Vintage Vamp or Vintage Tramp?
I have been invited to a very upscale event in a few weeks time, and have been looking for a glamorous vintage gown for the said event. One of the best places for vintage is definitely..
And so I went there first. They have brilliant fairs in Chelsea Town Hall quite often. So much stuff! Lovely authentic tearooms, with homemade cakes n' buns, real teacups n' saucers and all that jazzzz. Just gorgeous! Try it if you ever come to UK, you will love it.
I have a fair few considerations gown (we call them frocks!)wise, it has to be of thin fabric because of summer heat, has to have sleeves of at least elbow length to cover tattoos, has to be either 40’s or 50’s style ( just because I just say so) , and has to be my size! This is difficult because vintage pieces are one of a kind now, and everyone was tiny then, so it seems..or I was wearing my circus mirror/skinny glasses..yes..I was..obviously.
And the sorry tale goes like this….read on, and stop that laughing, yes, you at the back there. Yes, You.
Today, I went to a few shops 'up West' ('Up West' in London, aka the center), and found the perfect dress, hurrah! It was my size! At last!
Went into the changing room..
The dress had one opening at the side, and a small opening at the neck. So I flung it over my head and then..
I got stuck! I mean, really stuck!
You know the contortionists who wiggle their way through tennis racquets? Well it was like that, but much worse. I’m not a contortionist! Ahem..well maybe sometimes…
My face was now squashed under my armpit, and I could almost see my back. I couldn’t find the neck or the side opening, and could barely breathe. What a state to be in!
I was bouncing off walls and then, I think I fell over my purse (I couldn’t see) and the frock tore a little bit, I heard it, aargh!
I was wriggling about on the floor and thought..I’m going to have to shout for help and a crowbar/industrial lube, but as my face was all squeezed to one side, with my nose and mouth now around my left ear, I sounded like Quazimodo, but instead of ‘The bells, the bells’, it was ’The frock, the frock’…haha. Frock Me indeed…I was well and truly frocked.
I managed to get up, and still, I was becoming more and more entangled in peach crepe silk ..and so I thought, ‘Ah maybe gravity will help…I will jump up and down’...
Oh. Dear. Got tangled in what I think was my purse straps this time, and fell against the curtain and out of the changing room in full view..still waving my arms about , and by now my purse had half emptied, and I could hear stuff rolling about the floor. Good job it wasn’t the ‘Dollymopp goes-a-visiting’ bag! (distant memories of the neon pink vibrator that nearly fell out of my bag at London Bridge train station…hmm)
BUT! This bit was good.. and you couldn’t make this up…the shop was really big, tons of stuff, and as no help came..
I don’t think anyone saw me! Ah thank you God..
I got on my knees and crawled back in, using my hands as a guide as to where the curtains and walls were etc.
Then I bent over and tried pulling the dress from the back of my neck, and after 5 mins, SUCCESS!
I was out, and back in a changing room…
My face was scarlet, I had welts and weird patterns embedded all over me and my hair was like a scarecrow, haha.
But I was out! Phew..
Vintage sizing? Their 12, and my 12, is not the same 12, in modern UK terms.
I have a little sewing kit in my bag , you never know when you will need it, you know those little ones from hotels etc? So I found the tear, and sat in the changing room and sewed it back! I did. But I had to use pink thread..hope no one notices! I’m good at sewing, and did a very neat job.
Suffice to say, I am now going to be making my own gown/frock. I bought a Vintage Vogue pattern, (Dior’s ’New Look’ 40's style) and several fabrics..Ooh which one will I use? All of them, eventually! Then I will always have a nice suitable dress for formal summer lunch functions. I can make a hat to match, no problem. (I taught milliner Philip Treacy all he knows, hehe)
And I have appropriate gloves too. It's all very British isn't it!?
I think I might be a Vintage Vamp, not like todays Vintage Tramp!