My honeymoon in Morocco was wonderful – although we stayed in Marrakech, we went on plenty of trips around the country and explored everything from the Atlas mountains to Essaouira by the coast and the Art Deco splendor of Casablanca. I utterly loved Morocco, it’s a brilliant place. Absolutely everyone we met was extremely welcoming and needless to say, I loved the local crafts. We not only brought back plates and a tagine, I also bought some shoes and a saddle bag, the souks in Marrakech are a hippie Sixties heaven!
Category Archives: places I’ve travelled to
Mary Quant’s Bazaar in the 1960s – the same building today. It’s now a cafe.
A few weekends ago the Doc and I went on a weekend trip to Margate. It was a fab break, which felt like a proper mini holiday and reminded me of just how much I love the British seaside. My first visit to England, aged 14, was a trip to Exmouth for a summer language course. I’ve loved British seaside towns ever since!
Since the opening of a Turner gallery a few years ago, Margate is seeing a little revival. There are some seriously good (and cheap!) vintage shops as well as little galleries and independent boutiques around. Plus, I was hugely excited to find out that Dreamland, the now derelict Coney Island inspired amusement park, which features a 1920s roller coaster and famous Art deco cinema, is being redeveloped. If they get it right, this could be one seriously amazing heritage site.
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I don’t think I need to particularly detail my love for Biba, as I’ve mentioned it so many times before. To me it’s the best label ever. End of. Which is why the new exhibition Biba and Beyond: Barbara Hulanicki at the Brighton Museum is simply amazing. Packed full of Biba memorabilia and fashion as well as some of Barbara’s later designs, this is an excellent round up of the work of one of the world’s best designers, but also an incredible visual feast of fantastic Sixties and Seventies fashion.
Going back to the very beginning of her career – when a teenage Barbara won a swimsuit design contest – the exhibition details the rise of Biba from a small mail order business to a giant Art Deco department store in Kensington. The pieces on display are simply stunning and show off Biba’s radical look to perfection.
Many pieces are also accompanied by little stories and personal notes of their owners, I loved the two-piece suit one lady chose to wear to her wedding (pictured).
I had my own little fan girl moment too, when Barbara took some time to chat to us. She was utterly lovely. Sigh. Biba forever!
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I recently went up to Yorkshire to see ‘Wool Re-Fashioned’, an innovative collaboration between the Yorkshire Fashion Archive and The Woolmark Company, which showcases pieces from the archive as well as modern re-imaged versions by current fashion students at the School of Design at Leeds.
While the modern pieces were interesting, showcasing just how innovative you can be with wool, I was unsurprisingly drawn to the older pieces. It was lovely to read about the people who have worn these clothes and the special meaning they hold for all of them.
My absolute highlight was chatting to Vivienne (pictured) who had donated a wool dress she’d bought in a London boutique in 1967 and a matching cape which she had made herself.It was amazing to hear how her mother and grandmother had taught her how to sew and how she would go on to make plenty of clothes, including a shocking pink trouser suit, which she wasn’t allowed to wear to work as “lady teachers didn’t wear trousers”. Incredible!
If you fancy a day or weekend trip, I highly recommend you head to Saltaire – the picturesque village and the old wool mill where the exhibition is housed are worth the trip alone!
Yesterday I went to check out Brixton Village, a little arcade shopping centre just a few minutes from Brixton Tube station. In recent years it has been rejuvenated, and it now boasts a wonderful mixture of excellent cafes and restaurants, African fabric shops, junk shops and – vintage stalls.
I really liked Brixton Cornercopia, a little deli which also sells vintage and classic enamel homewares.
Another highlight was Rejuvenate. Owner Dujhan (pictured) clearly has a great eye for really fab womens and menswear as well as the odd home deco items – prices are really excellent too.
Next we went to 2’6, which had some awesome homeware and menswear – again, at prices that should make most central London vintage dealers weep.
My friend Margaret tried on this wonderful head piece, doesn’t she look amazing!
Next stop, Brixi, where I bought a little string dispenser in the shape of a mole. It now holds my floss. Meet its foxy equivalent – the glasses are actually scissors!
As a big fan of vintage china, I loved Collectibles, which is full of amazing tea sets and tableware from the 20s to the 80s
Another highlight was Leftovers, which specialises in lace and incredible Victoriana – sadly the best pieces were so high up on the ceiling we couldn’t browse them at all.
There were lots of other little boutiques selling a mixtures of modern and vintage clothes as well as a huge choice of cafes and restaurants, we found it impossible to choose where to go for lunch but eventually went for Jamaican. My goat roti was the perfect way of finishing the afternoon – can’t wait to come back!
