Tag Archives: 60s fashion

  • Make your mark, Mad Men style

    July 7, 2011

    Since its first screening, Mad Men has helped rekindle a nostalgia for all things Sixties, from food to fashion. Set against the background of the New York advertising industry of the era, the award winning  drama has been widely acclaimed for its portrayal of the seismic social changes taking place in 1960s America and, in particular, for its attention to historical detail.

    The Mad Men influence has certainly conquered the contemporary catwalk and hit the modern high street with a vengeance, inspiring as it has a whole new generation of vintage loving fashionistas to celebrate the 60s and embrace the style of that bygone, but never-to-be-forgotten, iconic age. As a nod to the series, we have added a Mad Men department to the Get the Look section of our website, so do take a browse and see if anything takes your fancy.

    This coffee and gold brocade vintage cocktail dress is one of our our current favourites and, as confirmed Mad Frockers, we can promise that we'll be adding regularly to our Mad Men collection of 60s dresses, suits, skirts, tops, shoes, bags and accessories.

    mad men vintage brocade cocktail dress

  • Frockery Focus on Jean Varon (John Bates)

    July 22, 2010

    John Bates, creator of the vintage Jean Varon label, was undoubtedly one of the most influential and iconic designers of the 60s and 70s.

    Born in Northumberland in 1938, Bates secured an apprenticeship at the age of 18 with the design house Herbert Sidon in London before becoming a freelance fashion illustrator and going on, in 1959, to found Jean Varon – a name he allegedly chose because it was French and sounded more sophisticated.

    Along with his contemporaries, he helped push the boundaries of 60s fashion, raising hemlines to unprecedented heights, introducing trouser suits for women and creating the mesh midriff bikini dress. He made use of futuristic shapes and fabrics, especially leather and vinyl, in his avant-garde designs and is even credited by some as having been the inventor of the mini skirt.

    Julie Christie wore one of his dresses in ‘Shampoo’ and he designed the iconic black leather catsuit worn by Diana Rigg as Emma Peel, along with a whole range of clothing for the Avengers series.  Meanwhile, one of his midriff exposing designs won Dress of the Year in 1965. This newsreel film,  Dressed to Kill, gives a flavour of his innovative work during the swinging 60s and even features designs for canines!

    By the 1970s, ultra feminine evening wear was becoming a key element of the Jean Varon label, with the famous backless evening dress making its debut in 1973 and the empire line gown consistently featuring in collections. Royalty and many of the celebrities of the day - including Princess Margaret, Princess Alexandra, Julie Christie and Dusty Springfield - wore Jean Varon, assuring John Bates his well deserved place as one of the most influential designers in fashion history.

    John Bates is currently living, and painting, in Wales.

    We have been privileged to offer several Jean Varon pieces  at The Frockery over the past few years and they are invariably snapped up by discerning customers.

    We currently have this evening dress in stock, which is a beautiful example of Jean Varon and every bit as wearable today as it was in the 1970s.

    Update, July 2012: This vintage 70s Jean Varon black maxi dress has just been added to the catalogue.

    vintage 70s jean varon john bates black maxi dress

  • Frockery fashionistas strut their stuff

    July 4, 2010

    50s  tweed vintage  venture 60s mini dress

    The Frockery turned out on 3rd July along with some of Scotland’s finest vintage venturers for a vintage and retro related jamboree in Kirkcaldy, hosted by the Joint Regonal Development Trust to raise funds for the B-eat Charity which supports people with eating disorders.

    Alongside stalls aplenty selling clothing, millinery, jewellery and home wares, the Green Cockatoo tea room served up welcome sustenance in truly traditional style, while music from down the decades complemented the atmosphere of the day.

    The highlight for us was the afternoon catwalk show which featured pieces from some of the stallholders, including the Frockery. The young models showed the clothes off to great effect as they strutted their stuff across the stage, showcasing outfits from the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s.

    It was an exhausting day, but we thoroughly enjoyed it, met some lovely people and acquired a few new customers. Take a bow, Hazel Kelly, for putting together such a successful event for such a worthy cause.

    crochet dress 70s hendrix fan 80s dynasty

  • 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.