Just a reminder that the fabulous Mill Road Winter Fair is on tomorrow. If you are local then you really must come, it is a vibrant event full of entertainment for all. Wrap up warm and come and find us in the Donkey Green marquee near the swimming pool.
Our stall will be full of vintage goodies - from lovely china to original jewellery. Here's a little taster to whet your appetite!
If you are looking for unique Christmas pressies, then Retrovert is the place to come. Vintage pinnies and cake stands perfect for your friend that loves to bake and pretty china trios for the tea addict. Gorgeous vintage scarves for those that love a splash of colour and stunning brooches for those who can't resist a bit of sparkle! Plus even more!
If you want to plan your day at the Fair then you can check out the programme here
. Look forward to seeing some of you there!
Two local fairs, plenty of Christmas baking, sourcing new (old!) stock and playing vintage games. Here's what we got up to last month:
Cambridge Vintage Fair
We had a fabulous time at the last Cambridge Vintage Fair of the year. It was great see so many familiar faces and we very much enjoyed ourselves. Here are two of our happy customers showing off their vintage purchases.
From Cambridge With Love
From Cambridge With Love was a Christmas special and so many came along in search of unique gifts. It is wonderful to know that lots of lucky people will be getting some gorgeous vintage jewellery or delicate china cups under the tree this year! As you can see Mum and I got into the festive spirit with our outfits :-)
Favourite Vintage Purchases
We love sourcing new stock for the stall and the favourite item we added this month has to be this stunning asymmetric 1950s party dress. It proved very popular at Cambridge Vintage Fair and was the most tried on, but it has not yet found it's perfect fitting partner!
This exquisite Liberty print silk scarf was the runner up for best item of the month, and has already been snapped up and whisked away to foreign shores!
And finally onto my favourite purchase for myself - it has to be this 1950s card game. Aren't the illustrations just fab - it is rather fun to play too!
So that's what Retrovert got up to in November! Hope you had a good one too :-)
We are very excited that Cambridge Vintage Fair returns to the Guildhall tomorrow. If you are looking for the perfect dress for the party season, then this is the event for you. And also the perfect place to do some Christmas shopping if you are looking for one of a kind gifts.
Here are the top three vintage party dresses I will be bringing along to the fair.
Asymmetric 1960s Cocktail Dress. This gorgeous vintage piece has a perfect hourglass shape and is so very unusual with its gold embroidery and half cape.
1950s Chiffon Party Dress. If you are looking for something with Mad Men style this classic 50s shape dress is just the ticket.
1960s Cheongsam Wiggle Dress. And if you fancy something a bit different, this original oriental dress, made from a beautiful woven satin, is sure to impress.
If you've already found the perfect dress for the winter season, but need the perfect accessory to go with it, then we've got plenty of exquisite vintage bags too!
And we will also have our vanity case full of elegant and kitsch vintage brooches. These little beauties make lovely presents, whether for yourself or a vintage loving friend!
Hope to see some of you at Cambridge Vintage Fair tomorrow! You can check out the Facebook Event page
for details and to let us know you are coming.
Last week I paid a visit to the newly opened Afternoon Tease
cafe in Cambridge. I first came across the lovely Jo Kruczynska (aka Afternoon Tease) at Cambridge Retro Disco, a fundraiser for the local Folk Museum. She had spent hours making a multi coloured rainbow of party rings (recipe here
) for her retro bake stall. They were displayed on old records and I just couldn't resist the temptation of their neon icing. I knew from then that with her baking talent and creative eye that she deserved to go far.
So it was with great excitement to hear that Afternoon Tease was opening a cafe in Cambridge. I followed the efforts of Jo and her team as they fitted out the cafe on her blog, and they really have made an amazing transformation. A fabulous neon sign draws you into the light cafe and you come across a counter laden with tempting cakes and other goodies. I love the retro touches to the decor - tea served in vintage cups, a 50s style kitchenette unit behind the counter and even the staff wearing kitsch aprons. The food was just great too. I can definitely recommend the crumpets and the chocolate brownie!
At 13 King Street, Afternoon Tease happens to be right next to my local Post Office, which is where I send off all my vintage from by Etsy Shop
, so I have a feeling I'll be popping in to sample more of their treats in due course!
October was a busy month here at Retrovert, it started off with a good old fashioned road trip, and then we had stalls at two fabulous local events. Here are the highlights of our month:
A Road Trip
The beginning of the month saw a mother and daughter road trip through the countryside of the south west. There is such a wealth of naturally beautiful and historic places in that part of the country and we visited many of them. Here I am at Tarr Steps in Exmoor. The unusual stepping stone bridge dates back to medieval times, though I was rather more channelling the 1960s in my Bernat Klein hat and Liberty print skirt.
