Sunday, 27 July 2014

LookS: Braving a 3 day style challenge fundraising...for Macmillan's 'Shave or Style' to Cancer Research's Shine Walk!

Aloha darlings!
Happy Sunday darlings....or should I say 'Aloha'! It's time to gather all three looks from my three day style challenge for Macmillan Cancer Support's 'Shave or Style' campaign.....and Thank You again for all the supportive kind donations you have given so far. Your goodness has enabled me to reach the target-posts of wearing a Cheongsam or Qipao for all three days of the style challenge, and doing the "Shine Walk" in September 2014....which I have just signed up for. Because the "Shine Walk" is organised by a different charity called Cancer Research UK, I had to start a new Just Giving page (here) to continue raising funds in order to keep to my word of fighting cancer together with my friend WN who was diagnosed with breast cancer last month. So the funds raised from this second round of fundraising will have a specific focus on breast cancer at Cancer Research UK...please give as generously as you can to beat breast cancer today! This post will of course showcase the 3 different looks I had during the style challenge of round 1's fundraising. As part of the fundraising, I pledged to do my very first VIDEO tutorial on ONE vintage hairstyle voted by you...from the three day style which hairstyle would you darlings like to see a video tutorial for (comment below)?

Style Challenge Day 1: The 50s inspired Quiff and pony tail....

Day 1 style challenge: 23rd July 2014
Wearing my white cotton Cheongsam (Qipao) dress with purple floral prints, I decided to match it with a hairstyle I have never done before.....a 1950s inspired Quiff with a ponytail in a pink silk scarf! Bringing a bit of Grease lightning charm to the office....would you like to see a video tutorial of this vintage inspired hairstyle?

Day 2 style challenge: A very floral bun....with my pink short embroidered Qipao!

Out for lunch with flower power grooviness.....
Day 2 style challenge: 24th July 2014
On the second day of the style challenge, I opted for the a high bun decked with the flower power of the 1960s grooviness because of the mini length pink embroidered Cheongsam, which I collected from my trip to Taiwan a few years ago.

Day 3 of the style challenge: 1940s inspired loose waves.....tiki style with a twist!

What I wore?
Dress: Ohana Evenings Cheongsam by Our Bitsy Prints (shop)
Bag: Vintage 1960s pink raffia purse
Accessories: Vintage 1950s orange and gold brooch plus silver and natural pearl earrings
Shoes: Cork heeled pink sandals from Clarks

Day 3 style challenge (finale): 25th July 2014
Wearing online store Our Bitsy Prints' cotton Ohana Evenings Cheongsam (here), I went with the Honolulu theme to create my very own 1940s inspired Tiki style...through some soft waves created with a wet cold set from pincurls, adding floral accents of blushing orchid. Cut very simply in comfortably loose A-shape and edgy asymmetrical hem, the gorgeous floral prints brings a vibrant feel of summer holidays rolling in the sands by sea and gives one a relaxed understated way to draw tanning focus on one's pins. In other words, at just 5 foot 5 inches tall I can still look like I have pinned up long what is there not to like about this modern Cheongsam? The look was completed with a gorgeous orange matched gold vintage 1950s brooch (which was a birthday pressie from Rachael) and my cute pink 1960s raffia purse!

In the lift at work....not many of these 1950s reconstructed lifts are still alive!

Lastly, I am asking for your help save more lives today, and I believe every single one of you lovely darlings will be able to help by:
  • Suggesting something you would like to see me do in order to raise funds for Cancer Research UK through the "Shine Walk"....what else can I do in a Cheongsam or Qipao?
  • Sharing or spreading the news about my fundraising.
  • UK Mobiles: Texting 'MAYS89 £1' to 70070 to donate 
  • Cheongsam or Qipao Shops: Bid through donating on my just giving page for your Cheongsam (Qipao) to be worn during the 21km half-marathon night walk by 8th September 2014...the highest bidding donation will win.
  • Just GIVE on my just giving page (button below):
JustGiving - Sponsor me now!

For those who might not have heard of Cancer Research UK, it is a charity working to find cures for over 200 different types of cancer, so every pound can really go into saving the world as a cure for cancer truly does not stop in the UK alone. It is a global disease and with your help we can end it sooner. Please give the gift of life to not only my friend WN, but the world that is living with cancer today.....thank you. Also a new series called 'Qipao Lover' featuring fans, collectors, designers, tailors and lovers of the Qipao will be starting on my blog very soon, so do let me know if you have a Cheongsam lover to nominate for a feature right here on my blog. If you would like to join in for some fundraising fun, next week Oxfam is running a #VintageFriday....have a fabulously gorgeous start to the week my kind darlings!

Until the next time,
May xx

PS: Apologies for the lack of makeup in most of the photos....early hours preparation was a bit more challenging in time and practicality. 

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Thursday, 17 July 2014

LookS/Review: Sakura in Old Tokyo....chasing 1920s cherry blossoms at the Candlelight Club!

