Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Fair Play




It's that time of year again, the vintage fair season! Back to the 4am get-ups, the endless car journeys and the lugging of sacks of stock half your body weight up & down the staircases of the UK's grandest municipal buildings. A return to the nagging doubts...will people turn up, will they notice us, will they like our stuff and will the stuff they like fit them? Physically and mentally exhausting? Absolutely! And we absolutely love 'em.

Photo courtesy of  Judy's
Sunday took us to London with Judy's Affordable Vintage Fair, to the achingly hip Bethnal Green. Geeky as it may sound, a trial run of our stall set-up at home works for us, we're unpacked and ready to roll in next to no time and hopefully it looks inviting, too. Judy's photographed our pitch to advertise Sunday's fair on social media, talk about a huge compliment.

Courtesy of Eliza Hill - more photos HERE
Ages ago some broad-footed oaf crammed their trotters into these gold 1960s evening shoes (Fireflies for Clarks') for a selfie, snapped off the original diamonte trim and made off without a word of apology. As they're my proper size (a hard to find UK 6.5) I decided that might as well keep them, gluing on some metallic Indian medallions I bought from a car boot sale back in the Summer. Along with my silk Dollyrockers maxi (found on eBay for an insane £12.95 Buy-It-Now a couple of weeks ago) they got lots of love from the punters, even getting papped by Eliza, the official fair photographer. 


Whilst working our pitch, out of the corner of my eye I spotted an incredible sleeve on the rail of a neighbouring stall. I rushed over and pulled out this printed cotton blouse, loving it even more after clocking the label - one of my favourite late 1960s/early 1970s designers, Jeff Banks at London W1. 


I've got a couple of W1 blouses in my collection and even had the pleasure of meeting the ex- Mr Sandy Shaw back in the 1980s (he told me I had fabulous hair). Jeff Banks' early stuff usually commands huge sums (HERE); which I totally understand, his designs and the quality are absolutely gorgeous; but even for me and my infamous Scrooge-like tendencies, this was great value.....Judy's fairs certainly live up to their Affordable moniker.


Not so much a blouse as an art form. When I got home on Sunday night (some seventeen hours after leaving the house) it went straight onto a coat hanger and displayed in the bedroom so I could admire it when I woke.


Mixed prints, a lace trim, pockets, mustard buttons... I love it.


 People with wardrobe wishlists fascinate me, reducing their sartorial choices with almost clinical precision. Me, I never have an effin' clue about what I'm going to come home with. I see something, fall in love and buy it without the foggiest idea of where I'm going to wear it to or even if I need it. When I left the house at 5am on Sunday morning I never thought that by bedtime I'd own a ridiculously over-the-top floral blouse with the biggest bastard sleeves you ever did see.


I did wonder (for about a millisecond) what I was going to wear with it. Those wardrobe nazis professional stylists would no doubt advocate keeping it simple (arghhhhhh) with a plain skirt or a "classic pair of jeans." To me the crushingly dull phrase less is more is the death knoll to any wardrobe creativity. I reckon that if you've bought all your clothes because you love them it's pretty obvious that unless you've got some kind of personality disorder (or you've been brainwashed by fashion magazines) your taste is always the same so it's glaringly obvious everything you own is going to go together.


This vintage rose print cotton maxi skirt (a 99p bargain from eBay), a pair of 10 rupee hoop earrings from a market stall in India and the wooden beaded choker my Mum wore when she was expecting me in 1966 seemed the perfect accompaniments. The ideal transitional outfit while October continues to teeter between late Summer and the next season (of which I won't tempt fate by mentioning it by name.)


See you soon!

(Linking to Natalia's Mid-life Fun.)

74 comments:

  1. Your mum's red wooden beads *spark* this loveliest of fall ensembles like that one scarlet leaf in the pile. Either that first long shot of your lifting arms to display the sleeves, or the pensive face-on close-up, would make a wonderful poster, Vix. This is indeed wearable art!

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    1. Beth, you are observant, I hadn't noticed that solitary leaf until after I'd read your comment. xxx

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  2. Those sleeves are FANTASTIC! I do love a good sleeve, my wedding dress sleeves touched the floor before they were knotted!

    The only items on my wish list are the hair scarves I wear and anything with flamingos. I was going through my wardrobe the other day, sorting out the summer items to put away and it was print after print after print, all purchased on a whim. Much like a good sleeve, I also love a good whim purchase! But as you day, if it's your taste, then it'll go xxx

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    1. Your wedding dress sleeves were wonderful. I adore big sleeves! xxx

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  3. Oh I don't know, some massive bell bottom jeans with random patchwork would work too. Although what you've paired it with is much more interesting!
    Loving the gold shoes & think they Indian motifs suit them better anyhow.
    That Dollyrockers maxi is divine!
    xox

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    1. I had some massive bellbottoms which I'd hand-pianted but I sold them as I felt fantastic in them!
      Indian bling improves pretty much everything. xxx

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  4. I shop the same way. That, that and that.

