Saturday, 3 October 2015

The Vintage Caravan Welfare Unit

We have spent quite a lot of time recently thinking about the lack of care afforded some old vans and the neglect they often suffer.  So, with the aim of spurring owners of neglected vans into action, we have launched the Vintage Caravan Welfare Unit (VCWU). 

The VCWU.  
This elite force is a small team of people (us!) looking to inspire owners to renovate their vans. We have had some postcards printed and post these through unsuspecting doors!! So, be warned!!! We are watching!!

We hope to rescue Beattie.......
Whenever possible we look to rescue, renovate and rehome these long forgotten caravans.  But oftentimes the owners just need a little bit of inspiration to empower them to put in some time and effort and reap the rewards of a lovely, gorgeous vintage caravan!!!  

Cue the VCWU!!!

1970s caravanning!
The caravan heyday enjoyed in the 1960s and '70s is seeing a bit of a comeback and there are more and more vans being towed along our roads. (Aaaarrrrgghhhhh - I hate caravans - yes, really!!).   

Now, as much as I hate caravans on the road, (I am very sorry to say it and I know it will make me unpopular in the caravanning community, but there is nothing worse than being stuck behind a huge, ugly, uninspiring white box!!) being behind a lovely, colourful caravan is not the same thing at all.  They really do put a smile on your face!!! 

But don't be blinkered!! These caravans have many more uses than going on holiday..... 
Think business opportunity - nail bar, ice cream parlour, tea shop, photo booth. 
Think spare room - hobby room, homework den, spare bedroom, wine bar.  
Think time out - for you, the kids, the inlaws.....
The uses are endless!!

The possibilities are endless and you don't even need a tow bar to enjoy them!!

So to all owners of neglected caravans, here are the Lily & Violet Vintage top tips to getting your project underway and transforming your wreck into something of beauty....

1.   Give her a name.  (We say 'her' because that is how we think of our caravans.  We haven't yet come across a male version but that isn't to say they are not out there!)  Once your caravan has a name it will be much more difficult to neglect her and she will become one of the family.

2.  Let her talk to you. But make sure you listen!!  We believe that each of our vans has told us what they will look like and what colour(s) they should be.  A bit hippy-ish we know, but so far it has worked.
See Bonnie's mood board on Pinterest. She spoke to us and we listened!!

3.  Dream, dream, dream.  What would you use your caravan for?? Once you have decided, you will be even more motivated to get the job done. Santa's Grotto?? How cool would that be???

4.  Tell others what you are doing.  "Hello, my name is Lisa, and I am doing my caravan up to be my cocktail lounge". Then you'll have to do it....

5.  Start!!! Start this weekend.

The VCWU is incredibly proud of you all!! If you need any inspiration, you can always get in touch....

Mary & Lisa x 

Friday, 2 October 2015

The Fabulous '50s

The Lily & Violet Vintage boutique in Dursley offers a vintage shopping experience like no other! 

Come and see us!!!
The beautiful boutique offers high quality vintage ladies wear and accessories, each piece hand picked for it's quality, cut and condition.  The boutique offers genuine vintage pieces from the 1920's through to the 1970's

The fashion of the 1950's is one of our favourite eras and if you are looking for something incredible, unique and totally wearable then this is the decade for you! The 1950's was nothing if not feminine, stylish and luxurious.

Following the 'make do and mend', rationing and austerity imposed by the war years, designers (and those who could afford their wares,) delighted in the use of extravagant materials, full flowing designs and structured bodices to accentuate the female form.  Women gradually relinquished their jobs to the men returning from the front and at the same time shed their uniforms and practical work wear. More glamour was needed!

"A golden age seemed to have come again.... What did the weight of my sumptuous materials, my heavy velvets and brocades, matter?"  Christian Dior

Following Dior's unveiling of his 'New Look' in 1947, the clothing of the early 1950s was corseted, boned and structured.
Beautiful 1950's hand beaded dress

This is an exquisite example of an early 1950's dress by Perlmutt Model of Regent Street, London.  The skirt consists of a heavily starched underskirt topped with a net overlay. The corset is boned and padded and has interior elastic ties.  The dress itself is a heavyweight silk satin overlayed with a beautiful taupe lace that has been hand beaded. 

The beadwork is opulent an designed to complement the lace. The stems and flowers of the lace are echoed in the intricate and dense beading.  All of this work has been completed by hand to produce a garment that is totally unique.

By the late 1950s more relaxed designs were seen on the catwalk.  The waistline was raised and the column dress came back into fashion.  Even so, the fabrics were often opulent, heavy and luxurious. And even some of the casual looking garments still contained boning.
To Die For!!!

This Illum Couture dress dates to the late 1950s and is a real red carpet head turner!

This floor length gown has a silk lining and two layers of contrasting coloured organza overlayed by the most beautiful black guipere lace.  The lace is dense but allows enough light through so that the organza can be seen.  There is a deep velvet hem that has been stiffened with gauze and the deep black velvet is continued in the waistband and back bow detail.  Inside there is a separate hook and eye boned corset.

Illum couture has long since vanished from the world of current fashion and there is very little information to determine the designers. 

This dress is a real show stopper and made to the exacting standards of the time - nothing was too complicated, too difficult, or too labour intensive and the level of excellence achieved can only be dreamed of in modern times. 

Lily & Violet Vintage have an amazing collection of vintage pieces. Whether you have a daytime occasion or you are going to a red carpet event and want something totally special, Lily & Violet Vintage will have something to suit. All ages and all shapes and sizes are catered for.

Mary & Lisa x