Monday, 31 May 2010

An evening with Gumtree

Happy Bank Holiday Monday, my lovely friends!

Have you had a good weekend? I do hope so.

I just wanted to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who commented on my Gumtree thingy. It was VERY much appreciated, and it's good to know there are many others out there who love East London as much as I do.

To celebrate all of the Gumtree fun, a few bloggers and twitter-types were invited to South Bank for a mysterious meet up and evening of fun. The surprise was a rather glamourous trip on the London Eye, complete with champagne and canapes!

Not only was it pretty incredible to get such a great view of my beloved London, but it was also so nice to meet some new people. I had a good ol' chat with the lovely MJ of dreaming spires and old car tyre and her equally lovely friend Moya, and it was also lovely to finally meet Nicola of 1000 heads! Their company do such good work.

Getting ready for lift off...Moya, my friend Amelia and MJ of dreaming spires and old car tyres

This is just how we roll...

The lovely Nicola of 1000 heads

There's nothing like a good London sunset

It was such a fun night. Thanks again, kind people of Gumtree!

I'm ever so busy at the moment, but I'll have some very exciting news to tell you soon. Watch this very space, ok?

That's all for now, folks.

Much love,

Swell Vintage


Saturday, 22 May 2010

Swell needs YOU!

I love East London - the view from my flat

Lovely, lovely readers of my humble blog - I need your help!

As you may already know, I am very happy and proud to live in East London (Dalston, to be precise). I have lived in this area for nearly a year now, and I absolutely love it. For every horror story you may hear about Dalston, Hackney and the surrounding areas, there are triple the amount of beautiful and charming areas that are worth visiting. If you've never been there before, I think you'd be pleasantly surprised.

So when Gumtree invited me to take part in a competition to help promote my community, needless to say I jumped at the chance. For my entry, I had to write my favourite things about Hackney. It was difficult to pick just five, as there are so many different things! To read my entry, just head on over to my Gumtree advert.

After you've read my advert, I'd be sincerely grateful if you could do me a HUGE favour. All you have to do is visit the Gumtree forum post about my advert and let me know what you think. The only teeny-tiny catch is that you need to register to post, but it only takes a couple of minutes (it's even quicker if you sign up using your Facebook account). The forum thread is right here.

If you do this huge favour and leave your email address in the comment over at Gumtree, I'll give you 15% off to spend at! Not only that, but you could also be in with a chance of winning a prize yourself - not bad, eh?

Thanks for reading, and thanks x2 if you leave a comment! It'll mean the world to me.

Much love,

Swell Vintage


Monday, 17 May 2010

Swell loves pretaportobello

I've been a pretty big fan of for a long time now. If you haven't been there before, you're in for a treat - not only does this online fashion market stock some cracking independent brands (Dahlia, Toki and Nabi and Blush to name but a few...), but they also have a rather lovely vintage collection.

Needless to say, I was absolutely thrilled to win one of their Facebook competitions! My prize was this absolutely stunning Leonie Saliba leather bag:

Such lovely soft leather! A perfect accompaniment for any spring outfit, don't you agree? It's available in lots of different colours, but I chose 'tan' for a classic satchel look.

However, we have a problem. At the moment I'm trying to be very good with my money, but I have now seen the following things that I NEED in my life as soon as possible:

Image courtesy of

This Trollied Dolly floral dress is so Zooey Deschanel it makes me weep inside. I think it could definitely guarantee me 500 days of summer...

Image courtesy of

I cannot believe this Ci Ci dress is only £38! With all that ruffle detail and fabric, I would have thought it was double that. I love that it has an adorable bow sash too. It's all about the little details, don't you think?

Image courtesy of

The light chiffon and delicate vintage-style detail of this Maggie Cook shrug has got me smitten. I can just see softening a hard all black outfit or adding an elegant touch to a simply dress. NEED.

Image courtesy of

I've been eyeing up these Dahlia leather petal shoes for a long time, and I'm convinced they're the shoes for me. It's like wearing flowers ON YOUR FEET! Who doesn't want to do that?! And there's good news, hayfever suffers - the petals aren't real, so anyone can enjoy! Genius.

Anyway, this post has been a very long-winded way of saying a huge THANK YOU to the wonderful people over at - I love your site, I love your work and basically, I love you.

What do you think of I'd love to know. Sock it to me, people!

Much love,

Swell Vintage


Sunday, 9 May 2010

Swell bloggers

This week I had the absolute pleasure of being invited to the Motorola Fashion Blogger dinner. Organised by the wonderful Nik Thakkar and Fiona of Save Our Shoes, the dinner was a fantastic opportunity to meet fellow bloggers and learn more about how Motorola technology can help improve social networking.

Although it was lovely to hang out with my good friends Fiona of Save Our Shoes, Reena of Fashion Daydreams, Sarah of The Enchanted Hunters and Jenny of The Style PA, it was also really nice to meet new people and put some faces to blogger names! Maria (aka Ruby Cadillac), Alize of Alize Morand, Steve Salter of Style Salvage and Matthew from PR Wonderland are all very lovely and friendly.

