A big thank you to all who took part in our seventh Frockery eco-fashion challenge. A lot of frocks have passed through the shop since our first eco-fest in 2011, which was prompted by our being knee deep in snow, with an non-mobile frockmobile and severely disrupted postal services. Although February 2017 was a great deal milder weather wise, the lingering financial hangover from the festive season has always been an incentive for most of us to embark on an economy drive. And what better way to save money and the planet than vaunting the vintage, rocking the retro, celebrating the second hand and paying homage to the hand made?
As ever this year, there was a stunning array of stylish outfits, creativity and storytelling on display throughout our month-long challenge as our eco-fashionistas strutted their selfies on our Facebook group, and we all enjoyed hearing about everyone's bargain buys and the stories behind their awesome ensembles.
Although Judge Janice had to stand down from active duty this year due to other commitments, she has still been keeping an eye on us! The unenviable task meanwhile fell to our two remaining judges, who said they had really struggled to come to a final decision. But after much chivvying, the chief frocker has at last been passed the results (which have been double checked in order to avoid any Oscars-style faux pas!) Each of the winners will receive £50 of frockery of their choice from our catalogue, so please just drop us an email with your selections.
So this year’s winners are....
Vintage category: Catherine LowIt was a privilege to see several unique vintage pieces made by a lady called Alberta grace our virtual catwalk, courtesy of their new owner Catherine, who also shared a host of quirky and colourful looks and some incredible bargain buys. She explained: "When we bought an old house in Stromness, which was full of very old boatbuilder and blacksmithing jumble, I found in the bottom of a wardrobe a carefully packed box full of dresses.It turns out the sister (Alberta) of the former owner of the house had a tragic love story and became a recluse, never leaving the house until she died. She had a love of dressmaking and most of the dresses we're hand made. They all fit me really well, so will feature in a few more eco challenge pics, no doubt. I loved washing the dresses and hanging them out and I love wearing them - I feel Alberta would be pleased."
“I think the dress in the pic is from 1940s? I have a red rose and brown shoes ( the rose is another 10p goody from the local Ballater Clan shop and the shoes were a Christmas present last year from my second son."
"Another of Alberta's frocks. This one is made from raw silk and again is hand made. Early 50s? I also have black Ted Baker heels on from Red Cross Ballater."
"I buy a bright green dress and on the way out of the shop catch sight of an orange pashmina and still have change from a fiver. Looking a bit like the flag of India here - Namaste!"
Preloved category: Suki Fitzgerald
Suki showcased a selection of stunning outfits during the challenge, mixing charity shop bargains with hand-me-downs and customised Star Wars creations.
Ooh la la! "Dress and bolero were bought in a second hand shop in Paris for €2 each. Vintage necklace was a 21st birthday present (sadly a good few years ago now!)"
"My charity shop dress, £5. Necklace was charity shop too, £3. Secondhand cardigan, £1."
"Star Wars Comic-con outfits. Not exactly fashion, but they were eco - I made my hooded poncho out of our old duvet cover, and all other clothing was sourced from charity shops (total around £15) and then adapted/altered. I stitched everything by hand as I have no sewing machine -it took ages!"
Hand made category: Ali Thomson
Ali was inspired to learn to sew for the Frockery challenge and shared her progress and the results of her first project with us. Bravo! She said: "I got lots of lovely material from the Freecycle website and decided to take up sewing. I took a 6 week course at my local Arts Centre in East Kilbride and learned the basics. The Frockery challenge brought out my creative side and here are the results. I have thoroughly enjoyed making this dress, except for the neck line which was probably a bit ambitious for a beginner. But I'm delighted with the result. My 22 year old daughter has asked me to make her one – just not in that dodgy pattern! Thanks Frockery, it might be my first clothing project but it certainly won't be my last."
The cutting room floor
Canine helper sporting a stylish knitted coat
Ta da! The finished result.
Special award: Annick Breugelmans
In addition, a special award, in the form of a vintage brooch, goes to the lovely Annick, who impressed with her versatile style, colour combinations and accessories. We even learned about 'Larp' ( live action roleplay) events, where participants dress up and act out a character in prewritten scenarios (which gave the chief frocker an idea for a future challenge!) Although Annick is not UK-based, we decided to bend our own rules on this occasion.
"Handmade jewelry. Red top - uniform from a folk dance festival that we got to keep. Dress from the bargain bin (-75%) because of some loose seams ( easily mended). Tights bought by my sister as a touch of colour for a certain outfit, but passed along to me without wearing because she found them too colourful. Shoes were a birthday gift 2 years ago."
"Skirt bought in a closing sale about at half price about 10 years ago. Tights and long sleeve newly bought. Earrings bought on an outlet and flash sales website. Shrug passed down from a colleague along with some other clothes. Boots as seen before."