I’m Pandora Harrison and I currently live in West London, England. I work for Endemol Shine International who owns several TV production companies and distributes TV programmes (including Peaky Blinders) worldwide.
I enjoy fashion history particularly 1770’s through to 1960s and have been involved in historical re-enactment for Regency, Victorian and early 20thcentury. In the past, a lack of funds forced me to learn to sew my own costumes for events and over the past 20 years I have become a sewing addict. I have a passion for making vintage style clothing out of original and repro patterns and take great pride in wearing my own work.
More recently I have learned to block cloche hats in felt and straw. I have also learned to work with silver clay which is a clay-like substance that becomes silver when fired in a kiln. Overall, I am happiest when doing something creative, especially with a glue gun.
A very vintage-looking Pandora and friend.
When did the vintage revival in womenswear begin? Was it part of a bigger movement, or was is separate from the menswear movement?
I don’t know when exactly interest in vintage styles originated, but to be honest there has always been some sort of element of this going on (Teddy Boys & Girls for example). Perhaps most prominently from the late 1960s when to wear vintage clothing was seen as a costume or fancy dress to be worn for a special occasion rather than actual day to day wear.
Young Fogies or New Fogies, a fashion style tribe dating from the 1980s around the first broadcast of Brideshead Revisited and New Romantic music, is a term that has since been highjacked by those wanting to describe a young Conservative who is actually more of “Prep” or wears “preppy” clothes.
See also Chap dating from the mid-1990s and the advent of The Chap magazine and Anarcho-dandyism. In the 2000s an explosion of retro style events (the Candlelight Club or Rhythm Riot etc.) and Charity Shops/Vintage fairs brought the style to the masses and the interest increased. It became cool to wear second-hand but few “get it” and chose to wear it daily.
Today, those who do, seek out original gear or top-quality repro. There is no longer such a taboo to repro these days; a direct result of the lessening in choice and size of original vintage.
These are of course my opinions and observations only, others will no doubt be better informed.
Pandora sporting an incredible cream-coloured outfit.
How did you get interested in vintage fashion/classic styles? Was it a particular moment?
I have always enjoyed viewing and wearing period costumes and taking part in historical re-enactment events. Through this, I developed an appreciation for tailoring, detail and fabric that, economically, will never be re-created by the high street. Over the years my taste has changed and my current focus is late teens early 1920’s.
How would you describe your personal style?
I range from Chapette to Quaintrelle and occasionally Flapper Goth (Vamp).
Who has been your biggest style influence? Why?
Friends who have been there, seen it and done it and original fashion plates/catalogues.
What are your favourite looks?
1930’s/40’s tweed suits or tweed with knitwear and late teens Early 20’s dresses and suits with a Vampish edge.
Cracking countryside cape, fantastic colours.
What are your most treasured pieces?
An original beaded 1920’s tabard dress, but also clothes that I have made for myself: a 1930’s era tweed suit, an early 20’s Egyptian revival silk dress and a stencilled linen dress with a coat, a cotton “one-hour” dress made from Liberty’s fabrics. Also, a 15-year-old ReVamp label mid-20’s style linen suit.
How did you discover SJC?
I discovered SJC through friends who were already devotees.
What’s your favourite SJC garment?
I don’t possess any, yet…
An elegant-looking portrait.
SJC is planning to launch a womenswear collection, what pieces would you love to see SJC do?
I'd love to see suits & dresses in a 30’s & 40’s style, but particularly 1920s dresses. Of course, blouses to go with suits and trousers, and skirts. Shoes for day-to-day wear would also be great!