Fashion On A Ration at Manchester’s Imperial War Museum

FOTR CreativeNothing beats a wee little work outing! Last Thursday we were absolutely delighted when a special invitation dropped into our inbox, welcoming our team to an exclusive opening of Manchester Imperial War Museum’s latest exhibit – Fashion On The Ration: 40s Street Style.

Having been in residence in London for the past year, it was a treat to see such a collection of immaculately kept fashion make it’s way to the north. But we aren’t just talking the big-skirted frocks and pearls one might attribute to the era – as the exhibits helpful guide explained, “From ‘onesies’ to wear in the air raid shelter to jewellery created from aeroplane parts, Fashion on the Ration looks at how fashion survived and even flourished under the strict rules of rationing in 1940s Britain, often in new and unexpected ways.”

Loaded up on canapes and fizzy wine (it was a team night out after all), we made our way into the show itself. While it wouldn’t be fair to ruin the show for anyone (some of these outfits really do need to be seen to be believed), we couldn’t help but snap a few pictures of our favourite looks. From hard-wearing overalls to meticulously patterned dresses, it’s humbling to see just how much of a outlet fashion was in the 1940s – while the war raged on, imaginative dress was a form of escapism and comfort, proof that even at the darkest of times, fashion doesn’t have to be frivolous – it can be dynamic, expressive and a great means to make the most of your surroundings – our favourite was a beautiful garment fashioned from a silk map!

Fashion On A Ration: 1940s Street Style opens to the public this weekend – for more information and to book your tickets, visit the website here. A big thanks to the museum team for inviting us along – what a lovely mid-week treat!


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Returning to Edinburgh this March – Vintage Nation

We are delighted to be returning to Edinburgh Corn Exchange on March 16th with Vintage Nation! After the huge success of our October event, with over 2500 customers through the doors, we couldn’t resist hosting it again.

We’re going ALL OUT to bring you an even BIGGER event than last year, combining vintage fashion, furniture, food, music and beauty!

***The Affordable Vintage Marketplace***

Bringing much-needed retro retail therapy, prepare for the mother of all vintage markets [and then some!] 100 affordable stalls from all over the UK, with pieces from the 1900s and on are all up for grabs, with fashion, accessories, menswear and jewellery included.

For those of you wanting an interior fix, expect furniture and homewares galore! From the kitsch to the collectible, no box is left unticked!

***The Stage***

This year we’ve got even MORE live acts! With a fabulous mixture of vintage acts throughout the day to keep you entertained in between tea drinking, cake scoffing and vintage shopping!

Not forgetting our resident Gramophone DJ – LORD HOLYRUDE will be mixing up some of his best vintage tunes to dance [and shop too!]


Bombastic 50’s pop, Country Gospel, Dancefloor Rock n’ Roll and Doo Wop from these wandering princes of the desert.



Performing show-stoppin’ routines to hits of the Golden Era & dressing in the finery of the times, these delectable darlings of the stage will be sure to add that all important touch of sparkle to Vintage Nation.



Think The Andrews Sisters, Gracie Fields, Vera Lynn, George Formby, Edith Piaf and Frank Sinatra! This 1940s singing duo are set to create some serious nostalgia at this year’s event!



For all twee-loving tea drinkers, our pop-up tea rooms will be open from midday, serving tea in china cups, sandwiches, scones and cakes [and this year it’s even BIGGER]!

If that wasn’t enough, we’ve lined up some fabulous food traders if tea and cake doesn’t tickle your flavour fancy.


Be ye Twiggy or Brigitte, have we got a treat for you! The pop-up beauty lounge looks set to be a hive of activity, with victory rolls and lippie from a fiver! Browse I-pads and vintage mags as you let the magic happen – old-world glam in an instant!

Join our Facebook event page here.

Tickets on sale here >
Full price entry – £5
Under 12s go free

We hope you can make it!

Retro Regards,

Judy HQ xx

Vintage Nation Festival 2012

To recall our first ever solo vintage festival [which was nearly three weeks ago – BAD BLOGGER!] is something akin to trying to remember a bruise accumulated after falling of a park swing or tumbling from a seesaw in the follies of youth; you know you enjoyed it, wind in your hair, going higher and higher but at some point, you ate dirt, dusted yourself up, maybe cried for a bit [depending on your disposition] then threw yourself on the roundabout and got on with it.

Conceited and long-winded analogy? Yes! Irrelevant? NO! So what am i trying to say? That Vintage Nation was enjoyable, exhilarating, successful but BLOODY HARD WORK! Electrics failed, food vendors cancelled, gales were blown, tea was NOT SERVED CORRECTLY [hell hath no fury like a commercial caterer scorned – or should that be SCONE-d?] At the end of it, we were tired, delirious and probably, a little drunk [blast you Crabbie’s!]

