LFW AW12: What Pearl Wore Day 2


Day two of London fashion week and the heavens opened in a grand manner, torrential down pours do not a happy fashionista make. We braved the rain but I would much rather have had a pair of wellies with this outfit. My stunning designer shoes from TK Maxx (£64.99 / RRP £200) were seriously soggy but are now drying off, as am I with a hot drink! The rest of my outfit is all vintage, luckily I chose to wear my trench coat today which kept the top half of my dry at least.

Judy Bites Back – On Judys Affordable Vintage Fair

One of Judy’s stall holders (a.k.a The Mole) very kindly shared this email which was sent out to all traders, it goes to show that Judy really did take all your comments into consideration which I think is pretty awesome. Once again just to hammer my original point home this fair is all about affordable vintage, making prices affordable doesn’t mean they have to be dirt cheap just FAIR for what the product actually is. You can read my original post and my follow up post should you be wondering what all this is about!

Hi Everyone

As you know weÔÇÖre been busy collecting trader feedback at all our Autumn 2011 fairs. IÔÇÖd like to thank you all for the great feedback we have received and let you know that weÔÇÖre taking it all on board for 2012 to ensure you are all happy. WeÔÇÖll be looking at more affordable venues to try to reduce the stall hire fees at certain cities and are looking to do more on-line advertising to hopefully keep our promotion costs lower (this means we can reduce door feeÔÇÖs and add incentives).

Whilst we have been monitoring your feedback we have also been collecting customer feedback. You see, our jobs are made so much easier if the people we are promoting to are so ecstatic with our fair that they want to come back or tell all their friends. And this is so important to you as these people who come to our fairs are there to shop, and as weÔÇÖre seeing so many of them leave empty handed we thought weÔÇÖd ask them why.

Here is the run down according to customer feedback collected from 15 of our fairs dating between September and November:

Top 5 suggestions:
1. More affordable clothing
2. More menswear
3. More discount deals
4. More pre 50s
5. credit card machines at stalls

Top 5 comments:
1. Bring back the bargains / fill a bag for a tenner
2. Great fair!
3. more choice ÔÇô many of the stalls seemed the same
4. more changing rooms
5. DidnÔÇÖt seem as affordable as I thought / same prices as the high street / more expensive

So there you have it folks, this data was collected from a minimum of 20 customers per fair and we selected people of all ages so you get a good idea.

WeÔÇÖre working twice as hard and putting even more money into our advertising / promoting this year and we really need you to work with us. Please ensure you price your items correctly, if its a polyester dress please donÔÇÖt ask ┬ú35 for it ÔÇô high street vintage stores charge as little as ┬ú10. And if itÔÇÖs dirty or torn please donÔÇÖt bring it (unless you want to do a bargain bin for those who are looking for fabrics).

HereÔÇÖs a blog post about how overpriced our Manchester fair was:

So there are some reasons why people walk into the fair with money to spend and walk out without. We had nearly 2000 visitors at our Manchester fair and a whopping 9 hours of time to trade, a huge majority of traders did really well ÔÇô so customers were putting their hands in their pockets ÔÇô but some didnÔÇÖt make money ÔÇô in some cases it was product (wrong fit) in others it was simply stock.

For those of you booking into all our fairs from this weekend forward will have seen we are now also offering incentives for traders to email their clients with entry offers. So, when you book in for the fair please look out for the discount code email so you can help spread the word to your regulars and ensure they jump the queue / get in cheaper.

WeÔÇÖll continue to process customer feedback ÔÇô I think itÔÇÖs really interesting to know how our core customer is feeling as they walk out of the fair. And we will send it over to you every few months so you can hopefully take it on board and make changes.

Best wishes,

Judy Berger
Event person
JudyÔÇÖs Affordable Vintage Fair and The Furniture Flea
Curators of the marketplace at Vintage at the Southbank festival

Don’t Tell Me I Don’t Know Sh*t About Vintage

Vivienne Westwood ‘Deep Sky Blazer’, Mini Crini 1985

Due to the amount of comments I received on my post regarding Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair I wanted to address a few issues raised. For the record I published and replied to every comment except those which I felt were not at all productive to our discussion and were little more than a torrent of swear words. I have some young readers and I do not find it appropriate for them to have to see that kind of thing. I think it is great that so many of you are passionate about vintage and that we can all leave our opinions and suggestions and really debate this kind of thing.

