Monday, 6 June 2011

Anita's Vintage Fashion Fair Review

Greetings again from Deutschland! I have arrived at the final location of this leg of the tour after a (ridiculously hot and hellish) 12 hour bus journey, but as a reward for not killing each other on the trip here we have a day off today, so hurrah! Now I'm planning a post on Germany and the show soon, but for now I wanted to catch up on a post that I should have written weeks ago. It's a quickie review of Anita's Vintage Fashion Fair, the last fair I visited before hopping across the sea to Germany. Enjoy!

Notice the sign blown over by the wind...

Now the first thing that I would like to say about this fair is that I definitely chose the wrong day to visit, because of the location. AVFF has two locations, the one most easily accessible to me being The Twentieth Century Theatre in Notting Hill, but I, for reasons now unknown to myself, decided to visit the fair when it was at the Battersea Arts Centre, which, unfortunately for me, my poor mum and of both of our feet, turned out to be miles away from anywhere. The closest tube station (Clapham Common) was a good 20 minutes walk from the venue, and we were also nearly blown away by the insanely strong winds that day. I swear I nearly lost an eye after the amount of grit that got blown into it! We probably should have taken a bus from the tube, but hindsight is a fine thing! So by the time we got to the fair we were both windswept and sore, probably not the best way to feel before having to walk around a fair!

The building was beautiful

Luckily for us the first thing that greeted us as we entered the fair was the smiling face of Anita herself as we paid for our entry (£4 each, your basic price for a London based fair) and were given -  joy of joys! - a goodie bag each! Well I was just thrilled :) the goodie bag included some lipcote, a handy bag for your vintage purchases and a pretty cupcake (which, incidentally, was utterly delicious!). I don't have any pictures of said cupcake, it didn't last very long :)

Food = Good :)

The first thing that we did at the fair, after our monumental journey, was go straight to the cafe and get some food. Now I was a little apprehensive at first, because of my previous experience with the Frock Me Vintage tea room, but this experience just couldn't have been more different. Our food was served literally minutes after we ordered it and it was ridiculously yummy. I had a piece of blue cheese and bacon tart and a slice of chocolate cake - both homemade and utterly delicious - and my mum joined me with the tart but also tried the lemon cake, which I hear was equally tasty. It was a very civilized, calming affair, just the thing we needed after our hectic journey. The perfect (re)start to a day of vintage perusing!

I will always be drawn to buttons...
The fair had a really good selection of different things on sale, from the quite high end right now to more basic and budget friendly items. I was so happy to see that next to stalls selling dresses for prices in three figures (quelle horreur!!) could be found rails of sale items for £5/£10. It's great to find a place where everyone can find something to take home, regardless of how much cash they have to splash :) And clothes weren't the only thing on the menu, there was also a great selection of hats, accessories and bags; a stall specialising in (slightly scary) 1960s dolls and clothes; a table with stacks of original vintage film posters and advertisements along with slightly cheaper prints; there was even a hair and make up stall, to give you the perfect vintage look, together with a photo shoot afterwards. There was even a stall just dedicated to books all about fashion, sewing and other crafts, not all of them vintage, but a lot of variety and all of them very interesting to look at. All in all a lovely selection on offer, I wish I could have taken more home with me than I did (I'm still mourning the loss of an original 1950s Dior button up printed cotton skirt. If only I'd had the money! Le sigh). The fair was very quiet, and we didn't exactly arrive early, which did mean that there was a bit of a lack of atmosphere at the fair as people almost seemed to be appologising that they were there at all! I can only think  that this must have been due to the location, as it was a fabulous fair that deserved a much bigger crowd in attendance.

My time at the fair did take a slight downer when I had a brief run in with a pretty darn rude stall-holder after taking a picture of one of her dresses (which I chose to omit from this post). She said it was incredibly rude of me to be taking pictures without asking her, although of course the fact that she had been on the other side of the room when I had taken the picture and therefore I had had no one TO ask didn't seem to matter to her. I appologised anyway because I hate offending people even unintentionally, but she just stalked away calling me "young lady" in a tone I really didn't appreciate. Some people just enjoy being rude I suppose. But hey ho, on with the fair review!

Brooches, brooches, brooches!

I found some gorgeous summery outfits at the fair that I just had to share with you. They are really inspiring me in my "Make-Not-Buy" Challenge, so you might see similar things coming up on my to-do list soon :)

Isn't this outfit beautiful? I particularly like the skirt, the stripes and the pleats together look so pretty. I also love the blouse, but I don't know whether I would be as comfortable pulling off the midriff-showing-look as this mannequin seems to be :)

The above is another pleated skirt and blouse ensemble that I spotted, the embroidery on the blouse really influenced some of my choices in patterns when choosing Tops for my "Make-Not-Buy" Challenge. I also seem to be head over heals in love with pleats at the moment, and of course the skirt is in my favourite colour, so it couldn't really go wrong!

I love not only the print of this dress but also the sweet red heart buttons, which emphasise the little red flowers on the fabric. I have always loved pale blue and red together, and here they look particularly good.

I really enjoyed Anita's Vintage Fashion Fair, the prices were really varied, the cafe was great and there was a huge selection of different items on sale. The only thing (apart from the aforementioned rude encounter) that would put me off going to this fair again would be the location, I really don't fancy that trek again! However I would consider visiting the Notting Hill venue, I think it would probably be a much more civilized journey to get there! All in all I would definitely recommend it to find some bargains, plus you'll get a goodie bag which is never a bad thing :)


Faff said...

Argh so much prettiness! LOVE the stripe skirt and embroidered blouse. Oh and the red skirt... Would love to own it all! :)

Hannah said...

Love the second to last outfit, gorgeous blouse. Annoying about the stall owner, talk about friendly customer service eh!

Miss Katie said...

Faff - I know, I wanted to take them all home with me!

Hannah - It's really cute isn't it? I love the embroidery :) And yeh, some people just don't understand the concept of service with a smile!

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