The Lost Carnival – Review

Step inside this imaginative and wonderful world


Over 100 years ago, this darkly strange circus disappeared, only to reappear last month in all it’s weirdly compelling glory in Burrs Country Park in Bury.

I can only assume that during the intervening century they’ve been spinning though the galaxy in a huge intergalactic big top, rubbing shoulders with Red Dwarf and the Tardis!


The Lost Carnival image credit credit Brett Harkness


The Lost Carnival is an immersive, spectacular experience that invites you to step into a world unlike any other.

From 22nd – 25th May 2015, The Lost Carnival treated visitors to a magical extravaganza. There were mermaids, a strong man, mind reader, ring master, acrobats and bearded lady to name but a few.

As we transitioned through the big top into the imagination of organisers Wild Rumpus (who are also behind The Just So Festival), we discovered that our mission was to collectively generate energy on an hourly basis. Thankfully no static bikes were involved in the making of this show – instead the aim was to harness the power of communal singing!




When we emerged from the big top into the carnival there was plenty to keep us busy. Mask making, mermaid chatting, the fabulous band Rum Buffalo and a banquet of street food meant that the time just flew by.

The programme of live music, acrobatics, dancing ladies and swinging balls meant that there was always something going on, without feeling over faced.

Our four year old daughter particularly loved getting dressed up – face painted like Pierrot she looked adorable. I on the other hand looked more like a cross between Heath Ledger’s Joker and Kizz! I got some interesting looks on the M60!

She also loved chatting with the mermaids (“They weren’t real though mummy, I could see their feet”), playing games with the strong man, the music and just the overall spectacle.




Us grown ups loved all of the above – plus Ginger’s Comfort Emporium’s mint and fennel ice cream, which was spectacular!

We were blessed with great weather which contributed to a fantastic event which we thoroughly enjoyed. And although our tickets were complementary, I would have happily paid the £10 ticket price and felt like I’d got good value for money. Under 3′s go free.

My only query would be about the timing of The Lost Carnival. Starting at 4.00pm and running through until 9.30pm, it didn’t quite work for us. As a family event and with a 4 year old we’d have preferred it to start earlier. When I asked the organisers for the rational, their answer was:

“We like being outside on warm summers evenings, we like the transition from daytime through dusk to dark and staying up beyond bedtimes, not sticking to the routines and the excitement that brings with it.  

“I appreciate it’s not for everyone but we find it works for us and hopefully for those who can’t manage to hang on until the end we hope they’ve had a really exciting and brilliant experience before they have to call it a day”.

Coming at the end of term, with a tired little girl we didn’t manage to make it to the end. Hopefully next year will be a different kettle of fish. We can’t wait to see where and when The Lost Carnival lands next year.

For more information about The Lost Carnival visit


Alison x  (your 4Manchester Women Editor)


Photographs: Brett Harkness

Disclosure: Although our tickets were free, this does not ensure a positive review. We did genuinely love the event and look forward to it’s return.




HMS Vintage makeover

Turns out the old fox was in there all along


Over the last 5 years my self-image has taken a bit of a pounding. I’ve turned 40, been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, lost all my hair, gained some new scars where once tubes poked out, lost a lot of weight, grown back my hair but with the texture of a brillo pad and piled weight back on again.

Then this summer came another shock to the system – suddenly becoming a new mum to a 3 yr old.

Now in the morning I look in the mirror and wonder who that tired middle-aged person looking back at me is?

I can’t lie – I’m a bit battered and I can’t quite believe that Wonderwall was 20 years ago.

So when the offer to review a vintage makeover company came along, I thought I’d be brave and give it a go.

From someone who has been hiding at the back of group photos, surreptitiously deleting others and avoiding mirrors for years, it was a brave thing to do.

But, it turns out that the old fox is still in there ……. she’s just buried a bit deeper these days! A heartfelt thank you to HMS Vintage for helping me to feel beautiful again!


Alison Staples by HMS Vintage


The makeover


Relatively new to the vintage scene, HMS Vintage has already been scooping accolades, winning the Best Photography and Best Newcomer awards at The Vintage Manchester Awards.

Based in Salford, HMS Vintage is a creative partnership between photographer Ian Brooke and make-up artist Ewa Baberska.

Being a lady of curves, my immediate worry was that there wouldn’t be anything in their extensive wardrobe which would actually fit me. I needn’t have worried. In a separate room were rails of bright prints and sultry gowns in all styles and sizes – with accessories galore.


