My best friend Fee, designer Mrs Jones called me yesterday and said I had to come to the studio this evening. She told me "The WI are doing something down here" I said "What THE Women's Institute? Are you having a laugh?" Why on earth would I be up for that? I haven't baked a cake since I was seven! I didn't think the WI would be my thing at all, and of course I thought I was far too young! Above is a picture of the sort of thing I was expecting.
How wrong I was. Far from a load of old dears bringing Victoria sponges and jars of jam these girls turned up with bag loads of wine and not one of them was over twenty five! This branch of the WI broke all the moulds. They are known as the Shoreditch Sisters. And what a fantastic bunch of girls they are.
Fee gave a talk and then left them alone to rummage at their leisure and try on whatever they liked. The studio is like a giant dressing up box. Everytime I go in there I ended up flying about in something.
They tried on lots of outfits, hats and accessories that are all for sale in the Mrs Jones Emporium. It was loads of fun and I have to say that my opinion of the WI has been changed for good.
Here are some of the girls. The rail behind them is full of old stage outfits alternatively known as "Pop star's droppings"
The girls get stuck into the Rosé and crisps. Fee kept saying to me "Where are the cakes??" But there wasn't a cake in sight
Betty even dressed up for the occasion in this rather fetching 50's style number
The fabulous art director and designer Fred Butler was there. Fred is also doing an evening of making accessories with the girls. That sounds like something I'd love to go to
There are shiny things to see everywhere you look
It's like being in a sweet shop
Rails stacked with a riot of colour and tons to try on
Elnaz wears Bros' old leather jacket which has been customised
Danielle wears a Mrs Jones suit
Tara in one of Ana Matronic's dresses
Tara looking fabulous in a headress
And a dress which Mrs Jones made after being inspired by the documentary My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding
Elnaz in a pom pom headdress
Tara in a sequin stage number and a snake headdress
Elnaz in a Feathersmith headdress and Jazz wearing another stage piece
Not to be outdone Betty pops on her next look - a dog-tooth ('scuse the pun) check coat with a fur collar. Rather smart I thought. Betty has also had a haircut so you can actually see her face now. And she can see out too.
There were lots of laps to have a cheeky kip on and plenty of crisps to scrounge
This is the lovely Jazz who's the president of the Shoreditch Sisters WI with Betty who was absolutely loving all the attention (I was going to say lapping up but that was too cheesy!). What a brilliant and fun evening. And Fee has two new volunteers for work experience to boot. Well, what girl can resist a bit of dressing up?
For all enquiries about the Mrs Jones Emporium or Mrs Jones designs please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
To read my interview with Mrs Jones CLICK HERE
Shoreditch Sisters WI blog is HERE