Blink Events: The Vintage Festival, Part 4 aka ‘Shop ’til you Drop’

Here we are on the fourth day of our coverage from the Vintage Festival, and we still have more to come! We think this is testament to the incredible diversity of events and quality of the experience created by Wayne Hemingway and the Vintage Festival team. Today we look at the amazing shopping at the event, which was mainly focused on fantastic vintage fashion, but there was also vintage homewares and furniture, brilliant art and a selection of big names who fit in with the mood,  like Cath Kidston and Benefit.

Within the Royal Festival Hall itself was a selection of more ‘high end’ vintage stalls. Our favourite was Fraubraun. We were told that this business developed out of the founder’s passion for collecting beautiful vintage womenswear. Stephanie Braun has an incredibly well honed sense of what will suit each one of her potential customers and within moments had selected two dresses for our Creative Director to slip into. Both fitted like a dream. You are then encouraged to step into the pop up photographic studio and take your own photo. Even if you aren’t quite ready to make a purchase, what a lovely experience. We have a couple of those shots below, so you’ll get a rare look at the face behind “Blink”.

Beyond the Royal Festival Hall was a wonderful market style set up, with some of the best quality vintage that we have seen in some time. As antique fair aficionado’s this was a kind of heaven. We first came across Stark, Wingate and Brown whose stall featured some brilliant graphic art. We spotted James Brown, who we have previously interviewed, and also Mr Wingate who we profiled for the Centre for Sustainable Fashion’s website. Beyond this was stall upon stall of wonderful vintage. It was impossible not to part with some cash, but thank goodness we didn’t succumb to the Danish teak mid century desk we spotted…

Wayne, sorry I didn’t make it for that dance you promised me in the disco, but I was exhausted from all of the day’s excitements and had to take myself home (with all my shopping) for a well earned rest!

St Bride Foundation's Letterpress stall

St Bride Foundation's Letterpress stall

Wingate and Brown of Stark, Wingate and Brown

Stark, Wingate and Brown

Stylish stallholders at the Vintage Festival

Wonderful vintage in the marketplace

Wonderful vintage in the marketplace

Inspirational homewares in the marketplace

Our Founder and Creative Directer in one of Fraubraun's vintage dresses

Our Founder and Creative Directer in one of Fraubraun's vintage dresses

Blink Interviews: James Brown

We first came across James Brown’s skills at the Little London Fields festival, and we were hooked immediately. We featured one of his poster designs on the blog back in August. We just had to make contact with James and were delighted when he agreed to an interview with us.

James Brown is an illustrator and printmaker living and working in London. Trained as a textile and surface print designer, James worked in the clothing industry for 10 years producing print designs for numerous brands from Levis to Louis Vuitton. James embarking on a new career as an illustrator in 2007.

James has been commissioned to produce work by publishing houses, magazines and newspapers and advertising and design agencies. Recent clients include Oxfam, Cancer Research, The Guardian and Faber & Faber . Alongside these commissions, James produces limited edition screen prints and linocuts. The traditional processes that go into the production of James’ prints are very important.

What are you currently working on and how is it shaping up?
I have just finished printing an edition for the V&A based the William Morris quote;
“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”
I tried very hard to make it beautiful! I do hope Mr Morris would have thought it worthy of hanging on his wall.

How did you discover your creative skills?
My parents are both illustrators, they didn’t pushed me into the creative industry but helped me in any way they could.

What or who are your longest standing design influences?
Edward Bawden, M.C Ecsher, Victor Vaserely.

What’s currently inspiring you?
Shoes. I’m working on a print of gents shoes to go with my HATS print.

Has your career developed in the way that you anticipated?
I have never really felt that I know where I am going with my career, but if I look back it has a very logical progression.
I studied Printed Textiles at college and spent 10 years working in the clothing industry, so I have just swapped from printing fabric to printing on paper.

How would you describe your design aesthetic?
Familiar and friendly with a nod to the past.

Do you work best alone or collaboratively?
I have never really done it before until recently. In mid September I have 4 screen-prints coming out which I have done with Cath Kidston. We are both happy very with them, so I guess that means the collaboration worked.

What’s the best thing about your job?
Truly enjoying what I do and seeing other people enjoy it too.

Any future projects that you’d like to tell us about?
I have two childrens books coming out next year. Published by Walker Books, they are both board books for babies one about shapes and the other about animals. Both are heavily patterned in high contrast colours. A page of horses from the book is one of the images below.

Pencil and paper or computer and mouse?
A computer is one of many important tools that I have in my pencil case.

Who would you love to work with, past or present?
I really enjoy making prints and posters for small events and businesses that I like and believe in, like the posters I created for The Scythe Festival and The Friends of Homerton Station

Any final word of advise?
Say yes to everything (within reason), you never know where it may lead you.

Designer James Brown in his studio in Hackney Wick, East London.

The flier for James' designs in collaboration with Cath Kidston


from one of the childrens books

The Scythe Festival poster

for the V&A

Thanks so much James. Another great addition to our series of interviews with inspirational individuals, I’m sure you’ll agree. Click here to see the rest of our interviews and get ready to be INSPIRED!

Events- Little London Fields, part 1: Details

On the 7th August, one of London’s hottest style spots got even hotter! London Fields in East London hosted the newest addition to the London based festival roster, the very lovely Little London Fields, a brilliant new, free music and arts festival.

Approaching the site through the throngs of people on Broadway Market, perusing the beautiful vintage and handmade fashion stalls, mouthwatering local food stalls as well as the quirky shops that line the street; there was a tangible buzz in the air. Inside London Fields, Festival goers lounged on the grass enjoying the sounds, sights and cider in the park. The festival was a fabulous showcase of new and up and coming music maestros, performance collectives, artists and designers. Sadly our British weather blighted what was otherwise an idyllic Summer afternoon in the park. Umbrellas came out in the crowds and others ran for cover (under trees, into tents, nearby cafes and pubs). Yet the showers didn’t last too long and in traditional British spirit the festivities carried on into the evening with a plethora of after parties to choose from.

The eclectic and alternative selection of entertainment included some of the best up and coming bands like the Brighton based synth-pop band, Mirrors and Hackney’s very own delicious Black Cherry. The Carhartt sponsored disco tent was the perfect place for booty shaking to top tunes from Cut n Shut Disco. We were very tempted to part with cash in the lovely Arts and Crafts Marquee- especially loving James Brown’s prints.

The debonair folk in attendance certainly stepped out in style, sporting some gorgeously considered and studiously self styled looks. Looking at our shots of the festival goes to show the East is undeniably the life blood of London street fashion.  We are starting this week of Little London Fields posts with a close up look at the details that make a look a ‘LOOK’! We have so many posts for you from this event that we are even posting on a Monday, which is very unusual for us, and we’ll have some double bubble two post days to come too. Hold on to your hats, this could be inspiration overload!

Enjoy this post on Little London Fields and click here for more posts on events that “Blink” has found interesting, exciting and inspiring!

Thanks Cat for the genius shots and great reporting!

Little London Fields

James Brown's beautiful prints at Little London Fields

Little London Fields

Little London Fields

Little London Fields

Little London Fields

Little London Fields

Little London Fields