The flamboyance of Featherstone and his fabulous flamingos…

Perky, Pink and Perfectly Poised…

The famous poised pair of flamboyant fuchsia flamingo’s that adorned many a lawn in the late 50’s and onwards has had a sad day indeed, as its ingenious inventor Mr Donald Featherstone has passed away due to illness.

Making Marvellous Mingoes…

Curios yet canny, the bandy legged birds were Created in 1957.

The pink flamingo was just one of 750 crafty creations made by Featherstone for the company Union Products, of which he worked.

He was also appointed president of the company until the year 2000.

During his time as an avid creator and inventor, Donald was awarded the the Ig Nobel prize in art, the prize being a parody of the Nobel prizes given to honour the unusual or trivial achievements in scientific research.

Folly has just perfect way to celebrate these cleverly plastic clad pirouetting all weather creations….

Go pick up a pair today…. Get flocked and adorn your lawn!

Here at – http://getflocked.com/index.php

Join me later on a vivid voyage full of flocking fun!!

When I feature all things fabulously flamingo around Folly’s fortress in memory of Mr Featherstone and the famous fifties fun-time flamingo!!

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IN MEMORY OF THE MUCH MISSED MONROE

Happy Birthday Dear Marilyn…

On this very day in the summer of 1926, the beautiful bundle of joy that was Norma Jeane entered the world and changed Hollywood forever more.

To celebrate what would have been her 85th birthday, Folly fancied taking that famous wiggle down memory lane…

As a much-loved, admired and marvelled in movie star, the marvellous Miss Marilyn Monroe had a turbulent yet triumphant short life.

Here’s just a mere snippet into the life and times… the before, the ‘becoming ‘ and bag load of  beautiful and beyond!

Here are just some of the findings from my years of faithful following, Images of immense beauty and quotes from the superstar sensation herself…

“No one ever told me I was pretty when I was a little girl, all little girls should be told they’re pretty even if they aren’t”

The far too short yet all together mesmerising life and times of Miss Monroe started on the 1st of June 1926, Born as Norma Jeane Mortensen, then baptised as Norma Jeane Baker, Marilyn as we know her today was to be born into the most unforgiving and unfortunate of circumstances.

Her mother Gladys Baker (née Monroe) showed early signs of serious emotional disturbance after Norma Jeanes birth, with her mother’s mind neither here nor there at any given time and the confusion over who her real father was….Norma Jeane grew up a disillusioned young waif, torn between her mothers reality and fantasy worlds.

Aged only 9, Norma Jeane was sent to a Hollywood orphanage, this was to be the beginnings of being pushed from unloving pillar to un-affectionate post.

Norma was to be frequently sent to and from many un-reassuring adults, to even more unfamiliar institutions during her sad set up of an infancy.

Turmoil and tears…

During the years of adolescence Norma claimed to have been abused by a lodger at a foster home, teased at school for being ‘norma Jeane string bean’ and also claimed to have given birth between the ages of 14 – 15, the baby boy of which was taken away from her by her guardian and given up for adoption.

Sweet sixteen

Marrying her first husband Jim Dougherty at the sweet age of 16, This was to be a much welcomed relief to Norma’s guardian who was more than ready to pass the buck.

Norma Jeane had said “I was a peculiar wife, I liked boys and girls much younger than me, I played games with them until my husband came out and started calling me to go to bed.”

During this marriage, while Jim was working away and while Norma worked at a factory, she was to meet David Conover,  A photographer who gave her a taste for the limelight, taking her image and running with it, it wasn’t to be long before features and contracts had her name all over them.

But, the name on these contracts had now changed into the blonde bombshell we all know and adore…

 ‘Miss Marilyn Monroe’

With the signing of the Twentieth century fox contracts, came the signing of Marilyn’s divorce papers, Jim had given Marilyn an ultimatum, “it’s me or the modelling”

so, her marriage to Jim was over!

“I don’t want to make money, I just want to be wonderful”

Starring in her first film ‘Ladies of the chorus’ during 1948, Monroe became a star in the making, many good and bad men saw Monroe’s potential and with a stream of sponsors and lustful lovers at her feet, Marilyn was heading to the top.

“I’m very definitely a woman, and I enjoy it”

‘Love happy’ was the 1949 film that Monroe first showcased that saucy, saunter of a wiggle walk… leave mouths wide open with wonder and awe at what they saw!

Craftily created by shaving just a quarter of an inch off the heel of one shoe, the height imbalance created that famous head turning hourglass hobble.

Racking up the reels…

With everyone wanting a slice of the cheesecake that was the million dollar Monroe, she continued to feature in countless films, some utterly fabulous, some mediocre but all just as acutely alluring as the next.

A fifties affair…

During 1953 Marilyn was to marry again, this time to sportsman Joe DiMaggio, this sadly a marriage filled with jealousy and violence and just 274 days later, Monroe filed for divorce.

