A couple of weeks ago I returned to Bath for yet another visit to one of my very favourite cities. This time it was to attend a couple of amazing talks for Bath in Fashion as well as a rather fantastic vintage fair. It was the perfect day for me, I love a long train journey where I can gaze out of the window at the British countryside or get stuck into a great book and then look at lots of wonderful vintage clothes.
The day was especially nice because I got to meet two lovely vintage blogging ladies. Knowing we would be in Bath at the same time Sarah from the blog Porcelina’s World invited me for lunch with a couple of her friends and Mim from Crinoline Robot. Both ladies write fantastic blogs and it was great to meet up with two people who love vintage as much as I do. We had a lovely roast dinner at The Bath Brewhouse before rushing over to Bath Function Rooms for the first of the two talks we were attending.
The first speaker was Nicky Albrechtsen, avid vintage collector and author of the very impressive Vintage Fashion Complete. Her book is one of the very best I’ve read on vintage fashion and covers so much ground that it is a must read for any fashion enthusiast. I have been planning to review the book for a while now and promise to have it up soon.
Beautiful details on a 1930s cardigan from Nicky’s collection.
Nicky’s love of fashion from all eras really shone through and it was amazing to hear all about her collection and how she had picked up various pieces over the years. She collects vintage from all eras and doesn’t always focus on designer items but more on amazing pieces that are beautiful and timeless. As someone who likes to mix up my eras it was really refreshing to hear her talking about pieces on merit rather than too create a replica vintage look.
She also brought along several wonderful pieces from her collection as well as the stunning striped 1930s dress which is featured on the cover of her book and was rescued by her from a bin! Nicky’s collection of vintage clothing is so extensive that it is housed in a warehouse and is used as a reference point for designers and costume departments.
Two wonderful dresses from Nicky’s collection. The black one is a CC41 utility dress from the 1940s. The red one is a 1970s Gnyuki Torimaru dress made from a circle of fabric. How beautiful are all those drapes and details!
Between the talks I had a good look round the BathVA vintage fair which featured some really fantastic sellers. I love a fair where the majority of sellers have older pieces and early everything there was pre 1960s. There was also a great mix of home items, ephemera and fashion. Highlights for me included lots of cotton 40s and 50s dresses and some beautiful vintage silk lingerie.
I was very restrained and only bought two things. I picked up a pair of vintage seamed stockings for £3 and a beautiful vintage girdle for £28. The girdle is absolutely amazing and has some pretty strong boning. It is a struggle to get into but once on the shape is absolutely amazing! I’d been wanting one like this for ages so I was happy to finally get my hands on one in my size.
My new vintage girdle with some stocking boxes from my collection.
We then returned to the function rooms for a talk by the ‘king of vintage’ himself, William Banks-Blaney. I have followed William on twitter for quite a few years now and I am always blown away by the pieces he finds for his Marylebone shop. William is known for supplying celebrities with the most amazing vintage ensembles for the red carpet and his knowledge of vintage couture is incredible. William travels the world hunting out the most iconic pieces of clothing from some of the worlds most well known designers. The highlight for me would have to be a 1920s little black dress by Chanel which he sold.
William has just published his first book Twenty-Five Dresses. The book looks at the dresses which really changed the history of 20th Century fashion and what the social reasons were behind the designs. The dresses really tell the story of the lives of women at the time as well as the designers behind them. William picked 4 dresses from the book to talk us through and we were all blown away by his knowledge and enthusiasm for the subject. I feel like in the 45 minutes he was talking I learned an incredible amount and I absolutely cannot wait to get my hands on his book.
I was really grateful to have been invited to attend the talks by Bath in Fashion and now I can’t wait to go again next year. I might even try and attend the whole week as it really is an amazing series of events.