The nations interest in all things vintage is on the up, the popularity of shows like Dawn O'Porter's This Old Thing prove our love does not seem to be waining. From shabby chic furniture, to 40s style tea parties and the ever popular burlesque movement, it would seem us brits are yearning to be taken back to a simpler time.
Women usually take burlesque classes for one of three reasons: they want to feel cheeky and have fun, they want to improve their body confidence and how they feel about themselves, or they want to become a professional burlesque performer. When asked about their experience of learning and performing burlesque the majority of our students will use the word 'empowering' in their answer.
A little known fact about me: I once spent an entire school year, Year Ten to be precise, sporting Martin Fowler from Eastenders' jacket (here's Martin's face when he first saw the offending item) The reason it's a little known fact is because I've done everything in my power since then to suppress it. But perhaps now is the time to finally face my coaty demons and then zip it for good.
My desire for vintage clothing was ignited when I moved down to London at 18, with a case full of generic clothes and an ambition to 'find myself'. Three months and several trips to Camden and East London later, I arrived home to Scotland for my first holiday and my mum exclaimed "What on earth have you come dressed as?!"
After a series of mysterious fires and the unrelated launch of a mega-mall nearby, Margate turned from beloved tourist destination to ghost town - practically overnight. Despite the efforts of high-street hero Mary Portas and the valiant rejuvenation of the Old Town, Margate continues to reek of recession and disrepair.
I was first bitten by the vintage bug in 1983, borrowing my grandma's 60s kitten heeled sling backs - they had toes so pointed you could have impaled anyone you kicked. I carefully borrowed a few of grannie's pieces - mostly shoes, jewellery and handbags to add to my puff ball skirts, explosive hair and wrist to elbow silver slave bangles.