Thursday 24 September 2015

Stirling Cooper meets Monsoon

Working in a charity shop hasn't dimmed my enthusiasm for chazzing; in fact, I'm always interested in checking out how other shops do things. 
And picking up a bargain too, of course. 

Like this 1980s textured jacket, mine for a fiver.

The sheer pleated skirt is by Stirling Cooper, a British boutique label which began in the late 1960s and initially featured Anthony Price and Sheilagh Brown as designers.
Here they are in the Stirling Cooper* shop, which you entered through a dragon's jaws. 
Oh, the divine decadence of Swinging London. And how much do I love that dress? 

(*Not to be confused with Sterling Cooper, the fictional advertising agency in Mad Men.)

I had always assumed the skirt was from the 1980s, but thinking about some of those sheer designs I saw at the Yves Saint Laurent exhibition last month, I wonder if it's older than that? 
A selection of Stirling Cooper clothing from the 1960-70s.
I'd love to wear this skirt with the tight-fitting ruffled polka dot blouse and platform shoes (top row, centre). 
The jacket is easier to date, it's from Monsoon's 1980s Twilight collection.
The nipped-in waist and shoulder pads are a nod to a 1940s silhouette, and I love the flattering shape. 

Monsoon has been around for over 40 years now and still has a presence on the high street, along with sister company Accessorize.

I'm a bit of a vintage label nerd, I love researching them. 

Since clothing manufacture in the UK largely ceased after the 1980s, you can pretty much assume that most items with a Made in England/Great Britain/UK label are vintage. That, or a high end heritage brand, but even then, companies like Burberry, Jaeger and Mulberry only make a proportion of their goods in this country. 

 1970s Stirling Cooper sheer skirt and ankle boots - Ebay
1980s Monsoon jacket and 1950s diamante brooch - charity shopped
Speaking of vintage nerdery, I am hoping it will stand me in good stead; I have just applied for a new job. St Luke's are opening a charity shop specialising in vintage, and will soon be recruiting a manager and deputy. 
If ever a job had my name written all over it, it's this one. I have so many ideas fizzing around in my brain, I might explode.  I'm waiting to hear whether I have got an interview or not. 
I'll keep you posted!



Helga said...

Sweeeet jacket, it's so sexy on your bangin' bod!
Jeez, what fun to enter a shop via dragons jaws!!!
I do love a good bit of vintage nerdery!

Feck, that job sounds so you!! It's clearly yours for the taking! WOOT!!!!


Porcelina said...

Mad Men was my first thought at that name, I'm glad you explained about the brand, I had never heard of it before. I'd love it if they put some dragon's jaws on the high street!

That skirt's smashing on you. Best of luck with the made-for-you job application xx

Fiona said...

What a marvellous photo of Antony Price, he looks as though he has a rather unpleasant smell under his nose. OMG! That job has got to be yours, you are made for it. Do you know who the other candidates are?
I bet they're nowhere near as qualified as you are. Nobble 'em if at all possible. Your lovely SC skirt looks like quality. xxxxxx

Suzanne said...

That's like a job made in heaven for you! I hope you get it.

Love the blazer. The skirt is all kinds of wonderful and the fact that it is Sterling Cooper makes it even better. The first thing I thought of was the agency from MadMen : )


Kezzie said...

If they don't give you the job, I will hunt them down! Seriously though, you've already done a lot for the charity in that respect!!! The skirt is amazing and I love the fact that Monsoon has been around for a good while!x

Elizabeth Yule said...

They'd have to be seriously stupid not to give you the job - surely they'd never find anybody more knowledgeable about and interested in vintage to run their new shop for them. Wishing you all the very best for the interview.

Sheila said...

The jacket is awesomely 80s and that skirt is magnificent! You are way overqualified for that job - just get on with it and run the place. :)

Señora Allnut said...

fabulous outfit, love your jacket shape, it fits you like a dream!, and that pleated skirt is made for swirling and dancing!, elegantly funky!
Enjoying all those 60's and 70's pictures and cute labels!
And wishing you luck, because you're right: that job has your name written all over it!

