Designers

  • Tartan an' Tweed'll Dee for the Ballater Victoria Week

    August 6, 2015

    janice scottie bag 2

    Anyone who has taken part in the Frockery Eco-Fashion challenge over the past few years will  recognise our chief judge, Janice Stewart, from the striking photograph above. Although her craft business Tweed'll Dee by Notions is based just 12 miles from Frockery HQ, our paths first crossed online when Janice entered and (twice!) won our challenge by wowing us all with her creativity and flair, her unique sense of style and wonderful sense of fun.

    Janice, who originally hails from Ballater on Royal Deeside, has recently been very busy preparing for the Ballater Victoria Week, at which she will be launching and showcasing the brand new BVW tartan,  designed by a local wee lassie, Lizzie Scripps, in celebration of Homecoming Scotland 2014 and first woven this year.

    You'll find her  strutting her tartan stuff at the Victoria Hall, Station Square, Ballater, on Saturday 8th August from 11am until 4pm. Full details of the event can be found on the Official Launching of Ballater Victoria Week Tartan Facebook Page, where some merchandise is also available to buy online.

    janice scottie bag

    janice scottie bag 3

    Tweed'll Dee generously sponsored the initial production of 10m of 11oz double-width woollen tartan, and Janice has used it to create a small range of products, some of which will be sold in aid of BVW.

    Explaining her proud involvement in her 'home town' project, Janice said:

    “On choosing the business name Tweed’ll Dee,  I based it loosely on the Doric language (‘Tweed Will Do’), still prevalent in my home town and, although I now live in Brechin, I’m not that far from my roots! Tweed’ll Dee by Notions is proud to be the sole supplier and sponsor of the initial set-up and first production run of this special edition tartan fabric!"

    She promises there will be lots of lovely products available to buy, including one-offs and limited editions, made using the new tartan.  Her showcase table will be part of the Knittykittybangbang Crafters event  and Janice herself will be unmissable as ever, dressed up to the nines in her specially created BVW tartan frockery!

    Many of the sellers at the event, along with other selected makers, have donated items to the big raffle which have been made from tartan donated by Tweed'll Dee, and it is hoped that larger-scale production of the tartan will follow if there is sufficient interest.  Maybe some of the high profile locals will give it their royal seal of approval?

  • Mackintosh will Rise like a Phoenix

    May 29, 2014

    glasgow school of art mac building

    Image credit: Glasgow School of Art

    It really doesn’t seem like five years since Kirstin Frocker graduated from the Glasgow School of Art and it was deeply upsetting for us all to see the Mackintosh Building engulfed in flames last Friday.

    Thankfully, no one was hurt, but the iconic library - a national treasure – was destroyed, and many of the final year students lost the portfolios they had worked so hard to produce for their degree shows.

    Well deserved tributes have been paid to the fire fighters who worked so tirelessly to extinguish the blaze while taking care to salvage as much as possible of the building's irreplaceable structure and contents. The damage, devastating as it was, could have been a lot worse without their gargantuan efforts and they are owed a huge debt of gratitude.

    The good news amidst the wreckage is that those students who lost their work are going to receive ‘Phoenix bursaries’ to cover the cost of six months’ studio space and a living allowance while they rebuild their degree portfolios. We wish them all well in doing so and have every confidence that their talent - nurtured and inspired within the walls of the world renowned Mac - will shine through.  

    Meanwhile, online donations have already exceeded  tens of thousands of pounds and the art school has been inundated with offers of assistance from specialist conservators and curators from across the globe.  So the Mackintosh building will rise again and continue to inspire future generations of artists.

    The Glasgow School of Art has a very special place in our hearts from when K. Frocker was a student there and lived, somewhat chaotically with two other art students, in a flat in Renfrew Street a mere hundred yards from the school. She has since gone on to carve out a career as a buyer for an international brand, but still cried rivers last week as her beloved Mac burned.

    We took a wee trip down memory lane ourselves to revisit K’s own degree show in 2009. We do have better pictures, which we'll try and find, but here's an interim snap of Kirstin and Danny Frocker back in 2009.

    kirstin frocker degree show glasgow

     And K's graduation, rocking a vintage hat (from the Frockery, of course!)  in place of a conventional mortar board.

    k frocker graduation

  • Letter from America

    February 5, 2014

    We were recently pleased to hear from Gen, one of our readers in the US, who had enjoyed our focus article on Droopy & Browns and wanted to share with us her own 'find' in the form of a delightful merino wool dress designed by the inimitable Angela Holmes.

    She wrote:

    On my travels I've found a wonderful Angela Holmes dress, 100% merino wool in beautiful condition.  I learnt a great deal about her from your helpful site.  If you'd like photos I can send them. 

    I'm in the Pacific Northwest - we're quite close to British Columbia and a surprising number of Brit designer labels find their way down here.  

