Britsh Retro Vintage Swing DressAva Gardner swam naked in Ernest Hemingway’s pool in Havana; he later forbade anyone to empty the water…

This perfectly sums up the allure of Ava. Whether you agree or not, I think you’ll appreciate that there was something about the raven-haired beauty. She was contracted to MGM on the basis of a single photograph; she couldn’t act, sing or dance and required vocal coaching to smooth out the strong and sultry Carolina drawl that could barely be understood. So what was it about Ava that inspired the Hollywood studio to invest so much to make her an actress? I reckon you just have to look at her… Ava Gardner was a standout beauty at a time and in a place that was filled to bursting with gorgeous women.

Search for images of Ava and you’ll find a woman who knew how to dress, frequently wearing off-the-shoulder designs and strapless gowns; that perfect juxtaposition of vulnerable exposed shoulders and incredibly sexy décolletage. It’s a fantastic look, and here’s the good news; it looks amazing on anyone! Yes, you heard me right, we can all be a little bit Ava, in fact, I think we should make it a civic duty. But where to start? Well, I would aim to seize that vintage 50s shape with a dress that emphasises curves, you need to get yourself some saucy pinup vibes! 1950s starlets wore some serious support garments to get that traffic-stopping shape, but you’ll be relieved to discover that you no longer need to resort to the corset to get the same effect. Quality fabrics with a bit of stretch that cling and support where needed, so the, ahem, more generously gifted among us can rock that vintage strapless look without any fear of embarrassment – we don’t all want to swim naked in Hemingway’s swimming pool*

Gorgeous red gingham Lola Lu is a recent addition to our collection and is a perfect example of that adorable 50s strapless shape we all love; a lined and boned bodice with subtle padding will give you the sexy silhouette you’re after. Like all British Retro vintage designs, we’ve added the clever details that make this a dress that works for you as well as working on you; virtually crease free, you could pack this darling number for a holiday without having to deal with wrinkles later. Wear with flats and a pretty little cardigan, wear with a streak of highlighter across your shoulders, add one of our frilly rockabilly petticoats… however you wear it just remember that a bad girl in a good dress has much more fun than a good girl in a bad dress.


*Enough Cuba Libre and I bloody would.