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Almost a month into Slow Fashion Season and I've bought something new but it's okay, I'm not cheating, it's just new to me, not new new. I'd lusted over this 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 Grégory 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 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 in cut down shorts, a vintage Indian block printed top and doing a dummy run for The Great Gatsby Fair in the garden. We're so excited about spending a weekend at the seaside. Do come along if you can.


See you soon!
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 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 McCullough'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 the 1960s batik shirt he bought from us that he bought a gang of his friends back so they 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.










Thanks Cornbury, you've been amazing! See you next year.
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Last Monday morning, with a van packed to bursting point, we made our way to the world's biggest musical festival, Glastonbury. If you're a regular reader you'll know that Jon and I have gone for years but this time, for the first time ever, we were trading there.


We were sited quickly and to our absolute delight and amazement discovered that our pitch was directly opposite the bandstand on William's Green, with its eclectic line-up, its one of our favourite places to chill out when we're there. Despite having done a trial run in the garden it still took us an absolute age to set-up, not helped by the distraction of fellow festival traders we hadn't seen since last summer and the arrival of some of our long time Glasto gang who I'm sure you'll recognise from previous posts (such as HERE and HERE) including Lily who's been with us since she was a bump (and now has a better festival wardrobe than us grown-ups).


By the time we'd finally set the pitch up to our satisfaction we'd already made a few sales to fellow traders. Happy with how it looked we, accompanied by friends Kate and David of Suay, who we'd bonded with at the Larmer Tree Festival last year, headed up to the Stone Circle with a bag full of booze and watched the magnificent sunset. The Glastonbury gates open to the 180,000 ticket holders at 8am on Wednesday morning but with 30,000 traders, workers and volunteers on site it was already buzzing. Later we joined the Glasto gang and sat in a secret workers' bar and chatted the rest of the evening away.


We'd been avidly following the BBC weather for a fortnight and the outlook had changed daily. As usual Facebook was full of posts predicting that Glastonbury 2019 would be a wash out, a mud bath and hell on earth and how pleased they were that they weren't going - why on earth people who've never been to the festival hate it so much I'll never know. We've been to Glasto in all weathers and had a blast regardless. But that's by the wayside, after some rain on Monday night the weather was absolutely glorious with the thermometer in our awning registering 47° by Saturday afternoon. I only wore boots to walk between stages, the rest of the week I was barefoot.


Did I mention the eclecticism of the bandstand area? We were treated to all manner of crazy performances and amazing music.


Glastonbury regulars had warned us that trading wasn't a huge moneymaker, there's literally hundreds of traders and the site is vast. To be totally honest we were just happy to be there and if we covered the cost of our pitch (the costliest we'd ever had) we'd be more than satisfied but by close of play on Thursday we were in profit. We were lucky to have Lily at hand to tot up our takings every night.


With the weather so unpredictable both of us only packed one summery outfit each - all but one of my dresses had sleeves. Jon loves this 1960s leisure shirt I bought from my friend Mel at Moseley Vintage Fair last year so much he was happy to wear it on repeat.





Friday was a scorcher!



Fusing hip-hop with opera, London-based HipHopera band Josephine & The Artizans were incredible.


 After we'd packed up for the night we went out with Kate, David and their friend Nicole to watch Tame Impala and then on to Carl Cox's DJ set at Arcadia (a-m-a-z-i-n-g!) and despite being out till the early hours didn't need a coat the entire night.



If we thought Friday was hot then Saturday was insane. By 7am many of the campers in the trader campsite had crawled out of their tents to snooze in the open air. We spent much of the day encouraging teenagers to drink water and fanning visitors with paper plates. Trade was understandably quiet, who in their right minds wants to shop in extreme heat? However just after 7pm the temperature dropped dramatically and for two hours we were inundated by shivering festival goers demanding coats, jumpers and jackets.




I was so grateful that I'd packed those breezy sleeves.


Jon and I saw The Killers many times in the noughties but in recent years seemed to lose our love for them but as Stuart, Kim, Lily, Flip & Cat fancied seeing them play the Pyramid Stage we decided to give the Chemical Brothers a miss and join them. I'm so glad we did, they were phenomenal. When the Pet Shop Boys joined them we were already excited by when Johnny f*ckin' Marr came on stage to perform This Charming Man I nearly died of joy.

The Killers - This Charming Man (feat. Johnny Marr) (Glastonbury 2019) | VERY STRONG LANGUAGE - YouTube

Apart from Monday there wasn't a single night when we went to bed before 2am but managed to be up, fed, dressed and open by 10am. 






Here's just a few of the gorgeous Glasto-goers who bought our clobber. We got so much positive feedback about the quality of our "proper vintage" stock, how it was obvious that it was all hand-picked and not bought wholesale, how beautifully clean and well presented it was and what a pleasure it was to visit our shop I was almost starting to get big-headed.

On Sunday night we closed up and saw The Cure on the Pyramid Stage. Jon had last seen them in 1984 but despite being a fan back in the day I never had (still got all my Cure vinyl in the shed though). What can I say? Robert Smith is so sweet and endearing and his voice is just as gorgeous as it was when I was in the sixth form although Lily was disappointed that they didn't play The Love Cats.



Several people around us commented on our positive energy and asked if we were a family. We are in a way, a happy festival family that meet just once a year at Worthy Farm and spend many happy hours together over a (very) long weekend.


Despite another late night - its so good having a big shop that the gang can chill out in at night (as opposed to whispering & shivering into the early hours on the campsite) - we were open at 10am on Monday morning to catch the last of the festival goers. We made a couple of sales, did some skip diving (some catering size tins to use as planters and enough salad ingredients to keep us going for the rest of the week.) By 6pm we were all packed up and leaving no trace we made our way back to Walsall, stopped for chips & curry sauce, loaded the washing machine, watered the extremely parched plants and collapsed into bed just after midnight.


