Vintage Frolics… By The Sea

I’m like a little girl at Christmas this week! The anticipation of the Vintage Fair in Dun Laoghaire tomorrow has led to the skipping of my heart beat and a rather undignified willing of clock hands to speed up.

The last of these fairs that I attended was back in April where myself and my reliable fellow Vintage loving friend (since then my Bride-to-Be friend – my how they grow) and I managed to convince some non-believers to come along for the experience. As we were still feeling the pinch from the festivities 4 months prior, we were all going with empty purses but enthusiastic self-assurance that the soaking up of atmosphere gave practically the same high as making the purchase anyway.

Captivated by the fabulous glamour on show at the last Vintage Fair                                 (Photo by Oscar Finn)

And then we entered the room. And I watched as everybody (myself included) began to skip in various directions, apparently dizzy from the array of stalls and desperate not to miss anything. Over the next half hour we’d pass each other, boas flapping from necks, multiple hats perched on heads and various patterned dresses flapping across arms, no one wanting to leave the gowns at the stalls but still not quite willing to break from searching long enough to try them on. Soon enough we were all weighed down with vintage finds, looking really quite ridiculous. We decided to rein it in slightly and take a less manic approach. To the dressing room! You really do forget how much fun it is having 4 others in a dressing room with you (8 if you included the bemused strangers trying on also). We all ‘ooohed’ and ‘aaaahhhed’ as we took turns in modeling our finds – assuring each other we had never quite seen them look just so chic/ glam/ sophisticated/ generally fabulous. Well no of course we hadn’t – because today … we were ‘Ladies’. From twirling 50s skirts to poses in 40s pencil skirts, from head flicks under veiled hats to demure crossing of ankles to suitably displaying wonderful red shoes, it became apparent that each of us really thought we were rather delicious.

We discussed upcoming weddings, summer races and any other event that could justify the purchase of three outfits (all the while still soaking up that fantastic atmosphere you understand). Yes, yes you’re totally right, you’ll never see anything like it again and best of all you can be sure no one else will be wearing it – BUY IT! We were all agreed that our credit cards could, and definitely should, take it. Alas the elation was short lived as one of our beautifully dolled up companions rushed back to the dressing room to tell us the worst news we could have heard that day … ‘They. Don’t. Take. Credit. Cards’! Aaaaaaaaaaaaagh! What to do, what to do? ‘Well I’ve been paid so why don’t I take out enough to cover you two?’ ‘I have my rent in my bag so why don’t I just spend some of that and then I’m sure I’ll find it somewhere for the landlord’ ‘Gosh I’m just going to have to bite the bullet and phone my mum to ask for a transfer’ (yes that was me … and yes I did reach level 3 this summer). And so it was that with generous cooperation from all involved, and even emptier purses than we first thought possible, we all ran to our respective stalls and handed over the cash with much jovial banter adding to the thrill.

The thing about this particular days impulse purchasing and any other one was that there was no way we could return anything – it was a special event that sold special clothes …. And really that made it all the more special. For all of our begging and borrowing, the clothes that we coveted weren’t actually expensive at all. They were incredibly well priced, in stunning condition and all of us really did feel wonderful in them; it was as if they were made for us. And yes, since April they’ve been worn to weddings, races, christenings, and I’m pretty sure one of the girls may have gate crashed a Barmitzpha to make sure her two-piece got enough outings. We all treasure the pieces that we bought and, more than anything, remember that day of impulse and whim with very fond, funny memories.

Irene O'Brien Vintage Fashion Stylist Dublin

Some of our Vintage outfits getting an outing at the Wedding Of The Year – shame about the poses!

Along with all of the clothes we enjoyed fashions shows, makeovers, prizes (our own Marilyn won a fabulous goodie bag) and this time we’re promised even more with dancing and best dressed competitions adding to the buzz.

The fair opens from 11am. I’m free for a jive by the catwalk if anyone’s asking….