My love of past eras first captured my imagination when I was a very little girl, although I obviously didn’t realise to what extent at the time. I used to watch ‘Bewitched’ on the television at a very early age- it’s one of my earliest memories. I was captivated by the beautiful Samantha- her perfect hair and pretty dresses and the general bright colours of the show itself. I loved it.
A little older, when I started primary school, I remember doing history lessons about Tudors and Stuarts and the Victorians, working our way through the ages up to the First and Second World Wars. I knew my Grandad had fought in the Second World War and learning about all of the hardships and sacrifices that people made back then filled me with immense pride and gratitude.
My Grandad died when I was eight, so learning more about a time that had a direct connection with him, made me feel closer to him. I became fascinated with war time Blighty. I remember at one point I had actually criss-crossed masking tape across my bedroom windows, like in the Blitz! Lol!
From being specific about WWII, my interests flowed in to general 1940’s and 1950’s lifestyle and fashion. I liked watching films with big stars like Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, Doris Day…. all perfectly manicured, glamorous, beautiful. Perfection. I also adored watching old films with big song and dance numbers in. Still one of my all-time favorite films being White Christmas. I just adore Rosemary Clooney.
I used to have a Bing Crosby cassette that I would play over and over again, all year through. The songs and harmonies filled my heart with joy- and with it being a Christmas cassette, it also fueled another passion of mine…. Christmas!! 😀
As I grew older, my circle of friends changed. I became even more body conscious and socially aware, different influences played their part in how I dressed and how I chose to express myself. When I first started to have a taste of freedom and independence, my friends and I would go into town, window shopping, on a Saturday. That progressed into going to Manchester city centre where we would go to Affleck’s Palace and Cafe Pop to buy records and clothes. Mary Quant style dresses and heavy eyeliner appealed to me at the time. I thought they looked beautiful. I really started taking an interest in patterns, colours and textures at this time too. The shape of furniture and homewares that were readily available in the 1950’s and 1960’s were all new to me. The designs and colours instantly delighted me and ignited a flame in my soul.
Getting older, I started getting more into music and that was a heavy influence in my life. (I’ve always had an eclectic taste in music and I hold no truck with music snobs) As a teenager I discovered punk and became very engrossed in the look of the 1970’s punks. I became more involved in the underground punk scene and would go to gigs with my friends. The style suited my frame of mind at the time and I loved my pink mohican and piercings. I would always pay great attention to detail with my clothes and appearance.
After my first marriage dissolved, I moved in to a flat on my own. The first time I had ever lived totally by myself. It was terrifying and upsetting at times. Certainly the scariest time of my life, and yet it did me the world of good. I may not have liked it at the time and it was hard, but I can recognise it was what I needed. It was just me, no outside influences. I had time to breathe, settle my mind and be free to just be me. It was liberating and after a while, I felt braver.
I decided to take my piercings out, I grew my hair long, I got myself new clothes- girly clothes, more feminine. I ‘rediscovered’ me. I did what I wanted, when I wanted. I had the love of a good man (who is now my husband) who encouraged and supported. I flourished. I grew up.
I went full circle and gradually, naturally, returned to my first, true vintage loves. The beautiful Samantha from Bewitched- the glamorous housewife witch, war time Blighty inspired by my Grandad, the kitsch and cuteness of the 1950’s and the big frocks. It all drew me back.
I’ve evolved and changed according to my circumstances, social circle and interests. All of it is me. I haven’t lost anything or disregarded anything…. I have just added to and built on it. My tastes are varied, thanks to my journey and because of my journey I’ve also learned the old cliche saying of ‘Never judge a book by it’s cover.’ So, so true! I did get treated differently when I had a shaved head and piercings as to how I get treated now… and yet I have always been the same person inside ♥
I love looking at old photos and at the different phrases in my life. I’m not embarrassed by any of them. I also love who I am now. I’ve picked up lots of different bits and pieces along the way and finally feel like ‘me’.
I’m still a work in progress. As is everyone. But then, that’s what life is all about. 🙂
With much love,
Miss Kimmy Cupcake xx