Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Get Vintage Fair Ready

We are in full swing again over at The Vintage Fair and a mammoth weekend of fairs has left us all pretty dazed with another three this weekend! And though we have our regular fairs, new ones are popping up all the time, so what if you're a Vintage Fair virgin? How do you go about looking around these many many stalls and making what could be your first vintage purchase? And though maybe you're a seasoned shopper, you might pick up a helpful hint or two. Let's get ready to rummage.

Before you do anything - do not go with an idea of what you want to buy. Every fair is different and you won't be able to predict exactly what could be on offer. So keep an open mind!

Before: Underwear

  • Same rules as any other big shopping trip, wear a nude, strapless bra. You have no idea what you might find! That strapless 80s disco number might not feel or look the same without the right underwear on! 
  • Big pants. Personally, I like to wear control pants, especially if I'm after a tight fitting dress/pencil skirt. I don't want to try it on without the solution to the lumps and bumps at hand.
  • Leggings/opaque tights are a nifty idea when you might be trying all of your vintage finds on in a communal changing area. Not essential by any means, but this may make you feel a bit more comfortable. 
Multiway from Marks & Spencer £22.50  - an essential!

Before: Ready to go?

  • For quick and easy shopping get some cash out before you arrive at our event. Though some of our traders do take cards, most are cash only. If you forget, don't worry, ask very nicely if they'll put your chosen item to one side, run away to grab cash and show us your stamp to get back into the fair. 
  • Bring a black/tan leather belt with you. lots of 50s dresses or 80s reproductions need nipping in at the waist for full effect. Even if it's just to get an idea of the shape you could create. 
  • If you can help it, don't bring too much bulk with you. We want your shopping experience to be as easy and pleasant as possible and lugging stuff around with you means you might miss out on some treasures. 
  • Are you going out on Saturday night? Even if you don't usually wear vintage, you could get made over by one of our vintage hair and beauty salons. Keep a keen eye on the facebook events so you can get an advance booking! 

You're at our event - now what?
  • Take your sweet time and take it all in. These events can be quite daunting, especially if you've never been to a vintage fair as there are so many different items on every stall (in the best possible way!) so maybe don't snap up the first thing you see as you might find something better along the way. 
  • Get thrifty. You might not usually go for maxi dresses but if you love the print then get it shortened into a knee length dress and keep the fabric to make into a scarf or a skirt. You've got to get into the thrifty, DIY mind set! This dress from one of our fairs is a really good example as the bottom of the dress would make a great skirt.  

  • If you'd like to try something on, ask the stall holder's permission and then make your way to the designated changing area. Or if it's just a jacket, coat or jumper you can try it on there and then - easy! Please bring all items back to the stall you picked them up from, because that's darn helpful!
  • Don't be scared to talk to other people if you're unsure about something. Ask the stall holder for suggestions or talk to the other ladies in the changing room - everyone is super friendly. 
  • Take a break and eat some cake. If you're on your feet all day, concentrating, beady eyed looking for your next vintage gem then you'll surely be needing a brew and a cake! Our vintage tea parties bring the very best home made sweet treats to our fairs and more often than not, by the end of the day, there's none left! A very popular addition to our fair. 

After: Spread the word!

  • When are we back? Make sure you sign the mailing list on your way out!
  • We love to hear back from you. If this was your very first fair we'd particularly love to know how you got on and what you purchased!
  • "Like" us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram (thevintagefair) and twitter (@vintagefair) to be sure you won't miss out on future events. 

See you soon and we hope you find some beauties. 
Gina x

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

What's In Store at Shoreditch this Saturday...?

We have a huge vintage packed weekend coming up in not one, not two, not three but FOUR cities across the UK! We are coming to ShoreditchOxford,  Brighton and Nottingham this weekend (phew!) with a plethora of vintage clothes, accessories and jewlery, cakes, tea and pretty china, the very best vintage hair and beauty salons as well as some fabulous retro performers! So we are going to do a bit of a teaser post on what's happening in Shoreditch this Saturday 27th April...

First of all, how could we not be excited about having the fabulous Lipstick & Curls with us for our Shoreditch fair? These girls do the hair and make up for many a retro bride as well as Bernie Dexter for What Katie Did! Versatile is the word! Check out these lovely dos that we found on their gallery for some inspiration. If you're wanting to get an appointment with the salon, please e-mail info@lipstickandcurls.net

Highly Desirable Objects are joining us on Saturday with some very handsome looking jewelry. I absolutely love these brooches, especially the ship, it would look smashing on my new mac collar. Tapestry bags are always going to be a winning purchase so get your hands on this delicate purse on Saturday for your night out outfit.

Gin Lane have an Etsy full of pretty frocks, including this amazing Jean Varon white and purple trimmed maxi .

Vintage Fair favourites Wolf & Moon will be returning with their geometric perspex designs. This is just a small selection of what they will be bringing to the jewelry hungry masses on Saturday! There's never been a better time to invest in a statement necklace, pop it on over a done up shirt collar and you've made your outfit.

