The camera was my tool this weekend when I took on a blogger challenge, snapping my experience at Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair. My mission? To take a disposable camera and capture my experiences.
This is my record of secret portal to a treasure trove – captured for those who crave vintage goodness.
Donning my fashion blogging uniform (see below) and clicking my heels into another land, I sort to document Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair on 3 December . This glimpse into other world’s at Old Spitalfields Market debuted on Saturday – the first time in 100 years – by welcoming Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair which shall be gracing the site every first Saturday of the month in future.
Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair feels as if it’s always been at Old Spitalfields; laying down its time travelling cloak of glamour with well-honed vintage heels and spreading out its decade defying 140 stalls from all over the UK.
Diving straight into these worlds I could become any character, traversing eras. Forget slaving over fashion’s ‘latest’ or ‘must haves’, Judy’s shows worlds ahead and beyond that. The wealth of stalls offer items Topshop or Urban Outfitters won’t have and that’s what fellow time travel shoppers felt, commenting how, ‘You don’t get this quality in the shops‘. This is coupled with great prices and an added dose of history, transporting its owners back to another time.
There was all the fashion you could shake a clutch bag and armed with my camera I found new worlds and revived memoires. Overwhelmed, I didn’t know where to begin, suddenly all sensible thoughts of – ‘I only need to find a print to go on my bedroom wall’ – float out of the packed crowd of fellow explorers.
I chanced upon the 70s with sequined dresses, felt the 50s in well-loved leather jackets, discovered oriental traditions with silk kimonos and put myself into the shoes of a 20s party girl.
Trying on the shoes reminded me of the past characters who have passed through Old Spitalfields Market, making it what it is today. The site can boast the fact that it was a Roman cemetery in 1601, and that Charles Roberts Ashbee, founder of the Arts and Craft movement, opened his Guild and School of Handicraft at Toynbee Hall across the road. It saw Maltese, Irish, Scots, West Indian, Somalian and Bangladeshi communities came to the area in 1900s. This history made the clothes come to life more against backdrop of the wrought iron roof of the market.
Further on in my travels I landed in a music box of my childhood with my parents record collection, a vinyl collection featuring Eric Clapton and Grace Jones. More figures came to life such as the Beatles and Wham, this was a literal slice of a time gone, making my fellow shoppers laugh and admit their (sometimes embarrassing) musical loves.
It’s not just the fashion and music eras that took me time travelling, furniture and home accessories sent me to other lands. I found lamps, vases, telephones, chairs and china. Taking me by surprise I was whisked into the Madmen set with 50s clocks to show how long I had been caught up in amongst this colourful landscape.
Towards the outter edges in-between the rails and jewellery boxes I tiptoed back to my childhood with these teeny tiny shoes. Reminding me of my tentative first ballet steps as a 6 year old, they took on a life of their own, I could smell the hairspray and remember my practice steps as if it was yesterday.
I began to discover more and more stalls that all had hidden surprises, shifting from one exotic time to another. Along the way I met more fellow travellers who were able to feel extra special with vintage underwear from the 20s that’s not on the high street. Other vintage lovers were reminded of places from childhood with old town posters, or of their much loved toys with Lego and Scrabble jewellery.
Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair was also an opportunity for everyone to add to their collections – no matter how ‘unfashionable’ or not on ‘trend’ it may seem. I could see how the fair gave everyone a chance to not only to take on different characters, but immerse themselves in their favourite style. Sports shirts always remained elusive one shopper (below) and he found something perfect by travelling to the 1990’s with his find at the fair.
Finally I managed to tear myself away from the dazzling array of stalls and back to the present day. Still reeling with all the images its hard to pin it down to just a few but hopefully my snaps have inspired you to take on an exploration of a future Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair. It’s the perfect place to find new eras of inspiration and banish vintage designer price tags.
Travel through lands and time, be inspired and experiment but most importantly, pass on this secret passage into vintage heaven.
Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair comes from humble beginnings in London 2005, starting as in indoor market. Now it boasts not only vintage fairs around the UK but the Kilo Vintage Sale, Furniture Flea, AND they even casted their kitsch eye over Vintage at Goodwood by curating it in 2010. They’re also expanded to outsite the UK shores in February 2012 increasing their stalls form 140 to 170 – more goodies for all!
For the images from my photo blog challenge head to Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair Facebook page where they shall be posted soon!