Meet lovely Vintage Queen no 161, the gorgeous Jenny Frances from England. Her dress making talents mean she has an incredible largely hand-made wardrobe of amazing mid-century clothes.

“I’m Jenny Frances; I live on the South coast of England in Shoreham by Sea with my other-half. I am a blogger, the founder of lingerie company Frantic About Frances, a seamstress, and I am the events researcher & camera operative for the Vintage News.

From a young age I was fascinated by costumes in films and art. In particular, I sought inspiration from the artists of the Pre-Raphaelite brotherhood, and growing up in Birmingham (which houses the UK’s largest collection of Pre-Raphaelite works) I was lucky enough to see these pieces frequently first-hand. Knowing that in some capacity I desired to work in the costume sector, I turned my fascination into academic knowledge by gaining a degree in Costume for the Screen and Stage at the Arts Institute Bournemouth.

I set up my own lingerie label five years ago, and also make costumes for performers, as well as vintage-inspired clothing for various clients and customers. In my spare time I make clothing for myself, indeed a large percentage of my wardrobe is items that I have made. Otherwise, I shop for vintage on eBay & Etsy, and trawl charity shops, vintage fairs and antique shops for one-off finds.

It’s difficult to pinpoint a specific era that I love the most, as the more I learn about various eras, the more there is to be inspired by. At the moment I am excited about the early 1930s – mid 1940s era, but I also love cute 1960s mini dresses, 1950s full skirted frocks and skirts, and even more unusual eras like Regency.

Similarly, my style icons change depending on my ardour and mood. Generally, I look to Betty Grable and Lana Turner for hair inspiration, and for clothing inspiration I look at street photography of the era I am interested in, sewing pattern illustrations and movies.

Accessories are a crucial element to any outfit, I own numerous vintage hats, gloves, scarfs and brooches. Equally important is hair, I set my hair using traditional techniques, and dress it according to the era I want to emanate. I simply would not feel ‘finished’ without appropriate hair and accessories!”

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