Vive la France, vive Valisère!

Vive la France, vive Valisère!

Valisère Dessous

All vintage slips I encounter that were made in France are of made to high standards and delightfully feminine designs, but I am always pleased to get slips made by Valisère.  There is just something about them that stands out, and in fact I can often tell a Valisere just by the superior feel to the fabric.

Who would know that the Valisere brand actually dates all the way back to 1913, whilst their first slips were made in 1919.  From then on, this little company based in southeastern France went from strength to strength, until WWII when materials were in short supply.  Somehow though, even through those dark days, work carried on.

1946 saw the introduction of Nylon.  This fabulous new fabric allowed Valisere to create ever more adorably feminine creations.   Throughout the 1950′s, the company rapidly expanded up until the mid-1970′s – at which point they had no less than 9 factories in France!   Sadly for Valisere, that was the highpoint of their history and afterwards went into financial decline.  In 1991, Valisere was bought out by Triumph International and the name lives on to this day as an online retailer.

DreamDate Vintage are proud to supply, when we can, adorably sweet Valisere slips from what I consider to be their most creative period – the 1950′s and early 60′s.  Keep dropping by my shops – you may get lucky!

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1950′s Pettie-slips in pure Perlon!

1950′s Pettie-slips in pure Perlon!

To be listed on Dreamdate later this week, these gorgeous 1950′s perlon full slips with wide petticoat skirts – ideal for giving volume to your favourite vintage dresses.  From the hips up they are rather like most other 1950′s full slips I have, but their hems are so deep and elaborately feminine.  So irresistable…..

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When Harold met Eileen….

When Harold met Eileen….

Listed on my Dreamdate shop for less than 24 hours before it went to its lucky new owner, an absolutely sweet champagne and coffee full slip in cool, silky soft, shiny and noisy satin nylon – unworn with tags and still in its original box, untouched for 53 years.

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A gift from Harold to Eileen in 1961, that we do know – Harold wrote this on the side of the box.  Why didn’t Eileen cherish and wear this adorable slip?  I certainly would if I received it.  Of course, we’ll never know why she left it in the box – that is all part of the romance and mystery.    In any event it is lovely to have a slip listed that has a human element to it.

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Poor Harold – looks like he missed out!

Neva Perlon, though Always Loved!

Neva Perlon, though Always Loved!

 

 

I am going through a bit of a nightie / negligee phase at the moment, so allow me my little indulgences every now and then – though I do suspect many of my readers will share this passion.  How about this little cutie?
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Sexy and romantic double layer powder blue Neva Perlon and matching floral lace overlay frill trimmed 1960′s negligee. This pretty robe has an inner layer of sheer see through powder blue nylon while the outer layer is of matching delicate floral patterned sheer fine lace. The garment is edged all round with a beautiful lace trimmed crystal pleated frill which is also used to adorn the sleeves and the attractive hemline. There is a waist fastening which consists of a blue sateen ribbon and bow which is secured via a concealed button fastening for that finishing touch.  An absolute delight, and in near mint condition too – perfect for those special romantic evenings.

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Aristocratic – thats Lady Lynne!

Aristocratic – thats Lady Lynne!

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Absolutely gorgeous Lady Lynne silky soft semi-sheer shiny ivory white nylon and silk and luxury lace trim late 1950′s vintage full slip. Adorable delicate ivory white see through lace inset to the classic bodice and continuing around the back of the garment in a wide straight band. There is a matching layer of the same delicate lace to the attractive hemline while the luxurious straps are of matching ivory white sateen ribbon and are adjustable for a better fit as you would expect from a garment of this quality. If you are a fan of luxury late 1950′s nylon and lace slips, you will adore this one!

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UK Vintage Fairs – true vintage or just old boot sale tat?

UK Vintage Fairs – true vintage or just old boot sale tat?

As a buzz you can hardly beat it – a well organised British vintage fair is pure delight to visit, for sellers and shoppers alike. Like the perfect recipe, all the ingredients that should be there blend together to make a great nostalgic experience. Great things to look at and buy in a great venue, great music, great food, great atmosphere and – most importantly – great fun. Although organising a successful vintage fair is undoubtedly hard work, it isn’t rocket science either – so why does the UK vintage fair scene seem saturated with often lacklustre, poorly advertised, badly attended fixtures that make the good ones hard to find? I’ve had them all so far – the great, the good, the average, the poor and, shudder, the marketing car crash.

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True vintage, or just old clothes on rails?

 

In the UK today, hardly a day goes by when there isn’t a ‘vintage fair’ being held somewhere between John o’Groats and Land’s End.  For the vintage seller, like me, does this situation represent a golden opportunity to turn stock into sales – or a lamentable waste of time and effort?  The answer depends on the vintage stallholder’s skill at weighing up several factors that make or break a vintage fair.   I have to admit that when I first started out booking stalls at vintage fairs I didn’t see the early warning signs of an impending bad gig.  It wasn’t until I had the experience of a good few vintage fairs under my belt that I could tell the difference between a successful venue and an indoor car boot sale.

So, for those vintage sellers who are thinking of booking a pitch at one of the myriad of ‘vintage fairs’ around the UK, what are the gems of wisdom that might save you from potentially wasting hours and hours of your valuable time for little or no profit?   Lets see…….

Beware the Copy Cat.  All too frequently, and often at bad vintage fairs, stallholders think to themselves “….I can do this for myself…”.   But actually they can’t – well, not properly anyway.  They book a spare room at a hotel or church hall, get a wad of A5 flyers from Vistaprint, then spend  the rest of their time at other vintage fairs propositioning stallholders.  Which leads me on nicely on to……

Beware the Copy Cat, Part 2.   Then, having booked and laid down the deposit on a venue, our wannabe vintage fair supremo suddenly realises it will all have to be paid-for whether it is full of stallholders and punters or not.  As the big day approaches with the prospect of a loss-making half-full hall, desperation then sets in.  To make the numbers up, anybody who wants a stall can have one.   Absolutely anybody. Del-Boy tat purveyors, charity shop recyclers, rag trade kilo rate peddlers, upcyclers, downcyclers – you name them, they all get an invite to help stave off the dreaded unpayable venue invoice.

