A wonderful Vintage Styling workshop that gets girls back to class!
For every girl who is inspired and influenced by the likes of Miley Cyrus, Kesha and Kim Kardashian, it is reassuring to know that there are, dare I say, just as many young girls and women who instead, are inspired by the old world glamour and elegance of the likes of Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly and Veronica Lake.
The Lindy Charm School for Girls offers vintage styling workshops, covering make-up, hair, clothing and etiquette tips to help you achieve old-school glamour. These workshops provide simply fabulous, insightful and hands-on lessons in perfecting your vintage inspired looks and reviving the beauty, fashion and charm of women as they lived in decades gone by.
I attended a day of workshops in Melbourne, which included two classes, the Introductory Workshop and the Intermediate Vintage Hairstyling Workshop. You could attend either just the first 3 hour class for $85 or just attend the 2 hour second class for $100 per person. Alternatively, you could stay for the whole day at a price of $150 for both classes, which was the option I went for. The workshop I attended was held in an exclusive room at the Shopping Town Hotel in Doncaster (opposite Westfield Shoppingtown). The room was set up with tables arranged in a big ‘U’ shape set up like a class room, where each place was set up with a ‘Workshop Manual’ booklet, a pen and a flower clip. The Workshop Manual was great, as not only did it allow you to jot down notes throughout the class, but it provided you with extra instructions and tips to take away with you and help you brush up on your vintage styling lesson at home.
In addition to what is provided, it is suggested to bring the following items to the workshops:
- Your own make up, particularly mascara, eye liner, foundation, blush and lipstick
- Bobby pins
- Stand Up Makeup Mirror
- Curling tools (eg. hot rollers or curling irons – optional but recommended)
- 2 Slide Combs (matching your hair color)
Additional items I would also recommend bringing:
- Eye makeup remover wipes or pads – Definitely came in handy when practising the notorious winged liner.
- Bring as much make up as you are comfortable to use. I like to have a variety of make-up to choose from and I found it beneficial to use my own products while learning Headmistress Chrissy’s techniques as I found it easier to go home and recreate the looks using the same products. However, if you don’t own or plan on owning too much make up, it is also perfectly fine to jsut bring what you have, in fact, it is encouraged by Headmistress Chrissy to keep makeup simple, revealing she only regularly uses a handful of make up products herself!
- Make up brushes
- Liquid Eyeliner (the best type for applying the winged liner look)
- Brown eyeliner or eyebrow powder / pencil (for creating a lovely set of shapely brows!)
- Pink blush
- Red lipstick
- A stand up make up mirror with lights – If you have one, it would have made a big difference in the room we used as the lighting in the room was terrible (however this was at Shoppingtown Hotel and workshop venues do change).
If you would like to purchase heat curlers /rollers, Headmistress Chrissy recommended these cheap but efficient Remington travel size rollers. Keep in mind this set only comes with 10 rollers, so you would need to buy at least two sets to curl a full head of medium to long length hair. I also saw someone using these Remington Silk + Ceramic Heated Clips and Rollers that worked a treat.
In my experience, I originally went out to buy hot rollers like the ones mentioned above but ended up buying a Muk Curling Stick. This was my personal preference. I liked the fact it comes with three interchangeable heads to allow you to create different sized curls and I find it easier and quicker to use this curl stick than the rollers. To use the Muk Curling Stick (or a curling wand) to create the same effect as rollers, you want to curl the sections of your hair as you would with rollers (as Headmistress Chrissy instructs) and then use pin curl clips to secure the curl in a loop, in place until the hair cools down and sets. Use the links provided in this article to view the products, but for the cheapest deal, I suggest you visit your nearest Hairhouse Warehouse, Price Attack or Priceline store. It is of course, personal preference as to which method or curling you prefer, and the lovely Chrissy and her helpers are skilled at assisting you to create wonderful curls which whatever curling tool you have available to bring along on the day.
If you do forget anything, there are some lovely items for sale including a fantastic ‘Essential Hair Care Kit’, a range of make up, a basic yet effective hair setting solution, also known as The Lindy Charm School “Rocket Fuel” in addition to various different clips and hair accessories specifically designed to create the vintage looks. I found their Hair Setting Spray to the be best I have used so far, because the simple and gentle yet effective ingredients add strong hold to your perfect vintage hairstyles, but it also easily brushes out, allowing you to re-style easily without leaving your hair in a sticky, crunchy mess. Other items on sale included dolly pegs, hairstyling sponges, pin curl clips, snoods, do-rags, panty hose, vintage sunglasses and adorable felt hats (also all available for purchase on The Lindy Charm School for Girls website).
The classes are run by Headmistress Chrissy, vintage styling extroadinaire (and who was Melbourne Darling’s Muse of the Month in November). The Introductory workshop is a 3 hour course covering vintage make-up and hairstyles through the 1920’s-1960’s. It also briefly covers vintage fashion and the importance of undergarments with some fascinating insights into the history of some of the most popular beauty and fashion items, and how they were originally used.
