Thursday, 25 October 2012

Queen for a day.

 The very glamorous Bette Davis in the 1930s
I have always been enraptured by old Hollywood glamour and I have the strangest notion that in a previous life I was a socialite Debutante called Ariella Dada who had men hanging on to her every word, quaffed champagne, was invited to all the fashionable parties, wore only the most fabulous, expensive and sparkly jewels plus had all the leading designers of the day falling over themselves to dress her and always looked calm, serene and in control.

Unfortunately I have to admit that I am never going to be that woman who always looks immaculately turned out, it just isn't going to happen.  I am the type of woman who will blow dry her hair, step outside and it immediately goes flat. If it rains I can guarantee that I will be the wettest person around who will stay wet with her hair stuck to her head all day.  If its windy, instead of looking seductively dishevelled, I'll look like I have some weird comb over and if I dare to wear mascara, it always ends up under my eyes instead of on my lashes EVEN if I use waterproof mascara.  No I'll never be glamorous but that doesn't mean I don't like a bit of glamour in my life.

A less glamorous Bette Davis in Now Voyager
That's why when I went along to a Vintage Fair the other week, I was so excited to uncover my latest find.  It made me think of all the glitz and glamour that I once knew ;)

What had I found to make me slip back to my previous life as Ariella Dada? Well I'll tell you!  I found the most gorgeous 1930s handmade costume jewellery.  This wasn't just any old jewellery though, oh no, this was made and worn by a 1930s DRAG QUEEN!!  How completely fabulous is that!

I had made my way to Maxine's stall who runs The Yard, Vintage & Makers Market in Brighton and Duke and Lolly when I spied some sparkle.  I had a rummage and pulled out this lovely paste alice band (I used to wear a velvet one at school).  I have several paste bags from the 1930s so I thought this would fit in perfectly.

1930s paste headband
1930s Headband
I was about to hand my money over when Maxine told me that most of the jewellery in the box was from a Drag Queen from the 1930s.  Well as soon as I heard that, I delved in again and came up with these gorgeous, sparkly creations.

So sparkly, bracelet and necklace
All hand stitched
Simple but dazzling
Pearl and paste choker
Pretty clasp
Gorgeous soft peach with pearls and rhinestones
Choker and cuff
Cuff and belt I think
Rhinestone cuff
Set of 3 bracelets
Gorgeous jewel
Pearls and Lace
So pretty
Pearls and Paste
After I had finished delving, Maxine started to tell me about Paula, an East End Drag Queen and I was enchanted and enraptured by this person I had never seen or met.  Maxine very kindly emailed me a photo of Paula (below) and she was just as beautiful as I imagined.  So glamorous and elegant, the epitome of 30s glamour.

Paula, an extremely beautiful East End Drag Queen

Paula had made all of these costume jewels, I bet they looked amazing under the stage lights.  I think they are very elegant and I would have loved to have seen the costumes that went with them.  I really fell in love with this jewellery and the story that went with it.  It made the pieces come alive which was also helped by the fact that you can still smell some scent on the necklaces.  I bought a few bits and went home but ended up going back again to get the rest as I didn't want to break them up or for anyone else to have them, I felt that they were rightfully mine!

Drag Queens would have had to perform in underground clubs in the 1930s which just adds to the mystique for me. I bet there were a fair few men who got a bit of a surprise when they realised the ladies they were talking too weren't quite what they seemed!

Below are some Female impersonators I found from around the same time.  I think they look wonderful, their costumes, make up, everything!

Albert Carroll - Female impersonator
Albert Carroll - Female impersonator
Femme Mimics - Babe Baker Revue
Barbette - American female impersonator
Laverne Cummings - traveling troupe - The Jewel Box

In case you were wondering I have tried them on.  I enjoyed a good half an hour alone with my jewels, admiring myself in the mirror!   I also tried to think about what outfits would go with what and where I could wear them.  I came to the conclusion that I need a whole new wardrobe, with a few gorgeous numbers from the 30s plus some sparkly shoes and then I need to be taken to only the most fabulous places, like the Paris, so if you're reading this Mark..............