Vintage clothes rail


Vintage accessories


With the radio playing and a piping hot pot of tea, hair and make-up was a relaxed affair.


Vintage book & radio


I’ve only ever had my make-up professionally done once before and that was for my wedding. But bridal subtlety wasn’t in Ewa’s vocabulary when it came to my makeover. We were going for full out glam.

As a false eyelash virgin, I’m now a convert. They made my eyes look amazing. Along with the flicky up eye liner which I can never seem to get right, when all was revealed, I was unrecognisable (to me!)

I can’t lie, as someone who doesn’t wear much ‘slap’ it was a bit of a shock, but Ewa reassured me that it would look amazing in the photos ……. I’ll let you be the judge. But thankfully I don’t think I look like a man in drag or Tracy Turnblad – and I am my own harshest critic!


The photo shoot


I have absolutely no modeling experience, and initially felt enormously awkward – telling photographer Ian on more than one occasion that I felt like a complete (k)nob!

But with Ian’s encouragement and direction, before long I was confident enough to freestyle it!

“Bend your knee, drop your hip, turn your shoulders, turn your head that way, now look at me and play coy!”

It’s no mean feat in 4 inch red peep toe stilettos I’m telling you! But I think I pulled it off, and we certainly did a lot of laughing.


Themed makeovers


New for this year, the team have introduced themed makeovers, with a different theme offered every other month.


Sin City themed shoot by HMS Vintage


The current theme is based on the 2005 American ‘neo-noir action thriller’ Sin City. So I also got a movie star treatment!



Alison Staples by HMS Vintage




HMS Vintage are currently running a 50% discount sale on their vintage makeover experiences (offer available until 28th February 2015) and a special Valentines offer (available until 14th February 2015), so whether you’re a hen party out for fun, looking for a glamorous gift or like me, just trying to rediscover your inner fox, I can thoroughly recommend HMS Vintage.

For current offers and promotions click here.



Alison Staples by HMS Vintage


Address: HMS Vintage, Office 3, Spark Studios, 208-210 Great Clowes Street, Broughton
M7 2ZS

Tel: 0161 705 7903



Twitter: @HMSVintage



Alison x (your 4Manchester Women Editor)


Photographs: HMS Vintage, Alison Staples

Disclosure: my makeover and photo shoot were complementary, however this is a fair an honest account of my experience. If I didn’t love it, I wouldn’t write about it.








The Vintage Manchester Awards

The best of the best 2013


I was beyond annoyed to miss The Best of Vintage Manchester 2013 Awards this week.

Husband Tris and I already had tickets to see The Feeling at The Academy. The first dance at our wedding was to I love it when you call  so skipping out was unfortunately non-negotiable. We did however do a pretty good job to of recreating some of our matrimonial moves on the dance floor!

But anyway missing Manchester’s most glamorous night of the year – Grrrrrrrrr!

Thankfully we had Victoria on hand with the perfect outfit to step glamorously unto the breach.


Over to you Victoria ……

Victoria Hepworth


Vintage lovers gathered in their hundreds last night for the glitz and glamour that was The Best of Vintage Manchester Awards 2013.

The event marked its second anniversary of this strictly Mancunian affair with a ‘Sixties Las Vegas’ theme, which was perfect for the new venue of Manchester 235 – the North’s answer to a Las Vegas casino.

The function room soon filled with guests dressed head to toe in their finest Vintage clobber.


For once it was socially acceptable to stare and admire not only the beautiful Sixties’ garments that were on display, but also the pure effort that had gone into everybody’s hair and makeup.


Vintage Manchester Awards 2013 © Gareth Davies Photography


After a windswept walk across Manchester resulting in lifeless locks, I can only say that I wish I had enlisted the assistance of Bethany Jane Davies – who just so happened to take the crown for Best Vintage Beauty and Grooming.


Vintage Manchester Awards 2013 © Gareth Davies Photography


It really was an event like no other, and it was like I had taken a step into a Tardis and rewound a few eras.

From the room decorations, to the choice of music which included classics such as Dream A Little Dream performed exquisitely by Miss Kiki deVille; all the way to Katy Perry’s Waking Up In Vegas, everything screamed Hollywood glamour.


