Happy 93rd Birthday Marilyn!

Today would be Marilyn’s 93rd Birthday, she has been in my life for almost a decade and I still find it so surreal to think that in theory, she should still be here. Sadly, we all know that is not the case and the reality is that Marilyn left the world over fifty five years ago. It’s sometimes hard to comprehend that Marilyn wasn’t just a Hollywood Star but a human being, just like you and me. However, today is not for dwelling, it is a very important day to millions of fans and myself, as the worlds Brightest Star is ultimately still shining half a century later!

To celebrate Marilyn’s big day, I usually spend it in the best way I know possible, having a Movie Marathon watching my favourite Actress. Unfortunately, so many people see Marilyn as just another silly Blonde Bombshell who didn’t have much talent and was basically playing herself on the screen. However, I can’t emphasize enough that the sweet, lovable, pretty face was so much more than what people perceive. As someone who has watched her films a countless number of times, I actually appreciate her comedic performances over her dramatic ones. This is because people tend to view dramas with more acclaim and respect and the Award Shows further prove this, when in fact comedies should not be overlooked.

In the wise words of Vivien Leigh – an Actress who yes, was more respected critically than Marilyn, but, ultimately was more appreciated more for her looks too,

“Comedy is much more difficult than tragedy – and a much better training, I think. It’s much easier to make people cry than to make them laugh.”

Marilyn was incredibly dedicated to her craft and spent numerous hours educating herself on the Performing Arts and trying to be the best she could possibly be. When you learn about Marilyn you realize how much she suffered mentally and the strength she must have found to deliver such beautiful performances. It hurts to think that she didn’t always feel like the bubbly Blonde Bombshell so many know and love her for, as no one more than Marilyn deserved to be appreciated and loved. She was such a perfectionist and would spend hours analyzing and being critical of her acting abilities and performance in each film.

“We not only want to be good, we have to be. You know, when they talk about nervousness, my teacher, Lee Strasberg, when I said to him, “I don’t know what’s wrong with me but I’m a little nervous,” he said, “When you’re not, give up, because nervousness indicates sensitivity.” Also, a struggle with shyness is in every actor more than anyone can imagine. There is a censor inside us that says to what degree do we let go, like a child playing. I guess people think we just go out there, and you know, that’s all we do. Just do it. But it’s a real struggle. I’m one of the world’s most self-conscious people. I really have to struggle.”

– Marilyn to Journalist Richard Meryman for LIFE Magazine, published on August 17th 1962.

Therefore, I thought it would be appropriate to choose five of Marilyn’s films in which she believed she gave the best performances or received great critical acclaim, to recommend for others to watch. If there is any day that Marilyn should be celebrated (personally, I believe it’s all day every day) than it is on her Birthday.

Whilst looking through reviews of Marilyn’s films that were published during their original releases, it’s shocking to me to read the downright prejudice, sexism and ignorance surrounding her as an Actress. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, in my belief Marilyn was the greatest Actress of all time as it seems that even then, 99% of people believed she was just playing herself. Therefore, in believing their own ignorance, critics could continue their lack of acclaim and respect for ultimately, an extremely talented woman.

The Asphalt Jungle (1950) and The Seven Year Itch (1955)

Person to Person television appearance interview on April 8th 1955.

“Marilyn, what’s the best part you ever had in a movie?” – Edward R. Murrow

“Well one of the best parts I’ve ever had was, in The Asphalt Jungle, John Huston’s Picture and then, The Seven Year Itch, Billy Wilder’s Picture.”  – Marilyn

“You think that’s going to be a big one too, don’t you? The Seven Year Itch.” – Edward R. Murrow

“I think it will be a very good Picture and I would like to continue making this type of Picture.” – Marilyn

Dallas Morning News Review by Harold Hefferman published on June 18th 1950.

“Virtually unbilled and unidentified in a current movie, Asphalt Jungle, Marilyn’s breathtaking appearance immediately piques fandom’s curiosity and imagination. Not since the brief introduction of another tempestuous blond, Shelley Winters, three years ago in A Double Life, has a newcomer stirred up so much interest.” 

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)

LIFE Magazine Interview with Journalist Richard Meryman published on August 17th 1962.

“I remember when I got the part in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Jane Russell – she was the brunette in it and I was the blonde. She got $200,000 for it, and I got my $500 a week, but that to me was, you know, considerable. She, by the way, was quite wonderful to me. The only thing was I couldn’t get a dressing room. Finally, I really got to this kind of level and I said, “Look, after all, I am the blonde, and it is Gentlemen Prefer Blondes!” Because still they always kept saying, “Remember, you’re not a star.” I said, “Well, whatever I am, I am the blonde!” – Marilyn

The Los Angeles Times Review by Edwin Schallert on August 1st 1953.

