Blogging pals' big day out
Thursday, June 27, 2013 at 03:13PM
Joyatri in Fashion, Frocktasia, London, Magazines, Sands Film Studio, Travel, Vintage ad, embroidery, vintage fashion

For my last full day in London, I offered to take Jennie to lunch and then to a ‘secret location’ that I thought she would enjoy.

Figuring out how to get to the 'secret' location. Lunch was to be at bizarre café whose décor is more fitting for a goth/new age/horror film-inspired art installation than an eating establishment. But, it wasn’t open. I learned later that the woman who runs it was just late  that day—so, hopefully, we can go another time (although I don't have high hopes for it surviving much longer) After a sandwich elsewhere, we got on the train to Rotherhithe to the Sands Film Studio.

Last week, my boyfriend had been to a silent film screening at the Sands Film Studio, a film production company that also offers costume and set production and hire services. Recent projects have included costumes for the films ‘Les Misérables’ and Spielberg’s ‘Lincoln.’ You can get a good sense of the place from this narrated slideshow

When A. saw the stacks of fashion magazines, costumes on display, and the library at the Sands, he knew I’d want to visit. The Studio houses the Rotherhithe Picture Research Library, a free resource for stage and film set and costume designers.

So, last week A. and I poked around the Research Library for a bit and this was the ‘secret location’ I whisked Jennie to.

Interior, stacks of fashion magazines, and one of the picture catalogs. I chose 'Costume' as the first index to dive into.Near the entrance there are large, hand-written indices of the picture catalogs that fill the shelves. Categories include furnishings, interiors, architecture, transportation, costumes, and many more.

These large scrapbooks have an image glued to each page. Each is dated, but unfortunately, the source is not always provided.

Dated '1972.'I remember this look from the early 1970s very well: smock top, rolled-up straight-leg jeans, and clogs or boots. Some images from the 1969-1972 costume picture catalogs.

We admired the exquisite embroidery on view.

Embroidered doublets, waistcoats and accessories produced at the Sands Studio and used in various films and stage productionsIn the corner of the library is a little embroidery workshop.View from the exterior of a second-floor window. The Studio has occupied a Grade II-listed former granary since 1975. Jennie and I stayed glued to our seats pouring through vintage magazines well after closing time (no one bothered to tell us to leave). We came away with tons of ideas for projects (I really want to paint a shirt with a rainbow like Julie Driscoll's above). Now if we only had tons of time!

We then popped around to the church and graveyard next door for a little photo shoot. Jennie got all goth in the graveyard and suggested the contrast of the bright blue door for me. The fabulous flouncy, lacy blouse I'm wearing was a gift from Jennie when I went to her house last week.

Frilly lace blouse, gift from Jennie. Patchwork wrap skirt, purchased at a fair-trade bazaar years ago. 1950s reversible man’s waistcoat, purchased by my brother in the 1970s. Fleur boots, purchased at Vegetarian Shoes. 1970s bag, purchased at the Rock and Roll Yard Sale, Somerville.

I'm looking forward to hanging out with Jennie on my next trip to the UK. And should either of us win the lottery we have plans to open a vegan café/bakery with a vintage threads boutique next door. We'll live nearby in a big Victorian townhouse our partners and lots of dogs and cats. And we'll invite all of our bloggers friends to come by for a visit when they're in London.

On Tuesday, British Airways gave me an upgrade on my flight home. When I asked the man at the gate why, he said it was my lucky day and that I should play the lottery when I got home. I arrived home in Boston at night and went straight home. Hoping that my luck would continue, I played the lottery the following day but, alas, didn't win. So, Jennie and my plan will have to wait.

You can read Jennie’s account of our day on her Frocktasia blog here.

The good quality photos in this post are thanks to Jennie.

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