Vintage Manchester Awards 2013 © Gareth Davies Photography


Credit must be given to event organisers Susan Earlam of Vintage Manchester and Rachael Adams from The Social Butterfly who both looked stunning and positively blooming in Susan’s case, with her baby being due in just two weeks’ time. Now that is commitment.


Vintage Manchester Awards 2013 © Gareth Davies Photography


I think my woozy head this morning speaks volumes about the hospitality!

Right from entering the door, we were presented with a (very large) glass of some unknown fluid. All the same, it was alcohol and it was yummy. After speaking to Dave, AKA The Drinks Enthusiast, I soon discovered that the drink was a splendid mix of Sprizatto (an Italian liqueur), gin, orange juice and soda water.


Vintage Manchester Awards 2013 © Gareth Davies Photography


Vintage Manchester Awards 2013 © Gareth Davies Photography


We were served divine chocolate canapés from luxury chocolatiers Drop Dead Chocolates, which were presented to us by the lovely Laura who was dressed in an amazing Las Vegas showgirl outfit provided by the Royal Exchange Theatre.


Vintage Manchester Awards 2013 © Gareth Davies Photography


The star treatment continued as we were seated and presented with our own miniature boxes of the chocolates to enjoy while watching the show which started with a comedy bang as Kiki deVille did a brilliant job of calming the nerves of those who were nominated for awards.

In addition to Kiki’s fabulous hosting and performing, we were treated to acts by Suzie Sequin who teased guests with her Burlesque routine and Ginger La Rouge who showed us a use for a champagne glass that many have probably never even contemplated.


Vintage Manchester Awards 2013 © Gareth Davies Photography


The real purpose of the night, however, was the awards which marked the end of a brilliant night.


So without further ado, the winners were ……



Vintage Manchester Awards 2013 © Gareth Davies Photography


Best Vintage Fair - Vintage Village Stockport

 “This is quite something, two years running! Thank you so much for a fantastic event and for everyone who voted for us.”


Best Vintage Photography - HMS Vintage

“This is really important to me as we’ve won this within our first nine months of trading.”


Best Vintage Entertainment - Dr Sid


Best Vintage Beauty and GroomingBethany Jane Davies

“I just want to thank all of my wonderful clients. All of your creative spirit and imagination is inspirational.”


Best Vintage VenueSugar Junction


Best Vintage Event supplierVintage Afternoon Teas


Best Vintage Home and Furniture shopRose and Lee Vintage Living

“Two years in a row, thank you very much. The journey so far has been amazing. There are not a lot of things like this, so it is lovely!”


Best Vintage Attire – Miss Bamboo

“I’m so thrilled to be up here. We launched our website two years ago so what a great way to celebrate our anniversary. But the biggest thanks goes to Big Bamboo, who without, this would not be possible.”


Best Vintage Blogger -

“My periodical has only existed for just over a year so I do appreciate it.”


Best Vintage Newcomer - HMS Vintage

“I was not expecting that at all. To walk away with one is pretty amazing but two is bloody fantastic!”



Vintage Manchester Awards © Gareth Davies Photography


With the event organisers labelling this year’s awards as being an even bigger success than last year’s, we can only begin to imagine what will be in store for us next year.

Congratulations to all the winners and here’s to another year of thriving Vintage businesses.



4MCRWomen's Vintage Manchester Awards 2013 album on Photobucket

Victoria x


Photographs: Gareth Davies Photography, Victoria Hepworth



Other articles you might like:

The Best of Vintage Manchester Awards 2012












Artisan & Vintage Markets

A round up of our fabulous artisan and vintage markets


Love your local market


As someone said when I visited Levy (Levenshulme) Market at the weekend – it’s the Mary Portas effect!

Whether it is or not, local artisan and vintage markets are popping up all over the place – so much so it’s often hard to keep track.


To help you find out just what’s happening where and when, here’s a round up of regular ‘pop-up’ markets in the Greater Manchester and surrounding area.

So go and fill your baskets full of delicious produce and gorgeous home made items – and of course support local independent businesses. If I’ve missed any out, please let me know and I’ll add them to the list. Email






Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday


Piccadilly Gardens Flower & Street Food Market – Manchester M60 1HX (10am – 5.30pm). For more information click here.

Piccadilly Gardens Food Friday & Craft Saturday – Manchester M60 1HX (11am – 5.30pm Friday and Saturday only). For more information click here.


Every Saturday


Chorlton Vintage Market - The Beech Pub, Chorlton Green M21 9EG (12 noon – 5pm). For more information click here.


