Yours Truly, x: December 2011

Bonsoir!

I’m excited about this one guys!

I absolutely adore this blog and I’m lucky enough to know the charming couple, Alec and Margaux, who are behind it!

He is the life and soul of the party, with hilarious stories stockpiled up, and a fantastic collection of dapper vintage clothing. She is a disarmingly beautiful petite french girl, who will charm you with her sweet unassuming ways.

Oh dear..I’m gushing already! Without further ado, introducing, Alec & Margaux of….

Hello Alec and Margaux! How are you today?

A – Im really excited because my daddio is coming to Brighton for his 1st visit! Were going to take him to Devil’s Dyke for a walk in the countryside and maybe go for a cheeky pint after.

M-I’m very good!So happy that Christmas is coming and even more excited about the fact that we’re going to travel to Berlin soon!

How did you meet?

M– We both moved down to brighton at the same time and were next door neighbours. Within a few days of going out we knew that we were meant for each other.

It was our two year anniversary a few days ago, Woo Hoo! We are both believers in true romance.

Your new business venture is called ‘The Splendid Suitcase’ where did that name come from?

A – We were racking our brains for quite a while, then one day, Mango rang me up while I was at work and blurted out THE SPLENDID SUITCASE within a millisecond of me answering.

I thought it was a perfect name as it captured the essence of what we were trying to do and it represented our journeys back and fourth from Port Blanc to Brighton. We wanted to choose a French name but I couldn’t pronounce any of them properly…

How did you get into vintage fashion?

M- I was born in France in a family of vintage fanatics and I grew up going to car boot sales with my parents who started selling vintage goods as their full-time job about 10 years ago.

As a child I wanted to be an archeologist, I think what really amazed me about this job wasn’t quite dinosaur bones but the idea of reviving things that were meant to be forgotten.

When I started following my dad to clear houses, I knew that vintage would be a big part of my life, then when I met Alec and saw how his eyes lit up at the sight of vintage treasures there was no doubt that we were going to become partners in crime!

A – According to my mother I was always into dressing up, whether it was in my boxers singing ‘Blue Suede Shoes’ on the living room window sill for the whole street to see or dressing up in my full chelsea kit just to go to the shops.

I was well into bow ties and stripy dungarees, once upon a time I would never be seen without my trusty duffel coat on, I was like the lad out of East is East except I bathed every so often.

It was when I was living on Brick Lane that I really got into vintage clothing, then I moved to Brighton and managed to land a job at one of the vintage shops running a market stall, et voila.

You both reside in Brighton, describe what you love about living there?

A – The all day drinkers crack me up, totally smashed singing yellow submarine all the way back from the park. One in particular has even made it to a few our gigs, lasting all of about five minutes before getting himself chucked out!

Obviously that isn’t the reason why I love Brighton, just an added perk that the tramps are hilarious. I love the fact that Brighton is so small, it has such a wonderful community filled with eccentric and artistic individuals.

I love being by the sea, it is very calming being able to hear the waves from your bedroom at night, but my favourite thing is that you can drive fifteen minutes out of the city centre and be in the middle of nowhere.

The countryside of East Sussex is magnificent. It is an easy retreat from the hustle and bustle. I love Brighton, it is where I met my Mango.

M– First of all I love our little flat, it is ‘decked’ out like a boat (port holes and everything) I feel really privileged to be living in such a unique place as Brighton. There is something very comforting and familiar about it, it also has some of the quirkiest shops I have ever seen and many wonderful sweet shops (that’s heaven in my book!).

I love that Brighton is constantly buzzing, there is always something going on, the art and music scene are amazing and constantly moving forwards.

I’m always on the hunt for particular items to add to my ever-growing wardrobe, is there anything on either of your wishlists right now?

A – New shoes, always new shoes. I have spent a small fortune on getting my shoes and boots repaired by the cobbler around the corner. Lovely bloke, he was astonished that I had brought him seven pairs to fix within the space of six months.

I needed a new trilby as I wore my previous one to a few festivals and they got muddy to say the least. I managed to find a tan velour Stetson ‘Challenger’.

I am currently challenging myself not to wear it though as I received some horrific information from my hairdresser that if I keep wearing my hat everyday then I shall go bald within 7-10 years. I don’t fancy that… I want a new pair of Oxfords, maybe two tone?