“Miss Monroe sparkles much of the time just as the diamonds do. Her work is insidiously intriguing in this picture, and at the same time almost childlike in its utter lack of guile. Her portrayal demonstrates that much may be maneuvered in her instance in the future to humorous advantage. She discloses a surprising light comedy touch.”

Time Magazine Review on July 27th 1953.

“As Lorelei Lee, who believes that diamonds are a girl’s best friend, Marilyn Monroe does the best job of her short career to date. [She] sings remarkably well, dances, or rather undulates all over, flutters the heaviest eyelids in show business and breathlessly delivers such lines of dialogue as, “Coupons – that’s almost like money,” as if she were in the throes of a grand passion.”

• Bus Stop (1956)

Speaking to reporters upon her arrival back in Hollywood to film Bus Stop, on February 25th 1956.

“Marilyn, are you happy to come back and do this Picture, are you pleased with the Bus- Picture Bus Stop?” – Reporter

“Oh yes, very much, I’m looking forward to working with Josh Logan, doing the Picture and it’s good to be back.” – Marilyn

“Was he in your selection as a Director?” – Reporter

“Twentieth Century Fox selected him and I have Director Approval and they asked if I would approve of him and definitely.” – Marilyn

“So you’re very happy, you think you’re going to make a very good Picture?” – Reporter

“I hope we do make a good picture, yes.” – Marilyn

The New York Times Review by Bosley Crowther published on September 1st 1956.

“HOLD onto your chairs, everybody, and get set for a rattling surprise. Marilyn Monroe has finally proved herself an actress in “Bus Stop.” She and the picture are swell!”

• Some Like It Hot (1959)

Variety Film Review published on February 24th 1959.

“To coin a phrase, Marilyn has never looked better. Her performance as “Sugar,” the fuzzy blonde who likes saxophone players “and men with glasses” has a deliciously naive quality. She’s a comedienne with that combination of sex appeal and timing that just can’t be beat.”

The New York Times Review by A. H. Weiler published on March 30th 1959.

“As the hand’s somewhat simple singer-ukulele player, Miss Monroe, whose figure simply cannot be overlooked, contributes more assets than the obvious ones to this madcap romp. As a pushover for gin and the tonic effect of saxophone players, she sings a couple of whispery old numbers (“Running Wild” and “I Wanna Be Loved by You”) and also proves to be the epitome of a dumb blonde and a talented comedienne.”

I hope however you choose to spend this day, you take a moment to think about Marilyn and in her own words, hold a good thought for her as if anyone deserved that, it was she.

“I Love Marilyn” by Sidney Skolsky published in Modern Screen Magazine in October 1953.

“Before the picture flashed on the screen, Marilyn whispered to me in that low, sexy voice that is natural with her: “Hold a good thought for me.” She always says that when embarking on an venture. She feels much better when you tell her you will.”

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Ash Lash Luxury Lashes By Ashlyn Coco.

If you’re a fellow Vintage Girl or lover of Old Hollywood and 1950s Blonde Bombshells, then you’ll know all about the incredibly stunning, Ashlyn Coco. I’ve been following Ashlyn for a number of years now and she is without doubt, the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen – if Marilyn and Jayne had a child together it would be her. Not only is she beyond gorgeous on the outside, but she has the purest heart and is such a kind soul, I feel very fortunate enough to know her. Therefore, I was simply over joyed when earlier this year she announced the release of her Brand, Ash Lash – a vintage aesthetic dream company, which sells all things retro style related, but most importantly as the title states – false eyelashes!

All the lashes are inspired by vintage decades and famous stars and they are 100% cruelty and vegan free, whilst being hand made individually to create a special, “3D” effect. Each pair of lashes costs $22, which is roughly £16 and if looked after, can be worn over 25 times – which is ultimately a huge bargain! Not only are you paying for possibly the most beautiful falsies made, you’re also purchasing the most intricately produced dream packaging. These aren’t a one time wear item, this is something you will treasure and they should take pride of place on your dressing room table.

With Ashlyn knowing how much I adore Marilyn, she kindly chose this pair for me to have – something I will always be forever grateful for! The Marilyn lashes are of course, inspired by the ultimate Star and exude quintessential Old Hollywood glamour, creating the perfect bedroom eyes she was so famously known for. This product is truly a work of art, featuring different variations in length which further create an added volume and luxurious look.

Not only are the lashes an incredible masterpiece, the box they are presented in is beyond beautiful, it reminds me of a vintage powder puff that would be key feature in a classic boudoir. The gold, pink and white colours blend together like an aesthetic dream and are so iconic and timeless – just like Ashlyn! Also, the actual shipping box simply has to be mentioned, it exudes ultra glamour and style and I will treasure it just as much as the products.

