Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Clogs, Clobber & Classic Cars

There are only sixty-nine Volkswagen Variants left in the UK and our 1970 model, Ebbie, is an LE, of which only 6 are known to exist (Source) so imagine my surprise when I visited the Lotta of Stockholm website (I've gone slightly mad for their clogs this Summer) only to find Ebbie's twin sister heading up their latest advertising campaign. Not only do they sell the cutest and most comfy shoes in the world but they've got impeccable taste in vehicles.

Of course, my penchant for maxi dresses meant that I've had to hitch up my skirt to show off my latest clogs (bought as a reward for surviving the ordeal that was Truck.)

We're hoping to take part in my long-time vintage hero, Wayne Hemingway's Classic Car Boot Sale in London next month. Much as I'd love Ebbie to be our trade vehicle, with his cooking facilities, fridge and rain canopy, dear old Gilbert is the more practical option.

Talking of vintage cars and all things automotive check out some of the sexy motors that turned up at Vintage Village at Stockport on Sunday. My favourites were the glossy black Volvo P1800 (aka The Saint's car) and the ravishing Indian bike.

Although it was lovely to catch up with some of our vintage mates and to meet a couple of cool chicks who read my blog I really should have learnt from past experience and not booked to do a vintage fair in August. Coupled with the 5.30am alarm and the four hour round trip - blasted road works - trade was excruciatingly slow and we had little to show for our efforts (although I did come home with a cracker of a 1970s psychedelic maxi.) 

Courtesy of lovely photographer, David Kennedy

However, on the bright side, I met the textile designer responsible for the print on our star frock, this gauzy cape-sleeved cotton maxi by CanCan, London, which was admired by all who passed by our rails on Sunday. She was paid, a not inconsiderable, £30 by the Tootal group for her design back in 1971 and it's the first time she'd seen it since her student days in Manchester.

In my enthusiasm to book the final two festivals of the season I'd failed to check the dates, only realising weeks later that we've only got one day between trading in Oxfordshire and setting up in deepest Dorset which means that we're going to be on the road for a fortnight ....whoops! The next seven days are going to be a crazed stock buying, washing and pricing frenzy. Thank goodness for good pals, and official Kinky stock hunters, Nikki and Kirk who shop when we can't. Here's the fab vintage haul they brought around for us yesterday - all laundered and ready to go (and exactly the kind of stuff we'd buy ourselves).

Clockwise from top left: 1970s deadstock American dinner shirt; 1970s gents' leisure shirt; Ladies' dagger collar cotton blouse; Vintage denim bell bottoms; 1970s Campri deadstock wind cheater; 1970s Young Motherhood of Finland denim smock; 1970s St Michael beagle collar psych blouse; Vintage St Michael midi skirt; Egon Shop, Germany psychedelic keyhole detail maxi; Deadstock Made in Paris polyester tie blouse, 1960s cotton shift dress; 1970s orange suede trench coat; 1960s Crimplene coat dress; 1960s green leather coat; 1970s cape sleeve silk crepe maxi

Clockwise from top left: 1960s deadstock vinyl shoulder bag; 1970s embroidered leather bag; Tootal scarves & cravats; Vintage deadstock undies; 1960s deadstock fringed shoulder bag; 1960s vinyl shoulder bag
We had a lucky break when we were out shopping this morning, bumping into some vintage traders we hadn't seen for a couple of years. They'd since had a change of direction business-wise and these days only sell student-orientated gear (ie., 1990s and second-hand sportswear) and, as they store all their stock in their van, asked if we'd be interested in taking some Harris Tweed jackets off their hands as the kids aren't into them. How times change! Back in the last century when I was a student all the cool guys wore vintage Harris Tweed. We got a few odd looks from passers-by as we rummaged through sacks of clothes on the town centre car park, handing over crisp banknotes in exchange for pukka vintage gear.

Shell suits and trakkie bottoms? If I wanted to sell clothes I didn't like I'd get a job in Primark. 

WEARING: Vintage gingham maxi, 1970s woven Madeira souvenir basket, bastard massive beads and plastic bangles (all charity shopped), Embroidered, pompom trim waistcoat (Colaba Causeway, Mumbai, 2016)
I'd better bring the washing in (finally, a dry day for pegging clothes out) then I'll be catching up on some Scandi Noir before the BBC's fascinating Partition series at 9pm.

See you soon!

Thursday, 10 August 2017

How the Waste Was Worn - Other People's Cast-offs, My Way

I haven't shared my chazzing finds in ages. Although our twice weekly shopping trips have been somewhat curtailed due to our festival schedule we've been out and about as often as we can. We've had some terrific luck with vintage stock for Kinky Melon's rails but, no sooner have I laundered and packed it for the next event, then it's sold and gone for ever. In the absence of any stock photos here's some of the things I've added to my own wardrobe over the last month instead. 

