Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Joan on the Road!

Greetings loved ones,

We hope you are all well and PUMPED for Bethnal Green this weekend - it's going to be a biggy. Today, we here at Judy HQ have some simply joyous news to share with you but first, we must tell you a tale...

At the beginning of the year, all at Judy HQ noticed a certain je ne sais quoi missing from the office. No matter how hard we tried to soldier on, filling the void with soups and jokes and post-it notes [ahem..Sam] something wasn't quite right. Yes dear readers, like the velvet-clad 60s-hero Austin Powers, we'd lost our 'mojo.' Bloated, big-haired and sallow-skinned from a Christmas of excess, we just weren't GLAMOROUS any more!

With knitted brows, we gathered around the PC for a bit of an emergency mother's meeting. 'What to do?' posed Judy, looking to boost morale. 'Well, how about animal-shaped post-it notes? Or a new set of gel-pens, the smelly ones?' riposted Collins, bookings and facilities manager. Batting the request away with a look that said 'we're not in Year 6, Sam' both fair manager Britton and myself were stumped. Firing up the modem, we turned to the only place modern man [and woman] goes to instantaneously make themselves feel better...the internet. Loading up Amazon [whilst furiously looking away from our reflections on screen] we whizzed through to the checkout. In 7 - 10 days, happiness arrived. ladies and gentlemen, meet JOAN!

Red-haired muse of Madmen and undisputed queen of Mad Ave, Joan waltzed into Judy HQ and into our lives for good! When shes's not clutching her couture bag [Judy's in the process of writing to Emma Hill at Mulberry to fashion a tiny bag for our first lady - the jury is out on that one] or smoking tiny cigarettes [which I intend to create on Friday - ideas welcome!] then Joan is going to be our resident Cool Hunter, snapping away at your outfits and best bits in every city we visit. Debuting at Bethnal Green this weekend, she's already got quite the eye - check out these cool cats that she's found in the 2011 archives...

As you can see, Judy's attracts a fair selection of bobbydazzlers. Keep your eyes on the blog each work for Joan's selection of the cool kids in our new feature, 'Joan on the Road' and make sure to 'fix up, look sharp' when you're perusing! Joan, welcome on board and we wish you the best of luck!

Life in plastic, it's fantastic.

VV out x

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Diamonds are forever, Vintage is for life

Greetings loved ones,

Now, as you probably know, we're on the cusp of launching our first new city of 2011 this weekend: Cardiff. Safe to say, we're a teeny bit psyched - like a modern-day Columbus, we stand on the deck of the Good Ship Vintage, scouting for dapper new natives to encounter. As jittery as the eve before Christmas [or Christmas Eve as it's more conventionally known - jeez, just roll with it!]we hope anyone attending this weekend gets a tiny rush of excitement when they think about what's in store. Like a warm glass of milk ['where is he going with this?' you may say, rolling your eyes. Well roll them back my way and, in the words of Miranda, 'bare with...'] we wanted to give you a little something to ease those jitters as we count down to Cardiff, a little reassurance that we're well worth a visit...

If i'm not mistaken, that infamous Cardiff-born monolith Miss Bassey said that 'Diamonds are Forever' and we here at Judy's are partial to a bit of sparkle. Check out some of our favourite craftsmen trading this weekend...

Tiny bridges, scrabble pieces, pocket watches- the lot. If that's not enough to delight your inner magpie, we don't know what will. Menfolk - don't be put off by all that shimmer and shine. If your doting girlfriend, wife or persistent housemate insists that you come to the fair, just roll with it. Looking at our specialist menswear traders, you're in for a bit of a treat [check out for a flavour] Get clearing those wardrobes folks - the English are coming.

See you at the weekend!


Tuesday, 15 February 2011

All the fun of the Fair - Nottingham

Greetings loved ones!

Take a seat - let's talk business. As any enterprise worth it's salt would, we at Judy's are masochistic enough to put our claims of being 'the largest and leading vintage fair in the whole gosh-darned UK' to the test. This week, we slot Nottingham's Affordable Vintage Fair under the microscope as the up-and-coming blog-boffins at put us to the test. Move over Mary Portas, you aint got nothin' on this...

'It’s 12.03pm. We’re weaving our way through the already thickening crowds to grab the brilliant bargains before anyone else grabs them [and we thought we were early!]

First stop, Trilbies and Tassels where Lottie Sissons sold Jessica a gorgeous black beaded top that she has probably worn about seven times since, today being the eighth [it’s really quite ridiculous]

We love Vintage Reclaimed which is a returning fixture and no wonder; everyone goes crazy for their bespoke jewellery. Abi was hunting through the assortment of chains whilst Jessica bought a clock mechanism, soon to be smashed up and made into a stunning piece of jewellery. One thing we love about the fairs is that there was always the option to buy the separate pieces and have a go yourself.

