Frockery Talk

  • Rockers of ages: Quo at the Mo

    May 24, 2014

    STATUS QUO ROCK THE MOstatus quo mofest van werninck studio

    Image credit: Van Werninck Studio, Montrose

    Listening to Status Quo's newly released Piledriver album back in 1972 in her best friend's bedroom, the future chief frocker (who was then, inexplicably, planning a career in the law) and her chum were already confirmed teenage rockers. The 'denimic' duo, whose days were reluctantly spent in school uniforms translating Latin texts (very badly in one case) and struggling with the intricacies of differential calculus, worshipped the Quo above all others. Never in their wildest dreams could they have imagined that, 42 years later, Messrs Rossi and Parfitt would be belting out Paper Plane live in an outdoor arena within earshot and in full view of that same Montrose bedroom window!

    status quo mofest tickets

    As soon as Status Quo was confirmed as this years' headline act for the Montrose Music Festival, the lifelong friends just knew they had to be there, along with a selection of their middle aged contemporaries (and even some embarrassed offspring), to watch their heroes perform  a storming 90 minute set on the East Links. Fortunately, it was a pretty mild Mo night with none of the usual gale force winds and not a drop of rain, so  the crowd relished every chord, note and beat (including an awesome drum solo) delivered by the vintage rock legends. Head banging may have been de rigueur, but pogo-ing had to be strongly resisted by some of the older rockers amongst us due to bad knees and previous experiences (plural) of requiring assistance from emergency services. *

    mofest shop window

    status quo newspaperstatuse quo window

    Local shops get in on the act with music themed window displays

    It was a real coup for the organisers to attract such a big name to such a small seaside town festival, which in just six years has grown to become a family-friendly favourite.  Save for the opening headline acts, which in previous years have included the Average White Band, the Proclaimers, Dr Feelgood and Eddi Reader, there is free entry to all the pubs hosting live music of all genres on the festival circuit, making it the biggest and best free music festival in Scotland.

    So now the Quo have finally made it to Mo, the band who opened LiveAid back in 1985 really can boast that they've been Rockin' all over the world!

    * UPDATE: While one of our concert party claims she feels 30 years younger thanks to Status Quo (probably because she didn't end up in A&E for a third time with torn ligaments after an over-energetic dance performance) , another has texted to say that her body feels "broken", and the chief frocker has partially lost the use of her legs. It was, however, well worth it!


  • Back to Black

    May 10, 2014

    Whatever the occasion, the wardrobe staple that can always be relied upon is the little black dress.

    Looking back over our blog, we wrote in 2007:

    "The little black dress - now known universally by that three letter acronym LBD - is a versatile and timeless classic which can be dressed up or down and worn by women of all ages no matter what the occasion. From breakfast at Tiffany's, through a day at the office and on to the wine bar in the evening, it will never let you down!

    "The LBD first came to prominence in 1926 when Coco Chanel succeeded in bringing black - previously relegated to funeral attire - into the fashion mainstream with a feminine new creation which was quickly adopted by Vogue and has been celebrated by fashionistas ever since.

    "The LBD's appeal is truly universal, and while its various incarnations have made headlines over the decades for fashion icons such as Rita Hayworth, Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Hurley and the late Princess of Wales, its magic somehow manages to make ordinary women look and feel special."

    So going back to black, here is some beautiful black frockery that we have favourited from our current catalogue.

    little black pleated cocktail dress little black pleated cocktail dress

    Vintage Frank Usher black pleated cocktail dress 

    80s Frank Usher black cocktail dress 80s Frank Usher black cocktail dress

     80s wow factor black cocktail dress

    80s Jaeger black velvet and gold cocktail dress80s Jaeger black velvet and gold cocktail dress

     80s Jaeger black velvet and gold cocktail dress

    Black lace evening coat Black lace evening coat

    Black lace evening coat 

    black halter prom dress

     50s Marilyn style black halter neck prom dress 

    50s vintage black prom dress50s vintage black prom dress

    50s vintage black full length prom dress

    Oh, and don't forget that we also have plenty of frockery accessories and footwear to complement any outfit!

  • Whiter shades of pale

    April 13, 2014

    Now that the days are  lengthening and the sun is beginning to put in more regular appearances, our thoughts have been turning to weddings, proms and other special occasions which are always a perfect excuse to add  lighter, brighter, whiter shades of pale to our wardrobes.

    We currently have in stock some temptingly beautiful ivory, white and dreamy cream pieces from various eras which fit the special occasions bill without breaking the bank.

    Let's start with the dresses....

    This newly arrived stunning ivory floaty chiffon dress, embellished with the tiniest black beads, is from Coast.

    Coast ivory occasion dress Coast ivory occasion dress

    And we have this lovely embellished ivory lace cocktail dress with a bit of sparkle from Planet.

    ivory lace cocktail dress

    This classic white linen dress from Jaeger can be accessorised to suit any occasion.

    Jaeger white linen dress

    This 70s John Charles prom dress has a 50s debuntante look to it and has gold dots all over for some subtle sparkle.

    john charles prom gown

    This cream silk batik print dress is from the Twiggy Collection.

    cream silk batik dress

    We also have a collectable 70s Laura Ashley Edwardian style white cotton maxi dress which is in great condition, although its original white sash belt is missing (but could be easily replaced). We love it as it is very similar to one the chief frocker bought in Edinburgh's Lothian Road shop around 1974.

    70s Laura Ashley white Edwardian maxi dress

    Need to wrap up over your posh frock ? How about this luxury Astraka white faux fur coat with a touch of grey?

