Tuesday, 16 April 2013

A Passion for Vintage

   There's nothing more intriguing than the story behind a vintage item: a coat worn by a 1920s cabaret performer, a wedding ring that survived its owner's diamond anniversary, boots worn at a Jimi Hendrix gig at Woodstock. The story of an item is, perhaps, even more exciting than the item itself. I remember my first vintage purchase: a little brown suitcase that I bought, standing in the rain, at an outdoor fair at Snape Maltings. I adored it because of its potential history - where it could have been and who could have owned it. It now resides on my bedside table as my little ornamental representation of 'vintage'.

   I spoke to Kelly Fairweather, owner of Fairweather Vintage in Ipswich, Suffolk, who knows what to look for when purchasing a unique item from a bygone era.

   She explains that vintage shopping is similar to "shopping at TKMaxx, you've got to look through everything to find that little gem."

   Bearing this is mind, she has simplified her shop, selecting only the most interesting items to display. Walking around, I can see that the fixtures and displays aren't overloaded with merchandise, and little cameo brooches and colourful hair bows - things that we would most likely skim over - are made prominent: "I try not to put too much on each fixture so that people walk around and really take the time to look at what I sell."
   Having stood in the shop for less than ten minutes, I had already spotted several pieces of clothing that I loved, including the long, red Jaeger coat that I'm wearing in the shots below. Like ninety percent of customers, I would only buy one unique item and cherish it, however, according to Kelly, "there are customers who come in who live and breathe vintage." 

   Kelly's own style is "a mix of high street staples and vintage statements", like a black H&M dress paired with fifties kitten heels. "Because the weather's not been great, I've had to wear a beanie and a woolly jumper most days," Kelly explains, making a face as this particular choice of clothing is the polar opposite to her typical rockabilly attire. 

   However, as the Sun was shining, Kelly ditched her beanie and decided to try out some dresses for our photoshoot.

   We received a makeover from Betty at Betty's Bangs, a gorgeous, unique hair salon which is also situated in Ipswich. Backcombing, spritzing and pinning my hair into place, Betty took my previously dull, straight style and whipped it into a pin-up worthy victory roll with side curls. Kelly's hair was swept into a sleek, voluminous bun and a VV Brown fringe.

   James Earnshaw from www.empiremade.co.uk shot these photographs on location at Christchurch Park and around Ipswich town centre.

   I had such a great day working with Betty, Kelly and James to create these photos. I felt so lucky to be able to wear and model clothes that told a story, that I was a little bit disappointed when I changed back into my regular clothes. If you would like to find your perfect vintage item, you can find Fairweather Vintage on Facebook, or you can pop by her shop on the first floor at 3 St. Stephen's Lane, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP1 1DP.



  1. I love the idea of there being a story behind vintage pieces, it makes buying vintage things all the more lovely! I adore the tartan skirt and the cameo brooch. Of course, I love the hair. I wish I could do that! :) x

  2. I do like buying the odd vintage item, but it takes a lot of time and effort to find the perfect piece, like you said. Plus the luck of finding it in your size! You look absolutely amazing in these pictures. I love the styling too. Your headshot with the sunglasses is perfection. Reminds me a bit of Lolita!

    By the way thanks for your comment. I think you might like my latest retro look I posted today! Now following your blog because I really like your style.



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