I’ve never bothered with vintage fairs before – you always have to pay at least a fiver to get in, and the stampedes inside are nearly as bad as Primark Oxford Street on a saturday morning. What the hell would I pay to be poked in the ribs and stamped on by vintage courts? I’m more a browse-at-leisure kinda girl…
But when I read that The Affordable Vintage Fashion Fair, a staple of cities like Leeds and Sheffield, was making an appearance in Bethnal Green I thought I should check out the hype. It promised to bring vintage cheap enough to grab a whole outfir for just over a tenner, seamstresses to alter less-than-perfect pieces, vintage hair and beauty tips, the first vintage kilo stall to London (a whole kilo of clothes for £15!) and a ‘pop up tea shop’ with tables styled from different decades. It’s also run by former Selfridges stylist and eco style guru Judy Berger. So, bleary-eyed and struggling through my hangover I dragged myself down Mare Street to get there as early as possible before the best pieces were snapped up.
There was indeed rack upon rack of amazing clothes at pocket money prices. But sadly, the stampede of crazed women was in full swing also. Rustling for pieces felt like a competitive Olympic sport – who could yank that dress off the hanger quickest or who could get to the bottom of the pile of belts first. And whilst I usually like to browse shops slowly, making my way back to any clothes I can’t stop thinking about, if you find something you vaguely like here you feel obliged to buy it right then and there before the girl behind you reaches out and snaps it up.
So, even though it was all cheap as peanuts, I found myself back home that evening with a few things in my bags I stared at wondering ‘why the hell did I think that would be a good idea?’
And, cheap or not, wastefulness is not what this blog is about.