As you all know, I am a huge fan of Heyday Online and am lucky enough to be one of the main models for their wonderful vintage reproduction clothing.
Their trousers are some of my favourite pieces and I wear them almost every day! Flattering, high waisted and wide legged, they have a perfect 30’s/40’s style and can be twinned with knitted sweaters in winter or tie tops in summer!
Heyday have just brought out some more pinstriped trousers and I thought I would share some photos we took of them! A great tip… Vertical stripes are slimming and lengthen the legs!
Although I have a huge appreciation of Art Deco to Atomic decor, did you know that I am passionate about PreRaphaelite art to? It Juxtaposes rather well with my Steampunk hobby as the PreRaphalite Brotherhood hated that the Victorian era was heading more towards industry and that modern art (at that time) was not what they thought beautiful. They adored 14th and 15th Century romantisism and Italian paintings before Raphael (although they apparently had nothing against his work at all).
The PRB was created in 1848 by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, John Everett Millais and William Holman Hunt, who were all in their early 20’s. Later, James Collinson, art critic William Rossetti, F.G. Stephens and sculptor Thomas Woolner were invited to join the exclusive club. As well as parties, affairs and crazy pets (The Brotherhood were nuts about Wombats and the animal was depicted in a number of paintings and poems), Rossetti ended up owning a couple and named one ‘Tops’ after his good friend William Morris. The poor thing was not well however, and after its death he had it stuffed and displayed at home. Other pets included kangaroos, a toucan, llama and raccoons amongst others. You can just imagine the noise complaints from his neighbours.
Rossetti was infatuated by red hair. Whether it was the rarity of the colour (only 2% of the world’s population) or the mythical symbolism surrounding it (vampires, evil, sorceresses, passion…) Im not sure, but red heads certainly feature greatly in the preraphaelite works. Muse Lizzie Siddal was not only a model, but an artist too. She famously posed for Millais’ painting of ‘Ophelia’, having to lie in a freezing cold bath for hours without complaint. She became very ill afterwards and nearly died, but fortunately pulled through. Dante Rossetti was completely in love with her for some time and their relationship was rocky and heated thanks to Siddal’s illnesses and Rossetti’s affairs. It may have been because of these that Lizzie became addicted to Laudanum (opium tincture). After the loss of her baby, she spiralled into depression and died of an overdose soon after.
At her funeral, Dante placed a book of his hand written poems next to her cheek, entwining some of her beautiful red hair around it. After 7 years, he seemed to have gotten over his wife’s death enough to realise he wanted his beloved book back. He had her body exhumed and lamented the fact that he received the manuscript back decayed, soggy, stinking of disinfectant and littered with worm holes. Blurgh.
So now I bring you to the images you have been scrolling through! I have wanted to do a preRaphaelite photoshoot for years and finally got my opportunity with photographer Wayland Thor Badger! I had previously made the dress for a friend’s wedding many years ago and had recently found it again. It seemed to be perfect for a romantic, medieval feel. It was a magical day of shooting, with little Shetland ponies munching nettles on the opposite bank and the sound of the river trickling over stones. This is our nod to the PRB, Lizzie Siddal and all those gorgeous red heads. All 2% of you.
On VE Weekend this year, I was once again supposed to be singing at the VE Festival in Evesham. This wonderful event had moved to Ashdown Camp in Evesham and we were all excited for the new beginnings of a very successful and popular show! The VE Show was going to be sponsored by Vivien of Holloway in 2020 and I was lucky enough to be sent one of their Lana dresses to wear whilst performing.
Unfortunately Covid-19 dashed our plans and all events have obviously been cancelled for this year. I was still able to do a photoshoot of this beautiful 1940’s style dress with the talented Paul W Russell Photography. Our backdrop was the breathtaking Kenilworth Castle, of which I will have the pleasure of visiting later this month.
So, back to the dress! The fit is quite roomy compared to Vivien of Holloway’s more structured dresses (e.g. the Sarong). I ended up going for a VoH size 16 in this. Do NOT confuse their sizing with standard UK ones! Frustratingly, their sizes are based on vintage ones, so the 16 is infact a 12 UK. As I mentioned before, this dress definitely has more give, so that is why I went for the 16 instead of an 18. Im usually between a 12 and 14 UK and very curvy (40″-31″-40″), so always struggle with bust to waist ratio on dresses. This fit very well and the style is flattering and comfortable.
Vivien of Holloway now have a huge range of colours of the Lana dress and I would definitely find it difficult to choose which shade to get! And guess what? IT HAS FLIPPING POCKETS! YAAAAAAAS!!!
I meant to post these amazing photos ages ago, but due to one thing and the other it has taken until now to show you!
