57 Years Without Marilyn.

Tonight marks 57 years since Marilyn left us – her body was found by her housekeeper in the early hours of August 5th and it was officially announced to the world that morning. Every year I try and write about Marilyn on both her Birthday and her Anniversary, each time I make sure to focus on one particular thing – to celebrate and appreciate her for the amazing person she truly was.

So many people and society tend to view Marilyn as a victim, passed around from man to man and used throughout her lifetime. This both angers and frustrates not just me, but many fans, who have spent years taking the time to research legitimate sources and find out who Marilyn herself was. Often her death is viewed as a conspiracy fueled gossip loving debate, so much so that she ends up no longer seeming like a young woman anymore, but an object of fascination.

It seems to me that it’s easier for people to believe in the distasteful lies and conspiracies that surround not just Marilyn, but many other celebrities and icons before and after her. People cannot comprehend someone as beautiful, talented and loved as her to have any demons or hardships. It almost seems like it’s frowned upon to listen to the doctors original death verdict – which was, “probable suicide” as depression can’t always be comprehended or accepted by others. It also doesn’t continue to sell hundreds of books and trashy articles like conspiracies and salacious stories do and sadly, that’s what so many seem to care more about. In the end Marilyn ends up being turned into a former shadow of her true self, which is just not acceptable to me and so many others – therefore, I will continue to try and dispel the lies and bring back her true character.

Furthermore, Marilyn’s death does not define her – intended or accidental it is still and will always be a tragedy, but, it does not take away from her 36 years of life and the achievements she made during and after her lifetime.  Marilyn was a voice for the underdog, incredibly ahead of her time she defied gender stereotypes and was never afraid to be honest and speak out about taboo topics such as sexuality, abuse and the pay gap. She was also the third Actress to set up her own Film Production Company – Mary Pickford and Mabel Normand did so in 1916.

Marilyn constantly tried to improve herself as a human and an artist, she suffered immensely for her creativity, always wanting to be the best actress she could become. She was very self conscious of her limited education and loved to read and learn about a variety of subjects – her library had over four hundred books on it’s shelves varying from Psychology to Russian Literature! She loved the simple things in life, such as walking around Brooklyn, caring for animals, listening to music and spending time with loved ones. Ultimately, this was the real Marilyn, the person that so often gets lost in the publicity of hearsay and money making headlines.

I truly hope that whenever a person comes across Marilyn, they take a few moments to discover the real her, the person behind the Blonde Bombshell persona. It’s so easy to see a headliner or false image and believe an inaccurate presentation of a famous person. I may be a little biased, but I can honestly say that feelings aside, Marilyn was truly an incredible woman, brave, generous, kind and strong, someone who just wanted to make the world a little brighter. Plus, even if all of these ridiculous, continuously disproven myths miraculously ended up being true, it would not change my the amount of respect or adoration I have for her.

So many associate sexual promiscuity, addiction and stupidity with Marilyn and honestly, it not only saddens me but I find it incredibly, infuriating. Firstly, even half a century later, the amount of sexism and double standards that still exist in our society is simply disgusting. Therefore, I’d like to touch on each one of these so called flaws and share the facts behind the assumptions.

Did Marilyn have an affair? Yes, she did – with Actor Yves Montand during the making of Let’s Make Love in 1960 – not with the often noted, John F. Kennedy. In reality, they only met a less than juicy four times from 1960 and three of them were at public events. Yet as always, the woman is shamed and condemned – even if the hearsay comes about years after her death by people simply wanting to make some money. I would say that a huge amount of Stars in Hollywood had affairs during their careers, no judgement here, I’m just stating the facts. However, why is it Marilyn that is constantly criticized, judged and linked to every man in and out of Hollywood? In reality she spoke out multiple times about the peril of the, “Hollywood Wolves” and actually lost out on a contract renewal with Columbia Head Harry Cohn for turning down a proposition. Lastly, if she had slept with every single person that she’s been associated with, she’d never have had time to have such a successful career and three marriages.

