Tuesday, September 06, 2016
Debeukhaw & Freebody
I've owned this velvet jacket for 39 years and it was vintage back when I purchased it from a stall in Portobello Road Market, summer of 1977. I spent about three months that summer working as a chambermaid in a hotel off the Bayswater Road. We started early and finished early and on Saturdays my sister and I would go to the market. My favourite part was the vintage clothes stalls under the bridge. In those days I mixed vintage with hippy-dippy and very lovely I looked in it too. I wore that jacket with everything but mostly with a loose black or white top and a mid-length red cheesecloth skirt. Footwear would be sandals or boots depending on the time of year.
For some reason I was rarely photographed in the jacket. This picture is the only one I can find and it might have been one of its last outings before relegation to the back of the wardrobe. I came across it again while I was clearing out a wardrobe for Hannah. And briefly considered recycling it. And decided not to. It's almost unwearable now, places were the velvet has rubbed thin and the crepe de chine lining has become very delicate. It's been through a lot. I partied in that jacket. It occurred to me for the first time in almost four decades to examine the label which I found tucked in a side seam. It was hard to make out but I managed to decipher it. Debeukhaw & Freebody, London W1. Strange name 'Debeukhaw' maybe Polish? I decided to Google it. There was no Debeukhaw & Freebody, there wasn't even a Debeukhaw (although there is now thanks to my Google rating) but there was a Debenham & Freebody. My lovely jacket had been a department store buy! Albeit a very posh department store. I'm still going to keep it for another forty years.