To apply the lashes, I used the  stunning premium gold applicator which retails for $6 and the lash adhesive glue
which is $12. Even these products which are only used behind the scenes are just gorgeous, it’s really so admirable how much time and effort has gone into making every single item and does not go unnoticed! With each order, you receive a complimentary postcard, featuring Ashlyn on the front and the lashes on the back – it will be taking pride of place on my dressing table!

Each lash style is specifically created to fit the era or star they’re named after, so there truly is a different look for everyone. However, if lashes aren’t your thing – and if not then they will be after wearing an Ash Lash! – there are plenty of other products available to purchase. Sunglasses, beauty accessories and various bundle deals are all on offer. The attention to detail is absolutely astounding and Ashlyn deserves all the success in the world, once you’ve worn an Ash Lash, it’s simply impossible to wear anything else! 

The lashes feel completely weightless and very comfortable to wear, even the adhesive glue smells lovely – a rare quality as falsie wearers will know! I can’t express how much I love both Ashlyn and her Brand, she is so authentically herself and her passion and love for Ash Lash truly shines throughout every detail. I am beyond excited to see the growth and expansion of this amazing company and will always be rooting for and supporting someone as special as Ashlyn.

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56 Years Without Marilyn.

Fifty six years ago, the World’s Brightest Star took her final breath and left millions of fans in a state of shock and disbelief. No one could understand why this young beautiful talented woman, loved by so many, could leave Earth in such a heartbreaking manner. An autopsy was performed and the official cause of death was ruled as, “probable suicide” noting how Marilyn had experienced, “severe fears and frequent depressions” throughout her lifetime. However, an extremely large number of people still to this day could not except this as fact, fueling an enormous amount of conspiracies from the incredulous to down right bizarre about this very special human.

Ultimately, the only person who knows what happened to Marilyn on the night of her death is the lady herself and many can speculate for hours and hours but will still not have the precise answer they’re looking for. Marilyn’s tragic death should not and does not define her, she lived for 36 years and experienced and achieved more than many could wish for in a whole lifetime. She pursued her dreams fearlessly, constantly striving to reach her goals and become the best actress and person she could be – that should not be forgotten.

Personally, I believe her death was due to medical negligence, either accidental or possibly intentional – Marilyn did have a few attempts of suicide over the years, but her anxiety and depression could often change and I don’t think she wanted to leave the world forever, maybe just in that moment.

However, I don’t want to dwell on Marilyn’s final moments on Earth and I’m sure she wouldn’t want that either, the focus should be on the beautiful person she was and the unique life she had. When people pass young and unexpectedly, conspiracies and in some cases, morbid curiosities take over and in time this can dehumanize the person and make many forget about who they truly were. Furthermore, when someone has already obtained legend status in their lifetime, it can be further exaggerated and influenced when they are no longer here to speak for themselves.

Just because Marilyn was and will always be Hollywood’s most brightest star, that doesn’t mean she wasn’t a real person – she deserves just as much respect and love as we would give to any other human. I understand how people can forget this, as it’s almost hard to accept that someone so legendary as Marilyn was ultimately, one of us mere mortals. As she left the world over half a century ago, people seem to dismiss her as a real person and think they can repeat morbid conspiracies and disrespectful myths. Everyone has their right to freedom of speech, but that doesn’t mean a beautiful person should be lost over hearsay and flat out lies.

I always think to myself how lucky I am to have taken the time to learn about Marilyn and appreciate her for the amazing person she truly was. Sadly, so many people will miss out on this because they believe everything that’s posted on the internet and automatic judgement steers them away from any authentic research. If there’s anything I can do for Marilyn after all she’s done for me, is to spread the truth and facts about this wonderful lady who blessed us with her presence.

Marilyn was a woman always ahead of her time, she believed in equality, feminism, speaking out and most importantly, kindness and generosity, none of these should be forgotten. She used her platform to share her story and was continuously giving with both her time and money, never forgetting her fans throughout her ever growing stardom. 

On this day I will of course always feel sadness, that is simply impossible to ignore considering how much I adore Marilyn. However, I will focus on Marilyn herself and her incredible life, in all the years before and through all the years after, there will truly never be another one like her. So wherever you are beautiful Marilyn, I will always think of your wonderful words which remind me that no matter how hard life can be, there is always hope. 

“Remember now, cheers, no tears.”
– Spoken by Marilyn to the cast and crew of The Misfits after filming had finished in November 1960.

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Happy 92nd Birthday Marilyn!