Still, there was MUCH to be thankful for – the marketplace[which looked AWESOME and didn’t stop all day!] our sponsors, our live acts and performers, our photographers, our cars and of course, our customers. Without you, all of you, we couldn’t have made it through. And so, without further ado, here are a few snaps of a day that will, just like the King said, “be always on my mind..”

And there we have it – our first festival, done! Just the most massive, humongous, Godzilla-sized thanks to all of you who made it happen. To next year? To next year!



Straight out of Surrey

Monopolising on our penchant for a right royal chinwag, this week, we’ve roped-in chap rapper Mr. B the Gentleman Rhymer to talk office, outerwear and his upcoming stint at Vintage Nation

Mr B, as i’m sure you’re aware, we’re practically at the Jubilee weekend. If you were monarch, what would you decree?

“Well, I would have to insist on free tweed for all! In fact, make that compulsory tweed, alongside compulsory curtseying for ladies and the dothing of one’s cap for gents. Oh, and Penny Farthings all round!”

Like the new ‘Borris bike?’


Now in addition to your lyrics, many of us envy you for your outfits. But tell me, how does Mr B do ‘causal?’

“Well of course it depends on your surroundings – I have my day suits for the city, perhaps a Fair Isle jumper and loose-fitting trousers for the country – it totally depends on the climate you see!”

So not a pair of grey joggers in sight?

“Well to say i haven’t worn a T-shirt in 8 years, it’s highly unlikely!”

Now we know that assimilation of tweed into everyday activities [such as London’s ‘Tweed Run’] have really taken off. Any other activities you’d like to see Tweed-ed up?

“Well of course there is the Chap Olympiad, which i am a great patron of! Actually, I am writing the theme song for this year’s games!”

Are we thinking crescendos and pomp or something more minimal?

“It’s definitely patriotic – anthemic is the word!”

We are thrilled to be having you at our Brighton one dayer, Vintage Nation. Tell me, anything up your sleeve for the events?

“As well as playing the hits, i’ll be showing off my new album, released imminently [shameless plug] and generally having a good time! Brighton is my home so it’s always nice to be back!”

And finally, we see that you’re a big supporter of giving “three-piece a chance.” What do you say to all those watching at the events in 80s glitter or 90s grunge that have probably never even seen a suit?

“You know, it’s all about effort and making yourself look good. As well as dandy, my roots are urban [being chap-hop!] and so I too am partial to 80s New York, trainers, hi-tops – they are like the Oxford brogues of the urban world! As long as you look good, that’s all that matters!”

Catch Mr B playing the Village Green at Vintage Nation [sponsored by Crabbie’s Alcoholic Ginger Beer] In the meantime, check him out here



To market, to market…

Greetings loved ones!

Perhaps one of the perks of arranging a festival [especially one where hopping is involved!] is getting to OGLE all of the glorious things that are set to be on offer waaaay before anyone else.

Altruistic and generous as we are [read: broke] we’ve decided to share with you some of the wonderful traders we’ve got popping along to Vintage nation Festival in Brighton on Saturday June 9th [it hurts too much to look at them alone – sob sob, if only we were rick sob sob]

Sobbing aside, here’s a rundown of some of the tip-top ladieswear traders popping along to the festival…


Trader 1: Hattastic

Featured everywhere from Time Out to Milan, Chloe Haywood’s Hatastic! is on the hit-list for any summer events-goer looking to be heads above the rest! Jewels, florals, trinkets and bridal bits – from down the aisle to high fashion, it’s certainly worth a peruse!


Trader 2: Jarvis & Janis

Fleetwood Mac meets maxi dresses, for all fans of the 60s and 70s, add Jarvis & Janis to the equation. Prints, fringing, paisley and suede – perfect for a bohemian summer!


Trader 3: Darlings Vintage

For all those all about old-world glamour, Darlings is the stall for you; opulent gowns, one-off accessories – from cocktail dresses to designer names, you never know quite what you will find!

Trader 4: Shopfloor Whore

Spotted on Asos, in Company [and on Jessie J’s head!] Londoner Shopfloor Whore will be adding capital city swagger to the event. Featuring more print and glitter than the mind can handle, be sure to pick-up a trademark turban to be the envy of your clique.


And there we have it, a mere SMATTERING of the goodies on offer! If you enjoyed this visual smogasbord, be sure to click HERE and get your ticket [before it’s too late!]



Welcome to Vintage Nation!

Hello all!

So this week, we’re not up to much…only PUTTING ON OUR OWN BRIGHTON VINTAGE FESTIVAL! [nearly had you for a second! Us? Not do anything? YEAH RIGHT!]

Like all good things, we’ve made you wait for it, showcasing all of our fairs before even whispering the word ‘festival.’ But with fairs out of the way, the FESTIVAL shall play and so over the next few weeks expect to see a whole host of things on offer! In the meantime…