Welcome to the Ex-Official Blog of Writer, Presenter & Crafts Expert Momtaz Begum-Hossain which stopped being active on 31st August 2016.

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Saturday 31 October 2015

Asian Media Awards 2015 - My 'Finalist' Outfit!

It's not like I need an excuse to dress up. But when there's a specific event, there's nothing I love more than curating a special outfit, just for that day. As a Finalist in the 'TV Presenter Of The Year' category at The Asian Media Awards 2015, I was extra excited and enthused about the possibilities. In this interview I did above when I arrived I was asked 'do you dress like that just to stand out?' The answer? NO! This is me. I have expressed myself through fashion ever since I was at primary school - styling skills like this don't just come overnight you know! While my look is clearly not to everyone's tastes, I have only ever dressed for ME. So here's what I created for the Asian Media Awards 2015: 

'Desi Spacegirl' a sci-fi inspired hybrid of cyber punk chic and Bollywood Glamour...

The Outfit in full, shot at Hotel Gotham, in Manchester, where I stayed

Finding the right dress was the starting point. I knew early on I wanted something 'fusion' flavoured. I had no intention of buying an Indian outfit or borrowing one, I wanted to get something handmade. I had a look on Etsy which is filled with indie designers (I prefer to support them over big brands) and came across the shimmering styles by Coquetry Clothing. It was one of those instant YES's - the bit that did it for me was the sleeves and I love a flared skirt.


Trims bought in Green Street, London

The dress needed heels to make it work so I bought a plain pair from Ebay and customised them. As the dress clearly had a Western feel I wanted my accessories to add the Asian vibe so I decided to create my own. I didn't need to buy a bag, a few months ago my friend Zoe was chucking out an old Indian clutch and it was the perfect size for carrying what I needed for the event - lipgloss and lots of business cards! It was a good excuse to top up my trim supplies so I had a spree in a gorgeous new haberdashery in East London.
Materials I used to customise Bollywood themed shoes and handbag
And here are The Shoes...(thanks Suman for the photo!)

And...The Clutch

For finishing touches I had some mendhi done on one of my hands from the Pavan Henna Bar in Selfridges
...and to add a cosmic edge I had some galaxy themed nails done (these are my real nail, not not fake ones!) Thanks Susanna for the artistry.

I used a folky themed trim to make a belt (I added ties and beads at the end). It fit around my waist with just enough left to make a matching cuff.)


I have long been an admirer of Make-Up Artist Armand Beasley, he's not your typical MUA, he's much more creative and understands what femininity and individuality mean. He's also based in Manchester (though if Goldy Hawn is in the UK, he's her personal MUA - thankfully she didn't need him the night of the awards - so I nabbed him for me!)
Armand created this incredible 'Starship Troopers meets Blade Runner meets Glamazon look'...perfect for my Desi Spacegirl theme - and you saw it here first. Gold eyebrows are going to be a thing.

The event itself was fun, positive and filled with smiles. I caught up with friends and influential people. I'm a massive supporter of the Asian Media industry, I've been involved in it since I was 17 and I hope I'll always have a chance to make my mark in it, and the wider media world.

Here's some more snaps from the glittering evening...

With Asad Shan, who won TV Presenter Of The Year (no hard feelings...clearly we should Co-Present something!)

Fabulous actresses Clara Indrani and Goldy Notay whose play Happy Birthday Sunita was nominated for Best Stage Show

TV & Radio Presenter extraordinaire Shay Grewal
BBC Asian Network's Haroon Rashid with Video Channel Of The Year winner Planet Parle

With Nat Bollywood & Matt Doodling Around

The Asian Media Awards 2015 took place at The Hilton Deansgate in Manchester. See the full list of winners here.

Friday 23 October 2015

The Best Vintage Clothes Shop In London (well the cheapest anyway!)

The other day my colleague popped in the office and told me he'd just seen a sign for a vintage fashion shop where you can stock up as much as you want for a tenner. We've been located near Mile End for the last five months and I can honestly say that despite the proximity to the park and canal there is NOTHING HERE, so to discover there is a clothes shop for me to hang out in was music to my ears. And he wasn't wrong. I popped in a few days later and found myself lost in a warehouse filled with clothes and when I say filled, I mean FILLED!
Taken from Mile End Vintage's Instagram account
Mile End Vintagestore does indeed work by a 'stock up on what you want' policy. You take either a small bag (which is still huge) or a large bag, fill it up with whatever you want for either £10 or £20 and that's it, done deal, a whole new wardrobe for less than a weekly travelcard. There are some rails of 'priced items' but they won't break the bank.

I popped in one lunch hour and only managed to make a dent in the stock, I didn't even get a chance to fill a bag. 

But's here's what I did take home:

3 Dresses

Sixties launderette chic
Seventies Hippy Dippy

Eighties power dress
1 knitted tank top

2 Scarves

1 jacket* 

NOT PHOTOGRAPHED YET! (check back soon!)

*it's pink wool, was a bit big for me, so I am currently having it taken in by six inches so it's nice and fitted!
ALL THIS BOOTY FOR THE GRAND SUM of £6!!!!!! Yes £6 and it's all good quality stuff.

I've been to ALOT of vintage clothing emporiums in my time, I used to live in Brighton, home of vintage chic and I spend a lot of time in Brick Lane, the heart of vintage in London. Generally the stores are colourful, creatively decorated with retro music blaring out of speakers and the costs vary from 'that's pretty good' to 'hmmm should I really spend that much?'.

Taken from Mile End Vintage's Instagram account
Take away all the styling and fanfayre and what really matters is the clothes, and Mile End has plenty. 1/3 warehouse, 1/3 market stall and 1/3 shop, it really is a proper bargain hunter's paradise and if you have time on your hands you really can dig deep and discover incredible finds.

It's a clean and spacious setting and there are several changing rooms. The team also offer an alteration service so if the dress you find is too long or jacket not figure hugging enough they can sort that out for you. Most exciting of all though is that stock changes regularly AND they hold regular £1 sales at weekends.....including this weekend 23rd and 24th October. Which translates as buying clothes for £1. £1.

Taken from Mile End Vintage's Instagram account
There are a variety of styles from different genres and decades in stock, for guys and girls. Above are some happy shoppers from their last Pound Sale.

I called this post 'The Best Vintage Clothes Shop' in London and I believe this because going there is a proper shopping experience. 

It's not about beautifully pressed frocks hanging on lace covered hangers beside a jukebox....this is rifling through a neverending car boot sale where treasure could be anywhere. And when you  discover something you like that , there's a great sense of achievement that you don't get from ordinary shopping.

Yes there are plenty of vintage shops, markets, fairs and boutiques in London but they are so predictable. At Mile End Vintagestore however you really don't know what you'll find.

 It gets my thumbs up and I recommend making the trip here when you can. Now then, when am I next going back? *consults diary*

Mile End Vintagestore, 452-454 Robeson Street, London, E3 4JA. Follow their social media to find out about their £1 sales, next one Sat Oct 23rd and Sun Oct 24th 2015. 
Usual hours are 11am-6pm and 2pm-7pm Fridays.