“the body is meant to be seen, not all covered up”

Back to business…Monroe’s image was often laid bare for all to see…

The playmate and the playwright plight…

The already married Arthur Miller and an insatiable Monroe made for a tale of woe.

Miller couldn’t deny his longing for Marilyn, but complications were always rattling their chains in the background, with Millers ex-wife and Marilyn’s old beau DiMaggio lingering for a reconciliation with the star, he was never to be far.

But in 56′ the pair married and hastily headed for the English countryside for a honeymooners haven.

With her career still in full throttle and Miller’s absorption in writing, time together was becoming few and far between.

With this incompatibility eventually spilling sourness on the showtime sweethearts, the couple made it through Millers ‘misfits’ movie and in 1961 their marriage was declared dead and their divorce was final!

Stuck in the middle with you…two!

With life delving deeper into a world of alcohol, agonising depression and divorcing despair Marilyn had made friendships with all the right people and now far too many of the wrong types too!

Frequent mingling with mobsters and canoodling with the Kennedy’s, Marilyn was on a downward spiral to an early death.

Marilyn’s famous “Happy Birthday Mr President” ensemble

Many love affairs were seen unfolding in front of cameras and behind closed doors in the early 60’s.

Rumours suggest an affair with Frank Sinatra had taken place whilst a flitting flirtatious, fury between Jack and Robert Kennedy commenced.

In loving memory

In the summer of 1962 the news broke of the mysterious and most shocking death of Marilyn Monroe, suicide?! or murder?! The conspiracy theories continue…

Found face down in bed, clutching her telephone, A bedside table piled high with pill bottles, the instant evidence pointed to ‘suicide by means of an overdose’ and this was to be the official cause of death.

 Her Lonesome, broken-hearted, tattered personal life consumed her off of the set until the bitter end.

But…

Marilyn Monroe was also still a mega star in the eyes of the observer, then and now!

Boldly beautiful, vibrantly vivacious, fiercely feminine with ferocious tenacity to triumph.

Her style, sauciness and pin-up prowess powers on in all us fun loving 40’s and 50’s fanatics!

Tie me up & wear me out!….

Now, Now… Its not what you think!!!!

Although it does sound like a recipe to get you guys a little hot under the collar huh?!?

Well, with a line up of pin-up perky’s and some desirable dancing dolls that just love to drape themselves around your neck, of course I’m talking about…

Neckties!

Also know as the Swing tie, or Jump necktie.

Phew!..

Now that we’re clear on that, I can’t wait to tell you all about Folly’s findings on the tantalising ties of the late 1940’s-1950’s.

No more bore, now we’re Post-war!

With the wickedness of wartime and an age of austerity almost behind them, both the men and women that had lived through the undesirable utilitarian times were yearning for a post war POP of colour…

Wide, bright and a little bit naughty at first sight…

 For men in the United States, the desirability of an exuberant wider shaped, silken, hand painted or printed tie was to be extremely stimulating!

Causing quite the stir, they were the much celebrated and sought after male must-have accessory!

Many examples featuring the pert pin-ups and dainty dancing dolls of every mans deepest desires….

 As well as the naughty, there was also the novelty niche, each and every one available in a painters palette of punchy colours! 

The necktie became part of a self expressionist trend, so much so that the trend became tied up into a lucrative collectors realm, many enthusiasts collecting hundreds of the acquired taste accessory… buying and selling at specialist clubs.

Brightening up Britain…

With British fashion still a more conservative, classic and overall a more understated style than the US, many Brits were still opting for the narrower, knitted style necktie.

But it wasn’t to be long before some men dared to wear the styles inspired from all the way over in trend setting America.

Gee! Thanks Cecil….

  It was to be Cecil Gee who outrageously pushed the boundaries of the british, he was to be the first during 1946 to import the ‘American look’ into his London shop.

“After the blitz, here comes the Ritz”….

A promise Cecil put into action..

Soon tons of ties were available in his store, many featuring flockings of feathers, flamboyant florals and the wildest scenes from the wild, wild west!

Every Saturday saw a queue of men lined up ready and waiting, eager to purchase the quirky and sometimes perky neckties of the new brighter future.

Ties today…

Fetching a pretty penny today, Vintage neckties of flashy and fanciful designs can be found on sites such as Ebay and Etsy…

Heres a few of my favourites to give you a head start.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/VTG-1930s-1940s-HAWAIIAN-SWING-NECK-TIE-HAND-PAINTED-CREPE-SILK-LINDY-HOP-VGC-/291467895296?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item43dcd72200

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1940s-VINTAGE-ANTIQUE-DRESS-SHIRT-TIE-ALADDIN-FOLKLORE-ARABIAN-NIGHTS-/191476311351?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2c94e0a537

https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/209643605/best-western-vintage-1940s-bucking-horse?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=1940s%20novelty%20tie&ref=sr_gallery_6

GO! Tie your cash up into some very necessary vintage!

