The Jazz Emporium

Let's get our Vintage on!

Last Chance Jazz Saloon

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Last Chance Jazz Saloon

Dayumm, girrrl – look at those cheap threads!


Get yer cute little butts down to The Jazz Emporium’s last ever sale on the Galashiels campus at their Heriot-Watt Union – we’re closing down, guys!
Sad for us, but a hella good opportunity for y’all to get your grubby mitts on some seriously cheap vintage…

How CAN you resist?


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Sassy Bearcat of the Month

Hello Jazz fans!

It has been a while since we’ve featured one of our style icons, but after a long uninspiring gap, we’ve finally found one worth featuring!

‘Who is this angel of style?’ We hear you ask. ‘What sort of sartorially scintillating person could have captured your attention again after so long an absence?’

We answer thus; a characters so chock full of attitude and brave, on-trend style that just watching her on screen is akin to shopping at ASOS. That is, if ASOS included brass knuckle dusters and death metal iconography in their vast selection of stock… Which, actually, probably is exactly the case!

Meet Vod, from Channel Four’s delightfully cringe-tastic ‘Fresh Meat’. Students and ex-students alike can identify with the setting of the grungy student-shared house, weird, substandard lecturers and awful part time jobs that define a student’s existence. Harder to relate to, for many, however, is the aspirational costume design of the series; particularly obvious in Vod.



Played by the foxy Zawe Ashton, Vod doesn’t mess about when it comes to style. In fact, she doesn’t mess about with anything, really. Self-confident and bold, she’s the epitome of a ‘yes woman’, clutching any style, trend or look that takes her fancy and rocking it effortlessly. True to the brave individuality of British style, she often hardens each sartorial foray with her signature industrial boots, or a similar post-punk edge. She is no clothes horse – the clothes work for her.

So, Vod, what do you feel like making your style bitch today?

Blue lips?



Gentrified androgyny?



1920s spit curls?Image


A 90s nod to dummies as accessories?



Sexin’ it up in a chambermaid uniform? Er, yes…



Let’s face it, this girl could jump naked into a skip and emerge draped in a black bin bag belted with a frayed curtain tie, draping a dead fox round her neck – and she’d be looking fan-bloody-tastic. The confidence with which she pulls off remnants of by-gone eras, or simply just remnants of clothes is awe-inspiring.



And it seems that Vod isn’t just the creation of the costume designer; Zawe herself projecting influences into her character’s style; 

“This job is such a touch! It is so collaborative but you can also trust every single department to just be on it. If I send June (Niven), our costume designer, a picture of Prince and say this is our touchstone for this series – the next thing you know I’m wearing a ruffle shirt, a bolero jacket and my hair’s sticking up and it’s Prince. She runs with it, she is so inventive.”

Having the face behind Vod inject her own opinion on the character just makes her feel all the more authentic…


Wanna echo Vod’s look? Slap on some plum lipstick, artfully rip a few holes into whatever your wearing and strut out into the street like you were born to wear it. Make no excuses and atone for no sins; Vod would never be so embarrassing…

Big up to bin bag chic! Next time, we’ll take a peek at another Fresh Meat bearcat; Oregon.



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Fall Doune The Rabbit Hole with us…

The Jazz are so excited to be taking their vintage wares to this year’s DOUNE THE RABBIT HOLE at Duncarron Fort, Carron Valley Forest, Kilsyth on  Friday 24 – Sunday 26 of August 2012. The line up this year looks amazing! We’re over the moon to be going back to this small Scottish festival, it has such a lovely mellow vibe.  Tickets are super affordable and there is even a shuttle bus from Glasgow.

We can’t wait :)

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Sassy Bearcat of the Week – Josephine Baker


So talented a singer was Josephine Baker that she was the main inspiration for Shirley Bassey. So striking and hypnotic in her dancing performances and style was she that she became the muse to countless artists including F. Scott Fitzgerald, Pablo Picasso and Christian Dior – and Ernest Hemmingway who described her as “… the most sensational woman anyone ever saw.”