Firstly I just want to clarify my disappointment with the fair was that from their website I was led to believe I was going to a barginous event where I could find vintage pieces up to 75% less than I could in high street vintage shops. I personally love the 80s all bright coloured polyester dresses and huge gold-tone blingy jewellery. I tend to pay any thing from ┬ú3 to ┬ú25 for an 80s frock depending on quality and condition etc so thought that I could get something nice for my budget of ┬ú30. I didn’t set out looking for a rare 1920s beaded gown for that price.

As I said in the original post, I appreciate how hard it is for traders and that they have high over heads to cover, but surely they went to the fair knowing how it was being advertised. If their stock didn’t fit in with the company ethos surely choosing to sell at another fair would have been wiser. I didn’t go through every single item at the fair and check its price. As I said none of the items that appealed to me seemed particularly cheap, yet┬á if I had seen something I absolutely loved at a fair price I would have bought it regardless.

Just because I didn’t want to spend money on a ‘quality’ vintage piece that day doesn’t mean I am ignorant of what else is out there. It does not mean that the fair was stocked with beautiful pre-50s pieces which were highly priced due to their rareness and that I did not appreciate their value.

You may or may not agree with me, but we are all entitled to our opinions.

Chanel 2.55 Handbag circa 1955

White mini-dress, 1960s

Printed dress, 1980s

Floral shirt, 1980s

St Michael belt, 1980s

Crystal Frog Bangle, 1980s

Vintage comes in all shapes and sizes, nobody owns the term ‘Vintage’ it is not a brand. Therefore its definition can vary, it can mean different things to different people. I chose to display some of my favourite vintage pieces in this post to demonstrate this. These days anything older than the 1990s can be classed as vintage. I really don’t see why it matters, at the end of the day they are all just old clothes. I collect such old clothes, I also collect old clothes from the 2000’s. Prada 2007 is a particular favourite. I am not a vintage snob, if I like something I place a value on it in my head of what it is worth to me.

The Westwood blazer and Chanel bag to me are priceless. They are both museum pieces. Yet they mean something to me because of their fashion history and I wear them regardless of what price a museum curator may place on them. In fact to another they may just be old junk. I equally like this 1960s dress, I like the shape and the fabric. It is impressive due to its age that it is still so immaculate. The 1980s dress might not be as valuable, if we place say ┬ú50 on the 1960s dress then the 80s one surely comes in much lower. I didn’t pay a lot for it but I took it home, fixed the hem and loose seems, I hand stitched the corsage to the front to conceal an age old stain. Doing all this increased its value because it increased its saleability but it also increased its value to me due to the love and care I gave it. The floral print blouse is the worst quality polyester material, it makes my hair static when I wear it. I guess we could say it is worth about ┬ú5? The belt is leather, it is a nice quality belt but what is it worth? Personally I think I paid about 50p for it.

I specifically wanted to include this frog bangle, it is a big and bold 1980s piece, yet it is in perfect condition, not a stone missing or a flaky area of gold. It was the last thing I purchased from a vintage fair, at Manchester’s Vintage Threads. This is my favourite vintage fair, it has things from every era and is what I call affordable – something for every budget. I paid ┬ú20 for my bracelet, which I think it a fair price. It has little intrinsic value, but I liked it.

So when I get comments like ‘U dont no sh*t about vintage’ I will delete them, they are not productive to this blog, they are valueless like a moth eaten rag. I know quite a lot about vintage, I have a PhD part of which I specialised in analysing ancient Egyptian textiles. 3,000 years old you don’t get more vintage than that! But what I do or don’t know about vintage was never the point of my original post, it was about something being misleading in its advertising, yet maybe that wasn’t what some people wanted to read.

Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair, Manchester

Having heard great things about Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair’s I was eager to check out the one being held Sunday 20th November in Manchester’s Town Hall. I have been to quite a few vintage events and always found the prices a bit extortionate so the fact that this was going to be ‘affordable’ really appealed. After hearing about the event from a friend I checked out the website which was filled with enticing photos, showing ‘fill a bag for ┬ú10’ stalls and promising “price checked to ensure shoppers are paying up to 75% less than high street prices for their vintage.” I have to say I was disappointed.