Last year I'd admired the bell bottomed leggings I'd seen on numerous hip girls at festivals so I was pleased to find a pair for £2 in a chazza in Shropshire. I was inundated with compliments when I wore them so was super pleased when I found a second pair - same make, same size, same price - in a charity shop some forty miles away from the original town I'd bought them from. I'd always dismissed Boohoo (the website they originated from) as cheap and nasty so was surprised to discover that the leggings were actually made in the UK.  The Jeffrey Campbell "Woodies" clogs were missing their price tag in a charity shop notorious for its crazy pricing so I was prepared for a stupid answer when asked the manager how much they were. When she replied £2.49 to you, darling! I couldn't get my purse out fast enough. 

WEARING: Bell bottomed leggings and Jeffrey Campbell Woodies worn with a embroidered cotton tunic (£9.99, recent sale buy), Vintage tooled leather owl bag (£2, Islamic Relief)

 My heart skipped a beat when I spotted these bastard massive colourful wooden beads under the counter in Age UK. When I noticed the price - £1- I nearly had the volunteer's hand off. The pink straw half-moon clutch is early 1980s, made in Hong Kong and from British retailer, Next from back in the day when it sold exciting, innovative gear. I added my own pom-poms.

WEARING: Massive wooden beads (Age UK) worn with Jeffrey Campbell Woodies, 1980s clutch bag (£1, BHF) with a 1970s Jinty's London maxi dress (£5 clearance rail at a vintage fair and last seen HERE on Mumbai's Chowpatty beach),  Vintage Ted Lapidus sunglasses (£3, local children's hospice shop, 2008)

The 50p basket in Age UK yielded this 1970s nylon bikini from the now defunct high street chain, British Home Stores.The sun's made a rare appearance today but sadly, it's still not bikini weather!

WEARING: Vintage Prova (BHS's own label) bikini and Jeffrey Campbell Woodies worn with a 1920s silk kimono (50p from a car boot sale in 2012), Native American turquoise pendant (inherited from Mum), bastard massive straw hat (eBay)

This silk & lace trimmed semi sheer camisole top is by Danish label, Noa Noa, and cost £1 from my one of my favourite charity clearance shops. Like the bell bottoms it isn't in the slightest bit vintage but fits in with the rest of my wardrobe a treat. 

WEARING: Noa Noa camisole top, 1960s suede Go-Go boots, Victorian lawn cotton slip & bone beads (inherited from my Great-Grandma) 

The eagle-eyed amongst you will have seen me wearing this 1970s maxi at Indietracks (HERE). I found it for £3 in Sense the day before we left and, being 100% nylon, it was dry within an hour of washing it. It's a teenage fit which is fine, I've been the same height since I was 11.

WEARING: Vintage Jon Adam maxi dress, Jeffrey Campbell Woodies, Indian tribal pendant (the wonderful Italian artist and friend, Ilaria Novelli), insane sunglasses (car boot sale, last year)

Technically this next dress isn't a cast-off, although it is from a charity shop. Newlife is a bit like TK Maxx (TJ Maxx, if you're American), a huge unit crammed with high street, high end and designer fashion, but the brand labels have been removed and all the proceeds go to a UK-based children's charity. To be honest, the main shop leaves me cold - racks and racks of the same mainstream fashion you'll find on most British high streets - but the Market Place is far more interesting, bins piled with faulty, broken and downright weird stuff and priced at either 50p, 99p or £1.49.  My embroidered, Indian-made rayon dress was reduced on account of its busted zip which, unusually for a contemporary garment, was positioned on a side seam. It took me all of 20 minutes to replace it. I've no idea who stocked the dress but, for a modern piece, it's rather lovely.

WEARING: Indian-made rayon midi dress (£1.49) and Jeffrey Campbell Woodies with vintage tooled leather owl bag, Lamani tribe coin belt (worn as a necklace) and 1970s felt hat (Banardos, £1.99, earlier this year)

My favourite find of the last few weeks has yet to be worn - be still, my beating heart - an early 1970s Frank Usher maxi with fabulous bishop sleeves threaded above the elbow with with grosgrain ribbon which matches my Barry M Guava nail paint perfectly. A snip at £4.99. I've already got a similar one but a girl can never have too many.

I was planning to save it till the Winter but, if the weather continues to be dodgy, I might be wearing it when we trade at Vintage Village this Sunday.

See you there!

In other news, I'm highly honoured to feature on my dear friend Natalia's blog today along with several other of my favourite bloggers. Check her post out HERE!

Linking to Patti & the gang for Visible Monday and Judith's Hat Attack.

Monday, 7 August 2017

Disco Jackets & Gingham

It's just as well you visit my blog for my scintillating conversation 'cos there ain't no new clothes to see here. 

