At last I’ve finally got around to putting together my promised post about the main reason we headed up to Derbyshire, The Summer of Vintage Festival. This fantastic annual festival at Uttoxeter racecourse is put together by the gorgeous Gemma Miller, the brains behind The Vintage Suitcase.
I really wanted to go last year but didn’t get myself organised in time, but I was absolutely determined to make it there in 2016. Gemma was one of the first vintage types that I met on Twitter, so had spent a few years getting envious of photos from her events. (She organises others throughout the year, but the summer one is the big one!). I also got to know several of her friends through social media and, of course, they always attended. So I was well aware I would bump into one or two familiar faces when I finally went.
The first, and possibly the one I was most excited about, was the fabulous Kitty from Kitty Lou Vintage. Kitty is an amazing seamstress and produces incredible bespoke garments for her many enthusiastic customers, all taken from original vintage patterns. She’s also a big lover of the 1930s, so a lady after my own heart. We have mutual admiration and respect for each other’s work. I absolutely love what she does and it’s fantastic to see someone so talented doing something like this and making a real success of it. She’s always incredibly busy and I do know she’s already booked up throughout 2016 and the first four months of 2017!
On the day we had a long chat about sewing, clothes, fabrics, how we learnt etc etc and it was so good to talk to someone as passionate as I am about it all. She’s also really, really lovely! We’ve already chatted online since the festival and I’m so glad we finally got to meet in person.
Kitty was obviously advertising what she does at the show and she also had a small selection of vintage sewing patterns and haberdashery bits on sale. Of course, it would’ve been impolite not to have a look at them whilst I was there and it’ll come as no surprise to you all that I did end up buying some!
The Home Chat magazine is from October 1930, a year I find really interesting as it’s that move away from the typical Flapper look but hasn’t quite got to the classic mid 1930s style. This miraculously still has the original pattern of the dress tucked inside it! It’s absolutely stunning and I am already visualising it in dark blue (not quite navy) crepe-de-chine and emerald green.
The one on the bottom left was also from Kitty and is a beautifully classic suit, which can be made either for the summer or winter. This one is going to take a little bit more planning before I decide what fabrics to use.
The other two patterns were from another seller and I really wish I’d got her name because she had one serious stash. The one on the top left is unbelievably elegant and I already know I want to make it in a purple textured crepe with highlights in grey. The chemise from 1939 (top right) is cut on the bias and ticks two boxes for future sewing challenges, lingerie and bias cut as both terrify me.
This lovely lady is one of Kitty’s very satisfied customers. Doesn’t she look amazing in this gorgeous yellow and black 1940s two piece? The yellow actually looks more like luminous green in this photo but trust me it’s yellow! I love how she styled it, especially those amazing shoes!
The lovely lady on the left in the photo above is Sarah, although I know her better as Essbdee on Instgram. She’s another fabulous vintage seamstress and makes the majority of her pieces from original vintage fabrics, and even the odd vintage duvet! She made the beautiful black dress she’s wearing here using a 1950s Vogue pattern and teamed it with emerald green Rocket Original shoes, a Laura Ashley handbag and a modern refashioned hat. I love the way she’s altered the direction of the fabric to give a real interest to the stripe pattern.
The equally lovely lady on the right is Kiki DeVille, probably best known in the non-vintage world as being a singer on The Voice. However, in the vintage world she’s better known as a Burlesque performer, both compering and singing. She compered the whole festival and also did a fabulous talk on how to brand and market yourself online. She was so down to earth and logical about it, whilst throwing in her classic Australian wit.
In the photo here she’s compering the end of day fashion show, and Sarah came third! (No, I didn’t enter. I’ve done it once before and absolutely hated it!)
The stunning lady who came first, however, was Sam Swift, or as she’s better known on Instagram, Death by Deco. It’s not hard to see why. Seriously that outfit is incredible. Her dress is an original 1940s one from Jumblelaya on Etsy and the beautiful hat that goes just perfectly with it is from one of my favourite hat sellers, High Hat Couture. What you can’t see are her fabulous yellow suede Betty shoes from Miss L Fire. I sooooo want those shoes! I absolutely love my white ones but the yellow ones are just incredible.
And I’m sure many of you recognise this gorgeous lady. Yes, it’s Rachel Egglestone-Evans, the Editor of Vintage Life Magazine! She had a prime spot just as you walked into the main shopping hall for anything 1960s – 1990s, so it was hard not to notice her. She was ever the professional when I asked to take her photo and instantly assumed the pinup stance. She’s clearly very used to it!
On stage was the incredibly enigmatic Lola Lamour, a face that many may recognise as she’s been in the vintage scene for years. I’ve often seen her pop up in modelling jobs over the years and I vaguely remember her modelling for The House of Foxy and Heyday! many moons ago. However, her focus now is truly on the singing and oh my word, she’s is amazing! This woman can seriously move and look totally elegant doing it. If you get a chance to see her, make sure you do.
The next familiar face was another friend of Gemma’s, Sarah Bloor, better known as the Pin Up Curl. Some of you may recognise her from the BBC Two hairstyling competition Hair. She was on site to provide hair makeovers for anyone who wanted a truly fab vintage updo. From what I saw she was very busy indeed! And on hand behind her was The Pin Up Academy to do your make up and you could have a professional photo taken to remember the occasion.
And last but by certainly no means least is the lady herself, Miss Gemma Miller! When I first spotted her in the morning, just after the gates had opened, she looked really stressed. I felt so sorry for her, but seriously, it must be insane to organise something like this. I certainly wouldn’t want to do it, so hats off to her. When I bumped into her later she’d managed to change and reapply her lippy and was much calmer. Bless her!
Of course, I couldn’t leave without having a quick photo taken of the two of us together. Doesn’t she look fab? That’s yet another of Kitty’s masterpieces! It really, really suits Gemma, it’s the absolutely perfect colour for her.
I had a truly amazing time at the Summer of Vintage Festival. It was so great to meet so many people I’d either become friends with or followed on social media. Everyone was just so lovely and friendly.
The shopping was awesome and there were more familiar faces amongst some of the sellers. The ever-knowledgeable Vintage Keeley was selling both mid-century and early 20th Century homewares, as well as a large range of vintage clothes. I bought the most gorgeous mustard yellow 1940s handbag from her, which I’m sure will make an appearance on her soon. Miss Bamboo was directly opposite and I totally fell in love with her own brand range. Each piece is made in a vintage style rayon and looks really authentic. I have to say the photos on the website doesn’t do them justice so if you spot her at event go and have a look.
If you’d like to see more of what I found at the Summer of Vintage Festival why not check out my report on The Vintage News. There’s tons more photos on there, especially some of the fabulous pieces that I didn’t buy! 🙂