Monday, September 12, 2011

Vanity Sizing!

(In coming Rant) Ok I havent blogged in a while, but I need to say this so please stick with me ;)

All though the Uk has many laws in place to protect consumers, for clothing it dithers.

Manufactures more and more are making bigger clothes while using the same smaller random sizing labels because they can. Shops stock them trying to fool us in to thinking we are smaller than we are, to vainly get us to buy in their shops over others to increase their profits.

This is Vanity Sizing.

Vanity sizing has been annoying me for quite sometime, even before I found out it had a name and it has gotten to the point, that I have been for years been slowly sized out of the main stream shops, as the demographic in this country for women’s sizing has gotten bigger and I have stayed the same. That how ever is not my gripe (I take a tape messure with me when I shop anyhow so no big deal), I haven’t changed weight/height or shape in many a year and I’m not even 35 yet!
In the 50’s I would have been a random size 16, in the 60’s I would have been a 14, get to 1980 and I was a size 10 and now in the current market I am anything from an 8 to a 4 if it doesn’t stop soon I am afraid I will disappear! And its not like I’m a stick.

Will I find anything in this shop that fits me? is always on my mind. 50% of clothes shops in the UK I no longer go in because I know nothing will fit me, I have been Vanity sized out. Considering women have gotten bigger and taller and the shops are stocking bigger sizes for maximum profit I fully understand and resigned to the fact I will have to custom fit most things, so i’m not winging about the fact that poor me cant find clothes to fit here.

To actually walk in to a average shop in the Uk and for them to have my original size that fits now I would have to go against NHS guidelines on my healthy diet and being the right weight for my height that I am happy with. I would have put on weight to still fit in to my original size of 10 years ago. To which I am sure would impact my health and at the detriment and cost to the NHS later in my life. Wither we like it or not we have been programmed as a nation someway into thinking a size number means your fat or not. I am not surprised that the UK has some of the highest obesity rates in Europe, when we no longer know where we stand, when the clothing industry keeps on moving the goal posts and no one is refereeing.

What I don’t understand is the increase in Vanity sizing that is going unchecked and that there is no official national sizing measurements in place or that garments should carry it's correct measurements on the label, for a government that supposedly cares about its public so much that it sticks it nose in to everything, this is the one place it does not?

What I do have a problem with is the unclear labelling which means I have a problem finding something that might semi fit in the first place. Stressful and frustrating it is no wonder people more and more tend to shop on line. Personal time, resources and fuel are wasted each year now because of poor labelling on returned items to be exchanged, because measurements and random numbers may not correlate to the actual measurements of garments. If this was any other manufactured consumable in this country I am sure it would fall under some consumer act or weights and measure act, it would be monitored and we would be protected and everyone would know where we stood.

It’s not as if it would be so difficult to do, there is already a random numbered label attached, why it cant have the garments actual measurement in it whither metric, imperial or both for practical use of everyone concerned and to stop wastage in a time we can ill afford it is beyond me. We did it in the past and for practiacl reasons the Armed Forces do it, so it cant be a bad idea or unachievable.

We all know that people come in different shapes and sizes as time and diet are evolving even more so in current times, so this making a random number for sizing to become obsolete of late. Reviewing of sizing has been done by a multitude of people in this country and although it helps shops in sizing stock for shops in this country increase their profit, it does not help the British public who it mostly effects, who waste time, money and fuel, hunting for sizes that might or might not fit.

Is clothing our nation considered so trivial and frivolous?
When on a personal level its not just frustrating, its also our health and pockets suffering but on a wider level its uneconomical and unenvironmental to our country in terms of increased transportation fuel costs and time waste in terms of returns and find ability for consumers. Not forgetting that of increasing and future problems for our NHS on this issue and then there is the crippling physiological effects to mostly women and men of our country suffering from conflicts of interest and general poor information.

If this bugs the heck out of you too... lovely Retro Chick has a page Campaign For Clearer Clothes Sizing and more information, like writing and informing our MP's of our complaints....that is if they aren’t out there wasting time on finding the right size clothes to wear to work.

''You can also Tweet this campaign, post the link on Facebook, and generally let everyone you know know about it!
If you’re feeling even more pro-active then you can write to, or email, your MP and your Euro MP. This
handy website gives you a convenient search system, plus a form to fill in that will immediately zip off your message to the person concerned. Tell them your concerns and how it affects you, and your desire to spend. Tell them you think the EU and Government should carry out a review of clothing sizing in the UK and Europe and that you think that measurement labelling should be mandatory.'' Retro Chick

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Fabric Hair Clip

It was well past the time for a new Instructable in the world of DIY Glam, so whilst in NY I made a hair clip to go with an outfit for a party that eve and an instructable to go with it.

