Monday, 29 November 2010

Vintage in The Blizzard: Lincoln and Sheffield's Affordable Vintage Fairs

Greetings loved ones! We hope you've got that heating cranked up as you peruse, possibly swaddled in some sort of blanket/jacket/couture cape as the country comes under lock-down for the Big Freeze '10. Never one for curfews [or common sense!] we here at Judy HQ threw caution to the wind this weekend, braving the elements to bring you both Lincoln and Sheffield's Affordable Vintage Fairs, filling your wardrobes and warming your cockles as we plod on through November.

Setting-up shop from midday, almost 700 of you trudged,waddled and shimmied your way down to Lincoln's Engine Shed for a butchers at our 40-odd stalls of vintage bits. With photographer and local lass Charlie Heather-Cray behind the lens, here are some of our favourtie snaps from a chilly albeit busy Affordable Vintage Fair...

Handcrafted gifts, hats, bags and scarves, row upon row of faux fur and even knitting patterns and haberdashery to fend of the cold all season long - well worth an abominable trek in the arctic outdoors for! As our be-caped and hatted customer above demonstrates, even though you may not be the biggest city on the Affordable Vintage Fair map Lincoln, you're always at the forefront, fashionably-speaking [geography be damned!]

As alarms went off and we bombed down the motorway to do it all again, all thoughts of Siberian temperatures and chattering teeth were left behind as Sheffield's Affordable Vintage Fair was given the warmest of welcomes! With every tea-ladened trader mucking in to help those stranded in the snow set-up, The Workstation came together as the clock struck 11 and the first 200 of you flew through the doors in the first sixty minutes! First warming your cockles and stuffing your chops at The Travelling Tea Shoppe, registers were ringing as you stocked-up on Winter staples, menswear, dresses, retro accessories and old-world best, ready for those festive dos which are just around the corner...

So there we have it folks. Our penultimate fairs of the season went off with a bang and it's a pleasure to know that several months on from those sunny September fairs at the beginning of the season, our traders are still pulling out all the stops and you are snapping them up. For that [and for all those that came out with runny noses or chattering teeth] we say thanks! Whether in mohair or miniskirts, deck shoes or doc martens, vintage is an all-weather affair. Cheers for coming down and hope to see you at our final event of the year, York's Affordable [festive] Vintage Fair for Christmas with a vintage twist. For anyone wishing to spot me and wish a vintage merry christmas, look for the boy spinning around in policeman's cape, spilling a circumference of mulled wine and probably sporting a jumper so festive it's arrestable the other eleven months of the year. Ahh, tis the season!

Over and out,

A soon-to-be-merry Vintage Vulture xVx

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

A season in the shoes of Judy's Affordable Vintage Fair

Greetings loved ones! Now its been a few since i've graced your shores dropping pearls left, right and centre like an oyster with butter fingers but as fair season A/W 10 comes to a close and things start to slow down at Judy HQ, you once more have my undivided attention [well, not quite undivided - we still have the old-school bonanzas that are Lincoln, Sheffield and an incredibly festive York to do. But apart from that, its blog,blog,blog, chomp, chomp, chomp - it's practically December and so it would be considered intolerable if i didn't stuff my face.]

As is the tendency towards this slim, festive slither of the year that remains, we here at Judy HQ have taken a look back at the season that's just been - a season of new cities, fresh faces and, of course, vintage outfits galore. Waxing historical and in that favourite style of our resident bookings manager, the list, here's our top 5 Judy's moments throughout A/W 10...

1. The Vintage Furniture Flea

Born from a love of homewares treading the decades and embracing the current trend to furnish ecclectically, the Vintage Furniture Flea was born. Focusing primarily on the 50s through to the 70s, the Bethnal Green event was a roaring success, grabbing a flat-pack Ikea generation by the scruff of the neck and demonstrating the ease of furnishing an abode with genuine old-school articles without costing an arm and a leg. Capturing all the chutzpah of a bustling Brooklyn flea, we can't wait for the next one! NYC via Bethnal Green? Yes please!

2. The launch of new cities -Brighton and Birmingham

With knitted brows and shrewed faces we at Judy HQ waited to see where would be the latest destinations to recieve the Judy Berger vintage fair treatment. As the pointing stick [there was no actual 'pointing stick' - contrary to popular belief, Judy HQ isn't some sort of war bunker, 150 ft below ground] landed on not one but TWO destinations, one right in the belly of Britannia and the other south of the border [er, so to speak...] the job was done. Launching for the first time this month, Brighton and Birmingham's Affordable Vintage Fairs were a laugh riot! With you Midlands kids going loco for vintage and our 60 traders at Brighton representin' our biggest fair yet, we loved it. The only problem is: WE WANT MORE! Bigger, better,bolder, like that bit in Power Rangers where the baddy gets even LARGER! Now, i can't give too much away but let's just say....Wales, its morphin' time!

