Some Sundays are made for lazing around in bed, thinking about getting up but not quite making it until a hungry stomach signals it is time to get up. Then there are Sundays like today, where it is worth jumping out of bed before 9am and heading into Shoreditch. Tucked away amongst Victorian warehouses and East End ‘caffs’ is The Yard on Worship street where you can find Clerkenwell Vintage Fashion Fair at their new location. I was super keen to be there for the best selection of vintage fashion and arrived a bit early. Roving Cafe were busy selling Sunday morning substinence of breakfast rolls and homemade cakes. A hot chocolate gave me some energy for a morning’s vintage shopping.
Entering the glassed ceiling warehouse, I was overwhelmed by the industrial interior dressed up for the day in the City’s finest vintage fashion. Delicate ivory lace, soft midnight blue velvet, fun bright novelty prints, heavy Harrington tweed coats and chic silk dresses straight from the dance floor of the Art Deco period, all hanging from the exposed steelwork.
I get caught up by the history of each of the vintage pieces. Was it made in the 1950’s or is it a 1980’s take on the past? I wish vintage clothes could tell us their stories, who were they worn by? Were they bought for a special occasion? How many owners have they had? I was chatting with Hesta and Pippa from Peacock Vintage about getting attached to an item.’You want the right person to buy the right dress’ we laughed together and it was certainly true when they sold the 1940s wedding dress at the last fair to bride-to-be Sarah at the last Clerkenwell Fair. Vintage fashion is so individual, one off pieces in one shape and only one size.They are waiting for right person to come along and breathe life into them again.
Sundays were made for vintage shopping. A leisurely walk around the fair, hunting through rails waiting for the right piece of vintage apparel or vintage accessory to catch your eye. Clerkenwell Vintage Fashion Fair provide a large changing room so it is worth trying pieces on. The fit can be difficult as we are built differently to past generations, even as little as 30 years ago but persistence pays off. I’m a UK size 16 and often unable to buy many pieces that I fall in love with (better for my bank balance than my wardrobe), So I was thrilled to try on this 1940s tea dress from Honeykins Vintage and found that it fit as if it was made for me, no alterations required.
Of course, there is no need to worry about size when it comes to vintage accessories, like this bright selection from Honeykins Vintage.
If you are new to vintage shopping or want to improve your success of finding something fabulous, Clerkenwell Vintage Fashion Fair’s founder, Savitri Coleman shared her top tips with Olive Road on this previous blog post.
The best thing for me about being both a vintage trader and shopper are the incredible people that I meet. Fun and friendly with a mutual respect for the preservation of vintage clothing. A perfect Sunday morning, I’m now off to help out at a East End Women’s museum stall in Barking & Dagenham, asking local residents what they would like to see in the museum. I’d love to wear my new dress but I think I’ll be a bit chilly standing in Barking Abbey park.
Clerkenwell Vintage Fashion Fair is on until 5pm today, Sunday 16th September 2017 at their new venue, The Yard, Worship Street, Shoreditch (behind Liverpool Street Station).