Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Seven Days in Vintage - A Week in the Life

Almost a month into Slow Fashion Season and I've bought something new but I'm not cheating, it's just new to me, not new new. I'd lusted over this vintage 1970s Young Innocent by Arpeja printed cotton maxi after spotting it online ages ago but it was way out of my price range so I was beside myself with joy when I spotted the identical dress in an UK-based vintage selling site last week £100 cheaper. No messing about, I made that beauty mine in the click of the button.

Popular throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Arpeja was a Californian company with divisions which included Young Edwardian (established in 1964), Young Victorian (established in 1967) and Organically Grown (established in 1971). The Young Innocent line was established in 1963 and is the only Arpeja label I haven't owned previously, I couldn't love it more.

A bit of label porn and a close-up of yesterday's earrings, featuring Frida Kahlo's "The Hidden Column" (1944) bought from my festival trading neighbours Shilpa Silver a couple of years ago. I've got a growing collection of their fairly traded, Mexican-made, Frida inspired jewellery. It makes me very sad that Primark are currently using her image on cheap tee shirts.

So what have I been up to on my week off?  To be honest it's taken us the best part of seven days to recover from Glastonbury and Cornbury and my hip's been an utter bastard (thankfully the drugs are finally starting to take effect). On Tuesday we unpacked the van, put the stock away and attempted to tame a garden gone feral after nearly three weeks of neglect and on Wednesday we went charity shopping for the first time in ages, picking up a few vintage gems.

Clockwise from top left: St Michael '70s cotton off-the-shoulder top; 1970s pinstripe wool jacket; 1980s West German military style jacket; Japanese Haiku shirt; 1980s Moss Bros dinner jacket with gold lapels; Japanese raincoat; West German bold stripe blazer; 1970s nylon beach dress; 1970s Alexon Young Set tweed coat; 1980s Windsmoor 50p coin print midi skirt; 1980s butter soft leather jacket by Big Ben; 1980s Hugo of London metallic raincoat; 1970s Peekaboo cotton maxi dress; 1970s john Charles sequin edge-to-edge jacket; 1970s pinstripe waistcoat; Handmade batik crop top

WEARING: Vintage 1970s Indian silk kaftan (eBay) with a Gujarati amulet pendant

On Thursday I donned the Indian silk kaftan I'd won on eBay back in the Spring and we went over to visit friends G&T where we swapped some vintage clothes and went for a rather posh lunch in a gorgeous restored Regency house (HERE). On the way back we discovered an elderly lady lying unconscious in the road, after managing to rouse her we realised to our relief that she was drunk rather than injured. We managed to get her address from her, bundled her in the car and drove her back to her sheltered accommodation, handing her over to a rather bemused security guard. Never a dull moment, eh?

WEARING: Indian cotton jumpsuit, tooled leather belt, junk jewellery necklace (all secondhand/vintage) with Lotta from Stockholm clogs

  On Friday I sorted some stock in readiness for next weekend's event and made the fatal error of trying this 1970s jumpsuit on for size. Made in India by Terrand and a size small, it's identical to one I owned in 1978. As I bought it in Walsall it might even have been my old one. I get told I can't wear 1970s clothes, I remember them the first time around all the time and it drives me daft. Yes, I wore this (or its twin) in the 1970s but back then I had blonde crimped hair, a dental brace and a whole heap of adolescent insecurities. The second time round and things couldn't be more different, the teeth are fixed, the hair's different and at 52 and-a-half I couldn't give a f*ck about what people think.

My trader friend Nat of Eyewood Vintage kindly sent me this sweet '60s velvet bolero as it was too faded for her to sell. On Saturday - after a morning of gardening - I dyed the sun bleached shoulders with one of those root retouch-up pens, removed the beige pom poms and blinged it up with some Indian sequin motifs I bought from a car boot sale years ago. Bollywood-tastic!

