Sunday 13 December 2009

Viva Retro Re-opening Party - 10/12/09

Whilst I was at Frock Around the Clock I got a lovely invite by Viva Retro's Ian Day (pictured 3rd and 4th) to attend their re-opening party. Situated on North Street across the road from their old store this unit, according to Ian "has a better layout and more space, including a bigger window display." Here you will find a treasure trove of retro furniture, clothing, records, original framed pictures and games. Even TVs to electric organs! A relaxed and welcoming atmosphere is present as you are free to lounge around and the addition of a new coffeeshop means you won't be short of an excuse. Definitely worth a visit!

Thursday 26 November 2009

Stitch and Style @ Ten Square - 25/11/09

Stitch and Style aims to raise awareness of textile waste by encouraging people to restyle and recycle old clothing. This event held a Christmas-themed fashion show filled with party dresses, beautiful hats by Gráinne Maher and 'rain skirts.' It also hosted a workshop to provide customising advice and a recycled fashion fair (The Rusty Zip took part in the show and participated in the fair. I was helping on the stall and taking pics in between so this is just a snippet of the action!)

Saturday 14 November 2009

Monday 2 November 2009

Fast Fashion Interviews Hugh Brown

The talented Hugh Brown aka Jitterbug Jackson of Circus Bone Idle shares his inspirations and dandy-meets-circus style. Photos taken at The Crown Liquor Saloon

What is your job and how did you get into it?

I work as an entertainer and have done so for 15 years. As a kid I used to do pantomime in a local church but I never really thought you could make a living. I tried the civil service and hated it then I heard about a performing arts course. Through that I met the circus community in Belfast and it opened up into the theatre world. Good points to mention is that I’m self-employed and I decide how much work to do and when. I also like using my imagination by creating new shows and performances and it is wonderful to travel and tour with a show. Bad points include the whole business side of it and it is hard to settle down, which can have a negative effect on relationships.

Favourite places to perform and worst gig?

Favourite place to perform is Cambodia I’ve been there 4 times.On one occasion I was lucky enough to perform in a village in the middle of nowhere. People there hadn’t seen westerners before never mind a couple of Irish clowns. I also taught circus to street children and continue to do so as much as possible with the organisation M'Lop Tapang ( The most rewarding and challenging work is bed-side theatre with the company Cahoots NI
( This involves touring hospitals with a flea circus and entertaining children and their families. Other places to mention include Australia at the Woodford Folk Festival (, Sardinia and most recently, a dream for me, to tread the boards of Belfast’s Grand Opera House. The worst gig I’ve experienced was this Summer in Portrush amphitheatre. It was a nightmare because it was the windiest day ever!

Who or what do you look to for inspiration?

The great silent clowns - Chaplin, Jacques Tati, Buster Keaton, Laurel and Hardy. More recently- James Thiérrée (Chaplin’s grandson) and the Russian clown Slava Polunin.

Describe your personal style.

Vintage, dandy-esque, playful and eclectic. I love the colour turquoise.

What is your favourite item and do you collect anything?

My favourite item is my mustard trilby hat. I have a vast hat collection including pork pies and top hats, finding them in markets and specialist shops at home and abroad. My favourite shoe shops are located in London and Zurich... I also collect records, CDs, lamps, vintage suitcases and other props for my shows.

What music are you listening to?

Animal Collective, Grizzly Bear, Jamie T, King Creosote, Prefab Sprout, Talk Talk, The Acorn, The Blue Nile, The Decemberists, The Walkmen, Soft Machine and Sweet Billy Pilgrim. I'm also listening to local band Katie and the Carnival. I need to learn the songs as I am going to be drumming with them.

Favourite authors/books?

Haruki Murakami, George Pelecanos, Dennis Lehane, Irving Welsh, Ken Kesey. Books to recommend - The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, How To Be Idle by Tom Hodgkinson and The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Murakami.

Describe your dream day off.

I’d wake-up to a champagne and Ulster Fry breakfast with a loved one. Go snorkelling in the warm waters of Sardinia. In the afternoon lunch at the Mourne Seafood restaurant in Dundrum and shopping in New York, then watch Spurs at White Hart Lane. I would dine at the Holy Cow in Sihanoukville Cambodia and take a scenic walk at Maghera Bay in Donegal. After a long trip I’d finish with a drink in Nancy’s Bar Ardara and sleep nearby at Woodhill House.

Where do you like to go in Belfast?

I love the QFT and I’d have a pint of Guinness in any of these haunts - The Crown, Lavery’s, The John Hewitt, The Pavillion, Roost and the Oak Lounge inside The Errigle Inn. Restaurants - The Ginger Tree (I love Japanese food), Graffiti, Bengal Brassiere and Cracaw City. I like to shop in The Rusty Zip, The Apple Store and charity shops.

Which do you prefer, circus or theatre?