No rest yet though, we're off to the Cornbury Festival in the morning.


Come and say hello if you're there!
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We're off to Glasto first thing in the morning but I just had to squeeze in a quick post before we left. Today - for the second time in a fortnight - we've met up with more fabulous people who blog! This time it was the turn of our dear friends Ann and Jos, who drove over from their home in Belgium yesterday for their annual trip to the UK and, as they're staying in the neighbouring county of Shropshire, we decided to meet halfway in the wonderfully picturesque town of Bridgnorth.


The River Severn splits Bridgnorth, named after a bridge further down the river, into High Town and Low Town. The earliest historical reference to the town is in 895 where it was reported that the Danes created a camp. After the Norman Conquest, William I granted the manor of Bridgnorth to Roger de Montgomerie although the town was not established until 1101 when Roger's son, Robert, moved here building a church and a castle.






 Opened in 1892, the Bridgnorth Cliff Railway ferries visitors between the Low and High Towns. It is one of only four funicular railways in operation in the UK.


We were surprised that the River Severn wasn't more swollen, considering the amount of rain we'd had recently.


The remains of the castle built, as mentioned previously, in 1101 which tilts at 15 degrees (an even steeper angle than the Leaning Tower of Pisa) following the damage caused during the English Civil War.






 After exploring the charity shops (Ann and Jos both found bargains) we partook in a slap-up 'Spoons  lunch before heading to Dudmaston Hall, the nearest National Trust property to Bridgnorth.


Dudmaston Hall has been a family home for 875 years and houses one of the most important collections of modern art in Britain including pieces by Moore, Matisse and Hepworth. Sadly photography aren't permitted inside the house but there's plenty on their website HERE.


 The grounds were spectacular and the views from the house over to the Big Pool were spellbinding. The lord of the manor purchased some vintage menswear from us a few years ago when we used to sell at a vintage fair in Bridgnorth so we know he's got great taste. 









After civilised drinks on the lawn underneath some ancient apple trees, the rain which had evaded us for a few days made a comeback. We hurried back to our cars, hugged one another goodbye and promised we wouldn't leave it a whole year until the next time we met.


We were spoilt! Here's the wonderful gifts Ann & Jos gave us - a traditional crate of Belgium beer and local biscuits, the first two albums by legendary Belgian punk band The Kids, a guidebook to Antwerp (a hint?), two amazing vintage maxi skirts, a groovy man's shirt, an embroidered ethnic bag, two bangles and a bottle of wine.


Who knew when I started writing a blog ten years and (1401 posts) ago that I'd make such wonderful real-life friends? Blogging well and truly rocks!

See you soon!
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A massive thank you to all who've signed up and shared the love for Slow Fashion Season. We've only gone and smashed the original target of 10,000 with the total of pledges now exceeding 13,400. Can we reach 15,000 by tomorrow's deadline? 

SOURCE
Several people have mentioned not signing up as they're unable to go for three months without buying underwear which I find a little puzzling. I've got pants in my drawer I've owned for over a decade, the last time I bought new undies was over two years ago and do you know what? They're perfectly fine. If you need to buy new underwear every 12 weeks all I can say is that you're either washing it wrong or buying crap. Buy quality cotton and dye it when it starts to fade. Come on people, you've got a day to stock up on bras and knickers, we can do this! Sign up HERE.


The challenge doesn't start till tomorrow but here's what I haven't brought new this week: a vintage Mexican cotton hand-embroidered tomato dress worn with two year old Lotta from Stockholm clogs; a late 1960s brown cheesecloth maxi dress by Chelsea Girl worn with a vintage Indian crewelwork waistcoat; a vintage Eastern European hand-embroidered blouse, a 1970s Indian block printed midi skirt by Interlinks, London and some charity shopped clogs; a 1960s Indian cotton kaftan by Ayesha worn with a hand embroidered Kashmiri velvet waistcoat, 1990s red leather platforms and a charity shopped wool felt hat. 

None of this week's outfits are mass produced, they're all made from natural fabrics and feature hand-printed and hand-embroidered elements, if they were new I probably wouldn't have been able to afford them. Don't be a clothes snob, secondhand doesn't mean second-rate! 


Here's a close-up of my crazy platform boots. As I always say, wait long enough and the thing you most want will turn up secondhand and it's true. I fell in love with these red leather rave boots in Shelly's, London window in the early 1990s but couldn't afford them. Fast forward twenty five years and there they were, in a box of rusty power tools at Sunday's car boot sale. 


Here's another reason why I'll never stop buying secondhand clothes - the social history behind them. Take these two beautiful Greek blouses I spotted on eBay the other day. To my amazement I won them both for significantly less than a single blouse from a high street fashion shop would have cost. When they turned up the package contained this little note, which made me sad for those two beautiful young Irish girls who never had the confidence to wear their grandfather's gift. Don't worry though, these blouses will have the time of their lives under my ownership, I think a return trip to Greece may well be on the cards!


This week has mostly been spent getting prepared for trading at the world's biggest music festival, Glastonbury. After spending last week preparing the stock we packed it on Sunday and proceeded (and failed) to load it into the van the following day. Four attempts and a drastic cull later we're finally there and the stock, the trade tent, the flooring, drapes, awning, rails, table, shop sign, changing room cubicle, two mannequins and a weeks' worth of dry food are all in there. There's just our clothes, the fresh food and the booze to go - I can see me sitting on it!

