Home House Photoshoot | Behind the Scenes

Our latest photoshoot at Home House London was one of our biggest to date. The mission; to shoot four fabulous looks in one day. A task taken on by our creative dream team Stylist Joanna Femi Ola and Photographer Adam Robertson.  They were supported by our incredibly talented glam squad Charlie Wilkinson (hair sculptor extraodinaire) and Arabella Webster (Queen of the cat-eye liner).

Home House was a stunning and versatile venue, with every room showcasing eclectic pieces of art which was a perfect fit for our “best of old meets the best of new” mantra.

Our Stylist Joanna Femi Ola pulled some stunning gowns and looks from an array of our favourite designers.  The dress up days are certainly some of best days to be a Tootsie! She worked with each of our body shapes and personalities to make us look and feel super confident.

Dresses by Kirsty Doyle and Stewart Parvin | Jewels by Merola London  Carat  and Michi Jewellery

Dresses by Chi Chi Clothing | Jewels Eva May Jewels

Charlie Wilkinson and Arabella Webster worked insanely quickly to create four different hair and make up designs for us in each look. We have spent a lot of time doing our hair and make-up during our Tootsie career and couldn’t believe the talent of these ladies. We believe there’s nothing they can’t do!

Suit jackets by Rokit Vintage and Stewart Parvin

Dresses by Zoe Vine | Cupcakes by Mary Clare

Adam Robertson is an absolute master of photography. He’s so much fun on a shoot it helps to keep everyone relaxed and at ease in front of the camera. He sent us over these shots which we absolutely adored and got us super excited for the final edits (watch this blog…)

Time for a team photo (minus the amazing Arabella)


Photos by Adam Robertson


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Ascot – Day 5 – Mary Poppins

Mary Poppins inspires our final look. The charming, colourful and fun household favourite seemed the ideal choice to round off a sensational week of style, singing, society and sunshine at Royal Ascot. The quintessentially British story, made world famous by Disney, won five Academy Awards, including Best Actress for Julie Andrews, and of course features the delightful animated scene when the carousel horses come to life, springing from the merry go round entering into a race – how very Ascot!


In the same sequence Burt dances with enchanting animated penguins (which happen to be Tootsie Anna’s absolute favourite animal!)

Mary Poppins is one of the best known films for combining live action footage with animation in this way. We are big fans of the blending of the old and the new, as can be heard in our top Tootsie tunes.

The deal was instantly sealed: Day 5 of Royal Ascot 2015 required a Poppins piece de resistance ensemble!

The Dress

We knew we wanted our dress choice to bring a smile to passers by, so we set about finding a fabric that would reflect the animated aspect of Mary Poppins as well as the zingy colours of Bert’s memorable striped blazer. Mary wears full skirts, with this in mind we’ve opted for a similarly flared dress, but have raised the hemline above the nanny’s preferred style, adding a 50s Tootsie twist.


The unusual neckline closes with a feature button; a nod to the practically perfect neatly closed blouse collar, but again with a Tootsie twist.

These dresses are ‘Wendy Lou’  from retro repro designer Lindy Bop.

The Hat

There was no other choice for a sunny Saturday hat than the British classic, the boater! 

We adored Bert’s in the movie and set about to create six replicas using the boaters we wore at Royal Ascot in 2013. Us Tootsie’s love a bit of ‘make do and mend’!

Flo found some beautiful grosgrain in our favourite ribbon shop, V.V.Rouleaux, that matched the dresses perfectly. She sewed it around the hats in stripes, just like Bert’s.

To add a little feminine twist Flo made three cute bows to cover the ribbon join at the back.

In homage to our millinery mentor, Susie Hopkins, she added three orange gems to the centre of the bows. Susie always finishes her marvellous creations with a little Swarovski crystal to catch the eye 😉


It’s Day Five, and if there’s one thing we’ve learnt from our four years at Ascot, it’s that we need a comfy shoe for the final day!!  Of course we also wanted to remain chic and vintage, so we’ve opted for super useful nude wedge from New Look.


There was nothing more perfect for this look than our faithful Collectif pearls.


You can never count on the English Summer weather so we’ve come today armed with three lovely umbrellas from Fulton. We’re sad we couldn’t have a ‘practically perfect’ duck beak on the handle, but they’ll be ‘Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’ if it rains!!!

