Dressing in a vintage style can take many forms with influences from different era’s and different parts of the world. Miss Bamboo is based around the concept of the 40s/50s socialite and her voyage around the Pacific from America, down to Mexico, Hawaii, the Asia Pacific Coast and Japan. Think the golden age of travel, the glamour of cruising on the early ocean liners , exotic adventures, Pearl Harbour style and growing tiki culture.
We interviewed Emma- the force behind Miss Bamboo and she told us more about her love for vintage and for her the 1940’s- 1950’s American and Pacific styles are far more striking and glamorous than the British fashions of the time particularly as the WW2 and post WW2 era was so badly affected by rationing in Britain. Adoring tropicals, bold florals and novelty print fabrics, gorgeous rayons and brocades rather than perhaps the ‘ditsy’ floral that is often associated with the 1940’s. The Miss Bamboo concept is more ‘vintage glamour without the rationing’ rather than ‘make do and mend’ that’s for sure!
Emma has loved vintage style for around thirty years since being a teenager in the early 1980’s. At this time she was into both Mod and Rockabilly (rockin’) subcultures. Since the age of fourteen she has barely worn any kind of modern clothing and when reaching her 30’s discovered a love of the 1940’s which became a whole lifestyle choice for her, including the music, dancing, house style as well as the clothing.
Her home has similar influences to the clothing lines she stocks, American mid century modern with elements of 1950s hawaiiana, mexicana and vintage asian style. Her pride and joy is her deadstock 50s American wallpaper in a hawaiian print. She also dances lindi-hop and competes in Latin American dancing, enjoying swing music and 40s/50s Americana and Latino rhythms.
After meeting her alter ego (starting her business) Miss Bamboo in June 2011 she started trading in October 2011 when her website was ready and had built up enough stock. “I am so happy to be one of the largest stockists of Trashy Diva in the UK and Europe, one of the best reproduction vintage companies in the world for quality, style and fabric”, says Emma.
Before launching Miss Bamboo Emma was a youth social worker. For twenty years working with teenagers with many social issues including homelessness, drug and alcohol misuse, abuse and domestic violence. Due to the recession and massive cut backs in the public sector she was made redundant in 2011. Fate handed her an opportunity to make a change and set up her own business. Eventually Miss Bamboo became a full time business and she is developing her own label, including sarongs, a mexican influenced dress ‘La Bonita’ and my ‘Tiki Girl’ Bamboo bag.
Miss Bamboo can be found at various 40s/50s and rockin’ weekends in 2013 including Haworth 40s weekend, Twinwood 40s weekend, Hemsby rock n roll weekend and Rockabilly Rave.
One of Miss Bamboo’s loves is tiki style and culture. Often to be found at The Liars club tiki bar in Manchester with other like minded people such as Coco Lopes one of Miss Bamboo’s models! A tiki is a carved wooden or stone statue representing the’ first man’ or the gods worshipped on the Polynesian South Sea Islands. In WW2 the American forces brought back many of these exotic artifacts and art from their travels in the Pacific.
Along with the development of travel and tourism in the 40s/50s to the South seas and Hawaii, there became a massive interest in the ‘exotic’ and ‘Tiki’ and a growing emergence of tiki style within American popular culture, architecture and fashion. Hawaiian dresses and Aloha shirts are indeed a staple of Miss Bamboo style and Miss Bamboo stock a wide range of hawaiian and tropical sarongs and dresses and are the exclusive UK online provider of the highly collectable Sun Surf Shirts.
Miss Bamboo is kindly offering a 10% discount code in her shop for one month, until 16th May 2013 quote VINTAGE in the coupon box when ordering.