If Marilyn was alive today, it’s incredible to believe that she would be turning ninety two years old. In the seven and a half years I’ve known and loved her for, I still find it incomprehensible, due to Marilyn leaving the world at such a young age. I guess I almost have to remind myself that even the most famous woman in the world was just like us, she was human too. However, I’ll openly admit that I don’t know if that fact will ever sink in, not because I view Marilyn as an Icon, although she undoubtedly is, but because it’s amazing to think that she walked the earth we all live on.

Although it’s been over fifty five years since Marilyn left us, in many ways it feels like she’s still here, almost like she never really left. What I mean by that is her spirit and presence is so prevalent in today, I bet there’s not one person in the world that doesn’t know her name or face. Of course, with such fame and status comes the dreaded myths and conspiracies, which myself and many strive to dispel, but, I do like to think that the majority of people smile and feel happiness when they see or watch Marilyn. She has such a unique warmth and kindness that truly lights up the screen when she appears and I’m sure it’s true that she lit up a room when she entered one over half a century ago.

Every year Marilyn’s Birthday and Anniversary come around, I always wonder to myself what I should write and how do I go about not being repetitive. After all, there’s only so much that can be said on one particular person, however, to me it’s all about spreading love and enlightening others on the real Marilyn and if I can do that through writing a few words, I’ll definitely try. I’ve mentioned many times how inspiring I find Marilyn, how unbelievable her story is and how she achieved so much considering the odds against her were beyond enormous. I’ve also said how Marilyn was so much more than a beautiful Blonde Bombshell, she was a special soul who was always striving to perfect her talents and be the best person she could be. However, even as I reiterate previous statements, I can’t help but thinking about how true they are and how incredible Marilyn really was.

Of course I absolutely adore Marilyn and there’s no doubt that I truly cannot say many, if any bad things about her, some would say I’m extremely biased and I would to an extent admit to that. However, I pride myself in being honest and speaking the truth and everything I state about Marilyn’s life and achievements are historically proven. Therefore, this is the main reason why I’m so dumbfounded when people don’t like or respect Marilyn, I mean, how can you possibly not? Not everyone has to become a huge devoted fan like myself, but to be so judgmental, inaccurate and assuming is such a huge annoyance to me – we should all be supportive and admire anyone’s achievements and why should Marilyn be any different? Just because a person has their struggles doesn’t make them someone not to admire, to me it makes them even more inspirational in that they achieved so much when they were suffering.

Ultimately, today is a very special day for myself, all of Marilyn’s fans and Hollywood, for without Marilyn the world would definitely have been a little duller. Not only did she accomplish so much and forever make her mark in Cinema, she was a kind person and just wanted to put a smile on people’s faces. I always love reading little anecdotes showing Marilyn as a person and not the star as they show her beautiful soul and caring nature. Things like her anonymously gifting money to crew members in need or bringing a cow inside because it was raining, just show how generous she was and how little material things actually meant to her.

Wherever Marilyn may be I hope she knows how appreciated, loved and respected she is by so many. There may be a few ignorant and judgmental people still out there but she had that during her lifetime and I like to think it wouldn’t phase her all too much. Marilyn always knew that people didn’t expect much from her other than a pretty face and she never failed to prove them wrong. At 24 years old I think about Marilyn every day and have done since I first discovered her in late 2010, she fills my heart with love and joy and I will never not stick up for her. I like to think that however old we all get, Marilyn will continue to always be with us in spirit and never fail to place a smile on a sad face. It takes an incredibly special person to have the ability to make someone feel such love and emotion for someone they have never met and Marilyn is one of those rare people. I love you with all of my heart beautiful Marilyn and I undoubtedly always will.

“I don’t understand why people aren’t a little more generous with each other. I don’t like to say this, but I’m afraid there is a lot of envy in this business. The only thing I can do is stop and think, “I’m all right but I’m not so sure about them!” – Marilyn to Richard Meryman in Life Magazine, August 1962.

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Cath Kidston x Alice In Wonderland Collection.

When I found out on Instagram that Cath Kidston was doing a collaboration collection with Disney’s Alice In Wonderland, I knew this was something I was not going to be late for! If you don’t get that reference, we really won’t be able to be friends. 

I’ve loved Alice In Wonderland for as long as I can remember, I mean, how could you not want to follow the white rabbit and fall down the rabbit hole into Wonderland?! The enchantment, overall aestheticism and fairy tale elements of the whole concept has always been such a dream to me, so a big thank you to Mr Lewis Carroll. 

As for Cath Kidston, ever since discovering the Brand through the Nokia Mobile collaboration which happened in 2006, I’ve continued to adore the whole style and look. Retro floral and animal patterns are simply timeless and a vintage lovers dream therefore, when 1950s Disney and Cath Kidston come together, it’s truly on a level like no other!

