I would order everything from this catalogue given half the chance!
New flyer for @TheVintageEvent - Sunday 11th September!
Well, fellow vintage fans The Vintage Event rocked into town on Sunday at the Balham Bowls Club amidst a flurry of posters, flyers, tweeting, Facebooking and general buzz on the vintage circuit.
The Balham Bowls Club is conveniently located just a few swinging steps off the Balham High Road and has remained wonderfully uncompromised over the last few decades and provides a vintage treat around each corner in terms of décor, furniture and kitsch memorabilia and this provided a truly authentic backdrop to this event.
We had around 20 well stocked stalls spread over the main hall area and a couple of smaller outer rooms offering a glittering array of fashion, accessories and highly desirable goodies for vintage fans. In addition the fabulous Beauty Queens were set up across two vintage dressing tables offering a revamp which included anything from eyebrows and eyeliner to a full makeover and an amazing pop up tea and gin bar (served in vintage china tea cups and teapots) occupied the corner of the main room, aptly named ‘Mother’s Ruin’.
From the stroke of twelve the event was bustling with hard-core fashionistas, vintage bloggers, photographers, musos and members of the general public who had popped in to see what all the fuss was about and were now delightedly clutching various vintage dresses, hand and clutch bags, huge floppy sun hats, retro t-shirts and cut-off Levis. We had a vintage (infact Victorian) screen at the end of the main room as a changing area and by 12.30pm this was full of determined shoppers carrying armfuls of clothes.
‘Annie in the Attic’ had on display their trade mark psychedelic unique and generally pristine original 1960s stock including maxi dresses, Biba jumpsuits, mod and festival dresses and seriously retro numbers. We do know how to rock the 60s, even if we do say so ourselves!
Around 4pm, shoppers began gracefully settling in the vintage lounge area with truly lush strawberry cupcakes and a Royal Albert teapots full of Gin Fizz to be treated to a hypnotic live set from The Travellers and the equally amazing Chloe Ray (check them both out on ‘You Tube’ now!). By early evening in the long bar an impromptu bit of swing-dance had broken out and the BBQ in the garden was going down a storm.
‘A truly refreshing experience on a Sunday afternoon and I’m not sure whether the atmosphere and general celebratory vibe was due to the organisers, the stall holders, the entertainers or the shoppers. Perhaps the combination of this welcome oasis of friendly, like-minded people, in the quake of the recent riots that tore through many London Boroughs, is what set this event apart from any others.
A truly promising start for what looks set to be THE vintage South London event. A visit to their website (www.thevintageevent.com) has also revealed some great blogs/reviews and simply delicious photos.
I’m saving my pennies already – see you all on 11th September!’
Check out these fantastic blogs about The Vintage Event:
We want to see all your pretty faces there on Sunday 11th September!
Sixties Style Swings Back Into Town
With Autumn/Winter 2011 fast approaching, retailers have begun swapping their floral summer dresses and itsy bitsy hotpants for floor length flares and peg-leg trousers. The 1960s revival continues to line the catwalks of the major fashion capitals. Designers at London Fashion Week showcased a myriad of rainbow colours and classic monochromes. Tweeds, checks and block colours also set the trend for the forthcoming season.
The mid to late 60s saw London’s youth and fashion culture buzzing with rebellion and self-expression whilst huge advances in space travel and exploration heralded the now iconic futuristic inspiration evident in the clothing, accessories, furniture and fittings of this era.
Whilst the ‘Woodstock’ maxi-dress and hippy culture provided this summer’s key fashion items up and down our high streets, the underground mod movement has a growing, dedicated following. No self-respecting mod is complete without a mini, classic two-tone shift dress, knee-high boots or scooter shoes and the look is dramatic and geometric, so opt for bold colours, such as greens, reds, purples and yellows in dual and neon tones.
Accessory wise, classic Kelly bags, mini shoulder bags (PVC with large buckles), gloves, tights in playful colours or plain white are key items. A couple of contrasting colours set against white accessories (and ideally a boyfriend with a vintage Vespa) is what’s really needed.
The beehive is the ultimate 60s statement so the bigger the better! Search ‘classic beehive’ on You Tube for a five-minute step-by-step foolproof guide to creating the perfect hive or grab a Bump-it or a good clip-in hairpiece! Add to the mix a generous application of liquid eyeliner a –la Twiggy and Jean Shrimpton and leave lips pale pink or nude.
You won’t need to look far - the high streets are full to brimming with 60s repros and the vintage market is stocked up with some dealers now specialising in the era. A trip to your local vintage fair or an online trawl should have you kitted out in this season’s hottest vintage quicker than you can say Austin Powers!
Peace and love - Annie xx
Image belongs to The Vintage Rag Mag
The Vintage Guide for The Vintage Bride
Hi there, I’m Annie.