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    1. It's far more fun then being methodical and boring. xxx

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  5. 'Classic' pair of jeans. Bah to jeans! Like you I haven't owned a pair in years and don't miss them in the slightest. I don't think jeans go with everything, I think they're just so commonplace no-one thinks about them.

    I have a wardrobe wishlist, just a few simple classics (not jeans!) that can be worked in with other pieces. At the moment it's got a couple of different footwear items with it - I'm on the lookout for boots or shoes to go with my crimplene set - some black trousers and a couple of plain tops. I don't put flamboyant pieces on the wishlist. I only know I want those when I see them.

    You *do* have fabulous hair. If I think of how you look, your hair is one of the first things that springs to mind.

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    1. You're right, Mim, I don't regret getting rid of my jeans, they only serve to tone otherwise fabulous tops and jackets.
      I must admit that I've got a hankering for silver boots, in fact I'm so focused on finding some I nearly missed out on a really good pair of suede boots at the car boot this week. xxx

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  6. Your Mom's necklace is fantastic! What a treasure that you still have it.

    I'm just like you. I never know what is going to strike my fancy to bring home.

    I also know that because I'm often attracted to the same colours and styles that inevitably they will go with something in my massive closet. I've tried to explain that to people but most of them just don't understand the concept.

    This piece is so "Vix" it might as well have your name on the label.

    I survived my first vintage show and like you, had all the same concerns. It's not enough to have great pieces, you need to find the person the perfect size that'll fit those pieces and love them.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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    1. Thanks, Suzanne - the necklace is a treasured possession, not worth anything but it reminds me of dressing up in Mum's clothes as a little girl.
      Knowing exactly what you like makes shopping a breeze, you can see the right thing from miles away!
      I'm so glad that your first fair went well, you've got the bug now! xxx

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  7. Oh that blouse is to die for, A-MA-ZING! Your practice set-ups pay off big time - your pitch looks more than inviting, I'd want to move in for the day and just loiter there until kicking out time! xx

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    1. Thank you! I hate turning up anywhere unprepared, I've got photos and diagrams so we can get set up and have time to relax and eat before the public arrive. xxx

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  8. Love that blouse! I could also see it with a fun vintage denim skirt ( preferably with embroidery). :)

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    1. Thank you! Yes, an embroidered denim skirt would be good. xxx

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  9. I had a bastard sleeved blouse like that when I was a kid - love it! It goes great with that skirt too (of which I had one as well)

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    1. Proper 1970s attire, isn't it? Clothes were so much better then. xxx

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  10. Awww, this blouse is fantastic. Just like you I love everything about it, what a gorgeous piece into your collection of vintage treasures.

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  11. Those are parachute sleeves - you could do free jumping in that and not get a scratch. Do I love it? YESSSS!!! It couldn't have found a more perfect home and it looks smashing with that maxi and I'm sure many other things in your closet are fighting for a date with it. Your vintage shop looks so utterly inviting. I'd be in there in a flash!

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    1. Ha! I might just try that if I get into a precarious situation! xxx

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  12. Your pitch looks FAB!! So inviting and appealing and nicely laid out. I would definitely bee-line there.

    How terrible that there are people that are so thoughtless with your wares! A pox on them!

    Haha! Fashion nazis indeed!

    Happy thrifting ;)

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    1. Thanks, TP! The Selfie culture has a lot to answer for, ruining many a vintage trader's stock! xxx

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  13. Tried to get to see you at Judy's but train service from Berkshire said "No"!!!! what an amazing pitch, shame I missed it. I get the thing about hanging up something you love on the wardrobe so you see it when you wake up. I do it with bargain purchases that I am chuffed with but also if I have made something and want to look at it the next day with fresh eyes. It makes for a happy waking moment. :)

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    1. Bloody trains! We're in Camden (27th November) and Balham (29th October) if you can make it. xxx

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  14. Your pitch is looking very inviting! No wonder Judy's photographed it to advertise the fair! That blouse is fabulous, and so very you, so of course you had to buy it, and obviously keeping it simple would not have been an option! I never know what I'm going to end up buying either, that's what's so great about second hand/vintage shopping. xxx

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    1. Thanks, Ann! Normally I try not to look at the other pitches but that sleeve was calling to me! xxx

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  15. Fabulous blouse! It was meant to be with you.
    It's so cool that you have your mom's things to wear.

