There isn’t anything radical about buying second hand clothing and we all remember receiving hand-me-downs from family and friends. But if you get a group of people together, put on some cool music, drink cocktails and swap unwanted clothes (like for like), whilst at the same time getting your make-up done and having your hair styled, then you’re onto something and that is exactly what has been created by the ladies from Swish + Pout, a fashion exchange phenomenon (and they have even created their own language…….
We are pleased to announce that this summer Swish + Pout are at our Summer Pop-Up events and here are their 10 Minutes on the couch.
How did you come up with the idea of creating clothes swapping events?
During a Friday night moan about not having the money to sustain our shopping habits it became obvious that we either needed to make a lot of cash, or come up with a way to enable us to create a new wardrobe on the cheap. From our careers in television we have both developed an almost anal organisational manner so knew that events would be a good place to start. We became aware of Swishing through fashion shows such as Gok Wan and Twiggy's Frockshop and once we had been to some thrifty fashion swishing events we realised that we could funk it up, make it more of a fun girls day out and Swish & Pout was born.
How did you come up with the name Swish & Pout?
During a brainstorming session with a chinese and a bottle of wine, we were thinking of a variation on the term 'swishing'. All sorts of weird and wonderful phrases were being thrown into the mix. We were getting into a dire situation when 'Frock off' and 'Swishville' were shouted across the room in a tipsy, apprentice style situation. Thats when Mr Pout, Nikki's boyfriend walked in, having overheard it all, and said 'What about Swish and Pout?' We probably shouldn't boost his ego by giving him the credit but it is well deserved, thanks Alex!
You are a great team, but individually what do you bring to Swish + Pout?
Lucy is driven and excitable, while Nikki is a demon in the logistics department so is able to think realistically to co-ordinate impulsive whims. We both bring our own love of fashion, style and vintage clobber as well as being full of creativity and organisational talents. Most importantly we get on well and trust each others judgement which means we make a perfect business combination.
If we say ‘sustainable fashion’ you say….?
The way forward. An opportunity to be creative, unique and green with fashion.
What’s the best item you have swished?
Lucy: During our 'research' I swished a vintage camel coloured sweater and a silky Boden's tunic that I have customised with a vintage broach to give it a funky, unique look (SEE PICTURE). At one of our events i swished a vintage blue 1980s suit and a pair of grey hareem trousers. More recently i have swished a beautiful floor length 1970s maxi dress but sadly it doesn't fit so i'm looking forward to the alterations team working their magic on it. Nikki: I love seeing people leave excitedly with my cast offs, knowing they will be loved and worn again! I am very proud of a lovely Reiss dress I swished and also an unworn pair of shoe boots. Last time i swished some of my All Saints classic pieces which went down a treat.
Tell us more about your glamour team?
We found Beth & Michelle through our careers in film & television. Teaming up for these events, we found our combination to be a winning formula! Here is more about them:
Stylist Michelle "I'm n ot saying I'm an expert in high fashion - I don't have a fancy degree and I'm not tall enough to pass for Tyra Banks! However, I do have an instinctive feel for fashion and I have worked as a stylist on several fashion projects including photo shoots and music videos. I think I know what looks good and I'm a big fan of vintage fashion and that's why I'm the Swish & Pout stylist... If you want to talk through a look you're aiming to achieve, or have questions about what colours or styles go together, or if you've simply found an item you love and want to know what to wear with it, come and talk to me. I can give you an honest opinion about what I think will work for you and how to make the best of what you find . I'll be buzzing around at our events and my opinion is absolutely free to anyone who wants it, so come and give me a shout and let's get our swish on."
Make Up Artist Bethany "I've always loved retro styles and I'm lucky to have a long spanning career in beauty that enables me to combine my artistic flair with vintage looks. I've worked on a wide variety of television, beauty and music shoots creating lots of different styles. I'm available to give a quick 'spruce', or a 'speedy up do' and have created a look book for you to choose the style you want!"
Could you give the definition for your following words/ terms:
1. Swish + Pout – Flick your hair and Pout / Swap some clothes, dress up and pose.
2. Swishing - coined from the term meaning 'to rustle silk' and used in the context of, 'rustling clothes from others.' It was defined by Lucy Shea, (founder of Swishing and Chief Executive of Futerra Sustainability Communications) and has been pioneered by celebrities including Twiggy and Gok Wan
3. Frocktails – Cocktails for the fashionably minded.
4. Swish Exchange Desk – Exchange your items of clothing for Swish & Pout vouchers & then swap vouchers for clothes... like a cash desk in a shop, but this is where the swapping takes place.
