Lady Levis®

Jeans had been around for sixty years before it occurred to anyone that women might like to wear them too. Designed as tough workwear for miners in 1873, they had been swiftly adopted by cowhands and other chaps in the American west as comfortable, practical clothes. That’s not to say women didn’t wear the men’s…

Interview: Pink Martini’s China Forbes

Saddlers’ Wells is not a venue noted for its music. But then Pink Martini are not a band noted for conforming to stereotypes. Somehow their eclectic mix of exotic rhythms and styles seem more suited to the world of dance than trying to shoehorn them into one musical form. Besides. They have found their spiritual…

Vivien of Holloway

In the unlikely event anyone’s wondering what I wear when I go dancing, allow me to froth about  Vivien of Holloway – clothes made physically in London, 2016 but spiritually about 70 years ago in Hollywood. You’re met at the door by an immaculately-dressed lady, straight out of Mad Men, wielding a tape measure. This is…

Atomic Mid 20th Century Festival

It’s new! It’s Jet-Age! It’s ATOMIC! With a wham-bam, thank-you, ma’am blast of confidence like that, the new Atomic festival sets itself a high bar. But then Robin and Colette, Jerry Chatterbox and Miss Mary Ann know a thing or two about organising festivals. Both the Rockabilly Rave and the Rhythm Riot have been going…

The Delicate Art of the Evening Glove

Evening gloves conjure up the opulence of a bygone era like tiaras and opera glasses. Every lady should know how to wield a pair, but they are fickle mistresses. Well-chosen, they’ll transform that tired old cocktail shift into something Edith Head would be proud of. Poorly chosen, you’ll be mistaken for a hen-night refugee and…

The most beautiful song ever recorded

I make no apology for not choosing something hip and obscure as my favourite song of all time. It’s brilliant – and millions of people think so. Including me. Like so many children of the 70s, my first experience of I Only Have Eyes for You was Art Garfunkel’s 1975 hit. It’s a not-bad version,…