Friday, 30 April 2010


The Frock Around The Clock gals set up a mini Back To The Eighties boudoir at the Sugahfix screening of Pretty In Pink last night. Dressed in pink eighties frocks with frighteningly big hair we half expected movie goers to steer clear of us, but instead they queued up to have volume backcombed into their tresses and pink blusher applied right up to their hairline. Big thanks to Kelly and Claire for their beauty skills and to Katrina for inviting us to take part in the evening - it was fab fun!

Tuesday, 27 April 2010


We have some interesting new sellers lined up for our Vintage Fashion & Textile Fair on Sunday 9th May. We like to have something different at each event to keep it refreshing for our returning visitors, and after searching far and wide to bring you the best of Ireland's vintage we have some real treats in store for you. First up is Angie Martin who brings us the magical world of Fairybadmother Vintage,  treating us to a fabulous selection of vintage goodies including jewellery, bags and other accessories, vanity items and collectable vintage and retro ceramics.

Angie will also be appearing at our Vintage Bridal Fair (Ireland's first!) on 13th June.

The Frock Around The Clock Vintage Fashion & Textile Fair takes place on Sunday 9th May at the Holiday Inn, Ormeau Avenue, Belfast (opposite the BBC) from 11am to 4.30pm. Admission costs £5 for adults, and £3 for Students and Seniors but if you arrive between 11 and 11.30am there is £2 off the general admission price for early birds.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010


With the first Hellzapoppin' Belfast club night & the Glitter and Sparkle Ball both happening on Sunday 2nd May there's going to be a lot of Northern Irish lasses looking to get all dolled up for the occasion.

The Frock Around The Clock beauty team of hairstylist Kelly McLean of Miss Ashby and top make-up artist Claire McEvoy will be available for appointments all day on Sunday 2nd May at the Ashby hair salon on Stranmillis Road from 11am to 5pm.

Get yourself a lovely pampering session and a vintage look, to go with your fabulous vintage frock and night of dancing, with their special package of vintage hair styling and make-up application for a mere £40.

To book your appointment contact Kelly on 07841144601.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010


Our second Vintage Sunday at the Empire was a great success - it has taken me three days to recover enough to upload some pictures here.

Thank you to all our fabulous exhibitors and to everyone who came along and supported us on the day. It was a gloriously sunny Sunday but we still drew a crowd and everyone was in high spirits. A little bit of sunshine does wonders for the soul. Here are some images from the day:

Details of our next vintage fair coming soon.

Friday, 9 April 2010


Whether you are going for the cute look a la Doris Day or want to channel your inner femme fatale in the manner of a classic film noir seductress, a pair of gloves is the ultimate accessory so, now that Spring has sprung, it is time to pack up those winter-woolly mitts and slip your hands into something a little more stylish and sexy.

Like hats, gloves shouldn't just be kept for weddings and posh balls. There are so many varied styles and interesting details to be found in the world of vintage gloves that they deserve to be worn 'Just Because......' They are usually in plentiful supply at our vintage fairs - here are some that will be making a special appearance at Vintage Sunday at the Empire this weekend:

Red polka dot gauntlet gloves from Decadence

Gold lurex gloves with metallic disc trim and lurex storage pouch from Decadence

White beaded bridal gloves from Decadence

Selection of decorative wrist gloves from Decadence


Frock Around The Clock are tickled pink to be appearing at the Pretty In Pink film night on 29th April at Slide.

Hosted by Sugahfix to celebrate their 2nd birthday, as part of the Belfast Film Festival, the evening will include a special screening of 80s cult classic Pretty in Pink at Belfast's coolest new venue, Slide, followed by dancing to a 80s classic soundtrack. A ballot will be held with proceeds going to NI Breast Cancer Charity Pretty 'N' Pink.

Movie-goers are encouraged to dress in pink, their best 80s gear, or preferably pink 80s gear! The FATC beauty team will be on hand to complete the transformation with Kelly creating 80s hairdos and Claire creating essential 80s beauty looks.

I will be putting together a mini Back To The Eighties time portal, displaying classic 80s fashion, accessories and memorabilia. Tickets cost £5 and can be purchased online from the Belfast Film Festival website.

For more details on this fabulous night visit the Sugahfix Website.

