Posts Tagged ‘Velvet Cave Vintage’

The intricate beehive takes a lot of careful teasing of the hair and hairspray, photo courtesy of SportSuburban


Now – I love a good backcomb (or tease if I’m being gentle with my hair) so you can only imagine my excitement when I saw Jean Paul Gaultier’s vision for A/W’11. Grannies with chic up-do’s, it was a big grey beehive bonanza!

Take a look at the lovely Karolina Kurkova, Jourdan Dunn and Coco Rocha modelling Gaultier’s grown-up tailoring.

The beehive was the favoured do of the late great Amy Winehouse, but has obviously been around a whole lot longer. While we fondly remember Winehouse popularising the style in the noughties, the look dates back to the swinging Sixties.

It’s pretty obvious why the bouffant style is named thus – it looks like a great big beehive. It was also known as the B-52 for its similarity to the bulbous nose of the fighter plane. A crisp shiny shell on the outside and perfectly coiled fluffy hair on the inside, the hive was a style with serious staying power.

The 60’s New York girl group, The Ronettes, were rarely seen not sporting matching big hair. Their dulcit tones and sweet as honey harmonies elevated them swiftly to the top but it’s undeniable that their style also helped them to stand out. Veronica “Ronnie” Spector, the lead singer of the band said in a Village Voice interview: “We had high hair anyway, We used a lot of Aqua Net (hair spray).”

The equally iconic Audrey Hepburn also sported a particularly polished beehive in 1961 film Breakfast at Tiffany’s.


Some of the best beehive tips I’ve heard are as follows:

-Section the hair from the crown back, spritz the roots with hairspray then begin to brush the hair down to the root.

-Use a hair doughnut, keep it clean ladies, no jam and sugar involved in this do. Make sure it is the same colour as your own tresses and place it at the crown of your head underneath the backcombed hair. Fix it in place with grips, and style around the doughnut. It makes a good base for your beehive.

-For a less dramatic ‘bouff’ section off a small slice of hair at your crown, tie it together with a thin hair band (top knot style) and backcomb that. Then you can backcomb and style the rest of your hive over this using it as a base.


Here’s a Youtube tutorial for a Beyonce inspired bouffant look, I think it is a pretty good beehive video. Get practicing now to be ahead of the fashion pack for the S/S’11 shows…

For more vintage inspiration take a look at the not so ordinary blog by Velvet Cave Vintage.


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Stepping back in time for an afternoon is always fun, especially when you are with an expert. After a guided tour of her fully decked out sixties house, we’re talking record players, velvet mini dresses flung over chairs and fuzzy hippie print rugs, I sat down to interview a time lord, Imogen Amber Eloise Shurey.

At the tender age of 22, Imogen still has a lot of things on her to-do-list but already she has ‘jacked’ in university in favour of starting up her own business. She specialises in selling 60’s and late ‘70s clothing.

“I haven’t been to Uni. I started a photography degree at Westminster but realised it wasn’t what I wanted to do anymore. I might still go one day. I definitely prefer having a job that allows me to be creative and to be honest I get scared about the thought of having to do something like a nine to five office job as I don’t know that I could cope, particularly after having done what I do now.”

A business woman in bell-bottoms, Imogen works more hours than your average 9-5, the price of the recession on those who are self-employed she shrugs.

“I think I would find it very hard to do something that I didn’t really care about, as would anyone, and feel very lucky to be able to do what I do.”

She becomes increasingly animated as we begin to talk about this penchant for vintage clothing. She trawls the markets, Ebay, and other secret locations to fill up her treasure-trove of a bedroom, now the work-room, with items for Velvet Cave Vintage.

Imogen says she noticed a gap in the market when living in Ipswich four years ago. An abundance of charity shops meant she picked up vintage items for a couple of pounds. She gradually increased her collection when she began to take home items that she had fallen in love with but weren’t in her size.

“I just began buying it all and selling on Myspace and then Ebay to earn a bit of extra cash. I don’t think anyone believed I would be able to make enough from it to live off and I’m not sure I did either, but then when my first proper batch of Ebay items went for a substantial amount of money I was over the moon and so pleased that I had proved to everyone I could do it.”

From here the business developed and Imogen can now afford to live on the money she earns from her lucrative project.

She describes herself as a perfectionist, in both her work and look, this facet of her personality was focused on her look when she was growing up.

“When I was a teenager and my Mum and Stepdad had two more children. I found it hard to go from being an only child to living in a small house with two babies. I especially didn’t cope well when the second child was born because I couldn’t help feeling like they were a perfect little family and I was an outcast.”

Imogen is keen to stress that she doesn’t blame her parents for this awkward time, attributing her feelings to being a teenager.

“They didn’t do anything to make me feel like this but naturally the attention was shifted to my brother and sister. It was hard living with young children as I could never do any of the things teenagers like to do – have friends round, play music loudly or even watch the things I wanted on TV. It didn’t help that I already felt like a weirdo and that I had nobody I could relate to”

She maintains that her style is borne out of a true interest in the ‘60s era, it was not coined to be different. The theme runs throughout her life, she also runs a club night with boyfriend Bobby Grindrod, The Stagnant Society; which draws a crowd from across London who come to dance under oil wheel projectors to psychedelic sounds.

“I enjoy going to clubs particularly the kind where you can dance all night long and pretend  you are in a 60’s film!”

The escapism involved in this seems important to her, when we talk about strong childhood memories she describes a time in Ireland with her mum and stepdad.

“It was when they were slightly hippyish and we drove around pitching a tent in various campsites and fields! It was very magical and I remember finding lots of kittens and puppies to befriend! I remember it being such a fun and exciting adventure and it felt like a true escape. Perhaps I remember it so well because I find it very hard to truly relax and escape like that these days!”

When she’s not sewing, tracking down bargains in markets, and listing ebay items Miss Shurey might be found getting ready for a night out. Her individual style means that she often attracts attention, like a Jean Shrimpton of the noughties.

“I style myself the way I do because it’s what I believe looks good not to draw attention to myself. I’m quite a private person and very shy and insecure so I do find it hard sometimes to deal with attention. If I feel everything about the outfit, hair and makeup is perfect then I can quite enjoy having people look at me but this is a very rare occurrence!”

She couldn’t tell you what it is about the sight of velvet mini dresses or thigh high boots that excites her so, for Imogen, life is just more colourful when seen through the ambient amber glow of the sixties.


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