Beyond the Pale

Magpies Fabulous Vintage Fair

The highlight of last week for me was, without doubt, Magpies Fabulous Vintage Fair.


Please excuse the dreadful quality photos – they’re from my phone. 😉

Held at Salomons in Tunbridge Wells, within the Victorian wood-panelled Science Theatre, this was the perfect venue for an eclectic assortment of vintage sellers to hawk their wonderous wares.

Run by local vintage & designer emporium, Love is Boutique – who I have previously waxed lyrical about – the Magpies moniker certainly lived up to its name: everywhere the eye rested, a bejeweled creation or fascinating piece of designer ephemera jostled for attention.

Ladies munching cupcakes almost too beautiful to eat (almost!) by Everything Cupcakes, chattered excitedly in glamorous huddles, surrounded by an Yves Saint Laurent couture suit here, a 1920’s feathered boudoir robe there. It was all quite gloriously giddy-making.


Absolutely the only way to browse effectively was by completing several laps, to make sure you hadn’t missed anything. Luckily I was with three hardy companions who’d run away to the fair with me as soon as we’d finished work.

Half the fun of a vintage fair is having a good old rummage. Plunging in and holding aloft some lurid jumpsuit & remarking how your mum used to wear one just like it, or spotting homewares that remind you of your childhood.

It was really interesting seeing how many pieces looked so contemporary – as though they’d just been used in a Vogue photoshoot – which shows you how much fashion still relies on looking to the past for inspiration.

One of the standout stalls, for me, was the breathtakingly beautiful range of wedding & evening dresses by Charlotte Casadejus .

Her passion for vintage designs can be seen in her exquisite contemporary pieces, which echo the past and give the appearance of having been whisked from the very hands of couture dressmakers from the 1900’s right through to the 1970’s.


I plan to do a separate blog piece about Charlotte Casadejus , I was so taken with her designs, but do go and feast your eyes on her website, linked above, for the moment.

Another stall which blew me away was Coucou Heart. It held all manner if enticement in the way of cleverly repurposed vintage bits & bobs strung into incredible pieces of jewelry. [Of course, I forgot to take a picture of the stall. This one is from the Etsy shop…]

My eye was immediately drawn to a long, silver necklace with a tiny antique key hanging from a shorter, central chain and a large – um, lamp? Incense pot? Censer? – hanging from the longer chain, and bedecked with tiny grey glass beads which tinkle merrily as you move. This is a terrible picture, but believe me, it’s a gorgeous necklace!

Having purchased, I had a lovely little chat with the lady behind Coucou Heart herself, about how much we love antique keys. It’s the mystery behind them that gets me going – wondering what doors and locks they once opened, and if that door or lick remains sealed to this day. I then perused the rest of her pieces, and could literally (and quite happily) have taken home one of everything, it was all so in accord with my own taste.

Again, I plan to do a blog post based entirely on Coucou Heart, so shall leave it be for the moment, but I urge you to grab the pieces as soon as you can, because I will surely be snapping at your heels!

As always, there were several items on practically every stall that stood up and waved at me, begging to be taken home.

Tiredness & lack of funds were the twin evils keeping me from going mad. I’ll definitely be attending the next one – it was a delightful atmosphere, and a joy to see so many familiar faces all aglow with the buzz of a bargain, or clutching some cherished vintage piece that now belonged to them.

For FAR superior pictures of the evening’s shenanigans, please visit the lovely Mrs Anke. 😉


1 Comment so far
Leave a comment

that looks like heaven… getting out of town is the key with vintage

Comment by Rose

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: