Here’s to doing it all again in 2017!
Well, I’m sad to say that the Festival of Vintage 2016 has now been and gone…
It went so quickly but what a weekend it was! I’m, frankly, still on a come-down and probably could do with a holiday to recover…
BUT it was amazing as always!
For those of you who couldn’t make it, here’s a sneak peak and a quick recap of what went down…
The Fashion Shows
Oh. The Fashion Shows.
They were divine!
Endless beautiful ensembles swished and swayed down our catwalk from a host of lovely vintage sellers.
First up, we had our annual Festival of Vintage Parades, which showcased original vintage clothing from the 1930s, 1940s, 1950s and 1960s!
Megan, from Purple Rabbit Vintage, supplied all the fabulous vintage garments and compared the fashion show; sharing incredible design information and garment histories.
Now, I have to give all the models a rather BIG shout out here, for volunteering and really making the parades the best ones yet! Their continuous enthusiasm was highly infectious and certainly wooed the crowds! They pulled out some serious moves and pouts along the way! The photographers had a blast!
I would also like to say a massive thank you to all the backstage help we received, including the fabulous hair & make up team! You know who you are!
Thank you very much for participating, you all did wonderfully!
Secondly, we had the incredible House of Foxy showcasing their stunning vintage inspired collection. The quality and detail that go into each of their designs is astounding; it was a joy watching their shows and hearing their behind-the-scene inspiration.
Clare Quartermaine, Founder of House of Foxy (their absolute secret weapon) simply captivated the audience with her vintage knowledge and let us in on her design secrets. If you caught one of her shows over the weekend and spotted something you haven’t stopped thinking about since, click here and saunter on over to her website.
My next shout out goes to…. The Vintage Beauty Parlour! Yes, they were back in full swing providing all my lovely visitors with stunning vintage looks. They also styled all of House of Foxy’s models too! What a busy weekend it was for them – Bethany Davies and her team are such professionals though so they made it all look too easy!
I have to admit that I spent most of the weekend rushing left, right and centre, making sure that everything went smoothly so I didn’t get the chance to shop…
BUT I, the busy bee that I was, couldn’t help but be taken aback by the sheer beauty and quality of my stallholders this year.
Honestly, it was next to impossible not to get distracted!
I’m not just taking about the immense array of vintage offerings or quality here but the level of dedication and creativity involved in setting up each stall. So much love went into every one of them and the impact they made, collectively, was so powerful. It made me feel really humbled and privileged to have them at my event!
Here are a few snaps I managed to take…
I wish I could list each and every stall holder and tell you all exactly why they’re amazing but you’ll just have to come along next year and see for yourselves!!
All Singing, All Dancing
Music is a really important aspect of The Festival of Vintage and I always take great care in booking the best quality performers. From Rock n Roll to Blues we catered for all vintage tastes and the result was electrifying! The atmosphere wouldn’t have been the same without them!
We also had some fabulous vintage vehicle displays, workshops, dance lessons – you name it!
Another special shout out MUST go to the fabulous M&S Company and York Castle Museum for their great talks! This was a first for the Festival of Vintage and it went swimmingly so a huge, warm thank you to them!
SO much went into making The Festival of Vintage 2016 really special so thank you to everyone who helped, attended and fell in love with vintage all over again! Remember we are an annual event so we will be back in full force next year on the 22nd & 23rd April 2017!
There’s no time like the past…
Once you’ve become hooked on vintage, you’ll quickly find that you gravitate towards a specific aspect of the vast vintage world. Or, like me, several aspects!
Now, that could be a certain decade, designer, style or lifestyle category (cars, interiors, clothing, music…) but once you dip a toe into the sea of vintage, you’ll quickly establish some sort of niche – even if you’re not ‘into’ vintage professionally, just personally.
AND SO The Collector is born!!
Personal Mission Alert: To find fellow collectors who passionately display their treasures in their own home (as opposed to cramming them into cupboards) – mostly so I can have a nosey at what other people are falling in love with!
Those of you that know me will be aware that I have a thing for vintage handbags, especially ANYTHING by Enid Collins! I do indeed have my own collection of Enid bags but (get this) I have found another Collector who loves them (possibly) even more than me!!
What better place to begin my quest?
Her name is Catherine Beck, author of the fabulous Vintage Frills blog. I think she’ll agree that as soon as I discovered her collection I quickly hounded her with questions! However, it is all so fellow enthusiasts can get some tips and inspiration!
Here’s what the lovely Catherine had to say…
What made you start collecting?
I’ve been collecting vintage for many years. My Grandma was an antiques dealer, so I was brought up around old things. I feel in love with Enid Collins bags when I saw some other people collections. I love how many designs there are, it’s something you could spend years collecting and never run out of new designs to add to the collection. I love how bright and fun the designs are and I can match them with almost all my vintage outfits. It’s so fun collecting something which not only can be used, but also looks fantastic as a display item.
