Frockery Talk

  • Frocks for all eras

    January 30, 2008

    It has been a case of ‘frocks around the clock’ since the turn of the year as The Frockery has been coping with an increase in orders from customers new and not-so-new. Vintage and retro party dresses have been in particular demand throughout January and many of our own favourites have found new appreciative homes. 

    Meanwhile, there is evidence of some serious green resolutions being made and kept by a number of our customers who are moving house, downsizing or just having a good clear-out. This has resulted in The Frockery taking delivery of some fabulous pieces for our catalogue, so look out especially for the arrival of some glam 80s frockery which would have had Joan Collins and Victoria Principal tearing each other’s hair out over back in the good old days of Dynasty and Dallas! 

    The 80s look certainly seems to be enjoying something of a revival among the younger set, who are once more embracing shoulder pads and over-the-top statement outfits like we all used to (without even a hint of embarrassment!) Frank Usher dresses are endlessly appealing for posh parties and proms and the more colourful and dramatic the better! 

    Vintage and retro themed parties appear to be gaining in popularity and The Frockery has recently helped dress a newly 40 year old for her 1960s themed birthday party, as well as a newly 50 year old who wanted a memorable 1950s look for her half century celebration. Meanwhile, one of our younger fashionistas stuck to a 1980s theme for her 21st birthday party when she and her friends got fully into the spirit of the era, ably assisted by The Frockery team, a supply of sparkling wine, some retro fashion magazines and an original December 1986 copy of Vogue. 

    Still on the subject of vintage themed events, we have also just had notice of the dates for this year’s Culzean Autoclassica international heritage motoring event in Ayrshire which will be another great opportunity to dress up in period costume from the 40s, 50s, 60s or 70s to reflect a particular transport era. Billed as Scotland’s equivalent to the Goodwood Revival weekend, it promises to be a fantastic event for all the family and will take place at Culzean Castle, Maybole, Ayrshire from Thursday 21st to Monday 25th August 2008.

  • Marion Donaldson: the label that brought the Swinging 60s to Glasgow

    January 8, 2008

    In 1966, at the age of only 22, newly married and with just £50 of capital behind her, Glasgow designer Marion Donaldson created a new and exciting fashion label which was to have a profound and lasting influence and which has since been widely credited as bringing the mood of Carnaby Street and the Swinging 60s to Glasgow and Scotland.
     
    Specialising in one-off mini skirts and dresses, Marion and her husband David quickly took the fashion world by storm. Contrary to popular belief, they never had their own shop but began selling their clothes wholesale to Glasgow’s first fashion boutique, In Gear, and Aquarius on Byres Road, soon graduating to Fenwick’s of London. A subsequent partnership with Liberty’s of Regent Street led to a rapid expansion and the production of Marion’s best known ‘signature’ dresses in fabulous Liberty fabrics.
     
    The company’s turnover quickly grew, but while the customer base was widely spread throughout the UK, the design and manufacturing elements remained Glasgow-based.
     
    The company’s iconic art nouveau label was originally inspired by an oval mirror which the Donaldsons bought at auction and remains instantly recognisable in all of their garments. Initially printed purple on white in the 60s, it changed to brown on cream, then gold on purple and finally became silver on black.
     
    Marion Donaldson Ltd traded from 1966 until 1999, but her garments have a timeless charm and quality and remain immensely popular, both for everyday wear and collecting.
     
    The Glasgow Museum of Transport is currently creating a display of family snapshots about 60s fashion with a particular focus on the work of Marion Donaldson as she is recognised as being such an important design influence. According to curator Kate Tansley, "The popularity of the Marion Donaldson label reflects the mood of Glasgow at that time, and hopefully the photographs will help visitors travel back in time to the 1960s." For more details of the project and exhibition, visit the Museum's website.  
     
    The Frockery can never resist a Marion Donaldson piece and we have a selection currently in stock.

  • And so that was Christmas!

