For the past year or so, i've been completely disillusioned with vintage shopping in the capital. I've been obsessed with vintage since my early teens but lately have been spending more time in Topshop and less time trawling through boxes of lovely, musty vintage. Before moving to the Big Smoke, I used to really look forward to trips to Brick Lane to buy up bagfuls of vintage goodies but lately, the shops just aren't cutting it for me. I guess it's only natural - there's a limited amount of stock in the world and as more and more of us fall in love with old fashioned fashion,there are less gems to be found and more tat padding out the rapidly- emptying rails of our favourite vintage stores.
Adding insult to injury, take the number of disappointing vintage events I've been to in the capital - kilo sales where you can fill a bag with holey crap for £50, overpriced designer vintage fairs where you're afraid to breathe near the clothes in case you cause irreparable damage and have to pay £500 and clothing swaps where vintage isn't found. I have to admit I've become a little bit sceptical about the whole scene.
Do I sound bitter? Well, it's not all doom and gloom. I still love to stock up on vintage whenever I'm outside of London. You get a better class of clothing for a smaller price, plus you get to feel smug when people ask where your latest find is from. 'Oh this? it's just something i picked up in blackpool at the weekend...' Way cooler than 'yeah it's from Beyond Retro.'
Anyway the point that i'm getting to (in a horribly long-winded way) is that today I had a lovely surprise in the form of Judy's Affordable Vintage Fair.
The travelling fashion spectacle arrived in Bethnal Green's York Hall this weekend, and it couldn't have been more perfect. What sets this apart from other vintage events? Firstly, the traders at the fair come from all over the UK, not just London, so you get more variety, a better class of vintage, and most importantly lots of bargains. Bonus point - it's a touring event so sure to be landing in a city near you very soon. [have a butchers here folks]
Always keen to impress (do other people dress up to go shopping or is it just me?) I put on one of my favourite 1960s mini dresses and set off to meet my friend Christina (you can read about her adventures here). Here she is wearing a lovely stole she picked up at the fair.
York Hall was filled to the brim with gorgeous items - all great quality vintage and accessories, and all very reasonably priced. I could barely contain my excitement.
I was particularly taken with the super-cute accessories on Now, Voyager's stall. The colours make my eyes bleed! I love it all!
I left with a new birdy friend. His name is Arthur. I'm not sure what occasion will befit me wearing a bird head adornment, but rest assured, i will find one.
All events should have tea and cake, ALWAYS. (Christina described her cake as tasting like a granny had made it. This is a GOOD thing.)
OK so I know you're DESPERATE to see what I left with. Here's my little haul:
Everything cost around £10 and it's all in great nick. I'm thrilled, thanks Judy!
The next event's in May and I will be there with bells on. Judy, I salute you.