I have a guilty confession and a word of warning. I’m obsessed with this wedding planning malarkey. Once you start to plan a vintage wedding it becomes a bit of an addiction, and may start to consume your spare time. Sometimes, (when I should be working) I find myself aimlessly typing ‘vintage wedding’ into Google and eBay just to see what’s available and drool over the pretty frocks.
It all began on a blustery evening last October, down on the infamous Brighton Pier, when my darling hubby to be sweated and flustered as he stopped and scrabbled to one trembling knee to pop the question. In my utter (but ecstatic) shock, I muttered ‘yes’ as I caught sight of the beautiful vintage ring. This was a good start. How could I refuse the early 80s diamond and sapphire cluster ring being presented?
My dearest, patient fiancée knew the score from the start. He is well aware of my obsession with all things vintage. Often complaining at the lack of space in our little suburban flat packed to the rafters with vintage clothing, shoes, kitchenalia and random vintage finds (that I like to call ‘collectables’ whilst he prefers ‘old junk’!)
Planning a vintage extravaganza is no easy feat. Where to start? Well a good point (and a very important one at that) is that dress.
Well, vintage wedding dress shopping opens a whole new can of worms. If you’re lucky enough a dusty rummage in the family attic may unveil some vintage wedding family chestnuts. With such a huge trend for 60s and 70s wedding dresses you may just strike lucky. For me, this was not an option. Actually, I tell a lie; but the poufy Victorian does ‘Little Bo Peep’ style 1980s Laura Ashley dress on offer from my darling (and also vintage-obsessed) mother was not quite my bag.
Now, at the risk of sounding obvious, I began my quest by instigating a decision on an overall theme and vibe I wanted from the big day. Whether you’re into turn of the century, 20s or 40s or are partial to 50s and beyond, the overall wedding theme will be influenced by your chosen era/s. I found a bit of good-old, trusty scrapbooking to be invaluable. This way you can print off things you spot on the internet (you must check out www.rockandrollbride.com – a wonderful source of inspiration for vintage and quirky weddings) and tear pieces out of magazines and papers that you like. I know it sounds obvious but it’s a real winner.
Buying and choosing your dress is like a romantic love affair. One minute you’re elated, the next stressed. Don’t feel under pressure to rush and give yourself all the time you need. Otherwise you may end up like myself, with a handful of dresses! Which, take it from me is more confusing and stressful the more options you have! Although two dresses is always a feasible option in my opinion. One for the day, one for the evening.
Back to the dress. Now you have your chosen wedding theme you will probably (hopefully) have an idea of the style of dress and look you want. I began by musing over the individual character of the respective eras.
Each date has its own pros and cons. The 1900s-1920s look is not one that is rocked every day. Probably due to the fact that although beautiful it could be said not as stylish as the other eras and also not to practical. However the 70s nod towards this era is certainly more practical and easier to find as this is a tricky period to source. The problem being that the stuff is just so rare. Not to say you can’t get it, because you can, but be prepared for some serious delving in the sourcing department and expect to pay a premium. You may find the odd dress or item online. EBay is always a great source for vintage as is www.AntiqueDress.com.
The simplistic, romantic bias cuts in satins and silks of the 20s and 30s are growing ever popular. Recently endorsed by Lilly Allen and Kate Moss, seen sporting the most spectacular of vintage dresses from this era. Expect this trend do grow. Again online, eBay and etsy.com are good market places and try www.vintagedress.co.uk for a great selection of 30s-60s dresses. Also ‘Annie’s in Camden Passage stock a wonderful selection of flapper dresses. For stunning Art Deco headwear Google ‘Yulia Kunze’.
With the 40s continued fluidity from the previous era, again bias cuts and liquid fabrics, but expect extra touches of detail and embellishment such as collars, cuffs and peplums. The 50s sees the raise of hemlines and opens options of shorter styles of wedding dresses, usually knee-length, or just below. Expect a lot of lace and trimmings such as bows and buttons. A really pretty era and well suited for a traditional vintage theme. The 1940s particularly is becoming a immense trend at the moment, so if this is your chosen era get in quick! With prices expected to rise as items become more sought after nab yourself a bargain online or at a vintage wedding fair now!
In particular etsy.com is a good stop for the 50s American stuff due to sellers being predominantly from America. I have spotted many a fairytale 50s prom-esque dress on there recently! You will also find great examples from the higher end of the price bracket from this era at thevintageweddingdress.co.com.
My most adored eras, and fantastic ones to play with for those brides to be who want to inject some fun into their big day are the 60s and 70s. The mini and the maxi. The selection is vast and dresses from these periods are much easier to get hold of as there is a lot more of them on the market. The 60s mini dresses offer a fantastic alternative to those who perhaps want a less formal wedding and could be well suited to a registry office or townie reception. In the 60s and 70s veils were commonly worn and now the veil is back en vogue! In recent years the veil has been considered dated, but the trend for wearing a veil is on the up and I have to say I am too a convert.
