Love is certainly in the air this year, with lots of wonderful weddings to attend before my own in September! Last weekend, the OH and I packed our darling Clementine off to the local cattery, donned our Sunday best and drove to Hampshire to watch some of our oldest friends (and Fantasy Football professionals) tie the knot. After the decade they have spent together, it really was quite the occasion. It was also a blooming lovely way to catch up with several old friends who had traveled from far and wide to be there, and who we both miss immensely. I thought I would share some of the photographs that I took on the day to celebrate the very happy occasion. Congratulations Jen and Sean, it was a beautiful wedding and I feel privileged to have shared the day with you!
The wedding was held at the historic Clock Barn in Whitchurch, surrounded by glorious countryside as far as the eye can see. I took advantage of the green space under the thatched clock tower during mingling time to take a couple of outfit photos. I must admit I was slightly more self conscious than usual, after being spotted by several confused wedding guests. I think they were rather curious as to why I was taking so many photographs of my shoes, but then again, they are fabulous shoes! However fabulous, they didn’t last long once the Cèilidh band started and I danced the night away!
It was an emotional wedding, even the cake was in tiers…
Way back in She and Hem history, Double Thumbs Dresses #14 to be precise, we featured a wonderful company called Weekend Doll! We quickly fell in love with their vintage inspired pieces, especially their modern take on 40s tea dresses and twirly 50s frocks! Heaven! We were therefore delighted when they got in touch to see if we would like to choose a dress each to feature. It’s a hard life sometimes.
J: I loved this blue chiffon Peter Pan Posey* collar dress from the moment I set eyes on it. It’s exactly what I look for in a dress in that it looks like the grown up version of something I would have worn when I was 7. Perfect. I’ve already worn it a few times and each time it has received numerous compliments – and not just from girls! I say! I’ve taken to wearing it with black accessories in my latest bid to look as much like an angry Alice in Wonderland as possible but I like teaming it with white tights and pastels too. The belt is from ASOS (the dress does comes with a red tie belt), the spot tights are from Oliver Bonas and my stomping boots are H! by Henry Holland. My heart sunglasses are an Amazon bargain.
V: I chose the delightful coral Maisy* dress. With it’s minty piping and beautiful big bow, it really stood out on Weekend Doll’s website. I had planned on wearing this as a day dress during the summer, but after slipping on some nude heels to take the photographs, the dress felt far too special! I’m now going to save it for a friends upcoming wedding. I kept my accessories really simple, wearing two pairs of sunglasses from Primark, as this pretty dress is definitely the star of the show!
On Saturday, I popped over to Chepstow in Wales to attend a vintage street fayre organised by Vintage Vision and lots of fab volunteers who all love all things vintage! Due to the rather inclement weather, the fayre was moved from the street and into a local village hall. Fortunately, what could have been a damp squib turned out to be the perfect location for the variety of charming stalls made up of vintage clothing, accessories and homeware. There was also a design workshop for children, so their parents could focus on oodles of shopping. I spotted some gorgeous vintage clothes for children, and my niece and I fell for this floral dress below.
The ladies at Vintage Vision have a good understanding of what constitutes ‘vintage’ and will sell items from 1880 to 1980 that are classically beautiful, fashionable or just plain lovely. They are also up for a good party and have a unique selection of ‘cheesy’ vintage for fancy dress. I popped into the shop after visiting the fayre and they currently have some really beautiful 1950’s dresses in stock, so if you are local, do pay a visit!
Here at She and Hem, we are positively gaga about Lady V London, a web based company who specialise in 1950’s style reproduction dresses. As you will learn, this obsession all started with a wedding but thanks to their timeless style, originality and affordability Lady V has now become our go to place for dresses for all occasions.
The quality of the dresses is superb and, unlike a lot of their competition, Lady V support British business and workers! They have chosen to make 90% of their dresses in London after visiting China and seeing the awful conditions the workers face there. We really admire this and it makes us love them even more!
We gathered together our own merry band of fellow Lady V lovers, in the form of the beautiful Ellie, Kelly, Deesha & Leah (seen L-R above) to find out what exactly it is that makes Lady V stand out from the crowd.
