Sunday, 11 November 2012

Where my dogs at?

Please excuse the rather gangster title of this post. I promise you it's all wholesome and smooth sailing from here onwards...

If you know me in the real life world or follow me on Twitter, you may know that I am moving into a few flat VERY SOON! Aside from how physically and mentally dulling moving can be, I am very excited, as this will be the first time I have free reign to do what I like with my living space in terms of decorating (providing my bearded man is happy with it too, of course...).

My first thought when buying things for my new flat? Dogs. I love dogs. It's been my life-long dream to own a dog, but as I'm not in a position to have one just yet (don't just own a dog for the sake of it, people), I plan to make up for it in other areas.

Since seeing this Dog Chart Print by Polly Horner in Magma a while ago, it's been at the top of my lust list. I love Polly's style, and she's chosen some rather brilliant dogs for it. If she had a Beagle on there too, all of my dreams would come true...

As if that weren't enough, Polly Horner has now also done a range of pillow cases for Magma - I've died and gone to doggie heaven!

At £30 a pop, they're not cheap, so I plan to maybe buy one a month. It's still cheaper than buying a real dog!

I also spotted these ones in Inspitalfields (cleverly located in Spitalfields!) - I just love a dog in uniform...

What do you think of my choice of doggie-decor? Have I gone too far? Or not far enough?

Much love,

Swell Vintage


Tuesday, 30 October 2012

What a glorious feeling...

This week I was fortunate enough to see Singin' in the Rain at the Palace Theatre in London's beloved West End. As the 1952 MGM film is one of my all-time favourites, I was both excited and nervous to see the show. Although the reviews have been nothing short of excellent, I was uncertain as to whether it would be able to reach the very high bar the film had set.

Photo by Lucy of Shiny Thoughts

Boy, was I wrong...

Without gushing everywhere like an unexpectedly heavy rain storm (see what I did there?), Singin' in the Rain was an utter joy. The acting, the dancing, the singin'...all of it was simply incredible. This will probably sound very stupid, but sometimes I forget just how talented people can be, and seeing a whole stage over flowing with it was just astounding. All I'm saying is, I am currently craving tap shoes and a personal sense of rhythm...

The stand out performance for me was Katherine Kingsley as Lina Lamont. Not only did she add her own unique stamp to the character, but she did it with elegance and style. She even had a song that wasn't in the film - definitely a big treat for any Lina Lamont fans out there.

As if that weren't enough, let's talk about one of the most iconic moments in film history being brought to life on the stage. You may think it would be impossible to recreate Don Lockwood singin' and dancin' in the rain with the same excitement and romance that was done in the film, but you'd be wrong. Seeing it rain on stage in itself was something I will not forget in a hurry. Oh, and if you want to see the show but don't fancy getting wet, I wouldn't sit in the first ten rows. Just trust me on that.

The only part that didn't really work for me, and it's a very small part, was the accent of the show's Cathy Selden, played by Scarlett Strallen. While her singing and dancing were all top notch, I felt her over-the-top New York accent went against the whole reason for her character. In the film, Cathy has a gorgeous, silky-smooth voice to contrast the sharp, headache-inducing to voice of Lina, but there were moments in the show when her voice was equally as novelty-sounding. I'm not sure why they chose to go this way for the stage version, but perhaps I'm just too enamoured with the film.

Overall, would I recommend Singin' in the Rain? Heck yes! If you like classic songs, incredible dancing and an all-round great night out, I'm pretty sure you will love the show as much as I did. It would be the perfect family outing, especially with Christmas drawing ever closer...

If you fancy seeing it for yourself, you can book tickets over at

Until next time, vintage fans...

Much love,

Swell Vintage


Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Let it shine

Hello friends! It's been a while. How the devil are you?

So at the weekend, the very kind folks at Aussie Hair invited me along to a spa to celebrate their wonderful Three Minute Miracle hair saviour and hear an exciting announcement. I had to wait all day to hear their big secret, but the good news is you can hear it right now!

Drum roll please...

Aussie are releasing a brand new collection of hair care products! 

Their "Miracle Shine" range was created to make your hair as gorgeous and glossy as possible. With Australian Ginseng, pearl powder and a whole load of delicious fruit extracts, not only does the whole range smell good enough to eat, but it also does a world of good for your hair. Don't believe me? Let me show you...

Now, I'm no hair model (or any kind of model at that!), and I'm definitely not very good at taking pictures of myself, but I wanted to show you just how shiny the Miracle Shine Shampoo, Conditioner and Three Minute Miracle made my hair after just one wash. I apologies for my ridiculous face/poses/angles in advance...

