Thursday, 24 January 2019

The Night & Day Exhibition and The Good, Bad & Ugly of the January Sales.

Well January is whizzing by at a rate of knots because work is super busy so once again I’m down to one blog post a month. 

I did manage to take a day off to finally get myself to the Night and Day exhibition at The Fashion and Textile Museum shortly before it ended. Having missed the exhibition Jazz Age they did last year on the 1920’s I was damned if I was going to miss this one on the 1930’s!

I met my friend from work Charlotte at Paddington and we headed over to Bermondsey and grabbed a quick drink in the tiny and packed to the rafters Fuckoffee because the name made us laugh and it had good reviews. 
As I sat sipping my tea wedged on a tiny pouffe, behind a suited city type with a braying voice, I marveled at the thick skin of the 20 something hipster draped full stretch across a three seater sofa idly flicking through her phone whilst people stood waiting for a seat. She was completely impervious to the gentle entreaties to move up, be they verbal or visual and I think it’s a clear indication of how good the coffee was that people just let her get away with it.
Personally my inclination was to just sit and see what happened, on her legs if needs be but I’m guessing this would have been bad form when it comes to hipster coffee shop etiquette, luckily for her languid limbs the pouffe became available so I parked there.   

From there we headed to the exhibition which was tiny as exhibitions go, but absolutely perfectly formed. I tip my hat to the team who curated it. 
You started off in a small room watching Pathe news reels from the 30’s, a sort of snapshot of the era. Down one side of the room they had cases of magazines from the era and on the other a case of sequined evening dress. Clearly deliberately chosen to reflect the current fashion trend for sequins, any of them would not have looked out of place today. 
At the end on it’s own in a glass case was the most stunning black evening gown, the kind of dress that makes everyone stop the kind of dress dreams are made of. To a man the room looked at it and sighed then exclaimed over it’s beauty. Sadly due to light reflections on the glass I couldn’t get a decent picture.

The exhibition was divided into 9 sections each with their own title like ‘Life’s a Bowl of Cherries’ The downstairs depicts night life with sections for things like the golden screen, the night club, dinning or dancing. 

Whilst upstairs is day time from leisure wear and beach wear to work wear, life in suburbia and a group of patriotic red, white and blue ensembles for the 1938 coronation. 

Upstairs there was also a room of prints from a collection of Cecil Beaton’s photographs. I found these particularly interesting as I have read several books on the Bright Young Things of which Beaton was one, and am currently deep in a superb biography about Edith Olivier & Rex Whistler who were his close friends.

I particularly liked this ensemble because who doesn't do their house work with pearls and a cigarette holder??
There were a delightful group of retired ladies all sporting some sort of red hat or fascinator going round at the same time as us. Apparently they try to get together and go out once a month to do something interesting or cultural which we thought was such a fantastic idea. When asked if they were off to lunch afterwards they declared no, they were off to the pub! Now that’s how to retire properly.
A few of them gathered round a group of photographs and were excitedly exclaiming things like ‘There she is’ but I couldn’t get close enough to see which picture or hear who ‘she’ was. I wondered if it was a friend or relative. A couple of times I ended up chatting for a few minutes to one or other next to a particular outfit or picture.

We Ooh’d and Ahh’d to our hearts content and I took about a million pictures. It was interesting just how timeless and wearable a lot of these clothes were, we both found ourselves going round saying ‘I’d wear that’ as much as we were swooning over a stunning evening gown. These are a case in point
Having said that as we left we did both confess to feeling rather under-dressed next to all these stunning outfits, unbeknownst to the other we had both opted for rolled up jeans, black lace up boots and a jumper!

Other than that I haven’t been up to much due to work being so busy. I had to work one weekend and last weekend I was finally off so I spent it sorting through some of my craft/sewing projects with big ideas of downsizing, I think I got rid of about 4 things!?! Oh well, it was a nice way to spend a cold afternoon though, drinking tea, listening to murder courtesy of a Poirot audio book, and sifting through fabric and embroidery kits.

We did go to see The Favourite and for once I’m going against the stream here. I know the world and his dog seemed to love it but I just found it bizarre. I found the soundtrack too invasive at times and the dialogue too contrived at times. Having said that I thought Oliva Colman, Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone were all amazing and well worthy of their Oscar nominations, Mind you Olivia Colman can do no wrong in my eyes and if I had realised they filmed bits of it here in Oxford I would have been a right fan girl.

