Frockery Talk

  • Herald Fashion Awards 2014: we made the final!

    October 28, 2014

    herald fashion awards

    herald finalist banner

     We are officially over the moon here as we've just heard that The Frockery is a finalist in the Herald Fashion Awards 2014 (best preloved online retailer category). How cool is that!

    It is especially heartening to see vintage and pre-loved fashion recognised in its own right within the industry as a whole, as well as being part of the slow fashion movement we are always banging on about!

    Introducing the newest fashion awards that celebrate the online world of fashion, Herald Events says:

    "Over the years the online fashion market has grown considerably, with most consumers now opting to go online to find the latest trends and buy their top fashion picks at the touch of a button.

    "We wanted to celebrate the digital world of fashion and recognise how online platforms and digital interaction has given fashionistas everywhere, a more direct access to the industry.

    "These online fashion awards celebrate the digital world of fashion and the top companies, designers, bloggers, entrepreneurs and retailers who are leading the way in the online market."

    We'll meanwhile have to get our best vintage frocks looked out for the event, which is to be hosted by Scottish super model Eunice Olumide in Arta, Glasgow, on Sunday 16 November.

    You can follow the event on Twitter using #heraldfashion.

  • The wonder of woollies

    October 21, 2014

    Hurricane Gonzalo may have lost most of its momentum on its way across the Pond, but we have been experiencing the sting in its tail in the form of high winds, driving rain and plummeting temperatures. We are just hoping to hang on to our slates until it passes.

    As one tweeter observed:

    "When you open the curtains in the morning and a seagull flies past backwards.... You can be fairly sure #Gonzalo has arrived!"

    Readers will be glad to know we've got a selection of warm woollies waiting to provide stylish service for the inclement weather between now and next spring. What's more, we can deliver them to you at 'speedy Gonzalo' hurricane rate! 

    We are big fans of traditional knits and here at Frockery HQ, we have taken to wearing Norwegian knits and Aran cardigans rather than turn on the heating. Call us mean, but we aim to stay stylishly so!

    Here are some of our newly arrived knitwear, mainly jumpers and cardigans but also a fabulous Rodier multicoloured skirt which is sure to lift anyone's spirits as we wave goodbye to summer time when the clocks change this weekend.

    pink icelandic jumper boyfriend sloiuch cardigan jacket

    Alloa Knitear brown patterned jumper brown and cream patterned cardigan jacket

    norwegian red and black jumper  rodier multicoloured knit skirt

    We have an extensive range of knitwear in the catalogue - something for everyone at highly affordable prices - so come on in out of the cold and we'll give you a  warm  frockery welcome!

  • Mat's magnum opus: Sex, Drugs and HIV

    October 18, 2014

    mat's mission impossible?

    Mat's Mission Impossible?
    Autographed poster from Sex Drugs & HIV recording sessions

    The chief frocker first met Mat Sargent, the driving force behind the Sex, Drugs and HIV project, about 10 years ago when she was in France and dressed as a nurse. It’s a long story that involves John Otway, his Big Band and Max Splodge (as themselves), Deadly the Roadie (random nun), Andy the Roadie (dodgy priest) and a whole line up of nurses (Patsy, Gina, Jane, Janie, Ruth, Pam and this guy in drag), as well as a few extras who had raided the dressing up box for the annual Otfest across the Channel.

    otway im cured

    The Eight Otettes perform I'm Cured with John Otway and his Big Band

    nurses and priest nun meets nurse

    Suffice to say, the aforesaid Mat made a big impression, not only as Splodge’s bass guitarist but also as a seriously nice bloke. Who’d have guessed what lay behind that winning smile, wit and repartee?

    mat sargent

    Mat was diagnosed HIV positive in 1989 (the year the Berlin Wall came down and Danny Frocker came into the world) and was given a gloomy life expectancy of between two and five years. How frightening must that have been for a young man of 18 with everything to live for? But the prospect of ‘rolling over' could never match the power of rock’n’rolling and he’s still here banging out the bass lines and doing as much good for the rest of humanity as he possibly can. 