The class started with Headmistress Chrissy introducing herself and her knowledgeable and friendly helpers Miss Sammy and Miss Kelly. To commence the class, all attendees were asked to stand and recite The Lindy Charm School Oath. This included the pledge ‘Thou Shalt Endeavour To Always Wear Red Lipstick’ and my personal favourite, to promise ‘Never To Wear Socks with Heels!’ (That’s an F grade for you Alexa Chung!) the Introductory course went through the importance of good posture and undergarments (where one cannot fully appreciate the magic of a corset until you have seen one demonstrated!). Chrissy followed on to explain the importance of tailoring and how to wear vintage clothing. The make-up tutorial was next, with the class voting on the type of decade inspired look they would like to learn. We went with a 1950’s look but Chrissy also pointed out tips to change the look to suit different decades along the way.
The beauty of this class (pardon the pun) is that it was perfectly suited for both complete beginners as well as those who are a little more skilled in make-up application and hair. There was an abundance of knowledge shared, along with clever little beauty secrets and historical insights into vintage styling (you will never guess what product Marilyn Monroe used to attain her flawless and dewy skin!) Everyone in the class was free to follow the steps at their own pace while Headmistress Chrissy and her wonderful helpers were always more than welcome to assist those who asked for a little extra help with particular techniques. We learnt everything from correct blush application to perfecting the perfect pout and mastering the winged eyeliner look. Keep in mind this is not a comprehensive and complete make up application class, but what you will learn is how to apply modern day make up with the tips and tricks to help you recreate vintage inspired looks.
Following on from make up was hair, as we were talked through setting curls in our own hair. While Chrissy and her assistants were happy to lend a helping help, it was great that the workshop was so hands on, so everyone was encouraged to try the techniques themselves, which was the most beneficial for everyone to be able to recreate the techniques themselves at home. After our hair was set, we learnt how to style our hair with pin curls into cascading, soft, ‘Veronica Lake’ style curls.
After an hour break, it was back for the second class, the Intermediate Vintage Hairstyling Workshop. Using the set of curls we had created to style into pincurls, this workshop was used to demonstrate how you could use the same set of curls to recreate a variety of different hairstyles throughout the decades from the 1920’s to 1960’s. The transformation between such different looks was amazing! We learnt how to create a variety of styles from a Bettie Page fake fringe, victory rolls, Bridgitte Bardot quiffs and a Betty Grable ‘peek-a-boo’ updo style. After the great introductory to curling hair and learning about different hairstyles in the Introductory workshop, the second workshop was a more practical and thorough opportunity for everyone to perfect their skills and recreate the different looks that most appealed to them. If you are looking at doing the first class, unless you are definitely not interested in creating vintage hairstyles, I would recommend doing both classes if you can!
Just as a classy and elegant woman of the mid century would possess, I really admired the wise words and lessons Headmistress Chrissy instilled throughout the workshop on matters of beauty, fashion and grace. Chrissy encouraged the importance of being kind and how to give and receive compliments. She also stressed the underlying importance that when it came to make up, not only should it be striking, but to always keep it simple, easy and quick (after all, busy women in the forties did not have the time or the money to spend simply on their looks!). It was refreshing to hear Headmistress Chrissy give beauty advice that was honest but also based on a much more minimalistic approach than we are used to hearing in modern times. Above all, through her advice and knowledge shared, Headmistress Chrissy and her assistants always stayed true to the times they described and spoke of being appreciative of the women in previous decades who managed to create these very same looks using such limited resources.
Overall, it was a thoroughly enjoyable and informative day. It was fantastic seeing a class containing such a wide variety of individuals in terms of age (13 to 50+) and appearance, and how everyone in the room came together through their appreciation of vintage style! Many ladies attended the workshops alone, and everyone in the class was genuinely friendly and supportive of eachother. It was also such a pleasant surprise to see everyone’s end results and how perfectly suited and striking everyone in the room looked once they were transformed by the magic of vintage styling! The most popular accessory I saw all the ladies leaving the workshops with that day was not bouncy pin curls or perfect red pouts, but big smiles, straight backs and confidence!
*To all the lovely ladies that attended the same workshops as me on 9th November 2013, you can find all the photos I took from the day on my Facebook page: www.facebook.com/melbournedarling
I highly recommend The Lindy Charm School for Girls as a truly fabulous treat for women of all ages. The workshops make for a fun filled and engaging experience, a perfect idea for a hen’s night, special birthday, or even as a treat for yourself!
If you or someone you know would like to book in for an upcoming event, the next Melbourne Vintage Styling Workshop will take place on Saturday, 15th March. (click the links for bookings and more information). In addition, the very first Mother and Daughter Charm School, running on Sunday, 16th March will highlight etiquette, poise and posture and allows for mothers to book a spot in to the workshop and bring their daughters for free! The Lindy Charm School has also announced their latest collaboration with Fossil Vintage to announce the launch of their very first ‘In Styling Night‘, a private shopping night and Vintage Styling event on Friday, 14th March, held exclusively inside the Fossil Vintage Warehouse. Shop til your pin curls drop with a grand selection of their quality wholesale vintage garments on sale as well as getting the opportunity to receive personal styling advice and beauty and hair demonstrations from Miss Chrissy and the girls of The Lindy Charm School.
See the flyers below for more details of the mentioned upcoming events or for a full listing of future workshops and events held around Australia, Head to The Lindy Charm School for Girls website to find out more information or sign up for an upcoming workshop being held in your area!