You find something new everyday... Frock & Roll

Literally just came across this great Vintage store called Frock & Roll in no less than my humble ol' hometown. I cannot believe I have only just discovered it as it is only just 10 mins down the road. Funny how sometime you miss things that are right on your doorstep. Really Intrigued and excited to go and see the shop as soon as I can... of course I will post when I do. 

Reading doesn't really have any Vintage shops, there once was one, Rockaround which I found when I was younger to only go back a week later ready to pick up some amazing pieces and found it was closed down :-( since then we have not had any in Reading, which was a real shame. 

So I am ecstatic that Reading may actually slowly be moving with the tiimes. And from this impressive photoshoot below the store looks pretty good from here... can't wait to go and have a good rummage.    


Frock & Roll
        www.frockandroll.com - 111 Watlington Street, Reading, West Berkshire - 07800 022 359
        Opening hours Wed 10am - 6pm, Thurs & Fri 10am - 7pm, Sat 9am-7pm & Sun 11am- 5pm

One not to be missed!


Get Creative and win a copy of VOLT signed by RANKIN

To good not share this competition and with it entering into it's final week make sure you get your creative minds going and put yourself in with a chance to win a signed copy of Volt by RANKIN - a collectors item if anything and to have your work viewed by the manself, whoah... that is too much of an opportunity to pass up... so get sending! all details below: 


Volt invites you to customise our Rankin front cover, issue 8. Simply download the tools from the Volt webiste, go
create and email your entries to: win@volt-mag.com
Each week, the top 5 entries will be posted on the Volt Facebook page. Designs, which receive the most ʻlikesʼ,
will be sent to Rankin to judge a winner.

Entrants should email their cover creation to WIN@VOLT-MAG. Full contact details should be included in your email.
Each week Volt will publish 5 favourites via our Facebook fan page*.If you are not already a fan of the Facebook page, now
is the time to join. You will need to check Fan Page each week to see if your cover has been uploaded. As soon as you see your cover, you
should start telling everyone you know. Closing date is 22nd November, so you can get started straight away!
Rankin will choose one final winner based on the shortlisted entries, which receive the most ʻlikesʼ to receive an exclusive
signed copy of Volt Issue 8.
*Entrants must be a fan of Volt Magazineʼs Facebook page.

See the T&C's here


Clerkenwell Vintage Fair

illustration by Bex Shaw

Busy, Busy Vintage weekend I had indeed... From Spitalfields to Bricklane to the Painted Lady then over to Clerkenwell Vintage Fashion Fair. It was such a horrid rainy and cold day as well, but a very productive one all the same. 

I had never been to Clerkenwell before and by the look of the que waiting to get in I could sense this was a well regarded and popular fair.

Set in the attractive, The Urdang, The old Finsbury Town Hall on Rosebery Avenue opposite Sadler' Wells Theatre. As you can see below it has a beautiful art nouveau facade and the grand hall is just as spectacular.  

Full of fantastic Vintage stalls treats the fair is deceptivly big with room upon room of more stall to discover. The Vintage tearoom was a cute affair although only did a small selction of drinks and cakes, but enough to refresh on. 

On such a grim and dark day it was lovely to walk into such a warm a lively atmosphere. Again everyone was so friendly here and I managed to snap a few stall holders and shoppers... see below

The Era Enthusiasts
For these Era Enthusiasts it is not a hobby it is a way of life, they take on the whole lifestyle. From attending popular  ‘swing and blitz party nights’ to the ‘Chap Olympics’. The look has to be authentic and to achieve that they will aim to wear original vintage pieces from their era of choice and will do their hair and make-up to match. They tend to work within an area relating to their passion i.e.  vintage boutique or writer for a retro magazine. 20’s, 40’s and 50’s are the reported favourable eras. 

Mother & Daughter 

Daughter’s will follow there mum’s lead and imitate their style in years to come. From a younger age girls  have more fashion independence and are often raiding their mothers and grandmas wardrobe for classic pieces.

Young girls are growing up with a knowledge and understanding of  vintage clothing and seeing vintage sections in places like Topshop and Urban Outiffters, with celebs often quoting in magazines that pieces are true originals it is now introducing vintage to this new audience.

With Vintage widely and socially acceptable today this new young generation will be the future of vintage shoppers to come.  

Vintage duo's 

Mutual shopping partnerships - with similar interests but enough difference in taste to give a fairly honesty opinion. They like to advise each other on what they think would look good on the other. 

The young vintage professionals
From stylists to fashion designers these young 20 something professionals will aim to seek out all the finest quality vintage garments to mix with designer and hightstreet pieces. They enjoy shopping in vintage boutiques, markets and online. They don't mind shopping alone as they know what they like and what suits them, they can find the best pieces independently. 

 My personal Vintage find...

At the fair I was tempted by many things but this gorgeous worn-in 70's bag had caught my eye. Managing to get it for quite a bargin price I was happy to now have a bag that was similar to my old yet faithful, got stuck in the tube barrier and clasp broken off tan leather bag.

Would love to know if you went to any vintage fairs recently, what did you purchase?


