Blitz Party!

Annie and Carlo at The Blitz PartyWhen my very beautiful and lovely Maidstone Foxy Burlesque student Annie Prosser, told me about her night out at The Blitz Party recently, I knew there would be lots of people interested in hearing about it, so I was delighted when she agreed to do this guest post for me. Thank you Annie! x

Blitz Party buntingOnce a month on a Saturday night in the brick arched streets of Shoreditch you’d be forgiven for thinking an era of old had returned as tea dress clad gals and uniformed chaps wait patiently, beside the sand bags, for the start of the Blitz Party. And last month to celebrate my birthday I joined theses eager enthusiasts for a night back in time.

Blitz Party swing bandA well-established London theme night this may be, however, like many others it is not. Once inside, the Blitz Party offers an authentic and atmospheric night that any vintage devotee would be proud to attend. With Spitfire as the ale of choice and bright bunting to set the mood all that is left is to get the guests dancing. Music on the night is a mixture of well-known classics and super live entertainment from an exquisitely turned out swing band. It was hard not to move my excited feet to each jazz filled beat!

Blitz Party LondonIt didn’t take long to loose all memory of the oyster card I’d travelled with, the iPhone map that had directed me to the venue or the website I had bought my ticket from – Blighty were fighting and I was cheering them on. As the air raid sirens sounded and the cocktails were sampled it turned into a night like no other. Conversations with new friends started over uniforms, I had found an immaculate wartime QARANC uniform at the War and Peace show months before for the occasion, and finished with talk of relatives and history – all of which fitted beautifully with the mood of the night.

When the time came for the night to end the rush of emotions I felt confirmed that it wouldn’t be too long before my victory rolls and stockings made their way back to the Blitz Party again.

Tea lights at The Blitz Party

Make sure you check out The Blitz Party website.  It’s looks amazing!  The next event is their NYE party.  Not a night to be missed, I imagine! Grab your tickets now, while you can!  Oh and if you do make a plan to get to one of their fab evenings make sure you get yourself to a Foxy Burlesque Vintage Make-up Workshop and Vintage Hair Workshop first, so you can truly look the part! x

(Black and white photos taken by Paul Hyland.  Colour photos taken by Annie)

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Our First Vintage Hair Workshop

Foxy Burlesque's FIrst VIntage Hair WorkshopOn the last week of our courses we always take course photos.

For this our students turn up all made up and looking fantastic, BUT it’s fair to say getting the hair and make-up to look authentic is always a challenge, so I decided it was time to find a solution.  We needed a Vintage Stylist!

To find someone, I sent messages to people in the know, plus put messages on Facebook and Twitter.  I also did a Facebook search and that’s how I found the hugely talented Kelly-Marie Saunders.

After a few messages back and forth and a good chat on the phone, we had a Vintage Hair Workshop planned.

Surprise, surprise, I had no problem at all selling the 10 places, which were snapped up by Foxy Burlesque students in no time at all.

Kelly-Marie Saunders MUAKelly-Marie Saunders MUA

So let me tell you a bit about Kelly-Marie.

In her own words:

‘I started out really just doing vintage hair and make-up on myself, as I was obsessed with the era and usually dress that way.

Then my friends started asking me to help them out with hair and makeup too.

At the time, I worked for Tunbridge Wells Halifax as a financial advisor, but hated having to keep my hair colour and style more formal and having to cover up my tattoos.  I didn’t feel like I was myself. I had to pretend to be someone else every day.

Eventually the call of the creative was too much, so I decided to leave my job as a financial advisor and go freelance with hair and makeup.

So, I studied vintage hair for TV and film, learning the original ways to do all the styles and how to make them true to period rather than with a modern twist.

I also worked at Mac cosmetics for three and a half years, before leaving to go freelance full time.

I now work twice a year at London Fashion Week, I’ve worked at The Brits and at Goodwood, I’ve worked for various magazines including ‘Vintage Life‘ and ‘Best of British‘ and I have done vintage hair at various different events.’

The first Vintage Hair Workshop

Pinned curls at Foxy Burlesque's Vintage Hair WorkshopKelly-Marie’s idea for the workshop was perfect.

