Sunday, 28 February 2010

On-line Love

Whilst flicking through a recent copy of Vogue, we came across a recommendation for , an online magazine dedicated to all things vintage -
We are now officially hooked!
Where else would you find an ‘Ode to Lucite’, a feature on ‘The Ten Must-haves for a Boudoir’ or a discussion on Wartime diets.
If that’s not enough the Queen’s team also find time to organise fashion flash mobs, and set up vintage-style hair salons across the country.
Go to -
And follow on twitter -

(Image of Jean Harlow from the site.)

Return of the Killer Storms

Yes - another ghastly, wet day ahead... Inspired by this clip, we're saying goodbye to Feb with an afternoon of B-Movie heaven....

Friday, 26 February 2010

Lily's Vintage Venture

Lily Allen has done a 'Sienna':momentarily ditching the entertainment industry to set up a fashion brand with her sister.
'I'm in the office every day, sourcing clothes and getting really excited about my new venture.' Enthuses Lily about her new vintage brand. This isn’t Lily’s first foray into the world of fashion. In 2007 she designed a vintage inspired range for New Look, and has recently modeled for Chanel. The premise of the store, which will be called ‘Lucy in Disguise’, is that girls can hire peices from the collection, so get to wear beautiful clothes without the hefty price tag. What more proof did we need of fashion's latest love affair with quality vintage than celebrity endosement - thanks Lily!

Monday, 22 February 2010

From Russia with Love

As one of the world's most powerful supermodels, Natalia Vodianova can wear any designer she wishes. So it is a testiment to her innate style and good taste, that for the 2009, British Fashion Awards, and The Met Ball she chose to showcase her exquisite collection of Fortuny gowns.
Another famous Fortuny fan was Clarisse Coudert - Mrs. Condé Nast, here is a beautful picure of her wearing one of the famous tea gowns, circa 1917.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Celia Birtwell's musings on true elegance.

Reading a recent, and rare, interview with the intensly private Celia Birtwell we came across this gem on style and elegance:

'I like quality. I appreciate a sense of style. But this mania for sporting designer logos on everything we wear or carry - it's terribly vulgar, isn't it? True elegance requires a little modesty, and the need to rely solely on labels and brand names is, if anything, indiciative of a lack of self-confidence.'

Celia Birtwell, we love you.

Saturday, 20 February 2010

VA Masterclasses at Topshop

We've just completed the second of the two Masterclasses at Topshop. Our curator Judith Watt came up trumps with her typically entertaining and hands-on style. Quite literally. To our amazement, our founder seemed surprisingly relaxed when Judith invited the audience to lean over the display barrier and feel the 1920s Chanel cocktail dress on display. Perhaps the shock set in later...

Big thanks to all the team at Topshop - you have been a dream to work with and your enthusiasm for VA has been fantastic!

For those who missed the talks, the display will continue throughout Fashion Week, at Topshop, Oxford Circus. But it is just for looking only now, sorry!

Friday, 19 February 2010

VA Private Collection Display at Topshop for LFW

Some of the pieces of our Private Collection on display in Topshop during London Fashion Week.

Display includes 1920s Patou and Chanel; 1930s Shciaparelli, Mainbocher and Pacquin; 1970s Paco Rabanne and Ossie Clark; 1980s Alaia.

Pop down to Topshop this week to see these fantastic pieces of fashion history in the flesh. You might even see Philip Green admiring them - we have it on good authority that he's a big fan!

Topshop, Oxford Circus, Lower Ground Floor.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

VA now on Twitter

Stay up to date with all things VA, as we have now joined the cultural revolution that is Twitter.

Follow us at:

VA x Topshop Master Class, this weekend . . .

Vintage Academe – Topshop - LFW Event

To celebrate London Fashion Week, Vintage Academe will be curating an installation at Topshop’s Oxford Circus store. The installation will showcase the most important pieces from our collection of 20th century fashion. The display will range from 20s Vionnet and Chanel, through to 90s Alaia and Herve Leger.

“We have long admired Vintage Academe and are delighted to be able to offer it’s unique archive of fashion history to customers. This exhibition offers the perfect balance to the contemporary designers with whom we collaborate on a regular basis.”

The Master Class
On 19th and 20th February, VA founder Clare Nicholls and VA Curator, author and fashion historian Judith Watt will be in-store to give the history behind some of the clothes and the designers who created them. Visitors will be able to try on some of the pieces – with vintage-styling advice from Topshop Style Advisors – and some pieces will be available to buy.

“VA are delighted to be a part of Topshop’s London Fashion Week celebrations. This is the perfect opportunity for VA to open our archive to Topshop’s fashion-savvy customers, and establish ourselves as Europe’s finest luxury vintage retailers.”
-Clare Nicholls, Founder of VA

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Stop Press

Links to VA in the news!

Top of The Blogs

VA loves this image from superblogger - jakandjil.

Because Life is Divine

Giving something up for Lent? Easy. The choice is overwhelming... Instead we've going to do something far more enriching - read Dante's Divine Comedy. The aim is to reach Paradiso with him on Easter Sunday. Beacuse life is divine, and yes, it is still also a comedy...

