Lou’s Slow Fashion Story

“Ferry cross the Mersey”

This is a lovely silk bomber jacket I picked up in a vintage market in Liverpool’s uber-hip Baltic Triangle. The area is boho home to creative start-ups, eateries and nightlife. It’s just a brisk walk from the city’s Albert Dock and waterfront where you can catch the famous ‘Ferry cross the Mersey.’


Got to say, I love Liverpool. The jacket is fully reversible. Simple black chic one way; bright, cheery and slightly psychedelic the other way.


I suppose that’s a bit like Merseyside itself. As a youthful city, Liverpool continues to tackle the dark side of post-industrial decline. But, as the birthplace of Merseybeat, it does so with creativity, warmth, wry humour and maybe a touch of psychedelia. This jacket definitely has that vibe. I feel like I’m on a Magical Mystery Tour when I wear it.

“He glanced at a dress. This will fit you nicely”

I suppose there must have been a time when you could get fleas from a flea market. Even now though, I doubt that there are many vintage emporia aka second-hand stores where you can get a ball gown.


Like all men, my husband thinks he has great ‘visual spatial awareness’. Whether that’s parking a car, filling a Tupperware with food or knowing if clothes will fit without trying them on. It’s quite annoying.


Anyway, one bright, beautiful, Saturday morning in autumn, we walked into a flea market in a church hall in Bruntsfield with no great purpose in mind. He glanced at a dress on a rail, handed it to me and said: “This will fit you nicely.”


It was a lovely black ball gown like nothing I would ever wear. Made of chiffon or tulle, with ‘whale bones’ to hold the structure, it looked bespoke. And, yes, of course, annoyingly, it fitted me perfectly and only cost £50. In 2015, I wore it to The Royal Lyceum Theatre’s 50th Anniversary party, forgetting that it’s not too easy to sit in a theatre seat in a puffy dress.


All I need now is another glam gala to wear it to.

"it's not worth alot but it means the world to me"

The butterfly-patterned top is a sequined affair that  I wore to a Great Gatsby party in Budapest – though I found it at a vintage fair in Leith Theatre.


I like the golden sparkles but mostly I love it for unrestrained nostalgia.


It reminds me of my Nan who had her own sense of slightly over-the-top style. Nan was never knowingly under-dressed. If you’re eagle-eyed you might notice I’m wearing a sort of Art Deco ring.


It originally belonged to my step-father’s great aunt. She was given the ring as a present on her 21st birthday in 1921. It had been handed down in her family, and was given to me by my mum.


It’s something I wear to remember Mum by and, oddly enough, it seems to have originally been a Victorian mourning ring, perhaps of German origin. I doubt it’s worth much but it means the world to me.