The Jazz Emporium

Let's get our Vintage on!


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Guest Blog by Jessica James; Twistin’ The Night Away!

Themed club nights; I’m a big fan. They give the appearance of being just a bit more special than your average night out. They’re also an excuse to put forth some effort and dress up. But really, do I need an excuse?? No, not really. This is my second time attending THE GREEN DOOR in Edinburgh. The name brings to mind The Emerald City in the Wizard of Oz, with that strange little fellow guarding the door. Bouncers sure have changed. In fact, this club has nothing to do with Oz and has a bit more kick to it.

So, where have you been tonight, love?

Posters of skeleton swing dancers adorn the walls; red table clothes drape the tables with a loverly bowl of vintage sweets as the centerpiece. After the customary trip to the toilet for lipstick reapplication (I was sporting a sassy pink), we order drinks and have a seat around the bowl of drumsticks and sweeties. It feels a bit like a school dance (in a good way), where the boys and girls should be on opposite sides of the room, to later intermingle on the dance floor. The place is still pretty empty (it was way cheaper to get in early), so we sit back and enjoy the music while I keep my eyes peeled for a potential swing-dance partner. I’m not that good, but I know a few moves… I used to practice with my cousin in my garage. I know, I’m such a square.

The music was fantastic!! 50’s, 60’s, Doo Wop, Surf and Rock n Roll. I belong in this scene, and I’m chompin’ at the bit to get the dance floor started. They have all the amazing tunes, EXCEPT Tina Turner. My flat mate requested to have the legendary lady played with no success. I’ve recently re-watched What’s Love Got to Do With It, and my devotion to this fine firecracker of a woman is freshly renewed. But giving them the benefit of the doubt, maybe the DJs were unaware of her magnificence. Power in persistence, I’ll try again next time.

One thing I truly appreciate is seeing everyone’s effort to look the part. Loads of gals are in polka dotted, full-skirted dresses. My flat mate opted for the bad girl look: leather bomber jacket with a high ponytail, completed by a cigarette behind the ear. Oh the options! Many of the gents were in braces and slicked back hair, and I may have even seen a bowtie Frugging around.

Now onto what I was wearing; a dress, of course. This is nothing particularly out of the norm. In fact, my Mom says, so fond of dresses am I, that I refused to wear trousers until I was 9 years old. And even then, I eased myself in with a skort (remember those?! Yuck.). Now back to my outfit choice, I picked this little number up at a charity shop when it looked like an 80’s mess: full-length skirt, long sleeves, giant shoulder pads, splashed with orange, aqua and purple and a matching belt. I altered it into a short-sleeved, knee length charm. With the help of a pink crinoline underneath to aid with dancing swish action, it looks proper 1950’s. BAM!! Hemming a full skirt is rather tedious without a sewing machine. But my dancing frock was worth every stitch.

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Guest Blog by Jessica James: Mad Men & Me

I strongly believe in thank you cards, ladies gloves and vacuuming in heels while sipping a tasty mint julep. Was I born into the wrong decade? I was re-watching one of my favorite episodes of Mad Men (Joan sings a French tune with accordion accompaniment), when I thought of how much more I may prefer to live in that swell world. This series is amazing and has an astounding attention to detail. Their costuming department works very hard to remain true to the times. If one has not seen this programme, one should remedy the situation directly!

As I’ve always wanted to be a ginger, Joan, the smart and sassy office manager is of course my favorite character; red hair, curves to the max, and a killer wardrobe. Unfortunately in this world where men rule the roost, Joan finds it incredibly difficult to rise any higher within the company during the first couple of seasons. On a side note, I have recently come to acquire a Joan pen, the ultimate accessory (please see picture below).

On the other end of the spectrum is Peggy. Will someone not give this girl a makeover?! What she lacks in looks and style, she makes up for in determination. Peggy gains a notable promotion that is typically only granted to individuals of the male gender. Even though she still kind of annoys me in a general way…good job Peggy.

Betty Draper starts off the series conveying the image of the perfect little housewife (this goes through some changes). She is a stay at home mom with fabulous full-skirted dresses, doing all housework in heels. Honestly, she’s more than a bit of a lush and married to the delicious Don Draper. Oh, delectable Don Draper: the hair, the suits, the voice. That is all I have to say about that.

So obsessed (maybe ‘obsessed’ is a tad strong, let’s go with ‘intrigued’) with the 1950’s am I, that while living in NYC, I would have “1950’s Housewife Day” with a friend of mine. Yes, there is someone out there just as kooky as moi. In this, we usually donned dresses (don’t forget the cute little apron), heels, and baked cupcakes.

Example of my dedication and love of the 1950’s:
I don’t know if anyone has experienced a New York summer, but it can be BRUTAL. It was the height of summer, a gazillion degrees with 100% humidity. My flat did not have air-conditioning, but we 1950’s housewife wannabes persevered. With the cupcakes in the oven, I put on another layer of deodorant; it’s not ladylike to stink. Makeup was melting off my face while frosting those cuppycakes. Being a 1950’s housewife is definitely easier in milder weather.