Here are some photos from the evening:

Bloggers and Fraser King, a product developer for Motorola

Blogger chatter

Maria (aka Ruby Cadillac) and a lovely lady from Motorola

Reena of Fashion Daydreams and I

As part of my Polaroid heart project (more on that sooooon), I also took a couple of Polaroids. Totally worth lugging that beast of a camera out for!

All of the above, plus me and Jenny of The Style PA

I had such a fun night, and I look forward to future meet ups. I'd like to say a HUGE thank you to Nik, Fiona and all of the Motorola team for a lovely dinner and an excellent night!

In other news, Swell Vintage jewellery is now officially for sale over in Sweden! I'm ever so excited. Visit the Fanny & Magdalena Kellerman Vintage & Mint boutique blog for more information.

That's all for now.

Many thanks,

Swell Vintage


Saturday, 1 May 2010

The Swell Family album

Oh my goodness, it's been a while! Apologies for the unprecedented absense. Life just gets in the way sometimes, you know?

I've blogged about my family before, but now I want to share some of my favourite family photos with you. I've wanted to do this post for SUCH a long time, and I'm feeling extra nostalgic today. I am very proud of my family, and I am especially proud of my English/Egyptian/Italian heritage. My age-defying Nana and my Mother have always been a huge inspiration to me. Both of them modelled when they were younger, and both them were (and actually, still are) incredibly beautiful. Not only that, but when I was looking back through these photos, I was struck by the incredible fashions of the time and how many of them can still be found on the catwalks today. There are so many people out there who desperately try to emulate these looks, but back then it all came very naturally to my Mum and Nana. It was just a part of who they were.

Here are a few of my vintage family photos, including some of my favourite looks:

My Nana
Despite having Italian parents, my Nana grew up in Egypt. It's no wonder she caught the eye of my Granddad, son of the famous Egyptian actor Abbas Fares. I absolutely adore these photos, and amazingly she still looks gorgeous and young today at 80 years old!

No, that's not Rita Hayworth - that's my Nana! I love the cheeky hint of nautical glamour here - perfect for spring/summer 10!

No, that's not Raquel Welch - that's my Nana! Long gold chains are huge at the moment, just as they were then.

Classic vintage style and beauty. I think it's time to dig the heated rollers out!

Looking every inch the exotic beauty. And this was in the days before photoshop! Look at that skin...sigh.

My Mum
She tends to down-play her modelling past, but the fact is my Mum looks amazing in all of her photographs. She worked on Carnaby Street in the Sixties, where she used to do the charts for Music Week - can you get much cooler than that?! I have so many amazing photos of her, but these are my ultimate favourites.

Bond-girl chic with bow detailing - what a stunner. The metallic bikini makes for a hot poolside look. My Mum proves that you don't have to be skin and bones to model swimwear. She's got hips, and she's not afraid to use them. As Tyra would say, she's modelling "H to T" (look at that pointed toe!).

Fresh faced and fancy-free. Is that a jumpsuit, I spy? I've loved to have a good feel of that fabric...looks interesting to say the least!

This is my Mum with my step-grandmother, Bobbie (she was also an amazing person. I miss you, Bobbie!). Hello, statement jacket! Look at that sequin detailing. You can find jackets like this in Topshop and other high street shops for around £100, but this is the real deal. If she's thrown this away, I will be seriously upset...

Big hat - check. Seventies fur trim - check. Patent leather handbag - check. Can you think of a more perfect look for Autumn/Winter 10?

Now this isn't really a look that I would personally wear - in fact, my Mum herself always cringes at this photo - but to me, this photo is all about individuality. Fashion should be about experimenting and trying different looks that are unique to you, and that is exactly what my Mum is doing here. Be brave and create some fashion memories of your very own!

Last but not least, I want to show you a couple of photos of my Granddad, Gamal Fares. I met my Granddad when I was only a few months old (he died of cancer shortly after) so I do not remember him, but I am always told that he was a deeply interesting man. I love these photos of him because they show what a stylish man and powerful man he was. My Granddad wasn't always good to the women in his life, but he certainly had a lot of them!

This is my Granddad with Bobbie, who he left my Nana for. You can see glasses like that on men all over East London, but very few of them can wear this look with the same natural style as my Granddad. Look how enamoured Bobbie was with him in this photo. It's amazing how a photograph can capture an emotion like that.

This is a photo of my Mum, Granddad and his mistress! No word of a lie! Shockingly, there are a number of photos like this mixed in with our family collection. I wonder how Bobbie felt about that! That being said, look at the print his mistress is wearing - with bold prints being huge this season, that outfit wouldn't look out of place on the high street.

Anyway, I hope you've enjoyed the Swell Family album! Would you like to see more? Just let me know and I might do another post. In other news, I've been beavering away to make more glasses chains, so expect to see a post on that soon.

Until then, have a lovely long weekend!

Much love,

Swell Vintage