Top to Toe Vintage Swishing by Amelia Highfield, Lincolnshire Showground
Swishing: To swap an item or items of clothing or shoes or an accessory with friends or acquaintances. Parties must willingly give an item to participate in the transaction, once they have given an item they are free to choose something of interest from what others have offered.
The most exciting thing about Swishing is the first reveal. That moment when the door opens and you see the rails, full of clothes – different sizes and different makes waiting to be re homed. My first swish was at the St Barnabas Hospice charity event at the Lincolnshire Showground. The week before, I’d ruthlessly scoured my wardrobe for those little gems, that don’t fit or in fact, never did hanging shamelessly with their label still on. I’d packaged them up hoping they’d find a new owner, one who liked them more than I did, and fitted them like a dream.
On the night, it was more than just a Swap Shop. Twenty stalls of vintage loveliness were there to tempt me with dresses, bags and jewellery to style anyone from top to toe. I indulged in a delicious slice of Victoria Sponge, and a cup of tea served in fine china, before browsing the stalls. I passed a broach and fascinator making class by local shop owners Rock + Paper + Scissors and hairdressers from The Strand offering vintage ‘up-do’ with victory rolls to boot. What’s more the soft tones of Heather Marie, a 1940s singer offering renditions of old classics Run Rabbit Run Rabbit gave the evening a jolly feel.
Then, at 8pm on the dot, they announced: "The Swishing is now OPEN". I dashed over; with my point cards held tightly in my hand and browsed the rails packed with leather jackets, sequined ball gowns, ripped jeans and a lovely little jacket, I deemed ‘perfect for the autumn.’ I grabbed it and went over to the pay desk. One of the helpful volunteers from St Barnabas took my points and sent me on my way. And that’s how easy it is. No money, just swapping.
To find out more about swishing visit www.swishing.co.uk or see what else St Barnabas have planned for 2013 visit www.stbarnabashospice.co.uk