3. The Vintage Pop-Up at The Corn Exchange

Whats that you say, sonny? You want to turn a gorgeous, medieval stalwart of the community into a what....a block of hotels?! An Asda?! I don't think so sunshine! Packed to the rafters with vintage bits from all over Yorkshire, Leeds' Corn Exchange was brought back to life by Berger and crew! Where empty pale-faced rooms once stood, now stand rail upon rail of retro paraphanalia, capes, coats and magazines, eyeglasses, accessories and jewellery, jumpers galore and a whole lot more. Finally taking its rightful place as a retail Duke of the local community, the Corn Exchange is alive and kicking [apart from their ghost of course...still, you have to pick your battles!]

4. Judy's Affordable Vintage Fair Leeds - September 2010

T: "Hey mate. are we going to go to that vintage fair that's going on at the Union?"

S: "Oh, i dunno mate - i'm hanging, have uni at one and i'm broke."

T:"Hmm, says here that there's cake. And fill a bag for a tenner..."

[insert dust cloud where students used to be]

Times the above scenario by about 1900 and we're pretty much there. Wow.

5. Bethnal Green' Affordable Vintage Fair

The Big Smoke is always a big one but little did we know just how VERY big it was going to be. 2000 of you eager vintage beavers perused our stalls and stripped our rails clean - not a faux fur in site or a barbour for miles come hometime! London, you were hungry for it and for your appetite, we salute you. God save the...well, you!

So there we have it folks! Keep your eyes glued here for more lists and nostalgia as the weeks go passed and for all of those umming and ahing about Lincoln, Sheffield and York in the next two weeks, we hope this has wet your appetite.

A very happy and humbled VV out! x

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

How to shop the vintage fairs

By guest blogger Laura Davies, visit her exquisite blog here

Vintage fairs can be pretty scary places to the novice shopper; endless stalls, piles of clothes everywhere and manic bargain hunters with sharpened elbows. As a hardened vintage shopper I’ve developed a few techniques that have helped me score some real treasures, all with military precision:

Set A Budget: It’s all too easy to get caught up in the excitement of it all and want to spend spend spend. The best thing is to work out your absolute maximum you can spend, get it in cash (keep it in a safe place obviously) and LEAVE YOUR CARD AT HOME! This means that you’ll really consider what you’re buying and you’ll end up with wonderful things that you’ll wear year after year. And your overdraft will remain untouched, hurrah!

Go With A Group: It’s always lovely going shopping with your friends but at a vintage fair, they really come in handy. When you get into the fair, split up. Especially if the fair is huge, it can be difficult to see all the stalls so if you and your pals spread out, you can cover more ground. Look out for things your friends might like and get them to do the same so that when you get together, you can direct each other to that stall with “the amazing dress that would look amazing on you”

Know Yourself: I did just quote Ashlene from Big Brother but it’s important to know what you like and you don’t, what suits you and what doesn’t etc. All too often I’ll be persuaded to buy something that doesn’t quite fit just because it’s cheap and I’m buzzing off all the bargain hunting. Don’t fall into that trap! It may seem like a good idea to buy that 80s sequinned batwing jumper because it’s only £1 and it’s got a zebra on it but will it go with that 70s maxi dress you just bought? No. Buying things for comedic value is also not good.

Do Your Research: Research is the best way to find the real gems. If you’re on the quest for an early 60s dress worthy of Betty Draper, look into the fabrics and the patterns of the dresses of that time. That means that you can do a quick scan of a rail and spot what you’re looking for instantly, just by looking at the sleeve of a garment. A seasoned shopper can tell a ‘good’ rail from a ‘bad’ rail at 20 paces.

Always check bargain buckets: This is pretty self-explanatory but it’s really worth having a quick look in bargain boxes and sale rails. Most of the time you’ll resurface empty handed but once I found a pair of 1960s cream vinyl ankle boots at the bottom of a basket. Got em for a tenner, cracking.

I hope these tips will serve you well when you hit the next fair near you. Good luck and God speed!

This blog post was brought to you by Laura Davies (guest blogger of the week!)

