Fast approaching its second birthday Miss DixieBelle has managed to brighten up the previous dreary landscape of Bruntsfield during its brief tenure with a cornucopia of vintage delights alongside various styling routines and accessories guaranteed to inspire and excite. Dealing exclusively in nostalgia Miss DixieBelle doesn’t just unimaginatively retread old fashions and peddle them as fancy dress or novelty but instead garners them a new lease of life imbuing them with an inherent sense of the contemporary and elegant relevance. Entering into the shop immediately instils a sense of warmth wrapped up in the warmth of familiarity whilst never slipping into the murky waters of predictability or costume style banality Providing the necessary hairstyles, manicures, lingerie and accessories that complete the looks-several decades are more than covered and catered for- it is possible to leave this exotic bijoux boutique looking as if you have stepped out on the set of Pearl Harbour or are about to guest star in an episode of Mad Men.
The effect is definitely more bombshell than bombsite and this return to an age where women felt the need to be glamorous from head to toe-neglecting nothing in between- is a welcome relief from the Saturday night ‘Look at me I’m a whore’ outfits which have proliferated over the last few years where the vertiginous heels have reached ridiculous heights and the hemlines are even higher. The emphasis is on ladylike with no sacrifice of sensuality instead giving it both simplicity and sophistication which makes women feel better and men appreciate them even more. This new band of women however are not dressing merely to please their men-folk but instead they are very much doing it for themselves and celebrating their femininity by rewarding themselves with an indulgent pampering experience.
At the very heart of making this experience so worthwhile is Emma Dixon who not only runs the shop but is very hands on in her approach to maintaining its high standards as well as being the prime advocate of its own available designs. Available onsite are a hair salon complete with nail technician and make up artists to complete the look to accompany the dresses thus ensuring everything is adequately co-ordinated. Special event nights are also frequent and extremely popular. There is even a photo-shoot service available wherein a guest photographer-along with Miss Dixie Belle’s accomplished styling team can help you create the portrait of your celluloid dreams. So being a Marilyn, Liz, Ava, Jane Russell or even a Betty Grable for even a photographic moment is within the realms of possibility.
A wedding service is also available turning that special big day into something totally memorable as well as original. The look is not all about retro and flamboyance however as many of the dresses are suitable work wear for women who are required to dress smart in the work place but do not want to go down the more traditional suit and blouse road quashing their femininity on the way. It has certainly come a long way from its humble burlesque beginnings-now that the bottom, figuratively speaking, has fallen out of that trend- and has diversified into something more grown up and sophisticated whilst retaining some of their initial premise of harking back to a more glamorous age.
The designers stocked in this veritable fantasia of a boutique include What Katie Did and La Belle Epoque but Dixon also seeks out and promotes local talent such as Darn It. Although Miss DixieBelle is the ultimate in self indulgence it also sells gift vouchers which allow you to indulge your friends and introduce them to the wonders of the stylistic treats and pampering service on offer. Although the experience is part of the package- I was more than ably assisted by the lovely, effervescent Kirsty looking for all the world like Grease’s head Pink Lady, Rizzo (a look all buttoned up cardigan, stretchy tailored cigarette pants and flats) but paraphrasing that characters signature tune ‘There are Worse Things You Could Do’- there is also an online service available. This would be ideal not only for those who do not live in Edinburgh but still want to indulge themselves in a treat but also to those whose location or schedule does not allow them to visit the shop in person. Go on give it a twirl- many of the dresses are ideal for such an elaborate movement- and treat yourself to the Miss DixieBelle experience. What Miss DixieBelle celebrates is embracing this very femininity and giving it a treat and an outing all in one go.
Photos by FourthEye photography
Miss Dixie Belle can be located at 19 Bruntsfied Place Edinburgh EH10 4HN and is open Monday to Saturday 11am-5.30pm
Telephone- 0131 629 7783
The next date for a vintage styling event is Thursday 2nd February
Click on the link below for full details and information about Miss Dixiebelle and to enter the online boutique.