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, 7 April 2010


We have a brand new seller to Frock Around The Clock at this weekend's Vintage Sunday at the Empire. Mary Cosgrove will be selling vintage cookery, sewing and knitting books dating from the 1920s to 1950s which I am sure will prove to be very popular.

I am of the generation who learnt Domestic Science at school as a compulsory subject - in fact it was my favourite subject and I won the school prize for this in my O Level year (yes, way before GCSEs). I learnt to sew and knit at my Mother's knee and I took over the role as household baker before I even hit double figures in age, but I never quite got the hang of crocheting in spite of my Granny's endless patience.

It is strange to me then that a lot of young people finish school now without learning these basic housekeeping skills, but finally it is official - It Is Hip To Be A Homemaker Again. Suddenly we are all signing up for dressmaking classes, going on cupcake-making courses and joining knitting groups.

The rewards of baking are many - ranging from self-satisfaction at achieving prowess in the kitchen, to delighting family and friends (sometimes the way to the heart is through the stomach - just ask any chocolate lover), and the fact that foodstuffs baked from scratch with wholesome ingredients are better than shop bought any day. And if you have experienced the aroma of a tray of muffins fresh from the oven as you step through the front door after a long day at school or the office you will know that it is one of the best smells in the world.

And it's not just us gals who are donning our pretty vintage aprons and whisking eggs, sifting flour, and picking up the needle and thread - the boys are getting in on the action too. And so they should. Despite my love for domesticity I don't believe that the kitchen is just the woman's domain. My nineteen year old son cooks dinner on a regular basis, helps me to make the Christmas puddings every year, and he does his own sewing jobs which is why I know that those old homecraft books are going to be very popular this Sunday. I hope there is one that will teach me how to master the art of crochet!

The next Vintage Sunday at the Empire takes place on Sunday 11th April at the Empire Music Hall, Botanic Avenue, Belfast from 12 Noon to 4.30pm, and admission costs £2. Be sure to arrive early so you don't miss the bargains!

Monday, 5 April 2010


Frock Around The Clock - Vintage Sundays at the Empire appears in today's Irish News. A brilliant article by the fabulous Katrina Doran.


Vintage and antique costume jewellery are popular buys, not least because 'one size fits all', so also make great gifts (if you can actually bring yourself to part with your purchase once you get it home). A vintage brooch or necklace can add an individual twist to a contemporary outfit or the finishing touch to a vintage ensemble. Costume jewellery can be classic and demure, fun and funky, gaudy, sparkly, completely OTT - whatever your personality you can be sure that there is a jewellery design to complement it.

There is always a plentiful and varied supply of vintage jewellery at our vintage fairs. Each event is a veritable treasure chest of glitter and sparkle, with prices ranging from a couple of pounds up to a couple of hundred so there is something to suit every pocket. Whether you are looking for an inexpensive trinket or an investment designer piece, we have it all. Faux diamonds really are a girl's best friend.

Strictly Vintage sell fabulous signed costume jewels ranging from delectable deco baubles to atomic sixties pieces from  American designers such as Miriam Haskell and Trifari. Sisters Carol and Eileen sell at vintage and antique fairs all over Ireland and their jewellery is highly sought after.
If you like big and flamboyant, with a high glitter and sparkle factor, then Strictly Vintage is likely to be high on your list of favourites at Frock Around The Clock. Although highly collectable these pieces deserve to be worn and not locked away in a jewellery cabinet.

Other notable sellers of costume jewellery at our Empire Vintage Fairs are Mary Havern of Granny's Attic, Sharon Murray of The Old Tea Rose, Sandra Crawford Antiques, Norma Smallwood of Norma Jean, John McAfee of Old Mill Collectables, and Angela and Roberta of Impulse Vintage.

The next Vintage Sunday at the Empire is this coming Sunday, 11th April at the Empire Music Hall, Belfast. Doors open from 12 Noon to 4.30pm and admission is only £2. Don't miss your chance to glitter and sparkle and remember to arrive early to catch the bargains!

Sunday, 4 April 2010


We have worn head coverings since the beginning of time for practical purposes and to fulfill the rules of etiquette. But the wearing of a hat no longer has to be for functional purposes (except on the coldest of days) as we no longer have to protect our heads from falling rocks and flying arrows, and neither is it considered a disgraceful act to leave the house without wearing a hat and gloves.

