Thursday, 18 April 2013

Clifton Hill Costume & Textiles Re-opens

I have finally reopened the door to Clifton Hill costume and Textiles.  It’s a great feeling to have gotten to this point, though I am by no means anywhere near done with the sorting.  Thanks to regular markets and fairs I have worked my way through plenty of the clothing already but alongside the remainder of that there are all the curtains and boxes of fabric, and haberdashery still to finish.  Having invited some friends to the shop on the Friday I had imposed a deadline to get it looking respectable, and with a lot of help from Tom, Mike and Ibi, we got there, contrary to my earlier thoughts.  A few ‘tours’ and glasses of wine later I had banished those thoughts of working through the night!

Saturday came and went with visitors, lots of compliments and a malfunctioning till.  I must remember not to play with keys and buttons quite so much.  Sunday I actually managed to relax, though I’m sure we still visited the shop at some point! There was still a lot to do to get shipshape, and still is but you really could continue sorting that place forever.

I have found a few prize boxes as I have been filling the shelves.. from the ‘WAR’ suitcase we have some WW2 era items including canvas boots, woollen mittens, vests, also a couple of gorgeous suspender belts.  The Edwardian / Victorian era boxes which proved to contain a far sight more, have now been sorted and I have put together a lot for the next Textiles auction at Dreweatts.  I also put in some 1920’s/30’s costume, a beautiful lot of lace panels (The shop has an unbelievable amount of all kinds of lace) and some Royal Collectables.  This has created a little space but I’m still struggling- though mostly with the curious layout of the shop since the refurb.   An architect’s bizarre solution for moving the entrance to the stairs closer to the front door- wasn’t quite thought out, and impacts impacts greatly on my floor space!  My day job is as a draught- person working on structural and building plans and layouts so I am wholly preoccupied with this dilemma. Not wise, then, is my full on furniture move four days before the launch!! Ah!

I am so pleased with how this has all come together and really looking forward to having the time to go on  a few courses in sewing and pattern cutting, Corset making ( at Heart Space), getting to grips with the auction process and doing more textiles markets (Liz from ).  Then there are my own hobbies that have been put aside for far too long- Origami, accessories and making pin cushions!  The prospect of getting back to normality (or a new version of it) is tantalising close!

So it is now Wednesday- The official launch is just a day away.  My new sign, designed by my very talented brother, is being painted by Dapper signs ( )  and looks amazing!

 The shop has been receiving some excellent coverage from all sorts of places, and my good friend and photographer, Ibolya Feher, has posted up a lovely time-line of images from when we both used to work with Gill, through the refurb and storage, to the moving back in.  Check it out here

And lastly, thanks to everyone who has offered their help and support, expertise and skills.  To Tom who has been amazing doing everything from poster design to making my A-board to last minute display cabinet dressing not forgetting putting up with me and all the chaos over this 2 year process . To Ali Cook ( ) and Sue Fyfe-Williams ( ) for their taking on the Launch event with such verve, despite having very busy events schedules of their own.  I can’t wait!!

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