Jessica had a bit of a chat with Adele at Tullula and interestingly found that she makes her own clothes. We both love her unique style of re-working leather, her stock coming from newspaper ads and warehouses. Abi was definitely impressed to hear that Pearl Lowe once wore one of her Tullalah dresses, and we expect many more fashionistas to be pining over her styles in the near future! We can't wait to see what is in store from her next.

We also spotted Nick Reed’s glorious Cartoons and Film Posters; we have managed to track his website down, even though it is under construction at the moment, keep on checking because you wouldnt want to miss one of his amazing designs:

Princes Vintage has a really useful 10% discount card that we picked up at the stall and will be using at some point or another - Abi has a thing for jumpers and Jessica had to practically drag her away from all the lovely goodies to be found here, we loved the prices!

All in all, as expected, we had a fabulous time at Judy's Affordable Vintage Far and we'll definitely attend whenever they plan to delight us with another visit to Nottingham. The Affordable Vintage Fair seems to cater for any taste and there are always treasures to be found! Abi had a wonderful time searching for shirts (which she seems to be addicted to) and ended up with three beautiful shirts which came to a total cost of £12! You wouldn't be able to buy a quarter of a shirt for that in Topshop! Jessica treated herself to a lovely little bag as well. All in all, Judy's Affordable Vintage Fair isn't one to miss!

This was our second visit to Nottingham’s Affordable Vintage Fair and neither time have we been disappointed. Fashionregency wholeheartedly urge you to go stop what you’re doing, fire-up the computer and have a look and see where they are next - maybe we’ll see you there!'

-Abi Colgan & Jessica Gaten,

There we have it folks - straight from the horses' mouth. We hope those of you in Oxford, Cardiff and London are super-psyched for our upcoming fairs - they really are treasuretroves. Testament to the fact that vintage aint goin' nowhere [finger click? too much? ok] check out this titbit from Marc Jacobs during New York Fashion Week...

Proof? Pudding? Get investing!


Monday, 14 February 2011

Happy Valentine's Day from the Vintage Vulture!

Greetings loved ones!

Yes, whether you like it or not, V-Day has rolled around again and retro lovin' is in the air [shown by all you brow-beaten men shoppers looking for that old-school somethin'-somethin' at last weekend's fairs!] We here at Judy's are suckers for a bit of romance but we realise that many of you are a little more 'leave me alone' than 'mr. lover-lover,' soooo take a peak at our new-season design, perfect for putting a spring into your step...

Perfect huh?? Despite how stomach-gurgglingly [err..word?] awful V-Day can be, there's nothing like this time of year to remind you of what's a-coming - sunny days and short nights, royal weddings and fashion weeks, festivals and vintage fairs, legs out and sunnies on - the great, British Summertime. If you're feeling a little blue, just think of these [and look at the picture below - I dare, nay CHALLENGE you to feel morose around balloons - it's physically impossible!] to get you through...

Whether it's a bottle of wine for one or two tonight, just roll with it. Blue skies [and Judy's] are coming.
That's all for now folks!

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Durham's Affordable Vintage Fair - So chic, So cheap

Greetings loved ones,

Stepping down from my usual retro soapbox, we've enlisted young fashion enthusiast and Durham modern languages student Owen Smith to give you the skinny on our North-Eastern fairs. Whippersnapper, awaaaay.....

'So, you can’t afford Topshop. You don’t want to be that mainstream anyway. You’re sick of seeing that guy in the cardigan you’ve got to, that girl in the dress you wore
last week. You want something unique, something special, something timeless. It can’t break the bank, but you don’t want to have to compromise on style either. But where do you go to find that quirky kitten heel, or those burgundy brogues you've always wanted? To Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair, that’s where. Now the largest in the country, it's success is no accident.'

'So, how best to capture the Judy's experience? It’s a travelling treasure trove packed full of gems like the stunning 1950s dresses that have made such a strong return on the catwalk this year. Kitten heels too are making a somewhat controversial comeback, spurred on by the same vintage trend. We spied a few quirky pairs nestled amongst statement pendants, cat eye sunglasses, beautiful cameo rings, edgy biker jackets and rich faux furs, all of which will also be cropping up on the catwalks of 2011. Take heed vintage fans and head down to Judy’s for Spring/Summer chic without the Galliano price tag.'

