Indian Summers costumes, a little retrospective post…

Well, Indian Summers may have been on a while ago, and I know you’re supposed to blog about current trends, but I’m an old fashioned gal… When I trawl the internet for sewing inspiration, I often put in the names of past films and TV series for inspiration. Indian Summers had some sumptuous 1930s evening dresses, and floaty summer dresses and smart tailored day dresses, worn by it’s aristocratic and high powered cast of characters. As we rarely get a chance to wear such glamour these days (and let’s face it, who really did in the day either?), this is in the realm of fantasy for most of us – of course the cast centre around an exclusive and high powered members club. But if you love vintage style, a 1930s themed hen party or vintage hollywood hen party or birthday day out in a wonderful vintage venue would be a great place to get to wear something like this though, if you could source, hire or sew such outfits (we have provided dresses a little like this for our hens through our vintage dress hire expert… See our previous blog post).

Here’s one of my favourite evening gowns, a summer dress with wonderful cutting using stripes to great effect in different directions. The top is loose, and empire line. I love the two black godets on the sides. I feel I could sew something like this but would have to trawl for some fabric like this that looked so authentic with the different width stripes. The glamorous American character Madeleine had some of the most glamorous dresses.

Indian summers evening gown


Here’s the floral day dress worn for travel by Alice, courtesy of Masterpiece website.

I really love these two straight skirted day dresses. The flounce at the bottom with the triangular inserts at the top of each flounce is very characteristically 30s. The large collar with all that detail is also extremely 30s.


Think butterfly sleeves and godets if you’re looking to reproduce something thirties in your sewing, or if you’re looking for a 1930s hen party outfit. You could find dresses with features like this from vintage shops and fairs that are not 30s, but would do the job. Look for satins and shiny fabrics.

Remember the tension filled fashion show in series two? Here is Madeleine’s low backed dress.


I thought it was rather realistic that Julie Walters’ character, as an older woman, had found her period in the 1920s and stayed there, with the loose, drop waisted party dresses of this era. This one is chiffon over an underslip style bottom layer and has a sailor style collar.

1920s indian summers




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A rather slinky Charleston dance hen party in London


dance class 1

Ooh la la! These ladies decided to get slinky in their Charleston dance class in London and got down on the floor! For a Charleston dance hen party in London, Oxford or even Cheltenham, a feather boa is an essential piece of kit. A string of long beads won’t go amiss, and even a 1920s fascinator or 1920s headband! These ladies also had one of our hen party craft workshops and made their own fascinators! You can see them sporting them in the group picture below, and see some of what they made in these photos. Other vintage dance classes for hen parties that we offer include: 1940s Swing Era Dance Class, 1950s rock n roll and even 1980s dance classes! We also offer vintage hair and make up and a range of vintage venues – we even offer a vintage etiquette class and vintage piano player for your party. Look at our vintage hen parties on the website for more images!

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A Charleston Dance Class in London for an elegant vintage hen party

Holly's 1920's Hen Party 022

Here is one of our hen parties learning the Charleston basic step, and putting their right foot forward! This post is going to be a bit of a Charleston dance moves 101! Their Charleston Dance Class in London – was part of a rather glamorous vintage hen party in Sidcup, Kent to be precise! We can cater for large hen party groups in our vintage dance classes and the wood panelled hall was just perfect for a group of this size! Here they are again dancing the Charleston basic step with a swivel – the lady in the middle clearly has the hang of that swivelling foot!

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And it’s possible to dance those Charlestons walking forward with your hands above your head too!

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Doesn’t our Charleston dance teacher look elegant in her dropped waisted white dress? With her hair in kiss curls at the front? And here are the girls again Charleston dancing from the back!

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And now they’re learning the black bottom, a move where you bend forward and slap your buttocks then rock backwards and forwards shouting ‘ooh, ahh!’

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And here they are striking some poses – it was common to strike a pose in a 1920s dance class. That’s how the flappers liked to roll. Charleston dance is all about the attitude and the swagger!

And lastly, here are some photos of them dancing the mess around. You put your hands on your hips, bend your knees slightly then bounce rhythmically while rotating your hips slowly,! and don’t be shy, push that bottom right out at the back! And get those hips out at the sides!

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And here is the final pose in the Charleston dance routine! We can create a Charleston dance routine for your wedding, especially if you had fun at the hen party! Even a flashmob!


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Let’s Misbehave song lyrics

I do love an elegant 1920s ditty. Cole Porter’s Let’s Misbehave, naughty but nice.