We sampled the delights of many tearooms. Some were a big disappointment, but two stood out for delectable teatime treats and customer service: Woods Cafe near Bodmin, a chocolate box cottage in the woods which offers up creative and delicious food and even serves Cornish tea; and Periwinkle Tea Room in Selworthy, a picturesque thatched National Trust property which serves all its home made goodies on vintage china, and even had its own matching traycloths and tea cosies!
Cambridge Vintage Fair
October 13th saw the return of Judy's Vintage Fair to the Guildhall after the long summer wait. And boy did it come back with a bang. Thousands of vintage seeking students and locals came in search of fashion bargains. And judging by the increasing number of happy faces and shopping bags I saw throughout the day, it seems they were in luck!
This 70s lurex number was snapped up from our stall before the fair even opened - a fellow stallholder just couldn't resist. She was just the perfect person for it, so I was delighted.
From Cambridge With Love
A week later, we also had a brilliant time at From Cambridge With Love
in the Guildhall.
We met and chatted with so many wonderful local handmade and vintage fans, and it was a joy to help our customers find the perfect pieces for them. Our vintage china went down a treat and it is nice to know that lots of it is now being used for a good old cup of tea and cake in their new homes. I can't wait for the next From Cambridge With Love event. Bring on November 30th!
My Favourite Vintage Purchase
Trading at so many vintage fairs makes it hard to resist the temptation of buying something for yourself when you are there. I picked up this 1950s circle skirt at Cambridge Vintage Fair and also found an original net petticoat to go under it. I'm addicted to bold and colourful prints and just love twirling around in a circle skirt (and if you do too, then check out my How To Make a Circle Skirt Tutorial
So that's a snapshot of our October here at Retrovert. I hope you had a good month too! November already looks to be full of promise, with skirts flying out of our Etsy shop
and two more events
to look forward too, and at home, plenty of crafting and Christmas cooking to be getting on with!
Recently I went to the National Trust's Wimpole Hall for their 6th wartime event. The house and grounds was transported back to the 1940s and brought to life by reenactors and authentic period touches.
This dashing pair cycled all their way from Cambridge with all their camping gear on the back of their vintage tandem. Isn't that bicycle just great! If like me, you fancy riding a ride on a vintage bike then you are in luck - they are setting up their hire business Tommy Vintage Cycles
so you too can have a chance to cycle in vintage style.
There were also plenty of uniformed reenactors. Here's the Suffolk Home Guard's outpost.
Lots of people went to great efforts to make their encampments authentic. This man's array of 1940s goodies, was even all edible. I was pleased to see the bottle of Camp coffee as it brings back childhood memories of baking with it. You can tell this one is a original bottle from the label, which was revised to become more PC! You can read more about the design over on the BBC's History of the World
It was a joy to see the fabulous members of Cambs and Beds Lindy Experience again and to see if we could remember the steps of the Palais Stroll that we learnt with them at Twinwood Festival
The Hall itself had also been taken back to what it might have been like in the 40s. An original newspaper with the latest stories on the war effort was laid out for reading over tea, and there was a basket of wool in the living room for the women to get on with some making do and mending, as well as authentic games for the children to play.
I particularly liked below stairs, which gave a glimpse into the life of the servants. Best thing was I could pretend I was on the set of Downton Abbey :-)
So I had I thouroughly enjoyable day out at Wimpole at War and look forward to next time!
Have you been to any reenactment events recently?
I recently paid a visit to the beautiful Anglesey Abbey. It is quite different from other National Trust properties as it has been preserved as a home which was a condition when the last owner, Lord Fairhaven, bequeathed it. This means that the house gives a startling insight into the life and personality of the half American aristocrat who bought the Abbey in 1926.
Lord Fairhaven was an avid collector of treasures from around the world. Here a few of the items that stood out for me:
Venetian 16th century metal and ceramic hanging. Such an unusual object, I am amazed it has lasted for so long.
Exquisite raised beadwork on an antique fire screen.
Painted mirror headboard and beautiful printed bedding to complement it.
Art Deco travel clock. Such a simple design, but ever so striking.
I always love a sunburst clock and this one, with its pendulum design, is certainly the most impressive I've seen.
As you walk around the house, you feel like you gradually get to know the personality of Lord Fairhaven.
This charming sketch on his desk gives you an insight into his sense of humourous observation.
And here, a peak into his wardrobe gives you a chance to picture him getting ready for his many social engagements and outdoor pursuits. Aren't those 1930s correspondent shoes so iconic of the era (just like from the intro of Boardwalk Empire!).
And in his bedroom notice the care he takes to keep his shoes in shape...
... but when it comes to his slippers hiding under a chair, you can see he wasn't so fastidious all the time!
You can also tell he was a modern minded man by the amount of bathrooms fitted in the house, unusual for the 1930s.