Vintage clothes


Every Sunday


The Castlefield Artisan Market – Duke Street, Castlefield, Manchester M3 4NF (10.00am – 4.00pm). Every third Sunday is Vintage Sunday. For more information visit


Vintage Market


First Saturday of every month


Northenden Street Market – Palatine Road, M22 4DH (9.00am – 4.00pm). For more information click here.

Heaton Moor Producers’ Market -  Shaw Road, Heaton Moor SK4 4AE (10.00am – 2.00pm). The market is located on the car park of The Kushoom Koly restaurant, to the side of Kro Bar Heaton Moor. For more information click here.


First Sunday of every month


Knutsford Artisan Market – Princess Street, Knutsford, WA16 6BU (11am – 4pm). For more information visit




Second Saturday of every month


Withington Street Market – Copson Street, M20 3BG (9.00am – 4.00pm). For more information click here.


Second Sunday of every month


Vintage Village Market, StockportStockport Victorian Market Hall, Market Place, SK1 1EU (10am – 4pm). For more information visit


Chocolate brownies


Third Thursday of every month


Media City Food Market – The Plaza M50 2EQ (9AM – 3PM). For more information visit


Third Saturday of every month


Chorlton Street Market – Manchester Road, M21 9PN (9.00am – 4.00pm). For more information click here.

The Wilmslow Artisan Market -  Grove Street, Wilmslow, SK9 1NZ (10.00am – 4.00pm). For more information visit


Third Sunday of every month


Altrincham’s Vintage, Handmade & Producer’s Market – Altrincham Market, Greenwood Street, WA14 1SA (11am – 3.30pm). For more information click here.





Fourth Saturday of every month


Levenshulme (Levy) Market – Shoppers car park (next to Levenshulme train station), between Stockport Road and Albert Road M19 3PJ (10.00am – 4.00pm). For more information visit


Last Saturday of every month


Chorlton Green – organised by The Horse & Jockey. This market is located right outside the pub, on Chorlton Green. For more information visit


Chorlton Green Market



Last Sunday of every month


The Treacle Market, Macclesfield – Market Place, Chestergate, Mill Street and Castle Street in Macclesfield Town Centre.  The postcode for the Market Place  is SK11 6BA (10.00am – 3.30pm). Last Sunday of every month, except December when it runs the Sunday before Christmas. For more information visit


If you’ve got any more regular markets to add to this list please do get in touch. Email


Happy shopping!


Alison x  (your 4Manchester Women Editor)


Photographs: Alison Staples, Hannah Rose Photography, McAvoy Photography

This is not a sponsored blog post.










Vintage Manchester Awards

Diary date – the best of 2013 is a Vegas show girl!


It seems only five minutes since we all dusting off our Victory Rolls and heading to Matt & Phreds to celebrate the best of 2012. Who could forget this gorgeous vintage explosion!


Vintage Manchester Best of 2012


Hold onto your corsets ladies, it’s time to do it all over again!


Vintage Awards 2013 Flyer


On Wednesday 23rd October, over 100 Mancuinan vintage enthusiasts will be bringing the glitz and glamour of ‘Sixties Las Vegas’ to the recently refurbished Manchester 235.




There can’t be an awards ceremony without nominations!

Voting opened in June and there’s already been over 600 entries, paying tribute to Manchester’s most popular vintage businesses as well as bringing vintage new comers to our attention.

So if you’ve got a favourite vintage business then don’t forget to put them into the mix.

Initial voting closes on Friday 30th August, with finalists announced the first week of September. Voting then opens again for finalists – closing at the end of September.


Awards Categories


  • Best Vintage Fair
  • Best Vintage Photography
  • Best Vintage Entertainment (including singers, DJ’s, burlesque starlets, bands etc)
  • Best Vintage Hair, Beauty & Grooming
  • Best Vintage Venue (Nights or Days out)
  • Best Vintage Event Supplier
  • Best Vintage Homeware & Furniture
  • Best Vintage or Repro Clothing (can include millinery, corsetry, accessories)
  • Best Vintage Lifestyle Blog
  • Best Vintage New Business


To register your vote for your favourite vintage business visit


Vintage Manchester Best of 2012 Awards pin up pinnies



Vintage Manchester Best of 2013


The October 2013 awards kicks off its Las Vegas theme with meets and greets from showgirls, dressed in original costumes provided by The Royal Exchange Theatre.


