Saturday, 31 December 2011

HAPPY NEW YEAR! A look back at 2011

2011 has been a busy, busy year for us. So before I get to trying to choose my outfit for tonight (decisions, decisions!) I thought I would have a little reminisce about the adventures, challenges and good times of the last 12 months...

This year we have done more travelling than ever before. We used to do one or two vintage fairs a month, and usually not travel too far from our Birmingham base, but this year we have been all over, calling in at Brighton, Bristol, Birmingham, Leeds, Leicester, Macclesfield, Norwich, Nottingham, Sheffield, Shoreditch, Solihull, Sutton Coldfield, Stratford Upon Avon, Stoke On Trent, Torquay and Winchester.

Me looking cheery in Bristol
A trip down the pier in Brighton
Beautiful Leicester Cathedral
Crazy crowds at Harborne Carnival
When the morris dancers joined us at The Prince Of Wales, Moseley
Anna Fur Laxis at Ruby Slipper's Retro Romp, Torquay

We also hit the festivals full force this year, taking in Friends of Mine Festival, Beach Break Live, Hop Farm and Strawberry Fields Festival. Camping is still not my favourite thing, but there were good times a-plenty!

Bargains-a-plenty at Friends of Mine festival

It's a big yes to Beach Break Live
Prince performing at Hop Farm Festival
The most glamourous place to be at Strawberry Fields Festival

We finished up the year at Clothes Show Live, the biggest event we have done yet! It was exhausting and exhilarating in equal measure and we were definately in need of a rest by the time Christmas came around! Here is a picture the photographer Jemma Dodd took of our stand...

So that's been our year. Of course the real stars of the show have been you, the customers who have met us along the way and picked up some vintage goodies. We have seen so many great items of clothing pass through our doors this year and make their way on to a new home. Here are some of our favourites (well ones that I could find on my computer!)...

As well as our eBay shop and website, we started selling on ASOS Marketplace this year, so our fab model Aly came to work her magic. We're hoping to do a lot more of this in the new year!

And finally, we worked with some amazing photographers, models and make up artists on some photoshoots. Here are a couple of my favourites...

So all that is left to say now is a big thank you to everyone that has helped make 2011 such a great year for us. We'd be nothing without all the people who host fairs, come and shop, buy from us online, read our blog,  like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and generally keep us going on this road. We have big plans for 2012 - we're turning 5! So watch this space for all the new developments. We hope you all have a super duper New Year and wish that 2012 is everything you hope it will be! Happy New Year xxx

Friday, 9 December 2011

Minimum Mouse at Clothes Show Live 2011

Our stand - it wasn't this quiet very often!

We're just recovering from one of the busiest weeks of our lives - Clothes Show Live 2011! This fashion behemoth sets up camp once a year at the NEC in Birmingham (which conveniently happens to be just down the road from our house) so this year we decided to take a chance and be a part of it. Our little stall was part of the Anita's Vintage Fashion Fair area which, though I am biased, was one of the best areas of the show - full of unique treats and with a more laid back and less corporate vibe than some of the areas.

Vintage Jewels
More of Anita's Vintage Fair

It was a long 6 days - with screaming girls, pumping beats and bargain hungry shoppers everywhere, we were tucked up in bed by 10pm most nights! Not being a viewer of Hollyoaks or TOWIE I was quite amused by the regular stampedes of girls chasing after people from these shows, but I was more appreciative of the free Haagen Dazs and Diet Coke being handed about from time to time! It was interesting too, as the people who came to shop at our stand were often not our usual market and hadn't really shopped for vintage before - we had many questions like 'have you got this in another size?' or 'have you got more of these?' and some interesting comments from people who struggled to understand that the clothes had been worn before, but for the most part the people we met were enthusiastic and friendly, and it was quite exciting to see people taking their first steps into vintage fashion.

Our neighbours were the superb Le Keux Events & The Vintage Salon, who were offering vintage hairstyling and makeovers, and were also doing demonstrations about vintage hair on the Inspiration Stage. See below for a picture of my sister Elise, who came along to help us out on some of the days, having had her hair and make up done and looking very glamorous.

Also next to us were the lovely folks from Vintage Life Magazine, Trunk Junkies Vintage, Kate and Aud, Love The Baroness, Your Vintage Life and Borderline Vintage and over in the purple zone were our friends from Syd & Mallory - you need to check all these folks out, they're amaazing!

All in all it was a rollercoaster week, but an amazing experience!

