Jog your memory with fashion

Vintage fashion event will bring back some welcome memories for some

It may be a song, maybe a scent. It could be the flavour of a favorite old home-cooked dish. But the sight of a gown, a skirt, a hat and shoes “just like I wore when . . . ” is guaranteed to bring the memories flooding back.

And bringing to mind those good old times is exactly what the magic and wizardry of a Merlyn Patten fashion show promises to give you. On Saturday, Oct. 20 from 2-4 p.m. at the Lighthouse Community Centre, in Qualicum Bay, those vintage clothing ladies will present 100 Years of Fashion.

Here is the perfect outing or antidote for a fall afternoon: tea and special treats, fashions from 1900 to the present day elegantly presented, good fun for friends, an opportunity tailor-made for daughters, mothers and grands to exclaim, giggle and reminisce. And all the fashion need not be on the runway . . . everyone can enjoy a bit of friendly competition by donning their own vintage fashion for the day, and vying for the prize for best hat.

All proceeds from this fashionable event will go toward the maintenance and upgrading of the venerable Lighthouse Community Centre, which has served the Horne Lake, Qualicum Bay and Bowser communities for at least one third of the years represented by this Saturday’s fashions. If you remember that fantastic evening at the QB Civic Centre last March with Merlyn’s models strutting their stuff for the local museum, you’ll know there’s a quality event in store this week.

Merlyn Patten started her vintage fashion career in Vancouver as a model for Rene Wilson who did like shows to raise money for various good causes, and they still work together on the Island.

Caught by this particular fashion bug, Merlyn started her own collecting, gathering her well made fashions in shops for once loved clothes, from people who wanted to see their favorite old clothes given new life, and from that not-so-old source, online shopping.

Fashions, new and consignment, from Bowser’s “Dress for Less” will also be modeled to inspire the look you want for fall.

No doubt most of us have a host of fashions tucked away somewhere; I always think that there are two very different places where our bygone fashions are stored . . . in our heads, where they’re easily called forth without making a mess, or somewhere requiring a certain amount of clutter to get at them . . . a box, a trunk, an out-of-the-way closet, a suitcase in the garage.

In the mental storage, it may well be that song, or perfume, that conjures up the image of the red felt circle skirt you (or I) wore with the daring backless, black, velvet halter top.


To enjoy Merlyn’s vintage fashions, here’s where to find a ticket ($20 or $25 at the door): In Qualicum, call 250-752-3312 or 250-752-6019. In Bowser, call 778-424-1000. In Lighthouse Country, call 778-424-2012. And don’t forget your hat!


Nancy Whelan is a regular columnist for The News

Just Posted

(PQB News file photo)
Fireworks report highlights enforcement challenges for Regional District of Nanaimo

Director: ‘I just think it’s wasting everybody’s time’

Terry Mazzei next to a truck after it was struck by lightning, with him inside, on Wednesday afternoon, June 9. He walked away from the incident without injury and the truck sustained only mild damage; a blown front tire and newly broken gas gauge. (Wendy Mazzei photo)
Nanoose Bay man walks away unscathed after lightning strike

VIDEO: ‘We like to think that his dad was watching over him’

Douglas Holmes, current Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District chief administrative officer, is set to take on that position at the Regional District of Nanaimo come late August. (Submitted photo)
Regional District of Nanaimo’s next CAO keen to work on building partnerships

Douglas Holmes to take over top administrator role with RDN this summer

This young fledgling white raven was spotted in the Coombs area on May 16. (Mike Yip photo)
Expert says 2 sets of parents producing rare white ravens in mid-Island area

One of the iconic birds is currently recovering at wildlife centre after being rescued

Flowers planted along Highway 19 in downtown Parksville. (Submitted photo)
City of Parksville plants more than 15,000 annual bedding plants

Residents encouraged to take flower photos and post to social media

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Most Read