BOB by Dawn O’Porter
When I discovered This Old Thing on Channel 4 in 2014, I was instantly hooked. Watching Dawn O’Porter convert high street clothing addicts to the joys of vintage shopping was an absolute joy to behold, plus her team of experts made some pretty wonderful alterations to viewer’s pre-loved treasures. So, when I heard that Dawn had started her own vintage inspired clothing brand – in consultation with Jax Black, who was one of the experts on the show – I couldn’t wait to check it out.
The charmingly named BOB by Dawn O’Porter features simple classic vintage inspired dresses, skirts and trousers. All have striking shapes and colours, plus are exceptionally well made so will last you a very long time. It’s tricky to tell the quality online and so Dawn has fully embraced the current trend for pop-up shops in order to bring her fabulous clothes to the public, and I popped in to her latest one a couple of weeks ago to try a few bits on. She was working in the shop when I arrived so I got to say hello and can report that she is 100% as lovely as she is on telly and on Twitter.
Now, having tried on a lot of clothes I know exactly which styles suit me, so I made a bee line for the Jane – a 1950s style full skirt with modern novelty prints. The website says that ‘each skirt has been block printed, by hand, so the design sits perfectly upon each piece. The skirts are unlined to allow movement of the fabric, and the traditional full circle has been reduced on the hips to reduce bulk and are therefore very flattering.’ All that and it has pockets too! I tried on the lovely new ‘I carried a watermelon‘ print version and fell in love with its beautiful colours and, of course, the Dirty Dancing reference. Styled with a black and white stripey top and some dancing shoes, this would definitely bring joy to any day. I also tried on The Lou, which is an adorable prom dress of the sort of quality I’ve only ever seen in original 60s frocks that I really cannot afford!
The vintage selection in the shop is also an absolute dream. Dawn has an amazing eye for colour, print and style which ensures there is a fantastic selection in a surprising variety of sizes and prices. I bought an amazingly comfy dress with strong shoulders and a bold print, plus a fab bright pink corduroy skirt (both with pockets!). Here’s me in the dress on the day, and finding a full length mirror to snap the skirt in action a week later.
The BOB pop-up on Newburgh Street (near Carnaby Street) was supposed to be open for only a few weeks but, when I popped in last Friday, Dawn told me that it was staying until January… with some vintage party frocks on the way for Christmas! I’ll find out the exact dates but, in the meantime, it’s definitely worth a look if you’re in the area. The opening times are 10am-7pm Monday-Saturday and 12pm-5pm on Sundays.