MAYDAY MAYDAY….FOLLY NEEDS MORE HEYDAY!!

The wonderful Whitstable seaside called upon Folly on a bright and sunny sunday afternoon, but not before taking a turn about the Tankerton towers & castle gardens, where the picturesque pagoda provided the perfect shade and light for a photograph or two…

Photography- David Kerrhttps://davidkerrphotographer.wordpress.com

A Gaberdine dream….

A 1940’s garberdine swing styled, nautically navy trouser, was to be the perfect pair to wear… putting the ‘spring time’ into my step on this fun-day photo-shoot.

Just look at those big double decker red buttons!!!

These fab gabs can be found at Heyday!

http://www.heydayonline.co.uk/default/womens-clothing/ladies-trousers/ladies-swing-trousers-navy.html#.VT0RuktxCh8

Star Light, Star bright, The first star I see tonight….

Elegantly ensembled with a 1930s style dainty starburst scattered print blouse, femininity is the focus feature for this blouse, It’s wickedly wide collar and it’s prominent, pretty puffed sleeve is a little naughty while screaming 1940!!

The Olivia blouse is another amazing vintage reproduction buy from the fabulous Heyday!

The buttons have the sweetest little star shapes embedded into them, just beautiful…

Capping off the sensational starburst scene is a Cosmo contrasting rouge red collar, and the cutest turn back cuffs I’ve ever seen!

http://www.heydayonline.co.uk/default/womens-clothing/ladies-tops/olivia-blouses/ladies-top-olivia-blouse-starlet-red-navy.html#.VT0RbUtxCh8

Say hello to Mellow yellow…

Totally plastic fantastic and atomically angled, my mellow yellow 50’s necklace is shining bright in this light, by Miss Mandy Miller.

Those fabulous little precious pastel and (almost matching earrings) are not matching at all!! they actually come straight from the hustle and bustle of the good ‘ol high street!

There’s plenty of pastel pretties to be had at Matalan right now!

http://www.matalan.co.uk/womens/jewellery-and-hair

Snap happy…

 Follys favourite 1951 vintage camera, is the Kershaw Eight-20 Penguin.

Perfectly preserved and working wonders, this little box full of bellows and bakelite came into my clutches when i recently purchased my 1940’s home.

Left behind, laying lonely and unloved, stuffed in a box in the back of the loft for what looks an eternity!!

The virtually untouched device is an absolute vintage hoarders dream!

 The perfect photographic package to take a few seaside snaps!

Photography- David Kerrhttps://davidkerrphotographer.wordpress.com

Heyday! 

will leave you

Simmering with sophistication until the sun goes down!

Seasalter….What a sunset!

Jeans that Dreams are made of….

Originally called Overalls and a standard issue item for hardworking Miners, Wild West Cowboys and the plain Ol’ Wild ones of society, Denim Jeans saw a stamp of ‘hip’ being stitched into its seams during the 1950s, causing a double take to those daring to wear!

Famously Eddie Cochran was the first to Rock and Roll his Denim on stage.

Eddie Cocran

As Part of his Missisippi homeland, the jeans were an everyday uniform of the sharecropper and Eddie felt more than comfortable staying true to his roots.

 Elvis also wore the cuffed denim style and certainly helped to make them ‘cool’, although mainly worn when off duty, as he felt the material wasn’t quite ‘showtime’ enough for the stage!

Fitting for the flicks….

An American hero status came ruggedly riding into film reels by the mid 50’s, Flicks featuring the epitome of lawless youth and stylish sex symbols like James Dean and Marlon Brando came on to screens everywhere, burly brandishing a pair of pegged denim….. so its no wonder that todays collectors are falling over themselves to snag a pair of selvedge.

Now rockin’ a reformed rebellious status, Denim-wear became the chosen cachet for the uber cool kids in town!

 Levi strauss & co ran ads in support of teens wearing their jeans in class, this was to be frowned upon by many East Coast schools, and because of such a revolutionary rogue reputation being sewn on to the style, some schools soon felt the need to ban the style from their dress code completely…… taking the trend out with the trash!

Or so they thought….

A letter from an East Coast professor to levi’s read as follows, “While I have to admit this may be ‘right for school- in San Francisco, in the west, or in some rural areas I can assure you that it is in bad taste and not ‘right for school’ in the East.”

Well This didn’t stop any hip guy getting his gear on outside and away from the rules of those rigid and restrictive institutions.

The Forbidden fashion only made the teens denim desires stronger.

To Cuff or not to Cuff, that is the question….

ok, so on the rockabilly scene we all love to cuff our jeans, i hear of so many rules and regulations on how to, where to, how high, show selvage or no selvage…..

but quite frankly, the original reason for cuffing a jean was due to the fit!

