Back in December 2011 my gorgeous Auntie Michele was told that she had Breast Cancer. I’m sure you’ve had a friend or family member who’s been diagnosed with the disease, or even received the devastating diagnosis yourself. You’ve felt the seismic shockwaves and had the “I thought Cancer was something that happened to other people” thought.
My auntie Mic found her source of support through an online forum run by Breast Cancer Care, and connected with a group of women who had all been diagnosed in December (and would come to call themselves “The December Darlings”). They shared stories of chemo together, posted photos of bald heads, compared notes on snotty noses, and supported one another when two members of the group tragically lost their fight against the disease.
Michele considers herself one of the “lucky” ones. Now in recovery, she’s like the old Michele, only a million times more confident, outgoing and downright beautiful. I’ve seen how Cancer has tried to break her, and I’ve seen her tell it where to shove it.
Last night Cardiff was lit up pink to welcome in the Breast Cancer Care Ball. Cancer survivors and those still battling the disease rocked the fashion runway in front of an adoring crowd of friends and family. This was a night of celebration, but also a reminder that much more is needed to be raised in order to give women (and sometimes men) the support and care they so need.
A night of fabulous fashion called for some serious outfit plannage, and since our table had opted for a self-imposed pink dress code, there was no better time to rock the full-on bubblegum Barbie look. I found my frothy pink number (£55) in Vivien of Holloway, a vintage reproduction clothing shop specialising in 40s and 50s clothing in North London.
Dress, Viviene of Holloway £55/ Petticoats (x2) Vivien of Holloway, £59 each/ Tiara, The Jewellery Channel £9.99 / Shoes, Next £25/ Bag, Next/ Bracelet, Mikey @Topshop
Like most of you, I have a longer-than-average torso, but most of my height is in my legs, so I lucked out with this halterneck number, which fitted me at the waist. I did speak to the shop assistants though, who mentioned that a lot of tall women like to fold the straps down/ have them removed if the halterneck feels too tight. In any case, London-based Leggy Lovelies should definitely pop to the Holloway Road store and give their dresses a try, because the skirts are super long and swishy. You can browse and buy the various styles on their website too.
I wore mine with two massive petticoats in contrasting pink shades. Luckily my mum is also a bit of a vintage vixen so I could borrow one of hers, because the good quality ones aren’t the cheapest — £59. They’re so pretty though that you could layer them up and wear them on their own with a jumper too.
And I completed the “Miss Congeniality” look with the sparkliest size nine shoes from Next, with a heel made for twirling around on.
A bargainous £25, and I reckon they’d make a stylish pair of wedding shoes if your big day’s coming up.
Our matching tiaras were a very kind donation from The Jewellery Channel.
Becky, Judy, Me and three of the “December Darlings”: Fi, Auntie Michele and Sue. (Fi’s beautiful daughter Becky is actually 5’11 and her dress is an old buy from Monsoon’s younger range Fusion… one of my fave places for party dresses).
If you want to donate to Breast Cancer Care, you can follow this link.
P.S. There were models last night who had been through Breast Cancer at the ages of 21 and 27. Get checking your boobs please girlies, whatever age you might be.
P.P.S. Any of you Leggy Lovelies a fan of the 50s silhouette? Where do you tend to buy your clothes?