Last weekend I went up to York on a press trip organised by the wonderful Akeela and accompanied by fellow enthusiasts Margaret, Emma and Claire to discover the city and find out more about all things vintage available.
I’ve been to York a few times before so I was really surprised when I realised just how much there is on offer – and how much vintage shopping there is!
After a slight debacle with the train ride up we arrived at our hotel, a Travel Lodge – yes as uninspiring as it sounds – where our tour guide Martin was already waiting for us.
Visit York had arranged for us to each get a York Pass, which got us free entry into most of York’s attractions and made exploring the city really easy. We set off on a walk around the city with Martin explaining some of York’s Viking and Roman history. I loved walking around the city’s walls – most city streets are called ‘gates’ while the actual city gates are called ‘bars’ – from where you have an amazing view across town.
For lunch we were treated to an amazing three-course meal at Grays Court who brought us a seemingly endless list of treats from liver parfait to a special chocolate platter.
The rest of the day was spent exploring some vintage shops starting with a great stall at York Market (on at weekends), which had a great range of extremely cheap but excellent condition dresses, jumpers and men’s suits from the 50s onwards, with prices starting at £5 for blouses.
Next up we went to Purple Haze, which sells a mixture of vintage and repro. I spotted some really lovely accessories but all in all the pricing was very much like London, a real surprise to me as I’m used to finding better deals as soon as you leave the M25 behind you.
The rest of the evening was spent in York’s most haunted pub The Golden Fleece (I am rather sad the WW2 bomber pilot ghost didn’t appear) and checking out the inn where Guy Fawkes was born.
After a rather bad night’s sleep, the first half of our second day was not quite voluntarily spent at York Designer Outlet, which is as bland as every other designer outlet/shopping centre I have ever been. Really, there are so many amazing little shops in York, going to the outlet centre still strikes me as a real waste of time given that there are plenty of similar ones around London.
Anyways, we made up for lost time by heading to what turned out to be my York highlight, the amazing The Vintage Emporium. Run by the lovely Keeley who I’ve known via email for years but had never met in person, this is a fantastic little vintage shop, a rare gem that I would rate as one of the best in the UK. Expect to find high-quality homeware, womenswear, menswear, bridalwear and even furniture from the Twenties to the Seventies. Keeley has a fantastic eye for picking interesting pieces and her pricing is exceptionally good. Her shop alone makes the trip up from London worthwhile!
After a brief stop at jumble shop Banana Warehouse, which I really hated (too much useless crap and a sexist prick of a shop owner who thought it was appropriate to offer his junk in return for sexual favours. Not funny) we ditched the famous Bettys Tea Room – ridiculous queue, very expensive, all a bit touristy – for lunch at the York Antiques Centre before heading to Barley Hall. This medieval townhouse is home to a fab selection of Hollywood costumes – Colin Firth fans in particular can not only see his infamous Mr Darcy suit but also an outfit he wore in The King’s Speech.
Barley Hall was the last stop for me before editing duties and the lack of WiFi at the hotel forced me back to London. Watch out for my proper write-up on QueensOfVintage.com and the other girls’ blog posts!
I spent Easter in Germany on a family visit. It was great fun showing The Doc around who’d never been to Southern Germany before. We went to an outdoor museum – The Freilichtmuseum Beuren – where various houses from the region have been re-assembled to showcase rural life of the past few centuries. It’s fascinating to see how people used to live, I loved finding out more about the inhabitants who often lived in poverty or barely made a living, their houses nearly empty except for a few pieces of furniture and basic kitchens/bathrooms.
My highlights include an old-fashioned shop, a 1950s flat (once inhabited by the village’s bank manager) and a Victorian photo studio.
I spent Christmas in Blackpool this year with the Doc and his family. It was rather fab – so many amazing presents – and I had a brilliant time looking around Blackpool Tower.
Back from Berlin, we had a fantastic time, if only we could have stayed for another week or so!
I spotted these posters in C&A, hard to think they ever sold anything other than tat.
I just love the 60s interior of the TV Tower
I also loved the DDR Museum, they even had a typical Eastern German high-rise flat including a wardrobe full of clothes.
The Doc and I are off to Berlin for a few days. I’ve been a couple of times before but it’s his first trip to Germany. I’m mainly looking forward to the many German culinary highlights (I’m having serious wurst fantasies) and my all time favorite, the atomic clock on Alexander Platz. Do you have any recommendations for us?