The collection launched early on Thursday May 24th at 7PM in selected stores and officially on Friday May 25th, which was when I ventured into my local Cath Kidston store. I was in complete awe of each individual item that had been so beautifully made and was truly beautiful, a collaborators dream! The first fifty customers who spent over £50 on Alice In Wonderland products were able to receive and exclusive limited edition tote bag – thankfully, I was number 48!

I decided to make a list of the items I wished to purchase from the collection beforehand, as I wanted to be prepared and try and be fairly controlled with my money, emphasis on fairly. Ultimately, I actually surprised myself and didn’t buy every single thing on my list, which is pretty impressive if you ask me! Considering this was such an iconic collection, the prices for each product were most definitely reasonable and I was fortunate enough to purchase most of the things I had hoped for. The only thing I just couldn’t justify was the stunning Alice and Friends Leather Lozenge Cross Body Bag as at £115, that was sadly way out of my price range.

However, as noted previously, I did purchase some beautiful items and will name each one;

Alice’s Meadow Boxed Gift Mug
Painting The Roses Tab Saddle Bag
Falling Alice Moving Iphone 6/6s/7/8 Case
Alice’s Meadow A5 Hardback Notebook
Alice’s Meadow Chunky Pen
Alice’s Words Shirt Dress (sold out online)

I can only dream of the next Cath Kidston x Disney collaboration and wait with excitement and a huge lack of impatience for the new announcement! Which reminds me, make sure you sign up to hear about it first! Thank you so much to Cath and Disney for making something so special for all the vintage lovers and Alice In Wonderland fans out there!

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The Girl: Marilyn Monroe, The Seven Year Itch and the Birth of an Unlikely Feminist by Michelle Morgan; Book Review.

Whenever I hear the news that a new Marilyn book is to be released, I’m mostly filled with joy and excitement, as well as slight trepidation around the accuracy and respect given towards my favourite lady. However, if the Author is Michelle Morgan, aka in my opinion, the best Marilyn writer, I know one hundred percent that there’s truly nothing for me to worry about.

Michelle has recently released her latest book on Marilyn, which takes a refreshingly new focus beyond the image of the legend and on the actress herself. The Girl overall stays between the pivotal years 1954 to 1956 and tells the true story of Marilyn taking control of her career by breaking through the male dominated Studio Systems and proving to the world she was so much more than just a pretty face.

Thanks to Michelle and Running Press Publishers, I had the pleasure of receiving a media copy to read and review before the release date and as I expected, I was definitely far from disappointed. The introduction alone was truly memorable and it’s so refreshing to read how much Michelle herself loves and cares for Marilyn, writing with respect and sensitivity, whilst staying completely unbiased. Furthermore, she makes sure to portray the three dimensional person Marilyn was, conveying her many struggles and successes, dedicated to preserving the truth and staying far away from the gossip and sensationalism that sadly so often is unfairly connected to our Star. Plus, I love how witty the title is; any super Marilyn fan will know that The Girl is in fact Marilyn’s character name in The Seven Year Itch (1955) and writer George Axelrod actually had this to say about the unnamed lady.

“I have been asked if there is any symbolic significance in the fact that the Girl has no name. The truth of the matter is that I could never think of a name for her that seemed exactly right, that really fit the girl I had in mind. I think if I were writing the play today, I might be tempted to call the Girl Marilyn.”

Even though Marilyn lived for just 36 years, it’s undeniable the amount she achieved in such a short lifetime and for any Marilyn fan or someone who’s interested in Hollywood, Feminism or the 1950s, this book is simply a must have for your Library. I personally feel Michelle has done such a good job with accuracy and creating a detailed perspective that she could write many volumes focusing on each year of Marilyn’s life! In fact, I really hope she does.

At just over 300 pages long, this book is just right – not too long and intense and not too short and lacking detail. Even though it doesn’t document Marilyn’s full story, through focusing on these such important years, you arguably learn more about Marilyn than you would in a standard biography. However, if you’re wanting to read more and well, who could blame you, there’s always Michelle’s other books on Marilyn and I recommend them because in my opinion, they are the best – respectful, honest and sincere.

Out of Marilyn’s 30 Films, three are discussed in The Girl and those are the following; The Seven Year Itch (1955), Bus Stop (1956) and The Prince and The Showgirl (1957). Even though this is due to the specific time period documented in Marilyn’s life, I think it’s wonderful for someone who may know Marilyn only for her image and Icon Status. I say this because the three discussed throughout the book show her versatility and strength as an artist – something she continually dreamed to be known and appreciated for.

The Girl consists of a Preface, ten Chapters, an Epilogue, selected Bibliography and Source Notes, with between 30-40 beautiful photos of Marilyn featured throughout the book. The colour theme consists of red white and gold and I absolutely adore the cover photo chosen; a 1955 Marilyn wearing a Red Sweater by Milton Greene. It’s refreshing to see a different perspective of Marilyn shown yet still being undoubtedly, The Star. Plus, it’s lovely both a photo from 1955 was used and one by Milton – someone so pivotal in believing in Marilyn as a human being and helping her change the course of her Career.

