Frockery Talk

  • Cosy up to cashmere

    October 15, 2012

    Now that we're half way through October, a distinct chill has entered the air, the central heating is back on and our wardrobes are having to move with the season.

    In our case (not least because we live in Scotland which is consistently colder than southern parts) the lightweight frocks, blouses and skirts have given way to an autumn / winter  wardrobe of wool skirts, sweaters and jumper dresses, knee length boots and our hardy perennial faux fur coat.

    As the nights draw in and the C word (which we promise not to mention at least until the clocks change) looms, with all its accompanying expense and stress that none of us can really afford, it's time to warm up our wardrobes with a few carefully chosen classic pieces to see us through to next spring.

    We always have a couple of cashmere jumpers to hand, which we team with wool skirts, trousers or jeans, and we often accessorise them with scarves and brooches. Our two particular favourites, which we wear constantly (and which, lovingly hand washed, come up as good as new every time) are an Autograph black cashmere roll neck jumper, which goes with anything, and a raspberry cashmere sweater which brightens up the dullest of days. But we are also tempted this autumn by some of the jazzier colours and patterns that make a bit more of a statement.

    As green fans, we are rather taken with this lime green striped jumper in 100% cashmere and and  the one below with its more subtle  pattern (and long sleeves!)

    lime green cashmere jumper

    green cashmere jumper

    For the classic woman, this vintage Jaeger cashmere sweater strikes just the right note.

    pink Jaeger cashmere sewater

    Or how about this super soft and super snuggly Oasis grey and blue striped cashmere jumper with cute off-centre pussy bow? It looks great with jeans, but would also bring a smart grey business suit to life.

    striped cashmere pussy bow jumper

    We also have a selection of go-with-anything cashmere jumpers and cardigans in plain colours to suit a variety of tastes and budgets.

    This Florence & Fred shawl collar red cashmere cardigan is a perfect wardrobe staple. A black pencil skirt would be our choice of accompaniment if it fitted us!

    red cashmere cardigan

    And finally, vintage Munrospun honeysuckle cashmere - just too small for us, sadly.

    honeysuckle cashmere jumper

    All preloved and waiting to be reloved! Why not cosy up to cashmere this winter and enjoy a touch of luxury at a fraction of the original price?

  • Dollyfrockers website goes live

    October 14, 2012

    As our regular readers already know, the Frockery doesn't just sell frocks! We also work in collaboration with Sandra Cormack of SC Make Up Artistry as Dollyfrockers on commissioned styling projects for fashion shows, magazine photo shoots and portfolios, as well as making 'ordinary' people look amazing for any occasion.

    We are delighted to announce that our new dedicated website has now gone live. Designed by Sandra's talented other half, Alan Cormack, we're sure you'll agree that it is absolutely fabulous.

    dollyfrockers

    Do especially check out our Gallery for examples of our collaborative work - more will be coming soon to illustrate the breadth of our portfolio. As our website images testify, the photographers we work with are among the best in Scotland, capturing magical memories of the myriad looks we create .

    We also have a Facebook page and Twitter feed, so do please 'like' us and 'follow' us if you are interested in keeping up to date with our combined frockery and make up artistry 'dollyfrocking' activities.

    Coming very soon is one of our commissions on the front page of  (with more inside!) Invite Magazine.

    invite mag front page

  • Peplum perfect

    October 7, 2012

    We all like bit of ruffle, so it's pleasing to see the peplum maintain its hold on the high street after taking the catwalks by storm earlier in the year. It may have had more comebacks than Frank Sinatra, but for us vintage aficionados it has never been far away.

    A popular feature of 1940s fashion and later taking the 80s by storm, the peplum serves to accentuate the flattering, ultra feminine hourglass shape that we all crave, as its hip skimming ruffle helps create the illusion of a smaller  waist . It's fun, it's flirty, it's everywhere, and it looks like it's here to stay!

    By way of illustration, here is a small peplum selection from our current Frockery catalogue.

