Tuesday, 10 February 2009

February's Fashion Week (or two)

February has been a fantastic month for vintage fashion, from designer dresses to handmade hair slides, the recent fashion markets in Cardiff have offered a wide and varying array to suit all tastes.

On every first Sunday of the month, Milgi’s is host to the Boutique Night Market, which has a selection of kitsch stalls offering a variety of things, from handmade felt brooches to vintage jewellery and clothes too.

February’s market was held inside, due to the cold weather, so a legendary Milgi’s cocktail, a huge slice of cake or homemade pizza could be enjoyed as you walk around the stalls.

Being inside it is cramped, with stalls overflowing with jewellery and people constantly coming in and out, yet this adds to the warm and friendly atmosphere, where the stall holders offer explanations as to the origins of a garment or to the age of it.

One of the stall holders, Ceri Davis, said: “Tonight has been successful already. I’ve made £28.50 and all the stuff on my stall are my own clothes and accessories that I’ve just been hoarding in the attic for ages.

“I own a ridiculous amount and it was definitely time to do something with it!” she added.

I had already bought a black and silver sequinned top from her stall for £4 and was surprised to hear that it used to belong to her; most of the clothes on her rail seemed to be authentically vintage or new.

Another bargain I found was a silver brooch with orange jewels which was only £2.

A few of the jewellery stalls were quite expensive; the first stall had brooches on sale for about £10, but other stalls, such as Ceri’s, had much lower prices as they were her own goods.

If you have never visited Milgi’s put it as high priority on your to-do list.

It seems to be a unique social bar and lounge, offering unusual yet delicious food and drinks, with a Yurt outside where you can watch a film and recline on their armchairs and mattresses.

The Boutique Night Market is held at Milgi’s, City Road, on every first Sunday of the month and starts at 6pm. Admission is free.

In addition, February has also had the Blind Lemon Vintage Fashion Fair parade a vast array of fabulously eclectic clothes and jewellery at Cardiff City Hall on Sunday February 8.

This is my fashion highlight of the year, where dozens of stalls, both amateur and professional, combine to provide for every fashion style, taste and decade.

The stalls zig-zag across City Hall, creating pathways in between each other and directing the flow of fashionistas from one laden stall to the next.

Some sell vintage pearls or vintage jump-suits, others sell obviously second-hand (vintage is deliciously second-hand yet has character added to the item because of it, whereas second-hand does not have quite the same amount of vitality) items which are ideal for fancy dress parties.

In fact, one stall specialised in medieval fancy dress attire, while others specialised in cowboy-esque boots and waistcoats, 1940’s hat feathers or even 1980’s grandma-esque garments.

Ann, who has had a stall in City Hall five times now, was selling an eclectic mix of gold jewellery and costume jewellery,1960’s Polaroid sunglasses as well as some of her mother’s old accessorises and hats.

Ann said: “I’ve got most of my things from my mother who is a hoarder. She has so much stuff to shift as she has been collecting for 30 years, but now it’s time for her house to be cleared out, her things have come here.”

Like Milgi’s, some stalls are more expensive than others, with one stall selling exquisite handmade feathered and sequinned hair adornments for £35-£55.

They were truly worth every penny if you could afford it.

At the other end of the scale, one of the stalls had loads of bargains on display, with huge ornate and embellished rings priced at £4 at the most, earrings for £1 and jewellery-making components for only 50p so you could even make your own.

I could not resist such bargains and ended up spending £10 at this stall, purchasing three pairs of earrings, a hair pin and a huge ring that (ridiculously) is the width of three fingers.

Cardiff’s next Vintage Fashion Fair at City Hall is not until November, but it is a must-have date for your dairy and certainly something for all fashionistas to anticipate.

The Cardiff Vintage Fashion Fair is held at City Hall, in November and February. Admission is £4 or £3.50 with student identification. Alternatively, visit http://www.whatsmineisyours.com/ for an online version.

1 comment:

Andy said...


www.Bigwardrobe.com, the Internet’s biggest clothes swapping website has just announced the UK’s first ever National Clothes Swapping Week, which will coincide with London Fashion Week starting on 20th February 2009. Fashion fans everywhere will be urged to dig out their unwanted items and list them on Bigwardrobe.com for the busiest and most successful week of clothes swapping in history! The founders of Bigwardrobe.com hope to show people that you don’t have to travel to a fashion capital like London, Paris or Milan - or even spend a single penny - to be 100% on-trend. Happy swapping xxx