Last Thursday was the aforementioned Vintage Tea Party to mark the 4th birthday of that most splendid, spiffing and top-hole of West End plays, the 39 Steps. But something less than spiffing happened at the end of the evening, and it is with this that Naomi Vintage Secret and I need your help. Please stay with us, or scroll to the end…
The evening was, as a whole, lovely. I spent the entire performance backstage, setting the scene for the shindig with and our glamorous vintage friends. We were, it must be said, doing wholly unglamorous things, such as frantically making hundreds of cucumber sandwiches from some very cubist looking bread (it had got rather squashed in transit) and hurling streamers around. We all had a good laugh, when, after having filled up a tray in the kitchen with neatly lined up sandwich triangles, the prop manager came bowling in, looking around frantically. It turned out that the tray was in fact, a prop, needed for the second half! It was cunningly disguised as a normal wooden tray, and was always stored in the kitchen! Imagine that! He seemed genuinely shocked that we didn’t realise!
Anyway, I’ll be economical with my words about the party, which was as fabulous as you might imagine, and simply show you some photos for the moment…
In the above photo is Naomi in a gorgeous floor length red gown, Lauren from Vintage Patisserie (who provided delicious cakes) with the stunning pink/blonde hair and polka dot frock, the beautiful Stefanie Valentine and Penny Dreadful, and me in my newly repaired pink Swirl (thanks to the talented and handsome Whistling Tailor for that) with couture designer Yuan Li.
More beautiful people and delicious VP cakes, beig set out by ReeRee Rockette of Alternatively Lovely! All the above photos were taken by the lovely and also talented Claire Pursglove. The night also provided a new favourite photo of myself by 50s style queen Hannah Asprey, who took those great shots of us at our Cosmo shoot!
But sadly this night was not all glamorous vintage fun, because after packing up her accessories stall at the end, Naomi discovered to her sadness that two of her most precious vintage hats had gone missing. A lot of what she does is based on respect and trust – she had her hats around for people to try on, and indeed wear for the evening, but with the understanding they will be returned at the end. At such small and friendly parties there really should be no risk involved. But unfortunately, this theory was proved wrong. The two hats are both black felt, 1940s numbers. One is a beret with a large felt bow, and the other is a home-made creation consisting of the crown of a man’s hat, adorned with a felt fan fashioned from the cut-off crown, in absolutely typical 1940s make-do-and-mend, wartime style. I’m trying to find some really clear photos so my lovely readers can look out for them at future events. But we do have a photo of one of the hats being worn by a guest, who was rather drunk and who, in all fairness, may have wandered off forgetfully. Or indeed it may not have been her at all. So let it be said that this is in no way accusatory, but we would really like to know who the below girl is, as she was the last person seen wearing it and so may be able to tell us what happened to it. You may comment anonymously if you know (I have turned it back on especially).
She is wearing the beret hat, and this is the last time it was seen. Naomi went to speak to her, to ensure she remembered to return it, and could not find her. So if anyone can help, we would be most grateful. Here is a very small photo of the fan-hat.
It’s rather unclear, but you can see the fan. The hat is actually rather delicate and needs repairing. We’ll try and find better shots, and will update. What makes this all even sadder, is that these hats were not vintage finds by Naomi herself, they were passed down to her by her grandmother, and have a sentimental value far exceeding their material worth. She’s been asked many times to sell them, and has always declined. So if anyone can give us any information that will help her recover them, we would both be eternally grateful. No repercussions will await the taker of the hats, accidental or not. Consider this a vintage hat amnesty.
I’ll be back soon with more magical tales of vintage parties, this time involving boats!
Edit: I am delighted to say that we have had BOTH of the hats returned! Hurrah for the internet!