Friday, 12 November 2010

the full vintage events diary for 2010

Judy's Affordable Vintage Dates for your diary

As the nights draw in we are nearly at the end of our vintage tour of the country. So, we thought we'd give you a simple list of all the vintage events that are coming to a town near you in November and December. Write them down, iphone them or just mark them in your diaries.

Birmingham's Affordable Vintage Fair
Saturday 13th November
Aston University Student Union, Aston Triangle, Birmingham, B4 7ES
Opening hours: 11:30 - 16:30
Entry £2.00 / NUS/OAP £1.00 / Under 12s go free

Over 45 stalls of fabulous vintage from the 20s to the 80s, plus re-worked, hand-made and amazing jewellery, fabrics and haberdashery. Large menswear stalls plus some childrens clothing and our Vintage Tea Party will be open all day serving up proper homemade cakes and treats.

Click for Website or Facebook


The London Vintage Kilo Sale
Saturday 13th / Sunday 14th November
The Rag Factory, 16 Heneage Street, London, E1 5LJ (just off Brick Lane)
Entry £1.00

Over 2.5 tonnes of vintage clothes, pick and mix from thousands of items, take them to the weigh station and we'll charge you by weight. Pay just £15 per kilo of vintage - that's around 4 - 6 items. Plus Vintage Tea Party, wholesale jewellery room and re-worked room.

Click for Website or Facebook


Cambridge's Affordable Vintage Fair
Saturday 20th November
The Guidhall, Market Square, Cambridge, CB2 3QJ
Opening Hours: 10:30 - 16:30
Entry £2.00 / Under 12s go free
Two rooms of the beautiful Guildhall will be filled with vintage treasures dating back to the 1920s. Expect lots of vintage bargains, glorious 40s and 50s dealers and hand-made items perfect for Christmas gifts and party season.

Click for Website or Facebook


The Vintage Furniture Flea
Sunday 21st November
York Hall, Old Ford Road, Bethnal Green, London, E2 9PJ
11:00 Early Bird / 11:30 - 4:30
Entry Early Bird: £3.00 / General £2.00 / Under 12s go free

Our new business venture born out of our love for mid-century furniture and retro homewares. This sale will encompass all aspects of vintage living from the late 40s to the late 70s. Expect affordable homewares, furniture, ceramics, lighting, fabrics, prints and collectibles. Plus, a delectable vintage tea party and live music.

Click for Website or Facebook

Lincoln's Affordable Vintage Fair
Saturday 27th November
The Engine Shed, Brayford Pool, Lincoln, LN6 7TS
12:00 - 17:00
Entry £1.00 / Under 12s go free

A regular date for all the Lincoln fans out there. With over 50 traders selling an eclectic mix of vintage dating back to the 1940s and our vintage tea party.
Click for Website or Facebook


Sheffield's Affordable Vintage Fair
Sunday 28th November
The Workstation [next to the Showroom Cinema] 15 Paternoster Row, Sheffield, S1 2BX
Opening Hours: 11am - 4pm
£1.00 Entry / Under 12s go free

One of our largest vintage fairs returns to Sheffield with 2 floors of pure vintage bargains, collectables, hand-made and re-worked clothes, jewellery and accessories. The Vintage tea party will be serving up home made cakes on the top floor alongside live music and Christmas gift stalls - thank goodness this event falls on payday.

Click for Website or Facebook

York's Affordable Vintage Fair
Thursday 9th December
The Hospitium, Museum Gardens, Museum Street, York, YO1 7FR
Opening hours: 16:00 - 21:00
Entry £1.50 / Under 12s go free

With the fairy lights lighting up the Museum Gardens this winter we thought we would bring you a Christmas shopping event on a school night. Expect carol singers, mince pies and our beautiful selection of vintage atire, homewares, fabrics, haberdashery, jewellery and hand-made. A perfect place to pick up a Christmas jumper and treat your friends to a unique gift.

Click for Website or Facebook

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

The Vintage Furniture Flea

I would like to formally introduce you to our new business venture - The Vintage Furniture Flea. Born out of my love for all things 'retro home' and my passion for mid century furniture, The Vintage Furniture Flea is set to help all you vintage lovers out there who want a little old school in your home without paying silly prices.

Our First Furniture Flea will take place at our London venue - York Hall, Old Ford Road, Bethnal Green, London E29PJ.