Most families had a hand me down policy…..

 If your older brother grew out of his jeans, they were often passed down to you, whether they fit perfectly in length was far from a problem….. because what did you do??…….you’d turn em up!

Tah-Dah! the cuff was invented.

Many Modern fellow fifties enthusiasts love to show off the white seams of the selvage, which is found on the inside leg of the jean.

This results in various sizes of cuffs being turned up all around town.

How to tell that you’re donning some Darn’ right good denim…

Levi strauss & co,  Lee Cooper and Wrangler were the most popular ‘fashion’ brands for denim in the 1950’s,  and because of the hand me down nature, most pairs were literally worn out! resulting in them being thrown out!! So true vintage examples are rare and highly priced.

Looking for an iconic pair of levi jeans from the 1950’s??  Well its worth keeping your eyes skinned for the pairs known as capital Es, due to the upper case E being visible on the pockets red tab.

Since 1971 the tab has been spelt with a lower case e

A desirable jacket to collect would be the 1953- 507 XX jacket, or more commonly know as the“number two” or the “second edition”.

If true vintage isn’t your style, or not for your shape then….

Repro is the way to go! 

When you find a good pair of reproduction jeans, you just know it!

Here are some of my favourite company’s, tried and tested by myself, (in the ladies section of course).

But i have my trusty male assistants that can vouch for you Gents, that in this little selection, are the jeans that dreams are made of!

http://www.freddiesofpinewood.co.uk/product/36-men%27s-1950%27s-jeans

http://www.dawsondenim.com/product/dawson-regular-fit-jeans

http://www.prisonblues.com/Jeans.php

http://levisvintageclothing.com/product/1955-501-jeans/

Go get denim hunting guys!

Lawless Leathers

Whether its the bomber Blouson, the silver studded biker or the alternative sheepskin lined airman, Leather lovers during the 1940’s and 50’s had jackets to cater for every tough guy and military man in town.

Military boys branding Bombers!

Military Bombers!

Notorious during the 1950’s for being the essential outerwear for fiesty Greasers, bad boy Bikers and the hot-rodding teen culture.

1950's Greasers

1950’s Greasers

while popular, these jackets were of course not the chosen style for every gent in town….

So if you are a modern reveller of rockabilly culture, but you don’t own a leather, let me tell you..its ok!….

It’s safe to say not everyone in the 1950s was wearing one, and those key pieces that are often pumped out today as being the ‘essentials’ for the true rockabilly look, are not necessarily accurate, so vintage lovers, if you like it…wear it, if you don’t….dont!

 Because back in day not every man had one, nor did every man want one!!

Although i must say, they can look simply….. slick!!!

Black leather and silver studs.

Teens were seen as being on the fringes of society

If you are considering a leather jacket, then its good to know that it would have been worn with….

A pair of pegged slacks work perfectly for best, or a pair of cuffed jeans (we will get to the bottom of the cuff myth in the jeans section) with some good quality engineer boots for when working on that old car!

 Although more commonly believe it or not….Penny loafers! These loafers were the most popular choice, and any other leather shoes that a guy had kicking around that would be hardwearing and oil resistant would have fit the bill!

Eventually evolving into signature cult look, The leather laden characteristic was originally adopted for its resistance to the grease often gained from the teens constant tinkering with cars and straddling of bikes.

This signature style was worn for the practical purposes as well as a look to stand you out from the ‘norm’, almost used as a uniform and not totally for the ‘cool’ purposes we love to believe in today, I guess we have hip cats like Happy Days Fonzy and Grease’s teen gang The T-Birds to thank for that!!

Eeeeeeh!! It’s The Fonz

T-Birds

As this signature cult style, these fierce looking leathers were famously embodied by the handsomest of hollywood hunks….

‘My one, My only’… king of Rock & Roll Elvis Presley, ‘The wild one’, Mr Marlon Brando and ‘The rebel without a cause’... Mr dreamy James Dean.

The wild one - Marlon Brando

The wild one – Marlon Brando

The King!

The one, the only….Elvis

The rebel without a cause - Dreamy James Dean

The rebel without a cause – Dreamy James Dean

Original 1940’s/50’s jackets are fetching a hefty price and are highly sought after by collectors,  so opportunities to own one are rare, but if you are considering an authentic item then you will get a lot of leather for your money.

Crafted from quality leathers and horsehide, in black and brown, these really are a gents garment of beauty!

Battle of Britain flying Jacket

Battle of Britain flying Jacket

Eastman-A2-75-n10

Eastman-A2-75-n10

Many vintage reproduction styles are available online, with specialist companys that pride themselves in getting the detailing…. just dandy!

check out –

http://www.aeroleatherclothing.com

http://www.eastmanleather.com

These guys make some of the finest examples of reproduction leather created to date!