Strolling around some of my favorite alleys in east London last november I discovered this iper-pretty little place that looked like a miniature Bugsy Barkley film set from the 30s: The Powder Room. A place of glamour and pamper for girls with a taste for retro-beauty treatments.
As I peeked inside, behind the large glass window, I saw women wrapped in tight pink & black uniforms completed with lovely black pillow-hats trasforming other women from plain looking ladies to classical hollywood goddesses.
It was such a beautiful sight that on a recent lazy sunday I decided to get back to the Columbia Road address to try out the wonder on myself, but what I found out instead was that the prettiest beauty parlor in town was on its last opening day. I bought a gazillion products on sale and walked home with a little disappointment staining the glamour-spot in my little girly heart.
Thank god, even though the beauty parlor closed down, the work of the Powder Room staff did not end: in fact they continue helping beauty spread across the oceans not only as a glamour task force anyone can book for private events and parties, but also in a “pop-up store” kind of fashion, by regularly treating costumers to their magic at the Hoxton Hotel and every saturday at Paper Dress the vintage-shop/bar/live-music-joint on Curtain Road, right next to the London College of Fashion.
As I walked into Paper Dress I immediately noticed that this is definetively a place where I would want to go back to buy a piece or two for my ever-growing vintage dresses & accessories collection, since it is the ONLY vintage shop in London that clearly does not overprizes items. Rare habit in this days and age where even old label-ess crap gets a fat prize-tag, in order to cater the bulimic appetites of the average fashion-monkey.
The fun in vintage garnments’ hunting relies on the power of random discovery, knowledge & recognition of that one truly rare precious piece and, above all, on the power of the impossible bargain, which is that childish feeling of over-excitement of having been so immensively cool and smart to have stolen candies from a child who did not even imagine the value of what he gave away for a small bunch of pennies. Otherwise it’s just another way to throw money into the burning furnace of fashion industry without getting much in return, not even a little fun.
Well, at first sight, I reckon that one could easily walk out of Paper Dress with exactely that inebriating feeling and new dresses (and a taste of good coffie and cakes and live music) on top of it!
Sadly, I did not have enough time to explore the shop in depth. I went to Curtain Road with only half an hour free time and a mission: getting myself be transformed in the fine coiffing hands of the Powder Room lovely girls!
A quick glance at the look book, illustrating styles spanning from the 20s to the 70s, and I left the choice to the pretty girl in pink, also known as the stylist who was about to work a miracle on my thick mediterranean wild long hair. And indeed a miracle is what she worked on me!
I sat on the Powder Room‘s chair an overworked, always in a hurry, wild-haired girl and next thing I know, 30 minutes later, I was transformed into the hair-style-twin of late singing queen Amy Winehouse! Daring one might say. YES! But it came out so good I had to revise all my prejudices about back-combed 60s heavy hairdoes. Only half an hour of pamper and I walked out a good looking happy camper!
Everything about the experience has been pleasant, from the care they took in styling me to the lovely time I had conversating with the Powder Room founder, who told me how she went from being a Film and Tv hair & make-up expert to starting her own business, spreading fun, style and beauty into the world with her posse of great professional stylists, known as the Powderpuff Girls.
I am now convinced that these girls can do it all: from Downton Abbey to Mad Men, all it takes it’s only 30 minutes in their hands!
Being so close to the release of Baz Luhrmann‘s new film “The Great Gatsby” promising to scream roaring 20s’ grandeur in every single detail, there is only one number in town to call to get tuned to the coming style new age of bobs and waves, thin lips and smokey eyes, take note:
Powder Puff Girls +44 844 879 4928 …they’ll deliver the style & glam 100% with a touch of fun!
to get a little inspiration, here’s the trailer for Luhrmann’s “Great Gatsby”