Sometimes the world can feel very bleak, especially after the horrific events of this week, but we have to remind ourselves that despite the sadness, life goes on. Most of the people who inhabit this planet of ours are kind and good and lovely.
Like Lynn and Philip, who we met as customers at Manchester's Victoria Baths and, over the last two years, have become dear friends. They'd spent a week visiting family in Oxford and, en route back home to Lancashire, popped round for a visit on Tuesday.
If you follow Lynn's blog or her Facebook page you'll already know that she's a super talented artist and creator. She made us this beautiful cushion using her favourite technique, slow stitching. I'm all for taking it slowly, good things take time. That's why I choose home cooking over fast food, the time-consuming but wonderful community of blogging over the instant but inherently vacuous, hash tag driven world of Instagram and shopping second-hand over buying new. Finding the right piece can sometimes take years but when you find it, that's it. You'll never go off something you've spent half your life looking for.
But sometimes those much sought after pieces all appear within a couple of days.
We have a couple of friends we originally met at a jumble sale (you never know what you'll find when you're queuing outside a church in some godforsaken Black Country town) and like us, love vintage hunting. They're always out and about on our behalf, even on their holidays, finding cool clothing to keep the Kinky rails stocked - brilliant for us, especially when we're tied up with festivals and can't get to the car boots or jumble sales. This dress was one of their finds, bought with me in mind.
Treacy Lowe was a label started by Kathy Lowe Howden, who started working in fashion in 1948 as a buyer for Marshall Fields' Import Bazaar. She took a break from fashion in 1961, returning to work as a fashion and merchandising coordinator for Jaeger in London in 1966. She started Treacy Lowe in 1971 with her husband Kenneth Howden, a retired English businessman. Their garments cost between $120 - $300+ in the mid 70s.
Information from the Vintage Fashion Guild website.
|Treacy Lowe silk midi worn with vintage tooled suede belt (50p, car boot sale) and Aldo boots (£1, car boot sale)|
I've got Ossie Clark, Miu Miu and Pucci in my wardrobe but this dress is by far the best quality garment I've ever had on my back. Gossamer light, fully lined and f*ckin' fabulous. My friends know my taste to a tee.... and that's why we're happy to let them shop for Kinky.
I was hyperventilating when I spotted this Freedom for Topshop breast plate in the Salvation Army charity shop yesterday. It still had the original price tag of £18.99 attached. I was more than happy to pay £5.99. To me, charity shopping isn't about buying something as cheaply as possible, it's finding something you love at a price you can afford and helping out a good cause at the same time. Who in their right mind wants to give Sir Philip Green any more money?
This Indian block printed midi dress was another Salvation Army find, on the sale rail reduced to £1.99. Similar dresses are selling for silly money on eBay yet this had been hanging up in a charity shop for a month and didn't sell at the original price of £4.99 - hardly extortionate!
|Block-printed Indian-made midi, silver costume jewellery and 1960s suede jacket worm with Aldo leather boots (£1, car boot sale)|
Traidcraft is still in business. Founded in 1979 it sells fairly traded goods and runs life changing development projects and campaigns around the world. The drop waist, button-thru' style is exactly the style of dress I was wearing for my post-O Level work experience in 1983 so I'd say this is from the same era.
I found some good jewellery yesterday - the faux turquoise necklace was 99p, the Mexican silver and real turquoise bangle (on the right arm) was 49p and the Indian bangle with the paisley filigree design (top one on the left) was 50p.
This British Mist 1960s suede jacket was another find by our friends. Its got circular pockets, petal shaped lapels, a self belt and worn just on the right side of knackered. I've been after something similar for most of my adult life - it's a keeper.
As usual, I'm totally obsessed by the Euros and haven't missed a match yet. I had to laugh at myself having a long discussion with a roofer in the avenue this morning about Italy's fluid style of play, the strength of the Icelandic team and the euphoria of Daniel Sturridge's goal. With my disinterest in weddings and babies, preference for nuts and crisps over chocolate & cake and not finding either Tom Hiddleston or the bloke who plays Poldark remotely attractive, my ex-work colleagues were probably right, I should have been born a man.
See you soon!
See you soon!