Here's our first flyer (very Elle Deco) and our lovely posters (we'll be selling these for £2 on the door of the Flea). Here's hoping it's successful so we can roll it out around the country.

For more details please visit our furniture Flea website or our facebook fan page or click to confirm you are coming on the event page.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Head above the rest

Greetings loved ones. Now, not to bombard you so with three bloggo posts in a row [Ker-azy!] but due to an iminent jaunt to Krakow [hello holidays!] i want to leave you with enough pearls and insights to keep you sated in my absence [to be fair, i'm sure the rest of the style blog posse will keep you nice and full - i'm just being narcissistic - why, if my head blows up any more, maybe i can use it helium balloon 'Around the World in 80 days' style and float to Poland...]
For those lucky pups who peruse our fortnightly large newsletter, i'm sure you saw our introduction to new Brighton trader and milliner-magnifique, KC Lake. Following her debut London show last week, we caught up with her to have a little chat about the lady behind the hats....

Q. KC, how on earth did you get into headgear?

A."It was on my honeymoon in October 2009 that I declared to my husband Lex that I was going to make hats. He sighed and I set about making an action plan. The sigh was not out of contempt but because it was another thing on a long list of creative endeavours I have pursued and subsequently let go; dressmaking (too technical), silkscreen printing (I lacked the tenacity) knitting (never got past knit one), interior decoration, soft furnishings, framing, junky styling and jewellery making are all pastimes I have dabbled in and still enjoy, in small doses. By November I had set up a home studio and in March I enrolled in Millinery 1 at London College of Fashion, under the expert tutelage of Chloe Scrivener. Ten weeks and three hats (felt, straw and buckram) later I was well and truly hooked. It transpires that millinery is in my blood (my great aunt was a milliner proper) and now it is an all consuming passion of mine.

Q.Would you say you have any definite influences?

A."I draw from many themes however vintage 1920-30’s and the gothic seem to reoccur in my work. I do not follow convention in the way I work. I cannot draw (perspectives and I just don’t get on) so I do not start with a sketch of an idea and I never seem to get round to mood boards. I work from people, photos, images, outfits, places…I work from the gut, on feeling and instinct. My millinery is driven from materials I source and I freestyle designs rather than block (blocks are expensive!). Freestyling guarantees completely unique shapes; to me individuality is the most important ethos."

Q.Do you see your pieces as wearable and where do they fit into a conventional fashion market?

A."People do stop me in the street and want to talk about the hat I am wearing. Those who have commissioned my pieces relay back all the (good!) attention they got when wearing it. I would love people to want to wear my hats for any occasion, not just to the races or a wedding. As for whether they fit in, i'd say probably not, but that's fine - I have never followed trends. My millinery is an example of the fanciful and freakish reconstructed into wearable art. Conceptual and completely bespoke, the handmade designs change with each new vision or commission. The styles I create are avant-garde, casual, edgy, eccentric and whimsical."

Whimsical is definitely the word. As you can see by the pictures below, KC's pieces, a mishmash of inspirations, time periods and locations are almost dream-like in their ambiguity. Gothic lace, shapes and styles such as turbans and exuberant colours take the eye to a land that time forgot, adding a touch of storybook to modern life. With milllinery like hers, we see how headgear doesn't have to be frumpy or one-time appropriate, but fantastical and exciting. Trading at Brighton on Sunday 7th November, go check her out.

Well, that's all from me folks - i'll be back in a week with pictures of all the occular delights Eastern Europe has to offer - vintage style blog on tour! With cold, cold weather ahead, i'm going to take a leaf out of Jason Scwarzman's book, circa 'Rushmore...'


Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Pop goes the Vintage Shop!

Greetings loved ones. Now, in the run up to tonight's launch, prepping, checking sockets and locks and making sure everyone's ready to go, just a quickie to remind you that The Vintage Pop Up Shop launches TONIGHT from 5pm at the Corn Exchange! Huzzah!

So, what's on offer? Vintage stylin', incredible decor, music, offers, the whole shebang! It's going to be like retail time-travel all under one roof. For those of you who didn't our post about a Casper-esque experience at the Corn Exchange, [see post below] here's a closer picture of the little haunter prowling the balconies. Spooky...
Roll up tonight from 5pm for a chance to catch this Corn Exchange spectre for yourself. If being a medium's not really your bag and your more about mingling than Mulder and Scully, then just come along for the event. As this lovely picture of our bookings manager Sam Collins depicts, you know you want a SLICE of the action!


