Monday, 11 January 2016

Vintage Girl Gang - Heather The Mod Weldon

Now that there Christmas is out the way and we are all suitably rolling our ways back to work and determinedly squeezing that extra roll into the 1950's A-line skirt, I thought I'd blow away the January come down with 2016's newest recruit.

That's right, Girl Gang Monday is BACK and we are back with one of the sassiest swingingest most mod gals we know*, Heather The Mod Weldon.

*we've never met.

I discovered Heather when I geekily followed the hashtag "60sgirl" and stumbled across the boldest style I'd seen on Instagram in a long time. Her account was so bright I had to don my JackyO's!

Cue the usual InstaStalk of her account and about 100 double-taps later she became my modern 1960's style inspiration! Luckily, Heather doesn't think I'm a mega dweeb and agreed to be one of my favourite additions to the Girl Gang, answering a few questions so I can slowly become her by proxy:

Oi! Heather The Mod! Why the vintage? 
To me there was never going to be anything but vintage! Even as a lanky uncoordinated little girl I was fascinated with anything vintage. I used to watch Audrey Hepburn films and dream I could grow up to be as glamorous. 

Those women seemed to ooze confidence and sass, something I had never dreamed of having! The first vintage piece I ever owned, I found in a charity shop it was a bright orange scooter dress. It didn't fit, it was totally impractical for an 11 year old but it was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen it made my heart race seeing it hidden there! It was a real Cinderella moment the minute I put on that dress! The feeling of finding something so perfect for you hidden away like that has stuck with me.  My heart still races when I catch a glimpse of Crimplene through a charity shop window. And I still have that scooter dress... it fits like a glove now! 

It's clear that the swinging sixties are your preferred years, why is that? 
There is nothing about the sixties that I don't find thrilling. I love the glamour associated with the women in the past but I've also always loved bright colours, bold patterns and sixties fashion encapsulates the two perfectly! 

I feel like you can really have fun with sixties fashion there are no rules! All patterns, all colours all at once! 
Being raised in Liverpool you can't escape the sounds of the sixties (not that I'd ever want to). I've been going to the cavern in the day time since I was a child, dreaming of all history that was made there from The Beatles to Cilla! 

I used to pour over pictures of the the guys and girls queuing to get in there in the sixties; all big hair and mini skirts. I thought they looked incredible. Now your more likely to find me there at night drinking a Beatles themed cocktail, dressed up to the nines and dancing my beehive off.  

 I just think there was a real air of change about the 60s; everything seemed possible I find that really inspiring!  

What's your "go to" inspiration? 
I love music, it's a huge inspiration on everything in my life. I am a classically trained singer but I love The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, The Small Faces, The Kinks. I adore Dusty Springfield; she's a massive style inspiration as well as a musical one. 

TV wise it's guilty pleasure confession time! I love the Carry On films! I watched them avidly as a child, drinking in the colours, the clothes and the cars without really understanding all the jokes! Besides who doesn't  love a bit of kitsch seaside humor. Although. I will admit you will often find me looking behind the actors to lust over the wall paper or the furniture! I've just started watching The Avengers again in only to drool over Emma Peel's outfits and apartment! 
I would be lying if I said Quadrophenia wasn't a huge inspiration growing up, I blame it entirely for my love of a man in a well tailored suit. 

What's the best and worst things about living vintage? 
The best thing and the worst thing about living vintage is that people think that you're super confident and they can comment on what you look like all the time. Dressing like you have just stepped out of 1965 just to nip to the shop to buy milk is a bit of a conversation starter I'll admit! Now, that can be wonderful because I've met some amazing people and had some amazing conversations. I love hearing people's stories about how they once had a dress like that or wore their hair like mine, or having conversations at the train station about music with a complete stranger. Most of the time it's wonderful but sometimes it's hard work. Some days are more confident then others and I get a little awkward. I've seen people taking photos of me in the past, that's always a really strange feeling! But, like I always say, "Fake it 'till you make it" and nothing makes me happier than when I have a nice dress on! 
I love the Instagram vintage community, everyone's so inspiring and uplifting, I think its a real positive thing. And nothing in the world makes me happier when people tell me my look is authentic.  
You've made a sixties dress recently, will you make more? 
Yes, all my clothes are hand made or vintage. I've been sewing since I was 5. It was the perfect way to get a individual vintage look without being able to get my hands on the vintage. Nearly all my vintage has been altered by me in someway. Sometimes I'll buy a dress for the fabric, take it apart and start again! 

I don't wear any reproduction or retro. It's really important to me to be authentic in everything I wear I will only make my clothes out of vintage fabrics. I tend to draft my own patterns now from vintage patterns. I'm awful for collecting things and my vintage pattern collection is starting to get out of control.  

Where do you buy your best gems? 
I get asked this question a lot and I wish I had a specific place to say! But I don't; it's all about the thrill of the chase for me! I still I love charity shopping, flea markets; anything I can have a good root through! 
I have a real love hate relationship with eBay, I hate falling in love with something then not winning it. 
There's some wonderful vintage sellers cropping up on etsy and instagram at the minute, but I still have to say all my best find were charity shop ones even if I've had to take them apart and start again.    

What's your favourite outfit and why? 
Another impossible question. I have so many incredible pieces I honestly couldn't bare to part with a single one. I don't buy something unless I'm completely in love with it! So I'll let the public choose! 
I get the most comments when im out and about on the green and yellow cirlces mini dress i think its so sixties it hurts! 
"I think good tailoring is key to a smart mod look"
The pattern, the shape, the wonderful toweling material it's made out of. I've used that one to draft a few patterns from so that one and the blue and white dress with the incredible collar! 

"I adore a good collar!"
It's Crimplene and I absolutely love crimplene! The weight and the feeling and you can scrunch it up to nothing and it bounces right back! But I love everything that doesn't stop me being constantly on the hunt for more! 

What's your favourite vintage homeware purchase and why? 
I've just moved into my first little house so I've set about trying to make it as sixties as possible! I'm on the hunt for an egg chair, it's always been a dream to own one! 

I love my 1960s cabinet and physcadelic wall art (that's a big vintage curtain) my all time favourite piece of vintage homeware is my sewing machine shes cast iron and weighs an absolute tonne, but she's a beautiful duck egg blue and nothing makes more authentic vintage clothes out of vintage material then having the actual sewing machine they would have been made on! That little corner's my real happy place! 

Who's your vintage Muse? 
I have lots of gorgeous women to inspire my my beautiful grandmother was the most glamorous, stylish women I ever had the pleasure to have known. 
Of course I love all the usual suspects Twiggy, Peggy Moffitt both proving now that style has no age limit. 

I've mentioned Audrey Hepburn, of course and the ever beautiful Dusty Springfield. 

I take hair inspo from Helen Shapiro and Priscilla Presley but will always find my self  taking style snippets from my utter idol, Liza Minnelli, she's just such a doll!

I think that's everyone! 

And *I* think we can all agree, Heather The Mod Weldon is our all-time favourite 1960's throwback. She pulls off the swinging style without the feared "fancy dress" tag by living her dream, researching all the right areas and using genuine gear to recreate her outfits. 

Heather The Mod, we raise out scooter helmets and salute you! Here are some Pigeon Vintage red lipstick stripes to confirm you as one of my favourite GirlGangMonday members!

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