Award-winning vintage fashion + homewares
Award-winning vintage fashion + homewares
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In the first of an occasional series for Lovely's Vintage Emporium blog we will have guest blog posts from style journalists interviewing key figures from different decades.

Our first contribution is from the very successful Yanar Alkayat, online editor for Beauty Mart UKbeauty writer for various magazines and vintage fashion obsessive (see image of Yanar below)


For this blog post Yanar is interviewing Seventies US Supermodel Nancy Donahue (see one of her Vogue covers below).

Over to Yanar:

When I was invited to meet Nancy Donahue, one of the original ‘super’ models who graced the cover of every US glossy magazine during the late 70s and 80s and now co-founder of the BelleCore Body Buffer, I jumped at the chance.

Well of course I would; I'm someone more than slightly obsessed with anything from yesteryear - my wardrobe is 85% vintage/pre-loved/second hand, my bedroom looks like a room from your grandmother’s house and my favourite birthday present this year was a duo of hair and beauty books, circa 1983. So getting a glimpse into the glamorous world of 80s fashion I’d always loved was something to shout out about.

Nancy was one of the ‘It’ girls of the 80s modelling era – her and models Kelly Emberg and Kim Elexis were inseparable, appeared on the front covers of Vogue, Self, Madmoiselle, Cosmopolitan and many more, partied with each other and are still good friends today.

As the 90s set in, Nancy swapped her dancing dresses for fitness gear and went on to become a yoga teacher, personal trainer, competing triathlete and mum. Today she lives and breathes fitness and wellbeing and her BelleCore Baby Buffer is an embodiment of these passions. Launched in 2010 it’s a nifty oscillating contraption that smoothes skin, reduces the appearance of cellulite, improves lymphatic drainage, boosts circulation and helps eliminate lactic acid after intense training.

As we sat in the BeautyMART concession in Harvey Nichols, Knightsbridge Nancy had no diva-ness about her – she was natural, open and full of honest, vibrant energy. We discussed what's left of her vintage wardrobe, her favourite 80s Versace clothes and why bygone beauty trends are actually quite inspiring. Then she described how she’d worn my exact hairstyle on a Cover Girl Nails advert in the 1980s – a discovery worth its weight in vintage gold!

On my way to interview Nancy, Lovely’s Vintage Emporium shared my excitement on Twitter so hence this guest post. Here is my 60-second round-up with Nancy Donahue, exclusively for Lovely’s Vintage fans.

What is your favourite magazine cover that you appeared on and why?

British Vogue, November 1980 by Eric Bowman, make-up artist Alberto Fava 

Eric's cover is my favourite for many reasons. We were very close and had this special bond. He took me under his wing when I was going through some hard times. He captured me in a way no one else could do. We had the upmost respect and admiration for each other. I just spoke to him recently and he is a love, still the same.

Did you do your own make-up on modelling photo shoots?

No thankfully! Except for catalogue modelling – I had to do my own make-up then and boy could you tell! Luckily I picked up a lot of great tips from the pros along the way.

Who is your favourite fashion designer?

Back then it was Versace; now it’s Burberry and Armani and I’ve recently discovered The Kooples.

Are there any vintage pieces still surviving in your wardrobe today?

I have an amazing Perry Ellis dress, which my niece has worn on a shoot. (see picture below)

Also an 1980s leather Chanel strapless dress with an amazing leather bodice and frilled skirt. This was used for a Virginia Slims advert, also worn by my niece. (see picture below)

Were you expected to diet and stay slim?

Of course! It went with the job and all the partying didn’t help either…there were a few times I’d come home having overdone the work and play and my mum would be so worried. But it was the 80s – we were all the same!

Favourite make-up looks from the 80s?

I think the disco eye make-up was just fabulous. The colours, and the dramatic effect – I still find the make-up we wore then fun and inspiring today.

THANKS Nancy and Yanar,

Below, picture of Nancy as she is now and still looking amazing.

Love Lovely x

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