Leah: I love this dress. It actually belongs to Jo and I thought about sneaking off after the shoot and fleeing to Mexico with said dress. The colour is really beautiful and the print is bold, but with muted colours so it doesn’t feel too ‘in your face’. This dress was a perfect fit already, but the tie at the back makes it feel tailor made. I love the neckline, the back and the length. This dress felt really well made and expensive, but I’ve since discovered that the collection is a bit of a bargain so I’ve already ordered a dress from the Lady V website so that I’ll be all set for the next summer wedding.
Kelly: My dress started out as a Bridesmaid dress, and I couldn’t have been happier with Jo’s choice! I love anything floral and with yellowy tones, so I knew that it would be great for the wedding’s vintage theme and that I would also love wearing it again after the event. I love the fit of the swing dress as it really flatters my figure and I have had so many compliments that I am looking to expand my collection soon!
Victoria: When I saw this dress on the Lady V site, I fell in love and knew it had to be mine. The design is original and classic and is perfect for my figure. I like to wear a dress with a clinched in waist and a full circle skirt as I find them not only the most flattering, but also the most fun! As you can see I love nothing more than to spin around, be silly and use the full skirt to create great shapes for photographs. This dress looks absolutely stunning with a 1950’s style petticoat and can be styled in so many ways for different occasions, which is why I can see myself wearing this beauty forever. The print and shape are both beautiful and timeless. We wore our dresses on a beautiful hot summer day, but I can definitely see myself wearing this over the Christmas period with some bright tights and a cardigan. I now have my eye on the gorgeous turquoise floral swing dress.
Jo: I first discovered Lady V when frantically searching for the perfect Bridesmaid dresses. I remember very early in the process sitting down with Ellie and discussing my dream criteria – 50’s shape, not a high neckline, be fun to twirl around in, floral print, mustard tones and not expensive. I didn’t expect to find the perfect dress and after several months of scouring the highstreet, bridal boutiques (being quoted eye watering amounts of money) and the internet I had pretty much given up all hope! But THEN after one of my many ’50’s wedding’ Google sessions, I discovered Lady V and have never looked back! It is an absolute gem of a website and was exactly what I wanted. The girls all looked stunning in their dresses and they received so many compliments! People assumed I had spent a fortune on them! I am absolutely thrilled that they inspired so many people to check out Lady V and obviously it wasn’t long before I had to buy one for myself! I really love the shape and high neckline of their tea dresses and think they really flatter my figure. I love that I can dress it up with a petticoat but equally I can wear it with flats and a cardigan. The Red Poppy number you can see above is my absolute new favourite dress! I love the big bold print and think it has a lovely retro feel about it.
Ellie: I’ve always suspected that I should have been a woman in the 50’s. Despite the horrific discrimination women experienced, they seemed to get fashion spot on. My figure is somewhat curvy and the cinched waists and full skirts really flatter an hourglass figure. However, there has never been anything of this style available on the high street – amazingly it’s a fashion that hasn’t come around again. Trawling the Internet proved unsuccessful for the empty of purse such as myself. Then, Jo discovered Lady V! Beautiful fabrics and brilliant fitting dresses that never fail to attract attention and compliments whenever I’ve worn them. And best of all, fantastic value. People always ask where I got my Lady V black and white dress and when I tell them the price they are positively astounded. My one request would be for pockets (I’m obsessed with pockets!) but other than that, these dresses are perfect in every way.
Deesha: I was introduced to Lady V by Jo a few months ago – she recommended me purchasing one of these fabulous beauties when I was lusting after the gorgeous dresses she had her bridesmaids wear. I flicked through the dazzling selection and the Lemon Fruit Print Tea Dress caught my eye – from that instant I knew I had to have that level of zest in my life! I wore it to my 21st fundraiser-birthday bash and it looked a treat, if I do say so myself. I love teaming it with bright colours but also subtle shades so the jolly lemon pattern stands out.
Prices range between £30 and £50 and the dresses are available in sizes 8 to 24. They often add new stock to the website to suit every shape, size and personality.
A big thank you to the girls for letting us take millions of photos of them! It was excellent fun, although we do feel a slight responsibility to point out that the railway you see above is a disused one! Don’t play on the tracks, kids! And just in case you were all feeling curious about those bridesmaid dresses…..