Vintage or advantage?

Top image: ‘River Island’ resurrects 1960s fashion chain ‘Chelsea Girl’ with this “vintage” 1960s angel sleeve mini dress.

By Angie Smith @ HippieLongstocking Blog

The concept of wearing vintage clothing in conjunction with modern is a relatively new concept in the history of popular fashion. In fact the term “vintage” has been distorted in recent years to mean anything which has a retro vibe or has had the appearance of age added to it during manufacture. It can also mean reworked clothing; vintage clothing that has been altered significantly beyond the designer’s original concept to create an entirely new garment. But in truth the definition of vintage is a design or object which is 25 years or more in age. For example, you cannot call a new car a vintage car, nor a new wine vintage wine. So why is it acceptable to call new clothing vintage?

The original 1960s lace angel sleeve mini dress at a vintage fair. Sold by Victoria & Albert Vintage


Well for me personally it is not acceptable – there is a distinct difference between new and vintage and one has an entirely separate definition from the other. So why am I so passionate that this difference should be not only noted but adhered to?  I believe in the old adage “a place for everything and everything in its place” for a start and then there’s the historian in me that requires me to make a mental chronological catalogue of fashion trends – historic; vintage; contemporary.

It appears to me that the term “vintage” has been adopted by many high street retailers in order for them to cash in on the expanding trend of wearing vintage clothing. Many are faithfully reproducing a vintage garment and selling in all sizes in every store.  So much has the term “vintage” become distorted that should a public survey be carried out the majority would mostly reply “something that looks old”.

The origins of the vintage clothing trend stretch back to the mid 1960s when young people both in the UK and the USA began accessorising their trendy new boutique clothes with antique clothes and military uniforms bought in antique markets and army surplus stores. There had been strong historic influence in clothing before especially with the Teddy Boys of the 1950s with their Edwardian style jackets (hence the term “Teddy”) but wearing old clothes from past periods was not done to any notable degree before the mid 1960s.

Marianne Faithfull and Anita Pallenberg wearing new and vintage clothing in 1966.


1960s Mods searching through second-hand clothes in Portobello Antique Market before the term “vintage” was coined.


Portobello Market, London circa. 1968. Young girl tries on an old fur coat from one of the many antique clothing and military uniform dealers.


The boutique phenomenom of the 1960s brought about a change in attitude to dressing oneself. The youngsters of the day were not interested in being dictated to by the catwalks nor high street chains who sold either children’s clothes or adult’s clothes and the teen section tended to be a compromise between the two. It was in fact this lack of understanding of the youth market in the high street that led Mary Quant to design, make and sell her own clothes from her boutique Bazaar which she opened in 1955 on London’s King’s Road. However, it was not until the very early 60s that Quant’s designs began to take off and be noticed as a new direction in youth fashion.  Doubtless to say that Quant was the pioneer of youth fashions in the 60s but it was boutiques such as BIBA and Granny Takes a Trip, both run by their designer owners/proprietors, who first sold ‘second-hand’ clothing alongside their sharp new designs.

‘Granny Takes A Trip’ boutique circa 1966.


A young girl lounges in BIBA’s mock Art Nouveau window seat circa 1967.


The vintage trend waned by the early 70s with the exception of some small subcultures such as Rockers and Teddy Boys but came into popularity again in the late 70s with the Mod revival.  The Mod revival began around 1977 with newly made outfits inspired by original 1960s clothes but also the girls especially found it easy to source original 60s Mod clothing as it was only just being passed on to charity shops. But as the Mod revival became a purist cult its followers adopted the authentic 1960s Mod look and began to wear vintage 60s youth clothing to create an entire look in the same way as the Rockers and Teddy Boys had been doing before them. It was from this point on that the wearing of vintage clothing became mostly and entire historic look for many years because of the popularity of these three subcultures.

Mod revival band The Jam. Singer/songwriter Paul Weller (far left) was a principal figure in the Mod revival movement of the 70’s and 80’s.


1970s mod revival girl wears original 1960s “Op Art” rain mac.


In recent years we’ve seen a return to the 1960s attitude of mixing new and old styles together. This trend has been picked up on by high street retailers who have seen a way to cash in on this trend by producing “vintage inspired” collections of their own. The success of “vintage inspired” clothing is down to four main factors: there is no need to search for it through second hand sources; it is available in any size; it is in new condition; it can be bought at any and many outlets. Pure vintage on the other hand needs to be sourced in mainly small independent shops and comes as individual pieces in one size and in varying condition. My preference is always to choose pure vintage first for the individuality it gives to your look.

Away from the high street a strong interest in vintage clothing in its purist form exists and there are some excellent shops to supply the demand. By “purist” it is meant largely unadulterated clothing of an age of 25 years or more.  In London, where I have lived, worked and shopped all my life, there are some of the best purist vintage shops to be found.  Here are a few of my all-time favourites, all are well-established and reputable vintage clothing dealers:

Rellik –  8 Golborne Road London W10 5NW. Fine vintage clothing and accessories from the 1950s onwards. Has an amazing collection of vintage Vivienne Westwood as well as other notable British designers such as Ossie Clark and other boutique labels.

