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