Taking only ┬ú30 cash with me, I was first met with a ┬ú2 door charge, then went inside to find it really expensive. A simple 1980s polyester frock ┬ú30, a slightly bobbly coat ┬ú100, neck scarves ┬ú5, a dirty old white leather jacket ┬ú60. I am never one to quibble over prices, I know that sourcing items, repairing, cleaning, stall fees and other over heads all add up and that in this climate it is hard for everyone trying to make a living. If this had simply been advertised as a vintage fair I wouldn’t have been surprised by such prices but when it was specifically advertised as ‘affordable’ I felt let down.

I don’t know which high street vintage shops they checked their prices against but they certainly weren’t the ones here in Manchester. Where you can buy dresses for ┬ú3 in Cow and even the most beautiful of Retro Rehabs are never over ┬ú25. Now I certainly will pay for quality, if it is pristine and a timeless classic example of vintage. There were some lovely things but but I came away empty handed because I just didn’t think anything that had caught my eye was worth the hefty price tag. I fell in love with a fuchsia pink wool coat but it was ┬ú100 and quite worn looking. When it was advertised as being up to 75% less than high street vintage shops, I don’t think I was being unreasonable expecting to find a few things to buy with my thirty quid, do you? Dresses for ┬ú8, hats for ┬ú5 that sort of thing.

I very nearly parted with all my cash for a lovely lion necklace, very gaudy just my type of thing. It wasn’t cheap at ┬ú25 but I really liked it. Then the stall holder actually talked me out of buying it, saying it was hand made from reclaimed pieces (something I used to do myself), but she really thought it needed some more work and that she was going to suggest her friend (who made it) add an extra string to make it more secure as it kept flipping over. ‘Then she could charge more for it’. I have to say I was just a bit perplexed and slowly backed away. The grand total purchase for the afternoon was a tiny tea cup with a candle inside that my friend Vicky picked up. She was also tempted by the fetching Christmas jumper (below) but alas it had been sold when she went back for a second look.

That said it was a lovely event, the Town Hall is a beautiful building and I am a huge supporter of any event that lets people see inside some where which is usually off limits. The Christmas markets around the Town Hall all opened up this weekend so it was rather festive to have a nice wonder around, trying out my new camera. But if you want to shop vintage fairs in Manchester I would recommend Vintage Threads.

Outfit: The Same But Different – Outfit Recycling

(Wearing: vintage dress, Chanel bag, belt, shoes)I don’t often post outfits which are pretty much identical, as I figure that is not really all that interesting. But since “recycling” your outfits is now in-vogue… I jest, I jest. Actually I wanted to post this outfit as I think it is interesting just how different a pair of shoes can make to a look. I posted this same outfit HERE worn with clogs which were switched today for courts and ankle socks. Creating a more lady-like as opposed to casual look.

I also found this photo of the same dress earlier in the year – must have been around February judging from the length of my hair, so glad it has grown out again now. Paired with knee boots for a 70’s vibe. Just goes to show the power of accessories and I guess I will be wearing those boots fairly soon since it is the last day of summer today. I have to admit I am really excited about the new season! I also really hate the term ‘recycling’ when referring to clothes, but we just can’t escape it at the moment! How about good old fashioned restyling? Or is that so last season?


(Worn with Jimmy Choo boots, vintage bag and vintage Mulberry belt)

The Lilly: Lilly Pulitzer

(Wearing: vintage Lilly Pulitzer dress, Christian Louboutin shoes, vintage necklace)
I went out for a days shopping with my favourite girls Florrie and Emma and came back with the grand total of two pairs of socks. Sale socks for 50p each! Surprising for me yes I know but I was very ill and I guess just enjoying the company of my friends. I remember seeing a corner of this dress in Cow vintage and thinking the print looked cute, but I didn’t even bother pulling it out to take a closer look.

Emma had tried on a pretty purple dress right at the start of the day, but decided to wait and see if she saw anything else before buying it. At the end of the day, having thought it over she decided to go back and get it – but forgot until they were on the train home! Cue a frantic text to me to go back and rescue the dress. A couple of days later I had time to go get Emma’s dress and had a little look around Cow whilst I was there, this bright floral print called out to me again so I grabbed it on the way to the till along with another dress. It was only ┬ú20 for the two, I didn’t even bother trying them on, so it was to my delight when I got them home that not only did they both fit beautifully but the floral one was Lilly Pulitzer!