I don't know about you, but personally I like the last picture best. Jennifer Aniston ain't got nothin' on me...

In conclusion, the new Miracle Shine range from Aussie does exactly what it says on the tin (or rather 'plastic bottle'). My hair is noticeably softer, feels in better condition and, of course, looks a hell of a lot shinier. The complete range of products will be available to buy in shops RIGHT NOW, so get your purse and hair ready to shine!

Much love,

Swell Vintage


Sunday, 5 August 2012

Marilyn Monroe - where did the time go?

As I'm sure you've probably heard already, today marks 50 years since the death of iconic Hollywood star Marilyn Monroe. If she were alive today, she'd be 86 - a pretty reasonable age to live to by modern standards.

I don't know about you, but I can't help but wonder what she'd be doing right now if she was still alive. Perhaps she'd still be making movies, playing the part of the ultimate glamour -Nana, or maybe she'd be overseeing the design of her own fashion label or perfume range like Elizabeth Taylor did. Sadly, that's just another thing about Marilyn that we'll never know.

Although today is a sad occasion, I want to celebrate the short life of this incredible woman by sharing with you my top three favourite Marilyn Monroe films, as well as some of my favourite images of the woman herself. To this day, people dismiss Monroe as a airhead blonde bimbo, but the fact remains she was a very talented actress who had more potential than she had the opportunity to realise. And boy, could she move!

In no particular order...
  1. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

    When I first saw this film as a child, I was absolutely blown away by the glamour and beauty of both Marilyn and her co-star, Jane Russell. "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend" is still an anthem for money-hungry women today, which just shows you how much of an impact a film can still have nearly 59 years later!

  2. Some Like It Hot

    One of her last and arguably most well-known films, Some Like It Hot has been named one of the greatest comedies of all time repeatedly over the years. Although it has been said that Marilyn was a nightmare to work with on set, that doesn't stop her from shining alongside the likes of Jack Lemmon (possibly my favourite man in the world) and Tony Curtis. Jello on springs indeed!

  3. The Seven Year Itch

    Marilyn is the face - and body - of temptation in this film, but still manages to play the likeable, loveable girl next door (or should I say upstairs?) to perfection. The image of her standing over the subway vent may be one of the most famous Marilyn photos, but I love this one. Tom Ewell looks like his eyes may pop out of his head!

So there we have it. Marilyn may have been gone for 50 years, but she definitely won't be forgotten any time soon. I don't want to end this post on a sad note, so here's one of my favourite Marilyn scenes from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes to cheer us all up!

Much love,

Swell Vintage


Wednesday, 18 July 2012

50s Style Inspiration

This week we have a guest post written by Sarah Oxley on behalf of Asos Marketplace, the online portal to boutiques and styles of all vintage eras. Take it away, Sarah!

This summer 50s style dresses are a great option for the vintage fan, as their versatility in looks makes them so desirable. Here are some of the 50s style dresses, which are trending on the Asos Marketplace and which can give you some great style inspiration this summer:

1. Dolce Vita Chic
This dress is an early 50s (and late 40s) style Dolores pencil dress. With its gypsy style puff sleeves and figure hugging fit, this dress is an instant winner for vintage lovers.

2. Rockabilly Polka Dot
This classic rockabilly polka dot dress has been given a twist with the orange colour, but it’s still classic 50s. The black petticoat just peeking out below the hemline adds that extra vintage flair.

3. Classic Sundress
No 50s style collection would be complete without the classic 50s sundress. The pearls add that desired classic chic feel to the outfit.

4. Bold Broidere Anglaise
This Broidere Anglaise dress is a 50s alternative to the classic sundress. The stunning turquoise really stands out, and the style of this dress opens up many accessory options for different looks.

Do you have a favourite 50s style dress?

If you like these styles or want to see some more, visit the site for vintage dresses at Asos Marketplace.

Interested in writing a guest post for Swell Vintage? Email me at

Much love

Swell Vintage


Friday, 6 July 2012

Bologna Part Three: Eating, shopping and sleeping

Not only is this the final part of my series about my trip to Bologna, but it's also all about three of my favourite things - eating, shopping and sleeping!

First up - the food...

Italy is famous for its incredible array of delicious and locally produced dishes, and I was lucky enough to try plenty of them while I was there! They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and luckily I took a few...otherwise this post would just be full of "yummy" and "mmmmm"!

Say cheese! Italian cheese is, as predicted, delicious. Despite the walnut neighours...does anyone else think they look like shriveled brains?