Was Marilyn an addict? Yes, she was addicted to prescription medications such as Chloral Hydrate and Nembutal, which she would take for her depression, crippling anxiety and insomnia.  Medical negligence was extremely high in the heyday of Hollywood and if you were famous and had problems, they could often be taken advantage of instead of resolved. Personally, I don’t know why being an addict gives others the right to condemn, judge, shame and insult someone suffering from this terrible sickness? If anything there should be compassion and understanding, we are all only human and the stigma needs to stop.

Was Marilyn just a, “Dumb Blonde”? No, but for some bizarre reason to me, people seem to not be able to understand that an Actor is performing a role, the character you’re seeing on the screen is just that – a character. However, because Marilyn was able to create such a convincing persona, people could not accept that in reality, she loved to be in her capri pants, with no makeup on, sitting at home reading a good book. Even during her lifetime, her acting was usually only appreciated when she took on dramatic roles, such as in Bus Stop (1956) and The Misfits (1961). Honestly, I don’t know why a persons intelligence has any influence in how they should be viewed and treated by others and I actually think if Marilyn had been less intelligent, she would have been a lot happier.

I think a lot of people forget that Marilyn was actually a real person, just like you and me, a human that graced us with her presence on this Earth. Someone as beautiful, wonderful and pure of heart like her really existed and with such a judgmental and prejudicial society like ours, it can sometimes be hard to accept this. Just because Marilyn’s no longer here in a physical presence, doesn’t mean she doesn’t deserve the same respect that we’d give to others. She gave a hell of a lot to this world in just a small amount of time, her contributions to Hollywood and for women are legendary and should be appreciated and shared.

Wherever you are sweet Marilyn, I hope you feel the love and kind words so many of us only wish we could say to you. You’ve given so much happiness to millions of people, this girl especially and we truly love and appreciate you for being undoubtedly your true self.

“But when you’re famous you kind of run into human nature in a raw kind of way. It stirs up envy, fame does. People you run into feel that, well, who is she who does she think she is, Marilyn Monroe? They feel fame gives them some kind of privilege to walk up to you and say anything to you, you know, of any kind of nature and it won’t hurt your feelings.”

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

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The Little Book of Marilyn: Inspiration From The Goddess of Glam by Michelle Morgan; Book Review.

If there’s one Author to be excited about, upon hearing an announcement of an up and coming Marilyn book, it’s none other than Michelle Morgan. Michelle has been a true super fan since discovering the beautiful blonde on a postcard, whilst Holidaying in Devon in 1985. Since then, she has gone on to write a staggering six books devoted to my favourite lady, with her first being Marilyn’s Addresses, written over twenty years ago in 1995. Therefore, all I can say is – thank you Devon!

In the almost nine years since I first Discovered Marilyn, I’ve been incredibly lucky to not only find and appreciate Michelle as a wonderful writer – recommending her work to many Marilyn fans, but I’ve also been able to call her my friend! Not only have her books taught me so much about Marilyn the human and artist, she has always supported me by listening and offering me advice with her kind words  – something which has always been greatly treasured.

I’ve been very fortunate to know about The Little Book of Marilyn for over a year and for one almost surreal reason why – Michelle kindly asked me if I wanted to be interviewed for inclusion in the book! Needless to say I didn’t hesitate for a moment to say yes and one month before publication, I’ve kindly received a complimentary copy of the book to share my thoughts with you all! 

If you’ve read any of Michelle’s books then you’ll know you’re never disappointed and she always manages to blow even the highest expectations out of the water. Therefore, it’s no surprise to say that The Little Book of Marilyn, is of course, no different! 

The book features a stunning glamour shot of Marilyn with a beautiful pink and orange Fleur-de-lis background, it’s flexibound format means it will always stay in beautiful condition and its travel size makes it easy to carry around with you and stay inspired by only the best! If the beautiful outer packaging wasn’t enough, the 224 pages are filled with many high quality pictures – quite a few rare ones too!