    Sex, Drugs and HIV is Mat’s magnum opus that has finally come to fruition as a result of his indefatigable spirit (something we have blogged about before) and we frockers are right behind his efforts to raise awareness and money for good causes. The project supports the Terrence Higgins Trust, Release, Rape Crisis and Cancer Research.

    If you are old enough to remember that Duracell battery advert, you’ll get Mat. In his own words:

    “Twenty-six years ago I was given between 2 and  5 years to live. After refusing treatment for 10 years I finally succumbed to new medication after developing full blown AIDS. I never gave up the fight to live a normal life and when I thought all was lost the new medication gave me the freedom of life. Instead of only seeing a couple of years ahead I now see a future. The Sex Drugs & HIV album has been an amazing project to work on and over the 19 years it took for it to come to fruition there was always the thought in the back of my mind that I might not be around to see it finished. I am happy to be able to share the moment and the album which is due for release on the 2nd November 2014 (available on Amazon).”

    Here’s a taster song from the album: Why, by Jimmy Pursey, Mat’s former bandmate from Sham 69 (They're coming to Glasgow in November, frockers!)

    Sex, Drugs and HIV
     comprises 40 tracks and features over 200 musicians spanning five decades of music. The project band, Rock'n'Roll Gypsies, play songs from the album and Mat is currently editing 'Rockumentary' films of the various musicians meeting up in the studio to record their parts and share their stories. The films will be available in a limited edition box set.

    We should forewarn our readers that there is some strong language in the video below, but we promise to wash the offending mouths out with soap if you buy the album! The highlights from our point of view are Max Splodge’s creative trombone playing (4.50 mins) and Mat’s matter-of-fact upbeat discussion of his diagnosis (19.30 mins).

     For more information, visit the project's website and Facebook group, or follow Mat on Twitter.



  • Vintage Collective returns to St Andrews

    October 17, 2014

    siobahn vintage fair

    Siobahn models one of our frocks at the first St Andrews VVFF

    Look who's back! It's Jasmine and Nicola of Vintage Collective, formerly known as Very Vintage Events. After a temporary absence  from St Andrews to pursue different projects in the deep south, they make a welcome return to their roots for another fabulous Vintage Fair at the Younger Hall on 1st November.

    Unfortunately, the Frockery won't be taking a stall due to too many other frocking commitments, but it promises to be an exciting event with live music from The Alleycats and The Other Guys (not forgetting cakes!) to enhance the very vintage experience.

    To whet your appetite, here are a few reminders of past Very Vintage Fairs we have enjoyed in St Andrews.

    arthur frocker SIOBHAN CIRCLE SKIRT

    Scenes from the 2011 inaugural St Andrews vintage fair with Arthur Frocker manneqinning our stall and a stunning Siobahn adding wow factor to our wares

    very vintage fashion fair  st andrews vintage fair

    siobahn and hannah

    Siobahn goes boho while Hannah rocks the 5os

    From New Look to New Wave and everything in between, Jasmine and Nicola will once again be bringing together the very best purveyors of vintage from across Scotland, so if you are in the vicinity of north east Fife, don't miss their big comeback! You can also like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.

    dollyfrockers shoot st andrews

    Dollyfrockers models Camilla and Hannah promote Very Vintage Events in 2012

  • Unfollowers of fast fashion

    October 16, 2014

    We like Twitter. Even if we aren't the most avid of tweeters, the short sharp 140 character updates and retweets from those we follow invariably provide nuggets of entertaining, informative and engaging content (albeit interspersed with often pointless twaddle) on a rolling basis throughout the day. Most mornings we find time to read a few articles - usually about #vintage or #slow #ecofashion - that have piqued our interest on Twitter.

    A tantalising tweet from @BritishVogue the other day led us to an article by Laura Milligan on Vogue and the Gown, described as

    "a collection of some of the most beautiful images ever featured in the magazine, sorted and narrated by former features director Jo Ellison into an encyclopedic reference of not just the dresses themselves but the imperceptible emotions behind the fabric that make them so special."