The Ritz in the 1930s

Monday, 22 October 2012

A list of Sussex Vintage Fairs for November

There are so many different fairs that take place that it is sometimes hard to keep track so I thought I'd do another round up of fairs in Sussex for November.

The first one is the To Be Worn Again Kilo sale on 27th, 29th, 30th Oct at 13 Southcourt Road Worthing BN14 7DF.  To Be Worn Again is Brighton's biggest vintage and secondhand clothing company, offering vintage and retro clothes and accessories from the 50's to 80's.  This sounds like a great sale as it is only £15 a kilo so perfect for dealers and vintage wearers alike.

Next we have the Vintage and Very Nice Vintage Market Bazaar at the Council Assembly Rooms Chichester.  The next one is 27th Oct and the one after is 17th Nov.  Open 10-4 and free entry.

Next up is The Yard Vintage & Makers’ Market which is held on the second and fourth Sunday of each month.  Next Market is on 28th Oct at Diplocks Yard, 73 North Road, Brighton, BN1 1YD Open 11am – 5pm. 
It brings together the best of independent vintage merchandise – from fashion to homewares and everything in between, along with talented designers.
You’ll find:
Vintage china & homewares sellers
Unusual lighting designers
Pedlars of jewellery & accessories
Booksellers & vinyl specialists
Fashion designers
Retro clothing traders
Artists and lots more

A favourite of mine is the lovely Sussex Country Brocante at Wisborough Green Village Hall on Thurs 1st Nov 11am-4pm.  A really lovely fair with a real mixture of sellers.

Next we have The Vintage fair at the Corn Exchange Brighton on Sun 4th Nov 11am-4pm with over 60 stalls.

The big one!  Village-Vintage Winter Wonderland at Plumpton Racecourse BN7 3AL on 10th November 11am-5pm.  This is a fabulous fair and well worth a visit.  Perfect place to start your unique, vintage Christmas shopping!

Saturday 17th Nov 10am-4pm sees the Pop Up Vintage fair at the Adastra Hall, Hassocks BN6 8QH.  A nice fair with a range of sellers.  Yummy tea and cake too!

A new one to me but one that I will definitely be going along to is the Very Vintage Rottingdean Fair on 24th Nov 10am-4pm at the Rottingdean Village Hall, BN2 7HL just outside of Brighton.  It sounds brilliant and they have a live performance from The Victory Dolls and of course a tea room and lots of vintage goodies!

Finally we have The Vintage Parade at the Assembly Room, Chichester 11am -4pm.  I haven't been to this one but its always good to try new things and it looks very inviting!

I hope this helps you plan your vintage shopping for the next few weeks.  Please feel free to contact me if you know of any other fairs that should be included.

Happy Hunting everyone! xx

Saturday, 6 October 2012

All the fun at the fair

Thursday saw me have my first stall at the Sussex Country Brocante and as I said in my other post, I was a little apprehensive.  Well I don't know why I had been so worried, I had a fantastic day!

After packing the car up and several nervous wee's later, Mark and I set off in the Sussex sunshine to the gorgeous village of Wisborough Green.  Once we got there we parked up, I found Lucy and procured my spot and got to work unloading.  I like to say that I take on a supervisory role in these situations, Mark would say that I am just downright bossy and I heard a few mutterings from him as we unpacked.  The thing is, I like things to be just so and I like other people (I mean Mark) to do them just how I like them.  If they don't do it my way then I feel a gentle nudge in the right direction is all that is needed.  Mark feels that I should just do it myself in that case ;)

 After unpacking, my stall was ready.  I was really pleased with the way it looked but you look around and see how everyone has done theirs and wonder if yours is good enough.  The thing to remember is that everyone has their own style and the best thing you can do is stick to your own way of displaying things.  It will look much more natural and appealing to people because you have put some of your personality into the look.  I really should listen to my own advice sometimes.

My stall
My stall
Oh look, my stall again!

