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The year in vintage 2016

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It’s time again for Clerkenwell Vintage Fashion Fair to take a look back at the year in vintage. It’s certainly been a historic year but you don’t need us to tell you that. Instead, here’s a reflection on the news that mattered to the vintage fashion community this year and an exciting announcement for what’s to come in 2017 for Clerkenwell Vintage Fashion Fair…

1991 turns vintage…

There are many markers for classifying something as vintage (and even more for classifying something as quality vintage!) but based on a general rule of thumb that it has to be over 25 years of age, that makes 2016 the year that 1991 officially became vintage. It was a time when Courtney Love and Kurt Cobain were the coolest couple around, though Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder came a close second. Everyone wanted a red swimsuit so they could perfect their Baywatch impression, or they were keeping it jazzy Fresh Prince style. Welcome to the vintage club 1991!

Our 7th birthday!

We celebrated in true style for our 7th anniversary in May with a brilliant fair. We celebrated with traders who have been with us right from the start and exciting new names who have joined us this year, and of course some delicious cake from Suzy’s Kitchen in our tearoom. Don’t worry, we haven’t got the seven year itch and we’re looking ahead to turning 8 years old this year and all it will bring us.

A few more birthdays…

We weren’t the only ones hitting new milestones this year. Original super Cindy Crawford turned 50 (while still looking jaw-droppingly beautiful) and true icon Cher turned 70, if you can believe it?! Robert Redford celebrated his 80th, while Hugh Heffner saw in 90 and Hollywood legend Kirk Douglas made the grand 100! Who could forget too that the Queen turned 90! We dusted off our Horrockses dresses and put out the bunting in honour of her official birthday in June.

…And some farewells

What a year of tragic losses. In the fashion world this was most keenly felt by the deaths of Sonia Rykiel (read our tribute to her here), Bill Cunningham, whose photography for the New York Times will forever continue to inspire today’s street style bloggers, and Franca Sozzani, who will surely go down in the history books as one of Italian Vogue’s greatest Editors. Though not directly working within fashion, we were sad to hear of the passing of architect Zaha Hadid, whose collaborations with United Nude, Fendi, Melissa, Louise Vuitton and more will no doubt be valuable future vintage. And finally, not forgetting David Bowie and Prince, who had a huge impact on the fashion of their era, and certainly made it a more colourful one. Though they will all be sadly missed, their impact on fashion and vintage will live on forever.

…more iconic vintage pieces 

Every fair day fills us with excitement as we watch rails of beautiful clothing coming in, many of them with exciting stories to tell. In 2016 we stumbled upon a beautiful 1950s cocktail dress, as seen on the set of Mad Men, a Liberty print dress that was also on display at the Fashion & Textile Museum earlier in 2016, a 1930s Harrods travelling shoe case filled with immaculate condition shoes, and an original Hussar’s tunic, to name a few!

Elsewhere in London…

In a city that offers the best of old and new fashion, vintage was celebrated in many ways in 2016. British Vogue turned 100 this year and celebrated with an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery of Vogue photography throughout the years. If you love vintage photography but missed the exhibition, we highly recommend the accompanying book ‘Vogue 100: A Century of Style’ that provides an exquisite look at the magazine’s history.

Some vintage talents, who are still shaping the industry today, were celebrated at the newly revamped British Fashion Awards. Ralph Lauren, the designer who launched with a collection of ties in 1967 and shot to fame by winning the Coty Award for menswear with his first full collection in 1970, was presented with the Outstanding Achievement award. His sporty, ivy league look has had an ongoing influence on the industry and his early pieces still remain popular at our fair.

Fashion photographer Bruce Weber was also honoured with the Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator. Weber was first published in GQ in the late 1970s and went on to be known for ‘those’ Calvin Klein adverts in the 1980s and 1990s, as well as music videos for the likes of the Pet Shop Boys. His black and white, homoerotic works pushed boundaries and often sparked controversy but has ultimately led to an iconic portfolio.

And we announced our new venue…

Following our final fair of the year in November we revealed an exciting change happening for Clerkenwell Vintage Fashion Fair in 2017. We’ve left our home on Rosebery Avenue and are saying hello to the Courthouse Hotel in Shoreditch!

Our new 5-star location promises a stunning vintage vibe along with top notch facilities including a brasserie serving lunch, afternoon tea and cocktails and a cloakroom. You’ll also be able to book a stay at the hotel for a special price if you’re visiting the fair (call the hotel and quote Clerkenwell 17 for rates) and make use of their spa, cinema and bowling alley! The grade II listed building is a former courthouse and police station with a rich history itself, including detaining famous names such as the gangster Kray twins and playwright Joe Orton. Not to mention it’s right on the doorstep of one of London’s most vibrant, stylish and eclectic neighbourhoods!

Despite our new Shoreditch home, we’ve decided to keep our name as our promise to you that we’ll still maintain our dedication to quality, authentic vintage in an uplifting atmosphere.

We look forward to welcoming you to our new venue soon! Our dates for 2017 are:

19th February

26th March

7th May

25th June

17th September

22nd October

3rd December