The print is actually very neon, that doesn’t show up on these photo’s which is a shame as it is wonderful!

If you don’t know all that much about Lilly here is a wonderful article on an exhibition of her dresses, most from personal collections. Here some of their owners share their love of Lily (Click the images to enlarge).



A Series of Unfortunate Dresses

If you think this photo is silly you should see the rest! Oh wait, what’s that you do want to see the rest, here goes…
My lovely Florrie and Emma came up to Manchester for a spot of shopping which turned into a series of trying on very random outfits! Above you have Florrie in a vintage check blouse which looked cute on the hanger but a little too much like an Asda checkout girl uniform up close! Emma is wearing quite a cute dress actually but we just loved its feature huge price tag even more than the dress. I just wanted to be in the photo so picked up this straw hat with more holes in it than Swiss cheese. All this fun was at Cow vintage.

This was the most beautiful dress of the day, it even has its own story, but that will come with a later post.

Oh no wait this was the most beautiful dress of the day too, don’t you love its Victorian lace and sweet embroidery! OK so not all the dresses were unfortunate!

All this shopping was getting tiring so we love Retro Rehab for providing a couch!

This little vintage shop Vintage Retitled is just under Aflecs Palace and can be missed if you don’t look out for it. We decided it is our favourite vintage shop as it has a small, yet very carefully selected stock of very high quality vintage pieces from all eras – not just crap from the 80s. Florrie bought the most beautiful 1950s blouse but I will let her show it off herself.

We had planned a nice picnic style lunch sat outside in the sun but of course the rain started to pour so we retreated to Starbucks. Not sure what was going on with the staff in there that day but there was some serious confusion over how to make pancakes and a crazy person had put pasta in all the salads.

After refueling we headed to Elite where many unfortunate dress trying on ensured.

Next stop was TK Maxx where Emma scored a lovely Luella skirt.

In Primark Florrie found this cute bag, however we are both too snobbish over bags and decided it was far too cheaply made.

Just to get the point across!

Primark suddenly proved fruitful with a range of Hello Kitty eggs, Florrie is obsessed with HK so I helped her in snaffling a large stash of them.

Then we went home to bed.

I wanted to put this post up today as Florrie wrote a very special blog post today for Migraine Awareness Week ‘Can you put a price on Pain?’. As you know I suffer from an autoimmune disease which I have mentioned on the blog before. When Florrie and I first me we knew we had a lot in common with our love for fashion, vintage and art but little did we know that we both suffered horrendously with our health. It is an amazingly honest post which I urge you to read.

Happy sweet Sunday,


Outfit: Chanel Clogs Make an Appearance

(Wearing: Chanel clogs, belt, bag, vintage dress)

Just a quick little outfit post today since it has taken me all day to upload just one photo, bad blogger misbehaving again. I am now trying to figure out who these people on Celebrity Big Brother actually are?? This isn’t what I wore today, as it is absolutely freezing up here but

the other day when it wasn’t too chilly.

I actually wear these Chanel clogs (from S/S 2010) all the time but they never seem to end up in that many blog photo’s. They are so comfy, love ’em!! The dress was one intended for my Etsy shop but I decided to snaffle it back! It is one of those great dress which can be styled up for all seasons. Would love to show you another photo but blogger is just not complying!

So in the spirit of Big Brother, which bloggers would you like to see in the house if they ever did a Blogger BB?


N.B If you don’t know what BB is, it is a TV show where a bunch of “celebrities” are forced to live together in a house, erm yeah that’s it really!

Rare Original Vivienne Westwood Pirate Boots 1980s

This is an original pair of vintage Vivienne Westwood Pirate Boots from the 1980’s. I thought it would be interesting for all you Westwood fans to see a pair up close and compare them to the modern ones.
If you happen to be a size UK5 then they are actually for sale on eBay. It isn’t my sale by the way, if I had these I wouldn’t be parting with them.

The main thing to note of course is the lack of the orb logo which was not used by Westwood this early on (only since 1987), instead the Worlds End logo is stitched into the boots. The dust bag pictured with the boots is not contemporary with them.

You can read more about the history and how to spot fakes HERE and a bit more about dating them HERE.