Each Chapter Title conveys many important words that should continually be used to describe Marilyn, some may say I’m biased and I would never deny that. However, you cannot be biased about the truth and each of these titles contain important moments and achievements Marilyn herself made happen, through sheer strength and determination. Although beautiful and talented, she was never viewed as anything but a Blonde Bombshell, a Sex Goddess who added glamour to the Silver Screen and ultimately Marilyn had all the odds against her throughout her whole life. Yet, through The Girl, Michelle shows that even the Underdog can prove to everyone that not only was she Beautiful, she was also strong, passionate, intelligent and believed that she deserved better.

I can without a doubt say that The Girl is one of my favourite Marilyn books and definitely a staple in my Marilyn Book Collection – 167 and counting! At £19.99 this isn’t the cheapest one available, but quality and authenticity are priceless and this is something that will be treasured and kept in your library forever. Even though I’m fortunate enough to have an early Media Copy, I will of course be purchasing one for myself! You can never have enough good Marilyn books and this will have pride of place in my Marilyn book shelf, yes, she really does have her own library.

I can’t say enough good things about The Girl and Michelle herself, I’ve been fortunate enough to know this wonderful lady for quite a few years and I know that if Marilyn was here she would be honoured to have such a thoughtful and authentic writer tell her incredibly brave and progressive story. I think it’s fair to say that I know a lot about Marilyn and with Michelle’s books there’s always unique, special anecdotes and trivia that I continue to discover. Ultimately, go to amazon or your local bookstore and start reading The Girl, I can assure you any stereotypical views you may have of Marilyn will quickly vanish and you’ll be astounded and in awe of what an incredible person she really was.

The Girl is available to Pre-Order from Amazon UK and will be released on May 31st and is out in the USA now!

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Dolly and Dotty Fashion.

Whenever I see photos of Old Hollywood Stars, I’m always reminded of one thing in particular, how truly timeless they are. So many of the images look like they could have been captured within this century and with vintage inspired dresses being readily available from modern stores, it just goes to show that the fashion from the 1940s and 1950s have never gone out of style.

Another Retro Style Fashion Brand I recently discovered is the simply gorgeous, Dolly and Dotty! Their beautiful fashions range from UK sizes 6 – 24, offering a huge variety for many customers. What I absolutely love about this Brand is that each style of dress has a different name, with many colours and patterns on offer. Therefore, if you have a favourite choice, you can simply click on that specific name and look at all the different versions available. However, with all of the products being so stunning, it’s no easy task choosing just one favourite dress, but, that’s definitely not a bad thing!

Ultimately, I finally narrowed my top picks down to three different styles and names; Annie, Natalie and Katherine. I wanted to select three significantly different dresses that simply had one thing in common – Vintage Style!

The Annie Retro Lace Floral Swing Dress I chose was the gorgeous combination of Pink and Grey. As soon as I saw this beauty, which is currently in the newly released section, I knew that I had to add it to my wardrobe. I think the colours together create a beautiful mix and are perfect for the Christmas Winter Season! I can’t even emphasize how intricate and awe inspiring the detail on the dress is, it definitely exudes Flapper Vibes and makes me feel like I would fit perfectly in a Speakeasy Bar! My favourite style of dress to wear is most definitely a swing style, as not only does it fit beautifully, it’s comfy too and no one can deny that’s not a must have!

The Natalie Retro Floral Swing Flamingo Story Dress, is quite possibly one of the best things I have seen in a long while. Not only is it a beautiful Peppermint Green, which is one of my best loved colours to wear but, it features multiple Flamingos, with the pink shade complimenting the green wonderfully. This item is amazingly in the sale section at the moment and the only reason I can assume why is because people may possibly be intimidated by the shade, which is such a shame as it’s absolutely stunning! The sweetheart neckline is another one of my favourite styles, as it’s so classically vintage and truly flattering for everyone. I’ve said it before and as we know I’m about to say it again, the little details are to me, the best part of clothes and the gathered bust and button detail is just perfection.

Last but not least in my wonderful trio of dresses is the Katherine Long Sleeve 50’s Swing Dress, which I chose in the Black/Pink/Gold Floral shade. With the Winter very much here, I really thought a long sleeved style would be most definitely appropriate and the added bonus of not needing a cardigan was also a plus too! The gorgeous pattern is so reminiscent of the Classic Hollywood Era and I feel is very transitional from both day to night. I’m all about accentuating the waist and the Katherine dress comes with a belt attached, which can be fastened either at the front or the back. Furthermore, when a dress has hidden secret pockets, you know that it’s most definitely a keeper!

