Frockery Talk

  • Cobblers!

    September 2, 2012

    Our local cobbler's is closing next week and we're going to miss him.

    Operating from a tiny shop just round the corner, he has mended our shoes, boots and bags, and offered helpful advice on leather cleaning and maintenance, since we moved to the town seven years ago.

    The last repair job he did for us was on this very vintage leather bag whose strap had split and become detached.

    vintage bag

    On Friday we dropped into the shop with a pair of boots needing some cobbler TLC and happened upon a huddle of glum looking folk in the minuscule reception area of the tiny shop. The subject of conversation was the cobbler's unexpected and imminent (as in next week) closure as a result of his bank moving the overdraft goalposts at short notice, effectively doubling his outgoings.

    Game over! Just like that!

    It wasn't even the local branch what did it, he explained quite candidly - they know him personally and patronise his business, as do most of the locals. Rather, the dastardly deed was executed by anonymous 'head office' personnel based somewhere in deepest Englandshire, who had decided his fate by database, presumably because his micro enterprise didn't tick the right boxes for continuing support in the current financial climate. Frankly, that's more than a bit rich coming from an institution which played no small part in precipitating the economic crisis, but there always seems to be a bottomless money pit available, courtesy of the taxpayer, to bail out banks on the brink of failure.

    Whatever happened to the government's promises about helping small businesses in these tough times, the cobbler asked (rhetorically)? And who, exactly, stands up for sole traders and micro enterprises who are often just a modest overdraft facility away from extinction? Unfortunately, the bank won't accept warm words in lieu of cold hard cash, and soundbites about support won't keep our cobbler's door open. In fact they haven't done much at all to help high streets across the country where once thriving retail units now lie empty for months, if not years. Despite bold announcements about how 'loadsamoney' is being earmarked to help SMEs which are struggling to survive as the banks' new (but not improved) lending criteria have cut off cashflow, no one around here knows anyone who has seen any tangible benefits.

    Our small county town takes particular pride in its range of small independent shops, which are appreciated by locals and visitors alike as a welcome antidote to the multiplicity of chain stores, fast food franchises and supermarkets that dominate so many high streets. We Forfarians still boast a goodly number of bakers, butchers, fishmongers and an enviable selection of small retailers, as well as independent local furniture, carpet and electrical stores. We also have fruit and veg stalls and a thriving farmers' market selling home grown produce. Athough the dedicated candlestick maker has long since departed, we can still buy our 'fork 'andles' from the local ironmonger, aptly named David Irons & Sons but now owned by the Earl of Strathmore, which occupies a three storey building in the centre of town.

    david irons forfarImage credit:  David Irons & Sons Ltd

    Angus Council's misguided (in our opinion) relocation of its headquarters from the town centre to a site  just off the A90 (next to McDonalds) effectively hammered another few nails into the coffin of local shops, which have suffered a downturn as a result (not to mention the inconvenience for the good folk of Forfar who now have to get a bus or drive there). Having controversially sold the former council site to Asda, which brought in 'loadsamoney' for their shiny and no doubt eco-friendly new building (that you have to drive to), they dealt a double-whammy blow to local businesses as trade haemmorhaged from the nearby high street and the local Co-op. Never mind, McDonald's and Asda will have profited, even if no one else has.

    As for our local cobbler, he has no choice but to shut up shop. He is nowhere near retirement age, his business doesn't lend itself to home-based working (even if he had the space) and there are few employment opportunities locally, so he must resign himself to becoming just another statistic. He says he feels more sorry for his loyal customers than himself as he wasn't making much money anyway, probably not even the minimum wage which is compulsory for everyone except the self employed and those on 'welfare to work' programmes (aka 'free labour for multinationals'). So next week we'll have another shop empty and another livelihood lost. Times change, we know, but call this progress?

    We will be seeing our cobbler when we go in to pick up our boots tomorrow, but not for the last time as he is a member of this community who will still be using our local shops and services regularly - unlike the box tickers in some remote head office, who, having been bailed out themselves to the tune of 'loadsamillions', decided that his business and loyal customers weren't worth supporting because a spreadsheet told them so.

    Cobblers to that!

  • Frockery Focus on Indigo Moon

    August 30, 2012

    "Indigo Moon" is a search term that consistently brings new visitors to our website, so we thought we'd take the opportunity to feature this ever popular label which is favoured by the individualista fashionista!