    Naturally we wanted to find out more and see the well travelled dress, which is indeed an Angela Holmes classic.

    droopy and browns dress

    Describing the dress, Gen wrote:

    The gathering around the waist is exquisitely done, with beautiful inner tailoring. It's made from a smooth, lighter weight pure merino wool woven and does up the back with a long zipper.  It's a size 14 UK. The skirt is very full with just yards of fabric.   

    droopy and browns dress

    A lady after our own heart, Gen also told us she does most of her shopping in charity shops, commenting:

    How I found it is that I shop for most of my clothing in charity shops - both in my area (Pacific Northwest US) and in England (I stay part time in London but will shop anywhere). I'm a bit of a textile and clothing hobbyist and used to design and create clothing, upcycle and the like but haven't done as much of that lately.  I'm always on the look out for good British designers, though, as I think they, along with the Japanese, do some of the most innovative designs anywhere.   I really appreciate your blog!

    It's certainly good to know that our blog attracts such a discerning readership and that our Droopy & Browns article provided some useful background for this beautiful dress's new owner!

     

  • Feminine frockery from Diane Freis

    January 29, 2012

    Diane Freis studied fine art at UCLA in her native of California before turning her talents to fashion design in the mid 1970s, attracting the interest and patronage of numerous Hollywood celebrities, including Diana Ross, with her bespoke beaded jackets and vintage inspired creations.

    Relocating to Hong Kong in the late 70s, she had her distinctive and elaborate designs made up in luxurious fabrics by a skilful and meticulous local workforce. Her beautiful ultra feminine floral and geometric combination print dresses, mainly in georgette but also in silk, quickly proved popular and Freis progressed from owning a single Hong Kong boutique in 1978 to opening her own design, print and manufacturing facility in 1982, producing exclusive ranges of limited edition garments. By the mid 80s she had become a key player on the international fashion stage with celebrity endorsement for her high end bohemian creations.

    Freis’s designs remain essentially easy-to-wear, unashamedly forgiving and figure flattering, which is a boon for the less than perfectly formed amongst us! “Real women gain and lose weight and they do not always conform to magazine standards of beauty”, the designer has always insisted. Thank you for that, Diane!

    We are privileged to feature in our catalogue this stunning new arrival, a distinctive 80s georgette maxi dress with so many of the fabulous hallmarks of Diane Fries design.  In a mainly black and white print, accented with bright fuchsia, teal and yellow, it incorporates lots of romantic detail, including a crystal pleated frill around the neckline and trademark tasselled and beaded neck ties. The shoulders are accentuated with delicate crystal pleated frills and the natural waist is defined by a contrast fuchsia and teal shirred band for a comfortable fit. The skirt is in two complementary contrast prints: black and white to hip level, below which it becomes black and white with colourful leaves and is crystal pleated for added volume and fluidity.

    Buy it now for only £45 and prepare to turn heads!

    Diane Freis 80s dress

    diane freis 80s dress

    diane freis 80s dress

    80s vintage diane freis dress

  • Scottish Fashion Awards

    June 16, 2011

    The fashion industry in Scotland contributes in excess of £750 million a year to the UK economy and the annual Scottish Fashion Awards attract worldwide interest.

    Congratulations to this year's winners, most especially to the talented Jonathan Saunders, who has won the top accolade of Designer of the Year  for the second year in a row.

    Clad  in a Christopher Kane green lace dress, Samantha Cameron graced the Glasgow event along with a coterie of celebrity fashionistas. However, it was Shirley Bassey, wearing a head turning tartan Graeme Black gown with a sporran for a purse, who stole the show as far as we were concerned.

    shirley bassey scottish fashion awards

    Just wow, what a lady! But (if you'll forgive the shameless self-promotion) there's no need to be a Big Spender to play up the plaid or rock the tartan.

    Meanwhile, we have been inspired to look into recycling grandad's old sporran!

  • New frock, or maybe just a respray?

    September 20, 2010

    Fabrican (literally, fabric in a can), which was showcased at the Science in Style  show at London Fashion Week, is an innovative spray-on textile developed by Spanish fashion designer Michael Torres in collaboration with the Royal College of Art and scientists at Imperial College London.

    The spray forms a seamless fabric when sprayed directly on to the body, is easy to peel off and can be washed and reworn.

    The Guardian reports that  “Torres took 15 minutes to spray a T-shirt onto a male model in a demonstration”, which is significantly longer than throwing on a conventional T, so it may not catch on with the fast fashionistas.

    Another drawback we have identified is that, while spray-on clothing may be fine for those without too many inches to pinch, some of us would need multiple layers of spray to keep the bulges at bay, or just smooth them out a bit. Will Fabrican spray directly on to Spanx, we wonder?

    On a serious note, this is an exciting invention, which has a myriad of applications, not least of all for medical use as sterile spray-on bandages. We aren’t sure it will catch on as a fashion textile, but we are certainly impressed by its multiple use and reuse potential.

    Take a look at this link for some video demos of Fabrican in action.

    We'll  need a rub down and some filler at the body shop before booking our respray, so will be sticking to conventional clobber in the  meantime.