Vicky Viola

Vicky Viola for Retro Spectacle, Vicky Viola Vintage Sunglasses

Our blog post this week features the fabulous Vicky Viola from  Having purchased a pair of vintage spectacles and sunglasses, both fitted with prescription lenses, we thought it was a fabulous opportunity to showcase them and Miss Vicky Viola herself. 

Vicky firstly tell us how you got into blogging?

I began blogging a few years ago when I first started making products to sell on line. I originally started out as Vivid Please, but a couple of years ago I rebranded to Miss Vicky Viola (yes, that's my real name!), and decided to share my love of vintage with the world. I used to be too shy to share pictures of myself, but I've been working hard on my confidence issues and - if you follow me on instagram, you'll have definitely noticed - I'm much more comfortable and carefree now! I'm not blogging as much these days, but I'm always on Instagram sharing outfits, my travel adventures and my illustrations / product development. Lately it's been harder to maintain the blog because I've been so busy, so for now it's a break, but hopefully not for too long. 

Where does your love for the 1950's stem from?

I've been thinking about this a lot recently, and it's 100% my families fault! Growing up, my uncle had a red telephone box in his garden and a Wurlitzer jukebox in his dining room which we used to play and dance to when we visited. After a few years he decided to upgrade it and sold this to my mum, who then decided to create a 50's diner inspired kitchen around it. From there my Mum and Dad totally encouraged my vintage style, which has been great because they're always keeping an eye out for things I may be interested in. I'm lucky to have such a crazy family!

From your Instagram and blog it is clear that you travel a lot. Where is your favourite place and why?

I'm going to have to pick 2 places, but they're both American, so I'm pretending that counts as one! Hawaii is the most beautiful place I have ever been. It is a true paradise! I was lucky enough to visit a few islands out there and I'd have to say Maui is my favourite. I learned how to surf on Waikiki Beach, made lei with fresh flowers, saw live volcanoes and incidentally swam with a shark. Such an adventure! I've also just visited Palm Springs with is a Mid-Century living dream. The buildings, vintage stores and people are all just amazing and incredibly lovely. I got to dip my toe in Elvis Presley's pool there, and, when the tour guide left the room and the tour group encouraged it, I even leapt on his bed which was hysterical. I would move there in a heartbeat. And retire in Hawaii.

We've seen you in vintage Nissan Figaro. Which famous person would you like to be your passenger for an alpine summer trip ?

Oooh! Great question! For living people, I would pick Dave Grohl because I've been a huge fan since I was 15 and he seems like a genuinely good human. Posthumously I would pick Lucille Ball (of I Love Lucy). There's so many folk who've sadly passed away I would want to road trip with, but I feel there is not enough coverage (or perhaps knowledge) of how Lucy coped as a female actress / comedienne / producer in the 50s and 60s. She dominated the TV world, owned her own studio (which got bought by Howard Hughes and is now Paramount Studio's) and was even responsible for Star Trek going on air. I think women today could learn so much from her experiences and whilst I've read several books about her, there's still so much untold. 

Who would be your all time favourite Pin Up and who has influenced your style? 

I'm definitely a Bettie Page gal! She actually enjoyed what she did and you can see that in her pictures. I'm constantly inspired by her and her style, I love that she made a lot of her outfits for the photoshoots too. Other influences are Esther Williams, Priscilla Presley, Lucille Ball, Carmen Miranda and Vampira. I've never been interested in following fashion trends, the closest I get to modern is Vivienne Westwood and Kate Spade, but even they are all about expressing your own style.

How did you find Retro Spectacle?

I've got a large collection of vintage cat eye glasses and am always on the hunt for cute new pairs (most girls feel that way about shoes!), I stumbled accross you on instagram and quickly fell in love.

What was it that drew you to the two frames you picked from our website? 

I love razor sharp cat eyes and have a pair that are super cracked and getting quite fragile to wear. I'd been looking for a replacement pair for a long time but nothing seemed to make the grade. When I found the ones on your site I didn't even take a breath - they were exactly what I was looking for! The pink framed sunglasses were the first pair of actual vintage sunglasses I've ever liked, the colour is just perfection. 

Your love of spectacles is visible throughout your blog posts and social media accounts. How many pairs of spectacles do you own, and do you have your eye on any more (no pun intended ) ha ha 

Haha! It's quite a few... currently I have 14 lensed glasses that I wear all the time, but I also have glasses on display in my home (too fragile to wear) and glasses that I'd like to get lensed sometime soon, so you can easily double that number. I don't think I'll ever stop either. You change your clothes every day, why not change your glasses more often too? 

How would you rate the build quality of genuine vintage frames vs. Current mass produced alternatives?

I used to only wear vintage glasses when I started wearing cat eye's, but my current wearable glasses are about 50/50 vintage to modern because I want to give the vintage ones a break (they are old antiques after all, most of them are older than my mother!). Vintage glasses were made with much better materials and were built to last, where as everything these days are made with a short lifespan to encourage people to keep spending. Fashion encourages that too - but sadly the prices don't match our current throw-away economy! The hinges on the modern frames are much more articulated making them more durable which is helpful (mainly for watching TV in bed!), but the mass production means they don't spend as much time on the details which is a great shame. I always choose vintage over modern (from fashion to furniture) because it is individual, more hardwearing and comes with a great piece of history. Glasses are exactly the same, only you'll have to fight me to get the cutest frames!

If you want to follow Miss Vicky Viola further you can find her on Instagram @missvickyviola, Twitter @missvickyviola or Pintrest @missvickyviola