Matching Accessories-Fabric hair clip
Fabric hair clip/brooch - to match and finish off an outfit.Best applied using fabric with some sort of print or motif where the edges of the print or shape are defined eg flowers can be turned 3-D, embellished and sewn to a basic clip, comb or brooch clasp for a matching dress accessory. I used leaves fashioned from a strip of excess seam allowance fabric, from the inside of a vintage dress that I took in to make It fit me.The fancy hair clip with added bug brooch* finished off the outfit.(*old brooch was cleaned and I replaced the missing stones on its body first, before fixing in place)

For full intructions Click

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Older Model photo work

I was hunting around and found some older photos I thought I had lost on my laptop,from 2006/7 and thought I would post them here as examples of work I have done in the past.
That was when I was blonder and had a tan!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Showgirl Outfit

Ongoing work on a red beaded show girl outfit for a photo shoot is taking me forever, to the point I really wish I hadn’t started it.

It's been over a course of two months now of sewing beads and sequins on.

The bra alone would have taken a solid two weeks of working on it if I hadnt got so bored with it,it was the under cup where I have added a string of bugle/tube beads to the center of each sequin that covered the area, that was nearly the undoing of it all and me chucking it in the recycle crate and calling it quits on the whole outfit.

In hined sight should have been a strand every other sequin,it would have looked the same and not weighed so much in the end .

It's easier to take a red bra and thong of the same colour and shade to use as a base to work on, than to have to make them from scratch as it saves a whole lot of time.
The added pieces for the neck, arm and sash pieces are strips of red satin fabric cut and sewn to shape with added hooks, eyes and snaps for fit.

· Red bra
· Red thong
· popper snaps
· hooks and eyes
· Red cotton thread
· Thin long needle
· Small embroidery scissors
· Big bag of red sequins
· 150grams of red glass tube beads
· 100grams of small round red glass
· 2meters x 1cm red ribbon (for adding fringing to)
· 1m red satin fabric

Adding sequins with beads: It is quite simple as threading one on and adding a small bead in the centre to hold it in place. Add a couple of 1000 more and you have a part of an outfit.

Making beaded fringe: Easier if you can find what you that matches your intended outfit in a shop, but if you have to make beaded fringe from scratch an item? It is some what easier to do if you sew strings of beads on to the edge of a piece of ribbon and then sew it to the item.

First cut the length of ribbon you need to fringe the item and leave a bit extra to fold in to make a smart edge. Then mark the length with a ruler and put small dots with a light coloured marker pen along the edge of one side of the ribbon, these are to be the points where you are to add the strands of beads, so you know in the end the beaded strands will finish evenly (or you can adjust to fit before you start).

Neck piece : Cut a length of fabric twice the width you want, plus seam allowance so that half can be beaded and the other half can be folded over to cover the stitching at the end for a neat finish. And the length the circumference of your neck plus at least 3cm as an over lap for the fastener.
The fringing is added straight to the sequined band after it has been beaded, so its easier to use the spacing of the sequins as markers for the fringing strand positions. Working (minus the 3cm overlap on one side) from the centre out to each side. Start with adding a string of beads your desired longest length by adding the beads and using the last as the end stop bead and sewing back up through the string and sewing it off at the top. Adding a string of beads each side to the centre one, in this case half a sequin spaced apart and detract one or two beads as you work outward, so they decrease in length till you get half way before the end of the neck piece so the strand will finish at the shoulder line.

With the Bra: if you cut around the internal edge, ¾ of the way around the lining fabric before you start beading and tack it back out of the way while you sequin and bead the other side.You can then sew the lining back in place when you have finished.This creates a smooth lining and looks smarter if it is being taken off as part of an act and is also smoother for comfort of fit.

The Beading of the T string: is a bit more tricky and is easier to bead if you stretch it over an embroidery hoop, as you might need to allow for the beading to be stretched on the fabric when worn. Two hooks and eyes or skirt fasteners at the sides help with this also and with taking it off, if worn over a G string for a performance or act.

Tassles: can be easily beaded in the same way as above.Either straight on to the tassle or onto a strip of fabric and wound, sewn into place around the top part of the tassle.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Nyotaimori - Me as a modern Person Platter

Yes its normally quite fishy.

It’s that strange Japanese practice of covering naked people in sushi and eating it off them and the word no one can pronounce.

A friend was asking me so a furked out a few pics of events I have done in the past with a modern twist just to show her what I meant. Saying I lie naked covered in desserts had, for some reason, materialize up a mind pic of ‘a naked custard pie fight’ so she said. (Not that that wouldn’t be fun, but not really a girl to do splosh).I don’t person platter very often, as even though its only an hour at most lying still (I know, a job where you are paid to do nothing! everyone thinks it sounds wonderful ) Normally its an evening event and it can take all day to prepare, for hygiene sake its not like you can take a quick shower and be done. That and paper pants and the normally cold food, or in the case of the fruit platter I did ‘bloody frozen’ as the chef had only half thawed the fruit out like he normally did for a normal party spread (frozen Raspberry nipple anyone?)
Its not as glamorous or as well paid as it seems when you count in the time and effort needed, but hay, that’s like most things right?
Trying not to move or shiver so the food doesn’t roll off is the hardest thing for me, or trying not to laugh when people say the silliest things when choosing a canapĂ© off me to the same effect.
I tend to only do main party events hired through people/chefs I know and can trust, because there is no way I want to turn up to an event after spending all that time getting ready, only to find out there is a bucks party underway, who have gone and gotten the wrong impression and my time has been wasted when I turn and leave.