Let's fight for the right...

To an accessible higher education...

Although I never attended the student demo this week, and as one satirical friend commented, she was in the Library making the most of her student fees... in light of these facing cuts, current students should be very grateful we are currently in Uni as when this £9000 a year bill comes into place it sadly sound like the Universities will once again only be reserved for the rich and the elite.

There has been much debate, with the news channels all homing in on the violence and destruction that was caused by a number of individuals - however it is quite humbling to see the British public taking a stance against the government and are passionate about it. Yes it can't be denied that the violence has indeed completely overshadowed the many of thousands whom partaken in the peaceful protest, and yes some individuals clearly just wanted to join the riots for the pure notion of creating destruction, but if this is what it takes to get the government to acknowledge that we care, we care about the options available to our younger sisters, brothers, cousins and even children of the future... then yes I feel protesting is justified.

Although I must admit some of what has been broadcast is at least a complete embarrassment. Let's take some of the 'students' they have been interviewing on the news... I think they must of picked out a selection of the most unintelligent bunch that they could and ask them what they think, the answers well... '£9000 a year that will be like £21,000 over 3years!'... oh gosh, I don't even know if they are worthy of mentioning anymore, I am sure you have all seen the footage too. Then there is the idiotic guy who decides to pelt down a fire-extinguisher  off the roof of Millbank tower, down into a crowd of people, nearly missing police officers... well what can I say to that, it is more than pure adrenaline going to the head it is an act that is complete incomprehensible. How can I forget the poster 'We are the Fruture!' .... oh the shame.

With that aside I support the students in their demos and wish them every success in tackling the government in their bid to make cuts to everything. Education should be available to everyone, the £3000 a year fees when first introduced seemed daunting, but at least substitutes were put in place to ensure that even students from the less privileged backgrounds to be able to enter higher education too, like myself. £9000 a year just seems completely terrifying and given my time again there is now way I could of imagined going to university. I can see universities that are not deemed of that of 'academic' nature such as art and creative universities will be the ones hit the hardest and I would not be surprised if many end up closing with the significant drop in the intake of students.

Please enjoy the talents of these two UCA student filmmakers above and below as creativity like this may be hard to find in the future of our universities. Above a video by Duncan Trevithick below a video by Laura Wedlake.  

Oh and please if you notice any grammatical or spelling mistake errors in the above post... please don't hold this against the current state of education... as I just a poor speller.  


Happy Halloween

As it was Halloween... I thought I would show you my halloween get up for the evenings celebrations... no one at the party really got where I took my inspiration from... don't particularly blame them as to be honest it was a poor last minute costume attempt... but yes I was based on Tim walkers- Tim Burton's Halloween series he shot for Harpers Bazzaar back in 2009... can you not tell? oh dear!

The day after the night before, I probably looked even more frightful but I decided I would make my way over to Chelsea where Frock Me Vintage Fair was taking place. With my head left somewhere else I forgot my camera so only could take a few phone snaps, which proved even that I was not allowed to do. 

This was my first time to a Frock Me event and it was overwhelmingly large, packed to the brim with vintage pieces. I would say that it was time consuming looking and hard to pick out key bits. I also found the atmosphere quite stuffy and uptight. The Vintage tearoom staff were run off there feet unable to cope even when it was nearing the end of the day, which was a shame as the afternoon tea experience is to add to the overall day out there. Personally I was disappointed with this fair, not sure if it was just happened to be the day I attended, because I have had close friends tell me that frock me tends to hold alot of great vintage, maybe I will try it out again... although I think I will prefer to hold out for some of the other great London fairs to spend my pennies at.

Halloween themed stall.

The main hall

my devilishly wicked pumpkin cupcake in the Vintage Tearoom.

Buy My Wardrobe & Happy Halloween

On Saturday 30th October  I made my way over to 'Buy My Wardrobe', a low key shopping event held at Adam Street members club, whereby wardrobe mistresses sell off as the name would have it a selection of their wardrobes. With beautiful designer pieces at 60-90% off the original retail price, with some items barely worn... it was indeed a dangerous place to be. 

It is a unique concept which also promotes viable sustainability of fashion, recycling luxe, with some of the cream of the fashion industry opening up their closets there were so many gems to be found. 
Down in the basement, it was a pure treasure trove of stalls and rails displaying the fashionistas wears that were on offer. There was also a newly extended vintage section from luxurious fur coats to hermes scarves.  

Expecting to feel slightly intimidated due to my small student budget, it was actually a rather lovely and relaxed shopping event and although designer pieces at really great prices (e.g Marc Jacobs Coat only £150 would of been a steal if the arms weren't miles too long  for me!) there were also Topshop, Reiss and All Saint bits in the mix.

So how does it all work? Well you can browse the rails, try before you buy and generally have a great little social - everyone was very friendly.  

I managed to catch up and have a little chat with a couple of the wardrobe mistresses: 

Items on your rail, which you are selling today are they a mixture or your own…..?

I am designer and my sister is a jewellery agent, so I have some of her jewellery pieces.  I am a Fashion Designer and some of them are my pieces, samples and fashion show pieces. Then there other designers in there too.  

