Considering Nottingham has a prominent vintage community, with an array of stores such as Cow, Wild, and The Vintage Warehouse but to name a few, it was only to be expected that The Vintage Fair should hit town sooner or later. Being a fan of the vintage revival, a couple of friends and I meandered down last Sunday to the fair. Having relatively low expectations of the event due to the somewhat meagre amount of advertising it had been exposed to, we were pleasantly surprised to discover a heaving crowd at the Albert Hall. The Vintage Fair attracted a diverse crowd; not only students but parents with their children, grandparents, and disgruntled men feeling alienated by the clothing, cooing and squawking, who then proceeded to sit around the parameters of the hall, doing their best to not look too incongruous.
Entrance to the event was a meagre £1, an outstandingly small charge considering the scale of the fair. The entrance hall made a marvellous first impression boasting marble floors, luxurious leather sofas and more mahogany than you could shake a stick at. Furthermore the glorious aroma of coffee and cake pervaded the reception drawing our attention to the gorgeous cupcakes and hearty slabs of victoria sponge which were, needless to say, extremely popular.
The reception largely held host to several homeware stalls, displaying crockery of innumerable floral designs. Teapots and floral cake-stands basked in glory and vases and ornaments received their fair share of the limelight also. Amongst these were a couple of accessory stands selling pendants, earrings, necklaces and broaches. Moving on up toward the main conference centre however, was a breath-taking experience for any dedicated follower of fashion. Forty suppliers of vintage fashion had rammed their clothing into the hall resulting in nothing short of mayhem.
Navigating the room was a task in itself and several circuits of the hall were a prerequisite to ensure that no single stall had been left neglected. Splitting up the group to make progress as individual shoppers was a tactical move well worth making to maximise time use as efficiently as possible and to snatch the most bargains. I passed multitudes of silk scarves for the reasonable price of £3 each, blazers, leather handbags, belts, dresses, denim shorts of an array of colours, jewellery and even (controversially) real fur coats.
Despite the chaotic atmosphere vendors remained genuinely friendly, eager to help and just as pleased to chat. However it has to be said that my favourite part of the entire Vintage Fair experience was browsing the stalls accompanied by the likes of Fleetwood Mac, The Kinks and Chubby Checker. Fantastic.
The Vintage Fair will also be gracing lots more cities with its presence over March and April including London, Brighton, Oxford, Manchester and Birmingham. For more information see The Vintage Fair website: http://www.thevintagefair.com/