On Sunday, I was lucky enough to show a new collection of oriental-inspired headpieces at the Vintage Show, part of Norwich Fashion Week. Anyone who knows Norwich at all knows what a thriving vintage scene the city has, and to be there, right in the thick of it, was great!
The vintage show was held in Norwich Puppet Theatre, a converted medieval church full of dark corners and interesting nooks and crannies. It was the perfect venue to showcase the best vintage pieces the city has to offer, and we were certainly treated to some opulent clothes and accessories. It was quite easy to drift back in time, listening to cheerful songs from decades ago and eyeing up the lush fabrics.
Particular highlights for me included a gorgeous collection of wedding dresses from The Frock Spot, a beautiful sky blue beaded dress from Retreat Vintage, and a delicate, pretty flapper-style wedding dress and veil from The Wedding Shed.
The Frock Spot
The Wedding Shed
Anything wedding related is always bound to attract my attention, but I also had serious bob envy whenever the black-haired model wearing that last dress walked on (honestly, her hair was fantastic). Sadly I think I'd look more like Oliver Cromwell than a sassy siren with that hairdo, so we'll move swiftly on.
Of course for me, the best part of the show was seeing my work on the stage, glittering under the spotlights. My collection of tiaras and headdresses are an eclectic mix of styles from the Far East, and I wanted to create a set of headdresses that had been 'inspired by' oriental pieces, rather than direct copies.
Spring headdress (all-about-image photography)
The Blossom and Spring headdresses are of course a nod to pretty Japanese cherry blossom trees; the Shanghai tiara is worn low on the forehead, with a striking azure blue stone at the centre. The Jade Turquoise tiara is, as the name suggests, inspired by jade jewellery in China; the Cherry Gold tiara is encrusted with vivid red crystals, the luckiest colour in that country.
Jade Turquoise tiara
Cherry Gold tiara
I created two 'halo' tiaras, the Winchester and the Brook, and I think these are my favourite pieces from the collection.
Winchester Halo tiara
Brook Halo tiara (all-about-image photography)
The Winchester tiara was greatly influenced by the Westminster tiara, a piece reminiscent of Chinese headdresses, which was commissioned in 1930 by the Duke of Westminster.
Westminster Halo tiara (Cecil Beaton)
Lastly, I created a fun piece with a pleated paper wheel, fans and a tassle.
It was fantastic to see my pieces on actual heads - I'm normally studying them up close or on a faceless dummy - so to see pretty models with wonderful hair moving about and wearing my tiaras was brilliant!
The show was rounded off in style with a show-stopping, jaw-dropping collection of lingerie from Proudlock & Harry, the wonderful shop full of sumptuous bits and bobs on London Street. Two of the models from that set were also wearing my pieces; a black and white feather headdress commissioned especially for the show, and the Spray tiara, a delicate silver piece with pearl sprigs.
Proudlock & Harry
Proudlock & Harry (Spray tiara)
I saw the show twice, and the organisers deserve a big pat on the back and a firm handshake for devising and creating such a wonderful experience. The setting, music, lighting and models suited the vintage theme perfectly, and I left the theatre feeling better somehow, like I'd been sitting out in the sun for an hour. Well done Norwich! See you next year...
All pieces from my collection are available and on display at Proudlock & Harry, 44 London Street, until mid April.