On my blog, I write about my ever-growing interest in pretty, vintage style home decor, reproduction vintage style clothing (dresses especially!) and my fascination with the icons, films, music and general life within the 1930’s-1960’s. Amongst other things.
It used to be called Petals and Petticoats but has since changed to simply my name;
Miss Rachel Kathleen
Welcome to my little space on the internet.
I’m Rachel and I’m a teeny bit obsessed with vintage clothing, dresses, afternoon tea and cups and saucers. Kathleen is my real middle name, which was a popular name in the 1940’s and 1950’s, the era I find fascinating.
Let’s take a trip down memory lane…
At college, I studied a few subjects including Media Studies, Film Studies and Photography. In Photography, we covered some of the greatest photographers ever, including Milton Greene, Eve Arnold and Phil Stern, which inevitably lead on to me discovering countless beautiful photographs of Marilyn Monroe. She intrigued me. I was already knowledgeable in the Rat Pack music, Betty Boop (I had her cartoons on DVD) and had other general knowledge of that era, but I wanted to know more.
I was also always fascinated by the war era at school. I’d obviously heard about Marilyn Monroe, including her sex bomb persona, seemingly rather public sex life and icon status (her face is still featured everywhere today), but as a photography student, I was now analysing photographs of her, what they portrayed, how they made me feel and what side of her personality or persona they were showing. She was photogenic, sure, but I couldn’t help but notice she had a certain fragility and innocence to a lot of her photos, too. In fact, the later images of her show a sadness and vulnerability to her.
Around the same time, I was set coursework for my Film Studies course, which allowed me to choose anything within the film industry, to write a ten thousand word essay on. After speaking to my teacher, we agreed that exploring how Marilyn Monroe was portrayed in films throughout her life was a topic I’d be genuinely enthusiastic about and something I could really get my teeth into. This is where my obsession with the ‘vintage’ era began. I bought many of her films, a Marilyn ‘encyclopedia’ and read article after article online about her life. I soon learnt that her sex bomb persona and typecast roles as the dumb blonde weren’t entirely accurate, as she was incredibly intelligent, witty and strong. After years moving between many homes as a child, Marilyn was desperate to be loved and ‘just wanted to be wonderful’. She was such a complex person, who, in some ways, was ahead of her time. She fascinated me and I really felt for her.
From this, I began finding that I was drawn towards Marilyn-esque dresses, and this is where my dress obsession began. For a couple of years, I looked longingly at the dresses online that I thought weren’t for someone like me, until one Sunday afternoon in March 2014, when I impulsively went ahead and ordered my first vintage style dress; a Lady V Hepburn. I already had one dress in my closet which was, I suppose, vintage style – a 1950’s strapless prom dress, with black netted petticoat – but this wasn’t marketed as a vintage reproduction dress, nor had I bought it myself. My boyfriend had gifted it me when I was sixteen. But I did feel incredibly special in it. I felt like a princess. I knew I liked that cut and shape.
When my Lady V Hepburn dress arrived, I was in love with it immediately. The cut and material made me feel fancy, elegant and beautiful. The shape of the dress complimented my natural hour glass body shape and everyone said it really suited me.
I knew I wanted more…
Since then, I’ve collected many more vintage reproduction dresses and at the time of starting this blog, November 2016, I have twenty-nine. Yep, twenty-nine! Including twenty-four Lady V dresses and a petticoat. I’m becoming increasingly submerged in the whole era, increasingly fascinated by other icons of those times such as James Dean and Audrey Hepburn, and decorating my home in vintage furnishings and items.
I am totally in love with everything from the fascinating years of the 1920’s – 1950’s, including the style of clothing and make up and you’ll see my personal style in blog posts and Instagram photos. You’ll notice that I mix vintage items of clothing with more modern pieces, too and that I love a good bargain.
I still shop in many high street stores that aren’t exclusively vintage in style.
I also write about anything in my life related to this love for things from the era, from self-confidence, to events and visits to places, which I hope you find interesting.
So with that, I’ll be blogging all about this growing fascination of mine, in this little corner of the internet!
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