Hello, and welcome to Velvet Limelight! My name’s Hetty. Since you’ve found your way here, you’re probably a bit like me – utterly in love with the eternally stylish, elusive and interesting place known as ‘the past’.
I’ve always been interested in history, but in all my time at school I never got to study the aspects that fascinated me most – the fashions and fads, the everyday topics of discussion, the cultural zeitgeist – essentially, the “spirit of the age” and what makes each era unique. I was finally able to indulge my passion for all-things-vintage when I began making my own clothing as a hobby several years ago. Looking for inspiration on vintage sewing and history blogs, Pinterest, Instagram… I saw so much gorgeous antique and vintage clothing, which led to jewellery, which led to art, houses, glamorous movie stars, everything. You know when you see something beautiful and instantly fall in deep, obsessional, ‘I-absolutely-adore-that-wondrous-artefact’ love with it? I wanted to be able to share that feeling and talk about these amazing things, so I created Velvet Limelight.
When it comes to my sense of style, I’d probably describe my taste as ‘opulent but fun’, gravitating toward luxurious materials, sumptuous detail and vibrant colours. I love unusual and eye-catching pieces, but while I appreciate things that really stand out, I also adore truly classic and timeless styles. I’m particularly partial to freshwater pearls, 1930s glamour, the ‘look’ of silent movie stars like Clara Bow, silk velvet, oodles of tulle and rich embroidery, so they tend to feature pretty heavily in the things I blog about.
So there it is, Velvet Limelight is about the various things that inspire and interest me, my likes, dislikes and passions. I hope you’ll stick around.
Q. Why ‘Velvet Limelight’? What does it mean?
A. That’s something of a tricky question to answer. It’s supposed to evoke a mood, a feeling of a world gone by – opulence, luxury, glamour, the delectable deliciousness of a sumptuous velvet gown lit by brilliant limelight in some decadent nightclub. Diamonds, pearls, flowing champagne… an idealized image of a romantic past.
Q. This is a blog about history and vintage, so why do you sometimes post about modern things?
A. Basically, if I come across something that embodies vintage style, or is made with the same craftsmanship as a genuine vintage piece, then I’ll probably share it with you. After all, the high-quality, truly stylish pieces of today are tomorrow’s vintage classics.
Q. I don’t understand your blog categories – help?
A. They’re intended to make things easier to find if you have specific interests, and are actually named as straightforwardly as possible. ‘A Thing of the Past’ is dedicated largely to physical objects (or ‘things’ *wink, wink*) which still survive today, or at least could in theory. ‘Good Old Days Gone By’ is probably the most general category with lots of different topics, but they’re all united by their transitory nature and the fact they can’t exist beyond their own era – people, specific events and moments, ways of living – so they’re quite literally ‘gone by’. ‘Creative Pursuits’ focuses on the arts, and ‘In Retrospect’ centres on things which are either about, in the style of, or inspired by earlier historical eras.
Q. What’s your favourite movie?
A. It’s far too difficult for me to narrow it down to just one, but Marie Antoinette, Chicago, The Music Man, Public Enemies, The Mummy, My Fair Lady, An Ideal Husband, Some Like it Hot, The Age of Innocence, and The Duchess are among my many, many favourites.