Frockery Talk

  • Polka dotty for you

    August 1, 2011

    Polka dots and spots never seem to go out of fashion and are always popular at the Frockery.

    We especially like this retro white and red polka dot sun dress from Dorothy Perkins, which looks never to have been worn.

    We also have in stock this pretty blue polka dot skirt.

    blue polka dot skirt

     Or how about a polka dot pin-up dress?

    polka dot pin up dress

    Meanwhile, this Fink Modell blue and black polka dot dress oozes 80s!

    80s blue and black spotted dress

    And coming soon, this 50s pink and white polka dot dress...

    50s pink and white polka dot dress

  • 100 years of Kays catalogue

    August 1, 2011

    We were delighted to see this article in the Daily Mail the other day: Changing faces and fashions from 100 years of Kays catalogue.

    Emily Allen reports:

    "The extracts from the catalogue over the past 100 years have been released as part of a 'Cataloging Kays' project by the University of Worcester which will turn the photos and sketches dating back almost to the Victorian era into 1,500 digital images. 

    Their aim is to show how fashion and lifestyle taste have changed over the decades - and give shoppers a glimpse into the changing face of Britain's wardrobe. 

    Project manager Jenni Waugh said the Kay's story is important because the catalogues were aimed at 'working people, not glamour goddesses'."

    How some of the fashion photographs took us back!

    Anita Harris looked especially fab modelling a belted dress for Kays in 1972.

    anita harris models for kays

    There was some hideous 80s gear, of course, which included the ubiquitous velour tracksuit (worn with heels!)

    80s velour tracksuit

    But how cute is this 1950s mother daughter look?

    1950s mother daughter fashion

    The Kays collection includes an almost a full set of mail order catalogues, along with photographs, company accounts, reports and minutes of board meetings.

    Excitingly, it is soon to become much more widely accessible thanks to a £55,000 grant to facilitate the creation of an interactive digital web archive. This will not only allow viewing of the archived material but will also allow members of the public to add content by sharing their own memories of Kays catalogue in photographic or anecdotal form.

    The BBC also covered the story here: Memories of Kays catalogue shopping. The video is well worth a watch.

    What an excellent project!

  • Feelgood Blues to Rockabilly

    July 21, 2011

    skye justice bus

    Justice Bus promotes the Wilko weekender on Skye

    Just as we head off for the inaugural Isle of Skye Blues'n'Boogie Feis this weekend to enjoy liberal helpings of former Dr Feelgood guitar legend Wilko Johnson, news has reached us of another new event which is being planned for next summer by a group of 50s rock'n'roll and rockabilly loving locals.

    The Arbroath Seaside Smoker is a newly-founded non-profit organisation dedicated to bringing a quality 50s/rock'n'roll weekender event to Arbroath in Angus. Its stated mission is “to bring quality rock n roll and rockabilly music to the town spread over several venues for a weekend of great music and perhaps some extras”, with the  ultimate aim of creating “an event that will rival the Big Weekenders held south of the border”.


    Arbroath Seaside Smoker


    Well, we're certainly up for that, and we gather the "extras" may include a vintage themed fair. Even better, it's only a few miles from the Frockery's Forfar HQ so we are already looking forward to frocking, rocking and rolling (in no particular order) the weekend away.

  • Frockery Focus on Laura Ashley

    July 20, 2011

    Frockery founder Alison first discovered Laura Ashley back in 1974 when she was a student at Edinburgh University. She and her friends used to frequent the Lothian Road shop which was temptingly filled with covetable cotton dresses in feminine floral prints, all designed to stretch the student grant to its limit. (Yes, we had grants back then!)

    When she got married five years later, it was in a Victorian style cotton dress with a pin tucked bodice, self-designed with a strong Laura Ashley influence, and the bridesmaids wore dresses made from Laura Ashley fabric. Later she dressed her daughters, and continued to dress herself, in Laura Ashley clothes, ranging from day dresses and business suits to cocktail dresses and ballgowns. The attention to detail was always meticulous and the quality of the garments was unsurpassed on the high street during the brand’s heyday.

    By way of background, Laura Ashley (nee Mountney) was born in Wales in 1925 and educated in London. Following her marriage to Bernard Ashley in 1949, she designed scarves from her London home for John Lewis and other retail stores. Her designs proved immensely popular and Bernard soon joined her in the fast expanding business which had also started selling by mail order.

    Moving from London to Kent, then back to Laura’s native Wales, which had been the inspiration for many of her country floral designs, the brand enjoyed enormous success and in 1968 the first Laura Ashley shop opened in South Kensington, London. Increasing international interest and the addition of  several thousand overseas outlets helped  Laura Ashley grow a global following by the early 80s, although the brand sadly lost its creative force and much of its direction following the sudden tragic death of its founder after an accident in 1985.

    The Frockery sells a wide selection of Laura Ashley brand clothing, mostly from the 80s, but occasionally we have earlier pieces on offer. Here are a few of the examples we currently have in stock, all at affordable prices and in excellent condition, and all timeless in their appeal.

     80s cobalt blue Laura Ashley ballerina dress

    cobalt blue ballerina dress laura ashley

     80s Laura Ashley floral print sun dress

    80s Laura Ashley summer print dress

    Laura Ashley red dress with back bows

    red dress with back bows

    Black velvet Laura Ashley prom dress

    And coming soon!

    Navy and white polka dot 80s Laura Ashley sailor dress

    navy sailor dress laura ashley

    80s does 50s vintage Laura Ashley print dress

    50s style laura ashley dress

  • Playing Footsie

    July 19, 2011

    A prolonged bout of lethargy on a dreary Tuesday morning was immediately cured after a chance conversation with a customer about northern soul music and memories of Wigan's Chosen Few. Playing Footsie (or is it Footsee?) never fails to lift the spirits, but how many of us could stand that pace these days?

    Our own Johnny Frocker has very fond memories of Wigan Casino all-nighters from the late 60s to mid 70s, having grown up in the north west of England. He was tickled pink to see this clip and enjoyed the welcome trip down memory lane.

  • Vintage pleasures

    July 18, 2011

    It was gloriously sunny yesterday and the Frockers enjoyed a day out at Montrose beach, which Alison has been visiting since the late 1950s (when she still looked cute in a frilly swimsuit).

    montrose beach

    While enjoying an ice cream at the Beach Cafe, Johnny snapped this fab Chevrolet truck.


    Some vintage pleasures never go out of fashion, even if the sun isn't as reliable as it used to be!