Sunday, 16 October 2016

Gisela and Mim get Kinky!


Three women in front of a vintage clothing stall
Gisela, Vix and me
Yesterday the splendid Gisela (Miss Magpie) came to Bath as Vix was in town - Kinky Melon were trading at Judy's Affordable Vintage Fair and we both fancied a bit of shopping. I met Gisela from her train, and we both headed off to Bath Guildhall for the fair.

Over the past year or so I've become a real convert to shopping at Judy's. It's cheaper than Etsy, and has more actual vintage than I'm likely to come across in a year of charity shopping. Vix knew I was after a velvet jacket, and had found a chocolate brown one in fatgirl size for me. I really fancied some Welsh tapestry, and Baboushka always have a brilliant selection as owner Tina is a serious collector. Gisela and I made a beeline for Kinky Melon to say hello, and to admire Vix's amazing teal maxi with enormous chiffon sleeves, then had a really good browse round all the other stalls too.
A display of Welsh tapestry bags
Some of Baboushka's stock
As well as my jacket from Kinky Melon, I got the most amazing Welsh tapestry cap and bag from Baboushka. As soon as I saw it I loved it. I'm a sucker for this set, and I don't think I've ever seen Welsh tapestry in this sort of khaki-plus-neon colourway. Mr Robot really doesn't like it, but I knew he wouldn't. He's not a massive fan of either colour or pattern and this set is loaded with both. That said, he did say, "The cap's the sort of thing that ought to be worn for a ride in an open-topped vintage car." Well, if he's offering...
Welsh tapestry cap and bag
How splendid is this Welsh tapestry set?
I also got a nice summer dress from Weekdayz of Porthcawl; it's missing the original belt, but for a tenner who cares? After we'd finished at the fair, Gisela and I went to the Raven pub for pie and a pint, then on to Bath's main vintage shop, Vintage To Vogue. I used to shop there years ago, but then they changed hands and got massively more expensive and, to be honest, snooty. However, when I moved magazines, my former colleagues got me vouchers from there, so I went in. The pricing is still, in my opinion, above odds, for certain things. I don't think I saw a dress under £100; fair enough for a flawless 1930s day dress, but ridiculous for a 1960s party dress that's not from a major designer label. Of course, I may be biassed because my experience there has never been the best in recent years, and yesterday was no exception.

Here's a thought: if you're running a vintage shop, and a plus-size customer stands in front of you wearing top to toe vintage, and asks if you have anything in their size, DON'T GIVE THEM A DISMISSIVE GLANCE AND SAY, "NO, IT'S REALLY DIFFICULT TO GET THINGS IN LARGER SIZES"

1: I know you're lying. I'm wearing plus-size vintage that cost me a third of your prices AS NEW OLD STOCK WITH TAGS and I've got a bag containing a dress that cost me a tenner. I know exactly hard it is (or isn't) to get this stuff because I wear it. I'm not stupid enough to expect plus-size 1930s, but if you're selling 1960s clothing, it is out there.

2: You have someone in front of you who is clearly prepared to spend money on vintage clothing. Even if you don't stock clothes for fat people, a better response would be, "I'm afraid we don't have anything in your size at the moment, but you clearly love midcentury [or whatever] styles and we've got some great hats [or whatever]!" Don't dismiss me, find a way to take my money. It won't make YOU fat, I promise.

Anyway, I bought a coral velvet hat to use my vouchers, but I can think of one shop that won't be receiving my Round Pounds again any time soon. This is why I shop at Judy's or on Etsy.
Gisela and I weren't done with Bath after that. We had a good look round Bartlett Street Antiques Market – if I win the lottery, I'm going to be doing the jewellery equivalent of a trolley dash in that place – and then went to Bea's Vintage Tea Rooms up near the Assembly Rooms/Fashion Museum for refreshments. I had a cream tea and Gisela had a slice of their very good looking coffee cake.

All in all, it was a fantastic day, one that even dismissive shop assistants couldn't spoil, and I'd cheerfully do it all again. If YOU want to do some of it, Kinky Melon and Baboushka are both in Bristol with Judy's today, so you can go and get your own excellent Welsh tapestry and Kinkilicious vintage from them.

SOMETHING SERIOUS
On a serious note, over lunch Gisela told me that Jessica Cangiano's house burned down on Friday. I'm sure most people reading this will have come across Jessica (Chronically Vintage); she's an active and incredibly kind member of the vintage blogging community. Not only have she and her husband Tony lost pretty much everything, while they were able to get out with their dog, their kitty Stella is still missing, and I can't begin to imagine how anguished they both are. There's a Facebook page set up for news on ways to help Jessica and Tony, and a page for cash donations. I've made a donation, as I figured that way they could get the things they need straight away, and I wanted to wait till I was sure sending a package wouldn't result in lots of customs fees for Jessica. I'm mentioning this here as I wasn't sure how many people would have heard the bad news, and I do believe the vintage community will want to rally round Jess and Tony and help them through this dreadful time.

