Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Yet another dress

On Saturday I managed to get the right weekend to go back home for my friend's birthday party.

Having arrived at Lancaster train station with a bit of time to kill before the event, I decided to call in at a vintage place I'd heard about.

- For anyone who knows Lancaster, the place concerned is just down the road from the train station and near the Waterstones. It's held in the Assembly Rooms on King Street if you know the roads well.

I wasn't particularly happy with the dress I'd bought in blind panic (it wasn't very me), so I was kind of hoping to find something perfect at the last minute- and I did.

I was honestly really impressed with the Assembly Rooms market. I often moan about a lack of vintage shops and events in my area (my original area that is) and this was so good I can't believe I was unaware of it up until a few weeks ago.

(picture quality isn't great on these, still missing my camera. Pink Nikon- send it my way if you see it!)

The market is like a mini vintage flea. Upon walking in, I was hit by its eccentricity and unorganisedness; everything is cluttered together like an overcrowded jumble sale. I thought the prices might reflect this somewhat but it seemed not. The prices were reasonable on the whole, just not bargain basement as I'd hoped.

I found a gorgeous black velvet mini dress, tinged with blue (I promise it was nicer than it sounds!) at the stall above, though sadly it was too tight.

Whilst moseying off to the toilets to try the depressingly small frock on, I found another room around the corner.

This room is like an Aladdin's cave of vintage. I can't begin to tell you how rammed this little area was with racks of cloths; not to mention all those adorning every inch of the walls (and possibly the ceiling- didn't think to look up!).

The room has one downfall though- its owner. The person I was faced with was possibly the most eccentric (not in a good way either) oddball I've come across in some time.

I wish I'd got a picture; though I think your imagination might work just as well. He was wearing a brown Crocodile Dundee-esque hat, a red woolly sweater vest and had very few yellow teeth.

I spotted a great dress in his bizarre boutique- a short green velvet number with black lace sleeves and back panel with awesome peaked shoulders; unfortunately this was too tight too (nb: News Year's diet on the cards?!).

I went to try this dress on in the toilets with the other I had, though he kept insisting that I should try it on in the corner and use his makeshift curtain (apparently he likes to see the outfits on so that he can use his fashion expertise to suggest other items- he wasn't convincing me with that ensemble he had on himself). I was apprehensive to say the least due to extensive experience with impromptu changing rooms swiftly erected with cardboard and stallholder's backs at vintage fairs.

On my return from the toilets I dug out another dress from a huge pile of evening dresses. This was a great find: a black velvet cocktail dress with a lace top. What's more, I knew it would fit too as looking at the label told me that it was most probably 80s Twilight by Monsoon- the very same as the first dress I bought from ebay which was too small; though this one was a size bigger.

I asked the price before trying and the guy said that as the one I'd brought in from the other stall was only £15, he would lower the price to around £20-25.

I eventually agreed to try it on in the unappealing corner and stepped out to have it zipped up by my mum, who was tagging along. I was having a good look in the mirror when she said that she thought she could smell burning. The man suddenly rushed into the cordoned off area to bring out my black faux fur coat, smelling like BBQ'd hair.

Seems I'd chucked it onto an old fan heater on the floor in there hidden amongst the masses of clothes! The damage had been done and I'd singed a big line in the back of the coat. "It's ruined!" I exclaimed. Truth be told, I wasn't too fussed. The coat had only cost £3 and the mark was barely noticeable anyway with the coat being black.

After my mum near enough said that she should get health and safety down there (nothing like my mum for overreacting) he agreed to give me the dress for a tenner- result!

The dress is really gorgeous. The whole thing's velvet with the lace covering the top part.

You can see the bustier part underneath
Attention is drawn to the waist with the ruched velvet band underneath the lace.

Quick one of the label
Thought I'd best post one of me in the dress on Saturday night. It's definately more me; I think I'm most comfortable in black.

This was taken by my mum before I left. My face looks a bit strange for some reason so forgive that. I also took the fascinator off just after this because I thought it looked a bit like funeral attire!

Hopefully some better pictures will start appearing on good old Facebook soon; I'll try and get hold of some pics of my fave vintage outfits posted too.

Much love,



  1. Hi there! What a story, but what a result too, the dress is a fabulous find and looks gorgeous on! xx

  2. Well worth the trauma, you look gorgeous and the dress is a wonderful fit. Diet? What are you talking about? You look amazing as you are. xxx

  3. Thanks girls, we all know what it's like though when your trying to find something and nothing fits! I'll take solace in the fact that vintage clothes are usually a bit on the small side!


  4. Blimey girl, that's a story and a half! I went to Lancaster last year and just visited the chaz shops (didn't get anything). Didn't know about that fantastic vintage market. Will have to visit again!

    Love the dress - you look stunning. I'm with Vix, diet?! Don't be daft!

    You asked about that book I blogged about, well, I'm a rubbish sewer and I'm also rubbish at following even the simplest instructions when it comes to following a pattern. However, the instructions in this book are very well written and there are diagrams as well which don't look too complicated!!

    Btw, I'm your newest follower!

  5. Yeah, I don't think the charity shops are that great in Lancaster, perhaps because they're right in the centre. Worth going to this market though.

    Aww thank you :) and cheers for the comments about the book, sounds interesting!

    Thanks for the follow too :)


  6. Loved this story Katieee, I should come shopping with you! xxx

  7. is it weird that i could imagine how that shop smelt? i imagined it to be like beyond retro :) you're so lucky to have found that, it looks fab! xx

  8. i really enjoyed reading this. this is me vintage shopping too...oh, the trauma of it all!!!
    i am giggling at your mum ;)

    Dress is absolutely beautiful. Complete gem!

  9. haha it really wasn't a great smell!

    It's not as easy as wandering into Topshop I must admit (though their sales can get pretty vicious!)

    I used to cringe at my mum's disagreements with shop owners, now I'm older I can see the funny side too!

    Thanks for comments on the dress :)


  10. I'd love to go to that vintage flea market or shop..sadly, we don't have it here. anyway, i love your collection of those vintage clothes :)


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