For vintage lovers like ourselves, it takes more than the high street to satisfy our shopaholic tendencies. Fortunately, vintage fashion fairs regularly fill suitably retro halls up and down the country, with fashionistas including celebrity stylists, fashion editors and even the celebs themselves rifling through the rails in search of hidden treasure.
As August comes to a close and London Fashion Week comes to London, here is our pick of the best vintage fashion fairs in Britain for September.
13 September – Chelsea Old Town Hall
Frock me! is held all year round and is a favourite of many a vintage aficionado, with loyalty such that some of the stallholders have been standing since the very first fair at Kensington Town Hall back in 1990. Now, there are over 50 stalls packed full of clothes and accessories from all decades. If more vintage clothing than you can shake a stick at doesn’t tempt you, the award-winning cakes from Blackbird Tea Rooms of Brighton will!
Clerkenwell Vintage Fashion Fair: ‘The Vintage Collections Fair’
13 September – Old Finsbury Town Hall
Since 2009, The Vintage Collections Fair has been timed to perfectly coincide with the arrival of London Fashion Week. Twelve seasons later, the biannual event attracts stylists and shoppers alike, with fashion editors and even designers looking for inspiration often in attendance. Vogue and Grazia are amongst the glossies preaching about the fashionista’s fair of choice, thanks to stalls full of clothing and accessories from the 1800’s through to the 1980’s. Expect to find some designer names on the rails too.
With a traditional tearoom, live music, on-site alterations and even a manicure bar, The Vintage Collections Fair makes a fab day out. There’s little wonder that Vogue once described it as ‘the most exquisite vintage fashion fair’.
Pop-Up Vintage Fair
19 September – Old Spitalfields Market
As its name suggests, the Pop-Up Vintage Fair pops up in various locations, though Old Spitalfields Market in the heart of the East End holds the most vintage appeal. As one of the finest surviving Victorian market halls in London, Old Spitalfields is the perfect backdrop for the vintage clothing that fills its stalls when the Pop-Up Vintage Fair is in town.
You’ll find clothing, accessories and footwear from the 1920’s, right through to the 1980’s, all of it handpicked and of the best quality. If you need any more evidence of its success, Pop-Up Vintage Fair has been recognised with the ‘Best Vintage Fair’ Award in The Vintage Guide To London for the last three consecutive years.
Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair
Throughout September – Various locations
When the founder of a vintage fair is a former Selfridges personal shopper and stylist to the stars, you know that the merchandise is going to be top notch. It’s ten years sinceJudy Berger set up Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair and the reputation it has built since hasn’t gone unnoticed; Elle, Grazia, Marie Claire and Vogue regularly sing its praises and trendsetters including Florence Welsh, Chloe Sevigny and Daisy Lowe rarely miss an opportunity to scout the rails when in town. The best thing is that, despite this star status, Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair keeps the focus on affordability. Freshers Specials and the Famous Vintage Kilo Sales are legendary, allowing vintage lovers to get the look without blowing the budget.
Affordable Vintage Fair (clothes, accessories and furniture)
Glasgow – 13 September
Lincoln – 19 September
Cardiff – 26 September
Famous Vintage Kilo Sales
Buy vintage by weight – £15 per kg usually gives you around 4-5 items (unless they’re dripping in sequins or faux fur of course!). Expect around 5 tonnes of men’s and women’s clothing and accessories to sift through.
Sheffield – 19 September
Birmingham – 26 September
Bristol – 27 September
Edinburgh – 16 September
Leeds – 25 September
Lou Lou’s Vintage Fair
Various dates at locations throughout the UK
When a vintage fair has been voted ‘Best Vintage Fair in the UK’ no less than three times in the last three years of the National Vintage Awards, you know to expect something special. Lou Lou’s Vintage Fair is one of the biggest and best names on the vintage circuit, bringing sensibly priced and carefully curated vintage to impressive halls around the UK.
Lou Lou’s Vintage Fair has 16 dates in its diary for September, with fairs pencilled in from Edinburgh to Southampton and everywhere in between. Check out http://www.thevintagefair.com for more information.