For some reason, I have shied away from posting about my collection much in recent years. I suppose it’s always been somewhat fluid; things come and go when times are hard or when something better comes along. But recently I acquired something which had always been a bit of a ‘holy grail’ for me, and it reminded me of exactly why I love fashion history, collecting and researching.
One of the most important books on my road to total geekery was Marnie Fogg’s Boutique: A ’60s Cultural Icon. Amazon kindly (and terrifyingly) informs me that I purchased it exactly ten years ago. Although clearly not comprehensive, something I am now realising is probably impossible, it was my main gateway into understanding the boutique phenomenon as a whole. I already knew many of the designers – and was delighted to see how much space was dedicated to John Bates – but several were new names to me. One of these was Georgina Linhart. Another graduate of St Martin’s College of Art and Design, Linhart set up her label in 1964 and, while she was frequently featured in the top magazines of the period, her business only ran for ten years. She later worked for Quorum, Jaeger, Wallis and Chelsea Girl. All four of which are favourite vintage labels chez Vintage-a-Peel.
The more time went on, the more I realised how rare examples of her work must be these days. My eBay search was empty 99% of the time, and only occasionally turned up magazine features and a couple of jackets. The most distinctive dress pictured in Fogg’s Boutique book was ‘Glitterbug’ (see above). A sequined halterneck mini dress, gossamer light and substantial in its insubstantiality; so quintessentially of its time, the epitome of the permissive age.
So my heart was in my mouth when Glitterbug turned up on eBay a couple of months ago. It was slightly out of my price range at the time, and the recent events in my life had forced me to re-evaluate what was important (and worth getting into debt for). So I sat and watched it. Every day I would log into eBay, with one eye shut, and check if anyone had bought it. Every day it was still there, but my nerves were getting beyond frazzled. So the day I finally felt marginally less broke than normal, was the day I logged in and put in a cheeky best offer. I am impossibly grateful to the seller for accepting it and making my collector dreams come true. It has been a long time coming, and it has come a long way from the USA, but Glitterbug is finally in my collection. Plus, it fits me – which I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t have done ten years ago. What are the odds?