My love for vintage is something I write about often. On my blog, for Bustle, in the micro-writing-platform that is Twitter. I take any opportunity presented to me to address the love I feel for cat eyeliner, '50s dresses and Marilyn Monroe. When I moved to the Manchester area, I lived in fear that this romance I am in with all things retro would be perceived as bizarre. I try not to waste too much time thinking about what others are thinking about, but when you relocate to a new environment, you always wonder: how will my quirks/style/abnormalities be taken? Honestly, I don't know what I was so worried about. The vintage comeback is as much a thing in the UK as it was back in NY. Maybe even more of a thing. Manchester is all about being daring and bold and grungy and different. It's a small city, but it has as much diversity in its fashion as it does in its fickle, fickle weather.
Through one of my favorite bloggers, Georgina Horne of Fuller Figure Fuller Bust, I came across HMS Vintage -- a vintage makeover studio right outside Manchester city center, specializing in recreating the looks of decades past both in their fashion/beauty products as well as their use of setting, background and props. Photographer Ian Brooke told me that remembers being a kid and just intrinsically finding beauty in old photography, old fashion, old looks. Needless to say, I totally got where he was coming from.
Luckily, I was able to go into HMS for a review shoot, which I will be writing about in VIVA Magazine this week. But I couldn't resist posting the final photos here as well. It was just such a lovely afternoon. I was greeted by an "afternoon tea," which consisted of a beautiful, tiered platter of goodies, from red velvet cupcakes to grapes to scones, and of course, tea (this is England, after all). Getting my hair and makeup done with Eva Baberska, head stylist at HMS, was also incredible. As someone who is painfully awkward with humans, she made me feel comfortable right away. It probably helped that her beautiful baby girl had come to work too. Eva was so patient with me despite the fact that I have the knottiest mess of curls on both sides of the Atlantic, and that's something I rarely find in a stylist. It's always, "Why don't you brush your hair more," or "Don't you know you can end up with dreads?" But not at HMS.
The wardrobe selection was a whole other heap of impressive. Before arriving, I was worried. Would they carry plus-sizes? Would anything fit over my super wide hips? But it wasn't an issue at all. There were dresses for everyone... there were accessories for everyone... there were shoes for everyone. Every piece of clothing that fit me, I wanted to steal. It was obvious to me that the staff truly cares about scouting out the best pieces of vintage and vintage-inspired dresses, and that dedication to their business was part of what made the day so beautiful.
For info on how to book a shoot with HMS Vintage, email firstname.lastname@example.org