Please note, I pride myself in making sure I write honest reviews and although I was fortunate enough to be gifted these items, I was not told to say any of the following statements I have made.

Lastly, a huge thank you to Polly from Dolly and Dotty for making this collaboration possible, I honestly can’t recommend them enough. Their clothes are such high quality and truly pieces of art, they make a modern girl feel very much like her true vintage self!

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TopVintage Retro Boutique Fashion.

As someone who lives her life in the 1940s/1950s Aesthetic, it truly brings me so much joy when I come across Modern Vintage Style Fashion Brands, the latest one being the beautiful, TopVintage Retro Boutique. This amazing Company was founded nine years ago and has since continued to grow from strength to strength, receiving many awards and recognition for all of their hard work.

Furthermore, not only does TopVintage stock over 40 Retro Brands, it features a huge variety of vintage style clothes ranging all the way from the 1920s to the 1970s. The main inspirations for Angelique, the creator of TopVintage are these four incredible Icons, Marilyn, Brigitte, Sophia and Audrey. The irony behind this is that all four of these Old Hollywood Stars, (one in particular – I’m sure you can guess who!) just happen to be some of my favourite ladies – a coincidence? I like to think not!

Therefore, as soon as I came across, The Florence Dress In Winter Red I knew that I simply had to add this beauty to my wardrobe! Not only do I love wearing red, this particular shade is without doubt a huge favourite of mine, especially in Lipstick form – which I’m sure you may have noticed. I just adore when a dress is fitted in all the right places, but is still comfy to wear all day long – people may say that beauty is pain however, The Florence Dress proves this no longer has to be the case!

Although this dress is described as 1950s style, it’s incredibly unique in that it features so many trademarks from each decade! The butterfly sleeves give me 1970s vibes, the pleated bust takes me back to the 1940s, whilst the  simple but eye catching waist detail oozes 1950s glamour. With a fully lined top, no zippers or buttons and 95% viscose material, you can guarantee to look and feel like you’ve stepped out of the Silver Screen! However, if the Winter Red colour isn’t your shade, you can always choose black and remember, it’s impossible to go wrong with a Little Black Dress!

Anyone who knows me will be know that I wear dresses pretty much every day, therefore, it’s just wonderful when you find a dress that is perfect for both Day and Night! The Florence Dress can easily be dressed up for a night out or dressed down for a simple day, it’s all about the added accessories and style. To complete the Vintage Look, I decided to pin curl my hair and style the front pieces up into Victory Rolls, with a few added red floral clips to finish the Retro Style.

Not only is the quality of the TopVintage dresses beautiful, the packaging and overall aesthetic is so detailed and definitely doesn’t go unappreciated! I especially love the adorable gifts included in the parcel; a mini compact mirror and sweets, such a unique concept and thoughtful idea! I truly could spend hours browsing through their website, not only does it feature such a huge variety of dresses, there is Swimwear, Beauty, Nightwear and Accessories to purchase also! Every item available on there is inspired by Classic Hollywood and makes you feel like a true Vintage Star.

Lastly, a huge thank you to Anne and Laura at TopVintage Boutique for making this Collaboration a reality!

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Vivien of Holloway Fashion.

Before I even start to talk about Vivien of Holloway the Brand, I simply have to say how much I love that the lady herself, Vivien, spells her name just like one of my Old Hollywood Favourites, Vivien Leigh. If you don’t know who she is, I’d advise checking IMDB as soon as possible. Inspirations aside, now that I’ve shared my little Fan Girl moment, it’s time for me to focus on another favourite subject of mine; Vintage Fashion!

Vivien of Holloway was founded in 2000 by the lady herself, who from a young age had huge enthusiasm for 1950s Fashion and almost twenty years later, it has became a major phenomenon for all Vintage Lovers like myself! One of the unique things about Vivien of Holloway is that all their clothes follow vintage sizing, which continues the authenticity of creating wonderful reproductions from the era. I think this is such a unique concept, but definitely important to mention as if you know anything about Old Hollywood Fashion, you’ll know how different sizing was.

Research shows that the majority of sizes from the vintage era now vary by two, for example, I’m a UK Size 8 and my Vivien of Holloway dress is a Vintage Size 12 – with the measurements being 34-26-38. Although my hips are roughly 34-35 inches, the garment I’m wearing is fitted on the bust and waist but flared on the hips, so this didn’t affect the fitting.

Technical information aside, as my favourite eras for fashion are the 1940s and 1950s, Vivien’s dresses are an absolute dream and honestly, if I could afford to buy all the dresses – I’m pretty sure I would! There is so much variety in style, colour, length and pattern so I can pretty much guarantee there’s something for everyone on this amazing website.

