Saturday, 19 February 2011

BBC London radio show 19th February

Hello! That was a really fun week. Lots of chat about televisions with coin slots and other debt-reducing plans...seriously considering a money box next to mine.

For the infographics piece I wrote in today's Independent Magazine, have a look here.

We started off with the Clerkenwell Vintage Fashion Fair. This is a busy affair in The Old Finsbury Town Hall (George Fornby was a regular there, but long before the fashion that you'll see for sale was considered vintage...). All the details here but it's this Sunday, 20th February, from 11am - 4.30pm, costs £4, and will feature fashion and textiles from the 1800s right up to the 1980s (get with it - the 1980s are now vintage). There will - of course - be a Tea Booth, as well as a handy alterations area.

Here are some of the bargains on offer:

French 1940s workwear dresses starting at £60
Silk 1930s bias cut frocks & pantaloons from £70
Tweed Plus Fours starting at £30 (for girls or boys)
Fascinators and caps from £10
Fabric from £5 a metre
Buttons from £1 a bag
1950s costume jewellery starting at £5
Men's kilt jackets from £60
American circle skirts starting at £40


The RCA are having their Ceramic Art London fair from 25th - 27th February. As always it's a chance to do a bit of talent spotting, hopefully coming away with a wonderful tea pot that turns out to be made by someone who eventually gets famous, thereby making you a millionaire...This is the long view, you understand. 

 Robert Cooper's tea caddy series

 birds by Susan O'Byrne

 by Kaori Tatebayashi

Not just teapots, you see.


Remember 44 Frocks? 'Thrifty thrills for expensive women' ring any bells? We spoke to the founder Laura months ago when she set up her excellent enterprise that allows you to buy barely worn (pre-worn, as Robert has been known to say) designer garments that she's extracted from wardrobes of the rich and stylish. Every party will have 44 dresses priced from £20 - £60 in a particular size. It's popular! So you have to make sure to book in for one of the 'tea parties' (beverages and cake provided) - and because March is all booked up, I thought I should warn you about the next available dates. Attractive picture of a thrifty lady in one of the designer dresses first:

...and then:

3rd April for sizes 10, 12, 14, 16

8th May all sizes (6 - 16)

Get all the information about how to book and what's on offer here, and their blog is one to watch, too.


Well it would be wrong to go a week without mentioning the words blah de blah de POP UP so here's the dose for this week (it's high quality, so merits a mention, promise). Skandium have created a brief sale shop - open until tomorrow (Sunday 20th), everything is between 50 and 80% off, which is the sign of a BARGAIN waiting to happen.

in the blink of an eye, it's Skandium. On sale.

It's on 235 Brompton Road, SW3. And they tell me within the pop-up there will be: rugs by Woodnotes, furniture by De La Espada and Asplund, lighting by Harri Koskinen for Marset, cushion covers by Alexander Girard, Aalto chairs by Artek, tumblers by Jorn Utzon (he was the man behind the Sydney opera house, you know), lighting by Orrefors, fabrics, clothing and kitchen textiles by Marimekko, jewellery, and wall hangings. No, I don't recognise all those names either, but you know if they're stocked by Skandium (and they felt they were worth mentioning) that they'll be the height of chic-ity and style. I'm personally excited about the Marimekko mention (have you been to the most colourful shop in London, their store in St Christopher's Place), and am looking forward to buying rather than window shopping, which is my usual Skandium experience.


Ever with the bank balance in mind, here's a trusty sample sale list for this month:

Georgina Goodman shoes 
(who, incidentally, have their own iPhone app; whatever next? Trouble, that's what) are having a sample sale.
Monday 21st - Saturday 26th (Mon-Thurs 10am-7pm, Fri-Sat 10am-6pm). There will be up to 80% off.
Find them at 12-14 Shepherd Street, W1J 7JF.

 Designer Sales UK 
I flagged this up last time - very good place for bargains.
Friday 4th March (noon-8pm) and Saturday 5th March (10am - 7pm).
Expect tonnes of designer names (Vivienne Westwood, YSL, Martin Margiela etc etc) discounted up to 90%.
Just go to Chelsea Old Town Hall on the Kings Road for that.

Designer Warehouse Sales: menswear
Not to be confused with the very similarly named sale above, this one is menswear only, and has been voted as one of London's best sample sales by The Independent, Elle, and Time Out. You'll find clothes up to 60% cheaper than usual from names like Paul Smith, Armani and Gucci.
Today, Saturday 19th February, 10am-6pm and Sunday 20th February, 11am - 5pm.
Only costs £2 to get in.
Where: 5-6 Islington Studios, Thane Works, Thane Villas, N7 7NU.
(Click here for a map.)


While we're on the subject of men, Net-A-Porter is opening a new branch this month. Mr Porter will be open for business soon...keep your eye out here, or sign up for updates with Mr P yourself.


Oh! Also Anita's Vintage Fashion Accessories and Textiles Fair, which has been around for eons. It's back this Sunday (20th February) from 11am-5pm at The 20th Century Theatre, 291 Westbourne Grove, W11 2QA. 
Boon: it's free.
Double boon: there will be 30 stalls, all very respectable. 


Back on the high street, and M&S will have some deals during next week's half term. Here they are:
Spend £30 and save £5 on childrenswear 
Save £10 on food when you spend £50 or more on womenswear and lingerie 
Spend £150 on suits and get 25% off 
30% off selected furniture 
20% off selected homeware, TVs, home video and electricals


If you don't look at Caroline Kamp's design blog then you should. A design journalist and general inspirational ideas maverick (oh, and mother of two smallies...), she has her finger on the pulse when it comes to Hip Things you might want to add to your life. She's not above experimenting with the latest coolest
eco-detergents (who knew such a thing could actually be so trendy? Read about her exploits with 'method' here), but she goes high-brow too, and tipped me off to this:

The Modern Danish Warehouse, a warehouse open from 5th - 20th March, that will be selling 250 pieces of the loveliest midcentury Danish furniture.

 Prices start at £100, go up to £1500, and include furniture that Arne Jacobsen designed for a school in Copenhagen in the 1950s.

You'll find it all at The Garage, North Terrace SW3 2AB.

Finito! Do get in touch if you've any thoughts or questions...