Ginger la Rouge


Winners won’t be the only ones celebrating with bubbles as Manchester burlesque artist, Ginger Le Rouge will be entertaining us all with her infamous champagne glass act!

The vintage voice, Miss Kike deVille will once again be the glamorous host of the evening and of course will be performing Live! throughout the event.


Vintage Manchester Best of 2012 Awards Kiki deVille


Further vintage entertainment is soon to be announced.


A glamorous duo


The Vintage Manchester Awards have been co-created by the Susan Earlam (Vintage Manchester) and Rachael Adams (The Social Butterfly).

Last year’s sell out event received over 3000 votes from readers – inspiring the glamorous duo to organise another awards evening to showcase the talents of Manchester’s Vintage Community.



Vintage Manchester Best of 2012 Awards Rachel Adams & Susan Earlam


Commenting on her decision to launch the Manchester Vintage Awards, Susan said:

Many people that work within the vintage industry are often one-man bands or have full time jobs alongside their vintage venture. I wanted to create an event that not only highlights their successes but also to bring the whole of Manchester’s vintage community together to celebrate!

“Last year’s awards resulted in numerous exciting collaborations through meeting at the event.”


Buy your tickets here!


So if you are a fan of big hair, big voices and not so big businesses, come along to The Manchester Vintage Awards 2013 and place your bets on this year’s winners!

Tickets for The Manchester Vintage Awards 2013 are now on sale and can be purchased from

For more news and updates follow the hashtag on Twitter #MCRVintageAwards



Alison x  (your 4Manchester Women Editor)


Photographs: Under Your Skin Photography for images of Ginger La Rouge and Lucy Greenhill.

This is not a sponsored blog post.


You might also like to read:

Vintage Manchester Best of 2012














Vintage style swimwear

Look like a glamorous Hollywood Film Star this summer.


Wow – the weather is gorgeous today – time to head for the coast and invest in a little vintage beach style.

Today we’ve got Susie (Old Fashioned Susie) to guide us through the perils and pitfalls of Hollywood glamour.


Old Fashioned Susie


Susie writes about bargain hunting, shopping with a retro twist, vintage furniture and clothes, to name but a few.

Vintage Manchester Logo


Old Fashioned to Susie, means that she believes in manners, chivalry and buying quality over quantity. “It doesn’t mean I actually want to live in the days when sexism was rife by the way!” she says.


Susie also runs VintageManchester, and is part of the Vintage City Network, please do take a look! So as you can see – Susie is more than equipped to help us with a bit of vintage (swim)spiration!


Over to you Susie ……


My swimwear picks


Whether you’re preparing to go off on your holidays – or looking to cash in on our current heatwave you can look great wearing one of these gorgeous retro inspired pieces of swimwear.

You see, I’ve done the ground work for you- hell, I’ve even bought one of these myself (number three if you were wondering) so all you have to do is click!

I shall explain;

1. Is by Seafolly, not a brand I’d heard of if I’m honest, from ASOS, it’s the Sophia One Piece for £95. I love gingham and teamed with a tie bust and a lower cut leg this says 50’s Americana to me, Cowboy hat optional.

2. For the footballers wives amongst you (wink, wink) is this fabulous bikini by Norma Kamali on Net A Porter. Top £150 and Bottoms £150, but it is stunning and very authentic looking.

3. Next up is this sweet polka dot number from For Luna at £59.95. It is designed by Esther Williams who had water based roles in many Hollywood films of the 40’s and 50’s. I can vouch that you really feel like a Hollywood starlet when wearing one of these.


Vintage Style Swimwear

Vintage Style Swimwear



4. The 1950’s had a huge trend for kitsch versions of South Pacific and Polynesian styles and this Tiki inspired swimsuit ticks all the right boxes, halter neck, flattering mid to low leg and a big floral and leaf design. This is £28 from BHS.

5. Now this looks almost too glamorous to swim in! It’s the Marilyn swimsuit from Deadly is the Female and it’s £85. With powermesh and shelf cups, to define and shape your curves, this is designed to break hearts- purchase with care!

6. Last but not least is this early 1960s swimsuit which has a brilliant geometric print. It’s a Panache suit but I found this at Tesco’s for £46. So you can even collect your points!


So what are you waiting for – just add hot red lippy, waterproof mascara and a fabulous cocktail!