Outfits from festivals past: Silver lurex '70s Bernshaw maxi; Thomas the Tank Engine maxi (made by me from a chazza-shopped pair of curtains) with a Mongolian lamb boa bought from a jumble sale; 1960s Jean Allen silk evening dress with a jumble sale 1950s Italian souvenir parasol; Me-made curtain maxi skirt & gypsy scarf top; 1970s Bernshaw white maxi with sequinned and fake fur trimmed coat (bought from a festival neighbour); 1970s psych print maxi skirt by Prova worn with a £1 car boot sale 1980s sequinned bustier; 1970s psych print maxi worn with a £3 yeti coat

Of course, my next task is to decide what to wear. Obviously it's a festival and anything goes but try telling that to the fashion editors who publish those ludicrous What to wear at festival guides every year in a bid to make women feel so out-dated and insecure that they invariably end up spending a fortune on stuff that never really feels like them and ends up in the charity shop a year later. According to one on-line article I read, we need a £715 pair of high heeled Gucci boots, a jumpsuit (great idea for negotiating the long drops...not!) as well as a multitude of mundane high street dresses made from, using Beate's words, blood, sweat and petrol. Madness. Before you shop new for bank-busting identikit fast fashion festival styles have a look at what you already own or shop secondhand and, failing that, hit the on site festival shops where traders like us will have freshly laundered, ready to wear, unique vintage clothes and a changing area so you can walk out wearing a new-to-you outfit.

Vintage 1960s handmade evening gown (£2, Cancer UK) worn with vintage feather boa (charity shop, 2015) and handmade pompom earrings

My wardrobe is already stuffed with festival-worthy attire but when a gem like this lamé evening gown practically throws itself at you in a charity shop it would be rude not to add it to my collection!


.....especially at that price! The feather boa was a charity shop buy three years ago and I made the pom-pom earrings myself from wool remnants and a broken necklace.


This maxi dress was listed in the wrong category on eBay so I got it for a song.  Bought from a boutique in London's swinging Carnaby Street and last worn for a wedding in 1969, it had been in a bag in the bottom of the seller's wardrobe for the best part of half a century. A strong Glasto possibility, just look at those sleeves!


As #slowfashionseason kicks off on Friday I had a good hard think about whether I needed to buy anything new before the challenge started and to my horror I did, the over-the-knee socks I purchased 15 years ago from Poundland had finally given up the ghost. Imagine my delight when I discovered not one but four pairs of welly socks in my local charity shop. Forget £700 boots, socks really are a festival essential. Talking of festival essentials I've already packed my mac (a 1970s see thru' plastic one, bought for 50p from a church fete 15 years ago) and I'll be travelling in my wellies!


When I met up with my blog pals in London a fortnight ago Monica mentioned that she enjoyed my packing posts so this is especially for her - the toiletries I'll be taking for my week on Worthy Farm. 


  • Baby wipes: I'm sure you're already aware that wipes are one of the biggest pollutants on the planet due to their plastic content but, as water is precious at festivals, they're an essential. We've been using this brand for a few years, their wipes are fragrance free, hypoallergenic and, most importantly, they're made from 100% naturally derived fibres making them completely biodegradable. Available HERE. Even though they're plastic-free remember never to flush them!
  • Calypso Once A Day sun screen
  • Palmer's Raw Shea body lotion: A week in a field doesn't half dry out my skin.
  • Travel Soap: For hair, body and laundry and even for shaving. Does it all, it's animal friendly and it's even antiseptic and insect repellent. Buy HERE.
  • Ibuprofen: Just in case someone overdoes it on the cans of gin.
  • Corn Starch dental floss: 100% plastic free and refillable. Buy HERE.
  • Toothbrushes: At home we use electric toothbrushes. When I replace these I'll buy bamboo but it's wasteful not to use what we've got first.
  • Toothpaste: We use Truthpaste at home but packed this conventional toothpaste as glass is a bit of a no-no at festivals.
  • Tangle Tamer: Simply the best travel hairbrush.
  • Liquid hand gel: The portaloos always run out.
  • Batiste: Because I won't be able to wash my hair for over a week.
  • Lush Sunflower solid deodorant: I bought this last September and it's still going. Buy HERE.
  • Lush solid facial oil: A fantastic (and space saving) alternative to moisturiser. Buy HERE.
  • Also taking (but not pictured) loo roll (never join a festival loo queue without any!) and Jon's razor and blades.

And here's my make-up:



  • Revolution eye shadow palette & applicators
  • Sleek creme blush
  • Ardal false lashes
  • Eyelure eyelash adhesive
  • Revolution concealer
  • Barry M matt lip paint
  • Tweezerman tweezers
  • Barry M waterproof eyeliner
  • Nail file
  • Barry M nail paint (wrapped in bubble wrap as glass isn't good at festivals)
**Not a sponsored post - I name the products I use as I love them, not so I can get a backhander! I bought everything with my own money.**



I've managed to squeeze in another exciting blogger meet-up before we leave on Monday. I'm not sure if I'll have time to post before we go so if not, I'll see you in a fortnight! 


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 Have you heard about Slow Fashion Season? The idea is that 10000 people commit to not buying new clothes from 21st June - 21st September with the idea of raising awareness of the problems with fast fashion. As you're doubtlessly aware, I rarely buy new clothes and there's just six items in my wardrobe that were bought new from British retailers, but I'm sure that out of the 35,000 who view my blog every month there must a handful of readers who might have a bit of a fast fashion habit so I've added my signature to the cause and if I can convert just one person to the joys of shopping secondhand first I'll be thrilled.


