“From little acorns do little trees grow – surviving the winds and changes of time”
Such is the story of The Dresser… An un-assuming little designer second hand boutique/ consignment agency that was launched in 1986 by ex-music business turned stylist Sally Ormsby.
Since opening it’s doors on a wing, a pray, an overdraft and a few good contacts – slowly but surely, the word of The Dresser spread amongst the fashion pack. Some looking to resell and others to buy contemporary/ couture second hand designer pieces from iconic eighties designers including: Jean Paul Gaultier, John Galliano, Vivienne Westwood, Christian LaCroix, Gianni Versace, Azzedine Alaia, Claude Montana, Thierry Mugler etc…
Come the 90’s – The Dresser, previously tucked away in a cobbled Hyde Park mews, relocated to the now fashionable Connaught Village. Designer labels including Prada, Gucci, Comme des Garcons, Yohji Yamamoto, Issey Miyake Dres Van Noten, Donna Karen, Helmut Lang, Dolce and Gabanna etc… replaced the 1980’s power dressing as a more relaxed mode came into fashion.
Into the year 2000 – The Dresser adds a new dimension as Celebrity fever hits! When Sally Ormsby donated her shop premises and held a three-day ‘Celebrity Clothes Fundraising Sale’ for her favoured Charity ‘Crossroads’ – an alcohol and drug treatment clinic in Antigua founded by Eric Clapton.
Amongst the Celebrities and designers who donated their signed designer outfits to ‘The Crossroads Fundraising Sale’ were: Eric Clapton, Rod Stewart, Ringo Starr, Joanna Lumley, Vivienne Westwood, Jimmy Choo, Twiggy, Jonathan Ross and Joan Collins. The event was a great success and a landmark in the history of The Dresser, who to date still fundraises for The Crossroads Foundation in the men’s department, with the resale of Eric Clapton’s clothes donated for the charity.
Continuing into year 2000 and the New Millennium – ‘Boho Chic’ Kate Moss and other celebrity A list turns ‘Vintage’ into the new fashion statement making second hand/ vintage pieces the new ‘Must haves’… So it’s HELLO The Dresser again! Introducing a new generation of fashionistas investing in good second hand/ vintage one off designer items – to team up with their high street buys, for the current cool look.
Now it’s the pre-loved Stella McCartney’s, Chloe, McQueen, Jimmy Choos,
Marc Jacobs, Alice Temperley, Cavalli and the return of the Couture Classics including Chanel, Hermes, YSL, Valentino that are on trend at The Dresser.
Oh yes – and then there the ‘DESIGNER HANDBAGS! Forget the starving nations, the overdraft, the mortgages, the school fees, the food budgets – when it comes to a coverted Chanel or Hermes handbag – stand clear! There are women out there that would almost kill for them! It can be very, very scary!
To this day The Dresser still sits like a wise owl in Connaught Village, with its loyal clientele built over the years still frequenting the shop and a new generation of style savvy shoppers looking to bag a designer bargain.
Keeping it in the family, Sally’s daughter Jessica Jay Ormsby, having graduated with a BA Hons in Graphic Design from London College of Communication, has now come on board developing their social media and taking The Dresser’s new online store: www.thedresseronline.co.uk to a another level of online second hand/ vintage shopping worldwide. Watch this space!
For further in info. Please email The Dresser at: firstname.lastname@example.org