Susie x


Photographs: Old Fashioned Susie

This is not a sponsored blog post.





The perfect vintage afternoon tea

Top tips for creating an English tradition!


When we wanted to find out just what makes the perfect vintage afternoon tea, we headed straight to Alice from Alice’s Vintage Party for some top tips.


Over to you Alice ……

Alice's Vintage Pantry


Afternoon tea anyone?

Fresh baked scones, plenty of hot tea, finger sandwiches and delicious cakes. Who doesn’t like it?

Given the recent rise in popularity of afternoon teas I think the answer is not many!


Afternoon tea seems to go down well with all ages, and works for almost any occasion – from weddings, to baby showers, birthday parties and christenings.


Vintage Party


I’m lucky enough to spend lots of time at vintage tea parties. With summer just raising its sunny head, I thought it might be a good time to share a few tips on how to go about creating your own, perfect  vintage tea party.


Choose your vintage tea party theme


Take it as far as you like.

Just stick to the beautiful china and finger sandwiches or go for it with a vintage dress code, appropriate music and games from a bygone era.

Vintage afternoon tea parties can be vastly different. Decide whether you are going for the country fête, pearls and lace or Mad Hatter tea party theme – accessorise accordingly.


Vintage China


Vintage china is a must – whether you borrow, buy or hire it, pretty cups and saucers, little tea-plates, teapots and embroidered table linens all need to be there.

The tea somehow tastes better, guests will love choosing which cup to use, and it becomes a real talking point at the party and will make it a memorable occasion.


Vintage tea cup





Sandwiches need to be tiny, tasty and pretty.

The crusts need to come off before you cut them in to triangles or fingers.

Little open sandwiches cut using a round or fluted pastry cutter also work well. Be sure to use a small amount of butter to stop your sandwiches going soggy, and make them at the last minute – finger sandwiches dry out very easily.


Vintage afternoon tea





Use loose leaf tea – it makes a world of difference. Not just the flavour, guests will also love the novelty of using a tea-strainer to get their perfect cup of tea.

Depending on the size of your party, borrow extra kettles, fill flasks with boiling water, or get your hands on an urn. Plenty of hot tea is essential.



Add a little fizz


It doesn’t have to be all about the tea – a glass of something fizzy works very well with a vintage tea party. Even your alcohol can be served in teacups.





Bake or buy plenty of cakes! Your guests will appreciate having a choice and you don’t want those cake stands looking bare – the cakes are a big part of the overall look.


Victoria sponge



Creating the look


Your tables will look gorgeous laden with pretty vintage china, but think about any additional decoration you might like. All can be easily and cheaply brought or hired.

Put bowls of fresh strawberries out, or arrange them around your cakes. It’s a great way to add a really summery look.

Little glass vases filled with flowers.

Bunting strung along the side of the table.

Bird cages filled with flowers or candles.

Little tea-lights or strings of pearls.


Use fresh flowers to help decorate the room. Hand tied, in bird cages, or in little glass vases. Go for traditional flowers such as roses, lavender and sweet-peas.


Chocolate Brownies


Blueberry cupcakes



Hope these tips help get your tea party planning started.

If you want a couple of recipe ideas take a look at these two earlier posts for the perfect Victoria Sponge and mini strawberry short cakes.



Alice x


Photographs: Alice’s Vintage Pantry

This is not a sponsored blog post.


Other articles by Alice ……

4Manchester Women Cupcake (Chocolate and Chilli)

Bake the perfect sponge cake

How to check your breasts

Baking with kids

How to pack a healthy lunch box

Auntie Eva’s Parkin recipe

Keeping Christmas cakes simple

Easy Valentine heart biscuits

Mini strawberry shortcake recipe









Great Gatsby inspired fashion

1920′s fashion inspired by new Baz Luhrmann’s new film


Baz Luhrmann’s film The Great Gatsby starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire and Carey Mulligan launches this month. Set in 1922 it looks gorgeous!




Whether it’s style over substance as some are saying (I haven’t seen it yet), the style of this decade is probably my favourite. So I’ve been inspired to put together a couple of contrasting collections – should you want to get the Gatsby look – and bring it right up to date!

We’ve got soft and romantic dusky pinks and dramatic and sexy jet black.



The Great Gatsby dusky pinks




The Great Gatsby evening black



Which is your favourite?


Alison x  (your 4Manchester Women Editor)


Photographs: Click on the images above for more information on the items contained in each set.