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    1. Thanks, Bobbi! I couldn't keep all my Mum's jewellery as there was far too much but I kept a few pieces i knew I'd wear! xxx

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  16. If you see something you love you have to pounce, you might not come across another again....love the pocket detail and the button down sides.
    I snorted out loud when I read your description of the inconsiderate 'selfie' shopper, I got some funny looks I can tell you, I was at work! The gold shoes look gorgeous on you and metallics are so versatile darling. xxxxx

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    1. That's always my excuse (probably why the poor wardrobe's positively groaning under the weight of vintage dresses I "have" to get!)
      God, "Selfie shoppers" the bane of a trader's life. Jon shouted at a gang of male students the other day after they squeezed themselves into our women's jackets and pissed around taking photos. No wonder I've got no time for Instagram. xxx

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  17. ***if you've bought all your clothes because you love them.....everything you own is going to go together.****
    INDEED!
    thats how my wardrobe is "organized" too :-)
    loooove this blouse!!! sooooo beautiful!! and it fits and suits you perfectly! and your "business look" is the attire of an indian princess visiting club 54!
    your stall looks fabulous - all my best wishes for this fair season <3
    xxxxxx

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    1. I knew you'd feel the same, Beate. You're a woman who completely knows and understands her style without the need for outside interference. xxx

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  18. Bloody fabulous! Kinky fair time again and all's well in the world. Love that blouse s much. I'm having a real thing for Seventies blouses at the mo' and digging out patterns to sew. That one is properly a work of textile art and I have so much time for Jeff Bank's designs. I bet he'd bloody love seeing you in that!
    Fuck the Fashion Nazis...they all be out again on about what 50 year old women should be wearing for the "party season". Piss off I say, and take you plain, smart skirt with you.
    Loves ya!
    xxxxx

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    1. 1970s blouses are ace, aren't they? The seem to suit everyone, too from 1960s skinhead types to 17-year old hipster students.
      I can't wait to hear what we should be wearing for the "party season", no doubt something that covers our arms and knees with an elasticated waist and a hood. xxx

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  19. Jeff Banks - swoon...yes I loved his clothes, too. That blouse is absolutely glorious; no wonder those sleeves caught your eye! It looks brilliant on you and the maxi skirt is a fab match.The silver Clarks shoes are lovely and what a good job you've done on replacing the buckles. Some people are just total pigs sometimes.

    I love how your stall is displayed - very enticing and inviting. One day I will make it to a Kinky Melon fair...

    xxx

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    1. I do hope you come along one day it really would be fantastic to meet you!
      Jeff Banks' clothes were lovely, weren't they? He's such a nice man, too. I loved it when he presented The Clothes Show back in the 1980s, I wish the Beeb would bring it back. xxx

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  20. Sigh-I just don't understand someone damaging items and not offering to pay for them. I know vintage can be fragile, and I'd probably tell the person to forget it, but just walking away? I do not understand the sort of person that does that.

    Your top is a treasure, and you've styled it perfectly as always. I do have a short wish list (just last weekend I added an Edwardian sailor middy blouse to the collection)but it wouldn't stop me buying something great I ran across accidentally.

    As for the fashion nazis-how sad to spend time worrying about what should be worn or not when you could be enjoying wearing what you like. Obviously, you know better!

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    1. I know! One of our fellow sellers had a girl try on a dress, come back and tell her that she'd broken the zip so could she have a discount. Beggars belief, doesn't it?
      I never know what I want until I see it, vintage clothing never fails to blow my mind with it's infinite variety and fabulousness. xxx

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  21. What a beautiful blouse! Love it on you.

    Your pitch looks very intriguing. I love how you've displayed the shoes in the vintage suitcase like that. And damn the person who broke the shoes and just left them. Arrgghh.

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    1. Thanks Louise! The shoes in a suitcase idea was one of those things that struck me in the middle of the night, you know how it is!
      I found a dress with a broken zip when I was sorting my stock for the weekend - it really does drive me mad! xxx

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  22. The blouse is gorgeous - I would buy it too! Your outfit is a beautiful statement!

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    1. Thanks, Natalia! That reminds me, I must link it up to your post. xxx

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  23. How did I not notice those shoes?! They're gorgeous! Was lovely to see you both, the weather has been so nice I might wear the jacket I bought off you to work this week - brighten the place up ;)

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    1. It was ace to see you both, too! It's nippy this morning, you'll be needing that jacket sooner than you think. xxx

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  24. That's all part of the fun, buying secondhand, isn't it? You never know what gem you're going to find. I love big sleeves too, and tend to wear big sleeved shirts with 70s style bell bottom jeans (think Robert Plant haha), but your patterned skirt looks great with it. Oh and I do love a good pair of gold vintage shoes. I've been on the lookout for some since seeing this fab photo of Anita Pallenberg in the early 70s, wearing strappy, gold, block heeled sandals. Xxx