The contents include the following sections;
______________________________________________________________________________

Introduction

Chapter 1: Her Story

Chapter 2: Inspiration

Chapter 3: Style 

Chapter 4: Beauty

Chapter 5: Life Skills

Chapter 6: Personal Effects 

Chapter 7: Walk With Marilyn
______________________________________________________________________________

It’s no secret that there have been definitely hundreds, possibly thousands of books written on Marilyn since her passing, almost fifty seven years ago. A unique few, (Michelle’s most definitely are included) have been amazing, a fair amount have been pretty good and a large sum have been downright awful. However, none have had this fabulous concept and that is further reason for it to be a must have in any collection.

It’s full of details on Marilyn’s life and career, but includes many tutorials and lessons on how to be inspired by a Star that is so often misrepresented in society and the media. Michelle offers a true, genuine insight into the real Marilyn and stays clear of the ridiculous conspiracies and lies. She gives fans like myself, the chance to express just how truly inspiring Marilyn has been to so many even half a century after she left us. The guide like format means you can read it in any order you please or choose to focus on a particular section that is interesting to you.

Ironically enough, I feel the person that would benefit from reading this book the most is Marilyn herself, she was her biggest critic and often full of doubt and disbelief. Therefore, I feel if she could read and see the impact she has had on the millions of fans who love and appreciate her, she may have felt just a little less alone.

Lastly, on behalf of all Marilyn fans, I want to thank Michelle for writing such beautiful books about Hollywood’s Brightest Star and continuing to educate and preserve Marilyn’s very special memory. A big thank you to Running Press for publishing Michelle’s amazing work and for kindly gifting me this beautiful copy, I will truly treasure it!

The Little Book of Marilyn is available to Pre-Order from Amazon UK at £11.34 and will be released on July 25th and is out in the USA on July 9th!

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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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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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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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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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55 Years Without Marilyn.

Although Marilyn is so prominent and recognized in the present day, It’s hard to comprehend that in reality, she tragically passed away fifty five years ago on the evening of August 4th, 1962. At just thirty six years old, her death was announced on the morning of August 5th and shocked the world and the millions of fans who mourned the loss of this very special woman. As someone who wasn’t even born until thirty plus years after Marilyn left the Earth, new readers may wonder why I’m writing about a celebrity I never actually knew. However, I’m assuming if you know anything about me, you’ll know that Marilyn is one of my absolute favourite people, I adore her with all of my heart and have done for coming up to seven years.

Personally, I feel that you can still have a special connection and feeling towards someone you’ve never had the privilege to meet, whether this is due to them being a worldwide celebrity or being born quite a few decades after they’ve passed – or both! As I’ve said many times before, Marilyn entered my life in October 2010, pushing seven year ago and she’s never left, I think about her every day and she has changed my life for the better astronomically. I found inspiration and comfort from her during my darkest days and she honestly has never failed to not brighten my days. However, this post is not about me – this post is about celebrating the life of Marilyn and how fifty five years on, she’s still loved and adored by just as many, if not more fans who love and admire the amazing woman she was and the achievements she made.

Sadly, as the night of Marilyn’s passing is a huge interest for conspiracy lovers, both her life and death are often filled with hundreds of rumours, theories and downright defaming myths. When a celebrity passes away young and unexpectedly, millions of people look for answers to the big question, why? Of course, this is completely natural and makes perfect sense, but ultimately, the only person who can confirm or deny how they died is no longer around to tell us.

In reality, we have lost many celebrities to the tragedy of overdoses – Marilyn’s death was ruled as a, “probable suicide”, although I believe it was accidental. However, many people cannot comprehend or believe this and go down the root of following conspiracies, ultimately forgetting about the person and obsessing over theories that have no substance. Over the years, many people who have created life stories and careers on their “relationship” with Marilyn and how she supposedly died, earning thousands in the process and damaging Marilyn’s name. In reality, the real reason for Marilyn’s death was pretty simple – medical negligence and incredibly, her doctors were never accounted for this.

