Alice Roberton reports on a weekend of vintage fashion and quirky nostalgia
On Saturday (31st March) I headed south to the Totnes Civic Hall for Lesley Loach’s Nostalgic Mix Fair. Lesley's enthusiasm was infectious, the sound of bygone tunes were in the air and More Tea Vicar provided delicious refreshments. With an early bird queue at the door, it was a busy day for us all.
Spring was in the air with rabbits, chicks and lambs in abundance and Lesley’s lovely Easter display of oranges and yellows bringing extra cheer to the day.
It was nice to see Amanda from Shabby Chick (07790 327912) on her home patch. I really love her pretty displays of candy-stripe sheets, floral china, pinnies and postcards. Her seersucker tablecloths evoked happy memories of Sunday lunch at my granny’s.
Next to me was Ali Soper who makes detailed mosaics using beach glass, vintage china, buttons and stamps. Working from a shepherds hut on her smallholding in nearby Tuckerhay, she is inspired by old and found objects. Ali creates wonderful one-off pieces such as this lacquered occasional table covered in used stamps.
Tracey Hewlett’s stand selling textiles and quirky decorative items for the home and garden really caught my eye. Her fabrics have a delightful essence of summer holidays with their floral patterns and boating scenes.
Devon maker Abi Spence of Abigail’s Party popped in to drop off some gorgeous cushions she’d just made up for the H&A stall. They looked absolutely lovely and were an instant hit.
Next up on 1st April was Bath's Vintage Sunday - Bath VA Fashion Fair & The Secret Tea Party, which was a focal point for the finale of the Bath In Fashion week. The old Green Park Station was full of fabulous vintage clothes alongside jewellery, hats, handbags, luggage and quirky homeware. Mrs Stokes ran her ever-popular The Secret Tea Party with Charleston lessons, a beauty parlour and designer Pearl Lowe presenting the best-dressed award.
I popped my head into the tea party to see the dance masterclass and felt like I’d stepped back in time. These three ladies were happily sipping bubbly and eating French fancies.
Next to me was vintage fashion dealer Samaya Ling, who has become good friends with Pearl Lowe and advises her on buying and selling dresses. Samaya will soon be taking a collection of vintage dresses to New York. ‘Many of the big fashion houses study vintage for inspiration, so I have appointments with designers such as Ralph Lauren and Rag & Bone,' she said.
While I was chatting to Pearl, she said she owed Homes & Antiques a big thank you: ‘I was featured in April’s Q&A page and mentioned that I wanted to invest in a gypsy wagon. Low and behold, a guy who had seen the article called to offer me one!’
Actors Rob Dawson and Charlotte Howard looked rather dashing as they walked around promoting a play they are starring in later this month. On 21st April, Rob will be playing Nicky Lancaster and Charlotte is his wife Florence in Noel Coward’s The Vortex at The Rondo Theatre, Bath.
All in all a wonderful weekend.
H&A will be on the road throughout April so do come and see us if you are in the area.
15th April (Sunday) The Dairy House Vintage Costume & Textile Day Nr Semley, Shaftesbury, Dorset
21st April (Saturday) The Vintage Bazaar at the Cheese & Grain, Frome, Somerset
28th/29th (Sat & Sun) Festival of Vintage at York Racecourse