If I had to choose my favourite piece from the house, it would be this curtain fabric hanging in one of the bathrooms. Not the most splendid or extravagant item, but such a striking novelty fabric and so evocative of an era gone by.
Next year they've got plans to open up more of the Domestic Wing, and are restoring below stairs back to the 1960s. You can read more about this exciting project on the Cambridge News
. Lino, retro kitchenalia and colourful cookware - sounds right up our street!
The house is still open for a couple more weeks if you fancy having a wander in its splendour. The gardens too are renowned for being spectacular in the winter. Visit the National Trust website
for more information and, of course, have a fabulous time if you do go!
It's tomorrow! Come and join us at the Cambridge Guildhall this Saturday 19th October, for another fabulous event.
I had a brilliant time at the last fair - check out my post Favourite Finds at From Cambridge With Love
to see what delights were on offer. I'll have even more vintage clothing, accessories and homewares at Retrovert's stall this time and the event looks to be even better than the last, with even more local businesses, workshops and hopefully no snow!
Here's what the organiser's say "At From Cambridge With Love
you can meet the city’s finest artisans, independent fashion designers, foody businesses, retro homewares traders and much more! Handmade meets vintage is our theme with an emphasise on locality! Think fun, unique, affordable and VERY VERY inspiring! As well as the fabulous stalls, you can devour yummy cakes in our gorgeous vintage tearoom, get crafty in our 3 great workshops (crochet for beginners, felted earrings and vintage corsage brooches - as well as sourdough demos through the day), live music and lots more!"Check out the Facebook event page and let us know you are coming. Hope to see some of you there :-)Have a great weekend,
Only two days to go until Judy's Vintage Fair returns to Cambridge! Come on down to the Guildhall on Sunday 13th October to stock up on vintage fashion perfect for this autumn.
Here is a sneak peak of my favourite items that are just the thing for staying stylish, but cosy, now the summer is over!
Alexon Red Wool Suit. So very Mad Men, wish I could keep this one!
60s Suede Jacket. Classic shape, and super soft fabric - a real winner for the chilly weather.
Louis Feraud Jacket. I love it's wool and silk check fabric, and its three quarter length shape.
Lee Bender shirt. A classic tailored satin shirt by very collectible 70s label Bus Stop.
Quad cardigan. A beautifully draping fabric in a rich autumn hue.
Cute gingham 60s dress. This has fabulous beading on the collar and cuffs.
70s Cream Dress. A cosy knit with perfect pleats.
Polly Peck Maxi Dress. And finally, my absolute fave is this stunner from the 70s. Fabulous metallic fabric in a gorgeous print, combined with a striking design. What more could you want from a vintage party dress?
So that's just in a drop in the ocean of all our gorgeous Autumn/Winter stock. Further delights include 50s party dresses, an array of tempting vintage bags, gorgeous vintage brooches and, of course, the £5 bargain box!
Hope to see some of you at Cambridge Vintage Fair
A few weeks ago I went to the first Cambridge Vintage Night, a fun night out with live music, impressive lindy hopping and a retro buffet.
I can't pass up the chance to dress up in my vintage, and after some deliberation this is what I choose to wear. I ended up with a sort of 20s flapper cross 50s starlet look!
I have been wanting to wear this feather cocktail hat out to an event for ages and I finally decide to go for it. I had many compliments on it, though people seemed to have trouble working out exactly what it was, describing it as 'feather thing', making gestures around their head and all sorts! I guess it really is quite an unusual hat to see nowadays, so I can understand.
It belonged to my great grandmother and it probably dates from around the 1930s. Considering its materials, age and the fact that it spent much of my youth squashed in the dressing up box, it has held together well. I would love to know what occasions my great grandmother wore it to! It has a whole life of its own, far longer than mine. That's what I love about vintage - the journey and experiences that an item has been through, I just wish I knew more about them! How I would love to be able to experience what it has.
To complement the hat, I wore a 50s full circle red rayon dress which has a lovely drape, teamed with a cashmere bolero for warmth. To accessorise I went for original twenties jet beads, a beautifully made art deco handbag, and red 50s flats.
Here are a few shots from the event. Apologies about the photo quality, my art deco purse was only just big enough for my phone, let alone my camera!
Music was by Pinstripe Suit and I loved their projection of vintage charleston footage on the wall.
I spotted this little vintage sign in the entrance to Guildhall. Isn't the wording just fab! I've always been to busy to notice it, as I'm rushing up and down these stairs with my vintage wares to set up for Cambridge Vintage Fair. Next one is October 13th by the way. I've got some gorgeous party frocks in stock...
And finally, proof I was actually there, and don't mind embarrassing myself dancing!
What do you think of my outfit? Do you have a treasured item of clothing that was passed down to you?