Ultimately, I think it’s safe to say that Marilyn wouldn’t want her untimely death to be the main focus point of her life, she wouldn’t want us to be sad and spend countless hours trying to work out why she left. I like to think Marilyn would want us to celebrate her amazing achievements and ground breaking moments in such a short space of time. I know she would be overwhelmed that over fifty years after she passed, millions of people of all ages, still love and care for her all these years later. Hundreds and thousands of people are discovering this beautiful human every day and Marilyn continues to bring so much light and joy to people like myself, who were never fortunate enough to be able to meet her.

Tonight, instead of focusing on the sad times, I will be thinking about my angel Marilyn for all the right reasons. I’ll be remembering her for the wonderful talent she possessed, the determination she had to succeed, her love of learning, plus, the kindness and generosity she showed to so many others. Thankfully, her legacy she has left behind is forever imprinted through thousands of images and thirty films she made during her short but incredibly special life.

Whenever I feel upset and hurt with how unfair life was at times to Marilyn, there is one particular quote which comes to mind. Many people seem to think of Marilyn as a tragic victim and in doing this, they are unjustly underestimating her incredible strength. Through research and reading about Marilyn for quite a few years, I’ve noticed that although she suffered tremendously, she never lost hope and always tried to remain somewhat positive, even in her darkest times.

Through 1960, Marilyn made her last completed film, The Misfits (1961) and during this time she suffered incredible pain through a nervous breakdown and split from her husband, Arthur Miller. The movie was made in Nevada during 40 degree heat and was incredibly strenuous for practically everyone involved. Although The Misfits (1961) is now hailed as one of Marilyn’s best acting performances, she came to hate the film and resent Arthur for her character, Roslyn – the film which was originally a Valentine’s present to her.

Yet, despite going through arguably the toughest period in her life, she had this to say at the end of the filming.

“Remember now, cheers, no tears..”

I for one, will be following this advice, from one of the strongest women who ever lived. Wherever you may be, beautiful Marilyn, I hope you know how loved and appreciated you are by so many people around the world. I know I say this quite often, but I like to believe that somehow, you see how much you have enriched millions of fans lives and gave them hope and strength.

“It’s a terrible pity that so much beauty has been lost to us.”

John Huston, Director of The Asphalt Jungle (1950) and The Misfits (1961)

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Misslyn Cosmetics.

One of the great things about Makeup is that it’s constantly growing and changing, with many new Brands being created and discovered every week. Therefore, it was with wonderful surprise, that I opened my post last week and discovered an unexpected Blogger Package! The parcel was from Misslyn Cosmetics, a Brand that was completely new to me and aesthetically, is my absolute dream.

Misslyn Cosmetics was founded in Italy over 30 years ago and is now distributed by Chleo Enterprises. For UK fans like myself, it can be purchased online from the wonderful Beauty Bay.

As soon as I saw the beautiful products I’d been so kindly gifted, I fell in love with them straight away – even before trying anything out! The packaging has a gorgeous retro vibe, reminding me of amazing Brands such as, Benefit Cosmetics and The Balm Cosmetics.

Misslyn aim to release a new Collection every six weeks – which is already incredibly impressive if you ask me! Plus, as I mentioned before, I was kindly gifted the perfect summertime makeup; their new Festival Vibes Collection. These products are simply a must for the Summer Season, when practically every week there is a different Festival happening. However, fear not, if you  love the Festival look but aren’t going to any then don’t worry – you can still fit this Collection into your weekend look or if you’re like me – every day!

The Festival Vibes Collection features the following items, Lip Candy Palette: Red Kiss Edition, Eye Love It Eyeshadow Palette: Eye Got It From My Mama, Nail Polish No. 139: Just Be Free, Nail Polish 394A: Endless Road and Jewellery Body Tattoos No.6: Mystery Land.