The Girl Can’t Help It – Alfie’s Antique Market, 13-25 Church Street, London NW8 8DT.  Amazing, well-established and very well stocked vintage shop specialising in mainly American clothing and accessories from the 1930s-1960s period.

What The Butler Wore – 131 Lower Marsh, London SE1.  My favourite vintage clothing & accessories boutique.  Specialists in 60s and 70s clothing, shoes and accessories for men and women but also stock clothes from earlier periods.

Radio Days – 87 Lower Marsh, London SE1.  Just further up the road from What The Butler Wore this Art Deco style vintage shop stocks mainly 1930s-1950s clothing and accessories as well as magazines, homewares, collectables and memorabilia from the same period.

Retromania – 6 Upper Tachbrook Street London SW1V 1SH. Retromania is a vintage charity shop which is part of the FARA group of charity shops. Impressive clothing selection which covers all periods from Victorian to 1980s. They have a vintage homewares section in the basement for those looking to expand their vintage interest to lifestyle!

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January 28, 2012 By : Category : Articles Essays Fashion Front Page Listings Picks Scene Style UK Tags:, ,
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Regular Clubs – UK/Euro Scene

Contact us for your Regular Club lisitng if it is Mod/60s Scene related, we will gladly list it here!


Alley Club! (3rd wed. every month) @ Devonshire Arms, Devonshire Rd, Cambridge. 8pm, free. 60s Club Soul/R‘n’B tel 01223 211124

The Stag O Lee! @ New Evaristo Club, 57 Greek St, Soho, London W1. RnB, Blues & Soul, dominoes and cards in a Soho hideway. From 9pm.


Gaz’s Rockin’ Blues! @ St. Moritz 159 Wardour St, W1, Ska, R&B 60s Soul.

V:Room! @ Strongroom, 120-124 Curtain Road, London EC2A 3SQ 60’s & 70’s vintage Vinyl with DJ’s Lady Michelle + guest.8pm-1am FREE The Sidewinder @Satans Circus Bar, Wenlock & Essex, Essex Road, Angel Islington, London Dave E + Guests 7.30-late FREE


Zoo Zoo! Last Friday every other month from Sept Live bands + DJ Dr Robert & guests spinning R&B, Club Soul, Ska, Garage & Beat from 10pm-3am Free before 10pm/£4 after @ Blues Kitchen, 113 Camden High St, London NW1 7JN

Friday Street! Last Friday of every month, Blackfriars Basement, Bell St, Merchant City, Glasgow. 10pm till 3am, Entry: £5. Residents plus guest DJ’s.

Soul a go go! ‘Beat club sounds for the new generation’ DJ Leon & DJ Dean spin the fi nest cuts of 1960’s Motown, Northern Soul, Ska, Hammond, Boogaloo, US Garage, G0-Go, Beat & Mod Dancers. Every Friday @ Po na na 67 Queens Road,Clifton Triangle, Bristol, BS8 1QL, 10-2.30am. FREE!

The Dirty Water Live! check website: @ The Boston, 178 Junction Rd, London N9. 8.30-3am Live Garage bands + DJ

Cosmic Slop! 3rd Friday every month with DJ’s Chris ‘The Judge’ Arthur, Dr Smith and Pat Long playing psychedelic mess of funk, soul and rock’n’roll, Downstairs @ The Drop 175 Stoke Newington High St., London N16 0LH 10pm-4am and is FREE entry


Timebox! 4th Sat of every month (except October Halloween party on 29 OCT) DJ’s Dr Robert & guests spin underground 60’s sounds @ The Strongroom, 120 Curtain Rd, London EC2A 3SQ 9-2am/Free arrive early!

Café a Go Go! 3rd Sat every month @ The Promised Land Windsor Place Cardiff 9pm-2am/ £4

Up Club! @ Club Kellar, every quarter 09 Textorstr. 26, Frankfurt Sachsenhausen, Train: Frankfurt Sued. Doors 21.00. DJ Stefan Golowka.

6Ts Rhythm‘N’Soul Society Allniters! northern & 6ts soul.

Brighton Beach! 2nd sat @ Leeds Uni, 11pm till 3am. Tel: 0113 244 3446 DJs: Helen Baron & Tony Leighton
Brighton Beach! 1st sat @ Northumbria Uni, 11pm-3am. Tel: 0114 278 9789 DJs: Paul Wright & Rich Evans & guests.
Brighton Beach! 1st s1st Sat @ 02 Academy, Sheffi eld. 11pm-3am Tel 0844 477 2000 DJ: Red Helen

Biff! Bang! Pow!Prinzenbar, Kastanienalle 20, Hamburg St-Pauli, 2nd Saturday, 23h, DJs + live-acts.

