Last Sunday I attended VintageIreland‘s most recent gathering – their biggest fashion and decor fair to have ever taken place to date! The twinkly-lit venue (located in Dublin’s Burlington Hotel) was filled with numerous stalls – over 60, to be precise – that housed a plethora of vintage items, from artisan lamps hand-picked from Italy to delicate floral teacups and, naturally, dozens of rails showcasing vintage garment treasures. The versatility of the event’s features made the afternoon surprisingly quite family-friendly – the antiques and tea dresses being solely a percentage of what was on offer: think vintage records, musical entertainment (that gave modern hits a retro twist) from the lively Full Moon Boogie Band, and authentic hairdressing services and cosmetics on-hand to give any 20th century outfit that vintage-goers wore on the day the perfect finishing touch.
I soon discovered, however, that the stalls weren’t entirely composed of vintage garment paraphernalia – I stumbled across a versatile-looking selection of hosiery, which happened to be a vibrant, tangible representative of Irish online tights mecca Legslove.ie:
Despite the fact that the stall – which was graced by Marianne Egan, the blossoming site’s founder – had solely a handful of items on display, a mere sample in comparison to the plethora of products available for sale online, the selection was still a brilliant showcase of items that would be widely-appealing to a discerning audience of tastes and ages, with sought-after hosiery labels making appearances: from pretty little Pamela Mann ankle socks and fail-safe, essential nylons by Pretty Polly to PM’s vibrant, not-exclusive-to-Valentine’s-Day hearts and – what stood out particularly in my eyes that afternoon – limited-edition houndstooth & zigzag prints by House of Holland x PP, which punctuated the scene with shots of cobalt and mustard. After being suitably charmed by the array and arriving home, I immediately went to browse the website and mentally composed a wish list of sorts! You can check out my favourites “here”, “here” and “here” – be sure to check out the entire site yourself, I can guarantee you’ll have all your fading lycras replaced with shiny new pairs that will make your legs the talk of the town within moments!
Another equally unique mini-shop I stumbled across was I-of-the-Needle, a ribbon & trimming store that also specialises in sequins, quilting fabrics and various forms of bunting to suit any occasion – what personally made the products even more intriguing was the fact that, bar one or two high-quality haberdashers around the city area (I’m looking at you Rubanesque!) one can feel truly hard-pressed to come across a wide selection of sewing-related items that don’t break the bank – yet judging the label’s prices, you can actually find gorgeously individualistic trimmings, such as velvet roses and pompoms, for very reasonable prices. With up cycling and revamping one’s own wardrobe having become increasingly popular DIY crafts over the past few years, I-of-the-Needle perfectly caters to growing demand with an online shop to rival even the selections of international counterparts (and they deliver worldwide, for any non-Irish inhabitants reading). Browsing the stall, meeting the woman behind the sequins, Jenny Vernal, and snapping a shot of her amazing (and even more amazingly; functioning) Singer machine – all of these actions have really made me want to take up sewing again after abandoning it a couple of years past. I’ll definitely want to stock up on multi-coloured gems and velvet lace ribbons, and I now know exactly which stockist to pursue! ♥
No well-rounded vintage & decor fair can be fully complete, so it seems, without a sugar boost to keep your energy levels up throughout the scouring – samples of vanilla and chocolate cupcakes was offered and relished during my time in the venue, and I ended up loving the taste so much that I simply had to find the stall and purchase a couple: I managed to restrain myself from eating any until I went home and could properly enjoy them with a hot cup of tea!
To finish off the day, the awards for Best Dressed ladies were showcased and given out (deservedly, might I say: the outfits some of the attendees and shop owners sported on the day were so authentic-looking, they would trick you into believing you’d literally gone back a few decades in time!). The event was my first time attending an Irish vintage fair, and I can now say that I’d definitely be game for going to another – the afternoon was really enjoyable, full of life and atmosphere and – naturally – one-of-a-kind items. Admission for the day came to a cost of €6, but if you enter with a leaflet that can picked up in various boutiques dotted around town (including Om Diva) a euro is chopped off the price – the fair runs from late morning into early evening, so your time is unlimited, but also doesn’t have to mean constantly being present inside – you were given a star-shaped stamp on your hand that would allow you to pop in and out over the course of the afternoon with ease. Regardless of whether you handed in a discount leaflet or not, you’re subsequently presented with a coupon for future fairs & events that VintageIreland are hosting, so you’re sure to add equally-valued entry prices for next time. You can keep up to date with approaching events and all things vintage by following VintageIreland on Facebook or Twitter - you can check out their website “here”. See you at the next bash! ♥