Monday, 27 July 2020

Backstage: reopened and revisited

As a result of the disruption caused to businesses by lockdown, shops and restaurants have had to rethink and revamp their business model. Heather Morris, the owner of Backstage decided to do away with the hair salon side of her business, to concentrate on the clothing. And she's not just selling off the peg merchandise, but is now making much of it in store.
The front of the store is still the smart boutique selling elegant clothing, and jewellery displayed in Art Deco cabinets, one of which used to be in The Ritz , but in place of the salon stations towards the back, is a cutting table and several vintage sewing machines.
"Setting up a studio to produce clothes within the shop has been a long-held dream of mine", Heather tells me. So her collection of vintage fabrics and sewing machines have now found new purpose. The idea is partly to get away from the wastefulness of 'fast' fashion, and to produce beautifully crafted items that are an art form rather than a disposable commodity. Colourful Liberty prints are turned into beautiful, Japanese inspired Obi belts, as well as more conventional garments.
Heather's stylish store has already been a Westow Street fixture for nearly a decade, and I hope that this forward looking revamp gives it many more years ahead.

A Liberty print Obi belt tied around a vintage Jigsaw mannequin designed by Nigel Coates

The Studio

Heather at work with one of her vintage machines.

47a Westow Street