Monday, 16 May 2011

Vintage in Birmingham!

Here is a tasty version of an article I wrote for last week's Redbrick Newspaper... Enjoy!
Last Saturday saw the launch of “Birmingham’s Newest Independent Fashion, Home and Arts Fair”;  

Retro Brum.

Held, fittingly, at the Custard Factory’s Space 2 in Digbeth, the fair was jam-packed with treasures old and new; from antique watches and granddad jumpers to scrabble-letter rings and hand-made greeting cards!

The Custards Cream Stall... see

 The quid entry fee was worth it for the atmosphere alone; haggling with the traders, grooving whilst browsing and mooching on the battered sofas eating caramel shortbread was made ΓΌber-fun by the sexual tracks spun by the Tantrums. Saturday afternoon well spent I'd say!

DJ + full sleeve = YES
A quaint vintage tea room took over the bar area selling delicious cakes and nibbles on kitsch chinaware, and some stalls were dedicated wholly to cupcakes, tray-bakes and other heavenly treats! My company and I headed to Yumm just round the corner instead for their scrummy mezzalunas (like a calzone/panini/pasty!?) and spicy wedges. Sorted out our hangovers a treat!

 Two low-key catwalk shows were held, styled by Bad Apple and Ove-ra Monkeys, which were short but sweet and featured ‘real-life’ models (none of this Size-Zero malarkey). Folks from The Vintage Salon were offering retro pin-up hair and make-up over in Zellig, and you could even get beautiful henna tattoos done. 

There were over 40 stalls selling titbits old and new, from well-loved leather bags from Tea Cup Kitsch right up to new but vintage-inspired tees from Daisy Chain Clothing. Do not despair if you missed it- the fair will be on 1st and 3rd Saturday of every month from 11am! There’s also a vintage market on 25th June at Stan’s Cafe in the Jewellery Quarter, and weekend car boots like ‘Bar Boot Sale’ at the Hare and Hounds from 1pm Saturdays or the city-centre Sunday morning one, which are often dotted with vintage finds. Don’t forget the vintage stalls in and around the rag markets, plus there’s vintage to be found in a garage-y warehouse shop near Sing Fat Ltd Chinese supermarket- if you can find it!

The Custard Factory is also home to Urban Village and Frock On Vintage, and of course there’s the iconic vintage warehouse COW on Digbeth High Street, so why not make your trip to the fair into a thorough vintage shopping experience. 

Urban Village

More Urban Village

COW has a sister shop near Urban Outfitters in the city centre too, and the Urban Renewal (Men here and women here) section at UO stocks one-off treads made from vintage, surplus and pre-loved materials. Also check out Top Banana in Kings Heath, Yo Yo in the city centre, the vintage section on the top floor of Oasis, and keep an eye out for Forgotten Vintage’s next hanging-rail vintage market!

COW in Digbeth

You can check out this article in it's original format at Redbrick Online right here...

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