Welcome to the second part of our regular series, showcasing the “Movers & Shakers” on the Vintage scene here in Manchester. We have the lucky job of going into our subjects beautiful homes and picking up tips and ideas on the way.
As before, we’ve teamed up with Tom Wright who has taken all the photographs for this series. He’s also managed to sneak a couple of Polaroid’s in this time too!
Our subject this time is Fiona, who has recently been featured in the Sunday Times Style Magazine for her vintage showroom as Rose & Lee Vintage Living.
Who are you and what do you do?
I am Fiona-Rose Lee of Rose & Lee Vintage Living. Rose & Lee specialize in shabby chic, vintage and antique furniture, home wares and luxurious gifts.
I spend most of my time on the road sourcing our furniture from France and Italy, so that we have a unique, constantly evolving, stylish and affordable collection available for our customers.
What changes to your home have you made in order for it to reflect you?
We bought an old Victorian terrace about 4 years ago which had been modernised. We could see the potential it had and we have spent the last four years restoring the house to its former glory. The biggest change we made was the bathroom, the room was crying out for some TLC and had to have a free-standing bath in the middle of it, it is my sanctuary after a long day at the showroom or after a grulleling 22 hour drive back from Milan!
Is there one piece that sums up your style? (or one room)
I think the house is quite eclectic so it would be hard to choose one room that reflects my style, If I had to choose I would say our living room strongly reflects the personalities of both my husband and I. It combines antiques, modern art, vintage finds, and sumptuous fabrics, alongside some treasured photos and a cosy coal burning victorian fire for those long winter nights.
What is your favourite era and why?
I think my favourite era is the 1940’s, for all its amazing Hollywood glamour. Such beautiful women, timeless beauties like Ginger Rogers, Veronica Lake, Lauren Bacall. An era when women were dressed to be women, elegant yet full of sex appeal. I have a framed vintage poster of an opera star from that era that takes pride and place in our hallway, each time I pass it I can’t help but admire it, mostly for its simplicity.
Where does your interest come from? What or who is your inspiration?
I was brought up around antiques, so I suppose it was my destiny to look for beautiful things for a living! Over the years I have been fourtunate to work with a lady called Carmelina Longhi, an antiques dealer with over 50 years experience she is now 70 years old and lives in Milan. I visit her once a month at her antiques warehouse just outside Milan and she spends time teaching me about art old & modern, antiques, jewellery, vintage cars, you name it she can teach you about it! She always has her finger on the pulse and a passion for the business, which I can’t help but be inspired by.
Can you give any tips in collecting, restoring or sourcing vintage items (clothes/furniture etc)
The biggest tip I can give someone is if you see something at an antiques fair or vintage market and deep down inside you love it, don’t make the silly mistakes I have made in the past and hope it will still be there later in the day – providing the budget allows and the item is in good condition take the risk and buy it! Those special items are few and far between so you must trust your gut instinct. And remember if the item is of good quality you can always resell if it is not the right thing.
Polaroid film was kindly provided by The Impossible Project.
Tom Wright is a Manchester based Photographer who runs the Impossible Workshops in the Uk and Europe. He champions Polaroid film through the Workshops and his ethos harks back to the days when we treasured photographs, not thought of them as disposable. “Down with snapshots, Up with memories!” is his motto. He prefers to work with film when possible.
You can find out more about him at Tom Wright Photography or follow him on Twitter @un-frame