Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Memories of Wallis and Hazel

                     I found this 1980s Wallis frock in a charity shop a while ago, but hadn't worn it - till today.

   I'm rather enjoying rediscovering 80s fashion - much maligned but I'm learning to love it all over again!

   I was 16 in 1980, and that decade from being 16 to 26 is a defining one in most people's lives, I guess.

First loves, leaving home, college, independence, trying to discover who you are, negotiating relationship dramas, making lifelong friends, first forays into work - a lot went on, wish I could remember more but I've had a few pints since then....

                                                                   Batwing 3/4 sleeves? Check.
                                                                   Floral print? Check.
                                                                   Bold shoulder? Check.
                                                                   Midi length? Check.


I probably would have loved this dress in the early 1980s, but Wallis was way out of my league on my Saturday job wages. It cost me £6.99 in Age Concern a few weeks ago.

While I was in sixth form doing my A levels, I worked as a shop assistant in a bakery and sometimes filled in as a waitress in the coffee shop upstairs, and was paid £7.50 for a 9 hour day. That was the most money I had ever had! I vividly remember the wonderful feeling of that first wage packet and planning what to spend it on.

Shamefully, it was on the Breaking Glass LP by Hazel O'Connor... Which of you UK lovelies remembers Our Price record shops? And what on earth happened to Hazel O'Connor?

Second purchase was a pair of banana yellow peg trousers from Etam - deeply unflattering on my broad hips and thighs, but to my credit, I wore them with an antique silk blouse which my mum gave me, and a 1960s silk scarf tied around the waist. (Debberoo, if you're reading - remember the bananas?!)

                 A little flash of leg never goes amiss! At 16, I would have been mortified - now I don't care!

                               So while I'm in a nostalgic mood, here's Hazel paving the way for Gaga!



lucy joy said...

I blinkin' love it. I staunchly defend 80's fashions, some of the most flattering cuts for women come from dresses and skirts of the 80's.

You do love a sly flash don't you. I'm bracing myself for the summer...

Lakota [Faith Hope and Charity Shopping] said...

Our Price - yes! I used to go to the one in Swansea and buy cassingles (I loved my midi hi-fi, I was one of the first people in the valleys with a CD player. Er possibly).

My parents encouraged me into some dubious outfits in the 80s, I seem to remember some velvet knickerbockers. I still quite like a batwing sleeve though!

Miss Simmonds Says said...

I used to stand in ourprice and stare at things I couldn't afford whilst waiting for the bus!

That's a really lovely dress! And I much prefer Hazel to Gaga

Vix said...

Between us we'll be making Wallis trendy again! Their 1980s stuff is perfect for you with your fabulously tall and trim figure and that dress is a prime example, it's stunning!
Our Price, Etam...right old blasts from the past.
I'm sure Hazel O'Connor headlined the Coventry Godiva Festival (where she's from) last summer! xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

his_girl_friday said...

Love the floral print and the length!

Patti said...

Love this dress! I was ages 25-35 in the 80's and I had a load of fun in those floral fashions. You look marvelous.

doradadama said...

You looking lovely amor.
I love 80's dresses, some cuts are smilar to 40' and 50's frocks.i think i seen this one at the charity shp but, sadly not my size.
I do love when people flash me.

Unknown said...

Ooh those colours are fab on you, darling, and I LOVE when you give us a flash! SHOW US MORE!

I've never heard of Hazel (old lady name!) but she looks pretty fab too.

I love a batwing sleeve but they do not love me - I don't know why but they are really unflattering on me. It's heartbreaking, I tell ya!

Love! Sarah xxx

karensomethingorother said...

Question: how did you know it's an 80's dress--is it because you're very savvy about your clothes, or you remember the designer, because I would see that lovely dress and not have a clue.

I spent $10 on a Duran Duran picture book in the 80's and my mother was HORRIFIED.

Helga said...

That's a fab frock,and funnily enough I am softening towards the 80's a bit nowadays! Batwings soooo mean 80's to me!
My first wage packet was from a holiday job I had when I was 15 and it was spent on some metallic shoes-sooo 80's!
Nice bit o' leg there!!!

Haven't heard of Hazel O'Connor in years!!!

Trees said...

This is a great frock - I always thought bat wings were "so cool" when I was a kid.

My first job wasn't until I was at uni - I lived on a farm in the middle of nowhere so it wasn't till I left home I could actually work! I got paid $5.00 an hour to work in a fruit & Vege store - it was horrible!! Made me realise why I must stay at uni:P

Unknown said...

I used to like Etam but Wallis was always out of my price range still is ;-) Love your dress you look fab and those colours suit you. dee xx

Melanie said...

I love the style of that dress, it reminds me of a pattern I have for a repro 50's dress, it's the sleeves most of all as the skirt on your lovely dress is fuller.


Kylie said...

I think it is a beautiful dress. I was a teenager in the 80's like you. Some of my get-ups were truly hideous, nothing like that lovely dress. I remember how wonderful I though I looked in my knickerbockers and Adam Ant pirate shirt. Ewwww!

Fiona said...

I was 18 in 1980 and wore some hideous things but of course I thought I was the dog's whatsit's. (Remembering my frilly pirate blouse and trousers with ties at the ankles.) Can't say I want to revive any 80's outfits but you look fab in your Wallis dress, looks so great with the coloured tights. I was paid £4.50 a day for my Saturday job, my boss was a tight old bastard! I got him back when I bleached out his tea stained mug with neat bleach and nearly poisoned him with his next cuppa. I remember him spraying tea all around the shop. hahaha!

two squirrels said...

I too am coming around to 80's things.
This wee frock looks fabulous on you, the pattern is great and look at your little waist.
The coolest thing I had in the 80's was a "Go-Go" t-shirt, who would have thought then that George Michael was batting for the other team.
Love v

Vintage Coconut said...

You look quite fantastic in that dress Curtise. I am really liking those batwing sleeves.

At least you dressed like a girl when you were 16 even if you wore yellow pants. I was wearing HUGE baggy guys jeans that could have fit another me in them. hahah

Krista said...

The 80's were the great I remember them fondly! This dress looks killer on you! Look out Angelina Jolie Curtise is giving you a run for your show your leg money! Your expression though is priceless!

Melanie said...

I love that last photo! Batwings, shoulder pads? Oh, yes, I'm having a flashback. Fabulous dress!

Dear Pearl Vintage said...

You always look divine! Long live the eighties I say, I have a penchant atm for collecting eighties prom dresses all that tulle and taffeta although funnily enough in the late eighties I was wearing frocks from the fifties!

Vintage Sweetheart said...

I wasn't around for the 80's but I still really like certain styles from it. Especially the 80's does 50's numbers. Lovely floral number on you!! xxxx

Loo xx from Jumbles and Pompoms said...

Do you know that I've never set foot in a Wallis and only ventured in Etam once. I was more of a Top Shop and Chelsea Girl kind of gal. Anyway, liking the dress on you. A lot.

Never liked Hazel OConnor.....xx

mispapelicos said...

My dearest friend, you are always pure inspiration.
I love everything you wear, ahhhhhhhhhhhhh; and above all YOU.

Rose&Bird said...

You look great - you can carry it off, it must be your height and chutzpah! Being a short-arse I just look like somebodies gran in 80s gear! I do remember Our Price and I did buy the odd cassette in there back in the day!