Saturday, July 20, 2013

Nanna - at My Age - in Her Day

It's been a little while since my last post and I was wondering what to blog about but, after a party we attended last night I was inspired to write about it. 

One of my dearest friends Siobhan whom I like to refer to as my 'sister-friend' (she's also my brother in-laws girlfriend) recently turned 21 and hosted a “Vintage Old Hollywood Glamour” party last night.
We were informed to dress for the occasion, encouraged to dress to the nines with no holding back! I may not have had to spend a cent on props for my costume and look but I did my best to look authentic of the glamorous bygone days of  the 1950's. 

The birthday girl and I.
As I did my hair up in pin curls yesterday morning, my thoughts strayed to my Nanna Bamford and what it was like for her - at my age - in her day! What did she do to prep for a fancy night out? Did she pin curl her hair too? What length would her dress have been and did she slip on a pair of elbow length gloves? My Nanna Kartawidjaja also comes to mind. It’s been said that I look a lot like her when she was young so, I've been turning the unit upside down desperately trying to find a small USB containing black and white photos of my grandparents when they were young, back in the 1940 - 1950's. I've had no success finding it so unfortunately I can't share them with you. I will however, share some photos of last night’s party.

So, here's how I got my look. 
In the morning I washed my hair and put it up in pin curls whilst still damp. If you've never pin curled before you can find out how here. It requires many bobby pins or flat prong clips and is a little fiddly but not too difficult. The brush out is the scariest part but also the easiest and, depending on how you brush the curls depends on the look you get.

In the afternoon when both boys were snoozing, I decided to put on my makeup. Doing make up isn't something I find difficult but using liquid eyeliner however, is quite the challenge! I generally only wear pencil eyeliner on the top inside of my eyelid, it gives subtle definition without looking heavy or making my eyes look smaller. But for those more special and fancy occasions I do bring out the liquid and, what I find best and easiest to use is Maybelline Master Precise Liquid Liner. It's more of a pen rather than a brush you have to dip in liquid. You'll all probably agree that the hardest part is getting that flick right so here's a good tutorial on 1950's make up which not only demonstrates the eye makeup but on getting the complete look..

Rupert taking on the role of photo bomber.
Now for the dress. It's not a dress that I've been overly fond of but I think I bought it for about $50 from "Noni B" when I was working there a few years back. I wore it to a friends wedding. It turned out to be perfect for last night’s occasion. The hemline sits at the traditional 1950's mid calf length, before dresses started to crop up to the knee. 
The heels were from "Forever New", bought for a wedding last year. They are what I'd call a 1950's "Spectator" style shoe/heel. They have a white toe so I thought I'd wear white elbow length gloves to tie it all together. The gloves used to belong to my grandmother, a little bit of special. 
I wanted my hair and makeup to be the outstanding feature of my look so I tried not to overdo it with accessories or by adding too many accents and colours. 
In my hair I placed an all-black flower and a simple but stunning necklace around my neck. I payed $4 for it from "Collete Hayman", it too was bought for a previous wedding. Around my waist was a thin black belt with a small silver buckle which tied in with the necklace.

So that was my look now, let’s talk party. When I get invited to fancy dress parties with a theme I often wonder how "themed" they will actually be. You kind of don't want to go all out if the host and others are only partly rising to the occasion but, knowing this birthday girl quite well, I knew it would be great! And if none of the other attendees were going all out she most certainly would be! 

The venue far exceeded my expectations! I'm not sure what I expected really?! I expected guests to be dressed in vintage glamour but never gave much thought to how the venue would look. Well, it looked amazing! As you entered the back yard through the carport you walked a red carpet that glowed with a row of tea lights either side and, when you got to the back yard it had been transformed into a stunning vintage styled restaurant/bar/club. There were small cafe tables set up with these simple but ever so effective table centers.  There were bench seats with with fairy lights draping from the trees and if it weren't for the Hollywood sign on the back fence, I'd say it felt a lot like Paris When it Sizzles! The music playing was iconic to the era and glancing around the yard to the back of the house there sat a screen playing "Breakfast at Tiffany's". I could have sworn it felt like I was sitting in a romantic restaurant with Audrey Hepburn across the table. 
The food was delicious and the guests looked vintage and glamorous.

Siobhan and Stuart (Matt's brother)
The birthday girl and also the star of the night looked stunningly gorgeous! Siobhan sported a very glamorous vintage dress which, by the way, she purchased from a vintage store in Germany! Can't get much more authentic than that! I didn't examine it but it looked like red shot taffeta or satin with a beautiful black lace overlay which sparkled with black sequins. Siobhan’s hair was very sleek and very 1950’s; it had an element of Dita von Teese. She wore sweet pearls around her neck (maybe there’s a story behind those?) and shiny black elbow length gloves with an eye-catching diamante bracelet. Her shoes were black peep toes. She looked incredible!

There were some lovely speeches and a video taking us through Siobhan’s 21 years on earth... and then... we hit the expiry time. That time when little babies are crying, falling over, getting irritable and well, ready for bed!

A lovely night had.   



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