Monday, 30 April 2012

A Fabulous Photoshoot: Vintage, tattoo and pinup photography by Alt.Studio!

I'd seen a lot of buzz amongst local bloggers and members of the North West Vintage Business Network about Alt.Studio, so when I was given the opportunity to book a shoot, I jumped at the chance!

Situated in a cosy, private space within Ridelow (formerly the Home Design Store), one of Manchester's oldest established alternative shops in the city centre's cool and quirky Northern Quarter, Alt.Studio specialises in producing fantastic portraits for an alternative clientele. A pampering makeover service is available where a professional artist can work her magic with hairstyling and makeup to create any vintage look you desire, from 1920s vamp, through to 1950s glamour or 60s siren. The owner, Simon Hunt, also has a passion for tattoo photography, and really gets the best from his illustrated subjects with some beautiful, colourful shots of people from all areas of the 'alternative' spectrum.

I chose a cheesecake pinup theme for my shoot, as I really love the old cheeky, colourful pinups of the 40s and 50s - Bettie Page, Elvgren, Vargas... I felt I would be most comfortable with this as it best reflects my personal style and would allow me to show off a range of my self-made dresses and hats! Every Alt.Studio shoot is built around the client's personal style and vision, and Simon is great at helping to bring this out of his models! I'm by no means an old hand when it comes to being photographed, but I have done quite a few professional photoshoots and bits of modelling for my own and my friends' companies, and Simon was one of the best photographers I have ever worked with. His friendly attitude and infectious energy really put me at ease in front of the camera, and he knew exactly how to direct me to get the most effective, flattering and interesting poses.

I loved my hair and makeup by Nikki Armstrong, and will be trying to recreate this hairstyle at home, as soon as I have some tongs so I can get the lovely defined curls!

New tiki dress! Hair flower by MissTiki Designs

Simon managed to shoot me in four outfits in the space of just a couple of hours! I couldn't wait to see the images once we were finished, and left Alt.Studio feeling really pleased and confident.

Vintage family heirloom parasol... birdie straw hat coming soon to my shop!

New Hawaiian dress by me... really proud to be Alt.Studios' facebook cover girl!

I would really recommend the Alt.Studio experience to anyone looking for an empowering, fun day and to take away some beautiful images! The studio can also be booked for couples or small groups, and don't forget to mention that you were referred by Kalandra when you book! Alt.Studio is offering free makeovers and special price image packages alongside some great competitions for a limited time only, so head over to the studio's facebook page (where I am currently the cover photo!) or to see more of Simon's beautiful work.

My favourite shot... lovely work by Alt.Studio which will be printed and grace my wall when I'm an old woman!

You can also see more delicious Alt.Studio portrait photography on Dolly Cool Clare's blog, Helen's blog, Kitty Wink Vintage and the fabulous Marry Me Ink - they're all really worth a look, the pictures (and the ladies, of course) are gorgeous!

Friday, 13 April 2012

I have succumbed! Bakelite goodness.

I smell the beginnings of a new addiction... smells vaguely like formaldehyde. I had hoped never to fall prey to the dangerous craze that is collecting vintage bakelite bangles, but having seen the huge, beautiful collections of bloggers such as
Brittany and Holly, I decided that no respectable vintage jewellery collection could be complete without them!

Bakelite jewellery isn't something that pops up too often in the UK, and online prices are high, so this is a rare treat for me. My only other bakelite possessions are some buttons and buckles, and two adorable Scottie dog napkin rings which belonged to my grandmother.

This beauty is currently winging its way to me from Canada after Aerospace Boyfriend fought bravely for it on eBay. He details my triumph here on his blog, which contains many fine examples of why he should probably always listen to me.

My beloved Scotties... I love the colours and the little differences between them.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Tiki drinks and vintage trinkets

I've been horribly ill for the last week, so haven't been up to much. I managed to drag myself out on Tuesday though, my friend Honor was in Manchester, I hadn't seen her for two years so we went out for lunch, a little shopping and a couple of drinks together. We ate at Dough Pizza Kitchen, I can recommend it very highly. Prices aren't cheap but aren't too bad (£30 for a bottle of wine, two pizzas and one item from the nibbles menu) and they do dairy free, vegan, and gluten free options alongside an inventive choice of pizzas, pastas and salads, plus vegan options on their desserts menu!

Here we are at Hula in Manchester, I'm drinking a Sweet Leilani - possibly the most delicious drink ever to pass my lips, it is a symphony of coconut, lychee, rose petal and elderflower. Mmmmmm. I brought home the decorative carnation, here it is on my sideboard.

We had a mooch round Manchester institution Affleck's Palace and I picked up these lovely yellow polka dot gloves and a rather large rhinestone brooch.

These are my other recent acquisitions, a load more vintage glassware for my uranium glass collection. I've got nowhere left to put it all!

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Wartime dress - finished!

I finished the 1941 dress! Here it is, in all its spotty glory. I narrowed the shoulders a bit to fit my frame, and shortened the skirt by a couple of inches too. My lovely yellow bakelite belt buckle works perfectly.

I'm wearing it with a turban to cover up my horrendous roots... I think this is a thoroughly 1940s solution to an unsightly head, Aerospace Boyfriend however says it makes me look like one of those African ladies in their matching outfits and turbans... I think he's wrong, but I don't care anyway, those ladies always look amazing!

I'm also wearing my 1940s red velvet shoes, a 30s uranium glass necklace, and a cuff bracelet made from plastic strapping and rectangular luggage strap rings - this belonged to my Nanna, and I remember when she gave it to me as a child that she told me all about how there was no money for jewellery during the war, so accessories were made from scrap, and that this was made for her. I don't know who made it.

I'm hoping to wear this dress to the Haworth 1940s Weekend and am currently attempting to organise a road trip with lots of other ladies! Let me know if you're nearby and fancy joining us.