Step into the ballroom of the Ghillie Dhu and into another time. That’s the promise from Miss Fitz-Poste, whose monthly Modern Mixers events bring a touch of vintage style, glamour and fun to Sunday evenings.
This event was themed around Britain during WWII – the ever-popular Blitz Ballroom. It therefore allowed the guests to don their uniforms, black market stockings and best vintage dress as they prepared to enjoy four hours spent keeping the home fires burning.
The first thing you notice is the attention to detail. The doorman is dressed as an ARP Warden, and hands you your ration book ticket as you enter into the room. Lights are low (well, you never know when a blackout may be called after all) and candles glow from the tables and booths.
The period music has already begun, played by the resident DJ Lord Holyrude. Vintage hairstylist Vanity Thrills is a blur of combs, hairspray and curling tongs as she bedecks eager guests in the hairstyles of the day. And organisers Bea Fitz and Emily Poste flit around like glamourous firefiles, putting the finishing touches to proceedings.
Compere Harlequin Kiss introduces things in a Carry On Private style which she manages to keep up (snigger) throughout the evening. It kicks off with a taster dance session, led by the shuffling soft shoes of Sean and Helen of Zoot Swing. Their skills are impressive – but not in the least bit off-putting, as soon the dancefloor is filled with people cutting a rug and having a (blitz) ball.
Guests chat and mingle, making new friends and browsing the goods at the craft stalls at the back of the venue. Then, the ladies of the Academy of Burlesque & Cabaret parade proudly to the home front, shovels aloft as they Dig for Victory in an excellently-choreographed and entertainingly saucy routine.
More dancing follows and the atmosphere is fun and happy. This is heightened by the party games which then follow: from passing rationed bananas from between one person’s legs to another’s; to a hilarious attempt to pass a coded message along a line of whispering guests.
Things are brought to a charming and uplifting close by the Gracie Fields-like tones of Claire Saunderson, who delights everyone with a set of wartime melodies and familiar songs.
No-one is in a hurry to leave but by the time people file out, upper lips suitably stiffened, Miss Fitz-Poste has yet again shown that her Modern Mixers events are the most fun you can have with your vintage clothes on.
Keep up to date with Miss Fitz-Poste’s plans on their website and Facebook page.