(I'm pretty sure blogs are the last thing on your mind right now, but if you are reading this, Jessica, I am sending you both my very best wishes.)

27 comments :

  1. It was great to finally meet in person! I hope you missed the rain on the way home, thankfully I got in just as it became torrential. Was good for nothing the rest of the evening mind.

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    1. I got rained on, but I live close to the station so it wasn't too awful.

      I rounded off my Day of Decadence with a trip to the pub and then takeaway macaroni cheese.

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  2. What a fun meetup and thank you for sharing Jessica's plight

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    1. It was a fun day!

      It's great how everyone is rallying round Jessica; she really deserves support.

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  3. Mim - that sounds like a fabulous day all together. I love the tapestry hat and bag and I love your outfit in the photos.

    Reading your account of the reception you got in the vintage shop made me spit feathers - how rude and unprofessional. I'd boycott the shop and you clearly have!

    I don't know Jessica of the Chronically Vintage blog but pls send her my best wishes and commiserations.

    x

    Veronica
    vronni60s.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you! The outfit is a 1964 Klopman skirt and top. (I know the date as it was on the tags.)

      The shop's prices have put me off massively for the past few years. They sell a lot to TV production companies - some Downton Abbey costumes were from there - and I guess those companies have more cash than a lot of people. However, I was prepared to give them another go, but the attitude was awful. I'm sticking to Judy's and Etsy.

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  4. Oh how wonderful, a blogger get together. You've made me all nostalgic. I didn't realise you and Gisela had never met. Bet you got on like a house on fire. She's looking really well. Hey you're in your new two piece, looks fab. I love ❤️ the hat and bag combo; fantastic colours and they look unused!
    How bloody rude! Can't quite believe that. Are they mad?!
    Gosh, this poor lady and her husband. How awful for them, although thank goodness they were safe. House fires are the most terrible thing. It happened to the house at the back of ours and to see it up close is quite shocking. Xx

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    1. We'd emailed one another but never met before. She is fab! This deffo won't be the last time to meet up - I might hop on the train to hers and force her to look at steam trains or something.

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  5. That's such a nice photo of you, Gisela and Vix. Sounds like a really lovely day out. Looking forward to seeing that hat in action, such super colours! I'm in Wales and don't even come across much Welsh tapestry!!

    Will be in touch again soon about Jessica xx

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    1. I see the occasional bit of Welsh tapestry, but not much. It's one of those things, like crimplene, and fish sauce, that I used to really dislike and now have a real fondness for. Funny how tastes change.

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  6. How great that you and Gisela were able to visit with Vix at the sale. Thank you for introducing me to Welsh tapestry-I wasn't familiar with it but of course now it falls into my "must have" category. The set you bought is beautiful.

    That's not only rude, but stupid as people today aren't exactly small. Unless you severely wish to limit your shop, it would be best to seek out a few things that would be appropriate for today's consumers. There is no shortage of larger sized 60's vintage from what I see around in thrift stores. I know we're fatter than average in Nebraska, but I don't think that was the case in the 60's.

    If there's something special on your vintage wish list, let me know and I'll keep an eye out for you.

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    1. The heyday of Welsh tapestry for clothing was the 60s and 70s - I guess it was a very British thing. It's still sometimes possible to find complete skirt, cape and waistcoat sets secondhand. Most of the mills are now closed, though some is still produced at Melin [mill] Tregwynt (http://www.melintregwynt.co.uk/). I'd be intrigued to know if much crossed the Atlantic. Thinking about it, it is VERY Goody. You'd rock the socks off all those colours and patterns. I can see you in a Welsh tapestry cape.

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    2. Also, a big *fat* raspberry to the snooty vintage shop. I am walking proof that these things can be found.

      It is very kind of you to offer to look for stuff for me, but serendipity usually rules with me and vintage - I only know I want a thing when I see it. My wishlist tends to be modern basics to fill in the gaps!

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  7. Sounds like a fun meetup (minus the rude salespeople of course)!

    And thank you for posting about Jessica. I hadn't heard yet and am glad you posted about it so I could donate what I could. She is just a lovely person and I was much saddened by the news.

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    1. I know, it's such terrible news, isn't it? I keep hoping her cat has run off and will be found, but in her recent blog post it looks as though they're fearing the worst. She loves her pets so much.

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  8. Oh I've heard the "NO, IT'S REALLY DIFFICULT TO GET THINGS IN LARGER SIZES" my entire life.
    What utter BS. I usually bring a tape measure along while shopping mainstream retail or vintage/thrift because sizing is so ridiculously unstandardized. A lot of vintage sellers aren't even aware of what all is in their inventory, especially if they say arse-y things like stated above.

