Wednesday, 31 March 2010


Apologies for going quiet on the blog front....
We have been busy opening our fashion store, One.Two.Five Presents at 125 Ledbury Road in Notting Hill.
Team VA have been occupied with shopping for flowers, dressing the window, and road testing all the new stock (naturally).
Here's some pictures taken by our creative director this afternoon, of the VA girls playing dressing-up.....

Jess in 1970s Ossie Clark Traffic Light Dress

Kess in 1980s Atelier Versace

Come in and see us!

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Turban Powered

VA are big fans of Queens of Vintage, the on-line magazine for vintage fashion lovers. Where else can you find an article on the genius of turbans the “quick and chic solution to a bad hair day for any vintage-loving girl”. It’s not just the fashion advice that we keep logging on for, but lessons on the provenance of a trend though fashion history, and the alternative pin-up girls.
At VA, we have intimate understanding of the power turban dressing. In 2007, one of the team, whilst working for a vintage brand in New York, had 'the most horrendous bleached do', so spent most days hidden behind a turban. Jess, we think it might be time to resurrect that look, (the turban, not the bleach).

Monday, 22 March 2010

Blogger's Block

We all get lost for inspiration from time to time, whether you are a poet, fashion designer or fashion blogger, no one is safe from the dreaded black cloud.
Our tip for when you are suffering from a creativity block, is to play the “We Heart It Game”, and very soon the cloud will be lifted.

What you have to do is pick three things that are flickering at the back of your mind, and enter them into, the image sharing web space.
In seconds you have access to thousands of beautiful images, logged and tagged by like-minded image hoarders. You can also set-up your own account to file and share your personal collection. Choose from scans of vintage magazines, self initicated fashion shoots and holiday snaps. After a few moments lost in the archives of you are guaranteed to feel inspired.
Here’s what we are thinking about this grey Wednesday morning, and what popped up when we entered them in




Why don't you give it a go?

Fash - Films

Is anyone else guilty of watching films solely for the fashion content? Yesterday, I celebrated one of the final gasps of winter, (where hibernation is still expectable), by taking residence on the sofa, and entered the Technicolor world of Bob Fosse’s Cabaret. This film is a vintage fashion fantasy, a stylised version of the 1930s, through a 1970s filter, complete with gritty drag references. Cue flared halterneck all-in-ones, oversized furs, floppy brimmed hats, and Liza Minnelli’s imitable green nail varnish. Life is really is a Cabaret.

Friday, 19 March 2010

A Room of One's Own

Vintage Academe has spent the last eighteen months as fashion's most exquisite vagrant. We have inhabited sun-drenched warehouses in Battersea, sung for our supper at the V&A, liaised in anonymous hotel suites and private members clubs across the city.... After a tiresome but thrilling journey, we are pleased to announce that VA finally has A Room of One's Own.

That room, painted a chic shade of grey, is tucked away in Notting Hill at 125 Ledbury Road. ( Up the road from Matches if you must ask).

We have rails. We have our first bouquet of ‘good luck’ roses, and we have a promise of an opening date – Saturday the 27th of March.

Please keep an eye on the blog this week, as we might be able to open sooner, but at the moment, this is the date to save. Now please excuse us, we have furniture to shop for.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

VA at the V&A!

Vintage Academe spent the morning at the V&A, presenting our archive, to an enthusiastic audience of students and collectors, enrolled on the "Vintage to Vogue" fashion history course.
We were delighted that we could share our collection, and listen to what Clare Rose,
fashion history lecturer at the V&A, had to say about the history of the pieces. An Issey Miyake ribbon dress proved popular, and the exquisite cut of an eighties Thierry Mugler, drew an admiring crowd.

Clare Rose said, "It's great to have a vintage brand like Vintage Academe, who cleverly brings vintage fashion into today's fashion world. They have a strong collection, and it has been chosen with a good eye."

For more information go to -

Punch drunk by Penn

For reasons we will soon start to reveal on this site - we have only just been able to visit the Irving Penn exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. Simply titled 'Portraits', perfectly echoing his puritanical ethos, this is an exhibition of some of the West's cultural titans of the past 7 decades. Candidates for the Fantasy Dinner Party? They are all here... But this is Penn. It's not a mere log of 120 faces - every picture is an intense and revealing study. Shunning elaborate props, sets or gimmicks, he distills to the very essence of the sitter in each image. The youthful Peter Ustinov is cherubic, Schaiparelli - screamingly defiant. For anyone interested in recent Western Culture - this is unmissable - but be prepared to be hit 120 times right between your eyes.

Irving Penn Portraits, The National Gallery until 6th June.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Say Grace

Think of timeless, unerring beauty and think instantly of the inimitable 1950s style icon, Grace Kelly. Imagine a world of old school Hollywood glamour, of black and white movies, of giving up a glittering career at only 26 to fall in love and become the Princess of Monaco ...

