With the resurgence of burlesque, mainly courtesy of Ms Von Teese, vintage glamour has made a come back with pop stars singing show tunes and stocking removal classes springing up all over the country. One lady hoping to take advantage of the trend is Amy from FrenchRuby Vintage, who specialises in hand made retro clips, necklaces and hair flowers with a modern twist.
Her love of vintage began when watching classic films with her mum as a child, seeing true stars like Garbo, Monroe and Bacall on the screen sparked an interest in everything glamorous, but one actress stood out from the rest – “Grace Kelly from her role in Rear Window…a classic beauty with a feisty side.”
Kelly of course, was renowned for her perfect appearance and, after marrying the Prince of Monaco, for her expensive dresses and accessories. As an adult Amy began making her own fabulous accessories inspired by the Hollywood starlets she had admired as a child.
It was only around seven months ago that FrenchRuby began and while Amy hopes to make this her full time career in time, her first venture was not so successful!
“It was terrible! Real trial and error! An orchid fascinator with a veil, but I kept practicing and they became fab!”
It was the lack of retro items available in the UK that really got her working hard on her business, especially short turn around times for custom pieces –
“I got fed up of gathering together a really hot vintage outfit, then having nothing to go with it for my hair, and all the companies I was buying from were in America, so not ideal for last minute ‘do ideas, plus they were so expensive! I just wanted the chance to make things for gals, at short notice, to compliment an outfit perfectly, thats why custom is a speciality!” And now it seems things are starting to bloom for FR as the list of celeb clients grows –
“Paris Hilton has some of my goodies, as does Ferne Cotton, some Hollyoaks gals such as Hollie Jay-Bowes, some gorgeous pin up models including Bernie Dexter and Cherry Dollface, and Betty Kitten Ross, Jonathon’s daughter!”
But Amy’s dream patron would be Nigella Lawson, and she has the perfect thing for her –
“Now there is a woman who embodies classic glamour! It would need to be fabulous and I think it would be a red satin bow and cherry fascinator with a veil…but I am branching out into aprons too!”
Although all these famous ladies are gorgeous, she believes it is more attitude than looks that makes a true pin-up –
“You don’t need to be skinny or busty or blonde…pin up is a state of mind. A gal with confidence, sass and a big dollop of sex appeal is a pin up…the mandatory high heels just put her up on the pedestal she deserves!”
Talking of aprons and heels, FrenchRuby is hoping to expand soon as Amy learns new skills and designs more items –
“(I would like) to branch out into being a vintage lifestyle shop…not just hair accessories but everything a vintage lover could want…just at a lesser price than Cath Kidston and with more focus on the details…i am starting to learn how to make hats to vintage specifications, as well as having some fab ideas for aprons, and later in 2009…dresses too!”
So keep an eye on FrenchRuby, soon to become a one stop shop for the Grace Kelly in all of us!