Happy to say that ShimmyShim will be at the upcoming So Last Century vintage fair in Beckenham, London UK. We’ll be offering greeting cards and pop art prints of microvintage fashion.
As well as pop art by ShimmyShim, there will be over 40 hand-picked vintage traders selling mid-20th century decor, lighting & design, furniture, West German ceramics, homeware, kitchenalia, brocante, vintage clothes, accessories and jewellery, original 1950s, 60s & 70s travel posters, records, upcycled goods and a whole lot more.
And take a break in Truly Splendid’s Vintage Tea Room upstairs with delicious cakes and scones. There’ll also be top-notch street food, craft beer and excellent coffee alongside more vintage stalls outside.
Sunday 17 September 2017
11.00am – 4.00pm
Entry £3 (or £2 with a flyer, or if you follow @solastc on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram). Children under 16, free.
Venue 28 (next to the Spa and Library)
Willy Wonka and Violet Beauregarde have teamed up to create this fantastic Jelly and Plastic Shoes board on Pinterest. As Mary Quant explains, a lot of the shoes are made simply by pouring chewing gum into a mould!
OK, only kidding. I created the board to go with the latest collection of ShimmyShim Pop Prints which feature 8 pairs of my collection of over 200 dolls shoes. Because they are all made of plastic, they are more like jelly shoes than any other ‘real’ adult sized shoe. I really love the aesthetic because of the vibrancy of the colours. The actual dolls shoes are less than an inch long, but the prints are 8 inches square, so you can see the ‘patina’ of the plastic on each one. Originally they must have been sculpted in clay and then cast and mass produced, so when you look closely you can see scrape marks.
Here is the vintage film in which Mary Quant describes inventing jelly boots. I’m not sure if she was the first to use the technology or not, but her designs are certainly recognised as being at the vanguard of design. And the style of those little ankle boots is to die for!
“You just pour a kind of chewing gum into a mould… They said more or less ‘come and play with our machinery’ and this is how we started making these shoes… Just like making jelly.”
It’s sad and worrying that most real plastic shoes (let alone dolls shoes) are not biodegradable, but they can be recycled and some are described as eco-friendly.
In 2011 there was a company called Figtree Design created these wonderful looking biodegradable slip-ons, but they seem to have disappeared now. What a shame! I look forward to seeing something like this in production again soon.
This Adidas shoe sounds promising: it is made from plastic collected from coastal areas in the Maldives (presumably it once polluted the sea).
So, it’s kind of ironic, but you can currently buy shoes that look wonderfully like dolls shoes. My favourite two companies are United Nude and Melissa.
I can’t actually wear these shoes as they hurt my feet too much, but I love looking at them and they look great on display.
Victoriana was a trend in the early 1970s for a nostalgic fashion harking back to the 1890 – 1900 period before the first world war. Perhaps it seemed like a more innocent period.
Gingham Victoriana prints in green, pink and blue available now in the shop Buy Now
Laura Ashley was one of the most famous designers producing Victoriana, and perhaps she associated it with a homely feeling of safety, as she had many great aunts who she remembered dressed in the old fashioned clothing during the early part of her childhood in the 1920s.
One of my favourite fashion doll outfits is Sindy’s Pinny Party – dated as a 1973 design by Our Sindy Museum. I really love it for the lurid colours. And it has a very synthetic twist on the Victoriana offered by Laura Ashley.
Also worth a look is this Pippa dress from the Monaco Collection (if you love this take a look at more on PippaDoll.net).
Laura Ashley loved natural fabrics and harmonised colours with a homely feel, which she actually designed to be worn at home. She demured,
“Most of our garments are to be worn at home. They’re not… for making a splash in a dramatic place.”
Whereas her Welsh counterpart, Mary Quant was famous for clothes which cut a dash with clashing colours and op art graphics.
1970s printed cotton dresses by Laura Ashley exhibited at the Fashion Museum, Bath, UK in 2013
Ashley on Quant:
“I’m the country one and she’s the town one. She’s marvellously urban… whereas I’ve got my roots in the country”.
Mary Quant mused:
“I think the point of fashion for women should be,
One: that you’re noticed.
Two: that you’re sexy and
Three: that you feel good.”
It’s almost as though, by accident, some of the Sindy doll outfits ended up being a crazy medley of Mary Quant and Laura Ashley designs. Take this orange and silver dress for example – it’s op art and Victoriana combined.
I was 4 years old in 1971 and my young aunt Fiona got married that year. There was a big church wedding with lots of bridesmaids and pageboys, and I was one of the bridesmaids. We all wore the most amazing matching Victoriana style patchwork dresses with lace trimmed sleeves. We kept the dress which I managed to fit into for a birthday party and I remember being fascinated with it although I didn’t quite understand it. I mostly wore jeans and T-shirts by that time so a long dress with ribbons, lace and glass buttons was quite a strange novelty. After that I really got into dress-up though and it became a favourite game to dig through my aunt’s old clothes which she kept in a big wicker hamper and prance around the garden in them with my sister and cousins.
It’s a shame there aren’t any colour photos as it had lovely shades of mauve in it. I think the glass buttons were a dark purple colour. [Note – might be able to get a photo from our photo album this weekend will post here if I do]
Another childhood memory I have is watching the 1970 UK film the Railway Children
And the American show Little House on the prairie (first aired 1974).
There are some dresses called ‘frontier patchwork’ which were designed by Mattel for the 6 inch Rock Flowers dolls in the early 70s which match this.