Little Red Riding Hood in Trafalgar Square: The Collectif Gretel Coat Unleashed!

Way back on Christmas Day last year, I was a tiny bit bored with all the rubbish TV, so I decided to download issue 25 of Vintage Life. Scrolling through, I found the Christmas Wishlist feature and immediately fell in love with the Collectif Gretel Coat.

Page from Vintage Life magazine.

Well, who wouldn’t? It’s an amazingly extravagant coat, straight out of Little Red Riding Hood – and a beautiful colour to boot. Unfortunately, at £160 it was definitely out of my price range – but then, a Christmas miracle happened. I checked out Collectif’s Facebook page and discovered that the company was running a 40% off discount… And they had one Gretel coat left, in my size. It was certainly fate, and who am I to fly in the face of the cosmos’ mysterious ways?

I ordered immediately, and when the coat arrived I fell in love all over again – but to be honest, I’ve chickened out of wearing it until last weekend. This is not a coat for the faint hearted. I was originally going to wear it last weekend, but with all the snow and ice I figured it would be just my luck to skid on the ice and fall over – embarrassing enough, but even worse when you’re dolled up to the nines. So when I was invited to the launch of The Powder Room on tour (more on that later!) I knew this was the perfect opportunity to wear my coat!

Gretel coat 2

Coat: Gretel by Collectif. Hair: The Powder Room @ Paper Dress*

As you can see, you certainly wouldn’t be lost in the crowd wearing this beauty! Sometimes, I wish I’d gone for the more subtle black version (but there weren’t any in stock, so it’s a moot point!), which would be more wearable, but then again, if you want to make an impact, this is certainly the go-to coat! Check out those beautiful pleats on the skirt, and the pretty pom-poms! The fabric has a gorgeous texture to it, and although the coat is very heavy, that makes it all the more snug for cold weather.

I thought I’d give you some behind the scenes info on taking this photo too. I employed a technique called ‘faith in humanity’, which involves setting your very expensive DSLR camera on timer mode in the middle of central London on a Saturday, and then running off so you can get as much of your body in shot without risking a heart attack. I also used another technique called ‘looking casually at buttons pretending to be doing important stuff’ which is useful when someone starts hanging around near you and looking suspiciously like they’ve mastered the art of ‘nicking someone’s camera when they’re taking photos of themselves in public by leaving their camera on the side’. Just a little insight there, in case you guys were students of photography like myself. (Please note, I have no idea what to do with my camera yet other than timer mode and no flash mode… But I am learning many techniques, which I am happy to humbly share with you!)

* My hair styling session at The Powder Room was complimentary for the purposes of revew on my blog – I’ll be posting a proper write-up later this week!

Victory Rolls by The Powderpuff Girls!

On Saturday 1 December, I got my hair and make up done by the lovely Claire from The Powderpuff Girls! The company had a stall at Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair, so I popped along to get all dolled up!

Getting ready 3

I had already decided I wanted victory rolls, because it’s a look I’ve never been able to do on myself, and I wanted to pick up some tips at the same time as seeing what it would look like! As you can see from this picture, my hair is ridiculously long, so I’m definitely planning on having it cut soon to make styling easier!

Getting ready 7

I guess the main tip I came away with was – don’t be afraid to backcomb to insane proportions! The hair you can see in the picture above hasn’t been sprayed at all, it’s just standing up all by itself!

(As a side note, don’t you LOVE the Powderpuff Girls’ uniform?!)

Getting ready 6

Another thing I’d been doing wrong with victory rolls is trying to curl my hair from the ends down – Claire started from the middle and wound backwards from there, and it definitely made it easier to do!

I also got my makeup done with the classic red lip and cat-eye flick.

Getting ready 5 Getting ready 1 Getting ready 10 Getting ready 11

The whole thing was a very reasonable £30, and I even got to take a free powderpuff home with me too! This is the third time I’ve had my hair and make up done by The Powderpuff Girls, and each time I’ve been really pleased with the look and the style’s holding power. They use Paul and Joe products along with some other brands you can see on the site, and it really makes a different to how long they last. I’m definitely thinking of investing in some Paul and Joe foundation – Claire wrote down all of the products she used on me, which was awesome!

Come back later in the week for more about the fair, my outfit, and the real reason we were in London… to see Viva Forever!

Much love for the Powderpuff Girls: my vintage makeover

I love the vintage look, but I don’t indulge myself very often. See my post on Hush – I work from home, and the postman just isn’t as ready with the compliments as she should be, so I generally slob around with no makeup on, wearing comfy clothes and a dressing gown (actually a Wonder Woman dressing gown – she’s glam, right?).

But when I do go all out, I like to do it properly, and one of my favourite indulgences is a makeover at The Powder Room!

This company offers a selection of reasonably priced beauty and hair services, and I’ve been there twice for makeovers since I found out about them. The first time was for my hen party, and the second was recently, when I had to attend a party for work.


The salon isn’t that easy to get to on the Tube to be honest, you have to walk about 15-20 minutes from the nearest station, but once you get there it is totally worth it! There’s a lovely atmosphere, cocktails on hand (for £5, not bad!), and everyone is beautiful and happy. Heaven!

When you get your makeover from The Powder Room, they offer you a look book to go through with different hair styles or make up. Both times I’ve chosen the same thing – a pony tail with a quiff, and a cat-eye with red lip for my make up.

Looks pretty snazzy in front of that Tube sign, doesn’t it? Totally unintentional, but I love it!


The great thing about this make up is, it lasts so much longer than when I do it – and I can NEVER get my eye liner to flick like that, no matter how hard I try… Sigh. They also use lip liner, which is great – I so need to get one of those. It just makes everything look neater and last longer.


Here’s a photo of the detail at the back – I’d never be able to get my hair looking like this in a million years… (And this is back at the hotel, after the party, about 12 hours later!)

Has anyone else been to this parlour of perfection? What did you get done? Anyone planning to go in the future? And, has anyone tried the ‘tricks of the trade’ lesson for £60? I would love to try that out!

Visit the boutique’s website here, or check out main site here – they also do events and parties, and they have an online shop as well!