    I take my Round Pounds elsewhere too.

    That Welsh tapestry hat & bag are sooo wonderfully 70's! I'd be sporting that with flares & platforms.

    Poor Jessica & her husband. I hope they find Stella soon!

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    1. I'm not entirely sure what I'll wear with the bag and cap. They go fantastically with the brown velvet jacket I bought from Vix, so I just need something to wear underneath it all. I guess i'll have to experiment and/or knit something.

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  9. Oh, how I wish I could have been there and met the three of you! Some day, I will come over, I swear. It's good to see you wearing that fabulous two-piece, and I am so in awe of your welsh tapistry bag and cap. I'm forever beating myself up that I didn't buy the bag I saw at Cardigan market last June. When I went back, it wasn't there ... Don't let any snooty vintage sellers get you down, Mim, I do come across quite a lot of plus size vintage in the shops here ... I've also come across quit a few snooty vintage sellers as wel, though xxx

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    1. Well, if you swing anywhere near Bath/Bristol/Cardiff on your next visit to the UK, let me know. As long as I can get there by train (I can't drive) I'm game.

      Snooty vintage sellers begone! I shall take my money elsewhere. And, more crucially, when I no longer want particular pieces in my wardrobe, I shall dispose of THAT elsewhere too. They're not getting any stock from my wardrobe.

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  10. Forgot to say, I've heard about Jessica's plight, and I'm making a donation too. Been thinking of her all weekend. xxx

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  11. I can't stop thinking about poor Jessica and Tony, it's such a horrible tragedy and I hope beyond hope that Stella is found safe and well soon xxx

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    1. I know, I keep thinking about her too. Fire is one of my big fears, along with burglary, because of my pets.

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  12. Ooo, love all that Welsh tapestry, I've been a big fan for years. Love your hat and bag combo too. Sod Mr Robot, he clearly doesn't have taste! :)
    That's disgusting service from the vintage shop, she clearly doesn't want your money. Her loss! xx

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    1. I did look at that 1930s day dress and think it would be perfect for you, it really was a thing of beauty. It had a lovely accordion-pleated jabot. Their 1920s eveningwear is really beautiful too.

      I realise UK sellers can have difficulty sourcing vintage in larger sizes, particularly if they specialise in the earlier part of the 20th century, but there are ways to say it without making a potential customer feel bad. I honestly felt like I'd been (literally) sized up and judged not good enough to be standing in their shop. Meh. It's more of a shop for TV companies, collectors, and rich people going to the occasional 'roaring 20s' party, it doesn't really feel aimed at people who wear vintage every day.

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  13. It was fab to see you both on Saturday, I knew the pair of you would get on famously. I was so envious that you were off to the pub, I'm going to gatecrash next time you meet up.
    That tapestry bag and cap were wonderful. Tina has the best collection of Welsh Tapestry ever. I'm amazed she parted with your set without a fight - she obviously likes you a lot.
    Weekdayz are lovely and I've found some ace bargains on their rails, too.
    I can't believe how spectacularly rude and misinformed that shop owner was. Vintage comes in all sizes, as you well know. Even if she hadn't got something in your size (which I find very hard to believe) surely she could have shown you a handbag, scarf or pair of gloves she thought would have gone with your gorgeous vintage outfit. That shows a complete lack of interest. Evil cow.
    I didn't know about Jessica and Tony's plight until I read your blog yesterday. Thank you. I've sent a little something over to show solidarity. xxxx

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    1. The person in the shop looked too young to be the owner, I suspect she was an 'assistant'. Though I suppose some young people do own their own businesses. I hope she was inexperienced and an assistant, as it would be truly awful in an owner. She did vaguely point out the display of brooches, but I balk at paying £48 for a single deco clip.

      The bag and hat are already on top of my wardrobe, with a Zensect ball inside to keep the moths away. They're so nice I'm considering making a jumper to go with them.

      Do come to the pub next time! Or I can come later in the day and we can hit the pub in the evening.

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  14. Hey, Mim.
    I believe that this is one of the big shocks in our vintage-loving society. Really big, and quite scary - this is a test for all f us, to show how much we stand strong together; and I believe our community is quite the fighting bunch. If you have managed to give it a look, a week after the "event", we have reached Jessica's goal.
    Now, onto other things.
    I have not heard of the "fatgirl size" ever before - I suppose you have made an error and wanted to write "fabulous-girl size" :)
    Your saying to the fat-bashing Shop Owner shuold be done in "caps lock" and posted pd on her shop (oh, I know it's a woman, only a woman is able to speak such insults!).. and to you?! Why, oh why?! Ohhhh, over here, that "lady" would have gotten much more than a mere walking out of her shop (then again, we are know as "tongue-fast" kind of folk) :)

    Stay fabulous.
    Tell Mr. Robot not to worry about fashion. ;)
    Marija

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