On a rather chilly Sunday morning I headed up to London to Anita's Vintage Fashion Fair in Battersea. Recently I have been submerging myself into the culture of vintage as part of my final major uni project and have been attending as many vintage fairs/markets and boutiques that I can.
I have never been to Battersea Fashion Fair before, set in the enchanting BAC, the architecture inside and out is mesmerising. The setting is perfect for the fair which is equally matched with the variety of items and stalls available. It is a manageable size fair which allows you take the time to truly appreciate each sellers pieces, often discovering that little gem tucked away. There was fur and capes galore - so tempted to splash out on a gorgeous 60's peter pan collared cape.
I must say this has to be one of the best vintage fairs that I have experienced, the atmosphere was relaxed yet had an upbeat and creative vibe.
Inspiring from every angle with even Vivienne Westwood's husband making an appearance. The stall holders and shoppers were a lovely bunch and I was lucky enough to catch up and have a chat with a few of them.
Part of my current research I have been looking at the varied vintage consumer - developing stand out tribes such as some of these one's shown below:
Mother & Daughter
Nothing new with mother and daughters accompanying each other on shopping-trips however this mother and daughter duo are sharing the same passion in Vintage. Mother’s have the nostalgic value, while daughters value their mum’s opinions.
The Stylish Indivduals
Quite a mix generally here from the vintage era enthusiasts to the rather laid back Barbour-esque girls. one thing that shines through with all vintage shoppers is they all tend to have element of uniqueness, especially through there touches of vintage attire. From a vintage bag to a vintage coat, rarely will you ever see two of the same.
The men were on fine form and although on this particular day there was not an awful lot of mens clothing on offer, the men still managed to search out key pieces.
The guy central purchased his dinner tales suit jacket, which he kindly modeled. He was over the moon with it and said he plans to wear it as much as he can, ‘far to amazing to keep for special occasions’. Suits seemed to be the popular choice among the male shoppers and one charismatic gentlemen even took to wearing his full 3 piece suit home. The Seller was overjoyed as she said she felt humbled to know that it was going to a good home. This is where vintage sellers are unlike most sales people we encounter, many of whom rarely care who purchases their items. Vintage sellers grow attached to their items and want them to go to a good home where someone will look after the garments and truly cherish it.
I think mens vintage is quite a significant gap in the market, however I now understand the possibility of why this is ... one theory being that men tend to wear their clothes until they are pretty much worn out, hence the shortage in mens vintage clothing in general.
Vintage Partnership duo's
These pairings come in many forms, from friends, to partners or even colleagues. They see each other as the the perfect shopping companion, usually an honest advisor and one which they can bounce ideas and style inspiration off. Similar yet different in so many ways... these are some super-stylish duos!
The Vintage Virgins
These lovely groups of ladies are pretty new to the vintage scene, however they are intrigued by price, quality and unique pieces that are on offer. Highstreet can only serve so far, these ladies have cottoned onto the high-street game and have now decided to come to the source of the inspiration or should I say the originals of the high-street homages.
I would say I personally fall into this latter category and am also seeing all the benefits that vintage has to offer. The quality of these items are key, if they have been around for significant amount of time already that is sign they will tend to last for many more years to come.
I would be intrested in hearing any of your own personal thoughts views or suggestions regarding vintage? Are you a vintage shopper? where do you shop, do you attend fairs like this one above? feel free to get in touch either via email or twitter.
Anita's Vintage Fashion Fair is currently at the NEC in Birmingham and the next fair date is 20th Feb 2011 at The 20th Century Theatre.