It is no secret that I flipping LOVE mermaids and have wanted to do a shoot for years in this theme. Well, I was booked in with Nez to do a Halloween shoot (I adore his dramatic sets and lighting)…but then BHAM! He has to go and get a giant clam shell and get me all excited didn’t he.
I bought a little white taxidermy stoat from him a while back and decided to hide him in the photos! Using EVA foam, I fashioned an old fashioned diver’s helmet for the little critter and he hasn’t taken it off since. See if you can spot him in the pictures below.
PRE-WARNING! THE FOLLOWING IMAGES ARE NOT SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN. THEY FEATURE BOOBIES IN PASTIES AND A WHOLE LOTTA SHADE. SO LITTLE KIDDIES…SASHAY AWAY…
Please note that all images are copyright Neil Kendall Photography. Image of stoat diver (Nez) copyright Kitten von Mew.
In early March I had the pleasure of working with Chris Nicholls of CSN Photography! We visited the beautiful and peaceful GWSR as they prepared for yet another busy season. The weather was questionable, but we made the most of the odd sunny spell between the showers!
So here are my top pick pics for you! In the 1940’s themed images I am wearing an original 40’s swing coat, crepe dress and hat. The shoes are from Johnson’s Originals. In the 50’s/60’s images I am wearing an original novelty print vintage dress and Clark’s Shoes.
I am very much looking forward to shooting with CSN Photography again. As he is used to frequenting at vintage military events, Chris has a keen eye for detail! It’s a shame we couldn’t shoot more of the dress, but it was flipping cold at this point and the weather was really turning!
At the beginning of this year I had the honour of being part of a photoshoot at the Aston Tavern in Birmingham. Nestled underneath a flyover, surrounded by industry, this incredibly beautiful hotel and bar is an absolute oasis of vintage inside! It has a stunning bar and the rooms are all themed with vintage furniture, decor and beds!
It was an utter pleasure to shoot with photographer Charlotte Doran Davies a couple of weeks back at the incredible Pumpkins R Us!
Situated in Kenilworth, this wonderful location offers a mind-boggling array of pumpkins and Halloween decor! I enjoyed it so much last year that we went 4 times, and this year Ive been twice already.
I had created a black and white outfit for myself and Betsy Rose that were meant to be worn at Crich Steampunk Event. My skirt was repurposed from a ballgown I used to sing in (but never fit very well). I cut out all the underskirts and re-draped the top layers; adding contrasting trim in orange and teal green. I created a bustle pillow for underneath and wore butterfly tights to compliment Betsy’s wings!
I also had a wonderful black coat that didn’t make it into any of my chosen photographs. I have to work on the shape as it made me look bulky with my bustle. It was a long one I bought second hand off of Ebay that I cut and reshaped. The long coat had faux fur trim all around the bottom and up the front, so I reused this once I had cut it into shape. Its a pity it didn’t look right, but I will get it sorted!
The hat I made from hessian, EVA foam, part of a wooden boat, pillow stuffing and Fimo, with some trim, ribbon and battery LEDs to finish it off. It is in homage to Travella; a character from Boodle – A Steampunk Story, by Tilly Copperplate.
Now onto Betsy’s outfit! The skirt was repurposed from a beautiful Laura Ashley one I have had knocking around for 10 years. It no longer fit me and was such a great fabric. I cut it down, took in the waist and used the trimmed fabric and netting to create a bustle effect. Trimmed with pom poms in the same colours as mine, it matched really well, without looking too ‘Mommy Dearest.’ The pierrot clown hat was made from EVA foam, with teal green pom poms, pleated fabric trim from her skirt and laser cut cogs. The back has a leather buckle piece to bring in more of the steampunk element.
The orange of the pumpkins worked so well with the boldness of the outfits. I wanted to create a slightly Gothic, Tim Burton-esque Steampunk feel and the balance was pretty tricky. The colourful trim helped with this I think and Charlotte did an wonderful job capturing our day.
Thank you so much to Pumpkins R Us for letting us into their marquee and their fields before they were open to the public. Hopefully you will see some of our images gracing their website page next year!
In Spring this year I had the pleasure of shooting with Lee Parker again! This time, we included Betsy Boo and created a Cinderella inspired theme. A fantastic excuse to wear an epic ballgown, we both dressed as Cinderella and the Fairy Godmother. I created some wire and cellophane wings for each of us and Karen D Bebbington skillfully did my hair once more. The Tiaras were kindly lent to us by Boho Bride in Stratford upon Avon as were my Fairy Godmother shoes!
Lee has sent me some photos to post up AND a little video he created. Enjoy!