Luckily, that hasn’t happened yet and all party goers, weirdly enough have been really respectful even when tippsy.

So if your ever at a party or back stage at some weird and wonderful event,where the food is displayed on a naked lady, chances are it might be me. (If shes trying not to shiver,very likely me)

Ps.Please don’t try to feed me the canapĂ©s, I tend to end up choking.Thanks, Verity x

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

What a Ladybird!

Oooh did you know? Vivien of Holloway
the British made 50’s inspired dress shop are having a poster / free photo shoot competition!

How fab is that,they are opening a new shop soon and looking for new models.
Send in pics of you in their dresses to enter so they say on their site.

Got nudged by a friend to enter the photos I did for her at 21:CP as it was shot in one of their dresses, although the halter strap had been tucked in for those photos, so not truly what they wanted.

That to me screamed of a good excuse to do a new weekend shoot. Yay!

So grabbing a friend to give her a good excuse to so she could try out her new camera.

Luckily she has two dresses by them, so I got to shoot in the red and white one I already have, her black and red spot halter swing dress and a red and gold sarong dress.

I wasn’t holding out much hope quite frankly, as I had the bright idea to shoot outside, fingers crossed the light would be better, but the weather was so windy and kept blowing the background paper so it nearly took flight. So after re setting indoors, we set to work with a cheesy radio station for back ground sound.

Two loose teeth (temp cap and veneer, one hers, one of mine ironically within an hour of each other then dropped out for no reason at all) and after moving white boards around the shoot area to catch light and a pile falling on my photographer (resulting in bruising the poor woman’s leg) It wasn’t so much ‘Blood, Sweat and Tears’ was more like ‘Bruising, Swelling and Lost Teeth’ to get the job done. What us lady’s do in the name of glamour!

Three sets later, a Polka Dot set, a Ladybird set and a Shanghai Siren and I have too many to choose from (put some faves below,dont I look 50s or what!).

All was going very well, cheesy grins and all. Looked very professional by the time we finished well in to the night, sent them off and fingers crossed they like them at least, even if I don’t win.

True is a bit ‘arse about tit’ to do a photo shoot to win a photo shoot, but hey, I have never been on a poster before and I would get to keep a dress, how fun would that be!
So girls get your skates or should that be sarongs on and send in your pics in too.

The entry date is open till the 31st August!

Hope you have as much fun as we did, Verity x

Monday, June 15, 2009

Photo Safari-Game for a laugh?

Verity Vale pool side-By Topher 2009 Exploring we did go, all the way to down town Las Vegas on the Java’s Bachelor Pad Magazine sponsored Photo Safari. Marvolusly managed by Don Spiro I must add.

An ogling oasis of ladies and gents of all different persuasions hunting for that elusive shot. Alot of feather flashing later, poseing under the downtown Las Vegas sign and much tottering about, that had bought amused traffic and even a limo to stop on the curb for a good perve.It was then time to be whisked off on the Big Red London Double Decker bus (of which I felt very much at home being a Brit) off on a hunt for the next location The Aruba Hotel

Ever seen twenty or so women try to change in to bathing suits and bikinis, on a bus in motion before? Let’s just say it was eye popping and one of the funniest days I have had in a long time.

The Aruba former rat pack hang out the that was called the Thunderbird has kept its classic look, it even had a tiki bar at the pool how fab was that and after a scramble off the bus in search of more game and a watering hole we had reached our final destination.

It was defiantly worth the effort of running around London before I left, to try and find retro swim wear, as I was in good company of the many lady’s that had made a really good effort of Verity Vale The Look-By Topherlooking the part, I had swimsuit envy of quite a few. I found this black original 1950's one in Radio Days the Vintage shop in London.

Before we knew it was time to get back on the big red bus to The Orleans Casino Hotel where most of us were staying, it hardly gave a girl time to get dressed.

A big thank you to everyone who made me feel welcome, girls and togs alike. I think next year they might need a bigger bus!

And a big thank you to the photographer Christopher Pettit who took these black swim suits shots of me above, how you got my ivory pasty self to look glam I really do not know.

And a thank you to Holli-Mae from 21:CP for the green retro polka dot shots . I am sure there are more to come and be posted on the net from the togs I met in Las Vegas, but after such a week I am sure they have tonnes to sort through and sleep to catch before they do.
Thank you one and all x

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London, United Kingdom
Lover of most things vintage and retro

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