We hope you’ve enjoyed our Movie-themed week of outfits here at Royal Ascot; we’ve certainly loved putting each of the looks together with the priceless help of stylist-extraordinaire, Joanna Femi-Ola! We love you Jo! Thank you x

Ascot – Ladies Day – The Seven Year Itch



It’s Ladies Day and we’re taking inspiration from Hollywood’s all-time First Lady, Marilyn. Knowing our readers I’m sure we don’t need to spell out which iconic look has inspired day three? Yep, you guessed it! THE white dress.


Not only is Marilyn one of the THE most famous women in film history but we also learnt recently that she was a huge fan of legendary jazz singer (another of our idols) Ella Fitzgerald.  In 1955, Marilyn convinced the owner of her favourite nightclub ‘Mocambo’ in L.A. to lift the colour bar and allow Ella to perform there in return for her sitting on the front row every night that week. The knowledge that these two ladies were firm friends makes us so unbelievably happy. Ultimate girl power!



Today’s look, inspired by Seven Year Itch, left little room for dispute when it came to what style dress to wear; we had to draw on the iconic and unforgettable scene when Marilyn Monroe stands on the subway grate and her skirt get’s blown up in the wind. Whether you’ve seen the film or not, people are familiar with this moment of movie magic!

Unfortunately Royal Ascot’s Dress code prevents us from imitating the famous halter neck design but this gorgeous frock from ASOS does a pretty good job. The under-gathering gives us the same feel as Marilyn’s dress, whilst still maintaining a ‘greater than 1inch strap’. The shirt is full and blousy, perfect for catching any flurries of wind!  We adore them.

Fun fact: The original dress worn by Marilyn sold at auction in 2011 for $4.6m.




Jayne Elwell of The Libertarian Millinery has created six unique hats, each one inspired by a hat Marilyn herself wore. She is using satin and tulle, with a touch of netting, to create headpieces fit for any screen starlet.



We wanted to keep Ladies Day as classic, elegant and vintage as possible and really feel we’ve achieved this with the help of ASOS and Jayne.



By day three of our wonderful Ascot week we knew we would need a special pair of shoes to envelope our weary feet. Today we are wearing Jazz Heel Black Suede Court Shoes by designer Cleo B. They are an elegant, timeless style much like many of the shoes Marilyn Monroe wore.


Our stylist, Jo, had mentioned shoe designer Cleo B to us; specifically her unique shoe clips. As if by magic Meg found herself sat opposite Cleo at a Supper Club evening in London. We love Cleo’s shoe clips – they allow you to embellish your feet according to your mood, and are a perfect addition to our Tootsie style. We like to add a touch of fun wherever possible, exactly as Cleo advocates. Today we’ll be wearing Cleo B Hollywood Natalie Jet Clips to pay homage to Marilyn’s signature song Diamonds Are a Girls Best Friend. We shall be serenading race goers with this ditty to match



We can certainly confirm that Carat London are a girl’s best friend.


Last year on a rainy day in London Town we met the Sunshine that is THE Lulu Guinness over breakfast. We already so much admiration for Lulu & her iconic brand BUT meeting the legend in person transformed that admiration firmly into love.

Lulu is the living, breathing personification of her brand. You will never catch her without her trademark red lipstick. She is inspirational & fun. A business titan with a naughty laugh. Quite simply everything you would hope she would be and so much more! Lulu started her design career creating beautiful colourful brief cases, but buyers wanted bags that were even more “Her”. Soon after the infamous flower basket was created & a brand was born.

Today is ladies day here at Royal Ascot & we will be wearing Lulu Guinness classic lip & lip stick clasp clutches. Not only are these pieces beautiful but the distinctive Dali-esque lips have been key in transporting the Surrealist art movement into mainstream popular culture.
Lulu still lives by the motto of her hero, the Surrealist artisan and fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli, ‘Dare to Be Different’ and the women who wear Lulu Guinness do just that!

Royal Ascot 2015 – Look One – Funny Face


When we saw these stunning out-take shots of Audrey Hepburn from the classic ‘Funny Face’ Tootsie Flo’s imagination went into overdrive with ideas for out first Ascot look.  Audrey is one of our ultimate icons; not only was she a beautiful actress with endless amounts of class, she also devoted herself to charitable causes and in 1992 was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in recognition of her work as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.