What’s wonderful about all of the makeup is it’s perfect for carrying around in your bag all day, they’re petite and easy to store!

If I had to choose a favourite product from the Collection it would have to be the Lip Candy Palette: Red Kiss Edition. There are two lip palettes available, a Red Kiss as shown and a Pink Kiss, so if you’re not a rouge lover like myself, there’s always another option! The palette comes with six different shades, which saves you carrying around a million lipsticks and prevents you losing any too – huge bonus! The colours are as follows: Popcorn Lovers, Candy Cane, Cherry Glaze, My Sugar, Honey Pie and Soda Pop; definitely a theme of all things sweet, which I love. I don’t know about you, but a good product name is a big plus for me and this palette without doubt passes that test! Furthermore, only three of the shades are hugely red, the other three have a brown and nude tone, so there’s even more options to mix and match with. Last but not least, the palette comes with a mirror and a lip brush, two very important things to have when applying lipstick and especially when you’re at a Festival.

Lately within the world of makeup, it seems that everyone is loving eyeshadow palette, myself included, although a lot of them are very big and not easy to travel with. However, the Eye Love It Eye Shadow Palette is the perfect product for on the go, not only is it a great size, it also features six different shades! As with the Lip Palettes, there are also two different ones available, Eye Got It  From My Mama and Eye Got My Eyes On You. Both products feature matte and shimmer colours, which are perfect both separately and together, giving you plenty of options. The eyeshadow names are: Daddy’s Girl, Daddy’s Darling, Daddy’s Credit Card, Mama’s Advise, Mama’s Favorite and Mama’s Genes. How adorable!? Within the compact there are three bold shades and three neutral shades, I usually wear a lighter shadow shade to contrast with my bold eyeliner, so I will definitely be using those frequently! I’m also excited to experiment with the bolder shades and branch out of my comfort zone.

If you’re like me and don’t have any art on you, then the Jewellery Body Tattoos are perfect for trying something new! They are all temporary, so you can pick and choose which ever is suitable for you at a certain time and know that it will last for five days. Two products are available in the Festival Collection; No.5 Indian Spirit and No.6 Mystery Land. If you’re after a bold, colourful look then I’d definitely go for No.5 Indian Spirit and if you want a more subtle look then I’d choose No.6 Mystery Land. My personal preference would be the former, however, both feature metallic gold and silver luster that reflect light, which is such a cool idea! Plus, they’re quick to apply and pain free – what could be better?

The last products I was kindly gifted from the Festival Vibes Collection are two Nail Polishes; Just Be Free and Endless Road. There are two other shades available from this specific range, but if they aren’t to your liking then there’s sixty other polishes to choose from – so plenty of choice! Just Be Free is a beautiful coral summer shimmery nude, definitely the perfect shade for this season and the daytime. Endless Road is a nude shimmery shade which contrasts wonderfully with Just Be Free and would be just right for the night. Both have a ultra glossy finish and dry in just sixty seconds! Furthermore, the polishes features a special widespread applicator brush which is meant to adapt to the shape of your nails, meaning it can be applied in one swipe. I can’t wait to test this out!

For today’s look I chose to wear the shades, Candy Cane as a base coat and Cherry Glaze over the top. Both colours glide on perfectly and are very pigmented with a matte but glossy finish. Plus, did I mention they smell absolutely gorgeous too?! For my eyes I wanted to create a subtle summer glow, that would contrast with my winged eyeliner. So I used the shade, Mama’s Genes for the overall base coat, Daddy’s Credit Card for my eyelid and Mama’s Favorite for above. Each shade is pigmented but buildable and is nice and simple to apply. Ultimately, I can’t wait to try out all of the shades and create more looks!

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 Michael from Chelo Enterprises for gifting me these amazing products!

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