This is not a sponsored blog post.








Exhibitor spotlight – Mama J Vintage

Showcasing our lovely An Oasis in the City exhibitors.

An Oasis in the City round logo




at The Old Parsonage, Didsbury, M20 2RQ

11am – 4pm, Sunday 24th March 2013




The sepia tinge is back today for our  An Oasis in the City exhibitor spotlight. It’s Joan McGee – or should I say Mama J Vintage!

You’ll find Joan and her rail of vintage clothes in our Handmade room at An Oasis in the City – why not go and find yourself something beautiful!


.Let’s meet Joan ……

Mama J Vintage.

Mama J Vintage Goods stocks genuine vintage fashion for Ladies, Gents and Children – all at affordable prices.
I stock mainly everyday clothing which can be mixed and matched with modern pieces.
I also have a range of gorgeous jewellery, handbags, gloves and shoes.

I take great care when sourcing genuine and wearable clothes from down the decades, taking my inspiration from the great Hollywood movies of the 30s and 40s.

My business has grown from a fascination with social history and fashion that began in childhood.

From a very young age, I have always loved looking around flea markets and antique shops. Living in London in the 80s, I started buying most of my clothes from vintage shops.

Vintage clothes shop


Vintage clothes shop


I am also a professional actress and my love of theatre and film inspires my collection.

I am based in Cheshire and I sell at local vintage fairs, and on eBay. I also now have a permanent place at The Traders Outlet store in Altrincham (No 16 The Downs).


Vintage clothes shop


Vintage clothes shop


Vintage mirror and brush set


I also buy vintage clothes and accessories, and offer good prices on items that are clean and wearable.


1920's women talking


So do come along to An Oasis in the City – browse, try things on, ask questions and most of all,have fun!


Mama J x


Mama J Vintage




Web site:

Address: No 16 The Downs, Altrincham, WA14 2PU


Tel: 07789817153



For more information about An Oasis in the City and our other exhibitors, please check out our events page.


An Oasis in the City flyer

Other Oasis in the City Exhibitor Spotlights:



Photographs: Mama J Vintage, 4Manchester Women & The Social Butterfly.







Exhibitor spotlight – For the Love of Vintage

Showcasing our lovely An Oasis in the City exhibitors.

An Oasis in the City round logo




at The Old Parsonage, Didsbury, M20 2RQ

11am – 4pm, Sunday 24th March 2013




The An Oasis in the City spotlight has a sepia tinge today as it shines on Sharon from For the Love of Vintage – named best vintage event supplier in the Vintage Manchester Best of 2012 Awards.

You’ll find Sharon in our Handmade room at An Oasis in the City – pop over and say hello.


Let’s meet Sharon ……

Sharon - For the love of vintage


We adore vintage china and have a stunning collection available to hire alongside up-cycled cake stands and handmade eco-soy candles.

You can make any special event a vintage affair with one of our Afternoon Tea Parties.

Delicious and indulgent cakes and sandwiches,  pretty china that makes tea taste so good and stunning floral arrangements, we can help create your perfect vintage tea party.


I’ll be bringing my cake stands and candles to An Oasis in the City. Why not treat yourself to some vintage style from a bygone era.


Afternoon tea.


Victorian True Love Teacup Cake Stand-1.




I’ve been busy finding gorgeous new fragrances for my tea-cup candles which will make your homes smell divine. I’m so excited to be sharing them with you.

I’ll be bringing my most popular fragrances of French Vanilla, Fresh Cut Roses and Cake Bake. As well as these delicious fragrances – exclusively for An Oasis in the City:

  • Strawberry & Pear
  • Jasmine
  • Basil, Lime & Mandarin
  • Grapefruit


candles in glass dishes


candle in tea cup


I’ll be offering the Teacup and Saucer candles at a special price of £10.00 at An Oasis in the City (usual price £15.00).


Afternoon Vintage Tea Party


I’m really looking forward to sharing my love of vintage with you all.


Sharon x


For the love of vintage

Web site:

Tel: 07969 356697



Twitter: @slomasFTLOV


For more information about An Oasis in the City and our other exhibitors, please check out our events page.


An Oasis in the City flyer


Other Oasis in the City Exhibitor Spotlights:


Photographs: For the Love of Vintage, 4Manchester Women & The Social Butterfly

This is a sponsored blog post.









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