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In This Issue
- Midsummer Night’s Dream ~ Kerry Taylor Auctions selects nine pieces from their June auction to share with us
- Get The Festival Look ~ Samaya Ling talks through this summer’s ‘must have’ looks
- The First Festival ~ In 1951 post-war Britain gave the world a whole new idea – the National Festival
- Four Fabulous Festivals ~ Whatever your vintage style, we've got an event lined up for every one of you!
- We’ll Meet Again... ~ Keeley Harris explains the appeal of 1940s weekends
- Superglamp ~ Glamping in the UK is the chic way to go this year
- All in a Day’s Work ~ British design genius Robin Day. By Jez Speed
- Just Park the Old Aston, Jeeves ~ Al fresco dining in style. By Tony Wraight
- Collecting Olympic Posters ~ Margaret Gaskin looks at the previous games, and suggests what to collect in 2012
- The Wild West!~ Join Karyn Sparks on a trip to Exeter’s new Vintage Quarter
- VE News ~ A round-up of what's happening in the vintage world
- Your Nationwide Guide to Vintage Events
- Calling Cards
After last issue's voyage into Space, Her Majesty’s Starship Vintagexplorer returned to Earth to see, from a distance, a vast sea of red, white and blue awaiting. Of course! Time to celebrate the Jubilee, the Olympics, and the good old-fashioned British summer!
As you know, I love all aspects of vintage, from all decades. Each look encapsulates a moment in music, fashion and popular culture. We are so incredibly lucky to have a whole mix-up of styles at our fingertips – was any century ever so diverse as the 20th? We have Jazz Age flappers from the ’20s; tea dresses from the ’30s, Victory rolls and make-do-and-mend from wartime; A-line skirts, and atomic styling from the ’50s; from the ’60s, the Beatles and the Mini (skirt and car), not forgetting that World Cup win! The oft-maligned ’70s gave us the maxi skirt, discotheques and Bowie, while the optimistic ’80s favoured cocktails of neon jewellery, Wham and crimped hair. And the ’90s... STOP, that decade is far from vintage in my book!
And today? Today, anything goes! The UK vintage festival scene has never been so alive, and what better way to celebrate our roots than to enjoy an oh-so-very vintage festival? I’ll be going to more this year than I have so far in my entire lifetime. And I can’t wait!
I just love everything vintage festivals stand for: balmy summers, crimson sunsets, bonkers bands, meet-ups with old friends and hook-ups with bizarre new ones; beads, bangles, bags with fringes and big sunnies; fun, feathers, flip-flops (even in the rain), fur for the chilly evenings; frocks of any style, length or period. Bold garments, brassy attitudes, bonfires beside your Glamp- camp; baked beans (left in the cupboard at home!);benches for sharing your festival feasts; tents - bell to Bedouin, shepherd’s huts, yurts and the good old-fashioned marquee.
The vintage life is full of contradictions. I’m a big fan of the ’40s, but you won’t be catching me eating a single Spam sandwich this summer (unlike the other half, who’s a Spam monster!). I’m not too good on wartime rations, though I love small things in little packages. I’d adore a ’40s makeover, but fear I’m not really ladylike enough to pull it off!
Still, that special pull is there. I’ve always fancied driving a tank (some festivals let you loose in one!); love a man in uniform (who doesn’t?); adore the elegance and charm seen between couples, young and old, when they’re dressed in wartime attire; and never fail to give thanks in my heart to all the Tommies – and Tomasinas – who gave their all in order that people like me and you should be free to celebrate in just the way we choose. We’re a lucky, lucky bunch – and don’t let’s ever forget it!
This happy breed of men, this little world? This precious stone set in the silver sea? You betcha. It’s great to be home!
Midsummer Night's Dream
Twice a year, Kerry Taylor Auctions’ Passion for Fashion event concentrates on the very best of couture, accessories and antique dress. And we do mean the very best, eagerly awaited by museums, private collectors and buy-to-wear clients alike. Kerry holds six specialist sales a year, with lots starting at £100. But, she says, “I hold back the crème de la crème for these events.Article continues in the magazine...