    Indeed if it's a quirky and unique chic style you're after, then you need look no further than Indigo Moon, which specialises in tie-dye, appliqued, embellished, boho and ethnic pieces in striking colours and designs.

    By way of example, here are three Indigo Moon jackets we currently have in stock, all in great condition and all at affordable preloved prices!

     Indigo Moon coral applique jacket

    indigo moon coral applique jacket

    Indigo Moon black applique jacket

    indigo moon black applique jacket

    Indigo Moon applique jacket

    indigo moon applique jacket

  • Lovely in lace

    August 28, 2012

    Like the LBD, lace is a look that never really goes out of style. Loved by designers and fashionistas alike, it captivates on the catwalk and hits the high street season after season.

    Just lately it has once again become a firm favourite on the celebrity circuit, the Duchess of Cambridge having undoubtedly led the trend with her exquisite taste and love of lace dresses.

    The Frockers are also big fans of all things lacy, from delicate lace embellishments and trimmings to entire pieces crafted from this most feminine of fabrics.

    Here are some examples from our current catalogue, for which we promise you won't need a Kate Middleton sized budget!

    Yumi cream lace

    yumi chiffon and cream lace dress

    Lady in red

    red lace dress

    Miss Posh ivory lace tuxedo jacket

    Miss Posh ivory lace tuxedo jacket

    Double layer lace skirt with sheer black lace blouse

    red and black lace

    Cream tiers

    cream lace skirt

    Navy lace cocktail frock

    navy lace cocktail dress

    Pink lace jabot blouse

    pink lace jabot blouse

    Vintage lace trimmed underskirt

    lace trimmed vintage underskirt

    Lace trimmed hankies

    lace trimmed hankies

  • Holiday!

    August 13, 2012

    Since the Chief Frocker is going on a bit of a busman's holiday later this week, the office will be closed from Thursday 16th  until Monday 20th August inclusive.

    Orders placed during this period will still be processed automatically by our system, but customers are asked to note the following (which applies to both standard and special delivery options):

    Orders received before 5pm on Wednesday 15th will be dispatched on Thursday 16th August.

    Orders received after 5pm on Wednesday 15th will dispatched on Tuesday 21st August.

    Meanwhile, tweeting will continue from the deep south!

  • The Indigo Child

    August 12, 2012

    We were delighted to supply some of the costumes for a short film by the JAM Collective for the Dundee 48 hour Film Project 2012.

    The Indigo Child was produced and directed by Dylan Drummond and premiered at the Steps Theatre in Dundee last Thursday.

    The heroine wore one of our 1950s ball gowns

    indigo child vintage ballgown

    and our vintage bathing suit even got wet!

    vintage swimsuit

    Film supported by:

    Tayside Security:
    H.M.S. Frigate Unicorn:
    Tay Road Bridge:
    The Frockery:
    SC Makeup Artistry:
    Son of the Sea:
    JAM Collective:

  • Remembering Marilyn, the greatest icon of them all

    August 5, 2012

    It's 5o years since Marilyn Monroe  was found dead at her Los Angeles home at the tragically young age of 36. Barbiturate poisoning was reported as the cause of death, but speculation persists to this day as to whether it was an accidental overdose, suicide or worse.

    Acres of print and video footage commemorating the anniversary of her passing have been produced by the media this week, all of which revere her unparalleled iconic status. We especially appreciated The Mirror's Marilyn Memories: Classic archive pictures on 50th anniversary of Marilyn Monroe's death and accompanying reproduction of its original report of the star's death on 5th August 1962.

    The Marilyn look is one which so many still aspire to; indeed, one of the most frequent requests we receive from customers is for a dress in the style of the white one she famously wore in the 1955 film  The Seven Year Itch,  which was sold last year for a staggering £2.8 million.

    marilyn white dress

    Image credit: Daily Mail

    Back in February, we paid our  own homage to Marilyn in a Dollyfrockers' photo shoot in St Andrews when the lovely Hannah Wood captured the star's stunning look to perfection in some of our frockery, with hair and makeup by Sandra Cormack.

    dollyfrockers marilyn monroe

    Image credit: St Andrews Citizen

    Marilyn, it seems, will never go out of fashion, and we'll go on celebrating, and emulating, her inimitable style for years to come.