With our ‘Audrey Dove’ theme under our hats we took to the internet to find other images to help shape our ideas


Even Gaga is a fan

We took our pinboard of images to the magnificent milliner Bee Smith.  Without even batting an eyelid Bee reeled off her ideas of how to get the look and said she couldn’t wait to get started.





Simultaneously, our incredible Stylist Joanna Femi Ola was meeting with one of our favourite designers Stewart Parvin.  We were lucky enough to wear a collection of Stewart’s gowns on the red carpet last month for The Kevin Spacey Gala at The Old Vid Theatre and were beyond thrilled when he offered to create us a bespoke ‘Audrey’ look for our Day One at Royal Ascot.  Stewart and Joanna opted for a ‘candy pink’ fabric, inspired by the iconic opening number from Funny Face.

The Editor-in-Chief of the fictional magazine ‘Quality’ exclaims “Now, I wouldn’t presume to tell a woman what a woman oughtta think, But tell her if she’s gotta think: think Pink!”


IMG_7230   IMG_7234


Each dress was fitted to our body shapes which gave us an extra confidence boost stepping out at Ascot. We should be in good company with Clare Balding and The Queen being two names on Stewart’s star studded client list!






Our incredible Stylist Joanna Femi Ola
Our incredible Stylist Joanna Femi Ola

Our shoes have been designed for us by the incredible Harriet Wilde. She created the detail on the heels to match our ‘Audrey’  dresses.  We swooned as we opened the box. Such a gorgeous touch!




Carat London have given us some dazzling jewels to complete the look 


Upon re-watching the film recently we discovered that the instrumental theme throughout is Gershwin’s S’wonderful. This has long been a firm favourite of ours and has been in our set for years… We hope you agree that we’ve done a ‘S’wonderful’ job of our outfits today!

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s MGM-inspired look….here’s a little hint:  “doodle-do-do…” 😉

Styling by Joanna Femi Ola

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And the Mad-Hatting begins…

Last week we visited the fabulous Kingston workshop of  milliner Bee Smith. Bee has been ‘hatting’  since 2010 and now creates her master pieces for all occasions, from Royal Ascot to weddings.

She describes her style as Nostalgic Glamour…heavily influenced by vintage pieces with just a hint of eccentricity. It’s this element that drew us to Bee….we are vintage girls who love to wear all things retro BUT, when it comes to Royal Ascot, eccentricity is KEY!
Continue reading

What Inspires Your Vintage Life?

Photography by Logan Photography

Recently a friend made a comment that we just can’t shake:

“I don’t understand the popularity of ‘vintage,’ in particular 1940s nostalgia. I’m sure the only people who look back to emulate the 1940s are those who did not live through it. It was a hard time. “

The Tootsie Rollers don’t believe this to be entirely true. Although we can all recount wartime stories from our grandparents (Meg’s Nana worked as a fire warden on the rooftops of department stores on Oxford Street, Anna’s Nana drove ambulances and Lisa’s Grandma was an evacuee) regular performances to people who lived through the 1940s and 50s tell us otherwise. Audiences seem enlivened, mouthing every word with us as they listen to familiar lyrics, set to our retro inspired music with a contemporary twist. Melodies and uplifting sentiments from the 1940s marry with music written today, and are appreciated by all ages. Why should brilliant music remain in the past? Times change, the gap broadens between now and then, but fundamental human emotions, preoccupations, instincts, and desires remain similar, if not the same. We are vintage inspired women living 2015 lives and see no wrong in remembering the good that resonated through an incredibly difficult time in our country’s history. Continue reading

Vintage at The Oscars

This blog is typed through drooping eye lids from staying up until the wee small hours watching the 87th Annual Academy Awards… But my goodness was it worth it!

Few things excite us Tootsies more than a red carpet. It’s a magical place where handsome men in tuxedos smile & women float on their Louboutins in dresses that make 5 year old us weep with joy! Up do’s, sequins & floor length gowns on a Sunday evening – quite simply heaven!

Here is a run down of our favourite vintage-inspired looks from The Oscars 2015…

Lupita Nyong’o

Best Supporting Actress Presenter 2015

Oh Calvin Klein! This beauty was hand embellished with 6000 pearls. The racer back style & cut out detailing are to die for. Why have a pearl necklace when you can have an entire pearl dress?! Continue reading