Vintage look is always in fashion

Vintage clothing is gaining in popularity all the time. Picture: Getty
Vintage clothing is gaining in popularity all the time. Picture: Getty
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SHE excitedly put on her new mohair jacket, “rescued” from a charity shop.

As she studied her new look reflection in the mirror, Lisa Macfarlane slipped her hand inside the pocket – and that was when the real excitement began.

“It had a little shopping list inside it,” remembers Lisa, one half of Edinburgh-born presenting duo The Mac Twins. “It was really old. It was all crumpled up and was just a normal shopping list with milk etc written on it, but in my head I was imagining it was a shopping list from the war or something.”

Like many people, Lisa is obsessed with vintage clothing, her wardrobes crammed full of unique pieces and the smell of mothballs.

The growing desire to go on nights out wearing “one-off” pieces is leading to an explosion in vintage fairs up and down the country – including Edinburgh.

Tomorrow will see the arrival of Lou Lous’s, winner of the UK’s Best Vintage Fair 2013 and 2014, at The Assembly Rooms.

For Lisa, the idea that something “has lived before” – as her mohair jacket clearly had – is part of the thrill of picking up vintage pieces. “I love the history behind it”, she explains. “It’s why a lot of people buy vintage stuff – people enjoy guessing the story and the life it had before.”

“The shabby chic look is quite in,” she adds. “There’s a real trend for reinventing pieces.

“I used to turn up at home after a day going round the charity shops and my mum would be like “what have you come dressed as”?

“I think people like Dawn O’Porter and programmes like hers, where she reinvents old clothes into modern styles, have really increased popularity.”

Lynne McCrossan, author of A Girl’s Guide to Vintage and creative director of wecraveit.com, agrees that popular culture has played a large part in the ever-growing phenomenon of vintage styles.

“Every year a new generation comes into the position of loving vintage. That’s why every year it seems to have a new surge in popularity.

“There are things like Boardwalk Empire and the Great Gatsby – when popular culture references previous eras then we get a surge in the popularity of that kind of era.”

Though she admits there are drawbacks to wanting to own a statement piece from a bygone era – especially if you are trying to recreate the Boardwalk Empire and Great Gatsby look from the 1920s.

“Things from that era are extremely rare – and expensive,” says Lynne. “If you think about vintage clothing like a piece of art or bottle of wine, the older you go back, the more expensive and rare it becomes.”

Tomorrow, vintage lovers will be flocking to The Assembly Rooms in George Street to scour the 50 different stalls comprising Lou Lou’s Vintage Fair.

Not only will there be a range of clothing and accessories on offer - from the 1940s right up to the 1990s - there will also be a range of collectables, home-wares, knick-knacks, furniture and jewellery.

And the fair will offer the full vintage experience to those desperate to completely immerse themselves in the past.

There will be stylists from Pin-Ups Beauty salon on hand, who specialise in vintage hair and makeovers, to pamper and preen visitors and transform them into their favourite vintage icons.

There will also be a vintage tearoom serving up delicious delights in the pop-up tea parlour to keep shoppers refreshed.

Organiser Lou Lou, who takes the Vintage Fair to more than 40 towns and cities across the country, says: “I think it works because people who love vintage are always looking for something new and unique to add to their wardrobe.

“What we do is take the best traders in the whole of the UK and put them in one place so you know that if the Vintage Fair is in town you have a one-stop shop to get the best vintage goods and accessories that are on the market at that time.”

Out of the Blue Drill Hall in Leith will also be hosting the Vintage Kilo Sale on November 22 from 11am to 4pm.

There will be more than five tonnes of mixed vintage fashion and accessories.

Customers can walk away with a kilo of clothing - about four or five items - for just £15.

The Lou Lou’s Vintage Fair takes place from 11am to 4pm tomorrow. Entry is £2, and free for under-12s.