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Shirley Mason


Tutoring in: Fashion and Style
 
A fashion model at 17, I eventually moved into selling as I found modelling boring. Selling was more of a challenge and at 22 I was a department manager at one of the John Lewis department stores.
 
Marriage and two children followed and after a three year spell as a boutique owner I retired until nine years later when I opened The Frock Exchange in Cambridgeshire in partnership with my late husband. We had two branches, two franchises and a Modelling school during thirty years of business.
 
I was a regular contributor to programmes on BBC Radio Cambridge and staged Fashion Shows yearly raising thousands of pounds for various charities. However to my mind, one of my greatest achievements was to establish the 'Prom Phenomenon‘. We were the first company in England to hire out beautiful expensive ball gowns to school leavers for their "Proms", thus bringing glamour at an affordable price. The boys too could hire tuxedos and enjoyed dressing up as much as the girls. From small beginnings in Cambridgeshire this trend spread over the whole of England.
 
I retired and moved to Melbourne after I was widowed in 2009.
 
Since I have been a member of U3A (six years) I served as Social Convenor. Instigated the Lets Do Programme and produced the 2015 Fashion Show. As a result I was asked to give a lecture on "My life in Fashion" at the NGV during the John Paul Gaultier expo.
 
U3A is about Lifelong Learning and I feel that the short course that Debra Moore and I are proposing to run in 2017 fulfils this brief. Women - and men - on retirement, can lose their identity and place in society and may need to learn new skills to help boost their confidence.
 
"Putting on the Style” we hope will restore this to some extent.
 
 
Putting on the Style, Term 2, 2017
 
Session 1
Introductions – Our background
Past and present fashion icons
Who do you think is stylish?
Why?
What is the difference between style and fashion?
Our goals in this short course.
 
Session 2
Wardrobe questionnaire
Wardrobe basics
The importance of good undergarments.
 
Session 3
Excursion - Makeup
 
Session 4
Excursion – Hair
 
Session 5
Excursion – Retail
Egret Boutique
1054 High Street, Armadale 3143
 
Session 6
Accessories
Fabric types
Summing up
Question and answer sheet