When the lovely volunteers in my local hospice charity shop asked Jon to take some photos of me wearing this vintage John Charles chiffon strapless ballgown I bought from them last week we had to oblige.
John Charles was founded by designer Cherry Price in 1958, concentrating on special occasion wear. They were known in the 1970s and 1980s for party and dress-up occasion dresses that had a decidedly feminine look.* This dress dates from the mid-1970s. As always I'm intrigued how something so elegant ended up on the rails of a charity shop in a down-at-heel town in the Black Country. I love the bold floral print, I'd love to imagine it having been worn as a super sassy wedding dress. The previous owner was clearly no shrinking violet.
*Source: Vintage Fashion Guild
Apologies about the lack of blog posts (and commenting) of late, it's because we're getting festival ready. We've increased the size of our usual trade tent by two metres so we needed a dummy run to see how many more rails we could accommodate without it looking too cluttered. We've managed to add an additional four rails, a large table and have even built a changing room from plywood (as opposed the one we usually create out of vintage fabric, rope and pegs). Jon's wallpapering it tomorrow!
|WEARING: Cropped & pom-pom trimmed top made by me using vintage fabric, 1980s Levi cut-offs & red leather belt (nicked from the stockroom).|
Much as I love trading at fairs, our festival pitch gives us an opportunity to show the general public who we really are. With fairs we only sell vintage but at festivals, while the majority of our stock is still vintage, our stock often includes pieces we've picked up on our travels around India, amazing clothes that aren't particularly old but are too cool to miss and crazy things I've made from vintage fabric and/or other people's trash. This year, in addition to clothes from the Victorian era through to the 1980s, there's bejewelled Kutchi bags, Rabari tribal necklaces and chunky Indian metal bangles. There's loud West African waxed cotton kipper ties & bucket hats and jewellery we've made from plastic toys, doll parts and leftover bits of wool. Like our home, our festival shop is decorated in a random mix of Indian temple tat, kitschy '70s toys, faded granny lampshades and vintage nautical flags. I've turned knackered umbrellas into parasols, customised denim, sewn dozens of wired headbands, and reworked gents' pinstriped waistcoats into something far less corporate. I've ironed over 200 dresses and checked over each and every of the thousand plus items we're taking. I've replaced missing buttons, dodgy zips, hooks and eyes and re-sewn hems. Everything has been priced, measured and sized and hung on the right coat hanger (I get really twitchy if things aren't on the right hanger!) After getting the thumbs up from neighbours, friends and even the postman .....Man, that is amazing! we finally took it all down and packed everything up this afternoon and we're absolutely knackered. Eight days before kick off proper!
I've also been missing in action as I've been glued to the footie, I'm already sick with nerves about tomorrow night's game. As the World Cup 2018 is shaping up to be the most exciting tournament ever I'll leave you with the greatest World Cup song ever. Come On Eng-ger-land!
Linking to Patti and the gang for Visible Monday.