How long have you been doing it for & how many do you have?
I have been collecting Enid Collins for about a year now and I have 10 in my collection. They are quite hard to find in the UK so I usually wait until I see a bargain online and have them shipped over from the US.
Which was your very first addition & where did you buy it?
My first was an older flower bouquet bag, which was in excellent condition. Like almost all of my bags this one came from eBay. Enid Collins was a Texan company so many of mine have been shipped from Texas and it’s amazing how many of mine came from there.
Do you have a favourite? If so, why is it?
My favourite would have to be my Chick box bag. The design is absolutely adorable and it’s the only one in my collection which is quite valuable and rare.
Do you have any tips for anyone wanting to start their own Enid collection?
My first tip would be to check the condition before buying. Although replacement jewels are available, they can be expensive so it’s best to buy bags with all the jewels still there. Bags which say Enid Collins on the side, rather than Collins of Texas are older and more desirable. I’d also recommend keeping an eye on the condition of the straps. They can be quite worn and dry and can snap, this recently happened to one of my favourite bags.
What do you look for in an Enid bag?
When it comes to vintage, I’ve never been too worried about value and rarity. To me it’s all about owning something that you love and that you can use. I’m always attracted to the brighter colours and the most heavily embellished designs. The earlier designs are also nice to own, because they were made before Enid Collins sold the company on. I think the ones produced under Enid herself feel more authentic and special to own. I mostly collect the floral ones, mainly because they are affordable and quite readily available. I would one day like to own a Sagittarius bag, although the horoscope designs are very sought after and demand very high prices.
Do any of them have a unique story/piece of history behind that makes it extra special?
Enid Collins began producing her bags in Texas in the early sixties. She and her husband had moved to Texas with the intention of becoming ranchers, but eventually turned to their creative side and started their handbag business. There are so many unique designs and no catalogue to trace all of them, so new designs are discovered all the time. They are such a fun and exciting thing to collect, because you never know what unseen designs will pop up on the market.
Make sure you pop back for even more next week!
Buying at a large outdoor event
If you’re like me, every so often you just need to go on a massive vintage rampage and where better to let loose than at a large, outdoor antiques and vintage fair?! Bursting with undiscovered treasures and curiosities, these events are the perfect places to conduct a buying excursion.
As I’m a regular at such events, I know better than anyone how overwhelming they can be if you don’t have some sort of POA.
SO I thought I’d share my key pointers for any of you thinking about stocking up on vintage finds…
1 The Fundamentals
If you’re new to buying at these types of events be prepared to pay at least £10 to get in, maybe even up to £30, as you’ll be paying a premium to get in early. Some might call it Trade entry but this does not mean if you’re not Trade (a professional buyer) you can’t go in, you just have to pay extra than the general public price.
HOWEVER, this does have its benefits and can be a critical time to buy because the best bargains usually go first – they’re either snapped up by other sellers or (if you’re fast enough) keen, eagle-eyed other buyers like myself!
Make the most of this time!
Always bring a decent amount of cash too because there will be no card machines and you don’t want to miss out! This is also handy for budgeting because you know you can’t go over your limit.
2 Nans know best
Make like your Gran and invest in a shopper-on-wheels! Trust me, there’s no way big laundry bags will do, your arms will fall off mid-way around! Bring plenty of plastic bags and a bit of bubble wrap too for any items that require TLC.
Another thing Nans do best: they make killer shopping lists! I can’t tell you how valuable this is. At events as large as this it is super easy to get side-tracked and giddy! I mean, you’re surrounded by vintage gold, you have money burning a hole in your pocket – it’s inevitable! Making a list of essential items you need (either for a specific customer or replenishing best sellers) is a sure-fire way of staying focused. Sometimes it takes all day to tick off each item, sometimes it takes an hour but at least you have a goal in mind.
3 Always Strategize
Ok so you’ve arrived and spotted a stall you just have to rummage through, then another, then another – before you know it you’ve walked around in circles three times, grabbed a sausage sarnie and right before you have to leave, you’ve noticed you’ve missed two-thirds of the fair!!
I might be exaggerating a little here but you get the idea….
I always like to maximise my productivity on buying trips so I map out a route (usually working my way through a grid-system) and stick to it. That way you don’t lose track of where you are and miss out because its 3pm and all the good stuff is long gone. Once you get to know an event really well you’ll discover favourite sellers and areas so you can prioritise.
4 Be bold and barter
Newcomers find this especially difficult but its ok! They expect you to ask what their best price is! Don’t ever leave without doing so as most traders love to barter a little. In some cases; with those sellers who may clear houses (of which you will find a few at these type of outdoor fairs) they don’t often like having to re-load much back in the van so they will do deals with you! But do remember; although buyers always have a fear they’ve missed out on something early on, you can still get bargains towards the end of the day.
