Stunning period costumes are a passion with Fiona Harrison. With a wardrobe most re-enactors would give there eye teeth for there are few singers with Fiona’s attention to historic detail. Her voice can effortlessly glide from Grand Opera to Rock and Roll and perhaps not surprisingly Fiona has built up a stunning range of costumes which capture the mood and elegance of the last two centuries to illustrate her many different shows.
While Fiona is best known for the 1940s she has at least four costumes to represent each decade of the past century. She is equally at home in a long dress and corsette as a pair of Mary Quant books from the 1960s. Some of Fiona’s costumes even date back in style to the 18th Century and wouldn’t look out of place in the French court of Marie Antoinette!
Before Fiona became a professional singer she studied fashion and later worked as a hat designer in Luton. During her student days Fiona worked in London at the theatrical costumiers “Bermans and Nathans” and many of the skills she learnt there have stayed with her through her professional singing career.
Owners of antique and retro fashion shops look forward to Fiona’s return as she can’t resist buying clothes of yesteryear. Her stage wardrobe currently includes at least 40 evening gowns well over 250 pairs of shoes, a huge selection of hats, gloves and fans plus a stunning array of costume jewellery.
Creating the right look for each show is very important. Many of Fiona’s clothes are vintage pieces and include a number of original civilian suits and uniforms from the 1940s. Fiona is greatly inspired by the Hollywood movies and some of her favourite stars include Rita Hayworth, Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly and Hedy Lamarr – whose fashion styles Fiona often re-creates much to the delight of her audience.
What Fiona can’t find she has specially made or designs and makes herself!
In May 2012 Fiona was asked to write a piece on Forties Fashion for the popular nostalgic monthly magazine “Best of British”. To read the article click on each page in turn for an enlargement.
Fiona’s article proved to be a great success that the magazine commissioned her to write a fashion follow up on Vintage Glamour which was published in October 2012. To read the articles click on each page in turn for an enlargement.
Fiona has since become a regular writer for The Best of British Magazine. To read her 2013 April article on 1940s Knitwear click on the page below.
More articles can be seen by clicking through to her Articles Page where you can catch up on Fiona’s latest “Best of British” features.
Although Fiona is greatly associated with the 1940s circuit it never ceases to amaze audiences just how adapted she is at recreating other decades. Whether it is as a bright young thing of the 1920s or as or as a Rock and Roller of the 1950s, Fiona is able to change her body shape and take on the posture and poise of the appropriate decade. Be it in psychedelic minis and trapeze style coats of the 1960s to leg-o-mutton sleeved dresses of the 1900s, Fiona is an artist who always looks the part and when on stage sets the room alight!
Whatever the occasion you can bet Fiona will turn heads and cut a dash!
Regardless of whether she is singing “Over the Rainbow” in her Dorothy inspired gingham, being down on the farm, treading the boards in Music Hall or getting up to some black market “spivving”. Fiona will both wow and delight you with her extraordinary repertoire and stunning outfits!
Perhaps not surprisingly Fiona has become one of the most photographed entertainers on the heritage and re-enactment circuit. She is regularly invited to model and enjoys sharing her love of vintage fashion and costumes with like minded people. More photos can be seen by clicking onto Fiona’s Pinterest and Facebook Pages.
Shot on Location at All Saints Church
Leighton Buzzard by Barbara Jackson
Shot on Location by Lewis Brockway
Shot on Location at Sywell Aerodrome
by Dave Jackson of Retro Air Photographic
Shot on Location at Pitstone Museum
by Colin Aldous
Shot on Location at
The Kent and East Sussex Railway
by Tony Brown