Miss Kingsley will be there with some bright and beautiful vintage frocks. We love this 50s rainbow skirt, perfect with a petticoat! Or if 50s isn't your era then we love this floral 60s secretary style dress, tan belt to cinch in your waist and you're Mad Men-done.

Now we don't have a video of the exact troupe of swing dancers but just for fun, check out this awesome energetic bunch of crazy cats! Shoreditch, get yourselves to the vintage fair to sit back, have a cup of tea and a cake and watch some Lindyhop!

Talking of tea and cake, we've only got one the best tea parties around, Mabel's Vintage Tea to serve you their delicious victoria spoonge topped with fresh strawberries amongst other sweet treats.

Looks like you'll be more than sorted for pretty vintage jewelry this weekend in Shoreditch with a table full of gems from Vintage Lady. Some Like It Holy have these awesome 40s repro dungarees on offer, fight the 90s grunge kids with the original! Kipper and Bow are bringing this adorable French 1950s cosmetics purse,  so pretty and special.

Vintage Child be bringing some of these incredible 70s/80s frocks on Saturday! This powder blue 80s waterfall maxi is gooooooorgeous.

And that lot is just a smidgen of what will be on offer so roll on the weekend! Lookout tomorrow for what we have to show off in Brighton!

Gina x

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Happy Birthday Jayne Mansfield

Yesterday was the lovely Jayne Mansfield's birthday and if she were still with us she would have been 80 years old, but tragically she died in a car crash in 1967. But I'm not here to dwell on her death, we are here to celebrate one of the original blonde bombshells of the 20th century. 

She had a fairly short lived acting career, despite picking up a Golden Globe and a Theatre World Award in the 1950s and her films are not really what makes her name live on today. The woman was a sex symbol and played a leading role in Hollywood's celebrity culture alongside other big names like Marilyn Monroe. Alongside her acting career, Mansfield worked closely with Playboy and shot her first cover for the magazine in 1953 and continued to be on numerous covers of the publication which really boosted her profile (as well as Playboy's!).  Playboy even published her statistics at an impressive 40D bust 21 inch waist and 36 inch hips. Wow.

And it is quite obvious why her career was still at it's height even after her heyday in motion pictures and on the stage. Her famously cheerful good looks and incredible body made this girl a house hold name. In 1955 she even "accidentally" dropped her bikini top down at a press conference and Hollywood's media went wild! This wasn't the only "accidental" revealing of her famous bust and she soon received a backlash of negative publicity over these stunts. At a celebratory dinner for the actress Sophia Loren, Mansfield stole her thunder by wearing a dress so low cut that she revealed one nipple - this situation was even more awkward since Mansfield was seated next to Sophia Loren! Meow!

What Jayne Mansfield did for the lingerie and swimwear industry in the 1950s was fairly amazing! It is thought she was responsible for the design of the push up bra and the plunge bra, after all, everyone wanted that enviable cleavage. The choice of swimwear shifted from the pinup style one piece to the bikini which she helped to popularise. So here you go guys, Mansfield in some awesome undies! I particularly love the swimsuit/skirt/dress combo in yellow - genius idea!

Now because (if you haven't noticed) I'm obsessed with the rise of Summer 2013 this week I couldn't help but take a wee nosey at what vintage inspired swimwear is on offer this season, and this is just a small sample of what I found...

Ditsy Daisies Kelly Brook
Monochrome Plunge Principles
Hot Red ASOS
Lovely in Leopard For Luna

While I was doing a bit of research I found this adorable video of Manfield on What's My Line? where blindfolded contestants have to guess who the celebrity is. She lives up to the "dumb blonde" facade here but looks stunning, and her handwriting is beautiful!

Happy Birthday Jayne
Love The Vintage Fair

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Feeling Fruity

I can't tell you how jealous I am not to be at this years' Coachella Festival over the pond. Two weekends full of amazing music and beautiful people, sigh! We've been keeping a close ear on the musical happenings over there (James Blake live? Babe) but also a close eye on what those ever so lovely ladies are wearing out in the sunshine. And we're beginning to notice a theme!

That's right, Carmen Miranda's tropical togs have inspired a micro trend yet again. They had a their style moment back in S/S/11 with Stella McCartney's zingy citrus prints, Prada's zainy bananas and Moschino's full on strawberry dress that inspired a huge juicy trend 2 years ago. 

Getting back to the year 2013, florals are always going to be the power pattern of the season, but it's brilliant to see celebs and their stylists thinking outside the box.  Especially when the sun comes out - who could help themselves? 

Solange in Alice and Olivia
Katy Perry carrying a Carmen Miranda bag by Lulu Guiness 

DJ Hayrley Veira Newton at Henry Holland's bash
Pixie Geldof in a pinup style one piece

We've found some awesome fruity fashion tops online both high street and vintage to get you to jazz up your wardrobes just in time for "summer" (will we ever get one?!). Even the lads can get involved! Now all we need is a plane ticket to the festival of my dreams. 

