Wednesday 12 June 2013


I spent a lovely day on Saturday at the Wanstead Vintage Fashion & Brocante Fair. There was a great mix of stallholders selling fashion, beauty products, homeware and artefacts from predominately the 1920's through to the 1960's.  The fair was well worth visiting and I spent too much! It's a treat to find a fair that consistently offers genuine vintage pieces, rather than the usual line-up of retro and crafts that so often masquerade as vintage.

To celebrate the third anniversary of the fair, the organiser Cary Whitley of LoveVintage, had booked Ultrasound, a 50-strong choir specialising the Rockin' 50's to entertain everyone, plus vintage hair and make-up specialists, Candypout, as seen on Kirsty's Vintage Home on Channel 4.

There was a real buzz around the old church hall with many of the regular stallholders offering seasonal finds, such as glamorous cat's eye sunglasses and spectacles, elegant parasols and pressed glass decanters for al fresco dining. Newcomer Graham Leonard's collection of beautiful perfume bottles also proved a huge attraction. He reported selling several vintage fragrance bottles by, amongst others, Chanel, Coty and Worth, plus a rare porcelain Empire Sphinx with 1/4oz Cabriole perfume from the Elizabeth Arden 1979 Palais de Versaille Christmas Collection.

As always the Vintage Cafe was a popular stop-off. It was a real treat to sit outside in the sunshine with friends, sipping tea from a bone china cup and listening to the choir sing...happy days!

Vintage beaded bags and 50's cat's eye frames from LoveVintage

Sunday 9 June 2013


We enjoyed a beautiful day at the annual Open Gardens event in our village this weekend. It was so lovely to see everyone out and about exploring the fabulous gardens. Cream teas and other refreshments were served in the church and we couldn't have asked for better weather.

It's a village tradition to create scarecrows each year and this time round the theme was well-known characters from children's books. Among the highlights was Harry Potter on his broomstick playing Quidditch and The Tailor of Gloucester, complete with sewing machine and busy little mice.

All in all, a very special village day...

 A village affair: Magnificent Gunnera, triffid-like aeoniums and vintage
troughs, interspersed with storybook scarecrows

Thursday 6 June 2013


It's that time of year again! 

We're heading off to East London on Saturday for the Wanstead Vintage Fashion & Brocante Fair. Celebrating its third anniversary, the event keeps going from strength to strength and is well-known as the go-to for genuine vintage wares. 

I've got a few things on my shopping list and I'm looking forward to seeing Graham Leonard, of Green Parrot Collectables, and his display of vintage perfume bottles. He's at the fair for the first time and he has a fantastic collection of flacons and factices, plus an encyclopedic knowledge of the history of the bottles and fragrances. I'll post a piece on him shortly, as I had the pleasure of visiting him at his HQ with Cary Whitley, who organises the Wanstead Vintage Fashion & Brocante Fair. I thought I had a lot of perfume bottles, until I saw Graham's line-up, not to mention his wife's collection of miniature perfume bottles...  

If you haven't been to the fair before, then here are a few image to wet your appetite from the this Spring's show. Hopefully see you there...

Fabulous vintage hat box from Lock & Co in St James'

Tuesday 4 June 2013


Just finished a post for my Harper's Bazaar Vintage Spy blog. It explores the influence of the legendary model, Dorian Leigh, on fashion designer Amanda Wakeley's current collection. A great example of the synergy often found between vintage and contemporary styling. 

According to Amanda, it all started with a feeling for hourglass waists, feminine tailoring, Couture draping and the silhouettes of the Golden Age of Fashion in the 40's and 50's. Images of the elegant Dorian Leigh, often credited as the original super model, are the backbone of Amanda's wonderful mood board (below) for S/S 2013. The shots of Dorian Leigh include editorial and advertising images for Harper's Bazaar US, Time and American Vogue, shot by several of the leading photographers of the era, such as Richard Avedon and Irving Penn. These sit happily alongside a montage of tear sheets of modern day muses, including Kate Moss, plus striking close-ups of pleating and other expert atelier techniques. Who wouldn't be inspired?

The Amanda Wakeley Spring/Summer 2013 mood board