Monday, 26 August 2013

A Good Ol' Show For 'PUNCH & Rudy'...

                     Couture girdle dresses & lingerie inspired outerwear.
                                                       Made in England.
         Mr. Punch sniggered. "There's no use in trying", he said,
                            "You couldn't - not possibly - not ever choose just one!"
                            "I dare say you're right", sighed Rudy,
                             "It's impossible... in which case I shall buy all six before breakfast!"
                                   (Adapted for Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland).
Antique in its design, but not outmoded. Traditional, yet not conventional. With its sensual & risqué modern twist; I bring you the alluring, exclusive body contouring lingerie-inspired outerwear creation, that is 'PUNCH & Rudy'...

I was honoured when I was asked by the founder of the vivaciously Victorian 'PUNCH & Rudy', to write a blog post about her new & innovative brand. Instantly, I was presented with something I knew would be no challenge for me to speak about enthusiastically!

'PUNCH & Rudy' represents the fashions seen in film productions such as Moulin Rouge & the stage costumes of Les Miserables. To me it sets the scene & tells the story of forbidden romances & lovers united amongst the labyrinthine gardens of French palaces, vampiric escapades that reflect the flickering flames of rusting candelabras in Dracula-esque castles. It cries-out into the pea-soup thick foggy nights of Victorian England, trotting along the darkened, age-old, cobbled streets of ol' London Town in a handsome cab. Its a fantastical & surreal trip into the spiralling world of Alice In Wonderland; where a pleasant afternoon would be spent delighting in the many cakes at a tea-party that awaited me upon the strange, juxtaposing table of the Mad Hatter, or playing for my life, well, at the very least my head, in a gruelling game of chess with the usurper herself, The Queen of Hearts! 'PUNCH & Rudy' offers a range of garments that allow you to feel as if you have escaped the modes of modernity & fluttered into bygone days... 'PUNCH & Rudy' packs a punch & then some!

Founded by Lynsey Genders in July 2012, 'PUNCH & Rudy' is beginning to take the lingerie-as-outerwear world by storm, with its seductive, sensual & traditional designs. In a conversation with lady 'PUNCH & Rudy' herself, Lyn revealed:

"'PUNCH & Rudy was created because I couldn't find anything in the outerwear fashion market that even slightly resembled the gorgeous retro girdles from decades ago! It seemed such a shame that so many sumptuous designs were going to waste and had been hidden under outer garments for so long. It was so obviously a unique selling point to me; surely if I was looking for such a garment then there must be others wanting something similar (hence my girdle dress designs were born). They are inspired by the vintage girdles from days gone by."

Boasting only the finest of materials for her garments' production & working alongside one of the best lingerie manufactures in the UK, 'PUNCH & Rudy' is a brand that holds it's roots close to it's heart; keeping the manufacturing solely here in Britain: "We make only limited numbers so we can always assure our customer exclusivity. Our dresses are designed with the best quality fabrics, silks, satins, guipures and laces, so we really do offer a couture garment, unique and at the same time giving the ultimate hourglass bodycon engineering that the vintage girdle once offered...We are no ordinary designer, yet our designs are for real women who embrace and rejoice in their sexuality and individuality..."

'PUNCH & Rudy' are proud to declare that their designs feature only the very finest fabrics available. High-quality satin, powernet, silk, brocade, lace, devoir, organza, guipure, ribbon & velvet, adorn each garment & add to the experience. The 'PUNCH & Rudy' colour palette is recognisably & notably rich, earthy, exotic & sumptuous. The wonderful thing about their garments, I've found, is that there always seems to be a little, exciting twist to their designs. They take such care in creating their pieces, contrasting both texture & colour combinations, paying much attention to detailing at every juncture.

'PUNCH & Rudy's' clever use of 'bodycon' structure that's engineered inside the garment, creates the much-admired & traditionally accepted feminine 'hourglass' effect, synonymous with the silhouettes of the ladies of old & the 1950s & now, its current resurgence. This engineering allows the lady all the flexibility & breathable movement & comfort of shape-wear, holds us in the most seductive of silhouettes, lifting the bosom, whilst still embracing their signature 'PUNCH & Rudy' detailing; the detachable suspender...    

