July 3rd Newsletter - Vintage and Barbie

Diana Ashman Antiques and Vintage fashion boutique Welshpool

This week was about getting my vintage mojo back. 

Since my trip away, meeting the fabulous Diana Ashman (pictured above) and rediscovering my love of dresses I have been busy sourcing some pieces that inspire me. 

For all the many years I have been searching for vintage fashion, I still get that feeling of what if this is the last, what if it all disappears? Yes its definitely harder to find in good condition but more than ever it's being valued and cared for. 
There are so many excellent vintage boutiques out there now, carefully restoring, preserving and documenting these beautiful garments. 

My absolute favourite places just to waste away the hours online and dream over are 

Willow Hilson
Xtaybay Vintage
Timeless Vixen
Butchwax Vintage
Kerry Taylor Auctions
And don't forget the The V&A fashion collection and Kate Strasdin and Rachel Elspeth Gross

Whilst I was away I found a couple of fabulous vintage boutiques that I shared on my instagram. Well worth the trip to Diana Ashman Antiques in Welshpool (photographed above, the woman was wonderful!) and Bain & Murrin emporium in Hay on Wye. Each packed full of beautiful pieces and no websites so its all just waiting for whoever walks through the door! 

Diana Ashman antiques welshpool


Diana Ashman antiques vintage boutique welshpool

Inside Diana Ashmans vintage boutique, packed full of beautiful things. 

Bain and Murrin vintage Hay on Wye


Bain and Murrin vintage Hay on Wye

The delicious shoes on display at Bain and Murrin vintage emporium Hay on Wye.


Barbie has also been on my mind, a lot. Barbie was only in my life as a child for a short year or so. (I've since realised this was a mix of Sindy too)
My parents were pretty careful with money and toys probably because I was pretty fickle. I'd adored my friends collections and when my birthday came around, a four storey Sindy dream house complete with lift was waiting. Second hand of course and good job too as I think I found it exciting for a few weeks and was on to the next shiny thing. What a brat!
That being said, there was one incident with a white pair of Barbie stilettoes that was a turning point in my life. 
No I didn't get them stuck in my ear or nose. They were my friends Barbies shoes and my god did I want these tiny shoes more than anything in the whole world. So much so that I hid them in my hand like I'd stolen a diamond. 
I was of course found out. These precious little shoes were not mine and the devastation still haunts me today, I wanted to die! I'm not sure if it was the shame of stealing or that I had to give those perfect white heels back. 

I still want the shoes. I still search for the shoes. 

And then there were the metallic dresses. I swear to this day there was an advert on TV in the late 80s or early 90s for a Barbie in a blue metallic dress which came with a matching child sized dress too?! I'm not sure if it was true but that idea certainly stayed with me.

Looking through the Billy Boy book I think Barbie might just be inspiration fairy godmother!

The things that inspired me this week are Barbie related. I have been very excited about the upcoming Greta Gerwig film. Amazingly I did get the call from the Barbie Movie costume designers just before production for the pink metallic Victor Costa dress whilst they were filming at Pinewood. Sadly I was in the middle of cancerland as I totally would have dropped everything and made a version for them. Just imagine!, I may have to do this anyway.

I will be working on a Barbie inspired collection in the year to come, It's ok its not in time for the film as I need to think about how its relevant to my own design work and iridescent dresses will be worth the wait!

Below are some of the the things that grabbed my eye this week

rose photograph by Alexandra king

The roses have quickly faded in the weather but still so much joy in the garden.

pink gingham dress alexandra king

The pink gingham Gigi dress details with hand drown figures.

illustration of the pink gingham dresses Alexandra King

New illustrations of the pink gingham dresses in the collection.

yellow pink and blue maxi dresses Alexandra King

Three new maxi dresses in canary yellow, hot pink and powder puff blue being added to the collection this week.

pink silk 80s Marilyn Monroe dress Alexandra King

Shocking pink silk 1980s Marilyn Monroe style dress coming this week.

1960s beaded pink mini dress Alexandra King

1960s beaded dress detail, coming this week.

Irridescent beads

The iridescent plastic beads on a cheap purse, I just love them.

Barbie book by Billy Boy

This fabulous Barbie fashion history book by BillyBoy

Barbie Foot with sparkly shoe

Barbies perfect shoe from the Billy Boy book.

Pink metallic vintage 1980s Victor Costa Dress Alexandra King

The closest I have got to my own Barbie fantasy dress was this pink metallic Victor Costa 1980s ballgown. 

My incredibly fickle brain has also just jumped onto the idea of a more zine like newsletter. I wanted to write about what my brain gets up to each month, its literally like a sack of cats all fighting to get their ideas heard, and I thought it would be cool if it was more like pages of my sketchbook. 

There is NEVER enough time to do all the ideas in my head!