We’ve choreographed a fun 1920s flashmob to this one for a 1920s Christmas party. It’s a great idea for the sports and social club to get together, rehearse a routine, and flashmob the 1920s Speakeasy party or Gatsby themed event! We also sent our dancers to this party and they got a whole bunch of chartered accountants dancing a competitive Charleston dance off by the end of the party, oh it was fun! See Dancers for parties and events on our website.
We’re all alone,
No chaperone
Can get our number,
The world’s in slumber,
Let’s misbehave!

There’s something wild
About you, child,
That’s so contagious,
Let’s be outrageous,
Let’s misbehave!

When Adam won Eve’s hand,
He wouldn’t stand
For teasin’,
He didn’t care about
Those apples out of season!

They say the Spring
Means just one thing
To little lovebirds;
We’re not above birds,
Let’s misbehave!
Let’s misbehave!…

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Rock Around the Clock lyrics, Bill Haley and the Comets

Follow the instructions in these lyrics for a fun Friday night, hens!
One, two, three o’clock, four o’clock rock
Five, six, seven o’clock, eight o’clock rock.
Nine, ten, eleven o’clock, twelve o’clock rock
We’re gonna rock around the clock tonight.
Put your glad rags on and join me hon’
We’ll have some fun when the clock strikes one.
We’re gonna rock around the clock tonight
We’re gonna rock, rock, rock, ’till broad daylight
We’re gonna rock around the clock tonight.

Bill Haley – Rock Around The Clock

So, if you’re inspired and in the mood for a bit of rock and roll dance, why not book one of our 1950s dance classes? The fifties is a great theme for a vintage hen party and you’ve just got to love the jumping and jiving music!


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Vintage nights out in London

Hello hens and partygoers who love vintage!

Here are some ideas for nights out after your vintage hen party activities.

We do love a 1920s hen party in London, our Charleston dance classes in London are very popular. Or people go for a more relaxing affair and have our 1920s hair and make up. Where better to bust some Charleston dance moves after your class than at the Candlelight Club?

candlelight  – dates are only every couple of months so plan your hen party carefully to coincide with this!

The older Prohibition Party is now more seldom running nights but worth checking out in case it does coincide with your 1920s hen or birthday party date.

The Murder Express

The Murder Express is also very special, takes you back to the early 20th century and to the world of Agatha Christie novels. What a great idea!

Oh and how exciting and original! murder on the orient express anyone? Get taken back to the early 20th century and feel like you’re in an Agatha Christie novel, and we can help you get dressed up with our vintage hair and make up.

Or want to go to true cruise line decadence? Try the SS Altlantica party

What if you’re going 1940s?

blitz pparty

Then the Blitz party is the way to go, and would be great after a 1940s makeover or 1940s swing dance class. We do special wartime themed hair and make up you know!

The next one is Saturday 9th June 2018.

And what about 1950s? For London vintage hen parties there’s a night out for everyone! Have our 1950s hair and make up or check out our vintage hen party activities in London.



And lastly, it’s time to go retro! We have a new 1980s dance class and 1980s hair and make up to match. So how about a 1980s night out to go with that? What a fab combination of disco DJs, aerialists and circus in 1980s leotards – what more could you want? Go to Rouges.


Or head to the Tropicana Beach Club for an exotic lagoon pool style dance floor cocktails and palm tree and bird decor! The 80s is back in and a Wham Club Tropicana hen party dance routine couldn’t be more apt, for preparing you to bust some moves here!





Posted in 1920s hen parties, 1940s dressing up, 1940s hen party, 1950s dance, 1950s events, 1950s hair and make up, 1950s hen party, Charleston Dance classes, dressing up, Events, Retro hen parties 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, vintage hair and make up, vintage hen parties in London | Tagged

New venue for vintage hen parties near Henley..

Ooh, I’m so excited! We’ll soon have a new venue for our vintage hen parties near Henley… And if you’re looking for a vintage hen party near Reading but in the countryside, it’s perfect for you. It even has a swimming pool, a terrace with a wonderful view of the beautiful grounds, and a long dining table in a wonderful tudor wood panelled room. If you’re looking for a luxury hen party in a country house venue, or mansion, you’re just going to love this. It has accommodation, or you can book out the whole place for the day… It’s going to be wonderful for 1920s Downton Abbey style hen parties, or Great Gatsby themed parties. It’s going to be amazing for a world war two themed party or a 1950s chic theme, or a vintage hollywood hen party would look just right there… Just wait, I’ll tell you more very soon…

1920s portrait


image copyright Catherine Hadler Creative Commercial Photography


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