knackering and I had surprisingly little time to take photos – but here are a few pics from the week.
Lou with her stand after setup:
Our apartment (SO much nicer than a hotel – doing this again next time I go anywhere) and all three of my drinks on Saturday night – I’m so rock & roll!
Me looking cheesy in front of the stand on the Sunday:
Catching up in the evening with Diablo Rose and Lynsey Le Keux of Le Keux events and cosmetics, and Courtney from Silly Old Sea Dog…
And finally, me with a Balloonicorn (no, I have no idea what one is either), the iPad with a mailing list I set up (I was proud) and Lou and I on the stand complete with vintage hair.
We met some brilliant people among other exhibitors and visitors to the show, felt like Olympia was home for a few days and I learned masses about wholesale too, while reigniting my longing for colour in my hair again.
It was a really good experience as a small business owner myself, to make connections and see how this kind of thing works. Because then if I ever find myself at some kind of web designers’ convention, I can at least pack a pretty dress and a typewriter!
You can find Louise and buy Contrariety Rose’s latest collection and a selection of her previous ones at Contrariety Rose.
I feel like I should copy this post across to Project Pin Up, it was so very vintage and pin up-esque! (edit – collage pic is over there with a link back here and to Mimi’s post!)
Last Saturday, the lovely Lou from Contrariety Rose came to stay, and after a morning of revamping her website and eating chocolate, we met Mimi for our first workshop at Make Do and Mend in Chelmsford. Mimi’s lovely husband Carl drove us there, and when we arrived some of the other ladies were already there, drinking tea and chatting.
Set up so that we were all around the same table, with an individual mirror and shared bottles of setting lotion and water spray, we started with pin curls and victory rolls. Hannah (who owns Make Do and Mend) showed us how to reserve a section of hair for the victory roll, and then to pin curl the rest. Once this was done (Mimi’s was most successful, Lou’s hair is very short at the moment and mine is incredibly long, thick and unruly) we wrapped our hair in scarves and let it dry. Hannah explained that usually this would be done before sleeping. Clearly, as it was mid-afternoon, sleeping was off the agenda, and more tea and biscuits while swapping stories and tips with the other girls was definitely on!
Here we are putting our pin curls in.
We then set to work on the victory roll section. Those with very short hair or a fringe had a helping hand from some of Hannah’s vintage roll-safety-pin contraptions (sadly you can’t buy these any more new) and the rest of us rolled and pinned and unrolled and rolled and pinned… and repeated. I eventually discovered, after several attempts, that I was trying to roll far too much hair at once. Ditching some of it (extra pin curl, anyone?) meant I finally got a roll/quiff type structure, which I promptly drenched in hairspray!
We then moved on to makeup, with Hannah showing us how to do a 1940s eyeliner flick. This is a brilliant concept which I really struggled with, was fine on my right eye but rubbish on my left – without my glasses I can’t see much at all out of my right eye so have always struggled (and with my day to day makeup, pretty much do it by feel). However, practise makes perfect and I at least now have the technique to work on!
Winged eyeliner, red lips and sweeps of blusher done, we were ready to unpin our pin curls. These had varying degrees of success, depending on the type of hair, the tightness of the curl and whether or not we’d actually let it dry properly (if you unwrap a damp pin curl, it will just go straight instead of springy and bouncy).
To no one’s surprise, the majority of my hair refused to curl, so I put it up in a fifties style ponytail which looked pretty good with my roll/quiff contraption. Mimi’s hair fell in soft waves, and Lou’s curled around her head in a surprisingly ruly fashion (her hair is so short in places we weren’t sure it would work at all!)
We met the lovely Karen of Essex Vintage Weddings, and lots of other ladies too – I hope to go back and do another workshop now I’ve had my hair cut and it’s a bit more manageable. Invested in some setting lotion at the weekend too so I could practise… quite when I’m going to fit this in to my ridiculous schedule I don’t know, but I’d love to be able to do vintagey hair more often 🙂