    80s does 40s blue peplum dress

    80s does 40s peplum dress

    80s does 40s purple floral and black peplum dress

    80s does 40s peplum dress

    Karen Millen magenta silk pussy bow peplum top

    karen millen silk peplum top

     ASOS black and silver peplum cocktail dress

    asos black and silver peplum cocktail dress

    Red paisley print peplum two piece 

    red paisly print peplum skirt set

  • Did we mention that discount?

    September 24, 2012

    Further to our last post, where we were bemoaning how busy we have been (well not really bemoaning, but we could do with several extra hours in our day or else a magic boomerang!), we were disappointed to miss both of the Very Vintage Fashion Fairs  which were held in Dundee and St Andrews during September due to longstanding commitments elsewhere.

    VVF fair dundee poster

    In what is fast becoming a veritable sea of vintage fairs, VVFF events are always professionally promoted and well organised by dynamic duo Jasmine and Nicola of Ivory Tower Events. Along with our favourite Dundee vintage shop RARA, we highly recommend VVFF fairs to local students and fellow vintage aficionados who enjoy the hands-on experience of browsing rails of retro chic and raking through deep filled rummage boxes.

    So since we couldn't make it along to Dundee or St Andrews this time round, we have teamed up with the Very Vintage Fashion Fair to offer a 20% discount to their newsletter subscribers until 30 September 2012.  Just sign up to the VVFF newsletter, request the unique Frockery code and enter it at our checkout, where the discount will be applied to your order. What's more, you'll also be entered into the VVFF prize draw!

    Go on, you know you want to!

  • Never a dull moment!

    September 24, 2012

    Yes, we know it has been quiet on the Frockery Talk front this month, the reason being that we have been busier than ever here.  We couldn't be so, of course, without the support of our lovely customers, so thank you to all those who asked if we were OK. We are fine and dandy!

    As regular readers will know, in addition to running our online shop, we frequently supply clothing and accessories for photo shoots and other creative projects. We are privileged to work with a talented bunch of photographers, film makers, models and hair and make up artists, as well as everyday folk who fancy getting all dollyfrocked up for a special occasion.

    While we are catching our breath, we thought we'd share some of what we've been up to lately.

    Here is a sneak peek behind the scenes at a Sweeney Todd shoot, with model Taylor Sommerville and hair/make up artists Sandra Cormack and Raymond Wood. Mrs Lovett was frocked by us and there was much (thankfully fake!) blood spilt on location in Edinburgh. Look out for some striking images by Louise Beattie  in the upcoming edition of Invite Magazine Scotland.

    sweeney todd shoot edinburgh

    Just last week, Glasgow photographer Oliver Schneider shot some incredible images of model Kelly Donaghy in his homage to Marlene Dietrich. As ever, Sandra Cormack excelled with some amazing hair and make up, and Kelly looked stunning in our vintage frockery with additional pieces provided by Dundee Rep.

    Here she is in one of Sandra's snaps behind the scenes wearing a late 80s Belville Sassoon black cocktail dress with lace bodice, keyhole back and cream satin cuffs (part of the chief frocker's personal collection). Look out for Oliver's professional shots, which are under wraps for the moment, as this is one special frock - not unlike this iconic example by the same designer, which was owned by Princess Diana and is on display at Kensington Palace.

    marlene dietrich tribute belville sassoon dress

    And here are some of Oliver's unedited images of Kelly rocking the Dietrich in top hat and tails from Dundee Rep (left) and one of our vintage silk sequinned tops (right).

    marlene dietrich tribute oliver schneider

    Finally, a few more preview shots from Oliver with Kelly in one of our black silk bias cut evening gowns draped in an antique embroidered silk piano shawl (top) and that fabulous top hat again from Dundee Rep (bottom).

    marlene dietrich homage oliver schneider

    NOTE: All images are copyright of the photographers and may not be reproduced without their express permission.

  • 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!