Each lady was asked to bring whatever she would use at home to curl her hair (whether tongs, straighteners or heated rollers) along with a dressing out brush (back combing brush) and a mirror.

The workshop was very much hands on, with the participants doing each of the three hairstyles on themselves, with their own tools.

This way they got to try out the styles with an expect at hand to guide them and answer any questions, which would then hopefully give them the confidence to go home and recreate the styles unaided.

'S' curl at Foxy Burlesque's Vintage Hair WorkshopThe ‘S’ curl

First up was the ‘S’ curl.

I know I am not alone when it comes to envying Dita Von Teese’s beautifully manicured hair.  Being able to replicate it would be fantastic.

Kelly-Marie got to work teaching everyone the tricks behind the perfect pin curls (above), making sure you are curling the hair the correct way etc, and how to then pin the curl properly to allow it to cool so the curl holds.

Then came how to brush the curl out properly, to then pin it again getting the ‘S’ curl shape (above right).  As Kelly-Marie explained, it is a true art and needs practice to get it right, but everyone’s first efforts, were great!

Speed Beehive at Foxy Buelsque's Vintage Hair WorkshopSpeed beehive

Kelly then showed everyone how to do a ‘Speed Beehive’.

Wow!  Such a glamourous look and yet so quick and easy to do.

Great with a simple scarf tied round it to dress it up, or down, depending on the occasion.

It also looks really cute with a hair band.

Victory Rolls at Foxy Burlesque's Vintage Hair WorkshopVictory rolls

Next, was what everyone wants to master, when it comes to vintage hair; Victory Rolls.

It was so nice to have a professional explaining the victory roll properly and then demonstrating it so perfectly.

Did you know, to do an effective Victory Roll you need to back comb the section of hair until it stands up independently?

It made for a good few laughs on the night, but it Back combing at Foxy Burlesque's Vintage Hair Workshopcertainly makes it a whole lot easier to work the hair into the roll you need.

Kelly-Marie, then covered pinning it properly, so no pins show and so the roll is a cone shape, as you shouldn’t be able to see through a victory roll.  Did you know that?

Feedback

The evening flew by and everyone appeared to have had a great time, but being our first Vintage Hair Workshop, feedback was really important to us both.

I’m very pleased to say we had nothing to worry about!

Here is just some of the great feedback from the ten ladies who attended the workshop: Victory rolls at Foxy Burlesque's Vintage Hair Workshop

‘Really enjoyed it and I’m amazed at how effective really simple techniques can be.’

‘I couldn’t believe my hair would go into such lovely styles. Any spare time will now be spent back combing!! Thank you Laura for organizing a great evening and thank you Kelly-Marie for your time and patience.’ Nicola Bright at Foxy Burlesque's Vintage Hair Workshop

‘Brilliant evening. Lots of fun. Very informative. Kelly was fabulous. Leaving feeling confident to try the styles at home.’

‘It was fab! It was a fantastic workshop and Kelly-Marie was a fab instructor. I would definitely recommend her and would definitely attend another course. She was knowledgeable and approachable. I can never do my own hair and was nervous about trying but the styles were great and explained perfectly. I will definitely be trying them again at home.’ Kirsty Low at Foxy Burlesque Vintage Hair Workshop

‘I have now realised that my hair can be manageable. Yay!’

‘I haven’t become a hair expert but I know that if I go home and practice then I can make my hair look really nice. As with all burlesque stuff, it’s given me more confidence to have a go!! Kelly was lovely and didn’t mind if I didn’t get it straight away.’

‘Really good time. Learnt a lot.’

Future dates for Vintage Hair and now Vintage Make-up Workshops too!

All 10 participants were keen for Kelly-Marie to come back to do a Vintage Make-up workshop as well, so the first one takes place this Wednesday (24th July) and was again fully booked with no effort at all.

I will of course be back to tell you all how it went and there will be future dates for Vintage Make-up confirmed before long, so keep a close eye on the Foxy Burlesque Facebook page for that.

I am also very pleased to announce that Foxy Burlesque’s next Vintage Hair Workshop will take place on Monday 9th September 7:30-10pm.  If you would like a place, get in touch as soon as possible.  As, again there are only 10 places on each workshop and they are proving VERY popular!