When an email pops up in my inbox telling me about a workshop that is going to be held at one of my favourite lingerie boutiques in London, it is always going to grab my attention. Especially if it’s part of an afternoon of “glamour and seduction”. Hair and make-up tips for easy Christmas party glamour from the fabulous Lipstick & Curls? Fantastic! A crash course on Christmas party confidence from Miss Polly Rae, showing you how to work the room to become the sauciest belle of the ball? Ooh, yes please! Tasty cocktails, gorgeous cakes from Vintage Patisserie, a goody bag and shopping voucher? What Katie Did certainly know how to tempt me! Resistance was futile, so I snapped up a couple of tickets and popped the date into my diary as quickly as I could.
My good friend Amanda Jones and I decided that public transport was probably not the best way to get from south east to west London on a Sunday and so, yesterday afternoon, we jumped into the car and set off with the heat blasting and the sat nav guiding us. Sadly, my Tom Tom seemed completely oblivious to additional issues such as traffic and diversions, so we had to call the boutique to let them know we’d be a bit late. When we finally arrived, the lovely Maz greeted us with a smile and said she’d managed to move us to the later workshop, so we had some time to sit down with chocolates and a teacup of tasty gin cocktail in order to recover from our transport ordeal. As we chatted, my eye was caught by the row of Besame make-up testers and then, as I cooed over the beautiful colours and the classic compacts, I got distracted yet again by the sight of the gorgeous Fonda set in silver (see image above). Last time I visited the WKD boutique I tried on their bullet bra and, although the fit was beautiful, I wasn’t sure that it looked right on me in black. This new pale satin and sheer version looked rather enticing indeed.
After a spot of browsing, and a quick chat with Katie herself, we moved from the boutique into the cozy space set aside for the workshop. It felt like a secret gathering in a glamorous friend’s boudoir, which was the ideal setting for getting hair, make-up and seduction tips from the experts! First up was another Amanda, from vintage styling experts Lipstick & Curls, who was here to answer our retro hair and make-up queries. She correctly guessed that our questions would all be about creating a vintage look when you’re short on time, and so we were treated to tips on speedy curling, pinning and up-dos for straight and curly hair. Suggested styles covered eras from the 1920s to 1960s and Amanda even recommended the best brushes and hairspray for the job. After some handy eyeliner hints for those of us with unsteady hands, it was time to hand over to Polly Rae for our shortcuts to party confidence.
We might not face quite as many Christmas parties as most magazines might suggest, but the trickiest of all is usually the office one. I will know more people at mine this year than last but still expect to be standing quietly in the corner with a few close colleagues, so some hints on how to ooze confidence rather than look nervous were more than welcome. Who better to offer such tips than gorgeous burlesque star Miss Polly Rae? As someone who needs to quickly connect with an audience whilst looking effortlessly glamorous and immeasurably confident, Polly has picked up many helpful shortcuts to holding people’s attention without appearing to try. After a few quick pointers to help with perfect posture, and a hint or two on how to make it all look terribly natural, we were treated to a pep talk on body confidence and some seduction techniques inspired by burlesque moves. When she showed the group how to draw someone’s gaze to a particular part of the body, we were all mesmerised. I’m pretty sure Polly Rae’s tips will be put into action at many parties – and more intimate situations! – this festive season.
After scoffing our cupcakes and getting a cocktail refill, we returned to the boutique and rummaged through our goodie bags. Not only did we have a tester set of Besame’s fabulous red lipsticks, but there was also a £10 voucher to spend in the store. As you can probably imagine, Ms Jones and I soon found ourselves in the changing rooms surrounded by beautiful bras. Despite the fact that it was now the end of what must have been a very long day in the boutique, the level of service remained absolutely amazing. The ever-wonderful Vicky kindly fetched us different styles and helped with sizing so, despite a complete lack of pressure to buy, I just couldn’t resist that Fonda bra in the end. Additionally, I’ve long been a fan of bikini style briefs and so was pleased to discover that WKD have some in their Striptease line that co-ordinate rather well (see above). It appears I have already spent some of the Christmas money that my mum has promised me, and December has hardly begun! Although Amanda has yet to spend her voucher, I can’t see that she would have a problem with going back to browse some more. Even if the lingerie options on offer prove to be too much, a wannabe vintage glamourpuss can always use more stockings.