Sunday 7 October 2012

Conway Mill Textile Tour - An Introduction to Linenopolis

Looking for something a bit different to do around Belfast? Then check out this insightful textile tour of Conway Mill in West Belfast! 

Tour guide and vintage aficionado Rosie Moore first became interested in the history of the Conway Mill when she stumbled upon some early 1800s Gaelic birth certificates of the mill workers in the building's attic. Immersing herself in research she discovered some interesting facts about the linen industry and what it was like to live the life of a mill worker in and out of the workplace.

We started the tour outside at the mill's monolith where Rosie explained how the people of Belfast contributed to the making of the linen industry so famous throughout the world that Belfast was once known as Linenopolis. In 1842 the first part of the mill was built and was called Kennedy's Mill at at Millvale. In 1865 it amalgamated with the Falls Flax Spinning Company and that was its name until it closed down. Then between 1900 and 1910 the second mill was built to replace the weaving factory. This is why two different styles are seen (above.) Victorian bricks for the old building and Edwardian tiles for the new.

Without giving too much away about the tour what stayed in my head afterwards was the harsh working conditions within the main wet spinning room. Workers had to spin flax with bare feet, ankle-deep in water with chemicals and cockroaches, which caused a lot of health problems. The machinery was so loud that they learned to lip read and make up their own sign language. Singing was a way to keep spirits up to and from the workplace! The lives of the workers were tough but after reading accounts and stories told by the workers Rosie explains 'I was touched and warmed by their spirit and joy of life, despite their hardships. There was camaraderie, friendship, determination, and believe it or not, a great deal of fun and mischief, by way of pranks, celebrations and socializing.'

I really enjoyed the tour overall I found it to be a fascinating topic. Rosie's warmth, knowledge and charming stories throughout made it a truly valuable visit.

The tour is on every Friday at 11am, 12pm, 2pm and 3pm. It costs £6 per person and lasts 45 minutes. For more info check Rosie's web page -

P.S - The Mill courtyard holds a 'People's Variety Market every Saturday between 10am-3pm. Stallholders include arts and crafts, vegetables, baked goods, meats, books, jewellery, homewares, handmade soaps, books etc. At the minute there are around 30 stall holders (mostly regulars) but people can put their name down for a stall and will be given a chance to take part as soon as possible. The cost per stall is £12 and the person to contact regarding renting a stall is Peter. The mill number is 02890 249646.

Monday 27 August 2012

The Rusty Zip End Of Summer Fashion Show @ The Retro Show 2012


Clothing - The Rusty Zip 
MUA - Miss Ready 2 Wear
Hair - Vintage Rocks 

For this year's Rusty Zip fashion show in the Baby Grand for Pretty N' Pink we included clothing throughout the decades from the 1950s through to the 80s.

A bright and colourful boardwalk theme featuring a beautiful emerald green 50s prom dress accompanied by a dapper boater hat gent kick-started the event! Rockabilly pin-up chic rocked the floor in the form of an Elvis record bag which was then followed by soft gardenia florals to set an eclectic tone for the rest of the show. A cutesy mod dress and evening glamour featuring a stunning fuschia pink sequined dress ruled the 60s section. 

Inspired by bohemian psychedelia and Studio 54 (top pics) playful prints were present in swirls, rainbow stripes and Missoni style zig zags. The top left maxi-dress would be lovely for layering in Autumn! As you can see in the finale pic formal wear, 80s metallic detailing, leather (and not forgetting the MJ t-shirt) completed our show. All in all it went down well...phew! Big thanks to everyone who helped out! x

Sunday 19 August 2012

Teddy Baby Bespoke Handmade Hats

Lovely couple Susie Cuthill and Simon Howell create stylish, funky handmade hats for all ages using their own pure hand-spun wool. A spinning wheel, a crochet hook and some knitting needles produces these beautiful wonders! "The beauty of hand-spun wool is that it's durable, natural and eco-friendly and not to mention irresistibly tactile." 

   Check out their website at

Monday 23 July 2012

Upcoming Event - The Retro Show @ Baby Grand

Very excited to be taking part in The Retro Show in aid of Pretty N' Pink breast cancer charity! The show will feature dancing with the Bellehoppers, singing with Kelly Smiley and an edgy vintage themed fashion show by The Rusty Zip

Advance tickets can be bought online for a snip at £5 through this link or alternatively at The Rusty Zip! Every ticket purchased will also be entered into a draw to win a luxury evening in Belfast Park Plaza Hotel. Hope to see you there x 

Monday 7 May 2012

Jacob Street Re-Launch Party - 05/04/12

Last month, to celebrate the re-launch of Jacob Street's new store on the Lisburn road (beside Bedeck) a wonderful party was thrown! Everyone was welcomed with nibbles and champagne which accompanied beautiful vintage clothing and furniture, not forgetting fine jewellery. I wanted to buy everything! This gorgeous shop is really worth a visit!!

Monday 26 March 2012

Belfast Fashion Week SS12 - High Street Evening

Belfast Fashion Week returned for its thirteenth season this year and I went along to the High Street catwalk night at the Europa Hotel! Models strutted their stuff down a shimmering pink catwalk headlined by whilst wearing sugar sweet and eye-popping shades. Casual sports luxe with a nod to 'Alabama' from True Romance were current themes throughout the show. To accentuate the outfits ankle socks were provided from 'The Right Tights' whist eyewear from William Morris complemented the looks.

1st and 2nd image -, 3rd- Castlecourt, 4th and 5th - finale.

Thursday 15 March 2012

Spring is in the air

Model: Naoimh Campbell
Stylist: Maureen Collins
Clothing: Jacob Street (Lisburn Road)

Wednesday 7 March 2012

Upcoming Event - The Festival of Colours

Belfast's biggest ever Spring party returns with a show stopping line-up of South Asian food, music, dance and colour! Known across the globe as India's most energetic and vibrant holiday The Festival of Colours or 'Holi' (which translates to 'colour' in Hindi) celebrates the arrival of Spring in a truly spectacular fusion of colour, culture and creativity.

Here is a link to some photos I took back in 2010 of the event when it was at St. George's Market -
excited to see this in a bigger venue!

Thursday 12 January 2012

Inspiration and Upcoming Events

Recently been inspired by Mulberry's Spring/Summer 12 campaign shot by Tim Walker featuring models Frida Gustavsson and Lindsey Wixson. I'm loving the fresh pastel tones and seaside nostalgia, it's getting me excited for my first trip to Brighton next week! Looking forward to catching up with friends, trawling through some vintage shops and eating fish n' chips on the pier!

The Rusty Zip now stocks SUPERSUPER magazine so pop in soon for your free copy (normally priced at £2.99.)

Also looking forward to the completion of the new Titanic Museum at the end of March. The building will have 7 floors and feature exhibitions on the Titanic alongside the history of Belfast. It will feature a flying theatre where visitors can be suspended in moving seats over a giant cinema screen. The multi-sensory experience will include a wind machine, audio and moving visuals.