Here's my dress hanging out to dry on the day I bought it from a car boot sale back in 2010. It was several sizes too big so Liz helped me alter it. My body's changed in the 7 years since I found it (my waist has shrunk and my boobs have expanded) so this weekend I've unpicked and redone the seams so it fits better.

While I couldn't give a toss as to whether my clothes are in or out of fashion other people's reactions to this dress change by the season. This year gingham's "in" and  I've been chased down the street on several occasions and asked where my dress was from, usually met with a blank look when I tell them it's a vintage piece from the 1970s and they'd be hard pressed to find one the same. I like that - I don't want to look vintage, I wear old stuff to look different and not like I'm off to a fancy dress party. My dress never fails to make older gentlemen come over a bit frisky. I'll have to watch my step in the pub later. 

Gingham can look a bit prim & school-girlish so I've ramped up the trashy plastic accessories. The peace sign earrings were 50p off Walsall market, the Urban Outfitters perspex & neon belt a Xmas present from 2012 and the plastic bangles are all charity shop buys - I snap them up them whenever I can find them for less than 50p. The nails are, as always, painted in Barry M's finest.

What do you want to do for your birthday? I asked Jon after he'd opened his presents on Saturday morning. Nothing, he told me, We're always doing stuff, I just want to stay at home, eat junk and be lazy. We'll have an all-dayer in 'Spoons on Monday instead.

Being Jon, his doing nothing meant spending the day sticking sequins to disco jackets ready for selling at our next festival. 

Sequins aren't just for girls, you know.

These jackets might be his creation but he seems strangely reluctant to wear one to Wetherspoons.

California Cottons 1970s maxi dress (50p, car boot, 2010), Mexican-style recycled plastic basket (inspired by Lynn and her love for jelly shoes)
The pub is calling, see you soon!

Linking to Patti & The Gang for Visible Monday.

Friday, 4 August 2017

24 Hour Party People

Don't adjust your screens, non-Brits. I really am wearing a long sleeved polyester maxi, a sheepskin trimmed coat and a pair of knee high leather boots in August. When you're off to a festival you've got to dress for the weather no matter what the calendar says and this week we've been treated to conditions more like Autumn than the height of Summer.

You read it right, although we're not trading at a festival this weekend guess what we do on our day off? Jump in the van, drive north for three hours and watch some live music in a field, that's what. We're addicted to the whole festival scene, whether for work or play and it was the perfect way to kick off Jon's birthday weekend.

The windmill is a Lytham landmark 
Yesterday we travelled to the rather sedate seaside town of Lytham St Annes in Lancashire to see the Haçienda Classical, a collaboration between the DJs who shaped the sound of legendary Manc club, The Haçienda, Mike Pickering & Graeme Park and the Manchester Camerata, the city's experimental 60-piece orchestra. The location? The beach front, in the proms arena. In retrospect I should have worn a hat, the wind was relentless and my hair drove me daft.

Hey ho, bad hair's just a minor inconvenience when you're on the guest list.

The evening kicked off with electro band 808 State, followed by a stormin' DJ set featuring all the Madchester classics including The Stone Roses, Oasis and some band called The Charlatans. (Smile and think of the royalties, Jon.)

WEARING: Vintage St Michael tweed jacket, skinnies (newish, retail sale buy), 1950s Tootal scarf (car boot sale), Docs (Charity shop).

The main show, the Haçienda Classical, was truly joyful. We threw back our heads, danced with our hands in the air and sung along to every tune. Proper life affirming stuff.

Graeme Park sung Love Will Tear Us Apart (a tune which never fails to bring a tear to my eye), Bez might resemble a kindly uncle these days but his freaky dancing is still spot on and Rowetta, just like when she appeared on the X Factor, failed to hold it together and cried all the way through her performance.

You're twistin' my melon, man...Bez does his stuff

More about Bez here.
DJ legend, Graeme Park. It's his birthday this weekend, too.

A special shout out to last night's supporting crew, these Frye Campus boots. My trusty £1 car boot sale Aldo boots didn't survive the mud at Truck but, while browsing eBay for a decent replacement, I came across these (still boxed) beauties for a Buy-it-Now price of £35 - a saving of over £300! I wore them for 11 hours, dancing for four of them, and not a single blister.

My mate Alyson recently blogged about an article published in a Tory rag suggesting that the Over 40s were too old for festivals. In my opinion feeble click bait journalism like that should be treated in the same way as internet trolls and little boys who pull your pigtails in class and ignored. I can only imagine that the idiot who wrote the article has either never been to a festival or went to one & had his head rammed so tightly up his own arse that he failed to notice the average age of his fellow revellers.