    The article did not disappoint and lifted our vintage spirits significantly. We especially loved this observation:

    "Looking at a beautiful model, in a beautiful gown, in a beautiful location, the world seems a better place," Ellison explains of the garment's restorative powers - and therefore our fascination with it. "Gowns are a palliative on dreary days, an escape, and a wonderful indulgence. Trousers aren't."

    Still dreaming of the glamour of bygone eras, we came across a feature in Eco-Business via a link tweeted by Fashion Revolution @Fash_Rev, which fired us up for entirely different reasons: How fast fashion is killing the earth and our taste in clothes (see page 12).

    In stark contrast to the timeless charm of the Vogue gowns, it painted a depressing picture of the fast fashion industry, which is founded on the exploitation of both people and planet, yet is still shamelessly promoted - as we have previously posted - by those who should know better.

    Think about this as you fill your wardrobe with throwaway threads from cheap chain clone stores: "Fast fashion brands on average produce more than one million new clothes a day."  How can that be sustainable?

    As Christina Dean, chief executive of the sustainable fashion charity Redress, points out:

    "With the invasion of fast fashion, many consumers' expectations around prices have gone down so much that it has become even more of a challenge to shift consumers from the 'buy less and buy better' mentality."

    The frockers have been here before, of course, with Slow fashion: winning the race for hearts and minds? (also inspired by tweets) and Landfill fashion: what a waste; but we'll leave the final tweet to Vintage Alterations (@splendidstitch), who are every bit as 'slow' and sustainable as we are, in the nicest possible way!


  • Rain-mates

    October 10, 2014

    rain mate

    Image via Pinterest

    Who remembers the rain-mate, that handy little head topping accessory that the 1950s housewife could whip out of her handbag at the hint of a shower? Apparently more than a few of us harbour fond memories of these concertina-folding pieces of transparent plastic with attached ties, which seem to have been reinvented for the modern Miss/Mrs/Ms and are readily available on ebay and elsewhere. A casual online search even revealed a blogger called Jonathan with a penchant for posting about rain-mates, which, he noted, had brought him a whole lot of new visitors and comments courtesy of Google. We thought we'd try it, too...

    The last sighting of an authentic 50s rain-mate we had was in a vintage shopping bag bought at Dens Road Market in Dundee some years ago by the chief frocker's friend Fiona. It sparked a conversation with K Frocker - at the time an art student - about a rain-mate revival as we felt they could once again become popular, especially in our disproportionately damp climate. We even mused about possible customised designs for festivals and outdoor events, but it appears they never actually disappeared and have just been skulking around the internet waiting for customers who want to keep their heads dry as cheaply as possible. And people obviously do still buy them. But would you wear one (even for a dare)?

    rain-mate bad postcards

    Image credit: Bad Postcards

    Anyway, the rainy season is upon us again and it's always a challenge to stay stylish at the same time as getting drookit. Despite its vintage pedigree, we would have to draw the line at describing the rain-mate as stylish.

    When the heavens open, the chief frocker invariably reaches for her green waxed Barbour jacket and matching hat which manages to frustrate even the stair-rod sort of rain that is native to north east Scotland. If rather more stylish attire is called for, she usually opts for one of her collection of Burberry raincoats and a trusty brolly.

    If you are in need of some storm proof, watertight wear without a thunder and lightningly frightening price tag, then look no further as the Frockery is packed with macs, trenches and anoraks that won't damp anyone's style. Unlike the rain-mate...

    oprions austin reed trench coat

    Options at Austin Reed classic trench coat

    Barbour quilted jacket

    Men's Barbour sportsquilt casual jacket 

    aqua retro raincoat

     Aqua retro raincoat

    burberrys beige raincoat mac

    Classic Burberrys beige raincoat

    Vintage red mod mac

    Vintage red mod mac

    men's burberry beige casual jacket

    Men's Burberry beige casual zip front jacket