    December 29, 2007

    The Frockery team are back to business after two days of turkey (and vegetarian alternative) consumption, but we are already planning to enter into the spirit of Hogmanay and a new year next week. In Scotland we celebrate for longer than those south of the border and so will be closed on New Year’s Day and 2nd January, but customers can of course still place orders at any time.

    Christmas for us was a time to stop, relax and recharge the batteries after a busy year with scarcely any respite, especially as the festive season approached. Party frocks in particular were flying off the rails until the last possible posting date (and beyond), but the most sought after item this year was a cute retro reindeer sweater, of which we only had one and which very quickly found a loving new home.

    Since we re-opened for business on 27th December, we have had an increase in visitors and our stats tell us that, even on Christmas Day, we had 58 intrepid fashionistas surfing through our frocks! Having braved Glasgow city centre the other day during the sales, we can happily say that online shopping remains our own preferred method of buying goods and services. It’s not only easier on the pocket and the planet - it also helps preserve one’s sanity!

    As 2007 draws to a close, we would like to thank our customers for shopping with us. We have got to know some lovely people over this past year and really appreciate their feedback, which tells us that, despite postal strikes and occasional delayed or missing parcels, we have usually managed to get things right.

    Our first Frockery fashion challenge proved a great success and we are hoping to repeat it in 2008. We also have a few surprises up our vintage and retro fashion sleeves, so keep dropping by for the latest Frockery news.

  • In celebration of the Little Black Dress (LBD)

    November 30, 2007

    Here at The Frockery we just love the classic little black dress, and the female members of our team all have one or two classic LBDs in their own wardrobes.

    So we were delighted to hear of the new Little Black Dress Exhibition which is to run at Brighton Museum and Art Gallery from December 2007 until 1 June 2008. Not only will it feature couturier and celebrity owned garments, but it will also include exhibits from the wardrobes of local women.

    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.

  • Joseph Ribkoff: a golden anniversary for a wow factor label

    November 28, 2007

    It is fitting that, for the first of our Frockery Focus pieces, we should feature the glittering career of Canadian designer, Joseph Ribkoff , who this month (November 2007) celebrated 50 golden years in the fashion industry.
     
    This memorable milestone was formally marked at the 2007 Montreal Fashion and Design Festival where Ribkoff was held up as “a pillar of the fashion industry, both at home and abroad, who has been serving femininity for more than 50 years.”
     
    The now global fashion label started from fairly humble beginnings in Dorval, Quebec, in 1957, when the loss of his job at a local fashion house prompted the young, newly married Joseph Ribkoff to launch his own business venture. Later he would joke that he only started his own business “to avoid getting fired again!”
     
    With a natural flair for fashion and a keen instinct for business, Ribkoff started as he was to go on, creating stunning top-end statement designs, while providing unrivalled customer service and successfully meeting the challenges of changing market conditions over half a century. He has never looked back, declaring his clothes to be for women who unashamedly want to stand out from the crowd.
     
    Ever popular with discerning fashionistas the world over, Joseph Ribkoff pieces are, without exception, beautiful creations with an undoubted wow factor, as these examples from The Frockery catalogue demonstrate.

  • Tartan frockery on parade as Scotland takes on Italy

    November 17, 2007

    Scotland's tartan army has taken to the streets and pubs of Glasgow today in hugely optimistic and probably over-confident anticipation of our national football team winning today’s match against world champions, Italy.

    It fair warms the cockles of this Scottish lassie’s heart to see so many saltires, kilts and tartan on parade across the land, and with St Andrew's Day approaching on 30 November, it's time to get kitted out in some fetching tartan frockery.

    The Frockery has a good selection of Scottish tartans, tweeds and knitwear in stock, so . For the ladies, how about a tartan party dress, or perhaps this vintage A-line tartan maxi skirt? If traditional tweeds are more your scene, why not check out our selection of Harris tweed items, like this Argyll kilt jacket; or you may prefer to sport a Country Life tweed hat. For sophisticated and understated elegance, however, this Austin Reed tartan skirt will be hard to beat, just like Italy!

    The Frockery wishes the Scotland team the very best of luck today (you'll need it, boys).

    Slainte mhath!