And it doesn't stop there! From Yves Saint Laurent to Balenciaga, the actress packed a lot of breathtaking couture outfits into her life. No wonder we can’t wait to see how the celebrated beauty transformed herself from actress to princess when the V&A opens its doors on Grace Kelly: Style Icon on April 17th.

Set to contain over 50 pieces from her spectacular wardrobe, we're anticipating a revival of classic sophistication. And to accompany the exhibition, the first book to look exclusively at Grace’s unique style will be published. We'll definitely be buying a copy of this... Hermes didn't name their most luxurious handbag after Grace for nothing.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Our Friends in the North

On a recent buying trip up north, we met 22 year old, folksinger and vintage shop owner, Lucy Conroy. Lucy set up her own vintage boutique, ‘Lucy and the Caterpillar’, when she was only nineteen, ‘because I had ran out of storage space for my own collection, and thought it might be a good idea to try and sell some of it’, she informed Va, when we stumbled across her busy attic shop, nestled high above the centre of the scenic market town, Hebden Bridge. The unbelievably picturesque town, now a favourite of artists and poets, is most well known for it’s literally residents, past and present, most famously Ted Hughes.

Read on for Lucy's top five, vintage tips for the North.

1. Leeds Vintage Fashion Fair
I bought a monochrome fifties tea dress from this fair, it was made for a ballet dancer who had danced for the queen. I wore it to the Christian Dior fashion show in Paris, I felt so special, all the photographers were whispering, ‘Who is she?’ French Vogue took my picture for the party page; I think they thought it was vintage Chanel.

2. Whim Wham Club, Manchester
Clubbing depresses me, people no longer make any effort to look good, and isn’t that the whole point of going out! I went out the other night and at the end of it thought, ‘god that was a waste of make-up!’ That’s why I love the Whim Wham Club, it’s a burlesque and cabaret night, but not a theme night, just very glamorous. You can really dress-up and everyone appreciates the effort you have made. And you are not going to get WKD spilt on your satin dress.

3. Saltsmill
Saltsmill is a old mill, in a little town called Saltaire, near Bradford. The mill was built in the Victorian times. It has been renovated into galleries, antique shops and two beautiful restaurants. It’s an incredible building; they have lots of David Hockney exhibitions. I love the French restaurant on the roof, and the bookshops.

Image. Saltsmill.

4. The Souk
The Souk is the best antique shop in Haworth, a gorgeous little town in West Yorkshire. The town has lot’s of independent shops, The Souk is near the Bronte Museum.
117 Main Street, Haworth, West Yorkshire, 01535 646538.

5. My Shop
Come to Hebden Bridge for the day and visit me in my shop, I’ll make you a cup of tea and some crumpets!

Follow her blog describing how she sews a fifties style dress, to match her Vivian Westwood by Melissa shoes –

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Happy Campers

Dancing until dawn at festivals, vintage shopping and weekend breaks at country estates, are our top three summer pastimes.

So you can imagine our excitement when we discovered Vintage at Goodwood. The vintage fashion/music festival, which debuts this August, at The Goodwood Estate on the Sussex coast.
The festival is organised by Wayne Hemingway, (of Red or Dead fashion fame) and the Goodwood Sussex coast estate owner, Lord March.
Hemingway says 'We have carefully curated a celebratory, that re-unites music, fashion and culture; that is unashamedly about dressing up rather than down’.

Va are already planning what to wear, although it sounds as if you could arrive with an empty backpack, and leave with a whole new wardrobe, with plenty of vintage shops, including a carefully designed ‘vintage high street’, housing the Kenwood Emporium and a recreation of Oxfam’s first High Street shop from 1948. The curators have also selected pieces from today’s collections, for the ‘Tomorrow’s Vintage’ exhibition, showcasing what they think will become covetable items of the future.

What To See
Catwalk shows, like Mods v Rockers and ‘The British New Look’, discovering cuts from the forties, run in the same bill as the musicians, who range from Imelda May, Sandy Shaw and The Noisettes. Lily Allen is in attendance, but not on the stage, instead she is using the festival to launch her new vintage label. Be sure to book in afternoon tea with the WI, a place in the roller disco, or visit the 40s-style nightclub and a recreation of the Northern Soul venue Wigan Casino.


Expect preferential treatment if you turn up in a classic camper. If camping in your vintage finery doesn’t sound too appealing, you can book into one of the festivals ‘posh tents’ which come complete with a butler to prepare your breakfast on-site.

August 13-15 of 2010, Tickets are already on sale with adult day passes for £55 and weekend camping tickets at £150. Go to