Portable Portobello

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With wall to wall stalls of vintage goods, town and gown queued to get in for an afternoon of browsing and buying. Underneath the VE day union jacks hanging from the ceiling was a selection of the 800 stall holders who travel around with Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair, displaying fur coats, party dresses, pre-loved denim, brogues and costume jewellery on my favourite stall called ‘Trampgems’. There was even cake. However, a young man left with only one pair of gloves and feeling rather left out of the flurry of female activity. Ladies were brought closer together because the ‘dressing room’ provided (seemingly as an after thought) was merely the union loos. After realising that queuing for a cubicle took too long, girls were trying on their prospective purchases all over the place, using basins as hanging rails. This created a genuine sense of camaraderie with everyone comparing their outfits.

Despite having to trust your fellow shoppers or autophotography on your camera phone, the clothes you walked away with were original and, true to Judy’s promise, very affordable.

My resolution to make an outfit on every stall fell through, as the sheer number and variety would have made this an exercise in stamina and discipline. However, I did try on an example for your delectation from: Vintage Vogue: Blouse £8, Skirt £10, Jacket, £8.


Photography: Courtenay-Elle Crichton-Turley

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