Klumpe doll packed and ready for the off!
So once I was happy with the way it looked and I'd got Mark to man the stall, I went off to have a look round and to take photos.  I think Mark was about to send out a search party as I was gone for ages!  I was having a lovely time chatting to people, looking at their wares and taking photos.  I am shy by nature and I always stick to who and what I know so whilst I had met some of the stallholders before, others I was meeting for the first time.  This really pushes me out of my comfort zone BUT everyone really is so friendly and welcoming that you feel like you've met up with old friends.  Its also brilliant to finally meet people whose page you follow on Facebook and see whether they really are as nice as they come across.  I can say with my hand on my heart that the answer is a resounding yes!  Everyone is there for the same reason, because they love what they do.  They are all very encouraging of each other and it feels like there is a real community spirit.

Below are the photos that took me so long to take!

Harriett's Attic a place of Vintage Treasures
Harriett's Attic a place of Vintage Treasures
Harriett's Attic a place of Vintage Treasures
Just on the other side of us was Caroline from Harriett's Attic a place of Vintage Treasures.  She has just lovely things although like me she was worried she had bought the wrong things.  She needn't have worried as she has a very good eye and some lovely treasures.  I especially heart the elephant!

Gazehound Vintage
Gazehound Vintage
Next to meet was Julia from Gazehound Vintage.  Her stall had a distinct autumnal air and she had a great selection of goodies.  I shall look forward to seeing Julia again at the Village-Vintage and following her posts on Facebook.

Cake Angel Sussex
Now this was just downright cruel, putting our table next to Sara's from Cake Angel Sussex.  The temptation was enormous as I loooooove cake!  My lovely husband decided he couldn't resist and purchased two.  I didn't see either of them, I literally turned around and they were gone, he did kindly put the rubbish in my bag though!  I am informed that they were delicious, I think I need to be quicker next time :)

Faded Charm
Faded Charm
Next I said hello to Louise from Faded Charm.  She had just come back from a buying trip in France and her stall was again very autumnal, warm and inviting.  Louise owns Faded Charm in Steyning, it is a beautiful shop and well worth a visit if you are in the area.

At Little Susie
At Little Susie
I met Susie who sells the most gorgeous vintage linens.  They really are beautiful and real heirloom pieces.  Check out her handmade linen bags At Little Susie

Mimi's Vintage
Mimi's Vintage

Mimi's Vintage
Now I didn't actually get to speak to Michelle from Mimi's Vintage but I did linger by her stall for longer than was strictly necessary taking in all the feminine prettiness.  So soft and pretty!

Rosiebud Designs
Rosiebud Designs
Rosiebud Designs
Rosiebud Designs
Next was Jill from Rosiebud Designs.  I have seen Jill at several fairs and her stall always delivers.  This time she had some gorgeous handmade advent calenders that she makes herself, something that will last year after year.  You can see a great pic of the advent calender on her Facebook page Rosiebud Decorative Vintage also take a look at her lovely blog

Found Country Antiques
Found Country Antiques
Found Country Antiques
The last photos I took are of Michelle's stall from Found Country Antiques.  She had crockery, dollies. cosy woollen socks and lovely old chippy bits of furniture.  I wanted a bit of everything.

After I'd taken the photos I returned to my stall to do what I had actually gone there to do, sell.  I had a few customers and sold some smaller items so I was happy.  I only bought a couple of things whilst I was there so I actually made a bit of profit too, bonus!  I also had a gorgeous lady on the stall next to me called Lee who sells china and makes bunting.  She really made my day and I was so lucky to have a stand next to her.  I especially loved it when her mum, who had been looking after her 6 month old baby, brought him in to say hello.  He was so cute and made me a little broody!

It really is a lovely day out for stallholders and shoppers alike.  The stalls are varied and there were many more than I've added here.  Some include: Gil Fox Hat designs, Catherine from Catherine's Country Cottage selling her fascinators, the lovely Debbie and Victoria from Theo & Bernice, Ayres & Grace with their gorgeous handmade vintage style horses and terriers.  There was even a flower stand and of course the tea room selling homemade cakes and serving tea and coffee.

At 4pm it was time to pack up and say goodbye, I'm really looking forward to the next one which I will be doing on my own this time.  It doesn't matter though as I feel so relaxed in these ladies company that I am more than happy for Mark to get back to his day job, I'll just make sure I bring him home a cupcake!