Today I am going back to Edinburgh to see the Scottish Ballet dance to Radiohead, film techniques and the sophisticated frivolity of the 1930s. I haven't been to the ballet or any such occasion in so long and I had been desperately wondering what outfit I should wear. I wanted something dressed up. Nobody seems to dress up for the theatre any more and I love it.
I am loving all things vintage right now and wearing it with a punk edge. From listening to lots of rockabilly music inspiring the 50s pin up look, but with tattoos and piercings, to putting Marilyn Monroe, Fred Astaire, Jo Stafford and The Andrews Sisters on the record player and wearing a floor length emerald green backless gown (forget Keira in Atonemend) and converse underneath.
My hairstyle of the moment is Victory Rolls. This is back when I had blonde hair, as you can see, and didn't have a fringe, and am looking pretty moody, but it is the best shot I have of the very fiddly, but incredibly satisfying hairstyle. Now it is pink with a turqoise fringe and a flash underneath the front, so when I put it up the hidden turquoise becomes streaks across the right side of the hair. Before it was the quif with a scarf tied over the back of my head for a punky Rosie the Riveter look, worn with a 50s red and white summery halter and high waisted black hot pants. Then I got my hair cut into a fringe, a very short one, so a quif was no longer an option. But when I put my hair up like that and throw on my fake fur leopard print coat I feel so positively glamourous; I knew I'd have to start with that when deciding what to wear for the ballet. Fortunately the rest of my outfit was put together quite perfectly even if it was the result of a not so pleasant experience.
A few weeks ago I was shopping with my boyfriend. I say shopping as if it was one single outing, although I go alone or drag others into interesting new and well known shops almost every single day. Anyway, we went into Godiva and I tried on this beautiful 60s style dress designed and made by one of the girls who ran the shop. It was too big, but they offer free alterations. However, the designer wasn't working so I promised to return soon, without yet knowing I would suddenly move to Glasgow, start working and writing and generally be too busy to return. In the meantime, still with the intention of going back and buying it, I wandered into Watermelon on Great Western Road, round the corner from my house. Along with Starry Starry Night on Dowanside Lane this is one of the best vintage shops I have found in Glasgow, of which there are many! I walked into Watermelon and fell in love. Gorgeous 50s dresses hang from the ceiling, and a chopper bicycle (which my boyfriend fell in love with) displays bags and converse and other manly vintage. I was also surprised when I asked what size a particularly stunning dress was and found out it was 6-8. To find vintage dresses in my size is very, very rare. But, looking around most of the stunning dresses hanging up around me, allowing me to peek through the layers and layers of petticoats, were sizes 8-10. Perfect for me - not so perfect for my wallet! The dress I tried on was blue silk with white stichted flowers and a dark purple sash and collar. It was so beautiful and I was immediately forced to debate which one I could get, Godiva or Watermelon, as I couldn't really afford either let alone both. This has been going through me thoughts, in the back of my mind ever since. When I made a trip to Starry Starry Night with my boyfriend to get a leather jacket I bought an amazing petticoat with the blue dress in mind, and convinced myself I would have other outfits already I could wear it with. I also bought a pair of shoes with the designer dress in mind that, to be honest, are not the most comfortable.
Then it was just about waiting till I could afford it, as I had spent my money on the petticoat and the shoes and my rent is due on Monday. That all changed though when on Thursday night I came home after I finished work (about 2am) and had given my keys to my boyfriend so he could go home and go to bed, knowing he would have to stay awake to let me in. He works 6am to 6pm 5 days a week and 6am to 4pm on Saturdays, so it is understandable that he is too tired to stay up for my completely different body clock of up at 1oam and bed at 3am. However, I wasn't expecting him to sleep through his mobile ringing, the house phone ringing, the doorbell ringing and me banging on the window. No, I wasn't expecting that. Fortunately I managed to get hold of an awake friend so made my way all the way back to where I was working that night and slept on his couch. I made my sleepy, smelly, cursing way back the next afternoon (I had to wait for my flatmate to get back from Edinburgh to let me in). On the phone he was very apologetic and told me there was a surprise for me at the bottom of his bag. And here it is. So I have a petticoat to go with it...but I bought shoes for the different dress...will have to think.
Most importantly though, on top of the ballet and the beautiful dress, I got my boyfriend a spare set of keys!
I am a puppeteer and aerialist who produces and performs her own work and that of other people. I'm interested in environmentally sustainable, new and exciting visual theatre that will reach people of all backgrounds from all over the world.