 

Yes, at times I think I’m living in the wrong time period. The styles of dresses from the 50’s are flattering on gals with curves (example: Joan). I love the clothing and accessories for both men and women. Naturally, this leads me to the conclusion that I want to live back then. But looking closer at women’s daily lives and roles from that time, it’s maybe not as attractive as I originally thought. Taking Mad Men as an example, the women look fabulous, but they have it a bit rough with regards to respect in the workplace and general freedom. I suppose I am best left in present day. Le Sigh.

I still enjoy a cocktail at 3 in the afternoon, while doing laundry of course.


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Sneak Peek Pantheon Project…

Yeah, alright, clam yer gobs all you lot; we know we’ve been tardy of late. We know we’ve been making promises to share with all our Jazz fans details of when the new shop is to be launched, only to then not pipe up again for weeks… But heeey, it was Chrissstmaaaas!

Now that we’ve used our get out of jail free card (only valid at the beginning of the year…) we wanted to appease those who might be a little miffed from our recent lack of communication with a little sneak peek at the glorious editorial shots Laura McKinnon produced for us. These gorgeous shots are only a delectable nibble of the gorgeous biscuit that will be our Pantheon Project campaign shoot when we fully share it with you. But of course one can only share a biscuit once it is baked to perfection, so stay tuned and we promise (for realz this time) that soon all our baking will be complete, and lordy, what a tea party we shall have!
Hmm, I may have squeezed that metaphor for all it was worth; please excuse my crumby writing (Oh ho ho…) and feast your eyes upon these gorgeous bad boys…

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Tell us what you think below!


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ASOS Marketplace & The Pantheon Project

Oh dear, I think we might have been so busy planning and preparing that it might have slipped our mind to tell everyone about the upcoming launch of our …

NEW ASOS Marketplace shop!

Sorry guys, this is clearly something all  jazz fans should be aware of; The Jazz Emporium is finally setting up permanent residence with a little online shoppe of their own on ASOS Marketplace to bring our ethereal wares directly to your front room (office, toilet – where ever you kids surf the internet these days…).

And if the launch of our new shop isn’t enough to set off some tingling in your spine, maybe some more information about our wares  themselves will do the trick…

We’ve recently clubbed together with the theatre group The Pantheon Club; you may remember them from their mass costume sale we talked about on the blog a month or so back. Not content with just sharing their costumes, however, the club opened their doors to The Jazz, and allowed us to scurry back and forth between their three huge storage rooms stuffed with clothes & accessories, letting us source the best vintage collection from their rails we’ve seen in years! Not to make y’all jealous or anything, but the contents of those rooms could have driven any sane fashion junkie to fall to their knees and gibber with delight as they trailed their fingers through the 70s maxi dresses, 50s evening dresses and suits and rolled joyously in a pile of vintage fur coats they might make a nest of on the floor… Did The Jazz Emporium do that? Ahem, well…

Anyway, we aim to bring this fine collection of vintage pieces directly to our customers, and therefore when we launch our shop, it will be filled with entirely newly sourced pieces from the Pantheon rooms. Oodles of fresh, unseen vintage for you jazz fans to sink your sartorial teeth into, and to make what you will with!

We’re hoping you’ll make an outfit that oozes your own attitude and enter the results into photographic form into our style competition (the best way to win yourself further vintage treats for free!)…

If you’ve been following our facebook page or profile, you’ll have seen our Pantheon Project backstage photos, and will have some heady hints already as to what kind of gorgeous clothes will be featured on the ASOS shop. If not, why not? Get the hell over there and check it out!

So in short, here’s our suggested list of things to do for Jazz Fans:

  1. Keep your eyes peeled for our new ASOS shop launch!
  2. Take a sneaky peek to salivate over what treats will be on sale soon.
  3. Come back to the blog on Monday to see our own Street Style spotting we’ve been conducting over the past few days… What does the Jazz think of your style??
  4. Check out The Pantheon Club , who are currently performing their version of the classic, Beauty and the Beast in The Kings Theatre in Glasgow, from the 15th – 19th of Novemeber. Our very own Jazzine is even helping out behind the scenes! We would say look out to see if you can spot her, but in this instance, she will be as unseen as a black cat in the night. And as supple and agile too (hmm, maybe not…).
That’s all for now, Jazz Fans, we can’t wait to share the launch date of the shop with you!!


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Guest Blogger; Hannah – Dapper Gents

The Beatles. How I adore them. How other millions of people also adore them.

Everyone has their favourite Beatle, whether it was John for his crazy ways and NHS Specs, or Paul for his aloof smile and puppy dog eyes, or Ringo…. for whatever reason people like Ringo. (I kid, I kid.) But for me the greatest Beatle is without a doubt (Sitar equivalent of a drumroll please…)
George Harrison. *sigh* Beautiful, Intelligent, Musically Wonderous, Gorgeous, Style Maverick Harrison.
Being such a fan girl of Harrison I often find myself accidently rocking a George-inspired outfit, though maybe not quite as fabulously radical as paisley, bell bottoms and an afghan coat -but we will see what the future holds for my wardrobe.

