Frockery Talk

  • Upcycling inspiration at Tayside Re-Users

    June 20, 2014

    tayside reusers

    The chief frocker recently joined the board of Tayside Re-Users (formerly Tayside Recyclers) which is a registered charity and social enterprise based in a former Dundee jute mill. Founded in 1995, TR promotes re-use and recycling and offers employment, volunteering and training opportunities to people who wish to find a route back into work.

    The charity actively encourages and inspires people to find alternative uses for goods they might otherwise throw away. Collections of quality used household and office furniture, white goods, bric a brac, and all kinds of DIY goods are carried out daily, and the items are assessed, refurbished, cleaned and sold at The Emporium.

    As a Revolve approved organisation, customers can be confident that whatever they purchase at TR meets rigorous quality standards. Second hand does not mean second best and a quality item can last a lifetime, although it might sometimes need a bit of TLC to bring it back into circulation.

    revolve badge

    With imagination and creativity, unwanted items can be given a substantial second life. This not only benefits those looking for affordable goods of all descriptions, but also helps to improve the environment. What could be better than saving the planet as well as the wallet?  

    And remember, when it comes to textiles, you'll find the Frockery's Top 10 eco-fashion ‘RE’ action tips in our focus article, Landfill fashion: what a waste.

    Meanwhile, take a look at this beautiful upcycled work of art gifted to TR by Naomi D'Cruz, an art student at Dundee University's Duncan of Jordanstone college, who created a stunning chandelier out of old bike parts. It is currently on display in The Emporium and although it is not for sale, it will remain on view as an inspiring example what can be achieved by reusing and upcycling (literally!).

    upcycled chandelier

     Upcycled chandelier made from old bike parts by Naomi D'Cruz, currently on display at Tayside ReUsers


  • Lest we forget

    June 6, 2014

    Today marks the 70th anniversary of D Day, which effectively changed the course of the Second World War and European history.

    While the Frockery's 40s focus is usually on the fabulous fashions of the era, watching today's official commemoration and the many moving interviews with veterans over the past few days has been a humbling experience for those of us who have never had to directly experience the horrors of war.

    The vastness of the Bayeux War Cemetery is a reminder of the sheer scale of the sacrifice made on our behalf, and the presence of so many Normandy veterans, some sharing personal memories of the landings, is a fitting tribute to them and their fallen comrades, who,  having paid the ultimate price, did not grow old.

    The chief frocker's father, Angus, and his cousin, Tom, served on the Arctic Convoys and Bomber Command respectively. Sadly, neither is still with is today, but both led long and fulfilling lives after their wartime service. Today, especially, we are remembering them too.


    Angus and Tom enjoy a family event

    home leave 1940s

     Angus on home leave - Marykirk, Kincardineshire, early 40s

    world war 2 card

    Wartime Christmas greetings

    As next of kin, the chief frocker recently took delivery of Angus's Arctic Star, recognising his service on the Arctic convoys, while Tom's son is awaiting his father's Bomber Command Clasp. These awards were made "in recognition of the great bravery of those who contributed to two very significant campaigns of World War Two".  

    arctic star medal arctic star medal

     We shall remember them all, celebrate their incredible courage and resilience, and do our utmost to ensure their sacrifices were not made in vain.

  • 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

  • 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?