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Bringing Swinging London Clothes to Glasgow

Posted by Amelia Glynn Online Fashion Content Assistant

5th Feb 2014

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This week, we have the pleasure of introducing a new volunteer to the Oxfam ranks! Welcome to the team Josephine : )

Hello! I'm Josephine. I'm studying Fashion Design with Marketing and Production; I'm currently on my placement year.

 I chose a placement with Oxfam Batley because my passion for working with vintage fashion can help support people in some the poorest countries in the world. Therefore, my personal fashion preference would be vintage. I'm head over heels in love with anything that has a 1950's/1960's vibe that I can style in my own distinct way, or even up-cycle to give a new lease of life. I'll be blogging about 'hard to find' vintage designer labels from the swinging 60's and 70's, that have been generously donated and available to buy on the Oxfam Online shop.


I also hand select the online shops 'vintage picks' showcase, so watch out for my 'on trend' vintage treasures here

Come with me on my fascinating journey back through the era's of fashion history!

Go to the Oxfam Online Shop

Treasured, valuable and precious are just a few of the many glowing terms to describe Oxfam Batley's vintage stock.  Every week we out-do ourselves on quality, rarity and style. This month we have chosen to tell the inspirational story of the swinging 60's label of Marion and David Donaldson.

Marion Donaldson and David Donaldson started their fashion label as newlyweds aged 22, with only the capital of £50. Because of their lack of funding, the business started on a wholesale basis to one of Glasgow's first fashion boutiques called Togs (shown in photograph); this soon paved the path to a bigger and brighter future.

Their designs embodied the 60's euphoria, free love and eccentric vibe. This iconic 60's feel helped bring the style and mood of Carnaby Street London to their home town of Glasgow. Their signature looks were one off mini-skirts and shift dresses. They created a distinctive art nouveau label inspired by an oval mirror bought at an auction. The popularity of the label grew drastically and they were soon creating garments from signature Liberty print fabrics , stocking their designs on London Regent Street and department stores such as Fenwick's, which made their label very popular to the style conscious individual.

Go to the Oxfam Online Shop

Even though the popularity of Marion Donaldson increased, giving them great success, they still manufactured all of their garments in Glasgow. An exhibition was set up in the Museum of Transport to honour their lifelong achievement and dedication to their home town of Glasgow. The Museum stated 'the popularity of Marion Donaldson label reflects the mood in Glasgow at the time'.

Despite a fire in their factory and studio in the late 1980's , the Donaldsons were courageous enough to re-start their business from scratch. Being determined business minded individuals, the Donaldsons managed to bring many positives from this situation, such as a fresh new take on design meaning today we have a wider range of vintage Marion Donaldson gems. They also moved their manufacturing to local factories in Glasgow instead of being in-house, this helped support other local business in the Glasgow area. They carried on trading for 4 more years until retiring in 1999.

It's truly amazing, the journey our Marion Donaldson garments have been on to eventually reach us here at Oxfam Online Batley.  From arriving in Oxfam's Wastesaver recycling plant, being hand sorted into categories, fine sorted for our online shop stock and then being cared for, photographed and listed by myself on our weekly Vintage Pick. Through your generous donations, Marion Donaldson's story can live on and be told to other generations, but can also be used to help aid families in some of the poorest countries around the world. So remember when you purchase vintage fashion at Oxfam you're not only buying a piece of fashion history, you're helping lift lives out of poverty for good. So visit Oxfam Online Shop for a fascinating journey through bygone eras of fashion!

Go to the Oxfam Online Shop

Blog post written by Amelia Glynn

Online Fashion Content Assistant

More by Amelia Glynn

Amelia Glynn