Poem Karen, Stardust Years Vintage

Last year, as part of the Winchester Poetry Festival, Jon Seagrave aka Jonny Fluffypunk was engaged as the City’s Poet on the High Street.  One of the many wonderful things to come out of this was a chance for Jonny to chat to residents, visitors and business owners in Winchester.

We were lucky to be one of the businesses that Jonny visited.  He gamely listened to me wax lyrical about my 3 loves (oh, and Gary!) Vintage Fashion, Lop-eared Rabbits and Theatre.  Out of my ramblings, Jonny created a special poem for me as he did for other business owners around the City. When he came to the shop to read it to me, I do confess I shed a tear, as I do every time I read it.  I thought it would be nice to share it here with friends and customers – you might recognise one or two references, including one to the sign I pop up on the shop door when I need a “comfort break”!

For Karen, at Stardust Years

Look at her. Sits in here, behind the counter, waiting on the dialled
phone to ring, to offer her a part; a stage role cast in Bakelite

and sure, she’ll have something good, no doubt, straight off her racks,
lipstick every shade of midnight waiting room to boot.

Above the city, potty-mouthed microwaves
are bouncing off cathedral
walls, pinging dick-pics and discount codes to a populace more attuned

to tiny screens, and even grannies here are wearing day-glo trainers.
This is not
a world for her; she lights candles on the Bette Davis shrine,

up to lop-eared bunnies in a quiet corner, barricades the door.
She’ll be alright, she thinks; she’s holed up with a good supply

Rayne heels and dresses of the sort of cut that get
asked out
by calling cards, not one-line texts,

and she’s
wrapped herself against the dark with a
stardust coat sewn from half-remembered closing lines

and memories of ice-cream trays hung from swan-necked girls.
So when that phone rings, she’ll be ready. She’s written the card;

she’ll put it in the window as she goes. Just popped out
to 1937. Back in two twitches of a rabbit’s nose.

By Jonny Fluffypunk, Poet on the High Street, 2021

As part of his role, Jonny also mapped out a poetic history of Winchester based on the people he met around the City, “Winchester: A Poetic History in Inconsequential Moments”  You can purchase the outstandingly well-priced book via The Winchester Poetry Festival’s website below or through the lovely P & G Wells Bookshop in our own fair city!




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The Queen’s Designers at Stardust Years Vintage

What better way for a vintage fashion shop to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s birthday than to pay tribute to just some of the talented people who’ve created Her Majesty’s wardrobe over the years?

Hardy Amies was the Queen’s designer from her accession to the British throne, in 1952, to 1989 when Amies retired. Here at Stardust Years we’re very lucky to have two pieces of Hardy Amies fashion. We have put both gowns in our window display. Hardy Amies at Stardust Years

You can, also, see this beautiful late 1940s/early 1950s gown, along with a 1960s brocade evening gown, by clicking on “Hardy Amies” in our Designers Menu. We also salute Rayne shoes and the maker of the Queen’s gloves, Cornelia James. Both are family firms and have maintained a long association with the Queen and other ladies within the wider Royal Family.

The Queen's Designers

By coincidence, author Michael Pick, has written books on both Rayne Shoes and Hardy Amies and you can buy them through our website – though we haven’t many left so drop me an email if you would like to reserve one. They really are beautiful books. Each book is a great read as well as being packed with gorgeous pictures – I particularly like the photograph of the lasts made by Rayne for the Queen and Princess Margaret.

Well, no sooner than the champers is drained for the Queen’s 90th than along comes Will Shakespeare with the 400th anniversary of his death on the 23rd. Of course, I’m too modest to mention another birthday coming up on the 26th but there’ll be little time for celebrating as we’ll be busy getting ready for our next Stardust Years Vintage event – our TLC Weekend on Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 May. I’ll post in more detail, shortly! Oh, and we have the Winchester Fashion Week’s Fashion Fair on Saturday 30th April!! Phew! It’s all go!