I love both but sometimes they are such different worlds. Within circus there is a lot of support and skill-sharing. The theatre world seems to be more competitive and cut-throat but this brings its own important challenges. My company Circus Bone Idle( seeks to take inspiration from these two disciplines and also add to the mix carnival and music. My most recent work has been solo, performing as the character Jitterbug Jackson, and has led to me also performing in Cabaret alot more. All these different worlds hold an interest for me. There is a level of fitness you need to maintain and the fear is not being healthy enough to perform in later life. I’ve always wanted to perform and I hope to continue right up to when the time comes for my curtains to close!

Jitterbug Jackson Image by Richard Watson

Thursday 1 October 2009

Making Heads Turn

Mary-Ellen McCartan
Dress - TK Maxx
Bag - Vintage
Tights, shoes and headband - Primark

Saturday 26 September 2009

Culture Night in Cathedral Quarter - 25/9/09

From the top - Nathalie Longmuir looking splendid in her coordinating pinks and blue, girl wearing a lovely button-up yellow jacket and Asos dress, Pawet Bignell (Pavo) taking a break at Das Vibic Sexy Time.

Monday 21 September 2009

Barcelona Street Style

First time in Barcelona and I loved it! I snapped these three stylish people on the street Calle Reira Baixa (which is lined with fascinating vintage shops.) I also spotted a lady wearing a curly witches hat!

Saturday 12 September 2009

'Grazia Style Hunter' Comes To Sunny Belfast

Hannah Almassi and Phill Taylor
Style Hunting Team

Wednesday 9 September 2009

Fast Fashion Is One Today!

I can't think of a better way to celebrate than with this fabulous full-on window display of a fabric shop in Amsterdam.

Wednesday 26 August 2009

Blue Moon Rising

Pamela Tosh
Coat - Blue Moon, Portrush

Tuesday 11 August 2009

When Art Meets Fashion

Gemma McCorry
Bag - Designed by Terry Bradley

Tuesday 4 August 2009

Match Made In... Botanic

George Sloan and Helena Marley

Sunday 26 July 2009

Fast Fashion Interviews Suzy Coyle

Dress and Necklace - The Rusty Zip
Bag - Orla Kiely

Where do you work?

I work in a beautiful vintage clothing emporium called The Rusty Zip in Botanic and have been there for roughly ten years, so it's fair to say I love it! The styles, the fabrics, finding someone that one-off vintage piece gives maximum job satisfaction. Meeting people from all walks of life is an added bonus, I wouldn't change my job for the world.

Describe your personal style.

I would say I have an eclectic style drawing from different eras, I like to mix and match. I think as long as you feel good in what you wear, choose things that attract the eye and give you a buzz you can't go wrong.

Do you have any style icons?

I don't have any particular style icons but my main interest is music especially 60s and 70s bands like Small Faces, Janis Joplin and Led Zeppelin.

What is your favourite item of clothing?

It would have to be my pink heavily embellished Indian skirt it weighs a tonne!

What is your most cherished item?

My mum's engagement ring it lives in its own wee special box in the jewellery quarter of my house (also known as the front hall.)

Suzy's Jewellery

If you could travel back in time where would you go?

The 1960s as there hasn't been quite a dramatic change since that era, which brought with it a wave of new fashions to echo and mirror the new mindset. Hemlines got shorter and psychedelia was rife.

Describe your perfect day off.

I would have a nice lie-in and a trawl through vintage and charity shops. Fine vegetarian dining would feature, a visit to my mum and a trip to the seaside. The evening would be spent with my partner. We'd play some music, write a new song and have a few bevvies.

Do you look to movies/books for inspiration?

I have to say I don't but my favourite film is The Wizard of Oz so I suppose in a way that would inspire me to be attracted to things that remind me of that film.

Do you collect any homewares?

Yes, I'm a fiend for all things domestic. I get excited about tupperware and kitchen utensils! I love clocks especially my grandfather clock. I aim to eventually have a clock wall. I love all Tretchikoff and Lynch prints and I'd go as far to say I would covet them. A gorgeous 1950s iron upright piano sits in my hallway that my girlfriend got me for my birthday last year. On top sits an original 1939 songsheet of Over the Rainbow.

Where do you like to go to in Belfast?

I've just discovered Made In Belfast - the food's amazing, reasonably priced and the everchanging decor is nothing short of fabulous. Where bars are concerned I play in a band called Katie and the Carnival so some evenings are spent gigging in places such as The Menagerie and The Black Box which are both interesting spaces. If I was having a night off I'd probably be found in Lavery's. I rarely go shopping for clothes being surrounded by them in work but if I was to go gift shopping I'd visit T.K Maxx, Atelier in Queens Arcade and Tradewinds on the Lisburn Road.

Rock N' Roll Dream

Richy Campbell
Jacket - The Rusty Zip
Glasses - Ryan Vintage (Manchester)
Case - Afflecks Palace (Manchester)