'Men’s must haves for 2011 are
set to include retro fob watches, slick bowler hats, sheer fabrics and subtle florals, again showing an interesting fashion shift in the vintage direction. Why not purchase these items at the fair at just a fraction of the price of their (infinitely less interesting) high street equivalents? Now you can be absolutely sure you won’t see someone else wearing your statement piece, a piece with history, a piece with a past. So think cheap. Think chic. Think vintage. Get yourself down to the next of Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fairs. And don’t forget - vintage never gets old'

Spoken like a true, vintage troubadour - with such sage advice, it's evident that fashion-speak is the mother tongue of our man in the field. When it gets to that point on a Saturday afternoon where the hectic queues in H&M and the bright lights of Zara make you want to barf, Judy's is here. An antidote to fast fashion and an afternoon well spent, those of you in Derby and Leicester should come down and pick-a-pocket[watch] or two this weekend. For more food for thought, check out some of Owen's snaps below...


S'later vintage fans!


Thursday, 3 February 2011

Catchin' up with Kathleen N Lily's

Greetings loved ones!

As we gear up for Lincoln and Nottingham's Affordable Vintage fair this weekend [no rest for the wicked eh? I guess seeing all your smiling faces and hunting for a velvet get-up worthy of Prince constitutes a 'hard life'] we caught up with Nottingham stitchin' witches, Kathleen N Lily's.

In addition to a myriad of ready-made vintage clobber, we here at Judy's are all about the craft[not the dodgy 90s witchcraft flick...well, maybe on some days...] With our wallets more moth-ridden than moneybags, many of us don't have the funds to buy our jewellery new; a new top a week has taken a back seat and the only alter we kneel before is a good alterations girl. Seizing the niche, Notts girls Kathleen N Lily's are part of the solution. Offering fabric packs, whacky accessories and haberdashery advice to anyone with ears, the girls are waging war on fast fashion. Needle in hand, the ladies get to the point about their war against the mundane, their Sherwood heritage and their love of the fairs. Less make-do and mend, more make-new and mend - Neil Buchanan, eat your h-art out...

Q: Hi Ladies! Tell me a little more about the history behind Kathleen N Lily's...

A: 'Kathleen & Lily’s is the home of sewing witches Rachael Kettleborough and Jenna Round. Born with needles in one hand and a junior hacksaw in the other we fight the war against the mundane. Our weapons are vintage recycled and customised clothing and hand crafted jewellery & accessories.
We hand make whimsical, charming, nostalgic and sometimes scary jewellery and accessories using vintage materials. All our garments are vintage, customised or handmade and every item is lovingly packaged with recycled paper, vintage comics, playing cards and wallpapers. We also sell a range of haberdashery, including fabric packs, customising kits, rammel bags, paper packs, sewing kits, buttons and pincushions.'

Q: You've recently moved on from your Mansfield Road headquarters- are you kids quite difficult to 'pin' down?

A: 'We opened our shop in 2005 after studying at Nottingham Trent University and started our online shop in 2009. We tour the country with the UK's largest vintage troupe, Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fashion Fair and over the summer we trade at Y-Not, Dot to Dot and Indietracks festivals. We also visited Vintage at Goodwood festival and offered our ‘Sewing Magic’ clothing alterations service which had the public bewitched. Over the past few months we’ve started offering sewing classes from our Nottingham shop and we were voted most popular course at the ‘Nottingham Loves Learning’ event'

Q: Looking at your creations, some vintage fans may get a sense of deja vu - where have we seen your wares before?

A: 'Ha! We’ve supplied garments for film and theatre such as The Unloved, This is England and Control, as well as creating the costumes for Little Shop of Horrors at the Nottingham Playhouse. We’ve been very lucky to have some of our favourite ladies adorn themselves with our wares, Tracy-Anne from Camera Obscura, Rosa and Katy from Peggy Sue and the Betty and the Werewolves girls.'

Q: As local lasses, what's it like trading on your home turf?

A: 'Nottingham is a great city, the two university's and city's colleges provide a large population and there's some really interesting courses available. There's a thriving arts scene here and i think Nottingham people have a really strong sense of style - they know what they want. All these things make it a great place to start a business such as ours and a brilliant place to bring the fairs.'

Q: What does the future hold for the glue-gun gurus at Kathleen N Lily's?

A: 'With the shop closing at the end of January, we're free to concentrate on our online business. We love doing Judy's to - it's the perfect way to meet other like-minded people and also to build relationships with your customer which you can't do online. The costs are low and most of the fairs are at the weekend so its easy to continue with a day job and build up the business. We will also be selling jewellery at Davenport Shop of Originality and Recreation. We'd like to concentrate on designing and teaching - closing the shop will free up our time and allow us to nurture our the mend-and-make-new revolution.'

There we have it folks - inquisition over. The ladies live on to stitch another day. For all those in the midlands this weekend, pop over to Nottingham's Affordable Vintage Fair to see them in action. For the meantime, viva la revolution!

That's all folks,