Tuesday 26 November 2013

They COULD organise a p*ss up in a brewery

Another weekend, another wedding. This time the venue was a brewery in rural Lincolnshire. We get around with a little help from our friends. 

Although it's right next door and although I've ventured in and around the county, I've never really felt like I had a feel for it, so I enjoyed the journey, just looking out of the car window and taking it all in. 
Lincolnshire is big on farming. The land is flat and open, while the sky is big. And practically every village ends with the suffix -by: Candlesby, Salmonby, Grimsby, Spilsby, the list goes on. What does that tell you? It tells you that this is VIKING country: -by originally meant a farmstead, but the places grew into villages and towns, taking the suffix with them.

The villages and towns are very pretty, mainly Georgian with lovely little period high streets. Everywhere there are little red brick cottages with jaunty paintwork.
We stayed in Skegness, also known as SkegVegas because of the amount of entertainment arcades, or just plain Skeg, which I think is used as a descriptor.
It's considered a joke in bad taste by many. The coastal town that they forgot to close down. But lights like that always get me a bit excited. I guess I just got in the wrong queue when they were handing out good taste. 
The town strapline is 'it's bracing' and this is the figure which demonstrates that fact. 

That's what I look like on the dance floor when they play 'Dancing Queen'. 
The last time we went to a wedding, dear Helga said in her inimitable fashion, 'What the buggery did you WEAR darling?!' so this is for you! We went as twins. His 'n hers matching Hawaiian jumpsuit and shirt. 
I made that little handbag out of some spare fabric when I made alterations to another Hawaiian jumpsuit.
Rock a hula everyone!

Monday 18 November 2013

Poser turned clothes detective: it's all about the labels

This old dog has learned a new trick! I've figured out how to pose, use a tripod and do a self timer, all at the same time. My life is complete.

To answer your question, yes, I did buy the dress! I love it! It is so glamorous and after a week of calorie counting, I managed to get my belly enough under control that it isn't all I see when I wear it. The fabric is beautifully soft. It is woven into a sort of padded effect brocade with a soft yellow silk and a gold thread. I particularly love the bow feature on the front.

When I saw the label, it looked familiar, but I couldn't quite figure out why. 'Global, styled in Paris, made in the British Crown colony of Hong Kong.'

But then when I got home, all was revealed. It was the same label as another great favourite of mine, this green and gold beauty.
Unstyled, unaccessorised. Just me and the dress. I was in a rush, needed to get my act together to go and see my mum and go to the supermarket. Poser, clothes detective, carer, housewife. Then there's tennis later and making tea. Athlete and cook. Wow, these labels are making me sound good.

I was a bit puzzled, because when I held them both up together, the yellow dress, which is a size 14 looked to be the same size as the green, which is a size 12. 

A bit of detective work and I have discovered that the yellow one has been taken up and taken in. Mystery solved. I have spent rather a happy half an hour being a vintage clothing detective! That degree in Fashion Textiles has come in useful after all.

Anyway I did a bit more digging and it turns out that the heyday for garments bearing this type of label was the late 1950s and early 1960s. Labour and fabrics were very cheap, Hong Kong was keen to manufacture and so a clothing industry boomed, which focused on Western styles that could be exported. These Asian exports were well finished and had that famous beadwork which was so loved in the 50s and 60s. Apparently a lot of unknown designers went there to work and gain experience. 

How about you, what labels describe the roles you have played today? Have you got any dresses made in the British Crown Colony of Hong Kong? Give us a twirl!

Saturday 2 November 2013

We took Nottingham by storm or was it the other way round?

Oh, we had the best time, Vix, Curtise, Annie, Serena and I. 

The calm before the storm. A nice cuppa at Hopkinson's whilst waiting for the Birmingham contingent to arrive. Serena was a first timer at one of our bloggy get-togethers, but she fitted in just perfectly.
Vix looked a gazillion dollars in this dress. She is probably the only person who could have got into it, since she is the size of a pixie. We had a bit of fun with the changing room which is just a hoop with a bit of fabric dangling. Getting changed in there was an adventure. 

Present giving. We were as giddy as a gang of drunk women. Oh OK, by that time we WERE a gang of drunk women.
There were so many presents it was like Christmas morning. 
Dutch clog salt and pepper shakers, groovy fabric and amazing Dortmund scene with OBDs, from Vix.
Lovely home made soap and card from Serena.
Fabulously soft vintage house coat and cuckoo clock brooch from Curtise.
Gorgeous notebook and necklace from Annie.
It was cold and wet outside, but the reception at the wonderful BAKLASH couldn't have been warmer. Meg looked after us beautifully.
With a special offer of a bag of clothes for £10, it was like supermarket sweep in there. Meg told us she had managed to get 8 items in a bag before, but I'm sure Vix blew that record away. We kept going round and round the rails, until we had practically assembled all the stock.
There was just time for one last drink by the station before we said our farewells. In Curtise's case we said it a few times, because she kept popping up as she did a crazy circuit looking for her train. She made it with seconds to spare. There was a wholesale gasp of relief from the rest of us as we saw her jump on.

What a day!