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    1. Hello Jess! Is that the photo of Anita carrying a child? I've lusted after those shoes, too! I love a pair of vintage bells - on other people! xxx

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  25. Your stall looks fabulous so colourful and professional, I love the smock top too , I used to have a green paisley one in the 70s , Not a posh label one though just form a shop called Suzanne's in that used to be in wednesbury lol xxx

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    1. Suzanne's of Wednesbury, never heard of that one! There used to be some really cool boutiques I remember Mum shopping in when I was a little girl. The Poor Millionaire was my favourite. xxx

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  26. ohhh, those massive sleeves have stolen my heart!, and such a fab floral print and beautiful details!. I agree with you about all that 'keep it simple' advice, such a waste of time!.
    Your stall looks absolutely appealing!
    besos

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    1. Keeping it simple's for the important things in life, your financial affairs and relationships - clothes should be about breaking rules and having as much fun as you can without being arrested! xxx

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  27. Your stall always looks fab I'm not surprised they picked it. Those sleeves are too mental for words, just don't eat soup whilst wearing!!

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    1. Thanks, Gisela! They're the perfect thing to wear to avoid doing the washing up. xxx

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  28. That is a fabulous top! I have to say that it would look fab with jeans (it's how I'd wear it) but I love it with this skirt too. Wouldn't it be dull if we were all the same...? Glad you had a good day at the fair.

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    1. Thanks, Hazel. I sold my jeans years ago, they never made me feel as good as I do in a flowing maxi. As you say, different strokes for different folks. xxx

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  29. Okay I am completely drooling over that outfit!!
    xoxo

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  30. Every time you show a photo of your sales racks I find myself pulling a close up so that I can do a little virtual shopping. I see a few things peeking out that look soooooo nice. Of course you are your own best advertisement. And what a lovely score with that super gorgeous angel wing blouse. So sweet that you have your mama's necklace. Heavenly.

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    1. Thanks, Connie! Dressing to the nines at 4am isn't the easiest thing to do but if it attracts a few extra customers to the pitch then it's got to be done! xxx

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  31. I love your dollyrockers dress and sparkly shoes - fabulous - your mum's beads are lovely - Jeff Banks was all the rate when I was younger, that's a real gem you have found.

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    1. My Mum was a costume jewellery fanatic, I used to dress up in most of it as a child, I'm amazed so much of it survived! xxx

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  32. The wooden beads are gorgeous, the top so completely you, and your fair pics look brilliant :) xx

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  33. A 'Jolly Jeff' beauty. Love it! Zxx

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  34. Oh no, you have to plan. It's too stressful to turn up and just freeform at silly o'clock in the morning. Your stands always look fab and you make it look easy, but we know there is a massive amount of work involved.
    How rude! (Gold shoes) I'd have been fuming.
    Jeff Banks! I always think of the Clothes Show. I had a lovely dress by him in the 80s, (warehouse) always felt great in it. This blouse is rather special and had your name all over it. It's a great print and those sleeves are so romantic. Yep, you're not doing any of the housework in that!! Xxxx

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    1. Morning! So true, some of the other sellers get so stressed when they're setting up. Putting in a couple of hours to plan really do help (and give us time to eat, always a bonus!)
      warehouse! I remembered when it launched and - when I wore woolly things- my Grandma buying me an amazing long-line jumper, mini skirt and matching fingerless gloves in red wool with a black Fleur-de-Lys design - I wore it till it fell apart! xxx

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  35. Wow I love that blouse, what a find!

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  36. Dressed to knock the bongs out of The Hemp Embassy in Nimbin, Vix! I LOVE that blouse, the sleeves are sensational, when you've finished with it, perhaps we can talk... :) I am in awe of your shop, it always looks incredible (inviting, absolutely), your planning pays off and I wish I could pop in (in the real world) but I DO love popping in courtesy of cyber space. That bright pink hat on the stand catches my eye... xx

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    1. The Hemp Embassy sounds like just the place the blouse needs to take a trip to! xxx

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  37. I am head-over-heels in love with your incredibly pretty - and well priced - rose print maxi skirt. That is my kind of floor grazing skirt to a tee.

    How are you doing, dear Vix, in the wake of Polly's passing? You've been in my thoughts and heart big time lately.

    Tons of hugs,
    ♥ Jessica

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    1. Thanks, Jessica. It's amazing what you can find on Ebay if you spend enough time trawling through all the nonsense!
      Ypu're very kind to think of us, Polly really has left a huge gap in our lives, even Stephen, our boy cat, is most out of sorts. Eleven years she'd been with us, I suppose the ache will fade eventually. xxx

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