Sunday's outfit: Vintage Mayur Indian cotton gauze midi dress (local selling site) worn with a 1970s Indian silk scarf, Ted Lapidus sunglasses (both charity shopped) and Lotta from Stockholm clogs

On Sunday we popped into town for some bird food & organic coconut oil and came back with a 1970s man's cardi, a vintage waistcoat and a Konjac sponge - as you do. I must say how impressed I am with the sponge, my skin feels wonderful (find them HERE). After making some wired headbands from a XXXL pair of pyjamas, we settled down to an epic catch-up of Beecham House. I'm not generally a fan of ITV productions or period dramas (Peaky Blinders being the exception) but it's set in India, directed by Gurinder Chadha (Bhaji on the Beach, Bride and Prejudice) and stars the lovely GrĂ©gory Fitoussi of epic French cop series Spiral. Whilst it's not going to win any Oscars, its perfectly watchable and we loved spotting places we'd visited in Delhi and Jaipur including Amber Fort which I wrote about HERE.

WEARING: Vintage Dollyrockers pure silk tropical print maxi, designed by Samuel Sherman for his 1967 collection, bought from eBay in 2010 and Lotta from Stockholm clogs (bought in 2018)

On Monday, wearing the dress pictured above, we met up with the Dead Relatives Society for lunch in 'Spoons and ended up getting home at 10.30. The cats were disgusted with us, we told them we'd be back for tea. Despite the outrageous behaviour of the day before we were up and out early to go charity shopping where we picked up a few more interesting bits.

Clockwise from top left: 1980s Hawaiian shirt; Hell Bunny Vixen circle skirt; 1980s oversized shirt featuring embroidered ducks; 1980s green velvet tailor-made in Birmingham jacket; Circus print shirt; 1970s belted crimplene tunic; 1980s pure new wool & velvet trimmed Windsmoor coat dress; 1980s brocade waistcoat; 1980s Italian-made leisure shirt
Today I'm wearing cut down shorts, a vintage Indian block printed top and doing a trial set-up in readiness for The Great Gatsby weekender. We're so excited about a trip to the English seaside, it's been decades since we last went.

Do come along and visit us if you can.

See you soon!

Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Summer of Love - The Cornbury Festival 2019

 With a turnaround time of just twenty-four hours, Wednesday morning saw us driving south yet again, this time to the Cornbury Music Festival in the heart of the glorious Cotswolds. We squealed with delight at seeing our festival trader family again, some of whom we'd only said goodbye to a couple of days ago at Glastonbury. After spending eight hours setting up - and chatting excitedly with our friends - we collapsed into bed just after 9pm, Glasto had all but wiped us out.

 After an eleven hour sleep marathon we tweaked the stall a little more and then went off for a wander around the site. There's something magical about being at a festival before it opens its gates to the public, the energy is almost palpable as the crew frantically rush about putting the final touches in place. 

The afternoon was spent lazing in the sunshine, interrupted only to make a few sales to crew members and fellow traders.

 Cornbury opened to the public at 10am on Friday morning and, with the temperature already hitting the heady heights of 24°C, we were ready for them.

My psychedelic print cotton maxi was a gift from Ann & Jos and the 1980s sequinned bustier a car boot find five years ago (apparently after the age of 50 bustiers are a massive no-no - you can see how bothered I am). Jon's 1950s Banner shirt used to be on the Kinky rails until he saw sense, his Levis' Pantella shorts came from a flea market in Goa a decade ago and the 1950s Stetson trilby was embellished with feathers we'd found on yesterday's adventure.

Just as in previous years we were visited by roving entertainers.

Kinky Melon was visited by Echo and the Bunnymen earlier in the day so I thought I'd return the favour, collecting neighbours Donna and Winnie from Red-Leb and catching part of their killer set on the Pleasant Valley stage where they reeled out the classic trio of ‘Bring On The Dancing Horses’, ‘The Cutter’ and ‘Killing Moon’instantly transporting me back to Sixth Form . Jon & I had last seen them live in 2007 and I'm happy to report that they were just as good twelve years later although I get the feeling that a lot of the crowd didn't understand Ian McCulloch's strong Liverpudlian accent.