As soon as I saw the, 1950s Halterneck Midnight Rose Dress I knew that I simply had to have this in my wardrobe! Floral patterns are without doubt my favourites to wear, I love recreating the 1940s and 1950s look, it makes me feel like my true self. Furthermore, it just so happens that pink is the colour I adore the most and roses are the flowers that have a special place in my heart. Plus, with the base colour being black, this adds further class and glamour by creating a bold shade contrast.

At £89.00, the clothes may not be the cheapest available to buy, however, if you want an authentic vintage reproduction and a beautifully made product, then every penny is truly worth it. This dress is simply made for the Summer Season and if you’re like me and live in dresses – you might as well wear it all year round! I love that Vivien’s dresses have so much versatility, not only would this look great for a Party, you could also happily wear it for a Picnic on a lovely sunny day. Plus, with the cotton fabric, you’ll feel comfortable all throughout the day and the stunning boned bodice creates extra curves and definition, giving you the ultimate 1950s Pin Up figure!

Although the dresses don’t come with petticoats or belts, there are a huge number of choices and colours to choose from on their website. However, if you don’t fancy spending money on further accessories, there’s no need to worry as the clothes look just as lovely without – it’s just great to have more options and Vivien of Holloway definitely has them!

Lastly, a huge thank you to Vivien herself for creating such an incredible Brand for all the Old Souls and Vintage Lovers!

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Lindy Bop Fashion.

One of the great things about Social Media, is being able to discover new things and especially if you’re me, finding Vintage Style Modern Fashion Brands like the amazing, Lindy Bop! Founded in 2011, Lindy Bop has gone from strength to strength in becoming a huge favourite for Vintage Lovers like myself and is available to buy worldwide. The great thing about 1940s and 1950s clothing is that it’s truly timeless, with many pieces looking like they were made yesterday. Over half a century on, hundreds of clothes are still inspired each Season by the bygone days of Classic Hollywood. Therefore, when you like to pretend you’ve just left Graumanns Chinese Theatre on the arms of Clark Gable, discovering a Brand like Lindy Bop is simply a dream come true!

There is a huge selection of gorgeous designs to browse through online and I could honestly spend hours doing so! From pencil skirts to my favourite floral prints, there truly is something for every body, even if you’re not into the whole Vintage Fashion, which is incomprehensible to little old me, but, each to their own! The two dresses that I simply had to choose were the following, “Lorelei” Tropical Pin Up Floral Print Halterneck Swing Dress and “Nadia” Print Tropical Bird Print Cotton Swing Dress. Both are just £30, yes, I really did just say that. In fact, my two favourites are currently on sale and just £15 each – that’s basically two amazing dresses for one incredible price!

What is really amazing about Lindy Bop’s dresses is that they look exactly as they’re photographed, there’s no colour variation or style differences – what you see really is what you get. Furthermore, sizing is most definitely accurate, so you know that you can stick to what you normally wear.

The Lorelei Dress had won me over by just the name alone, Marilyn fans will understand my excitement straight away! Not only is it the perfect summer clothing, with a gorgeous vibrant tropical pattern – it features real pin up drawings by Roy Best and Jules Erbit! I actually didn’t even realize these amazing works of art were even on the dress until it arrived – so you can imagine how overjoyed I was! Another huge bonus about the dress is it has two side pockets, something which is pretty much essential but sadly quite rare. I absolutely adore the sweetheart neckline and flared style skirt, it’s so very flattering for all shapes and sizes and quintessential vintage. What stands out the most on the Lorelei has to be the stunning halterneck bow, which is ultra feminine. Ultimately, I cannot fault this gorgeous clothing.

The Nadia Dress is made from breathable quality stretch cotton fabric, a must for the Summer Weather, especially if you’re taking it with you on Vacation. Not only is the style incredibly comfy but it’s beautifully fitted, what more could you ask for?! My favourite sweetheart neckline is once again present however, this time it is accompanied with cap sleeves that add definition to the style. Once again, side pockets are designed into the dress, but are discreetly concealed so they don’t stand out or take away from the style. With the flared skirt, you have plenty of room to twirl around like a 1950s Princess and there’s definitely no feeling of being restricted or uncomfortable.

I am overjoyed with Lindy Bop’s Clothes, they are made with such good quality, have a signature style and are available for an incredible price – what’s more to love!? I can’t thank Lindy Bop and in particularly Jade, for making this collaboration happen and I will definitely be adding many more dresses from this amazing Brand to my wardrobe in the not too distant future!

Please note, I pride myself in making sure I write honest reviews and although I was fortunate enough to be gifted these items, I was not told to say any of the following statements I have made.

Lastly, a huge thank you to Lindy Bop for making a Modern Vintage Girl’s dream come true!

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