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So, in looking back at Stardust Years Vintage in 2017, where should I start? Well, of course, it has to be with a huge thank you to all the lovely visitors, customers and friends who have supported us throughout the year! As we’ve made it this far, it means that we often enjoy annual visits, as well as more regular visits, from customers.? Recently, one couple said, “Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas, if we didn’t come to Stardust Years”!? It’s so touching and as lovers of Christmas, that really means a lot to Gary and I.
I’ve been lucky to meet so many brilliant people, including ladies who have worked with famous names in the fashion business – names that give us a tingle down our spines when we see their label in a piece of clothing – Jean Muir, Mitzi Lorenz and even a BAFTA award-winning costume designer…
I had my own moment of fame on BBC Television, this year, when the programme, “Money For Nothing” was broadcast in March.? Actually, the series seems to be repeated quite a bit as I’m often greeted with “I saw you on the telly, yesterday!!” when visitors come into the shop.
April saw the return of Winchester’s Fashion Week and this year, thanks to Paul Spencer of Winchester BID and historical costumier, Helen McArdle, I was able to realise an ambition I had always had for Stardust Years during the Fashion Week – to host informative, and fun, fashion talks.? With the celebrations around Jane Austen this year, and her close connection with Winchester, we decided to look at how the shape of the Dress had changed from the Regency period (when the empire line dress was particularly popular) to the 1960s when the style was prevalent once again and it gave us a lovely excuse to wear some nice frocks!? We called it “The Empire Line Strikes Back!” Never let it be said we’re above a good pun when it comes to publicity. We also toyed with “Jane Austen Meets Jane Asher” but thought only die-hard Sixties fans might get the reference (sorry, Jane, but you only have your successful cakes to blame!).? Anyway, I think a good time was hard by all and the audience were asking for more by the end so Helen did a brilliant job.
In July, Stardust Years Vintage was 4 years old and we celebrated in our usual style – special offers, our popular TLC rail (items that just need some love and cotton to revive or recycle them – all at ridiculously low prices) and Gary’s just-as-popular cocktails!
Helen made a return visit in September when she joined us for our first Heritage Open Day event, “Make Do and Mend”. I prepared lots of information about Utility Clothing and Austerity Rules and Gary made (rabbit-shaped) biscuits to an original wartime recipe but it was Helen who stole the show with her 1939 Singer Sewing Machine.? It really captured folks’ imagination and several people were heard to say, “I’m inspired to get my machine out now”? Even I was tempted to get a sewing machine but then memories of my needlework schooldays came flooding back and I had to lie down in a darkened room with a strong cup of PG Tips and a bunny biscuit!
I’m really looking forward to next year, meeting new friends, finding new vintage treasures and helping to encourage more people to discover the joy and beauty of the fashions of the past. Do pop in some time and say, “Hello”? In the meantime, do have a safe, happy and wonderful 2018; may it be a Vintage year!