You’ve had your eye on something but the price wasn’t right and the seller was hedging their bets. Low and behold it’s still there at 4pm…. Time to renegotiate if you ask me!
An extra tip to ensure you don’t get STUNG: bring baby wipes so you can determine the difference between a bit of dirt and a full-on scratch – this will heighten bartering power too!
5 Bring in the Van
Again, this is not something that is always common knowledge but you will be allowed to bring in your vehicle for a limited time in order to collect heavier items. Don’t be put off by those big and beautiful finds just because you don’t want to have to walk all the way back to the van with them. Instead, ask traders to hold your bigger/heavier purchases until later in the day, they’ll be more than happy to put them aside for you to collect.
I must emphasise that the size of these events can be very overpowering! I’m talking miles and miles of stalls; it can get confusing to find where you have seen something or bought something. If you do decide that you want to collect your new purchase later, don’t forget to make a note of their pitch number. If they don’t have one, I like to take a photo of their van and where it’s located or, failing that, their mobile number!
Well that’s it folks. Remember, as long as you’re prepared to get your hands dirty and spend all day championing various acrobatic stances whilst searching for your wonderful vintage loot – you’ll be fine!!
The Festival of Vintage is upon us…
YEEESSSS! We are finally on the countdown to The Festival of Vintage 2016!
That’s right, only a week to go!
Where? York Racecourse, York
When? Saturday & Sunday 23rd & 24th April. Doors open from 10am-5pm both days.
What? Celebrating all-things vintage from the 1930s to 1960s; singing, dancing, shopping, talks, vehicle displays, fashion shows, workshops – you name it, we’ve got it!
That means any last minute ticket purchases to avoid queuing at the door can be bought HERE.
Don’t worry about missing out though, entry can still be granted on the door for those of you who are more free spirited!
I, personally, am an avid advance-ticket purchaser. Busy schedule like mine makes it a necessary entity! What a crazy start to 2016 it has been though – new house on the way, lots of fabulous vintage hunting, events left, right and centre… it has been fantastic so far, if a little tiring.
The Festival of Vintage is not only my pride & joy, it’s also my annual excuse to let my hair down and celebrate the wonderful world of vintage with fellow, like-minded people. I put my heart and soul into it every year and love nothing more than watching it all unfold. It’s almost like falling in love for the first time all over again!
The singing, the dancing, the shopping, the atmosphere… it really is like stepping back in time and into a dream world – my dream world. I honestly cannot wait for next weekend! I hope to see lots of familiar faces there and plenty of new ones too!
Those of you who still don’t know what I’m talking about please click here. My website will walk you through the magic that is The Festival of Vintage. So go on, click that link and explore my vintage world, very soon you’ll be a part of it!
See you there!
Kitsch Art has something of a love it or hate it reaction when its on my stall at vintage fairs! But its guaranteed to stop people in their tracks and gets them sharing nostalgic memories of Gran, Nan, Uncle or Neighbour who had one above the fireplace or bed!
I have been selling these mass produced pieces of affordable art from the 50’s-70’s for many years mainly because I love them but also because I believe they really are classics. Here is a brief history of the picture your gran had and why it’s a significant part of vintage interior style – both then and now.
There are many variations of this mass market art. Quite a few different artists of the time featured beautiful ladies, children and flora and fauna amongst it subjects. The art was reproduced and sold in its thousands in shops like Boots & Woolworths.
Artist J.H.Lynch was a British Artist who produced a series of alluring ladies during the 1960’s. Look out for a bevy of beauties including Woodland Goddess, Autumn Leaves, Tina, Nymph and more
South African artist Tretchikoff decided to mass produce his prints in 1952 and they became one of the top 3 best selling prints of all time. Prices and demand of his most popular trio, Miss Wong, Chinese Girl and Balinese Girl have be steadily increasing in the past few years. Plus in 2013 the original painting of Chinese Girl sold for twice its estimate at £982,050, cementing the fact that this 20th century art is truly desirable to many.
Queen of kitsch Dallas Simpson was a British artist in the 1960’s. Her images of big eyed urchin children remain fresh and instantly recognisable. Mostly she signed her work Dallas-Simpson, but she also painted under a number of pseudonyms including Emma Louise, Audrey, and Kelita with a subtle change of style in the painting but with the same subject matter. There are over 70 images to collect!
Love them or hate them, they’re a real part of our Kitsch Art History so if reading this sparks off a lovely memory, go see if you can dig that piece out! They are getting slightly harder to find so if you knew anyone you had one or you have one in the attic, please don’t let them end up in the skip! Those stories are the ones that terrify me to my very core!!
All the best,