Monday, 5 September 2011

What Katie (and Lidia and I) did....

Those of you 'in the know' will be well aware of the fabulousness that is 'What Katie Did'.  For those of you who don't know - it is the most fantastic lingerie company, specialising in retro-styled undies and lovely corsetry.  They have a boutique in Portobello Green just off the Portobello Road, an online shop, and now a new store just about to open in LA.
Knowing my prediliction for yummy undies, you can imagine my joy when I saw, via their facebook fan page, that they were having a little soiree to honour their new Autumn/Winter 2011 collection!  Quicker than you can say 'circle-stitch-bra', I pressed the 'Attending' button.  (Well, actually I pressed the 'Maybe' button, but this is my blog and I'm allowed some artistic licence).

Since it was certain to be a glamorous affair, I decided to test out a new hairstyle from my recently arrived book 'Vintage Hairstyling', by Lauren Reynolds.  After a whole hour with my hands behind my head, a lot of curling, and even more hairspray, this is what my version of 'one for the boys' looked like.

From the back...

...& from the front (sorry for the blank stare & lack of smile)

Since it was supposed to be a lovely day, I wore a recently purchased nautical dress from Collectif clothing, and some retro-styled heels bought for a fiver from a local charity shop.  And then it started raining, so I donned a leather jacket to give me a 'rock' edge.

My friend Lidia met me at Waterloo and together we circumnavigated the extensive works currently blocking up the London Underground, and arrived at last at What Katie Did.

Oh, the joy!  The yumminess that is the store!  The corsets, the peach & black undies, the stockings!  There were a lot of retro-chicks already in residence, and it was getting pretty warm from all the body heat.  So we cooled down with some Gin cocktails, natch.  Oh, and stuffed our cakeholes with the yummy cupcakes.  Any store that gives you free booze and cake is alright by me!

We watched a fashion show of some of the new A/W 2011 lines, shown off to full glory by some burlesque lovelies including Miss Miranda, who has the most porcelain skin I've ever seen.

Who wouldn't want to buy it all?
By this point I was, ahem, 'glowing', and I felt really bad about trying on their lovely undies as I was likely to get them all sweaty & grim.  However, fortified by more Gin, I threw caution to the wind & went into the dressing room. I was helped to get into the right sizes by the very lovely Vicky. 

A quick word on Vicky.  She may just about be the nicest and most helpful person I've ever encountered in a shop of any kind.   Often I find sales staff in high street stores unhelpful & judgemental.  Vicky & the other staff at WKD are the complete opposite and I don't even mind them seeing my wobbly bits.  Added to which Vicky has the most amazingly beautiful tatoos I've seen, that I just want to sit and stare at her like she's on a plinth in the Tate.


I came away with a Maitress bullet bra & a waist-cincher.  It really is worth going into the boutique to try these things on if you possibly can.  My bra size is usually a 34D, but I vary in the WKD bras between a D & DD depending on the design.  I'm a high-street size 12-14, but going by the vintage sizing on the WKD website, I should also take a WKD 16 in their shapewear.  What I've actually ended up with is a size 10 in the waist cincher (smug? moi?), and a 12 in their underbust girdle.  That said, if you can't get into the store, and you do find you've ordered the wrong size from their website (as I recently did), they are really helpful in exchanging it for the correct size. You can even email their all-female team photos of you in the item so they can help you judge the correct size.

After the delights of WKD, Lidia & I needed a brief come-down before the trip home, so we wondered around the vintage market outside the arcade for a bit.  The most fascinating stall had old photo albums full of sepia prints, obviously from the home of someone recently passed, who had no one to pass them on to.  There was also a handful of photos of Adolf Hitler, together with some kind of medal.  Really interesting. 

Lidia trying on a particularly fetching hat

Fortified by a felafel wrap (discounted by 50p!), from the farmers market, we watched the 2nd WKD fashion show then headed home.

By some miracle, (and about a hundred-weight of hairpins), my first all-day vintage 'do' remained intact, despite being rained on, as you can see.
Tired but still looking good after a long day!
A big thumbs up to What Katie Did for a throughly wonderful launch party - and good luck with your LA store!