Also, cheese with thick balsamic vinegar is mind-blowingly good. But then again, balsamic vinegar makes everything mind-blowingly good.

Italians + pastry + spinach = amazing. The end.

Baked parmesan with coffee grains and balsamic vinegar from Acetaia San Giacomo...sounds weird, but it was incredible!

Ice-cream with balsamic "sabba". Proof that balsamic vinegar does taste good on everything!

Pastry heaven! I also learned that Italian custard is one of the best things I've ever tasted.

The shopping

As my travel buddies, Katie Antoniou and Akeela Bhattay, and I are big lovers of all things vintage, our shopping adventures mainly consisted of hitting second hand shops and flea markets. Bologna has plenty of hidden gems, but you have to be prepared to do a bit of walking. Fortunately, the city is so beautiful that walking around it is anything but a chore!

We found 'Memoires', an absolutely stunning vintage shop, just around the corner from the Blogville Apartment. Not only was it full of wonderful old brick-a-brac, postcards, jewellery and ornaments, but it was also very reasonably priced. As if that wasn't enough, the shop owners could not have been more friendly or welcoming despite the fact we spoke little to no Italian between us. We all walked away with our shopping bags fuller and our purses a little lighter!

When we heard there was a second hand market in a Church square a little way out of the town, we knew we had to go and check it out. It definitely didn't disappoint either - the market was chock full of vintage and antique goodies at flea market prices! Unfortunately many of the items were a little too large/delicate for the flight home, but just looking around was enough for me. Akeela also managed to find a dress for 2 euros - amazing!


Aside from staying at the brilliant Blogville apartment for two nights, we were also lucky enough to spend our last night at the beautiful Art Hotel Orologio in Bologna.

For those of you who don't speak Italian, 'orologio' means 'clocks', and the hotel was chock full of the most stunning and ornate clocks you could possible imagine! This hotel is perfect for any vintage lover, as it's so classically decorated in a stunning 20s/30s art deco style. As an Agatha Christie obsessive, I couldn't help but imagine it to be the setting of a Poirot novel, with its rich coloured wallpapers and stunning features in each room. There was even a lady statue on our walls! Not only were the beds comfortable and the bathrooms gorgeous, but the staff at the Art Hotel Orologio were incredibly friendly and accommodating. Christina, the owner, even took the time to join us for breakfast to tell us all about the various Art Hotels they own across Bologna. When I go back to Bologna (which I am planning to do very soon!), I will definitely be staying at this hotel again as not only is it gorgeous, but it's also right in the center of town - perfect!

So that's the end of my series about Bologna! I hope you enjoyed reading about it at least half as much as I enjoyed my stay there. I'd like to thank Akeela, Katie, Nicholas Montemaggi and everyone at Blogville, Gina, Helena, Sara, Christina and Giorgio at the Art Hotel Orologio, German Wings for the brilliant flights, as well as the kind local people of Bologna for making my trip so amazing. I hope to see you all again very soon!


Much love,

Swell Vintage


Sunday, 17 June 2012

Bologna Part Two: What I Saw

So, here's part two! And it's going to be pretty picture-heavy, as I saw so many amazing things in Bologna and all around Emilia Romagna, thanks to Blogville. Unfortunately I couldn't capture everything (I still regret not snapping the girl on a bike who had a cat wrapped in an American flag in the basket...or the woman who had a small dog asleep in a pram), but here are a few highlights just for you...

Beautiful buildings

Akeela looking lovely

Katie looking lovely

Church towers

Scary toilets

The lovely Helene and Gina on bikes

The nicest hostel in the world(?)

Gargoyle with boobs

Incredible ceilings

Pretty fancy glasswear

Sky high statues

A bordello!

Where the Italian flag was created

Nicholas, our wonderful Blogville host and guide, enjoying his position of power

Fancy lighting systems

Italian Mr Burns

Pretty squares

Brilliant shop names

Katie a midst poppies

Gina and Helene getting tanked in Brescello

Suave road signs

Incredible farmhouses that make balsamic vinegar (but more on that later...)

Stunning vineyards

Many a barrel of ageing balsamic

Genius statues

Patriotic protests

Gorgeous churchyards

A pretty lady holding up the ceiling at Art Hotel Orologio

Beautiful covered walkways

Akeela snapping away

Fancy cars

Epic doors (and knockers. Teehee, knockers...)

...and so much more!

Come back soon as I'll be posting all about the FOOD! And what glorious food it was...

Until next time...

Much love,

Swell Vintage