Pretty delicate with Nishe at ASOS
Boys get involved with ASOS
 Keep it independant with Alice Takes A Trip
Go grungy at Vulgar

Keep it zingy
Gina x

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Here comes the sun, doo doo doo doo!

Hurrah! The sun is out in full force and it is safe to say that Spring has Sprung! Now if you're anything like me, you'll have started to plan Summer outfits, worry about baring those long hidden legs and daydream about that Summer holiday...then join the gym!

Marilyn Monroe showing us her softer side in a blue and white polka dot sun dress.

The champion of any vintage girls' summer style has to be the sundress. It is a style that adheres to no strict guidelines when it comes to neckline, hemline or pattern but one that I bet most of us have in our wardrobe whether we wear vintage or not. The cotton sun dress became popular during the 1950s off of the rise of Dior's New Look dress, a dress with a big flared skirt often worn with a full petticoat underneath, which freed women from the styles of WWII and forced fashion to look forward.

Here is some inspiration for you, from some of the most famous girly girls! Cover up with a matching cardigan like Zooey, go all out glamour like Dita or match your red lips to your red lips like Taylor. I love how hair and accessories are kept simple and the dress does all the talking for them.

At our fairs you'll be spoiled with choice for gorgeous sundresses, the three below are all from different fairs and would look super pretty with a parasol and some cat eye sunnies. And do you see how they're all different? In fact, the third one is a reproduction dress but in this line up you can barely tell. 

So will you be wearing the classic sundress this spring summer? Let's have a look at what's on offer...

Gorgeous dresses are available at Bernie Dexter
Number one for reproduction clothing Collectif
Daisy embroidery at French Connection
Pistachio stripe 50s sundress at Rokit

Well well! I hope you embrace the warm weather while we have it guys! Send us a snap of you in your fave summer dress to blog@thevintagefair.com and we will feature you!

Gina x

Monday, 1 April 2013

Trader Spotlight: Minimum Mouse

What makes Minimum Mouse different to all the other vintage shops? We’re vintage for people who love fashion, not just people who love vintage. We try not to be too focused on a particular era or look, we’re inspired by people who love to use vintage to create their own unique personal style, so we don’t try to dictate what people should be wearing. We aim to offer an eclectic, wide ranging selection of clothing for men and women, always at great prices. A lot of vintage shops and websites don't do much menswear, so we really try to make sure we have a lot of mens stuff on offer. We like to think of our collection as a mix and match of the twentieth century’s greatest hits. We then add in a sprinkling of some brand new accessories and jewellery, most of which is made in house, that we think perfectly complements the vintage clothing and that’s the Minimum Mouse collection in a nutshell!

How did it all start? It all started back on a cold January day in 2007, when we took the plunge to go full time with a hobby that had got a bit out of control! We started out just collecting and selling stuff we found at car boots, charity shops and jumble sales, ended up finding it a whole lot more fulfilling than our day jobs and took the plunge to make Minimum Mouse our full time livelihood. It hasn’t always been easy, but it has always been an adventure! We initially sold only on eBay, then we started trading with the Vintage Fair back in 2009 and have been regulars ever since. We’ve since expanded to selling through our own website and ASOS Marketplace as well.

Talking of cold days, we love all the knits still on offer at Minimum Mouse - it's still nippy!

Why do you love vintage? To put it bluntly, we love vintage because the high street is boring! Don’t get me wrong, we aren’t vintage purists and we aren’t against buying new clothes, but once you get into vintage going shopping in ‘normal’ shops seems so dull by comparison! You never know what you might find, and you can afford to experiment as the prices are generally so much more reasonable. Running a vintage business means we get to experience the joy of vintage every day, we get the biggest buzz from people coming to our stall at vintage fairs and finding something completely different to what they have seen before. It’s the most satisfying part of the job.

Vintage is not for solely for the fashion savvy girl. We love that MM give so much focus to the vintage boys out there.

Who is your vintage style icon? It’s impossible to choose just one vintage style icon, but at the moment James is crazy for Moschino, he has a growing collection of amazing print shirts from the 80's and 90's, so we're going with the brand's founder Franco Moschino. Since the brand only started in 1983 it's not the most 'vintage' choice, but his designs referenced so much of what went before in fashion, the pieces transcend eras. We love the tongue in cheek nature of the designs.

But fear not! Spring is coming and the ASOS Marketplace and eBay at MM is brimming with summery dresses. 

Where can we find you? When we’re not at a vintage fair, you can find us at www.minimummouse.com as well as on eBay and ASOS Marketplace

Our favourite picks from their eBay shop are perfect for this season's Hitchcock Heroine look, gorgeous 50s and 60s dresses for every shape. I'm totally in love with all of them! It's a good job I get to see all their wonderful stock at most of our fairs! Perk of the job!