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Festive Pop Up Bazaar

On Friday 18th November an exciting new addition to Birmingham's New Street opened its doors - The Festive Pop Up Bazaar. Organised by Sabina Gran and Eva Francis, the team who created and run the superb Sutton Vintage and Arts Fair (you can catch next installment of that this Sunday!) the Pop Up Bazaar gives independent businesses a golden opportunity to make the most of the festive season by getting a spot selling smack bang in the middle of the city centre, right in the hustle and bustle of the German market. We had the tempting aroma of hot candied nuts and waffles to contend with all weekend! Not to mention the lure of the bar!

It was a preview weekend with only the downstairs open, we were joined by the lovely ladies from Trunk Junkies Vintage, Laura Loves Boutique, Tallulah Rose and Shop. It's already looking pretty amazing, with the walls decorated by local graffiti artists, and from 24th November (tomorrow!) the upstairs will be open too with lots of vintage clothing, handmade gifts, homewares, jewellery and art. The idea is that businesses, crafters or artists can book in to trade for just a few days or stay there throughout the period, so every time you pop in there will be more new goodies to discover. It will be open until 23rd December so make sure you check it out.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Tinker Tailor Soilder Spy Style

A couple of weeks ago we took a trip to see the new Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy film, starring Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hardy and Mark Strong. I'll be honest, I'd make a rubbish spy as I had a job keeping up with what was going on, but the film was a feast for the eyes. Well, perhaps not in the conventional sense, it's not what you would call a beautiful film. But I loved the way it was shot - everything was tinged in nicotine, a little dingy and very atmospheric - and the wardrobe was superb. It's set in the 1970's, which is a decade which is rarely celebrated for its style, but it was the ideal showcase for classic British men's tailoring, featuring an array of sharp suits, classic trench coats and superb shoes. We even got a look at some cool 1970's casual wear thanks to Tom Hardy's character's spell in Istanbul. So here's a look at some of our sartorial highlights from the film...

Throughout the film George Smiley (Gary Oldman) is seen in his reversable Aquascutum trench coat. An absolute classic! We had one recently that was almost identical, though it was snapped up very quickly from our eBay shop. I think that every man should have a classic trench coat, it really is the ideal coat for wearing over a suit and doesn't go out of style. I love a good trench coat, we have a few in our shop at the moment -
The classic trench. This one's by Burberry.

It's not the only great coat on show though, as you can see from the picture above. For colder days, the stylish spy needs a wool overcoat. Here's one I love-
I love this Dunn & Co crombie coat, you could wear it for casual and smart occasions.And always look effortlessly cool.

Tom Hardy's character Ricki Tarr is a field agent, and while working out in Istanbul he wears a lovely array of jackets and coats! Here he is in a superb sheepskin (can't help but feel this would be a bit warm for Istanbul though, I find them too warm on all but the very coldest of days!) We have quite a few lovely sheepskins in stock at the moment, here is my current favourite -

 This amazing 1970's sheepskin coat is unusual, since it is almost knee length and has a belted waist. Super duper!

Also he had a very nice Harrington style jacket with an attractive tartan lining -
This is another great wardrobe classic - easy to throw on over a casual outfit, light enough for spring and summer wear. We have a similar one for sale here -

Also in this film we get a couple of great leather jackets, always a favourite -

Unsurprisingly though, the jewel in the crown here is the tailoring. Every man needs a great suit, and this film is just choc-full of great suits, including a couple with amazing flares worn by Benedict Cumberbatch.Whether you want two-piece, three piece, checked, striped or plain, this film will provide you with some great vintage tailoring inspiration.
We're always getting in new suits, such as this beauty-

All the way through this film I was thinking to myself  'Ooh, we've got a coat like that' or 'that suit looks just like one we just sold!' so it really was right up our street. I'd recommend it, whether you love thrilling twists and turns or great clothes, as you'll get both in spades.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Fairs, fairs and more Vintage Fairs

Since I last blogged (aaaages ago) we have been all over the place and barely stopped - in fact we had our first actual day off in over 6 weeks yesterday! Crazy! We have been to vintage fairs in Leeds, Sheffield, Stoke-on-Trent, Birmingham, Loughborough, Essex, Shoreditch, Winchester and Bristol, with Leicester to come this weekend. We've also got quite a full November and December, so we will have earned a good old rest once Christmas comes around.

This season's fairs have been some of the best ever for us. The popularity of vintage fairs and events shows no sign of waning, and with the great vintage looks referenced everywhere from the catwalk to street style websites, it's great to see people taking a bit of a detour from the high street and choosing to buy vintage. Here are some pictures from the season's events so far...

Busy day at Leeds Freshers Vintage Fair at Leeds Met SU
Quirky displays at Sheffield
The beautiful Shoreditch Town Hall... 
...and the beautiful Winchester Guildhall
We're coming to Coventry, York, Sutton Coldfield and more over the coming weeks, you can find out more here.
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