Unknown said...

Good luck with the job, you would be perfect for it! I think I'm a fan of Sterling Cooper too. You look smashing in that skirt!

Goody said...

You're ideal for the position-and they likely already know that. Best of luck.

I agree that the skirt looks 70's. Know what's wrong with shopping today? Nowhere, and I mean, nowhere is there a shop you enter through a dragon's jaws. I don't know about you, but that would go a long way to convincing me to shop retail again.

You're wise to snap up those 80's print jackets as they're suddenly in demand again. The tapestry ones are close behind, along with the heavily beaded numbers. Couldn't give the stuff away a couple years ago-go figure. I love the colours in yours and it looks especially nice with the black skirt.

Seriously, if they don't give you the job they're fools.

Mother of Reinvention said...

That skirt is a fabulous find. The jacket is lovely. Always had a bit of a soft spot for Monsoon. That job really is created for you. I really do hope that they realise just how perfect you would be for the job. I have my fingers crossed. Xxxx

Melanie said...

Did you ever think they're opening that shop because you're so good at handling vintage? That would be a twist, right? Why not? You have a history of saving and selling divine pieces destined for the bin.

Love what you're wearing, especially the '40s vibe in the jacket. Like you said, that blouse with the skirt, and you must wear the boots too - if you could steal them off Vix's feet. Heh.

Okay, the top left photo says born liberated, and those are I presume men's hands on her boobs. Okay. Well, maybe.

bahnwärterin said...

from now on lisbeth and i sit here with paws, toes and fingers crossed that you get the new job! you are the best for it!!!
i love so much about that ensemble! the whole look has this late 70´s/early 80´s elegant, 30´s vintage-y vibe!! the cut of that little jacket is my favorite and i have a weak spot for plissé skirts!!! i have two - both in blues like yours but one has white polka dots - from 2.hand shops of course.
much love! xxxxxx

Sue said...

I love all your research you do. We get Monsoon here but the other one I haven't seen, that is not to say it isn't here. Love the Monsoon jacket, looks perfect on you and shows off your waist. Good luck with the job, I am sure it will be yours.

Trees said...

That job is made for you!! Sounds amazing, just imagine the treasures you'd find. I love that blazer, its so very pretty!! Also I love that full skirt. I love that last picture too, such an amazing skirt :D

The Vintage Knitter said...

Those Stirling Cooper outfits are gorgeous, but I love those white platform boots. Great styling with your outfit and I'm sending you loads of good luck for the new job. You should add your blog to your CV! xx

Lynn Holland said...

There's some mad pictures there, they made me smile.
I'm on the lookout for a pleated skirt, just to see if they suit me or not.
That was a great blog post and they definitely have to give you the job. I'll keep my fingers and toes crossed for you xxx

thorne garnet said...

now that's a twirling skirt if I've seen one.

Good luck!

Shortbread and Ginger said...

Love those old ads!
Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

Vix said...

I love a vintage label, too! That's one cracking outfit. The jacket fits like a dream and that skirt is fantastic.
Vintage snobs are forever dissing 1980s clobber (and have the nerve to wear repro). Some of the best jackets I've found recently are Eighties, beautifully tailored and in fab, vibrant prints.
I've only found one Stirling Cooper garment - a faux suede fringed jerkin, sadly too big for me. They made some cracking stuff.
If you don't get that job I'm gonna have words, I'm in the mood for a shout.
Love you! xxxx

Miss Magpie said...

I think the problem with 80's fashion is people only think of the horrific stuff (day-glo legwarmers anyone) and forget there was a lot more to the era.

Dear god they have to give you that job!!!!!

Lisa said...

A vintage shop is just the most perfect place for your talents!
I will keep everything crossed for you.
Lisa x

Beth Waltz said...

Good Gad, woman, if they want a resume, then give them your blog address: proof that elebenty zillion vintage-buying females follow your "fizzing ideas" weekly! And how many shop managers could write ad/op copy to your standard?

