Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Goodbye, Pin-Up Parade

The big news
It’s very difficult to write this, but the time has come… Pin-Up Parade is closing.

I started this shop back in September 2007, so I’ve had 6 years of frocks, accessories, shapewear, books, CDs, even teatowels. I’ve sold things from several different brands and when I started, I was the only person in the UK to sell vintage repro sizes larger than XL (as far as I could tell - it was my main reason for starting the shop!). I was also the first person in the whole of Europe to stock Bettie Page Clothing.

But, alas, the market has changed, so I’m calling it a day. Yes, I wanted to do my own clothing line, Swagger Joint, but (boring bit) in order to really get it going properly, I’m looking at borrowing between £10,000 to £15,000 – it’s just not a financial risk I’m willing to take, especially in this very uncertain financial climate. Besides which, the website design is creaky and ancient, and I lack both the will and the skill to faff about and make a new one from scratch. And if I get one more email from a web SEO company telling my website is awful and I don’t know how to use social media to engage with my customers, I will commit an act of violence. Anyway... ahem...

The reductions
Everything in the shop is reduced and once it’s gone, it’s gone. To quote the Manic Street Preachers, who are possibly not vintage in the least, but hey, who cares, I love them anyway: “Everything Must Go” (fun fact - I have seen people wear the Bettie Page Clothing "Captain" dress at their gigs, so it's relevant. Honest).

Rago - £5 off all shapewear items (in stock items only)

Swagger Joint - £20 off the Olivia dresses. The satin version (now £50) would make a great dress for Christmas, and why not invest now in the cotton version, which is just £45, for next summer? (Or for those of you in Australia and New Zealand looking for a summer dress – now’s your chance!). To convince you that you definitely need an Olivia dress in your wardrobe, check out Fleur de Guerre in fan print cotton:

Gemma from Retro Chick in the cotton:

And Katie from What Katie Did in the satin (from Mydaily.co.uk):

(While I'm at it, big thanks to the three ladies here who've been so great and supportive over the years.)

The Viv dress is reduced from £130 to £100, which isn’t bad at all for such a high quality dress, and that bronze lurex fabric is perfect for the festive season. The Viv and the (no longer available) Avril were made by dressmakers in Kendal, up in the Lake District, and the belts are made by the last belt factory in the UK (apparently), who also makes belts for Vivienne Westwood. So when I say the Viv dress is high-quality, I'm really not lying.

(And another thank you - Stephanie Jay and Millie Dollar for modelling Swagger Joint. And my dear friend Olivia (who is now an artist), who enthusiastically modelled stuff and ended up having a dress named after her).

Bettie Page Clothing – children’s dresses are now just £15 each, and adult’s dresses are now between £30 and £40. See also the Sale. I mean, the entire site is a Sale now, but bear with me, please.

Accessories and Books – everything reduced here too! Lauren Rennall’s hair and make-up books, music, jewellery… yup, it’s all got to go and it’s all reduced.

And before I go…

Thank you to all of you for your custom over the years. It’s been fun, but it’s time this train left the station (picture a steam train, an art deco station, David Suchet whimsically staring off up the misty platform, fade to black, roll credits...). Or insert whatever other metaphor here that you like. I’ll have time now for my random hobbies – rummaging about in archives to research Victorian poison panics, writing bodice-rippers, annoying my neighbours with my guitar… oh, the fun I shall have!

PS: Once the shop is closed, I will be deleting the website. This means that all the pin-up galleries will go as well. Thanks to everyone involved with pin-up back then - I'm sure I'll forget someone, but all the models in the galleries who sent in their photos, and the photographers themselves - Nicole from The HourglassTony Nylons, etc etc etc. It's a shame, but the galleries haven't been properly updated for a long time. And it'll live on at archive.org if you're desperate...!

PPS: (Look, I will stop in a minute, ok...) Honourable mentions to The Chap and Nina the Headdresser. And to everyone else who should be on this list and isn't because I'm on the verge of being overcome with emotion and we can't have that, can we?

PPPS: A Chinese company emailed me not long ago to tell me that they have signed some sort of permission which means they can use my business’ name in China without me being able to stop them. Please bear in mind that once I shut my shop and delete the website off the intertubes, anyone or anything else calling itself Pin-Up Parade isn’t me. The dastards! If I was Georgian gentleman, I would fling my peruke onto a nearby chiffonier and challenge them to a duel. Alas, I am but a librarian with a dress shop, so I’ll threaten to ink them on the forehead with a date-stamp. There, that’ll show ‘em.

Best wishes to you all,