Monday, 3 October 2011

Antique vs Vintage Fair - my humble opinion

A wee while ago I did a quick post to promote a local event that was kicking off in, well, my locality. Antique vs Vintage had invited me along as a guest to their inaugural day. There was the promise of free entry and a goody bag. And, of course, oodles of old stuff. I was there like a shot.

Anything that brings an appreciation of all things pre owned closer to my door and saves me going into the throng on London catches my attention. I am pleased to say that this set up had caught it and shall, in all probability, keep it. The organisers remind me, well, of me. Enthusiastic about aged things at reasonable prices.

Now -  antiques fairs are all very well and good. And you can nab some bargains. But there also tends to be a fair amount of, what I would consider, to be overpriced fillers. Which can put people who are new, off. No one wants to get done over and if you don't know what you are looking at, or have a rough guesstimate of what something is worth, then it is all too easy to be had. Which is rubbish.

What I found at Antiques vs Vintage there was a nice blend of I'll-need-a-bank-loan items and Oooh-yes-I'll-have-that-for-a-fiver items. The atmosphere was friendly, for the most part, especially in the lower halls where the Vintage stall holders were stationed. Music tinkling from the speakers, people chatting and exclaiming at a rooted for find. And glass jars of sweets as you came in. Proper, old fashioned sweets. Very clever popping them at the front.

Now. For me personally, I dress how I dress for the style. Not for the authenticity of pre-owned cloth. I am just not a stickler for it. If I see a frock I like, I think I can make it suit me, my curls and red lippy and the price is right -  then I shall grab it. Be it 1930's actual or 1980's mock. Because of this attitude, I am unashamed to say that I am not top-notch at dating pieces. To me, it was a room full of lovely garments of all shapes and sizes, with prices to match.

I bought a 1950's beaded cardigan jacket (I am sure there is a proper name for such an item -  I know not of it) for £20. I have seen them in London for £40+. Perfect condition and fitted. Woo hoooo! I was made up. I also purchased a lovely sample dress from Sadie Boon Vintage who I have known upon the world wide web for over a year -  but had never met. Bubbly, friendly and with decently priced items, I spent a lot of time at her stall. In fact, I wore said dress the very next day.

Courtesy of Frankly My Dear

I also met the wondrous Amy (and her mum!) of L'Amour et Le Mariage / Rockabetty Studios , who I had met before at Swing for Skin, but only for a few moments, and I was inebriated. So it was nice to actually be able to sting a sentence together with such a lovely gal for company.

Also in attendance was a lady I have wanted to meet for a long while -  Hen of HenHouse. I wanted to ask her so many questions about patch working and her glorious cottage -  I invariably asked none. There is always next time.

There was lots of lovelies to be had at this event, which is a synch to get to from outlying areas, including London. A nice amble from Ewell West station and you are there. Hats, bags, jewellery, kitchenalia, linen, clothing, picture frames, watches. All under one, very round, roof

Now, I returned to the 3rd event in September and I will say that, on second viewing, the atmosphere had, unfortunately, all but vanished and most people seemed awful glum. I feel that the Vintage part of it comes across as a little bit of an add on -  and needs more pushing. There is a wealth of people around the area that are into the scene, but they seemingly have no idea it is a regular thing. 

I also heard comments from folk, as they milled about, commenting that they "don't get vintage" and had obviously there for the antique side of things and had come down to mooch because the vintage bit was - well -  there. Which seems a shame. Maybe an idea would be to mix the stalls instead of having an "upstairs vs downstairs" connotation.

However, this is a fledgling event for this area. And I cannot fault the passion that the organisers have behind their idea. I am hopeful that, in time, it may really get into it's stride.

 All in all, I enjoyed myself enough here to warrant my return and I wish them all the luck in the world, as I believe this type of event has legs. I just hope they have chance to stretch them.

If you are interested to know more you can find them on FaceBook  and also on
Twitter @antq_vs_vntg 


  1. It's a shame the second one wasn't as much fun. It sounds like a much better event than the last vintage fair I went to, even so!

  2. Oh is that the fair I went to with you and The Beard?

  3. I'd like to come along to the next one fo' def.

  4. I definitely prefer vintage fairs! You look fabulous in both outfits. You have a great look!
    Isabelle x

  5. I wouldn't mind a rummage round that. Love your red lippie m'dear!

    You crossed my mind when I was browsing on amazon today. They have calendars which consist of wartime posters as the picture part. You might want a squizz.

  6. Lena - thats the one! Before the "vintage" bit was added :)

  7. Good luck with your booth at the next one! I know what you mean about the vintage as an after thought. Sadly around where I live (even in such a large city) there are precious few people who have a vintage 'look'. (You'll see some vintage pieces on people but usually in a more eclectic manner, adding in a bit of vintage to a cute hip outfit, say.) Almost never in a "that person looks straight out of the 30s/40s/50s/whatever" way. So at some of the vintage and antique shows, the vintage goods are not really the interest of most shoppers. This can work for me because prices can be good as there are less people shopping for them, or against me, when sellers think even 40s dresses are antique and should command museum prices. Either way it's always sad there aren't very many vintage shoppers there, I often fear the vintage sellers will just disappear as there is really no vintage 'scene' here to speak of. :/

  8. Looks like a brilliant event. Hope you manage to sell lots of your lovely stuff in October, they sound reasonably priced so I bet they'll fly! Little Vintage Lover do a brilliant fair in Norfolk - worth a look if you're ever in the area! :-)

  9. Looks great! I think that the vintage side of selling and fairs invariably has a chirpier face. There's a sense of everyone in it together if you know what I mean. It's a fairly small world and people end up bumping into mates and bloggy chums. Antique fairs are generally a different beastie and depending where they are, can be so far up their own bums, they ain't never coming out.

  10. Sounds perfect to me, if only they could get the two halves to gel properly. I'd love to have some 'proper' antiques, nearest I have is my 40s dressing table and art deco mirror, but I love all the cheaper vintage bits and bobs too. Your stall would definitely be a draw to me - loads of stock and all reasonably priced sounds like a winner!

  11. Your new frock looks totally HOT!
    Argh,I'd soooo love to come along,you're just the kinda stall holder I like to sit and have a drink with before giving them my purse.......X

  12. Sounds good- shame the second one wasn't as zingy.

    I love antiques, I just can't afford them. Clothes or ornaments, I'm like you: if I like it and it suits me, I will buy it even if it's cheap or just second-hand, not vintage.

  13. You look fabulous as always, the yellow really suits you! K xx

  14. Oh interesting, I thought even without the vintage bit when we went there is was worth a look. I bought a 40s playsuit for £10, total bargain!

  15. i love the way u did your hair!

  16. I went to the September event and felt it was a lovely event. Shame I can't make October (we are away), would love to see what you had to offer. I loved looking at the antiques I could not even think of being able to afford. Then going down into the vintage area was the best part.


  17. loving both of your dresses in this post. I find antique events can be a bit....pretentious sometimes. Vintage for me feels a bit more earthy and real.

  18. Your stall will be fabulous, I'm sure. And the beaded cardi for £20 is a bargain. I really should go to this, what a shame I am such a lazy arse xx

  19. I want to see your cardigan.

    That is all :D

  20. Sounds like a fun event! Too bad that the excitement has cooled. Sometimes the problem with these events is if there is not enough advertising outside of the realm of the regulars it becomes really stale, really quick. Good luck with your booth on the 29th, I hope its a smashing success!


I'd love to hear what you think so feel free to comment away!


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