Why?
Our clothing has a life cycle: from design, raw material and production, to distribution, wear and waste. With Slow Fashion Season, the aim is to make this circular by not buying any new clothes for 3 months and instead thrift, repair, swap and upcycle. Every time we #chooseused and tell a friend about the challenge, it brings us a step closer to making the fashion industry more sustainable and less polluting. For example, if 10,000 people commit to our project, then we will save up to 360 million litres of water and prevent 1,4 kg CO2 emission that would otherwise go into the life cycle of our new clothes.

There are only 8 days left to join the movement and more members are needed to reach the target. Are you with us? If so then sign up HERE - you don't need to be on Instagram, write a blog or even have a Facebook account - just by adding your name , supporting the cause and spreading the word to friends, family, workmates or just random people in the street (like I do!) you really could make a difference.


Even the Glastonbury Festival is on board (HERE), urging festival goers to shun the new and buy vintage and secondhand clothing from the stalls on site - that's great news for Kinky Melon!! 

You can follow Slow Fashion Season on Instagram HERE or join the Facebook community HERE.


Its been a bit grim here in the UK this week what with torrential rain, temperatures barely getting above 10°C and numerous flood alerts and severe weather warnings up and down the country but looking on the bright side at least I've been able to wear the suede coat I won on eBay the other day, I didn't expect it to see the light of day until the Autumn.



One of the reasons I don't publish a blog post every day is that I often wear my clothes on repeat and (shock, horror!) don't even wash them between wears. Pictured above was both Tuesday and Wednesday's outfit; my 1960s Indian Imports of Rhode Island block print maxi dress (rather appropriate for this wet week as it's decorated with fish), the 1970s suede & sheepskin jacket, a vintage wool felt hat, green velvet boots & 1970s Indian screen printed silk scarf (which were all charity shop finds). 



The thing that puzzles me is why would anyone need to buy cheap fast fashion when there's so much quality secondhand treasure out there? By Tuesday I'd already acquired a vintage Phool dress, an Anokhi bag and a pair of green velvet ankle boots, all with at least one previous owner and so what? They're mine now!


In my opinion, a successful wardrobe is one that contains clothes suitable for any occasion, so there's never any need to rush out at the last minute and compromise by buying something cheap in a mad panic. Having learnt my lesson 20 years ago when out of season I was reduced to buying a not particularly attractive bikini for a winter holiday, I now look out for swimwear all year round. Lots of people buy theirs new claiming that there's nothing available in charity shops but at the beginning of the summer you'll often find unworn pieces bought for last years' holiday but donated to charity as they're no longer on-trend (I hate that expression!) Today I found this rather glam tropical print number from H&M's Conscious Collection, still with the hygiene strip and store tags attached. It's the perfect match with the 1980s Italian-made fold up beach hat I bought from the charity clearance shop yesterday. Now I'm Greek beach ready and at £3.50 the outfit didn't cost the earth in both senses of the word.


Today I'm "shopping from my wardrobe" and wearing the block printed cotton Peshwaz dress I bought new (!) from Anokhi in Jaipur back in January along with this week's charity shopped velvet boots (originally from River Island) and Anokhi bag, an Aldo trilby hat bought from a charity shop back in 2016 and a vintage cotton velvet pixie jacket made in India by Devi which I found in the charity clearance shop last year. My bra, waist slip and socks were all charity shopped and my Marks & Spencer knickers are over ten years old.


Can you last three months without caving into temptation from the high street? Go on, give it a try, I dare you!
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Who says that Eighties fashion was all shell suits, shoulder pads and Lady Di dresses? Anokhi, never a trend-led label, was still producing hand-made, block printed cotton dresses just as it had done since 1970. The original owner of this dress bought it over thirty years ago and recently decided to part with it, considering herself too old to wear it. Whilst I'd argue to the death for women to wear whatever the f*ck they like, if it means that I can get a chance to own it then I'll keep quiet and just hand over my cash.


We braved the cold and torrential rain to take these photos so I apologise for the poor picture quality. Neither of us wanted to hang around outside for longer than necessary. You'll have to take my word for this dress being of the usual outstanding Anokhi quality. The yoke is quilted, the cuffs of the bell shaped sleeves are lined so they can be rolled back and the hem is weighted. The back of the waistband is shirred and of course there's pockets. Not a shoulder pad or a synthetic fibre in sight. Perfection.


As Anokhi use natural dyes in their production process you'll often find that their vintage garments have faded with age but, like laughter lines and wrinkles, it just means that the garment has had a life.


So what have I been up to since I last posted?

Apart from feeding our garden visitors, namely Bernard the hedgehog (for whom we bought special hedgehog food from last week's car boot sale) and our resident fox family who, this week, brought their cat-sized cubs along for supper, I've received these bastard massive macrame plant hangers in the post from my lovely friend, Sarah. Aren't they whoppers?


You'll be pleased to know that I finally got around to sorting out the mending pile and replaced two zips, eleven twenty-two buttons, three perished suede jacket side seams, three patches, two hooks and eyes, two torn linings, two underarm rips, a wonky pocket and refashioned a knackered suede top into a poncho. I've spent nine hours ironing and have the blisters to prove it. We've pitched the trade tent in the garden, laid the flooring, hung the side curtains and filled it with stock. I've sewn some drapes (using secondhand fabric, obviously!) to hang up at the front, hopefully giving the festival shop a touch of theatrical glamour. I've also made thirty wired headbands from vintage fabric. Phew! This week I've got to check everything is priced then we should be ready for Glastonbury with time to spare.



Much of last week was spent in my kaftan.


On Thursday we had some sunshine and I had a hankering to dress in the way I spent most of my free time in the 1990s, in a vintage peasant blouse, suede micro mini and clogs.


I've also booked a little getaway for when the festival season finishes, a week on a Greek island. Bliss!

