Sunday, 17 June 2012

A Day at Vintage Nation!!!

It's the first year of Brighton's newest vintage event, Vintage Nation, and I went along on Saturday 9th June to see it for myself!

It took me an hour on the train to get to Brighton and when I arrived I found myself completely lost, not knowing how to get there as my map was slightly confusing! Fortunately I spotted two people dressed in vintage attire and after a small chat we shared a cab to the Festival itself.

The Brighton Racecourse is situated high up on a hill overlooking the sea, just a few miles along from Roedean School and is a beautiful place. I managed to get in using my contact at the event, Ellie, even though I'd already purchased a ticket online.

So after making a base for my stuff at Darlings Vintage where I got to meet Ellie, I decided to take a walk around.
There wasn't much on offer, sadly, a lot of 60s, 70s and 80s but hardly any what I would call, quality vintage, apart from on Ellie's stall, where I purchased the most gorgeous coat which looks 50s but is likely to be more late 70s. I then took a walk around the site, in the bar they had special dance classes but the music wasn't up to much, then upstairs in the Reception rooms a tea party was being hosted, so I sat down and waited for about fifteen minutes before deciding that it was useless, nobody was bothered about the new people who were entering the room, just the ones who had already made their orders.

Anyway, I politely left without complaint and rejoined the hubbub of excitement downstairs in the market place. There I bought two pretty pictures, each designed for fashion magazines from the 60s and after making these purchases, had my hair done in a very Pan Am style to match my genuine 1960s Pan Am bag, bought in Brick Lane in March for £30!!!
I had so many compliments on both my bag and my 1950s Marks and Spencer aka 'St Michael' blue and white stripe dress, but my bag especially. Apparently they're really hard to find and I have one!!!

I enjoyed a special Orange Crabbies Ginger Beer in the Crabbies area, along with a gorgeous cupcake, followed by scones with cream and jam in the tea party rooms, which had got their act together and were actually serving new customers.

After that, I made my way back downstairs to the marketplace, where I met up with two friends and we went to the evening Cabaret show together. The show was really good, a singer got me up to sing 'You Make Me Feel So Young' as I was eating a sweet and wearing a suitable dress, which I really enjoyed.

Despite the journey home, it was a really good day, although Brighton may want to think about the quality of vintage it accepts into events such as this, for real collectors this was a bit of a let-down. That said, I really enjoyed Vintage Nation!!!

Friday, 8 June 2012

The Horrockses Dress

I am not one of those vintage lovers who buys dresses simply for a collection, I like to wear my vintage and mix my brands. That was until I found a Horrockses dress.

*cue the sighs of whimsical Horrockses devotees*

It is in that one moment, when you see a dress for the first time, that you know if will fit you, and if it doesn't, well, you're not going to let a tiny little thing like that stop you?

Are you?

So, after much deliberation, advice from a Horrockses expert (namely Liz) I decided to purchase my very first Horrockses dress. It was seen, tried on (twice) and bought at What the Butler Wore in Waterloo for a considerable amount, but I'm trying not to think about that!

Most Horrockses dresses range from £50-£500 (if you're fortunate enough to see one so cheap, snap it up!) and Horrockses fans will say that the more unusual a print, the more desirable.

Which may have you asking why I chose something so simple.

My answer being, I haven't seen another polka dot dress like this one.

Not that I begrudge a Horrockses dress at all, I'm just more of a California Cottons fan (see post) but even I have to admit that this label is stylish, elegant and truly artistic in very sense. Being able to try on a Horrockses was a new thing for me, I haven't a clue about their style of fitting for vintage but I loved the dress straightaway.

 Here's a picture of my new purchase:

The First of Many!!!

I often make a visit to What the Butler Wore, it's one of those shops I keep going back to, usually to increase my vintage collection, but sometimes just for a whimsical browse. Bridget always has something new, whether it's a new 70s blouse by a high street retailer or even something really incredible like a Horrockses, you're nearly always guaranteed to find something.

 Strangely, this dress cost the same as a dress I nearly bought back in 2011, which was an early Marks and Spencers dress in lilac with white stripes, however funds meant that I couldn't afford it and when I eventually returned to the shop to purchase, it had been sold. Fortunately, my friend took a picture of me wearing it outside the shop, so I can look out for it!

If anybody knows who has this dress now, please contact me!

Still, now I have a Horrockses and a 1950s Marks and Spencer dress, purchased from The Vintage Emporium and Tea Shop in Brick Lane. I spent ages thinking about that one, too, even though it is a lovely dress and a very pushy friend persuaded me to buy it. Marks and Spencers seemed to have a trend for striped dresses, as my other dress from The Vintage Emporium is blue with thick white stripes!

Still, from what I know about Horrockses this is probably from the later part of the 1950s, as the waist is slightly dropped, but it still has the most amazing fit with a big ruffle! I have a pair of tangerine wedge heels which look perfect with it, add a bag and it's a gorgeous vintage ensemble!!!

I have looked at Horrockses before, but they haven't really appealed to me in the way that other brands have. I saw a navy spotted one at the Vintage Festival in 2011 with a really unusual collar, but it didn't catch my eye quite in the way that my California Cottons dress did when I saw it on the first stall!!! However it seems that I have now found another brand to look out for, one which I know suits me and like all other vintage finds, is totally unique!