So socially and politically minded was she that she she was recruited as a spy for the allied forces, using her celebrity status to smuggle vital information crucial to the French resistance during the German occupation of France in WW2. So sharp was her civil consciousness that after Martin Luther King’s death, his wife approached Josephine with the request that she take King’s place as the leader of the movement. Such a responsible family figurehead was she that she turned it down in protest that her children ‘…were too young to lose their mother.’

She had 12 adopted children from multi-ethnic backgrounds which she named her “Rainbow Tribe” – Angelina Jolie has nothing on her!


For these reasons alone there need be no further argument as to why Josephine is this week’s sassy bearcat. More than her style – her presence alone seemed to radiate what the jazz hopes to emulate even to the minutest degree; an embracing of oneself and others around you. She exudes the carefree liberal nature of the 20s and glamour of the 30s, crazying up her stage outfits with huge feather hats (or nothing at all!) and accompanied at all times by her pet cheeta who sometimes escaped and terrorized the audience.



What a woman; especially bearing in mind aged 12 she was sleeping rough in the slums of St Louis, scavenging from bins and dancing on street corners. Well, we certainly think she’s some woman. And with a single glance at her infamous Banana Dance – her confident and outlandish character wouldn’t give two hoots if you disagreed…


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Guest Post by Jessica James: New Discoveries in Thriftland/Scotland

 I have discovered three new things this week…

Thing Number 1: Carboot sales are marvellous. Now don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of junk present at these shindigs, but there are wee gems to be had as well. I went to the car boot sale in the omni centre, where I was mystically drawn to a pair of boots from across the crowded lot. My brain wheels were a-spinning! Were they real leather? Yes. Were they my size? Yes. They make me drool in a very unladylike way, with their lovely soft grey leather and buttons down the side, giving off a Victorian/steam punk flair. Just take a wee cheeky peek yourself!

They are defo the find of the month…if not the year!!      [Editor – OOOooooh they are awesome!!!]

Thing Number 2: A wise woman once said that mending = new clothes (thanks Vero). I’ve done a hefty amount of mending over the past week, which, according to Vero’s rule = new clothes at no cost! Also, while completing stage one cleanout of the closet of doom, I found an old busted straw hat. Said closet of doom has been nagging at my cleaning conscience and its chalk full of junk and gems from past tenants of my flat. To be honest, I’m quite impressed that so much stuff can be crammed into such a small space. Fortunately I’ve now completed Stage One Doom Diminishment, which resulted in 7 bin bags of rubbish, 4 bags to the charity shop, and one straw hat for yours truly. Stage Two is scheduled to take place next week.

Righto, lets get back on track with the straw hat repairs; a diamond in the rough. I stitched it up and put a bird on it (Hello Portlandia fans). No, actually I put a bow on it as I was fresh out of birds. Check it! Fashionable protection from the sun and it also makes me feel as if I’m wearing my Sunday best.

Thing Number 3: Keeping in the vein of goal accomplishment, I have wanted to discover Scotland since I’ve moved here. A majority of my time has been spent in dear Edinburgh with short jaunts over to Glasgow and up to Dundee. Last weekend I had the delight of taking a wee day trip from Dundee to Kenmore.


As you can see, the scenery was beautiful, and I’ve never seen so many sheep in all my days!! This made me a very happy camper. I had the pleasure of going into Scotland’s oldest hotel, not to be confuzzled with this fancy hobbit hole as shown below.

Next, I happened upon Europe’s oldest tree. For your information, that happens to be a Yew tree. Please see the sign below.

There were also some circles of ancient standing stones that are rumoured to be around. But time became scarce, and I was forced to move on. Oh well, I suppose I will just have to go back again, or actually make it all the way up to the Orkney Islands. On the plus side, I did see a waterfall!

What’s your new discovery?

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Song for Sunday: Electro Hangover Cure

This is a timed post, because I sense that the Jazz will be nursing a hangover after a night out in g-town! Does anyone else listen electro to prevent them from feeling groggy?

Not only is this new song from Hot Chip from amazing, but it’s endearing that essentially they’re just middle-aged men in dapper suits rocking out!