From the left: Vronni, Fig and Monica - click on the names to visit their blogs

On Saturday I caught the newly introduced direct train from Walsall to London (no more changing trains at bloody Birmingham New Street, I can't tell you how happy that makes me) and met up with these gorgeous women. Despite following each others blogs for years - and in Monica's case, almost a decade - we'd never met before. We had no problem spotting each other at Euston station though, we recognised each other immediately.


After a chat over tea in a nearby cafe where we talked about everything from bangles and cake to our mutual hatred for Trump and Brexit until we made our way to the underground. A smiley man told me that he'd spotted us on the tube and thought we all looked amazing and asked very nicely if he could some photos. We obliged and in return he kindly offered to take some group photos for us. Turned out he was a professional photographer (HERE) on his way to London Menswear Fashion Week and he even photographed The Clash in 1982. Cool!


We took the tube to Liverpool Street we giggled at an anti-Trump art installation, wandered around some aspirational shops and explored Spitalfields Market before stopping for lunch at Leon, recommended by Fig, our resident Londoner. The food was delicious with loads of veggie & vegan options and I was dead impressed that you could get lunch and a beer in London and still get change from a tenner.



After lunch we found a bustling vintage indoor market and amongst the sportswear and 1990s gear we found some absolutely gorgeous stuff although the two things I loved most were a cheesecloth blouse for £60 (!!!!) and an Uzbek coat for £165 so they both stayed on the rail. Mental prices aside every stallholder we encountered was lovely, friendly, complimentary and welcoming and left us to admire their stock without the hard sell.


After meeting up with Monica's husband we had drinks at Euston before I hugged everyone goodbye and dashed off to catch the train back to Walsall. What a fantastic day! I think you can probably see from our body language how well we all got along. I can't wait to do it again after the festival season and now there's a direct train from Walsall (which I can't help but bang on about constantly) there's no stopping me.

See you soon!
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And another week races past. Do forgive my slackness in the blogging department. As festival season rapidly approaches I'm consumed with preparation. We're working at eight festivals, that's almost two months on the road. The stockroom (aka The Kinky Shed) is so full that there's rails of clothing cluttering up the dining room and I don't even know how many hours I've spent ironing this week, buying seventeen mens' shirts from the Bank Holiday car boot sale certainly didn't help. Today, I'll mainly be tackling the mending pile, it's almost as tall as me!

Recent car boot finds include an array of psychedelic linen shirts and these vintage platform shoes, bought from the original owner who wore them for his wedding on 5th June, 1976

Anyway, enough of work, let's talk about vintage clothes, my favourite subject. For years I've felt like my wardrobe is divided into two halves, the clothes I wear in India, the all-natural fabrics, block prints & earthy tones and the loud flamboyant frocks and heels I wear at home. Since I got back from my travels this time I've had a real shift in how I feel I want to adorn my body. Other than my two pairs of 1970s platform soled boots, I've got rid of all my high heels and there's nothing over 2" on my shoe rack now. I want to postpone my next hip replacement for as long as I possibly can so by throwing my body off-balance with silly shoes is just plain daft. Who needs wobbly heels when you can have a rainbow of pleasingly chunky wooden Lotta clogs?



Whilst I love the impact of my synthetic, psychedelic gear and how immensely flattering it is to be constantly asked to pose for photos when I'm out and about - it's my block printed, laid-back, all cotton clothing that recently feels more like me. Going through my wardrobe last week I ousted several old favourites - a couple of Frank Usher maxis, three 1970s polyester halterneck maxis and a glorious American 1960s psych print sundress I'd bought on eBay in 2004. Of course, unlike modern clothes, providing you bought at the right price, you'll always get your money back on vintage clothes and all six of those dresses are now on Kinky's rails awaiting new homes.


In line with my one in, three out policy I've added two new-to-me cotton dresses to my wardrobe - it'd be a crying shame to waste those spare hangers!  Looking at that vibrant peacock blue colour, I knew this maxi was quality when I spotted it listed on eBay as a Buy-It-Now or Best Offer. I was a bit cheeky offering just two-thirds of the asking price but to my delight the seller accepted. I was amazed when it turned up, what I thought was a print was actually a hand sewn patchwork skirt. I can't find anything out about the designer, Gabrielle Fouell or the Siam Fabrics Company, but the few pieces I've found online sell for £££s.....


Which is no surprise judging by the quality of this dress. Check out the contrasting yellow stitching on the breast pockets, the razor sharp collars, the covered buttons, the bi-fold cuffs and the finish on the reverse of the patchwork skirt. Can you imagine how much something like this would cost new?


This dream of an Indian block printed maxi by the much sought after original hippie label, India Imports of Rhode Island was another eBay buy. The company started in 1968 and continued trading under that name until 1975, eventually changing its name to Adini in 1977. I got this dress for good price for a couple of reasons, firstly the auction finished on a Bank Holiday when most people take their eyes off the ball and the second being what I like to call the God of Small Things factor. The dress is an XS, a smaller than average size and, as all vintage traders will tell you, titchy sizes are tremendously hard to sell. Brilliant when I'm buying for my personal collection as I'm not getting in a bidding war with the resellers!


Talking of Bank Holiday bargains I bagged both these 1970s sheepskin collared suede jackets last weekend. I was only going to buy one until I saw the price. They exchange hands for silly money in the winter months. I did intend to add them to the stockroom but I might have to keep them! I've been known to spend more on a round of beer in Wetherspoons.
WEARING: 1960s cheesecloth tunic, handmade patchwork maxi (reclaimed from the stockroom) & a vintage tooled leather belt
1970s-inspired fashion has been a thing for a while and much copied by the high street. I've taken advantage of this trend and bought the odd contemporary piece from charity shops but, after wearing these garments a few times, I've decided that they weren't such a good idea. Those half-arsed repro styles cheapen my original pieces and the quality is crap. Back off to the charity shop go an emerald green top from Zara (great colour but it had an elasticated waistband which would never stay tucked into a skirt), a ethnic print trumpet sleeved blouse (made from a particularly unpleasant synthetic), a shirred blue tunic top (in the same fabric) and a white TopShop ruffled cotton blouse which was really pretty but an utter bastard to iron. The 1960s cheesecloth embroidered tunic I'm wearing is a replacement for those four duff pieces. The fabric is gorgeous, it's been embroidered by hand and its actually hip length so it doesn't need tucking in every time I draw a breath.


