A very vintage vision at salon
If sophisticated women in shows like Downton Abbey and Mad Men have left you feeling a bit drab then help could be at hand.
Vintage clothing, accessories and hairstyles are all the rage with celebrities like famous burlesque dancer Dita Von Teese and pop star Katy Perry leading the way.
Now a salon, which has been set up to give clients some full-on glamour, has been launched at the Custard Factory in Birmingham.
Not only do customers get the hair, make-up and clothes but they can also have etiquette classes where they are taught to sit, pose for photos and even drink tea like a lady.
Owner Lynsey Le Keux says: "When people come to us they are interested in having their hair and make-up done, and then having a 1950s style photo shoot.
"They want to look just like a pin-up girl - usually Marilyn Monroe, Betty Grable and Rita Hayworth are the people they have in mind and the styles they want range from the 1920s to 1960s."
The salon will be travelling to the Vintage Fair in Wolverhampton, which will be at the Wulfrun Hall in North Street on December 8.
The event will feature more than 40 stalls ranging from clothes and accessories to food and homewares, and there will also be live entertainment.
"Now vintage has become mainstream, with different fairs and events taking place across the country, ladies want to give the look a try," says Lynsey, 29.
"Women are watching shows like Downton Abbey, Mad Men, Boardwalk Empire and films such as Atonement and they love the glamour.
"A lot of high street shops are now stocking vintage-style clothes and women also want the eye-liner, the fake lashes and red lips.
"This year the 1950s was popular, last year it was the 1920s – mainly because of the popularity of Downton Abbey."
The rise of vintage, from fashion to furniture, has been well documented.
When charity Oxfam launched its vintage section online they saw sales through its website shoot up by 400 per cent.
The service, which allows Oxfam's 700 shops to post vintage items for sale online, was set up three years ago after the charity noticed more people were typing the word "vintage" into the website's search box.
Whether vintage is still on the rise or starting to decline, the 1950s is still the biggest draw for those seeking an escape from economic doom and gloom.
"The 50s style speaks very much to women's fixation on body shape," says Lynsey.
"After the war people didn't take things too seriously – we look back on it as a more fun time. Society is in an era now where people don't have to preen themselves to be acceptable, they can wear slouchy clothes have messy hair and no make-up on, and that is great.
"However, when women come to me they crave to have some of that glamour that has almost been lost.
"They want to dress up, feel great and put on a wiggle dress, which shows off their curves and that famous hourglass shape of the 1950s. It is a look they can play with and have fun," she adds.
Lynsey says she started her business five years ago when she got married and had trouble organising a vintage wedding.
"I found it really difficult to source different things such as the dress, the make-up and the car," she says.
"I decided to set up a vintage wedding planning business and started with vintage hen parties where girls could have afternoon tea, get dressed up and have photo shoots.
"It was really difficult to find someone who could do the 1950s hairstyles so I taught myself and after a few attempts I was able to do a victory rolls as well as curls, twists and waves."
Lynsey, who used to be a business consultant and project manager for Rugby council, says she started doing a mobile service for weddings and that was when the business really escalated.
However, she says at some hen parties the girls can be a bit nervous about changing their image.
"People can be a bit nervous when they come for a photo shoot but once you have done their hair and make-up, and then give them a wardrobe of glamorous clothes to choose from, they relax, and take on the character they want to become," says Lynsey, who lives in Rugby.
"We do have regular customers who come to us every week, including a 1950s jazz singer, but others come back to us because they love the look.
"My husband Karl loves my glamorous look and women are finding that men pay them more attention when they go out looking like a 1950s pin-up girl."
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