After much research and scouring I found myself the perfect dresses that made my heart go pitter-patter. One 60s bohemian, angel-sleeved for the ceremony, one slinky sequinned late 70s number for the evening. (I’m still also considering a beautiful fluid early 1940s frock too that seems to be haunting me!)
Whilst my motto is Vintage is Always Best, don’t feel obliged to buy into this. It is not for everyone and sometimes no matter how many fairs you visit, or boot sales you attend you may just not find the one you want. Fret not, consider having a reproduction made. This way you will achieve the vintage style that you’re after without worrying about squeezing your butt into someone else’s size. You can always go mad with the vintage accessories. Also, keep in mind that vintage sizing is very different to nowadays so don’t feel gutted when a ‘size 14’ doesn’t fit… That can be as small as an 8 nowadays. It’s not you it’s the dress! It is definitely worth getting measured up either professionally or by a darling willing friend. Especially if shopping online, as you will need to go on the measurements as supposed to size. Remember that if a dress is a little big it can usually be altered down to correct size, but going up is not so easy.
Another thing that I have learnt is not too dawdle too much when shopping online for that dress. Remember that vintage dresses are usually one-offs and therefore when it’s gone its gone. Don’t be regretting the one that got away.
Don’t forget to consider your bridesmaids on your vintage crusade also! I, (in all my excitement) decided I would have twelve (yes 12, and yes, I am mad) bridesmaids. As you can imagine finding twelve matching vintage bridesmaids dresses is no easy feat! Here I have had to compromise and will either opt for high street vintage style shift dresses or track down a suitable vintage dress pattern and have them made up…
Other considerations include venues, which are a hugely personal choice, and if you’re lucky enough you may already have your eyes set on the perfect venue. We wanted something personal, undressed and inexpensive so have settled for the in-laws garden with a marquee that we can dress in a 70s bohemian manner with sunflowers and daisies, bunting and tea lights.
Vintage transport is something else I wanted to include. After all if you’re dressed to kill you want to arrive to the venue in style! I found a local company that supply a range of vintage transport including a fabulous pink 1960s Cadillac for the bridal party and an array of other cars and single and double Decker buses for the guests. To get the best price you will need a bit of patience and time to call around all your local business and remember to book well in advance! Same goes for the catering. Great alternatives for your wedding breakfast could be Great British classics such as pie & mash (www.pie-and-mash.com provides a list of nationwide suppliers), fish & chips, Bangers & mash. Although not ‘vintage’ they hold a glint of yesteryear that fits in well with a vintage wedding.
Once the big decisions have been made it’s really all in the detail and the small touches. Magazines and online sites are full to the brim of ideas. I’m constantly finding new inspiration. A few keepers for us were place names from vintage scrabble sets… Functional and fun, fish and chip wedding breakfast, inflatable games and a make shift vintage photo complete with vintage Polaroid cameras (and film) and a table full of vintage and fancy dress accessories. I saw a wonderful creation where a couple had made a life-size carboard frame in the style of punch and judy for their guests to stand behind. I will be stealing this idea also!
The fact is, as a woman we dream about this day for a long time, and we want it to be perfect. Perfect and very vintage. Run wild with your imagination and ideas, and be creative. The more you do personally the more it will feel like your own hard work. Don that vintage dress that you worked so hard to find with pride and enjoy yourself and all your vintage glory!
So, with the wedding date set (next June if you’re wondering) I have a plan. Although, knowing me and my whimsical ways, next week I may fancy a bit of 1930s…
Annie Attic xx
I have been writing for a fantastic new publication called the ‘Vintage Rag Mag’ recently. The first issue was out last month and I wrote a 2 page spread on vintage weddings. (For those of you that don’t already know I am engaged to be married next year and are currently planning my own vintage extravaganza of a wedding!) The feature was received really well which I am very pleased about!
This month I have written for the magazine again… this time about the 1960s fashion trend that is currently sweeping the catwalks and (more importantly) our streets.
The 1960s is my personal favourite era (at the moment) and I am finding myself emerged in the mod movement (that I discuss in the article) more and more. I love the playfulness of this era and how colour-wise anything goes! Bright yellows, oranges, greens and purples are really doing it for me at the moment. And I love to clash! This is the one era that forgives all the craziness and gives two fingers up to the ‘rules’.
I hope the piece reads well to you, and hopefully there will be more to come from me at the Vintage Rag Mag! If you get a chance, do pick it up. It is full of inspiration and vintage articles. Best of all its FREE!