Monday, 11 June 2012

Vintage Nation

This past weekend was suprisingly busy, considering most of us had only three days to recover from the overwhelming decadence and flag waving of the one before! There was lots and lots on offer for fans of vintage, indie and rock, from a very muddy Download festival to upmarket city vintage sales. Now I'm never one to turn down the opportunity to be festive, but I am no longer of the age when sitting up to my neck in mud to see a hundred bands (many of whom I will struggle to recall later) is relaxing and recreational. So when Charlotte of Tuppence Ha'Penny invited me to join her at Vintage Nation in Brighton I grabbed my purplest maxi dress and hopped on down to the seaside.

The Seaside.

Vintage Nation is a one day festival created by Judy of Judy's Affordable Vintage Fairs. It centred around a large fair, with affordable (and slightly more expensive but good value) vintage finds. Certainly I have found that sometimes 'affordable' is relative to location- so was pleasantly surprised at the range and variety on offer here, because Brighton's nick-name 'London on Sea' is very true when it comes to buying vintage and retro. For example, I picked up two early 80s 'Edwardian Lady' dresses (plaid, ruffles, applique velvet) -which I know are neither purist nor trendy hahaha- with one being a Betty Barclay (£30) and the other a high street number from a bargain basket (£3). So both very cheap and cheerful and reasonably affordably labels are represented. I also picked up a rather nice knitted tie for His Lordship (£5), although male vintage was, as ever, slightly under represented.

Charlotte looking fabulous, with some of her amazing
hats and bags!
In addition to shopping, there was a satisfying range of activities making this more a day festival than just a fair. I felt it offered really decent value for money for a £10 ticket. Activities included a Crabbies bar with Chap-Hop blaring out (and free cake), dance demos and DJs (again with a bar!), vintage bicycles, hair salon tea room, interiors market, outdoor 'beach', funfair rides, a small selection of vintage cars, a cabaret/burlesque room and skills such as penny farthing rides and hula hooping. As many of you will know, Charlotte is a hula hooping expert. I am not. But I did manage to hoop for a little while!

Some vintage cars...
One thing we noticed, which was really lovely, was how eclectic the crowd was. Some fairs and events can be scene-within-a-scene cliquey, but Vintage Nation was nothing like this. From mature Rockabillies to re-enacters to purist mid-century to cupcake gals to Kawaii fans to teens in teeny-shorts-and-80s-blouses, everyone and anyone with a vintage interest was present and most definitely welcome. The atmosphere was really friendly and interesting.

An eclectic crowd shopping

We also bumped into fellow bloggers Southern Retro and Vintage Secret, which was a lovely suprise. It's a small world!
All in all I thoroughly enjoyed my day. The only mild let down was the catering. We were expecting a vast array of international foods, and actually there were only three vendors and an ice cream van. Unfortunately this meant that the queue for food was rather long and the tea rooms upstairs were incredibly busy. Perhaps this was an unforeseen thing, and it will be amended next time.

I indulged in some Crabbies and Chap-hop.


  1. Looks like a fun day out, but can we see a pic of your purpleness? x

    Penny Dreadful Vintage

  2. I'm not sure I'm familiar with chap hop - but I am very fond of Crabbies! I love Brighton, so this sounds like the perfect day out. Charlotte looks gorgeous, and I need me one of those bags!

  3. Hey doll, great pics - and I'm glad you enjoyed the event (especially since I talked you into it lol!), it was nice having your company for the day :)

    xx Charlotte
    Tuppence Ha'penny Vintage

  4. What on earth's chap hop? I'd love to see your purple maxi. Too old to sit in a muddy field watching a hundred bands? Whaddya mean, I'm at least a decade older than you!! x

  5. That sounds like great fun. I really need to get myself off to some sort of vintage festival this year.

  6. I'm so jealous. I'd love to visit somewhere like that but none of my friends would appreciate it and its not an activity to do alone.


  7. looks like a good time although I just cannot abide queueing when hungry.

  8. Looks a great festival! yeah, what is a chap hop?

  9. Hey I have a banjolele too, neat!
    looks like alot of fun, thanks for the post...

  10. Looks like fun! I'm glad you added some 70s glamour to the whole event!

  11. Sounds like great fun!Purplish maxi? I'm sure you looked great.Those record handbags are amazing!

  12. Perdita, I would love to see photos of the wonder-trousers of which you speak!!

  13. Hi Perdita, I have passed the Versatile Blogger Award your way. If you'd like to accept it you'll find it on my blog tomorrow ( - have a good Wednesday! Anna. x

  14. Hi my dear! Sounds like a really fun and stylish event and I too would have loved to see you in your purple maxi dress! Hope you're well, wishing you a great week ahead xx

  15. Hi Perdita it looks like you had a fun day out and I will add my voice to the others and say I hope we can see a photo of you in your dress too. I'm glad there was an eclectic and varied crowd too and that everyone felt welcome.

  16. Ohh sounds like such fun! I wish I could go to something like that.



Let me know what you think!