Beware the ‘Footfall’ Trap.   Footfall is a horrible word anyway in my book, but as one of the most misused and misunderstood words in marketing, its sinister undertones when uttered by an incompetent vintage fair organiser will certainly give you the night sweats after the event.  “Last month we had x-thousand visitors through the door” is the oft uttered phrase.   See the warning signs here, oh yes!   Just what kind of people made up these ‘x-thousands’ then?  Were they die hard and dedicated vintage-istas with money burning a hole in their pockets, or were they just disinterested folks sheltering from the rain with nothing better to do on a Sunday morning?   9 times out of 10 its the latter.  If you want to entertain these casual browsers with a free trip down memory lane, fine, but I am working on the assumption you would be booking your stall with the intention of selling things instead. Either way, the ‘Footfall Trap’ is very closely allied to……..

Beware the ‘Low Entry Fee’ Trap.    Low entry fees to enter a vintage fair only serves to feed the Footfall Trap – its a vicious circle.   Free entry just makes the situation even worse.  The only people you will have looking around your stall are people passing the time of day.  Nothing on tv?  Let’s go to that vintage fair down the road. Looking to get out of mowing the lawn?  Let’s go to that vintage fair down the road.  It’s only a couple of quid to get in.  Less than a Starbucks.   I have stood on my stall and observed them at length…….. old ladies who love to tell you how they ‘used to wear stuff like this once‘ and ‘can’t believe the prices they fetch nowadays‘ ……. impoverished students with a clean, crisp fiver they hope to spend on your prize 50′s couture cocktail dress …. dog walkers ….. kids …. dog walkers with kids ….. ohhhhh.  They make your stand look busy, but thats all. The entry fees from those hordes of disinterested visitors with nothing else to do all day will only serve to line the pockets of the vintage fair organiser, but will just make you into a busy fool.  The best vintage fairs I have taken stalls out at have been the most expensive to get in.  Serious vintage buyers will always seek out serious vintage fairs.  Period.

Trust Me, I’m Desperate!  If the same organisers keep inviting you to book a stall with them every time they see you, its because they can’t fill their venue - not because you should be flattered by their attention. The best vintage fair venues are the ones you struggle to get some floorspace in.  Earlier this year I was actually delighted to be turned down for a fair in Scarborough because there wasn’t space for me. You’d think I’d be miffed that I had to wait my turn until months later, but no – I saw all the right signals!  

By now you are probably thinking how negative, bitter and twisted I am about the whole UK vintage fair scene (cue Psycho theme music) but – trust me – nothing could be further from the truth.   I am actually upbeat about booking stalls at UK vintage fairs.  They are often great fun.  Yes, there are inept, greedy or unscrupulous vintage fair organisers who will treat your booking as pure revenue fodder – but there are also some very savvy organisers who really care about what they do.  They are expert marketeers.  They spend money on things that directly affect their bottom line, but that they know will enhance the atmosphere – singers and musicians being a good example.  They will take an empty hall and create a brilliant atmosphere for all concerned.  Most of all they want you to do well and they want you to come back next time too.  The annual Festival of Vintage at York racecourse is a superb example of this – my floorspace is already booked and I can’t wait!

From experience, these organisers always do a great job:
Discover Vintage – Keeley Harris (includes the Festival of Vintage)
Rose & Brown Vintage – Caroline Brown
Advintageous – Debi Silver

Footnote:  I genuinely believe that there is a place on the vintage calendar for someone who can organise a fair that costs at least £5 to get in and that has only has hand picked stallholders who really, really, really only sell genuine vintage (late ’60′s at the very latest) and rejects the temptation to make the numbers up with cupcakes and tat vendors will definitely be on to a winner – even if that means the number of stalls is small in number.  It would be a big, brave step, I know – but a more elitist stance on the interpretation of vintage would soon earn a reputation from the discerning buyers it would cater for. It is not just because I believe this myself but because I have heard it so many times from true vintage buyers who have come on to my stall and told me so.  If these true vintage enthusiasts could guarantee that they won’t have their time wasted, I know they’ll make the extra effort and travel a bit further to find that perfect vintage fair.  Maybe I should have the courage of my convictions and do it myself?  Hmmm – now there’s a thought! 

Half Slip Heaven

Half Slip Heaven

Although I really specialise in full slips, every now and then I get the urge to feature and list some pretty half slips that come into my possession.  Here are a couple of British cuties from the late 1950′s to early 1960′s, starting with this lovely pale peach nylon below-the-knee slip by Provawear……

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Here’s another British made cutie – this time by Sidroy.  Lovely embroidery around the hem, don’t you agree?

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Crimson Queen

Crimson Queen

Absolutely stunning soft and silky semi sheer crimson nylon and delicate see through white lace 1960′s vintage full slip. This adorable slip has a classic v-neckline and a white delicate lace trimmed bodice decorated with a pretty little red chiffon bow. The same delicate white lace adorns the pretty hemline which also has a cute lace trimmed side split which extend back up towards the waistline and is topped with 2 red chiffon bows to complete the look. The non-adjustable straps of narrow crimson ribbon. Something very special for your vintage lingerie collection.

MEASUREMENTS:

BUST: 34″
WAIST: 31″
HIPS: 41″
LENGTH: 40″ (measured from shoulder to hem)

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