Tag Archives: Behind the scenes
Vanessa Dalby is a Vintage Collector/Buyer and one half of Green Brick Vintage
60s Vintage Thermos Tin Lunchbox
Throughout my childhood I remember seeing this box in a kitchen cupboard. It would come out if I had a bump or graze because my Mum used it as our home First Aid Box! I was quite a clumsy kid, so the dreamy retro drawings certainly transformed my memories of accidents into a routine opportunity to ponder my future career…Actress? Model? Air Hostess? Nurse? Perhaps it’s not the most progressive collection of jobs for the girls but I think it’s pretty special. Keeping up with family tradition it’s the First Aid Box in my home!
70s Interior Finds
There’s something so exciting about finding what you really need for your home at a good price, occasionally a thrill when it’s free. My iron was given to me and it’s perfect as I steam Green Brick stock but occasionally only a flat iron will do! The lamp is from Lewes Flea Market cost £8 and the small draw table from Snoopers Paradise was £70.
Vintage Designer Jackets from Paris
One of the challenges of buying and selling vintage clothing and accessories is overwhelming temptation to keep what you find. Whilst I magpie for our stock I do see amazing pieces, unsurprisingly, not all gems make it onto the shop floor! That said I’m very strict about what I keep. Jackets are a safe bet for my ‘cost per wear rule’ three of my faves are Chloé (80s Karl Lagerfeld) Waterfall Cape Wool, Sonia Rykiel (80s) Black Collarless Cinch Waist Asymmetric Button and Paul & Joe (90s) Monochrome Houndstooth Check Wool.
Green Brick Vintage is available at FAIR, 21 Queens Road Brighton BN1 3XA, begining Saturday 22st February
Weekend high street shopping misses and hits with a street-smart shopper
Picture this: an unassuming chilly Saturday morning in September. I’d scanned a high street starting to show signs of trading. Outside the market-leading clothes and home wear store the big brown bags are circulating. Women stand with bulging buggies waiting for a coffee injection. Men nervously lean against the glass windows distracting themselves on smart phones waiting for a certain someone inside, entranced by a four floor fortress.
Flanking the shiny beacon of cheapness is a discount shop and a boarded up space formerly a music superstore. The windows hold a brightly lit display of thin polyester blouses, acrylic wool jumpers and pleather boots. Everything has a price point so low that you can see the appeal but my conscience will not budge.
I very rarely shop on the high street because of how cheaply clothes are made and my desire for quality is unlikely to be met by big brands who love to keep profits up and prices down. Having finished buying my ‘essentials’ I decided to challenge my impression of these companies and visit a large department store. I wondered what I would discover about modern hight street clothes:
- What choices are available
- Which materials they made of
- Where the clothes are made
I headed to a selection of concession areas. One of the labels headed up by a mid-weight designer who caters for a sophisticated shopper. The trousers were nice, well made but a little too ‘corporate’ in style. The blouses were a very pretty pattern as was a matching tunic dress. Sadly upon inspecting the labels both stated 100% polyester and made in Bangladesh.
I move on to a up-an-coming young designers fusion line. Again the patterns are great and the shapes of this label are more to my taste, sadly most items are made in man-made fibers. I did find one cotton top that was quite plain but made in Turkey so was not sure if an adult was paid fairly to make this item, I’m guessing not?
My last look was at the store’s own label which is a confusing mix of leisure wear and cliche ‘mother of the bride’ smart two piece suits. Nothing in this area has any real appeal and looked dull as dishwater. I leave the store thirsty and with nothing to show for my 45 minutes of looking. I was sure that time spent in vintage stores and charity shop rummaging would unearth some gems and I was not mistaken there!
The high street shopping thing was a small attempt to conform but my heart was not in it. I’m saddened that people have little choice but spend their life making fast fashion clothes and it pains me to think I could be part of that demand. Devoted magpies have reported clothes donated to charity shops in towns are getting cheaper so consumers are losing out on investing in a better products. It’s increasingly harder to find quality items but second hand is still one of the best ways to make your clothes and money go further. I am happy to travel if it means I can find clothes that last years, not just Saturday night to Sunday morning.
A book and now a documentary about fashion coming of age!
London Fashion week is in full swing, reminding me once again that my love of fashion does not always extend to those who consider themselves ‘Fashionable’.
In my experience it is those who feel they have the edge (Victoria, Sienna, Harry… I could go on) who are so very far from the mark of what is truly stylish.
Self expression is key. A disposable income plus sycophantic personal stylist is a dangerous combination leading to popularist over-indulgence in ‘the latest trend’ worn with such crippling unconsciousness.
As expected I received rave reviews from my sister, having sent her a hard-back of copy of ‘Advance Styling’ by Ari Seth Cohen. This sensational publication is devoted to alternative fashion photography. Ari enthusiastically captures fashion lovers on the street in New York and his working subjects had an average age of 80.
In the same spirit I enjoyed Ari’s portraits I was thrilled to watch Sue Bourne’s captivating Channel 4 documentary ‘Fabulous Fashionistas’ to see how six octogenarians based in the UK get their fashion fixes. The film shows the women’s positive love of fashion and unapologetic lust for life. This program put a spring in my step this September!
We’re looking for a Handbag Designer or Vintage collector
We’re looking for a Handbag Designer or Vintage Collector who has a space in the shop to stock & sell their designs/wardrobe.
The designer gets full profit when they sell. In exchange the designer will need to cover the shop 1 day a week.
Fashion awareness essential. Retail experience an advantage. Full training given.
Please let us know if this is something you would be interested in by replying with images of your designs & CV to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can arrange a time to meet up & discuss further.
Jane & Vanessa
Celebrate with Green Brick this summer season!(Original Press Release June 2013)* Green Brick is a unique Vintage and Preloved shop to be found through the Fair courtyard at 21 Queens Road Brighton.
Almost one year on Green Brick’s owners Vanessa & Jane are happy to report their shop is going strong,
“In August we’ll be celebrating the completion of our first year in business. We’ve built a lot of great relationships already, and we’re looking forward to strengthening them even further. Thanks to all our clients and customers for helping to make our vision a success!”
The duo have started celebrations by commissioning photographer Emma Herron. This shoot showcases clothing and accessories that encapsulate Green Brick’s eclectic stock.
“We combine garments from different eras and take a pick of the best designer items made more recently”. Vintage fans will adore the mix of decades and label lovers will be very excited to see the list: APC, Biba, Luella, Sonia Rykiel and Marc Jacobs to name but a few!
Haven’t discovered Green Brick yet? The expertly edited vintage & preloved shop has just begun a summer sale and will continue to show an exciting selection of jewellery by designers Oh Someday & Helen Dahill.
To keep informed of Green Brick events & see whats new in the shop:
* To see the Vintage Brighton feature by Jo-ann Fortune below! Enjoy x