    Astraka white faux fur coat

    or a shorter vintage white faux fur jacket?

    vintage white faux fur jacket

    If you are planning on a flutter on Ladies Day at Royal Ascot, this Peter Bettley statement hat is a pretty safe bet!

    peter bettley ascot hat

    We also have this pretty ivory cream romantic hat and  cream occasion brimmed hat.

    ivory cream romantic hatcream occasion hat

    These cream shoes with a touch of gold  and white bejewelled mules are comfortable to boot!

    cream and gold shoeswhite bejewelled mules

    As for accessories, we have a selection of scarves, stoles, gloves and bags in complementary shades.

    Cream mohair stole

    cream mohair stole

    Bridal batik shawl

    Bridal batik shawl

    Long ivory evening gloves

    ivory evening gloves

    Ivory silk bridal purse

    ivory silk bridal purse

    Ivory beaded evening bridal bag

    ivory beaded bridal bag

     For more cream crackers and bright whites, why not take a browse through our Colour Focus section?



  • End of a vintage era as RARA closes

    April 12, 2014

    rara closes

    Today marks the end of an era for RARA and the Pretty Vacant Showrooms which is closing down after six years as Dundee's most popular vintage shop. We have had the pleasure of working with its owner Erin on various projects over the years and the good news is that, although the bricks and mortar presence will be missing (and very much missed), we will still be working together on some new (ad)ventures, so watch this space!

    We popped into RARA yesterday  to bid farewell to the shop, which used to be the chief frocker's office in a previous life,  and returned with a final fanzine and a retro onesie in the form of an 80s stetch jumpsuit!  It was clear from the constant stream of customers and friends bearing good luck cards and gifts just how much of an impression Erin has made on Downtown Dundee (the 'shop local' initiative for which she was a driving force)  with her abundance of energy, enthusiasm, ideas and creative talent.


    downtown dundee


    The local vintage scene will certainly not be the same without RARA. But the good news is that Erin will have more time to visit us at the Frockery and we already have a new project in the pipeline. The only looking back we'll be doing is through the vintage eras that provide us with inspiration for the future.

    Here's to great new beginnings, Erin.

  • When Olivia met her Waterloo

    April 6, 2014

    abba for the record

    It was 40 years ago today and we were watching it, were you? The Eurovision Song Contest, broadcast from Brighton on 6th April 1974, launched Sweden's Abba into international pop superstardom after winning a decisive victory with their now iconic performance of Waterloo.

    We well remember the awe inspiringly fabulous outfits and Agnetha's silver platform boots were positively to die for as the chief frocker prepared for her final school exams the same month.

    Meanwhile the young and fresh faced Olivia Newton-John represented the UK with Long Live Love looking like an extra from Abigail's Party in a sky blue, full length, high neck hostess number with frills and trailing angel sleeves, supported by five backing songstresses in matching blue maxi frocks. She came fourth.

    Although Olivia may have met her Waterloo in 1974, she was of course to go on to far greater things - sporting skin tight lycra - a few years later, co-starring with John Travolta as Sandy in the blockbuster film Grease which was the biggest box office hit of 1978.

    Listening to Abba and Olivia still take us straight back to those heady days of teenage expresssion, outrageous fashion and Saturday Night Fever. Those were the Days, as another 70s Eurovision runner-up used to sing, although Abba admitted in a recent interview with the Daily Mail that they only wore such "ridiculous" clothes to exploit a Swedish tax loophole. Having been impoverished students, we can't use the same retrospective excuse for our fashion sense, or lack of it, and still have the (locked away) pictures to prove it!

    To mark the 40 year anniversary of their Eurovision win, why not save your Money Money Money, become a Dancing Queen,  and recreate the Abba look with some of our glam rock pieces at truly retro prices?

    Silver and black metallic shift dress

    silver and black metallic shift dress

    Vintage glam rock metallic silver and black jacket

    glam rock metallic jacket

    Gold lurex disco dress

    gold lurex disco dress

    Black and gold metallic lace dress

    black and gold metallic lace dress

    Braver souls may want to sport some lurex hotpants

    silver hotpants6683

    with a feather boa or two


    or the ultimate in 70s silver lame tastelessness?

    silver lame maxi dress

    To Agnetha, Anni-Frid, Benni and Bjorn: Thank You For The Music, the fashion and most of all the fun!


  • Victorian Edwardian Belle Époque blouses

    March 21, 2014

    Ever popular at the Frockery are Victorian and Edwardian style blouses which always sell quickly and are among the most requested items on our customers' wanted and wish lists. Capturing the essence of scenes from Mr Selfridge and Downton Abbey, yet equally at home in a 21st century wardrobe, the appeal of Victorian Edwardian frockery is undoubtedly timeless.

    Here are a few of our current catalogue pieces and recent arrivals, featuring feminine flourishes of lace, tucks, frills and pleating, which reflect the romantic flavour of the era as 19th century late Victorian melded into early 20th century Edwardian style which was becoming increasingly influenced by European Belle Époque art and fashion.

    Why not go for a Gibson Girl look with one of our frilled blouses teamed with a fashionable midi length or maxi skirt?  Or create a statement steampunk look with some Victorian inspired fancy frockery?

    White Victorian Edwardian blouse with lace yoke 

    victorian edwardian lace yoke blouse

    Black Victorian Edwardian style blouse

    black victorian edwardian blouse

    Vintage Victorian style pink blouse with smocking 

    vintage 70s victorian pink blouse

    New Romantic ivory ruffle front blouse

    ivory ruffle front blouse

    80s pink Victorian blouse with pleating

    pink victorian style blouse

    Victorian Edwardian white frilled blouse

    Victorian Edwardian white frilled blouse

    Dove grey steampunk Victorian Edwardian style blouse

    grey steampunk victorian blouse

    Vintage white frilled jabot blouse

    vintage white frilled jabot blouse