Bye-Bye Highstreet! Vintage through the eyes of a Fist-Timer

Greetings loved ones! Now, as i'm sure you remember me mentioning a wee bit back that this month is our lovely blog's big ol' birthday! Happy Birthday blog! In the spirit of sharing the wealth, we're getting in guest-bloggers and special interviews through the bonfire month. To start us off with a bang, we've got Judy HQ's latest addition and promo-go-to-gal Oliva to describe her first time at the vintage fair...

"Vintage?" you say, "but i'm a topshop girl!"

I guess you could call me an ambassador for Arcadia; my wardrobe consists of all things Topshop and Miss Selfridge. As for my style, i'd say 'pretty with a twist.' As you can imagine, when I heard Judy’s Affordable Vintage fair was coming to Leeds, to say I was in two minds was an understatement. To me, ‘vintage’ always held connotations of jumble sales and used clothes, something to wrinkle your nose at. Little was i to know that i was about to eat my hat!

The day before the vintage fair, I had finally got hold of the elusive Topshop cream Aran cardigan that had been out of stock for months. As is sods law, upon arriving at the vintage fair I was mortified to discover racks of cream Aran cardigans, all unique and about a third of the price. So there I was, a Topshop clone with a soul destroying bank balance, when I could have had a completely unique cardigan and money for this week’s food shop-Gutted.

Additionally, I came away with a gorgeous faux fur coat, huge this season (obviously so, as the high street are selling them for ludicrously high prices!) My coat was only £35 and it had the most intricate double breasted buttons - Job done! I also came away with a beautiful wool jumper with gorgeous elaborate wooden buttons, and a stunning 1970’s handbag.

Throughout the whole day, I spent less on four items than I would on one item on the high street, and I know that nobody else is going to have the clothes I have. So for all the vintage virgins out there-take it from your newly-coverted vintage-sister - GIVE VINTAGE A GO! You will not be disappointed!'

There we have it folks, you've heard it from the horses mouth - take a chance on the old-stuff for you never know what you might find.

VV [and Miss Olivia] ouuut xVx

~Pop Up~

Yup, we know the 'POP UP' trend has been on the radar for the past few years so we're not setting a trend here. But it's such a good idea that we decided to play pop up for the month of November in our home town of Leeds.

The Leeds Corn Exchange used to be the mecca for all things independent, hand-made and vintage back in the days of flares and old school raves (the real ones from the 80s) It's heyday continued until the end of the 90s when it all went a bit Pete Tong.

Now Judy's Affordable Vintage Fair are taking over the entire top floor for the month of November. Filling every unit with the finest purveyors of vintage clothing, furniture and homewares (as we do).

To celebrate our launch we are hosting a huge party filled with cupcakes, DJ's and live music. Plus our favourite retro hair salon Rebel Pin Up will be there doing up do's and retro hairstyling (enough hairspray may make yours last through to the weekend).

Music will be courtesy of The Glavins and The X Ray Cats.

The fun starts at 5 and goes on till 9pm. Plus all the vintage boutiques will be open for business so pop in and pick up some Vintage and support some local talent.

Plus, click on this image of the Corn Exchange and look to the balcony level on the left hand side and you'll see the ghost, this is real and was taken on a digital camera. If you look closely you'll see his face...


Monday, 1 November 2010

Happy Birthday Vintage Style Blog!!

Our Vintage Style Blog launched one year ago today and to celebrate we will be asking our lovely traders and vintage fair fans to guest blog all month. So expect the eclectic and check our blog daily for different views, reviews and of course vintage style news..

Derby Affordable Vintage Fair

We had such a vintagetastic weekend!! With another action packed double bill of vintage fairs how could we resist a little mention to all those who came to our Derby and Leeds fairs. With over 500 of you Derbyshire Daves and Debbies rushing to snap up a vintage bargain at Derby University. We had a really stylish mix of customers, from mums and daughters, students, 50s fanatics and bargainistas. Here's a lovely selection of images taken by our new resident photographer Kera Robson

And how could we forget Leeds. Our home for the past 5 years and a real highlight of our vintage fair calender. We hosted a photoshoot for Red magazine before the doors open so for those of you who are fans please buy the January issue out in mid December. I also shopped for our Chanel competition winner, the lovely Alice won £100 to spend in the fair and she certainly turned out to be a bargain hunter, with a lovely leather skirt, blouse, dress, 2 purses, rosary beads and a silk scarf all snapped up with £33 left in her pocket. Now that's what the Affordable Vintage Fair is all about.