Do show & tell us what you wear to the interview, please.

Connie said...

Well you certainly are a Gorgeous nerd. That skirt!!! I love that you know so much about these labels. I've learned a lot from you. Vintage labels are so pretty. I've always been about cool old labels though I've never thought about researching them. That is why you are perfect for this job. You were made for it. It for you. Fingers crossed!!

BadPenny said...

Super skirt. I used to wear my great Aunt's pleated skirt. She kept it in a stocking to keep the pleats sharp. She was so stylish - worked in Ladies gowns at Marshall and Snelgrove, Southport in the 30s.

Wishing you the very best for the new shop. I hope you get the job !!!! x

SAM said...

Good luck on the position-I'd say a match. Great tip on labels. If I get a chance for a good UK shop, I'll know what to look for.

Mrs Bertimus said...

You will so walk that interview!
Just show them your blog, your knowledge is immense.
All the very best, but you don't need it!
PS have you decided on your outfit yet from your wardrobe of delights? X

Shawna McComber said...

Oh I hope you get the interview and the job. It sounds perfect! This might be my favourite outfit on you ever. The shape, fit and colours are just amazing on you. I love a cropped top with a long and fluid bottom (not your bottom but the clothing bottom) -oh dear. Anyhow, no matter how awkwardly I say it, you look smashing! xoxo

Angels have Red Hair said...

How exciting … you'll get it … it's fate :0)

Olga Rani said...

I am a big fan of Monsoon and it is interesting to see something of their earlier creations! The jacket is fabulous and fits you perfectly, what a great find! No doubt you would be great at that type of job and I hope you will get it.

mispapelicos said...

The jacket has my name on it, in a bigger size of course, hahahhah.
You look ready to dance in that fantastic skirt, dear Curtise

Forest City Fashionista said...

EEEEEEeeeeeeee! That is soooo exciting about the job - I will keep my fingers and my toes crossed because it would be PERFECT for you!!

I wish that it was possible to time travel, as I would love to step back to the 60's in London and walk through those dragon jaws of the Stirling Cooper store, snatch up some fab stuff and bring it back to 2015.

The Monsoon skirt is gorgeous - I love the pleated fullness of it.

Emma Kate at Paint and Style said...

Oh my gosh, good luck! Fingers and toes crossed for you.
I clearly know nothing. I thought Stirling Cooper was something to do with motor racing. :/ xxxx

Mim said...

Oh, good luck with that job - it sounds absolutely made for you.

I like Monsoon's stuff; they're one of the few high street labels that I still buy (they do some good tweeds occasionally, and their quality is decent). I tend to shy away from a lot of 80s fashion, though it did have a fun and exuberance that I love.

Diane said...

You have to get that job. There is no one else more qualified. Everything being crossed for you here. That skirt is amazing. I remember Stirling Cooper. By the way, Squeeze this Friday, where are you sitting? I want to do that waving thing that people do at the City Hall xxxx

Ivana Split said...

keep us posted...and best of luck. I hope you get the job....fabulous items and photos.

I really like that sheer plaid maxi have styled it perfectly with that look amazing!!!

freckleface said...

I didn't know that, about clothing not being manufactured here after the 1980s. Fascinating. I think we're all a bit nerdy about our labels, makes sense, when you're interested in something, you're eager to learn. I like to think of it as fashion archaeology :) but anyway, this is just preamble. First important point, don't you look wonderful in that outfit? I'm becoming a big fan of sunray pleats, they fall so elegantly. I'd like to see you rocking it with a skimpy polka dot blouse and platforms. Last but not last, I am so excited on your behalf about this opportunity. You are exactly the woman for the job. Flipping heck, you're the one who even introduced the idea in the first place. I tell you what, you make this career lark look a breeze! Xxxxx

Unknown said...

Found your blog whilst researching my recent charity shop purchase - a Stirling Cooper ankle length green sequinned dress for £4! Like you, I am an avid charity shopper with an eye on vintage lables. I am pleased to see label is same as yours shown, would love to be able to credit to Antony Price!