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Talk to the Walls

VA has just returned from a country estate auction, held yesterday in a secret location in the north of England. Although we can’t yet reveal our new purchases, we can report on what we did once we had finished shopping.
Before boarding for Euston we went to Manchester’s Whitworth Art Gallery, for the newly opened exhibition, ‘Walls are Talking:Wallpaper, Art and Culture’, as recommended by this month's Vogue.The exhibition extensively explores artist-designed wallpaper. Featured artists include Damien Hirst, Sarah Lucas and Julie Verhoeven. It is interesting to see how many artists have utilised this medium, and subverted the domestic associations with wallpaper to convey their messages. A truly underated artform.

(,250 Oxford Road, Manchester,0161 275 7450. Exhibition runs 6th Feb - May 3rd)

Comfort Cinema

It’s raining, it’s February.
There’s only one way to spend today: find your nearest indie cinema, and get a ticket for one for this afternoon's screening of a classic film . No need to share popcorn, and just think it could be sunny by the time the film finishes!

If you can't make out what VA's afternoon film was, here's a clue-

“I could find a real-life place that'd make me feel like Tiffany's, then - then I'd buy some furniture and give the cat a name!”

VA’s top Indie Cinemas

1.The Cornerhouse
Oxford Street, Manchester (, 0161-200 1500)
2. The Duke of York’s
Preston Circus, Brighton (, 0871 704 2056)
3. Chapter Arts
Market road, Cardiff (, 029 2030 4400)
4.Ritzy Picturehouse
Coldharbour Lane, London (, 0207 733 2229)

Friday, 12 February 2010


Monday, 8 February 2010

Pop Goes The Shop

We are delighted to announce that for London Fashion Week, February 2010, VA will be curating an installation, and holding a week long pop-up shop at Topshop’s Oxford Circus store. The installation will showcase the most important pieces from our collection of 20th century fashion. The display will range from 20’s Vionnet and Chanel, through to 90’s Alaia and Herve Leger.
What more on the 19th and 20th of February, our founder, Clare Nicholls and VA Curator, author and fashion historian, Judith Watt will be in-store to give the history behind some of the clothes and the designers who created them.

Visitors will be able to try on some of the pieces – with vintage-styling advice from Topshop Style Advisors – and some pieces will be available to buy.

London Fashion Week, 18th-23rd Febuary 2010.

A Tale of Two Cities

Today in Selfridges VA witnessed a real life fashion cat fight! The scrap broke out over the last pair of Henry Holland 'House Mock' Over the Knee Tights for Pretty Polly. The clever design has proved so popular, that they are this season's hosiery sell-out.
The pattern brings to mind an incredible 1920s black chiffon and beaded Coco Chanel 'LBD' we have in our private collection- proving that an iconic skyline will always be in fashion.

Cat Power

This spring the catwalk is crawling with feline inspired fashion.
At Azzaro, Vanessa Seward made her furry friend Monsieur Jo, the star of her S/S 10 collection, when she enlisted artist Florence Deygas to sketch her pet, and then embroidered the image in sliver onto a collection of silk white dresses.
Miuccia Prada presented a feline-fest at Mui Mui with plenty of girlish cat prints, and oversized kitty broaches pinned onto lapels.
Finally Alexa Chung was ousted as a ‘cat-lady', when she sported Lulu Guinness’s ‘Kooky Eyed Cat’ clutch bag on the red carpet, the showpiece in Lulu’s current collection of cat inspired accessories.
Here at VA we are dreaming of Schiaparelli’s 1960s cat –eye spectacles, Tatty Devine's cat cut-out bangles and this vintage yellow cat print dress, as seen in Harriet Magazine: a fashion zine we picked up in Magma bookshop. This adorable shoot in Harriet concludes, ‘You will never walk alone with cats on your dress’ - Purrfect.

Link to Harriet Magazine:-

Sunday, 7 February 2010

It's Coming . . .

London Fashion Week AW10 Starts on the 18th February, stay tuned for lots of VA LFW updates, comments and some special announcements, changes and pieces we're working on especially for Fashion week.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Top Secret

There is drama and excitment in the VA head quarters this afternoon, as something very exciting has been announced...
Watch this space!

Book Club

This week at VA we are using the miserable weather as an excuse to stay in, and finally address the pile of books still untouched from Christmas presents. Top of the pile is More is More: Tony Duquette, a beautiful book about the iconic American decorator Duquette, famous for his extravagant film-sets and interiors. The star of the book however is his artist wife, Elizabeth ‘Beegle’ Duquette. Beegle was the favourite painter of Hollywood director, Vincent Minnelli. She created murals that appear in a number of his films – the painting of Elizabeth Taylor in The Sandpaper was painted by the artist. Beegle often wore her husband’s creations and was famed for her love of expensive jewellery. All the top fashion designers fought to dress her, and her vast collection was said to be so big, it took a whole day to pack for a trip. Imagine if we could have a peak into that wardrobe!
More is More:Tony Duquette by Hutton Wilkinson(Abrams,£45)

In the Hood

Fashion is rarely practical, so it came as a pleasant surprise this season when Nicolas Ghesquiere sent his models down the Balenciaga catwalk, with hooded leather gillets to shelter them from the spring rain. A word of caution when trying the ‘hoodie’ trend - the look is more sportswear/club-kid than Scottish widow advert, so avoid velvet and stick to a sporty silhouette. Here at VA we have a beautiful 1980s Alaia hooded dress that is perfectly encapsulates the look.