One thing that never changes is my love for tribal jewellery. People tell me that they can hear me approach before they see me. Last week I joined an ethnic jewellery group on Facebook and spent ages scrolling through some incredible photos of women adorned in their traditional jewellery. I was most captivated by the heavy silver pieces worn by the Yemeni nomadic tribes but after browsing Etsy and Ebay realised that not only were they incredibly rare, they were well out of my price range.

WEARING: Late 1960s Pakistani block printed cotton kaftan with Lamani jewellery collected over 20 years of visiting India

SOURCE

Imagine my delight when, less than 24 hours later, a small collection of Yemeni jewellery popped up on an online selling group for a very reasonable price. Chatting to the seller it turned out that her late father-in-law had travelled extensively in the region during the late 1970s and had brought them back for her sister-in-law who had recently passed away. When the lady asked for my address she couldn't believe her eyes, her dear sister-in-law had been born in Walsall, it was almost like it was meant to be.


Not only do they tinkle like crazy, the slave bangles weigh a ton. I'll have muscles like Popeye by the end of summer! 
WEARING: 1970s pure silk Indian-made kaftan

The members of the jewellery forum are a knowledgeable lot but, like a lot of antique dealers I know, can be a bit condescending, rubbishing people's prize finds and declaring them Chinese fakes. I thought I'd be brave and ask about Mum's silver bangle on which I'd cut my teeth as a baby - fully expecting to be told it was mass-produced tourist tat from North Africa although having been a teething toddler over half a century ago, at least I knew it wasn't modern!


To my absolute shock and amazement, although the bangle itself is a generic silver piece, the disc is actually a solid silver coin from the Moghul Empire. Further investigations revealed that it was made during the reign of Aurangzeb (1658 -1707) and the son of Shah Jahan who built the Taj Mahal. My mind is officially blown! I haven't worn it for ages as the bangle needs soldering - I'm definitely going to get it fixed now.

Got to dash, the mending pile awaits. I may be some time.

See you soon!
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Oh, how times flies! I'd love to explain my lack of posts by regaling you with tales of our adventures but the truth is that Jon was laid low with a virus since Tuesday (he's better now) so it's been a week of solo shopping, reading and gardening.

WEARING: 1960s hand embroidered Indian cotton maxi dress (Viv's Vintage, Worcester), Lamani pre-Indian Independence coin belt (India, 2000) 

There was respite in the form of a visit from my friend Claire on Friday when I was able to don the twin of my blue dress (last seen travelling with me around the delights of India's Golden Triangle), stroll around St Matthew's churchyard, have a lazy lunch in Wetherspoons and rifle through the rails of Walsall's chazzas. Claire's a gifted photographer, she was one of the finalists in the annual National Trust photography competition and her winning picture of the Clent Hills is on the inside cover of the official 2019 guidebook.


As she wanted a bit of practice with human subjects I was more than happy to pose for a few photos. And before you ask, of course I've got a disco ball in the garden, haven't you?

You can check Claire's work out HERE.


As I've only been into Walsall pickings were slim this week. A 1970s Sears "Great Looking Dresses" label balloon sleeved cotton blouse (£2) and a £2.99 Greek souvenir bag - also 1970s - which'll hopefully get to see Greece again before too long (Br***t permitting).


A couple of DVDs, Lion (which I've seen before and love) and The Devil's Double (described on the cover as being the Asian Scarface which made it a must-see) - a whopping 25p each! A fabulous twentieth century fashion book (£3) and a box of vintage Tabu soap (£1). I'm no perfume expert - I wear either Lush's Karma or Sikkim Girls - but man, this smells good. Created in 1932 Dana's brief was to "make a perfume a whore would wear" and so Tabu was born. Not sure what it says about me.


Not such slim pickings in the form of Royal Mail parcels which I've recently been treated to.



A gorgeous Anokhi block printed cotton kurta, vintage Indian belt with soutache embroidery and some brilliant turquoise wooden beads from Veronica.


& some fabulous 1970s dressmaking patterns, including one designed by Jean Muir (on the left) from Gisela.

Lynn sent me Christine's Garden (the down-to-earth BBC gardener's diary) which I finished along with these other books this week. 


And talking of fabulous bloggers, Kezzie has been charting her journey towrads making her life more eco-friendly which has inspired me to make more of an effort to reduce the amount of stuff I throw away. When the council collect our general waste bin fortnightly it's rarely more than half full but there's always room for improvement. As the quote below illustrates, every little helps.


My bathroom shelves carry the bare minimum of plastic packaged products. I wash my face with unscented soap and a muslin cloth and my disposable razors have been replaced by an epilator (nice one, Jon!) We use soap to wash with (no shower gels, liquid hand soap or bubble bath unless bought as a gift) and I take a contraceptive pill which stops periods altogether, so no sanitary products for over two and a half years. When I've finished my pot of cotton wool pads (which I use for eye make-up & nail varnish removal) I intend to investigate a more sustainable alternative. Yesterday, I placed a repeat order for more of Daniel Field's Watercolour natural hair dye and opted for no instructions, no developer bottle and no plastic shower cap or gloves as I've kept the ones that came with my first delivery.


