You just can't go wrong, with a vintage umbrella ! 

Anyone who has ever visited my shop knows how much I love a vintage brolly.  There is allways a fine selection available.   The perfect gift or way of finishing of special occaion outfits.  Its chucking it down for your best friends wedding ? No problem, we've got it covered.

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Step in to Autumn with classic 1930s glamour

1930s evening gowns are one of my favourite vintage niches.  This black lace two piece is typical of the mid 1930s.  The black lace is formed in a cobweb design and set of with a gold satin under slip.  The jacket features leg of motton sleeves and a peplam and would be great worn as a seperate, gothing up a pair of black skinnies, for example, like only black lace can.

Building A Vintage Wardrobe

The beautiful SANGSTER sisters have been shopping in my store since 2006 and on KALILA'S recent visit, she showed me this picture on SAFIA SANGSTERS Facebook profile.   Each sister is  wearing  a dress bought either here, at STRANGENESS AND CHARM or from my old store, VENUS VINTAGE in Nailsworth.

Looking at this image  gives me huge job satisfaction.   Seeing them all looking so fabulous  and the fact that they clearly, totally 'get' what choosing to shop vintage is all about.  Forget fashion and its fickle twists and turns, wear things that suit you ! that you love and can treasure year after year.

Image Copyright Safia Sangster. Text Copyright Rebecca Tomlinson 


BIBA rules summer


Image Copyright Rebecca Tomlinson 

Text Copied from

In the 1960s illustrator BARBARA HULANICKI (1936-) and her husband Stephen Fitz-Simon established the small mail order company Biba to respond to the demand from Britain’s youth for affordable, age-appropriate clothing. Her art nouveau-inspired designs define Britain’s transition from the 60s to the 70s.

Biba was an instant success: after opening its first store in Kensington in 1966 the company quickly expanded through three more stores in the next 10 years. This expansion culminated in the seven-storey Derry & Toms department store, known as Big Biba, Britain’s first Superstore boutique, attracting up to a million visitors a week, and second only in popularity to the Tower of London as a tourist attraction.

Biba’s downfall was almost as quick as its inception. In 1969 Biba Ltd. was formed and Dorothy Perkins became a major stakeholder. Four years later British Land acquired Dorothy Perkins, but the property crash of 1974 forced them to close the store and to sell the rights to the Biba name. Hulanicki moved to Miami where she now lives and works as a successful interior designer.

In 2006 Micheal Pearce re-launched Biba (now BIBA), with Bella Freud as the company’s creative director. This contemporary incarnation of Biba draws influence from Hulanicki’s original designs, this time aiming them at an more expensive market. In 2007 Manny Mashouf, chairman and founder of the fashion retailer Bebe, bought out 60% of BIBA and Pearce became CEO, taking control of the brand’s creative growth.

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30s lace... Go bare if you dare

 Lace dresses from the 20's and 30's were originally intended to be worn with a slip, usually the same colour, creating a textured but still 'floaty' silhouette.  It is rare to get a gown with the original slip.  I often team them with contrasting coloured chemise, making the dress take on a totally different appearance with each wear.  It is also fun to play around with underwear.  A well cut pair of pants creates a daring, but still 'covered up' look.

Image and text Copyright Rebecca Tomlinson