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Rags To Bitches - Bargains Spotted in Flic's New Store

Published on April 20th 2005.


On the way up to Tib Street to check out new vintage clothing store, Rags to Bitches, I can’t resist a quick phone call to one of my best friend’s Hannah. I’ve known Hannah since I was 11, (to be exact since the day she stabbed me in the leg with a compass on our first day of secondary school) and I can honestly say that I’ve never seen her as happy as the day she found an original 1970’s Vivien Westwood handbag at the bottom of a charity shop bin (which to me just looked like it was going to be full of old ladies’ old knickers) for the bargain price of £4. Vintage is most definitely her thing. And, seeing that she’d managed to convince (or do I mean manipulate?) her boyfriend into buying her the new Miu Miu wedges even before I’d dared broach the subject of yet another pair of shoes to mine, I thought it was her turn to be that little bit jealous of me.

“Who’s shop is it anyway?” she asked. “Flic Everett’s”. “Isn’t she a sex columnist?” “Well, yeah, but she does vintage clothes too…………………”

As I walk into Rags to Bitches, Flic is on the phone, so I take the opportunity to have a rummage through the rails. Five minutes later, a girl who looks like she’s Kate Moss’ younger, prettier sister follows me in. She seems to think that I’m a sales assistant and starts chatting away to me, asking if we could get hold of a pair of vintage combats like the ones I’m wearing. Feeling instantly cooler next to the Mini Moss I make a mental note to later congratulate myself on an excellent choice of wardrobe for today!

Rags to Bitches began when Flic realised that should could make some money out of her strange fondness for “rooting through dead people’s clothes”. She started throwing parties for women who liked the vintage and unique clothing concept, but weren’t overly keen on the notion of diving about in charity shop bins of old men’s discarded vests, and rejected M&S knitwear. The parties proved a huge success, and the idea just grew.

In it’s boudoir meets Biba setting, Rags to Bitches sells affordable vintage chic and customised clothing. The rails are bursting (although not rammed with the usual amount of crap you find in a lot of vintage stores; this is quality stuff) with clothes that span the decades. From the movie star glamour of the 1930’s, and wartime minimalism, to the soft, curvy silhouettes of the 1950’s, through to the groovy 60’s and 70’s, right up to the electric 80’s. Flic tells me that as long as its unique and beautiful she’ll have it on her rails, and she’s right. Everything in the shop is rare and unusual. If you shop here you can guarantee that nobody is going to be wearing what you are in Manchester on a Friday night, or any other night for that matter.

As a fashionista and sex-columnist, it’s not surprising that Flic names Sarah Jessica Parker as one of her ultimate style icons, along with Audrey Hepburn but of course. And, both would certainly be at home in Rags to Bitches. The shop isn’t just clothes, but hats, handbags, jewellery, scarves and shoes; the majority being a size 4 and a half, as Flic admits she still can’t help buying shoes as if she were buying them for herself. There’s even “Shoe of the Week” proudly sitting on a gold shelf, a position currently held by a size 5 pair of brown crocodile skin court shoes.

I’m even given a privileged sneaky peak at the stock room that has clothes and accessories piled so high that at my modest height of 5”1 I’m not sure I can see where it all ends. (Haha, Hannah is going to be sooooooooo jealous, this would be her heaven on earth.) The stock-room also doubles as a studio that Flic shares with her photographer husband, Simon. Eventually they’re hoping to be able to offer photo shoots with Simon, with styling by Flic, so watch this space!

Rags to Bitches is a shop to warm your heart amongst the vast majority of high street chain stores that we have in Manchester. On Saturdays there’s free fairy cakes for all, and Flic has personally perfected the art of the 10 minute tarot reading for all those busy lunch-hour shoppers. On Friday evenings Flic hosts a Cocktail Club, complete with gold membership cards (one of which I am the proud owner) for her best customers. This is an excellent opportunity to snap up any of the new, one-off items that Flic has found before the Saturday rush.

On my way out, I spy this months Vogue on Flic’s desk. I can’t help but ask what she thinks about Colleen’s (Manchester’s newest footballer’s wife) Vogue cover shoot. The raised eyebrow and slight smirk says it all. Rags to Bitches; strictly vintage. Footballer’s wives need not apply.

Pam Wood

Rags To Bitches
60 Tib Street
Manchester
M4 1LG
Tel: 0161 835 9265
Email: info@rags-to-bitches.co.uk

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