As I'm sure you already know, I'm a huge fan of Lush, the ethical, cruelty-free cosmetic company, and I've banged on about their shampoo and conditioning bars for years. No plastic bottles, no false promises, no gloopy product, just an item that resembles a bar of soap and lasts for months. I use their Jungle conditioner (HERE) and swap between shampoo bars, 'cos I love them all!  (If you do decide to switch to the bars I do recommend buying the metal tins).

I also adore Lush's deodorant bars. I'm not a particularly sweaty person (the menopause hasn't come a-knocking at this door....yet) and they work just fine. Again, no packaging and a bar will last at least 6 months. My favourite is Sunflower (HERE) which I store in a travel soap dish to keep it from drying out. Aromaco is also very good and smells gorgeous. 

My recent discovery is Argan, a solid facial oil. Like the other Lush products I use it is unpackaged and resembles a bar of soap. The smell and how it feels on my skin is amazing. I use my trusty Superdrug Vitamin E Instant Radiance Cream over the top but this gives my skin a bit more of a moisture boost. (HERE)

We don't have a Lush in Walsall so I buy on-line. My order arrives in a recyclable cardboard box filled with biodegradable packing pellets which you can put in the compost bin or use as mulch around your plants. No waste! 


Recently I discovered British company &keep and decided to give some of their eco-friendly, ethical and sustainably sourced products a try.

Did you know that every time we use those supermarket synthetic sponge scourers, the plastic fibres are washed down the drain? These fibres are small enough to get through the filtration systems at water plants and often end up in our waterways and oceans. Scrubbies are 100% biodegradable cleaning pads made in the UK using organic cotton & thread, are bamboo lined and hessian backed and can be washed in the machine at up to 40°. When they lose their scrub they can be cut up and composted.  Find them HERE.

You fill Hydrophil's Soap Pouch, which is made from sisal, with a bar of soap (or leftover scraps of soap which normally clog up the plughole) and use it in the bath or shower to scrub your skin. Hydrophil's products are water-neutral, vegan & fair-trade. 10% of profits go to a charity providing access to clean drinking water for people living in the southern hemisphere. Find it HERE.

I've been looking for an alternative to conventional toothpaste for ages, I hate the sweet taste of the mass produced stuff and the plastic tubes are so wasteful. Truthpaste is a handmade, natural mineral toothpaste made with Aloe Vera, Neem, Myrrh and certified organic essential oils. It comes in a fantastic recyclable glass jar and is 100% vegan and cruelty free. I love that it doesn't froth up and the peppermint and wintergreen flavour is so refreshing. Find it HERE.

When I placed the order - which arrived carefully wrapped in recyclable brown paper with no plastic - I was given a 15% code to share with friends (which I consider to be anyone who follows my blog), just enter my name "Victoria Brearley" when you checkout.

***This isn't a sponsored post, I'm sharing 'cos I love and I'd quite like Planet Earth to be around for a few million more years.****

It's another bank holiday tomorrow and I'm hoping for some car boot action. It was cancelled yesterday and it was too wet this morning, third time lucky.

See you soon!
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Here's a round-up of the latest editions to my wardrobe and, as everything is secondhand, it's definitely the most exciting form of recycling. To accommodate my finds I had a bit of a bedroom tidy up and did some sums. I'm not sure of the total amount of items of clothing I own but just six of them were bought new from high street retailers. Everything else was either purchased from Indian fair trade companies, handmade by me using vintage fabric or bought secondhand. After further investigation, out of a grand total of 30 items of footwear, 50% were pre-owned and just two of my bags were bought new. All my underskirts are secondhand as are half of my socks, most of my tights and three out of my six bras. I buy the best quality knickers I can afford (M&S or La Redoute) wash them at 30°C & line dry them which means they last for ages. I've got 22 pairs of pants, the newest being two years old and the oldest I've had for over a decade.


I love shopping which is why I chose to make a career out of it. I adore trawling eBay for hidden gems, the thrill of the unknown when I get up at the crack of dawn to trudge around car boot fields, the buzz from rifling through the tat for pure gold in charity shops & discovering beautiful artisan-made textiles on my travels in India. My expectations are never high yet I'm rarely disappointed. Every garment in my wardrobe tells a story, the adrenaline rush I get when I spot something beautiful on a charity shop rail or crumpled up in the bottom of a suitcase at a car boot sale, an item listed in an incorrect category on eBay I watch anxiously for a week hoping against hope than nobody else spots it, a one-of-a-kind, perfectly fitting artisan produced dress found in a shop I'd only popped into to escape the punishing heat of the Indian tropics. 

WEARING: Vintage Chinese embroidered jacket (car boot sale) worn with 1960s Dollyrockers silk maxi (eBay, 2011), original 1960s green suede go-go boots (a gift from Vonda, a blog reader)

I hate it when I overhear someone being complimented on an outfit and to hear the response "It was only from ______" (fill in the blank with a high street shop of choice). I don't want anything in my wardrobe to be only from somewhere, like an apology. My clothes may be recycled, they've had at least one previous owner but I'm proud of everything in my wardrobe. They'll never be an only, they all have a history & a tale to tell.


Take this jacket. We'd been stock-hunting at the car boot sale for ages yesterday before we saw anything remotely interesting. Just as I was starting to get despondent I caught sight of this vintage Chinese jacket out of the corner of my eye. I couldn't hand my £1 over fast enough. Not only does it match my silk Dollyrockers maxi perfectly but also compliments Ebbie, our 1970 VW 411 LE Variant Type 4.