Do you do any other clothes events or fairs?

Yes I do this one and Designer Sale UK (http://designersales.co.uk/). 

My project is veering more towards Vintage, I was wondering what your take on Vintage is and do you buy Vintage clothing?

I do buy it I usually by second hand pieces and mix them with new pieces. But also the look that I like if you look at some of the fabrics they are quite vintage-y and more retro anyway, a lot of my collection is quite 40/50’s orientated.  Yes I like Vintage.

What is your own personal definition of Vintage?

Well it depends really , vintage could be something that you brought 2 years ago or it could be something that is 200 years old, it really depends how you see it. Personally when we were at college we used to buy just old clothes and then redo them, people don’t tend to do that anymore, everyone looks the same. I also lecture and the fashion students now they all kind of want to be in little gangs of what they look like, they all want to look the same, where as when we were at college never wanted to look the same as anyone else.  
I used to lecture at the American College in London. Then also in Edinburgh at the Art College on there fashion course.

Would you say up in Edinburgh that vintage is a big thing?

Yes very very very much so. There are a lot of really good second hand shops. There is a place called Armstrong’s and they do retro pieces, They have old 20’s dresses hanging up on the ceiling, you can’t buy them but they everything from 1920’s vintage wedding dresses, beautiful stuff. And then because it is Scottish they have the old army gear and the kilts. You can get a lot of inspiration from there.    

When you are looking for Vintage pieces, is there a specific era that you go for…?

No, if I see a piece that I like, I like it . I don’t care whether it is fashionable, as long that it suits me, and I like it - your happy and therefore you will look good in it.  

When I was teaching I would always say to students don’t just look at what is on the catwalk, look at older pieces do research. Like anything if you don’t know what has been before how can you design what’s to come? In any garment you may have 15 elements, you may take element B and put it with element D, and it makes a completely different garment, if you say put A & B together. There are all different ways of looking at Vintage and taking inspiration from it, rather than it being a straight copy.    

Two ladies who unfortunately I didn’t catch both of there names had a great rail of designer and  colourful Matthew Williamson pieces.

Do you both buy vintage clothing?

Yes, we do. Definently

When you buy vintage clothing, is there a particular era you search out?

IHannah]- it’s important that I like but also fit wise. There are a lot of dodgy fit vintage clothing, they are beautiful sometimes but it just does not fit properly therefore I would never buy it . for me when I find something that fits really well, it’s amazing, I just buy it.    

I don’t look at a specific era, I know what I would like. It is all to do with whether I like it if the fit is nice,  if the size is good. I know where to go to buy vintage, from vintage shops to charity shops and markets.

I have to be in the mood as well when I go to buy Vintage clothing, as I know it’s a lot of rambling through a lot of stuff, before you find your thing. I have to be in the mood to go through rails, sometimes look and think, oh no that’s too much.   

Do you enjoy the aspect rummaging?

I do when I am in the mood, I do enjoy it when I go to get it,  but you do really have to be in the mood.

Do you typically buy Vintage in London? Or from abroad?

Hannah -London, or when I am holiday I will always look out for markets and shops that sell vintage clothing.  

And what are your own personal definitions of Vintage?

Hannah -Ummm vintage…. A lot of garbage from the past? [they laugh]

Lou- I wouldn’t call charity shop garments, Vintage. You may find vintage pieces there. vintage is a one of an individual piece, from an era sometime ago, in terms of decades and timing I would say 10 years or so.

Do you see a future for Vintage?

There will always be a future for vintage, especially in this country, I think other countries are picking up on it as well, but I think Vintage will never go out of fashion. Fashion recycles and comes over and over again. And seriously there will always be a vintage market. I think also there is so much clothes out there, so much stock of the stock, I don’t think the market will die because there is so much stock, I don’t think the traders will let it die to be honest. We will constantly be fed used things, it might go in and out of fashion but it will never stop. 

Have you ever done these events before?

We have done London Fashion Weekend before, not personally but a colleague, but this is my first time here.

What are you selling today, is it your own personal items?

It is literally all my stuff, I haven’t sourced anything this time around. They are stuff that I have brought and have never worn, or say some vintage pieces, I have brought along items that I certainly have never worn more than twice.  I have a selection of Mathew Williamson pieces as I work there.    

So this little sheet is the key to making your purchases - if you see something you like you can tell the satll holder/mistress and she will keep aside that piece, pass you a yellow ticket to which you then can take to the payment desk where you can pay, take the receipt back and pick up your prized pieces.

Suppose you may be slightly intrigued at what I brought on the day, well on a strict budget, but one that went surprisingly far, I picked up a unusual, scarf attached all saints long top, a pair of gorgeous french sole shoes - which were practically unworn and although not quite sunglasses weather I got this little Marni case for a mere £5, which you can attach to your bag. 

So glad I know about these lets face it guilt free shopping events, it is ethical to recycle darrrling!... I am now hooked bring on the next one:

Buy My Wardrobe returns to Adam St Members Club on Saturday 29th Jan 2011.