I shall sign off with my January purchases and a cautionary tale.
First off, the bad. I really loved the look of this Sheen khaki dress but when I got around to trying it on not only were the arms too tight, it had this really weird bulge of fabric just above the waist at the back which looked awful, so that got returned.
 The good are these three Collectif dresses which I got in their 60% off plus free postage sale 

and these purple Hotter boots. 
At first those were half price which I still wasn’t prepared to pay, but when they went down by another third I decided to at least go in and try them on they were super comfortable and they only had one pair left in my size so it seemed like a sign and I bought them. In true Vix one in one out fashion, and mostly because I don’t have the room I am moving on another pair of boots to make way for these.

Finally I shall end with my cautionary tale. I bought a dress, thankfully in the sales, from Lady Vintage. A website I have used several times over the years. Hand on heart I have never ever had an issue with their clothes or their service, I have washed and worn and worn and washed with no ill effect until now…
So the dress as you can see was a black one with a sort of yellow and orange floral pattern, made from 97% cotton 3%  elastine. 
I wore it once and put it in the laundry basket to wash. As it was new I checked the label and that said 30 degrees do not tumble dry so I washed it at 30 degrees and did not tumble dry, mostly because I do not own a tumble dryer. 
The dress came out this awful faded grey like the fabric was not properly colour fast. So I emailed Lady Vintage to say I had washed it as instructed and what had happened with a couple of pictures. 
They emailed back to say thank you for the pictures but what speed was the spin cycle on my machine? I replied 1400 and they came back with ‘Even though you washed the dress at 30 degrees and didn’t tumble dry we do recommend that you wash our dresses at 30 degrees but on the delicates cycle, as you didn’t it’s your own fault - bye’ or words to that effect. 

Well I checked the label again carefully nothing there about washing as a delicate, I checked the tags which I happened to still have, nothing about washing delicately there either. So I logged onto their website and finally there it was, right at the bottom of the description it said
 “Machine washable at 30 degrees (delicate wash). Do not hand wash, do not soak, do not tumble dry” 

Now I don’t know about you, but who the hell logs onto their PC or scrolls through their phone before washing their clothes? I certainly don’t! Also why in the hell should a cotton/elastine fabric need a delicate cycle?? 
It certainly felt to me like a cynical 'it's in the small print' get out clause, I mean it's even in brackets! Frankly their brush off was pretty shabby treatment. It's left a bad taste and Icertainly don't plan to buy from them again.


  1. Ooof, shoddy customer service from that dress company. And I've never heard of cotton/elastane needing a delicate cycle; perhaps it's something to do with how the fabric was printed rather than the base cloth.

    Going through craft projects listening to a murdery audiobook sounds like a bloody excellent way to spend time - I can't think of a better way, frankly. And that exhibition looks so inspirational. 30s dresses were so elegant - it's the way they flutter and flow. Like a tit I've managed to time my next trip to London to be after this exhibition ends but before the next one starts. ARG.

  2. I'm drooling over all those fashions, Gisela. And your account of the coffee shop did make me chuckle a lot. But I'm horrified by the service of Lady Vintage. And finally, those purple Hotter boots are utterly fabulous. Just wow! xxx

  3. What a fabulous exhibition and I know that feeling of feeling under dressed in the presence of such style and beauty!

    I think the greedy space hogging woman in the coffee shop was
    very lucky she didn't get a slap!

    The customer service from Vintage Lady was abysmal and shameful. The other dresses are lovely and as for the Hotter boots - simply gorgeous.

  4. Ugh, hipsters.
    That was crappy customer service from Lady Vintage.

  5. Hate when stuff falls to pieces---kinda shite costumer service, too :(
    The day at the 30s exhibition sounds perfect. I'd totally wear all those dresses and suits and I'm obsessed with the lady in the apron with her pearls and ciggies.

  6. Oof, that was crap customer service. Worth a phone call to follow up? I find if I start mentioning distance selling regulations or something else official I get passed to a manager more quickly.

    I am glad you got to go to the 30s exhibition, it seems everyone has but me! I had my chance, but when in London chose to mooch around the shops and go for a cocktail instead, ha!

  7. beautiful purple Hotter boots.
    have a great day

  8. I always adopt the Indian way when confronted by selfish people like that cafe hipster, I plonk myself on top of them until they're forced to budge up - never fails!
    That exhibition looks wonderful and I love the sound of that group of pub going ladies. I met an older lady in Walsall before I went away who told me that she always reads my blog and her and her pals now go to Spoons for lunch on their days out as opposed to posh tearooms!
    Love those boots but am appalled by the customer service from that clothes company. If I were you I'd forward your blog to them and see what they say. xxx