The beauty of 'PUNCH & Rudy', beyond their designs, is that they are a bijoux company, so you're guaranteed that all designs are bespoke & are made in very limited numbers. Therefore assured that you will be receiving a very special, exquisite & exclusive piece. The detachable detailing enables the wearer to adjust their garment, so that it is in-keeping for whatever they wish to do: suspenders on & stockings attached for intimate encounters & suspenders removed for a sophisticated evening dress, which can be matched with an elegant jacket for the wearer to delight in all the traditional pleasures, such as a romantic meal with their lover, or a trip to the theatres of old Drury Lane & Covent Garden. Whatever the lady's choice of pleasure, 'PUNCH & Rudy' make an eternal promise, whispered like that lovingly between two age-old lovers; that with their integral shape-wear properties, never has such a fashion forward garment been so versatile & yet so affordable...    

There is no doubting 'PUNCH & Rudy's' conceptual designs are inspired by the Golden-Age of Burlesque, as well as many other historical eras, such as Jacobean, Elizabethan & the white, face-powdered world of le Madame Pompadour... 'PUNCH & Rudy' have gone a step further than their competitors & have recently enlisted the likes of multinational Burlesque artist Sukki Singapora as the 'face' for the brand. Lyn enthusiastically revealed: "We want our customer to celebrate their femininity to feel beautiful and empowered which fits brilliantly with Sukki's ethos. She was nominated earlier this year for 'London's 'Asian Women of Achievement Award', for her pioneering work as 'Ambassador of Burlesque for Singapore' for Asian women's freedoms within the arts. Sukki has modelled our first dress off the production line: the 'Pompadour', in 'Esquire' magazine! We are very excited!"


'PUNCH & Rudy' are pleased to announce that they have five more wonderful & sensual styles to follow throughout the rest of this year, that will be sold via their website & throughout boutiques in the UK & Europe.

What has caught my attention with this brand is the passion Lyn expressed about her brand & how she seems to have taken those concepts & very trends that were used to make women conform to a certain, forced, physical ideal & something that acted as a symbol of constraint & turned it on it's head- using it as an image of feminine empowerment & beauty. Something that clearly can go hand-in-hand!

'PUNCH & Rudy' is such a brilliant name & again, the name, although tweaked, is synonymous with old, English tradition & I believe that is clearly what they are representing with their designs; just with a cheeky twist! I love the ideology, inspirations & the symbolism behind it all. 'PUNCH & Rudy' have encapsulated so many of the wonderful elements of English tradition & those I favour most...                   

                                                                     The Collection A/W13
What PUNCH & Rudy are all about!
Sukki Singapora wearing PUNCH & Rudy!

'Valentine' mood-board!



                                                                             Lots of Love,
                                            Lover-Doll Presley ©

Sunday, 11 August 2013

The Wonderful, Vintage World Of 'What Every Girl Wants, London'...

  'What Every Girl Wants' is certainly what every girl needs!
Delicately placed, standing blissfully unfazed in all her elegant beauty, amongst all the hustle & bustle of the infamous Camden Lock, lies the boudouir-esque, vintage-repro retailer 'What Every Girl Wants'.

Any vintage vixen, stockings seductress & connoisseur of the corset, with a love for all things bullit-bra & lace panties, won't be short of a feast for the eyes inside this pretty, pink paradise.

As you eagerly enter 'What Every Girl Wants', delightful displays of feminine lingerie are there to greet you, as the fine fragrances of the sold-in-store perfumes (personal fave 'Urura's Tokyo Café'), waft through the delicate air... Ladies, you're not stepping into any old knickers & bra shop here, but back in time to a world of 'Mad Men' glamour fit for likes of the finest of Hollywood's Golden Age starlets...
'What Every Girl Wants' refreshingly offers a personal fitting service to make sure that your womanly assets are getting the care they deserve, to serve you well. To add to their fantastic service, a lovely cup of tea or maybe even a cheeky glass champagne is offered with a girlie natter whilst you try-on their naughty, but nice underwear.
A seductive selection of pastel nighties...

It was whilst strolling around my local teenage haunt with a couple a gal pals I grew-up with, that I stumbled across this wonderful, little gem. Now, anyone who knows me will know that 'What A Girl Wants' is my kinda' shop! I couldn't help but drag my gals inside & armed with my pink iPhone 4, I began snapping away... on Instagram to re-create that vintage look, but of course!