Ooh and a burgundy three button velvet jacket, AND a suede hunting cap with a small peak and fluffy lining, so not a lot really ; )

M – The list is endless but I’ll try and narrow it down! I’ve wanted a 1920s/1930s felt cloche hat for too long now so it’s going to have to be my next buy.

Just like Alec, I desperately need some new shoes, I’m keeping an eye out for some cream brogues and a pair of brown ankle boots. I’m also constantly looking for the perfect 1950s black dress!

Aside from vintage fashion, what else interests you?

M-I have studied fine art for the past few years, I don’t think a day has gone by when I haven’t drawn since I first held a pen. I’m really inspired by art brut (art that was made outside the tradition of fine art the insane, prisoners, outcasts, children, primitive artists etc…)

I admire people who crave creation and dedicate their lives to building and creating things that might not ever be seen by anyone, My favourite piece could very well be Ferdinand Cheval’s ‘Palais ideal’ (ideal palace, 1836-1924) it is one of the most stunning things I have ever seen.

I just love making things & learning new skills, I am so grateful that Alec’s grandmother has recently given us her beautiful 1950s Singer sewing machine, I cannot wait to start experimenting with it!

A – Music. My mother played violin in the London Ragtime Orchestra. I remember going to my first open air concert at Ealing Jazz Festival. With all the boater jackets, hats, fancy frocks and Scott Joplin numbers, I was hooked!

My father also played bass in ‘Lost Patrol’ so I didn’t really get much choice in the matter. I started off on the violin and piano then got inspiration from Dick Cook who was the leader of the LRO and picked up the clarinet to try and be the next Acker Bilk, then saxophone and various other instruments.

I am currently studying a degree in drumming and play bass in The Peppermint Beat Band (Please Have A Listen!!!) I love playing in this band, great bunch of lads who are all extremely talented. We have been together for two years now and I hope we continue to make music together for a long long time.

It’s a rainy Sunday afternoon…Where would we find you?

M – We would probably be at home eating a roast dinner, but you might find us on brighton beach if I’ve managed to drag poor Alec in the cold and wet to go watch the waves!

A – I love it really! But not while the footy is on, or just after the roast, unless you fancy like rollin’ me there…

Where do you source the gorgeous items you’re selling?

M -Everything on our Etsy shop is sourced in France, my dad has a bric a brac shop in which he doesn’t really sell any of the clothes he gets hold of.

So instead of them being hidden or collecting dust somewhere, we immediately knew that our task was to get these clothes into the eyes of vintage fashion lovers! It is very rewarding knowing that they will go to good homes where they will be loved, worn and appreciated!

What’s on your wish list for Christmas, and what do you hope for in the New Year?

A– Christmas: Well it’s not much but the other half of my tooth would be quite nice! I did get it capped but the dentist failed to tell me not to eat apples within 12 hours…

New Year: I hope the new year will produce some sort of gym? The ol’ Chrismas weight is piling on and by then I’ll be as big as the father himself.

M– Christmas: The most wonderful present this Christmas is Alec’s mom coming over to France to finally meet my family. Christmas is such a joyous season, we thought it would be the perfect occasion for them to meet. I just cannot wait !!!

New year: I hope I’ll be able to join Alec’s gym! But to be honest if the new year brings as many great things as it did this year then I will be over the moon.

What does the future hold for ‘The Splendid Suitcase’?

We are taking another trip to France in the next couple of weeks, very excited! Be sure to check the shop in the very near future as we will certainly be bringing quite a few treasures back with us!!!

Our first month of selling on Etsy has blown us away, we have had so much fun and received some great feedback that we are very grateful for. Blogging has also been such a lovely experience, we’re so excited to keep it up and see what comes next!

Thank you so much for featuring us on your wonderful Blog, we both love you very much Kerry.

A huge thank you to Alec & Margaux for such an interesting interview!

And because it’s Christmas (fast approaching!) I have another blog giveaway for you all! One lucky reader will receive a £20 voucher to spend on whatever they wish in The Splendid Suitcase Etsy Store!

I wish I could win this one myself! To enter, simply follow The Splendid Suitcase blog HERE and leave a comment on this post, saying what you hope Father Christmas will bring you!

Winners will be announced before Christmas!

And finally! The winner of the Modcloth giveaway is…

Siel!

Congratulations, please email me your address so I can post off your gorgeous new make up bag!

Love Yours Truly, x