Clerkenwell Vintage Fashion Fair

If you haven’t been to Clerkenwell Vintage Fashion Fair, don’t make any other plans this Sunday.

I’ve been working with the monthly fair since May and it’s genuinely something I really look forward to. There’s a great team behind it, the stalls stock some of the best quality vintage I’ve seen in ages and it’s a great excuse to dress up!

1920s style
Me whilst promoting Clerkenwell Vintage Fashion Fair at London Fashion Week last month. Photo taken by the Claire’s Accessories street style team.

Aside from over 50 stalls of heart-stoppingly beautiful fashion, there are many other reasons why this is one of the best vintage fairs in London:

Clerkenwell Vintage Fair

  • It takes place at the beautiful, grade II listed Old Finsbury Town Hall which is now mostly used for weddings. Originally opened in 1895, the Art Nouveau style makes this the perfect location for the fair.
  • If you need to put your feet up with a cup of tea after all the shopping, the tea room serves sandwiches and delicious cakes alongside hot drinks in pretty china. What’s more, the beautiful Noelle Vaughn will provide your vintage soundtrack with a voice so silky you’d be forgiven for thinking there’s a record player in the room.
  • Other services are available to keep you occupied for the whole day. Check the Facebook page to find out what will be available at each fair but in the past they have included an alterations service, Minnie Moons vintage manicures and Style Icon personal styling.
Noelle Vaughn singer
Noelle Vaughn. Image: Jenny Rutterford.

But of course what you really come for is the clothes. Last month I spotted a number of divine pieces from Dior, Emilio Pucci, Jean Muir, Ossie Clark… I could go on. There’s a small selection of menswear too.

I thought I’d share with you a little interesting piece of fashion history that one of the stall holders last month was telling me about…

Lucite bag 1950s
Lewellyn Lucite bag. Image: momsvintagetreasures on Etsy

Lucite bags are a classic icon of the 1950s. Like much of the fashion in that era, it was a response to the end of WW2 (for example, the full 50s skirt was a reaction to the end of rationing and being able to use as much fabric as you desired again). Lucite was invented as a durable and lightweight plastic in America in 1938 but during the war Lucite was mass produced for making windshields and noses for bomber planes. There was a huge surplus when it was no longer needed for this purpose and as a result handbag designers put their creative minds to good use and used it to make fashionable accessories. They were far from a cheap commodity though and were often spotted being carried by glamorous celebrities and socialites. Designer names to look out for when shopping Lucite bags include Llewellyn and Patricia of Miami. A genuine vintage Lucite bag today costs around £100 depending on the condition and style.

Clerkenwell Vintage Fashion Fair is open this Sunday 13th October from 10am for trade buyers and from 11am for public (adults £4, students £2) until 5pm. I hope to see you there!

If you’re not available this Sunday, stay in touch with all the latest on the CVFF Facebook and Twitter pages.

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