Monday, 9 July 2012

☮♡♫♪♔‏ The 'Vintage Fashion Fair' at Cecil Sharp House ☮♡♫♪♔‏

On a lovely, Sunday afternoon my boyfriend & I made our way to 'Cecil Sharp House' in Regents Park, not too far from Primrose Hill, for a spot of vintage browsing at the monthly 'Vintage Fashion Fair', featuring accessories & textiles, as well as a wide range of impressive garments, before making our way to lunch...

The 'Vintage Fashion Fair' specialises in a huge range of beautiful vintage garments, accessories & textiles, dating from the 1800s all the way to the retro 1980s. Catering kindly for the vintage fashion needs of both ladies & gentlemen, the 'Vintage Fashion Fair' offers both bargains casual prices as well as designer. You can find them on a Sunday, once a month at various locations around the UK.
I was eager, as always, to whip-out the old camera & take a few snaps for my blog. Only one other thing kept darting through my mind which always annoys me & I often coin the well-used phrase "just because I have loads of clothes, doesn't mean that I have something to wear!!!" to back-up my indecisive nature when it comes to dressing appropriately for the weather. With this on repeat in my obsessive mind- like a faulty vinyl, I decided to contemplate whether to bring my jacket with me or not?

The rather confusing weather left the inevitable expectation of a down-pour in the air... As we pulled-up in the car, I leaned out of the window & inhaled the nostalgic scent of wet earth & grass, followed by a mouthful of stifling humidity. I looked up at the sky with anticipation to see that the once opalescent clouds that only a few minutes ago seemed to be blissfully giving-birth to a sea-blue sky & pleasant orb of sun, had slowly begun to huddle together, as if concealing & discussing some-sort of esoteric secret; but there was nothing scholarly about their discussion by any means! They were undoubtedly planning to shower their cool drops upon us all down below. The trees began to sway slowly from side-to-side, the light wind occasionally picking-up with great speed. Mother Nature herself was getting ready for her dance in the rain.... So, we excitedly made our way to the non-residential, red-brick-built, baronial building that is 'Cecil Sharp House'.

Open since 1930, this stately building was purpose-built as the intended home of the 'English Folkdance & Song Society', named after its founder Cecil James Sharp, the founding father of the folklore revival in England during the early 20th century. It plays host to a vast musical selection inspired by the original mission of Sharp himself- "to preserve & promote English folk dances in their traditional forms..." As a result, 'Cecil Sharp House' has been packed with a number of impressive & eventful barn dances over the years, Ceilidhs, traditional folk luminaries & even the odd ukulele shenanigan or two. Not to be one to exclude the modern audience, unexpected acts like Goldfrapp & Sigur Ros have also been on the bill & played there in recent years. Surprisingly, this was the first time I had ever entered the spacious surroundings, despite my father regularly attending rehearsals & auditions here when he was with the RSC (Royal Shakespeare Company), when I was a child.

On entry, after paying a small fee of £3 each, we were greeted by a plethora of stalls; colours, textures, that familiar smell of vintage clothing. The walls seemed to radiate a warmth, despite the grandeur of the hall's size. It must have been all the old souls that belonged to the garments, poppin' by to say hi & goodbye to their much-loved garments of their bygone eras. Dresses hung lifeless, almost tired from all their antic back-in-the-day from the wooden walls. A glowing, bright light radiated through the high windows as if God was waiting to collect the souls of the previous owners & although the light appeared so incredibly bright, it seemed to create much more of a soft haze than a blinding spectrum.

Memories seemed to be imprinted on each item-their ethereal blueprint almost, that will linger-on for many more years to come... That thought always excites me & warms me. As an archaeologist I am used to handling ancient artefacts etc, so instinctively when I hold a vintage garment, I can't help but imagine the possible person or persons who would have worn, bought, loved or even hated it! This mind-set has become second nature as it an integral part of my job!

The dresses watched us from their elevated positions, almost regal in their way- looking down upon us, judging each potential buyer that passes their way, yet at the same time, it felt as if they were entrapping us in their surrounding web of love & safety, thanking us for our interest & admiration, feeling like stars on the world-stage... The atmosphere was thick with memories past, attached to both the items for sale & the building itself. It was hard to make sense of it all at first as your mind jumps straight into the front seat of assumption, trying to decide what it wants you to think & feel about your surroundings, but I just let the room itself do that.

Slowly we began to walk from stall to stall, chatting with the owners, hearing all about their wonderful shops &  on-line stores. From Etsy to Ebay, we were bombarded with information in the most pleasant of ways...

So, without further ado, here's some of the pics I took on the day. Enjoy

Cecil Sharp House in all its red-brick glory...
 Beautiful, custiomised and hand-made garments by Ruth Milliam. Her collection included real fur coats with lace...
The dresses looked-on, like ghostly phantoms of former owners...

One of the textile stalls that were there on the day. Lashings of old lace and sparkles lay silently on the pop-up table...

By far my favourite ensemble!! This stunning outfit is rather reminiscent of an Edwardian piece,
aka Rose in the film 'Titanic' or something an understated Marilyn Monroe would wear on a day off... Simply stunning & in my opinion, worth every penny.
Should have bought it!!!

This stall & the image of the beautiful skirt-suit above, all  a part of a Ms. Nicola Chinn & her online store 'Pret-A-Vintage', vintage clothing accessories at:

Argh! It's when I see gwwwwoorrrgeuos lingerie like this that I damn the fact I am not the size of a twiglet & that I grew a lot of what my mama gave me (bloomin' boobs, that's what)!!!

Another one of my favourite stalls on the day was owned by a Miss Ava Flynn, a St. Martin's School of Art & Design graduate, who proudly attained her BA degree in Fine Art 3D Sculpture... She has put her talent to good-use & now works a milliner & sells some of her own designs here at:
"Handpicked vintage treasures from the 1920s-70s, that special injection of glamorous vintage to your wardrobe or home! Specialising in mid century clothing and collectibles, and fabulous eyewear, we are based in London UK...." at:
& her Etsy Shop at:
You can see Ava's millinery wonders at Fenwick's Millinery Department, too! Wooop-wooop!

THE most sexual pair of glasses that were ever crafted by someones sexually-charged hands! WANT!!!

The crowds started to grow come early afternoon...

Some stalls specialised solely in jewellery & accessories...
I was cornered by two rails of clothing!

I just loved this stunning corset top. The ivory embroidery was something to be both admired & envied by all!
 A gorgeous emerald green dress. Not too sure of the era? The halterneck implies 1940s/50s,
yet the giant bow screams 1980s!

A close-up of the dress...

                                                                                         Lots of Love
                                                    ♡ Lover-Doll Presley♡
                                                                x TCB x

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