WEARING: Vintage Tori Richards psych maxi (clothes swap with a fellow Judy's trader), 1960s suede coat (Second to None, Walsall), Tribal coin necklace (eBay), Crazy sunglasses (given to me by a car boot trader as he hadn't got the 50p change he owed me)

The day I give up festivals will be the day I swap my psychedelic dresses for a beige cardigan and elasticated waist trousers ie., Never!

Clueless about Haçienda and the notorious 1990s Madchester scene? Watch 24 Party People this weekend and prepare to be enlightened. 

See you soon!

Monday, 31 July 2017

Hear My Train A-Comin' - Indietracks 2017

 Now, that's what I mean about the spirit of Indietracks! One of our customers exclaimed when, not having any specs cases for sale, I opened my bag and told him to take mine.

After the shambles that was Truck it was a joy to be back at Indietracks, a tiny music festival combining steam trains with indiepop music, an hour's ride up the road in Derbyshire (or slightly more if, like us, you drive a vintage VW campervan). Over three days more than fifty bands from all over the world perform on three stages and on the steam trains themselves. There's real ale, five food stalls, art, craft and political activism workshops, band merchandise, a wild bird rescue display and.......us!

After seven years of going to Indietracks , originally as indie music fans and, more recently, as traders,  we've got to know many of the festival goers who, like us, come back again and again (Big love especially to Nat!) Unlike Truck, Indietracks is safe, clean and friendly and this year, the only thing that wasn't well behaved was the weather. 

We arrived on Friday morning and pitched the trade tent in gale force winds. To add to our woes when we'd taken the tent down at Truck last Monday we managed to bust the entrance zip after hammering it too tightly shut with a tent peg to keep out the invaders. The manufacturers didn't have any replacement panels in stock but found some seconds in their storeroom and kindly next-day couriered them over to us. When we set the tent up we realised that the warehouse had packed the wrong size panels and they were too big by two metres. More by good luck than judgement we'd brought the knackered panels with us so used them and left the tent open at night. But it's Indietracks, everyone is lovely, the arena shuts at midnight and other than the caterers we're the only campers on site.

Just before the site opened to the public the temperature plummeted and rain decided to lash down. The organisers sensibly decided to move the bands to an indoor stage, which was great for the revellers but not quite so good for trade. Still, by the time we closed, we'd covered our pitch fee and the pressure was off.

It was glorious when we emerged from Gilbert on Saturday morning and we sat in the sunshine enjoying our breakfast. I'd won Goody's giveaway on her blog and, when I picked the parcel up from the Post office on Thursday afternoon, found she'd very generously included this amazing vintage day-glo' orange Hawaiian maxi in with my rubber chickens (more on them soon). I match both Gilbert & my gorgeous mate Jeni rather well, don't you think?

Business was brisk. We sold to both the multi-national festival goers and indie bands alike. A 1970s raincoats went to a Swedish guy horrified by the terrible British weather and a handful 1980s jumpers went to a Japanese pop band again caught out by our Summer. Germans, Australians, Spaniards and Americans bought vintage Clarks' desert boots, 1970s Harrington jackets, 1950s smoking jackets, cats eye sunglasses, psychedelic maxis, Crimplene minis and 1960s St Michael. Some wore their purchases straight away.....despite Sunday's torrential rain.

Needless to say this is England and the weather can't be relied upon. By mid-afternoon we were in fake furs.

By the time headliners The Wedding Present took to the stage the heavens opened but did that spoil the fun? No way! They were magnificent. I can't believe it's been 30 years since the release of their album, George Best (which I bought on cassette as there wasn't enough room in my student hovel for a record player!)

Last weekend our neighbours were people, this time they were trains. This beauty has been freshly restored and new to the Midland Railway Museum this year. 

I'm more than a little in love with his smiley face.

What's the best thing about being two of only a handful allowed to camp on site? We get to play with the trains before the festival gates open! 

There's something wildly exciting about having the entire museum to ourselves.

This Milk Tank is their latest acquisition.

My favourite had to be the mail train.

It looks absolutely ancient so we were amazed that it was only built in 1956 - just ten years older than us! I bet Drew from Salvage Hunters would kill for those pigeonholes, wicker hampers and that wonderful armchair.

 On our way back from exploring the railway volunteers who drive the narrow gauge train up and down the track asked if we'd like our own personal ride as they said that they felt a bit sorry for us having to work and not join in the fun.

We didn't need asking twice! A leisurely 20 minute train ride in a lovingly restored 1920s carriage - it took one man seven years to perfectly restore it. 

I wanted to wear my Thomas the Tank Engine dress but I'd checked the weather forecast before I left and it would have looked rubbish with a thermal vest underneath...maybe next year.

Just like last year, Sunday's sunset was accompanied by a beautiful rainbow.

Thanks Indietracks for restoring our faith in music festivals (and humanity.)

See you soon!

Linking to Patti & the gang for Visible Monday.