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BAT FOR LASHES - 22nd Feb 2012

So we’ve wanted to test out the range of strip eyelashes from The Vintage Cosmetic Company for a while now, so we we’re happier than Alexa in the front row of Mulberry when these arrived! Each design has its own personality so the rush was on to find out if we're a Betty or Connie. 

Who better to help us with this task than our favourite hair and make-up artist, Adjani Barton whose work has graced our ASOS shoots.  Faux eyelashes obviously need to be tested out on a real human being, so we were super happy when burlesque artist, Khandie Kisses agreed to model. She’s a girl who knows a thing or seventeen about the the art of good make-up being the, ‘Queen of Burlesque’. She coincidently was teaching one of her infamous dance classes later that evening, what a better excuse for a makeup session! First we tried the glamourtastic ‘Betty’ lashes, which give almond shaped eyes.  Adjani pointed that you can tailor the length of falsh lashes to your eye, by using a small pair of scissors to cut them at the inner corner. Although all of these lashes come with a handy tube of eye lash glue, 'Duo Adhesive' available at MAC is the glue of choice (used by Adjani here). 

Next we tried Connie, great for everyday wear as they subtly increase the volume of your lashes. It’s important that you apply your eye make-up to suit your own style, don’t feel like you have to necessarily go for a retro look. We did classic pin-up glamour for Khandie as this worked beautifully with her natural style. It also complimented her turban which she has customised with sari jewellery, genius!.

Huge thanks to the beautiful Khandie Kisses www.khandiekisses.com and hair & make-up legend, Adjhani Barton www.adjhanib.com.

VINTAGE SECRETS - 6th February 2012

Last year Rag&Bow's Hazel was asked by friend, fellow vintage expert and founder of Vintage Secret, Naomi Thompson to model looks for her debut book, Style Me Vintage - Clothes: A guide to Sourcing and Creating Retro Looks. After the shoot took place in August last year the clock was ticking, waiting for its imminent publication. The anticipation was immense so when the book arrived we weren’t disappointed. It’s the perfect antidote to those looking to increase their knowledge and interpret vintage into their wardrobes. Not only does Naomi share handy style, sourcing and care tips but also guides us through the key looks of the 1920s-1980s. There is page after page of glorious vintage outfits modelled by Hazel and other friends and family. 



We have an exclusive interview with Naomi where we find out more about her book, plus juicy vintage recommendations such as, what modern labels are worth investing in now for the future?


Can you describe the book in a sentence.

Vintage for everyone minus the fluff, full of no nonsense tips.


Your book has lots of handy tips but what’s your ultimate one?

Buy what you like. Trust your instincts. This is how you develop your own style.


You cover the 1920-1980s, are you drawn to any particular decade?

I love the silhouettes of the 1930's - so elegant and chic. But I also like a bit of everything, including the 80's.


Did you learn anything surprising about vintage and its history whilst compiling the book?

Yes I did. The whole thing was a learning curve and generated some interesting debates on, notably, whether sequins were rationed or came under the Utility scheme. That one was bounced around Twitter for a few days. Also I learnt that the 'New Look' was not the name given by Dior to his signature look, it was the Corolle Line.


Do you have a favourite image in the book?

Yes, on page 79 is my beautiful friend Bethan in her 70's finery. She is normally an immaculate 40's girl and for me she was willing to look completely different, which I really appreciated. She looks like a fresh-faced Goldie Hawn in her heyday, with a dollop of Drew Barrymore. I know it wasn't easy for her but she looks like a total babe and I will always be grateful to her for it.


What was the biggest challenge in terms of producing the book?

Probably time! I could have gone on for ever making it but let’s just say the schedule was tight. That and the fact we shot most of the images at the height of summer. But I had a fantastic team working with me.


What’s the most coveted vintage piece in your own wardrobe and why?

The 1920's Geometric silk velvet jacket featured on page 24. I've been told it should be in the V&A.


What labels should people be investing in now for ‘future vintage’?

I think Topshop will be the new Biba in years to come, though that's not to say rush out and buy it all. A few choice pieces are worth keeping. Hold on to Laura Ashley. Otherwise keep hold of any small good independent labels as they will be scarce and coveted. I haven't bought any modern branded clothes for years, but I do really like old and new Wallis clothing, it's got shape to it.


Whose is your style icon from the past and who do you admire in 2012?

Any lady, past or present from The Advanced Style blog; I simply adore it and can't wait for the film that comes out this year. 


To celebrate us being included in this wonderful book, we're giving away one copy to a lucky person. To enter, simply like the image from the book on Facebook or follow us and re-tweet the following on Twitter. 'Fancy winning a copy of 'Style Me Vintage' in time for Valentine’s Day? RT & follow @ragandbow to win'.


Style Me Vintage: Clothes - A Guide to Sourcing and Creating Retro Looks (Anova Books £5.89 on Amazon)

VIDEO VIXENS - 2nd February 2012

 We love a fashion video and those that innovate within this burgeoning genre, check out the BRAND NEW video by Quentin Jones for Victoria Beckham's new line Victoria.


Back in January we brought you the images from Prada's retro heavy S/S 2012 advertising campaign. Well it's now immortalised in video, watch and love Steven Meisel's work!

We have always admired the work that previous Nick Knight assistant and now film maker, Ruth Hogben has produced with Gareth Pugh, here is their lastest collobration.

FLORAL COUTURE - 1st February 2012


When the images came through from the Paris Couture Spring Summer 2012 shows obviously everyone was talking about Jean Paul Gaultier (some say insensitive) homage to Amy Winehouse. We on the other hand were quietly celebrating the fact that Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli, who now head the design team at Valentino are producing some incredibly beautiful work. 


We took notice at their S/S 2012 ready to wear show last September when ethereal models wore full-length dresses in nudes and iconic Valentino red, many with intricate lace and applique details. This use of sumptuous amounts of fabric was magically escalated for their couture offering. This collection was inspired by an 18th century Marie Antoinette, full of delicate floral chintz, smocking, full skirts and floor length dresses in pale off whites, pinks and cornflower blues. 


The collection sparked something in our minds as we realised the collection is reminiscent of the designs produced by Laura Ashley during the 1970s-1980s. They were known throughout this period for the use of romantic, floral print dresses. We’ve compiled an gallery of archive Laura Ashley images to show the similarities!