Despite the numerous campaigns highlighting the damage fast fashion is doing to our planet (HERE) it doesn't appear to have made much of an impression judging by the mountains of cheap high street clothing in the Staffordshire fields yesterday morning. In fact I think the problem is getting worse. Most of the traders we saw peddling their unwanted tat had so much of the stuff that they'd simply dragged their overflowing black sacks out onto the grass and left the public to sort it out. Even at four items for £1 nobody seemed interested meaning that it will inevitably be dumped at a charity shop and then, as the chazzas are already drowning in discarded fast fashion, it will probably get sent to Africa where our cast-off clothing has contributed to the collapse of the traditional textile industries (see HERE) or, if the sellers can't be arsed to drive to their nearest shop, it'll be dumped in landfill where those plastic-based synthetic garments will still be rotting down when we're long dead (see HERE).

If you don't think our buying decisions have an effect on the fashion industory then read this excellent article Stop buying crap, and the companies will stop making crap. We, as consumers, have the power to eradicate the brands that are destroying the planet and exploiting their workers.

WEARING: Vintage bastard massive sleeved maxi dress, bought from a charity shop last week.

I read countless excuses given by bloggers for buying cheap new fashion as opposed to shopping secondhand first I haven't got the time, there's nothing available in my area,what's the harm of buying a few things when everyone else is doing it....I could argue till I'm blue in the face instead I choose to unfollow blogs that promote fast fashion or sponsored IG pages - it may sound harsh but liking or commenting just serves to encourage them. If they unfollow me and I get fewer visitors then so be it, we clearly didn't have anything in common in the first place.


If there's no decent secondhand shops in your area go further afield. If you're in the UK have a look at the Find a Charity Shop section on the Association of British Charity Shops website and go on a road trip. As you know, we visited a tourist town an hour away last week and still managed to find some beautiful and reasonably priced clothes (including the dress I'm wearing above) despite the hoards of visitors. If you're short on time eBay is open 24 hours a day and, trust me, there's some incredible bargains out there if you look properly. Facebook is also brilliant for bargains and if you join your local selling group you'll be able to pick your purchases and save on postage costs.


Talking of eBay, here's a new-to-my Dollyrockers frock to add to my collection. British designer, Samuel Sherman's Dollyrockers label (1965 - 1975) was a range of hip & happening clothes showcased by George Harrison's then girlfriend Patti Boyd and a major part of Swinging London's Youthquake movement of the 1960s. Some vintage traders (not me!) charge between £100 - £200 for their dresses. This one was £20. Why so cheap? The auction finished on Sunday lunchtime when it appears most Brits are stuffing their faces and not hunting for vintage frocks. Stodgy roast dinners or psychedelia, I know which I prefer. 

WEARING: Vintage Dollyrockers dress worn with go-go boots (as before) and a vintage Indian rupee coin necklace I made myself

I was thrilled when it turned up. I've got a yellow one in the same style but it's slightly too big (so off to the stockroom with it.) This one is the perfect fit and was made to be worn with my 1960s lime green suede go-go boots.



WEARING: Vintage Jody T of California maxi dress with Lotta from Stockholm clogs, 1960s Alfred Tricker Crafts stainless steel and snakeskin choker (car boot sale, 2010)


You may remember this dress from a previous post. I found it on eBay last Autumn with a Buy-It-Now price of £8 and didn't have to think twice. I do love a Buy-It-Now! There's an ILGWU label but no maker's name but a friend on Instagram tells me that she has the very same dress and it's by Jody T of California.The 1970s Dolcis bag was in in the charity clearance shop last week for £3. I nearly put it in the stockroom, in fact I did - for about an hour. What was I thinking? It's perfect with my apple green clogs.


I love clogs. My heart belongs to Lotta from Stockholm (a Swedish family business producing handmade clogs for over 100 years, using sustainable wood) and I'm more than happy to buy them at full price but if I find other brands of clogs going cheap in charity shops I'll always give them a go. Last year I bought some Swedish Hasbeens for £1.99 but they rubbed my feet to ribbons so last week I donated them back to the shop. Just as I was leaving I spotted these TopShop black nubuck clogs priced at just £2. Sold!


As I shame a surname with the inventor of Sheffield Stainless Steel, Harry Brearley (1871 -1948), I've a bit of an affinity for it especially the groovy modernist jewellery of the late 60s and early 70s. An IG friend picked up this collection from a car boot sale but didn't notice until she got home that most of the stones were missing from the choker. I offered to give it a home and substituted the abalone with some turquoise beads from my stash. 


Of course, the main reason I spend all my time shopping is to keep Kinky Melon's Retro Boutique stocked up. Once the festival season kicks off we'll be on the road for two months so won't have any time to go stock hunting. Here's this weekend's additions:

US Marine issue woodland camo smock; 1970s Winfield (Woolworths) western shirt; 1980s fringed suede jacket; 1970s dagger collared shirt by STUD; Bolivian waistcoat; 1970s Charles Anthony dagger collar shirt

Vintage Chinese silk brocade quilted dress; Chinese quilted jacket; 1960s Italian embroidered wool cardigan; 1970s suede mini skirt; 1960s Crimplene mini; 1960s knit mini; 1960s turquoise suede dress; 1980s brocade bustier; 1970s suede midi skirt

1970s suede mini skirt; Chinese embroidered satin wrap; 1960s deadstock Crimplene mini dress; 1980s hippy tunic; 1960s St Michael Young Miss cotton mini dress; Vintage silk cheong-san; 1960s Claude Amos mini; 1960s suede mini skirt; 1960s suede mini skirt.
Needless to say, the Kinky shed is bursting at the seams!


Right, I'm off to Wetherspoons in my new old dress shortly, putting a whole new spin on the saying, taking the recycling out.

See you soon!

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