Meet amazing Vintage Queen no 155, the gorgeous May. Inspired by Twenties and Thirties Shanghai she combines vintage styling with wearing Qipaos – traditional Chinese dresses.

“My name is May and I live in South East London. To earn my two pennies I work as a PA for an IT company in the city and write my blog ‘Walking in May’ during my free time. It probably sounds a little silly but when I first started wearing vintage at 14 years old (quite a many many years ago), I actually had no idea what vintage was.

I only knew that I liked wearing the dress my mother had worn in the Seventies and that it was different from what everyone else was wearing. I was never really one to follow trends and didn’t even wear make-up till I was 18 years of age. It was not until I started my blog 3 years ago to write about what I love, that I started realising what vintage was, and that the styles I liked were indeed vintage.

Though I don’t dress entirely vintage all the time, I do love dressing vintage and in vintage styles, but I also love wearing a Qipao, a one-piece Chinese dress. I’ve been collecting the Qipao or Cheongsam, which I often wear at Chinese New Year or for special occasions, since my university days, and I noted the appreciative elegance I gained each time I stepped into this dress. So each time I went on holiday to South East Asia I would bring back a new Qipao to add to my collection.

The more I learned about the Qipao the more I realised how it is becoming a dying art where majestically beautiful pieces would one day be hidden in the depths of history. Naturally I began writing about the festivities and wearing the Qipao. That was when I realised that not many women would choose to wear the Qipao for different reasons and I received questions on how to wear a Qipao. The question I then set myself was; when is the Qipao or Cheongsam most beautiful? The answer laid in my memory of old Chinese films showing the glamour of the golden age of Shanghai, from the 1920s to the 1930s, so it made sense for me to wear the Qipao in a vintage style.

I did some research and learned how to create finger waves, pin curls and then victory rolls, beehives and so on. But the golden age of Shanghai definitely inspired me to recreate and share with my readers how any girl can wear the Qipao (Cheongsam) and look just as glamorous.

As my fascination with vintage styles and the Qipao (Cheongsam) grew, I began treasure hunting online on Ebay, Etsy or blog-shops as well as at vintage fairs and charity shops to add to my collection. Each piece inspires me to think – ¬†how would I wear this if I lived in 19xx?”

Photos: Caroline Opacic Photography