We were further spellbound by a group of hot air balloons gently passing overhead during the Bunnymen's set.

Friday night's headliners were The Specials who were phenomenal although many of the ultra posh people in the crowd didn't know what to make of them dedicating The Lunatics Have Taken Over The Asylum to Boris Johnson (although we loved it!) After watching the set us and End of the Road festival  Shaun from Shilpa Silver hit the Disco Shed for some late night dance action (not all that late though, the arena closes at midnight).

Unusually for Cornbury, Saturday was dull and overcast with rain forecast for the afternoon. In the five years we've traded there it's always been glorious. Not that it hindered anybody's enjoyment. The kids (and their parents) threw themselves into the drumming workshop in the kids' field opposite.

Trevor Horn and his band played the Pleasant Valley stage on Saturday afternoon treating the crowd to everything from Slave To The Rhythm, Rubber Bullets, The Power of Love and Relax. We didn't need to venture from our pitch to hear the set perfectly.

 Remember last year's Scooby-Doo gang? This year they'd come as cheerleaders. One of the gang bought a vintage military jacket from us which they think may be inspiration for next year's theme.

Photo taken by Andrea and borrowed from her Facebook page.

As promised the rain made an appearance but it failed to dampen our (or our customers' spirits). On Saturday Jon wore the shirt Ann & Jos had given him when we met up a fortnight ago and I wore one of my Dollyrockers dresses.

Emma decided to leave wearing the pink Anokhi dress she'd bought from us, Suzy and Sharon came away with a tan leather coat, 1960s suede skirt, fringed cowboy boots and the twin to the Dollyrockers dress I'm wearing in the above photo and Laura bought this 1980s Anime-inspired sailor dress.

 The lovely couple on the left came back to show us how happy they were with the 1980s leisure shirt and Moroccan leather belt they'd bought the day before, Annabelle from Jack FM bought this 1970s Prova maxi and this cool dude was so happy with his 1960s batik shirt that he returned with a gang of friends so that they too could rummage our rails.

The psychedelic 1960s hooded robe went to this gorgeous lady who brought her brother back to try on the 1960s raincoat, Andrea's wearing a vintage Mexican handloom cotton blouse and Mary a 1960s Lurex cocktail top in baby blue and Vronni's  rock star brother Julian bought this 1970s Indian block print shirt to wear on stage for his headline set with Steeleye Span.

The lovely Hairy Biker, Dave Myers and his wife shopped with us last year & we were thrilled to see them again. This time Dave bought a super loud 1980s Yves St Laurent shirt and invited us over to see Si's band, Little Moscow play the Campsite Stage at 11pm. Andrea's wearing a vintage midi skirt and Mary's wearing a psychedelic headscarf (tied by me - all part of the Kinky service!)

The rain stopped just in time to catch Saturday night headliners Keane play the Pleasant Valley stage to a crowd packed with adoring fans. Si's band was great fun, just as Dave had promised they would be.

Walsall friends Liz and Adrian came to visit (Cornbury is their first ever festival) but, as they both had to be at work on Monday morning, left on Sunday afternoon.

Traditionally Sunday is a slow trading day for us as most people like to buy their vintage at the start of the festival and wear it all weekend, but after a slow start trade was brisk. 

The sun made a welcome return and we and our trader friends were able to bask in the sunshine.

Cornbury's not Cornbury without a pair of cat ears.

Donna and Mandy (from Chameleon) with Sammy & Nicola from Lick.

I ran down to the main stage to catch a bit of the Beach Boys featuring co-founder Mike Love and long term member Bruce Johnston, a wonderfully mellow end to another fabulous weekend.

Yesterday we packed up the remains of our stock, took the stall down, waved goodbye to our trading friends, several of whom we won't see for another year, and got back into the house late in the afternoon. After unloading the van, tackling a week's worth of washing and trying to tame a garden gone feral over the past fortnight we're fit to drop - thank goodness we've got this weekend off!

Thanks Cornbury, you've been amazing! See you next year.