At my first proper Swish last night courtesy of Ecover, I was ready for some fun without (in these austerity filled times) spending any cash.
For those of you who don’t know what a Swish is, you take clothes you wish to donate, you log them in with the organisers, write something loving on the label to personalise them and then collect your tokens ready for a swap, because everyone else has done the same.
Not wanting to seem ungenerous, I took a Vivienne Westwood, Anglomania dress, a hardly worn pair of shoes by Georgina Goodman and a long patchwork tunic by Junky Styling. Since this may be the way of the future – and you’ll want to have ago yourself…
Here’s what I learned.
1. If you don’t preview the rails first, you will miss the good finds – so don’t socialise – even thought it’s tempting to catch up with mates like mine Professor Helen Storey (inventor of the Catalytic Clothing concept) and former couture model Michelle Paradise – she’ll knock your sock off with exploits of her modelling days.
2. Employ the same elbow-in techniques – that you would at any jumble sale – you can’t assume that every one has brought the same quality designs as you.
3. Wear clothes that allow for public trying on sessions as there might not be changing rooms.
4. Patrol areas away from the rails for discarded clothes that don’t find their way back on to the rails.
5. Before you commit, check that others are not walking around with a huge pile of the best finds because they can’t make up their minds.
6. If you see nothing you like reclaim your original donations for another time. Sadly the Westwood and the Georgina Goodman were snapped up (of course) but the Junky Styling tunic has come back with me for another day.