Get The Festival Look
Just got back from the Manhattan Vintage Show – blimey, good job it was on for two days; there were so many stands packed with incredible pieces I couldn’t have got round it in one! The fashion buzz over there was all about Coachella. California’s Coachella Valley Festival is their (lesser) answer to our Glastonbury but – apart from the ghostly reappearance of Tupac Shakur – no one was talking much about the music, it was all about who wore what (not to mention who snogged who).Article continues in the magazine...
The First Festival
Britain gave the world its first-ever International Expo with the Great Exhibition of 1851. To mark the Exhibition’s centenary in 1951, to celebrate the nation’s survival through six years of Blitz and battling, and to encourage the people’s faith in the future, post-war Britain gave the world a whole new idea – the national festival.Article continues in the magazine...
Four Fabulous Festivals Article continues in the magazine...
We'll Meet Again......
The 1940s are obviously an extraordinary and significant period in British history. But what fascinates me is not just the great sacrifices of so many on the Front Line but the astounding effect it had on everyday British life on the Home Front. I’ve taken a keen interest in the Second World War ever since learning the basics at school. I’m gripped by stories about how people lived through the War, amazed by the fashion, and respectful of the general resilience of the times. It fills my heart with a patriotic emotion as well as utter admiration for those who lived through it. I feel this period in history should never be forgotten and it deserves to be celebrated.Article continues in the magazine...
The words ‘camping’ and ‘style’ are not, it’s fair to say, usually seen in the same sentence. If, like me, you go into a flat spin when festival season comes around at the thought of baby-wipe showers, cold baked
beans and soggy sleeping bags then, like me, you now have the solution. Glamping!
All in a Day's Work.....
The world of art and design has its tortured geniuses. And then it has its happy ones. Robin Day, who died in 2010 at the age of 95, was one of the latter.
Fortuitously born in the furniture-making town of High Wycombe, he learned his craft in local colleges steeped in knowledge and expertise from the industry in which he would make his name. Moving on to the Royal College of Art, he didn’t find the teaching particularly useful to his hands-on approach to furniture design. However he did find the love of his life, in beautiful fellow-student Lucienne Conradi. Who, as Lucienne Day, went on to make a significant name for herself as a textile designer for Heal’s, also designing carpets, wallpapers and ceramics for top manufacturers.Article continues in the magazine...
Just park the old Aston, Jeeves!
The motorway age is a wonderful thing – up to a point. Without our M roads, we wouldn’t be able to get to all those wonderful festivals the length and breadth of the country in comparative ease (traffic jams and roadworks permitting).Article continues in the magazine...
Whether or not you’ve got caught up in the whole London Olympics 2012 hoopla, there’s plenty to interest the vintage lover in the memorabilia left behind by the Games of an earlier age.
This is the third London Olympics. The first was in 1908 but it’s the 1948 ‘Austerity Olympics’ that really catches the imagination. With only minimal post-war sporting facilities available, and all the athletes still strictly amateur, it speaks of a kinder, gentler age of gentlemanly (and ladylike) endeavour. Despite shortages of essential products due to rationing, the city rose magnificently to the challenge – a true victory over dark times. Check out Janie Hampton’s The Austerity Olympics: When the Games Came to London in 1948 (Aurum Press/Shire, 2011) for the full story.Article continues in the magazine...
The Wild West
Every city has one... the end of town where all the independent shops seem to accumulate; it’s a refreshing sight, as opposed to the skyscraping redeveloped shopping centres popping up all over the place. In Exeter, price-savvy students and fashion aficionados alike have for years headed to the west side of the city – the place where you can get a piercing or a tattoo, buy yourself a pair of 1950s vintage Levis or a second-hand guitar... you get the picture.Article continues in the magazine...
The Double Helix
OK, ‘UTILITY’ isn't the most inspiring of slogans to sell to the design-conscious homemaker – it feels too much like substance over style. But of course that, in essence, is what Utility furniture set out to be: well-constructed, serviceable pieces that would make the best use of scarce resources. Introduced at the end of the War when timber was in short supply, Utility furniture was designed for, and restricted to, recently married couples or families who had been bombed out and had to create new homes from scratch. Utility was about getting on with the job without too much fuss.Article continues in the magazine...