5. Swish Vouchers - pay £5, hand over your items and exchange them for a swish voucher which will detail which categories of clothing you have swished and can therefore swish for.
6. Swish Categories - Vintage / Designer - 1920s-1980s originals or designer labels. High end high st - Reiss, Karen Millen (slightly more expensive high street brands). Popular high st - Topshop, New Look (regular high street favourites). These categories ensure that a swisher on any budget can swap their clothes for someone elses, and everyone goes home happy.
What can people expect at the events in Tooting & Clapham?
A thirfty wardrobe revamp for all those joining the swish with an introduction to Upcycling from the 'Joined Up Streatham' team as well as the usual ‘girls day out’ theme we are renowned for. There will be cocktails flowing, make up artists on hand for a ‘speedy up do’ or quick ‘jazz up’, our resident stylist and a few fun extras thrown in!
What top 5 tips would you give to someone, who is about to hunt through their wardrobe?
1. Be ruthless – I am notorious for hoarding items but I have found swishing therapeutic and good for those karma brownie points! If you haven’t worn it in a year then Swish it. What is the point in having something gathering dust in your wardrobe when you can swish it to a new home and get something that you will actually wear in return!
2. Be open minded - Anything you are willing to swish you are obviously happy to give up. You have nothing to lose and lots of new clothes to gain so it's the perfect time to style out some new looks for free!
3. Swish cleverly - if your size/style isn't coming in, then think outside the wardrobe and visualise items suitable for upcycling/alterations.
4. Believe in the 'swishing karma' - if we all bring nice, quality things, there'll be lots of happy swishers at the end (yourself included).
5. Be bold - bring along a designer item safe in the knowledge that you won't be forced to go home with a primark top! We have categories so that if you bring something that is designer, then you will go home with something that is designer. And the same goes for your vintage, high end high st and high street togs.
What’s your advice to virgin Swishers?
Be brave. It's not a jumble sale so don't worry, there will be a selection of very wearable items that you can try on. We won't make you change in front of us either but wear a vest and leggings for modesty! Just jump straight in to grab the best bits and don't be put off by size - customisers are on hand to make alterations!
What if I've bought a vintage top and i can't find anything in the Vintage section?
We want you to have a lovely time and go home happy, so if you can't find anything then come and talk to us and we will see what we can do. We will put you in touch with our stylist and she will be able to find you a few key items that we're sure you will be happy with. If there is absolutely nothing then we suggest swishing to upcycle - find an item that you love and want to customise into something new, or swishing for a friend.
Why are your events better than hunting in a vintage/ charity shop?
Our events have been very popular because they cost a minimal amount for a good few hours worth of fun. Swishing has become a sport – we have had seasoned swishers come to our events after going to another clothes exchange and re-swapping things they have picked up that morning for other swishers treasures. People love the rush of getting a new item of clothing without spending the earth and also getting rid of the guilt of not having worn something in the wardrobe!
Describe Swish + Pout in 3 words: Glamorous, Girly, Green.
What is your favourite cocktail? French Martini/Mojito
After our summer pop-up events do you have anything else interested planned?
Lots of secretive exciting business ideas, more collaborations, a wider variety of events and different locations.
The following Terms & Conditions apply to Swish & Pout:
1. This swap is for ladies wear only - sorry Gents! However you are welcome to have a drink or two at the bar.
2. All exchanged items must be washed, ironed and in a presentable condition.
3. Swappable items do not include: damaged, holey, stained, bobbly, shrunk- in -the-wash, well worn garments...this is not a jumble sale!
4. No lingerie, pyjamas or swimwear please!
5. No plain basic t-shirts/vests to be swished – but please bring these items along to be upcycled into something new.
6. No Jewellery
7. Minimum 2 - Maximum 5 items to swish.
8. Your items will be graded as designer/vintage, high end high st and popular high st so that you can swap like for like.
9. You will be given exchange vouchers for the items swished.
10. Swishing items are given at owners risk - once it's gone it's gone!
11. In the extremely rare event of you being unable to find suitable swaps we recommend you take something for a friend or upcycle it into something new!
12. We unfortunately cannot guarantee size/style availability. Each swap is unique and fun!
13. £5 entry. Cash only.
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