In all the vintage escapades I have had the honour of joining, the Candlelight Club remains one that I return to in earnest, especially when there is an Eastern or Oriental theme for the night. At times it almost seems that part of the world is missing in the vintage revival map, as Asia is not very often shown...or perhaps even hidden in a majority culture that fears losing face and naturally shies away from individual attention. Fact is, the world lived through different decades sharing styles and experiences common to each other whilst remaining as individuals with their own diversely unique cultural elements, just as we have done today. Though vintage has been increasing in popularity gradually throughout Asia in recent years, you are still unlike to see people walking naturally along the streets in vintage garments matched with vintage hairstyles or have too many vintage events to attend. For those sharing an Asian heritage, the likelihood of seeing one's great grandmother or grandparents adorned in vintage styles might have sparked an interest, or might have been labelled too old fashioned to follow. I remember when I first started collecting the Qipao by buying a new piece when I visited family in South East Asia many eons ago, it was met with a raised eyebrow or two from my aunties whilst my grandma giggled in amusement to my new passion. My cousins and sisters were off to shops that sold the trendiest fashion, whilst I sought out Qipao shops that are normally visited for occasions such as a wedding. In a loosely parallel reflection, I didn't see many local Japanese ladies wearing a Kimono or Yukata on the busy cosmopolitan streets of Tokyo last year, as it was mostly filled with white crisp Western shirts matched with black trousers or skirts. If you run an online search you may find there are not too many pictures and articles on the Modan Gaaru or Moga, which is a literal Japanese translation for the modern girl in 1920s flapping times. Japan's rendezvous with the West included an appreciation of imported Western clothing, the short cut bob, finger waves and Whisky as the most fashionable trend for youths of the time....

[Catch up with my post on the Modan Gaaru here:]
My gorgeous gang of 1920s Moga.....absolutely moxie!

Proudly displaying my handiwork of pretty tied obi bows! :)

Strike a pose...hehe!

Rachael's collection of vintage kimono and obi....

Dressing in a Yukata or Kimono
After acquiring a beautiful blue Yukata with pink blossoms from my last trip to Japan, how could I pass the opportunity to wear it again and roll with some hot 1920s jazz at the Candlelight Clubs's Sakura in Old Tokyo night! Plus Rachael actually has an amazing collection of vintage and antique Kimono, which you can see the rest of the girlies wearing in the photos, and we absolutely love dressing up to the roaring twenties. Nabbing myself a proper vintage yellow obi that is light enough for a Yukata on Etsy, I sifted through YouTube for videos (see below) on dressing and practised how to tie the flat Hira obi on myself as well as by myself...because Naoko was unable to attend the event. Arriving at Rachael's fully dressed in my Yukata and tied obi, I was tasked with dressing the girlies and tying their obi into cute bows. Once dressed and made up with hair as well as make-up, we were ready for a mini photoshoot in Rachael's garden with her collection of parasols...having fun in the sun!
VIDEO: How to tie flat obi belt/Hira obi (Source: Kimono Yukata Market)

[Catch up on my step-by-step photo 'How-To' dress in a Yukata here:]

Close up of the Hira obi bow I tied myself!

The dapper gang...ready for 1920s Tokyo!

Last minute adjusting of Rachael's Nagoya obi......

The Candlelight Club ~ Sakura in Old Tokyo
The name of this regular London vintage event derives from the secret venue being lit entirely by candlelight, just like how they use to do it before electricity was widely available. Having been to the Candlelight Club before, we knew what to expect and met the fashionably well dressed 1920s vintage fans with delight, though slightly disappointed that the secret venue happened to be the same one we went to in Angel last time. Happy to find we were not the only ones in a Kimono or Yukata, though the only ones in a properly tied obi that even the flapper dressed Japanese ladies from Tokyo were very pleased to see, we were still surprised by the increased hen parties in attendance this time. The silent black and white film flickered from the projector across the clean walls, the bar was well equipped and the delicately illustrated menu was excitingly tantalising...we eagerly spotted beautifully glamorous people all around in their fur, chiffon, pearls, Art Deco and monochrome ensemble. Sipping on Japanese inspired cocktails and whirling around as the kimono dressed Benoit Viellefon played their jazz numbers, we had a fun night of laughter and dance as 1920s Moga!

[Find out more about the Candlelight Club here:]

Benoit Candlelight Club.

At the Candlelight!

Glow of Candlelight.....


Finally a very very big THANK YOU goes out to all you lovely darlings who have supported my fundraising through the 'Shave or Style' campaign for Macmillan Cancer Support! I have been really touched by your supportive kindness in helping me reach my fundraising target and the positive thoughts you have sent my friend have been utterly sweet....thank you, thank you and thank you. You have no idea how precious your kind actions have been to us, it really is beyond words. In order to reach my fundraising goal I pledged several target-post actions that I will soon fulfill:

 *Reaching £60 = I will be wearing the Cheongsam (Qipao) on all 3 days of the style challenge!

**Reaching £90 = I will make my very first VIDEO Tutorial on a vintage hairstyle (voted by you)!

***Reaching my full target £108 = I will be walking the night half marathon "Shine Walk" in September 2014 wearing a Cheongsam (Qipao) dress and vintage hairstyle!

[If you are UK based and would like to offer a bit of support on my fundraising, please text (sms)  'LKYW87 £1'  to 70070. Alternatively press the 'Sponsor Me' button to donate]
JustGiving - Sponsor me now!
And stay tuned to find out what shall be revealed for my 3 days style challenge from 23rd to 25th July 2014....also if you have any ideas on what hairstyles you would like to see me wear, or do for my very first video tutorial then let me know! I shall be off to Spain for a little break over the weekend, but I wish all you kind loving darlings a fabulous and sunny weekend!

Until the next time,
May xx

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