Something that I have noticed about my personal favourite man from times gone by, is how much of a fashion chameleon he was. In some ways I think the sartorial appeal of Harrison may be similar to the appeal of barbie to my younger self; there’s a George Harrison outfit for every occasion. Dare to doubt me? Let me elucidate…

Outfit One – Funeral George


He’s all dressed up and ready to mourn. He may also be ready to smoke malboro lights and drink black coffee whilst discussing Rimbaud, that’s just how funeral George rolls.

Outfit Two – Weekend George


It’s simple cashmere sweater and smart trouser time. Here he is playing guitar, but this outfit makes him fully prepared for brunch in a nearby cafe, a leisurley stroll through Regent’s Park or a Scrabble tournament.
Outfit Three – Cinema George


Off to see a movie in 3D? Feareth not! This George comes complete with his own pair of groovy three dimensional spectacles!* Elton John thought he had it going on in the snazzy glasses department, but he aint got nothing on Harrison. Heck, he’s even giving Lennon a run for his money!
(*Ok, so they are technically not 3D glasses, but we can totally assume that George could have gotten his hands on a pair in the sixties…)
Outfit Four – DOUBLE DENIM GEORGE

Whooaaa! Pushing the fashion boundaries! This edition of George will give you a run for your money in the crazy outfit stakes – and win. Hands down. Every time. It should not work, but it does – it so does. Note: This George is limited edition, later versions of George fail miserably when trying to pull off double denim. Most notably eighties George.

Outfit Five – D.I.Y George

May also be known as William Morris wallpaper George, or Sound of Music curtain outfit George. Either way you can be assured that if times get hard, this man can rework every day household objects into flamboyant fineries and still look smoking.

and finally…

Ultimate test of hetrosexuality George

It’s the classic Sergeant Pepper look. Yes, they may all be wearing their silk military style suits with suitable aplomb but have the others really got anything on George?! Look at that stance! He knows he’s rocking a salmon pink silk suit and there’s the cheeky thumbs up to prove it. Ringo? Fuschia? Nice try…

Hetrosexuality test George shows that once in a while, a man comes along and proves that it is possible to remain masculine in a tight, satin, salmon pink suit.

And there we have it. Perfection itself. Now excuse me, I’m off to ebay me a pair of lime green flares a la Saville Row gig George…

Hannah x


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Calling All Bag Hags!

Forget fag hags, we know what you jazz fans really are; a great big gaggle of bag hags!

Watch this space for some bee-yoo-tiful bags coming your way on our ebay shop this week!

Included in the selection will pieces from the collectable brands Waldy Bag & Air Step – both vintage 60s and both cute as pie. There will also be several Kelly style elbow dangling delights to choose from; perfect if you fancy injecting a little period feel into an outfit! Madmen all the way…

Are you a bag hag or do you suffer from a severe case of bag one-itus? Let us know in the comment box below!


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Sassy Bearcat of the Week: Joan Holloway

Madmen’s loved and most influential stylistically character, Joan Holloway, has stolen the style icon crown this week. Heralded for her curvy physique (referred to commonly and patronizingly as plus-size), Joan injects a feline allure into the prim time period of the series, and leads us all to the shocking conclusion that, yes, our grandparents probably DID like sex.

Well, actually, from all my grandpa’s comments throughout the ages about ‘dishy dames’, I feel I was maybe a little too aware of that fact of historical human nature already…

As is evident to any who carry eyes within their head (or fingers on their hands for those lucky enough to get to grips with the character herself) Joan is no skinny minnie. She ain’t no Agnes Dean or Daisy Lowe, whose cupcake chests and snooker cue arms luckily provide just enough substance to hang delectable clothes from. No, in the wardrobe of life, those much revered ladies are the coat hangers on the rack which we flick through absent mindedly, coveting a piece here and there, situated at random around the shopping floor; much of a muchness and a little bland.Joan, however, is the mannequin presiding on the podium,  surveying all the racks around her. Filling the clothes and bringing them to life, clad in perfectly pinned to fit outfits that are both striking and human at once. And boy, do we want to emulate that!

It’s the perfectly nipped in dresses, the expertly coiffed hair & the pencil skirts that just ooze sex, despite the low hemline and high neck lines; it’s a lesson to every platform sheathed, hot panted bimbo that naively grinds all night in Bamboo; if you want to be sexy, less flesh is more. Sure, the eager lads might not pant down your neck when you hit the dance floor in a round neck, fitted pencil dress and demure heels, but in order to tap into your real sexual confidence, you need to dress how you want, not as you want to be perceived.

Of course, Joan Holloway is really just a character played by Christina Hendricks, and has talented costume designer Katherine Jane Bryant to adjust her outfits to fit perfectly, but if we suspend this reality for a moment and just take time to evaluate Joan’s style as Bryant has read it to be, we can see that it all leads to one overwhelming message; being yourself and comfortable in who you are and how you dress is sexy.

And so is this.

No-one minds when Joan buts in.

For more inspiration from her see below – and check out the amazing paper dolls! We’re off to print our own set out now.

We want one!!