What better way is there to spend the last day of your holidays than surrounded by Vintage? Well I don’t think there is a better way to spend a day than being at a gorgeous vintage fair surrounded by knowledgable people who love similar things you do.

Welcome to my little run down of a lovely day spent at Anita’s Vintage Fashion Fair at the Battersea Arts Centre ( BAC) . Anita has been running Vintage Fairs for 8 years and on arrival I was met by her and her lovely staff. Immediately I knew that the day would be special. The BAC is a beautiful old building south of the river, perfect to host the exquisite collection of vintageness inside.

Anita clearly has an amazing eye for good quality vintage pieces and is obviously fantastic at networking as a number of the stall holders I spoke to, spoke so highly of her and the team. They told of her passion to source unique vintage for London’s Vintage hunters. There was of course beautiful clothes and accessories but there was also lots of material and embellishments for clothing that were so unique I was fascinated by literally everything 🙂  There were vintage prints through to costume jewelery, books through to tiny trinkets. As you can imagine, I was in heaven 🙂

What struck me most about this fair, and something that I think sets it apart from so many others, was the eclectic mixture of designer pieces, high-end vintage at very reasonable prices. Garments that are available at Anita’s are investments, pieces that you will keep and cherish forever. Similarly the care, the love and the vast knowledge of the stall holders, about their pieces, was really great especially to someone like me who is desperate to learn more about dating, materials and eras.. anything vintage really. Anyway here’s to some piccies to help you imagine it all… The picture below helps you to get a feel of the building… Check out that ceiling.. its gorgeous..

So my first stop was at a costume jewelery stall where I met a lovely couple with an amazing passion for jewelery and vintage in general. Gaila Kinka and her husband told me all about their love for sourcing costume jewelery. Their stall had items ranging from £5 -£100 so there really was something for everyone. It all started as a hobby that developed after they met as a couple on the 70s in Chicago. Upon their travels they take time to scour markets and antique shops to find the beautiful jewelery on offer. I learnt so much from our conversation, all about Auction Houses and what to look out for. It is here that we can learn so much about vintage pieces, learning the eras and the values. I’m going to be scouring the online catalogues of auction houses me thinks and get myself to an Auction asap. Let me know of any good ones in and around Manchester…

Check out some of the jewelery on offer. I’m afraid the roses are now owned by my good self. They are Vogue Originals and at just £15 I could not say no to the lovely clip on ear rings 🙂

My next stop was Lime Green Bow and it was here that I met the lovely Clemmie Myers.  Clemmie began her love of vintage at the age of 11 when she found a 1970s sheep skin coat in a shop in Oxford. From this point onwards her eyes just always seemed to rove towards more unique vintage pieces, whilst her friends bought from the high street Clemmie spent the time to learn about vintage pieces and find a little treasure. She sources pieces mainly from America on visits to New York and as you will see from the pieces below, she has a real eye for finding something unique.

Check out these beautiful shoes for starters… They are so glittery and sparkly I LOVE them 🙂

This 1970’s Mauve top really caught my eye. It’s design meant the top simply sweeps across the body and the layering means that the wearer would have to tuck in a little top underneath but with some playing around it would look amazing. Clemmie and I discussed how even in the 1970s they were copying styles as we thought that this had a 1940s feel to it too.

Finally from Lime Green Bow is this GORGEOUS Oscar De La Renta 1970s skirt.. The mixture of the pleated top and the almost quilted style bottom is designed beautifully. It’s such a juxtaposition of styles, so clever.

I then stumbled across a lovely lady called Sally who is a regular at Markets and Fairs across London.  She has been selling clothing and jewellery and all sorts of lovely little trinkets for 20 years now so she has a wealth of knowledge and understanding. She is a regular at Portobello and Chelsea’s Frock Me Vintage Fair. Her passion began, like me with buying and selling ceramics.. watch out… I plan to follow in Sally’s steps 🙂 She was so encouraging and lovely.. telling me I’d be doing all things vintage full-time soon.. How amazing that would be ?:-)

What really caught my eye on Sally’s stall was this little box of tape measures.. Look at the shapes and the designs, absolutely gorgeous. These and the box date back to the early 1900s.

 Another lovely Stall holder who I chatted to was Sam who owns and sources pieces for her Vintage Boutique Miniola. Sam has been doing this full-time for two years and developed her passion for vintage through her Fine Art Degree. She has always been creative and loved experimenting with clothing. She began, like many, selling her finds on Ebay all of which are hand-picked. Again we had a fascinating conversation about how clothing can be like pieces of art, especially those with a history and a story behind them. Sam is so passionate about ensuring that her customers feel special and that the clothes that they buy really do help to make their day special 🙂

Another lovely lady exhibiting some gorgeous embellishments for garments was Anne Wheatly. Anne is semi retired and clearly has an amazing passion for Vintage. She sources all her pieces to ensure that they are all genuine and older than the 1940s. I bought some gorgeous collars from her which I can not wait to add to cardigans and t-shirts. You’ll have to wait for them to be completed to see the pictures for those. Anne was such an inspiring lady simply sharing with the world everything she loves. Lally’s Closet was another fab stall focusing more on pieces from the 1970s and 80s. Again the pieces were hand-picked from Vintage Wholesalers and from emerging designers. Lally’s Closet also design their own handbag range, one of which was used by a guest at the Royal Wedding Last year.

Anita was so keen to ensure that the day was filled with little extras. Throughout the day entertainment was laid on in the form of Swing dancing lessons by the great guys at Swingland. They performed some fantastic routines and opened the floor to any willing volunteers to come up for a lesson. I wish I lived in London, I would totally go to these guys.

The outfits were fabulous too..

If the swing dancing wasn’t enough to really get you into the vintage feel the lovely ladies at Pincurls and Pout were on hand to fully make you over into a vintage queen. My friend AJ decided to take up the challenge and treated herself to the fab pamper package. This included a full hair and make up make over and x5 prints from a photoshoot all for £20. I think she enjoyed herself…

My last buy of the day was this fabulous “Woman” magazine from the 1950s. It can be quite hard to source magazine this far back, this one is 1954, for the very reasonable price of £3. The articles inside are great and June Nevin, the lady I bought it from, said people regularly buy them to cut them up and use the adverts within. Fab idea but I don’t think I could cut this little piece of history up.

 My final stop of the day was where I saw some exquisite pieces of Vintage clothing. I feel terrible as I can not remember the name of the stall holder. She was so very knowledgable about her garments and clearly adores vintage, breathing all things vintage from what you can see from her stall…

The stall was set up in sections.. almost like rooms, each garment matched the other.. e.g. evening ware, lingere etc… I loved it.. How gorgeous are these two dresses?…

 All in all, the day was just so so lovely.. I had the best time and want to thank Anita and the whole team for inviting me down 🙂 Anita clearly believes in quality vintage, this shone through on all the stalls and in all the lovely people that I met. I’ll leave you with a picture of one of Anita’s daughters who did a stirling job manning the cafe.. I had a GORGEOUS piece of chocolate cake.. hehe…

Be sure to check out the next Anita’s Vintage Fashion Fairs on their website. They truly are well worth a visit. I can wait to get down there again very soon 🙂 Thank you so much Anita for such a lovely day.

Lots of love and happy vintage hunting,

Olive & Emxxxx