I have use a vanity case to have all my undies on display & vintage romance novels to decorate my room!
So sweet to see this in the shop, too! Us vintage ladies think alike ;)

Florals are the newest range! Panties can be found in these cute, little tins!

So Marilyn...

Pop behind the screen & become a screen icon...

I was politely greeted by two, delightful & wonderful ladies; Amanda Layzell (the owner) & Anni (sales gal). I was intrigued by the beautiful shop & before I knew it, I was immersed in a great conversation with them both.
Amanda Louise Layzell, the owner & creator of 'What Every Girl Wants', grew up in Devon, England. It was as a teen in the swinging 60s (my favourite era), that the young Amanda got a taste of the buzzing London scene when she saved-up for trips to the heart of it all, purchasing all the vintage dresses at the time in London's iconic Kensington Market & BIBA.

Amanda grew-up surrounded by nostalgia; her grandmother was an antiques dealer, who also sold AVON cosmetics. Amanda fondly revealed to me that one of  her earliest memories was helping her grandmother bag-up all of her Avon orders! This is delightful & striking to me, as this too, is much like my earliest memories of my sister & I with our grandmother. My grandma would give us all these samples & extras- our eager, little paws gathering them all up with excited, red-lipped, child-like applications of lippie smeared all over our faces, smiles. Aahhh...

After leaving college, Amanda began to work as a PA to an antique auctioneer. It was during this time that she also worked for her local television company.

Her teenage years of vintage dress hunting paid off, as her hobby became active & money-making. Amanda put her keen-eye to good use & started to buy & sell vintage clothing; "it is something I have always been passionate about", revealed Amanda later in an email to me.

It was whilst raising her son & taking-up a part-time position with the world-famous The Body Shop, that Amanda met Anita Roddick (creator of The Body Shop). Amanda became inspired by the passionate, eco-friendly, go-getter & this meeting would clearly have an effect on her later years, when finally, after her hard-work, her dream would too come true...

Amanda spent a number of years working for, my personal fave & what was actually my first job as a Christmas temp, the wonderful world of bath bombs & sweet-shop-like displays of LUSH Fresh & Handmade Cosmetics . Here she was heading up the UK retail team...

It was about 18 months ago now, that the lovely Lady Layzell, decided to take a well-deserved break from working in such high pressured, retail environments & began studying for a Practitioners Diploma in Hypnotherapy, NLP, Psychotherapy & Counselling. A fascinating & rewarding career move, I must say. But, during this time, a delightful bit of news came her way when Amanda heard about a shop-space up for grabs in the heart of Camden's Lock area. Talk about prime location! She just instinctively knew that it would be the perfect location for her dream-in-the-making 'What Every Girl Wants'... Amanda believed that with her previous retail experience & knowledge, alongside her infectious passion for lingerie & perfume, she could create something very special indeed; a place for her customers to escape the ever-changing time's of today's world & step back in time into a world of Mad Men glamour & elegance. With the current resurgence of Burlesque & the constant
demand for all things vintage, Amanda is certainly in the right place at the right time!

"The shop is a dream come true for me, I have had the picture of how it would be in my head for a long time & it is exactly as I imagined it would be. I don't want it just to be a shop where you buy your underwear, I want it to be an experience! A place where you can spend time with your friends, trying on lingerie, taking your time & having a cup of tea & a chat with us. You can be professionally fitted & we will make sure you go away with perfectly fitted garments... I know how good it feels to know you are wearing beautiful lingerie & fragrance. It's all in the name... 'What Every Girl Wants!'
... My dream!"

Anni (left), Amanda (right).
You can visit the gorgeous 'What Every Girl Wants' & the fab team- Amanda, Anni, Emma, Ruby & Phene, Mon-Fri: 11am to 5pm & Sat-Sun: 10am to 5:30pm, at:
What Every Girl Wants,
Unit 47 West Yard, Camden Lock.
NW1 8AF London, United Kingdom.

Give the girlies a call on: 

0207 6839760 OR 07974500859
Visit their Facebook Page at:
OR email the ladies at:

                                           Lots of Love,
                                      Lover-Doll Presley ©