The wearing of a hat as de rigueur went into a gradual decline after WWII, and even fell out of favour as appropriate attire for wedding guests and worship congregations. Those who continued to don hats as a style statement were branded as eccentric, but thankfully that is all changing - the cat in the hat is definitely back! Ruling out beanies and baseball caps, the hat is enjoying a major comeback as we realise that they are actually style art forms, draw attention to the face and our best features, add an air of mystery and frankly make us look damn hot! Guys take note, us ladies go weak at the knees for a man wearing a hat à la Frank Sinatra.

Of course I am going to say that vintage hats are the best (no need for me to go into all the reasons, because the chances are that if you are reading this you have already have a love of vintage) so where better to buy a hat than at a vintage fair? And where better than at a Frock Around The Clock Vintage Fair?

The next Vintage Sunday at the Empire takes place on Sunday 11th April at the Empire Music Hall, Belfast from 12 Noon to 4.30pm and there will be hats galore.

We have several fabulous hat sellers at Frock Around The Clock. Some of our favourites are Sharon Murray of The Old Tea Rose who always has a fantastic display of hats, bags, gloves and jewellery.

Mary Havern of Granny's Attic, who also specialises in bags and jewellery, as well as antique toys and other fascinating curios.

Eithne O'Kane of Banshee Vintage also has an amazing collection of vintage hats dating from the early 1900s up to the 1980s, which always prove to be popular sellers.
These are just a few of our vintage sellers - we have plenty of others who sell hats. Don't miss your chance to get your hands on some fabulous vintage goodies next Sunday at our Vintage Sunday at the Empire. These are unique, one-off items that you can't find in the high street stores and once they have gone, they are gone. Be sure to arrive early so you don't miss the bargains!

Saturday, 3 April 2010


Bags are a fabulous accessory, and not just for carrying around all your essentials (and some non-essentials too, if your bag is anything like mine) but they can also be an extension of your personality. Just because they are used for practical purposes doesn't mean that they have to look utilitarian. They can be classy, elegant, ornamental, fun, have attitude........the list goes on and on.

Some women covet bags the way others covet shoes, sometimes paying thousands of pounds for a luxury designer piece after waiting months or years for the pleasure (apparently the Hermes Birkin has a waiting list of around 6 years)! Buying a vintage bag is a quicker and less expensive way of achieving exclusive style, and is an easy way of adding a unique twist to a contemporary outfit and making you stand out of the crowd.

Vintage bags are usually in plentiful supply at vintage fairs and this is a great place to pick them up as you have such a fantastic choice and you can compare prices, mix and match them to other items that you purchase, and ask the seller about the origins and history of your chosen bag. Our next Vintage Sunday at the Empire is only 8 days away so this week we will be showing what kind of vintage treasures visitors can expect to find.

Here are some of my favourite bags that I have purchased at various vintage fairs.

I bought this adorable Scottie Dog bag for my daughter from a fabulous seller, called Betty Bankhead, at our Christmas Vintage Fair. I wish I had kept him for myself!

The 1950s crocheted bag on the left is one of my favourites - it has an unusual, but simple, opening mechanism and the colourful wooden beading resembles bunches of cherries. As well as being pretty it is quite roomy inside which is a big bonus. The orange beaded bag is the latest addition to my bag collection - a birthday present from my lovely friend Kelly.

The bag at the front of the picture is another of my favourites - black patent with orange snakeskin panels - it is so striking and always gets some envious glances when I take it out. The rigid handle folds away so it can be used as a clutch and there is also a clip-on chain strap so it is really three bags in one. The brown snakeskin bag was a present from another friend.

This large 1960s woven bag is my most recent vintage bag purchase - I bought it from the fabulous ladies at Jel Vintage at the last Empire Vintage Fair. Their bag collection is fabulous and it was difficult to make a choice. I will definitely be stopping by their stall next week to indulge my bag addiction.

Lorraine and Julie of Jel Vintage

Betty Bankhead and Jel Vintage will be exhibiting at the next Vintage Sunday at the Empire - Sunday 11th April, the Empire Music Hall, Belfast - 12 Noon to 4.30pm. Don't miss your chance to bag a piece of vintage arm candy!