Destination Anywhere! Last sat @ The Victoria, Swindon. DJs spin 60s Northern Soul, Ska, 60s RnB, Mod and Psych. Free.

Soul Kitchen! 1st sat @ Montys, 58 Stock St, Paisley. 8-1am £3. Soul, classic 60s & Mod. Info: 01415801655.


Nitty Gitty! 2nd Sunday every month R&B/Soul/Funk/Ska/Garage/Girl Groups with DJ’s Papa Go Go & Mongo Mama @ The Constitution, Q42 St Pancras Way, London NW1 (5 mins from Camden tube & BR).

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January 2, 2012 By : Category : Europe Events Listings Scene UK Tags:, ,
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Odds and Sods – UK Scene

For a FREE Mod Scene related plug in NUTSMAG email:, all we ask is a Tweet and Facebook add and share in return please!


Max Galli: is celebrating 20 years of Mod-60s illustrations. 

Ubupopland: rare, vintage papers from the 60s/70s. Also underground mags, books with cinema, art, music, design, fashion & avant garde themes. Go:

Mr. Kristian Hughes: freelance Fashion Designer and Fashion Illustrator. For commissions on 60s & 70s inspired. Artwork & Fashion one-off pieces, contact for consultation.


R‘n’B Records – London – UK: Go click RNB Records new Mousetrap 45 available NOW! 500 rare new 45’s in stock. 60s. UK/US/Euro 45s, Original & Re-issue 45s, LPs + CDs, Club Sounds (R’n’B,Dance-floor Jazz, Latin, Boogaloo and Funk) 45’s/LPs, Freakbeat/Garage/ Psyche/Max R’n’B/ Blue Eyed Soul 45s/LPs. Mod Revival 79-2004 45s & LPs, Northern & Rare Soul 45’s & LPs.

Casbah Record Shop: Tuesday to Sunday 10.30am-6pm @ The Beehive, 320-322 Creek Rd, Greenwich, London SE10 9SW

Intoxica Records: Rare original LPs & 45’s 50’s/60’s/70’s Garage, Soul, Psych, R&B, Punk, Mod, Blues, Ska, Reggae. Go:

Out On The Floor Records: 10 Inverness Street, Camden, London NW1 7HU. Open 7 days a week. Rare original albums and 45’s + reissue vinyl & CD 50’s/60’s /70’s Garage, Soul, Psych, R&B, Punk, Mod, Blues, Ska & Reggae.

JB’s Records: Near Waterloo Station, 108 Lower Marsh, Waterloo, London SE1 7AB, 11am-7pm Mon-Sat. Rare original albums and 45’s + reissue vinyl. 50’s/60’s /70’s Garage, Soul, Psych, R&B, Punk, Mod, Blues, Ska & Reggae


Rimini Lambretta Centre, Via Gessi 14, 47030, Borghi (FC), Italy. Italian based scooter restorers and original Casa Lambretta dealer. Specialising in bespoke 60’s style restoration & customising, rare original parts & accessories. Designers & suppliers of the ‘Cyclone 5 Speed’ Lambretta gearboxes.

Gran Sport: 2 Bowyer Street, Digbeth, Birmingham. Custom made, restorations, accessories, new and vintage Lambrettas and Vespas for sale Call: 0121 773 0706

Medway Scooters: Church Path, Off North Road, Strood, Kent ME2. Tel: 01634 719320. Vintage Lambretta & Vespa for sale, cool accessories, service, restoration and repair work.

Get Smart Scooters: new & used spares, repairs and resprays. Restoration and engine rebuilds. You can fi nd us @ Unit 2, The Garage, Williamson Road, Ashley Down, Bristol.

Scooterworks UK: 67-68 Enid St, London SE16 3RA Sales, MOT, Repairs, Parts Lambretta & Vespa Tel: 0207 237 7223

Scooter Surgery: Arch 219, Trussley Road, Hammersmith, London W6 7PP. Tel: 020 8748 0882. Lambretta specialist supplying parts, restorations, rebuilds, repairs, accessories and comprehensive stock of Lambretta models for sale.

Scooter Emporium: New and Vintage Scooter restorations and sales & hundreds of rare and essential accessories.

Glasgow Lambretta: unit 110 Atlas Ind Est, Shawfield, Glasgow sales /repairs/spares Go: Tel: 0141 647 4907


Modfather: Unit 90, The Stables Market, Chalk Farm Road London, NW18AH

Pelicano Menswear: Limited edition menswear designed in London with a touch of sixties cool. Lovingly manufactured in Italy & Britain using local cottons and silks. Handmade ties, scarves & squares and elegant shirts. take a browse!

What The Butler Wore: For Mod, Fab & Groovy gear from 60s & 70s.

Pop Boutique: 60s & 70s fashion, 6 Monmouth St, Covent Garden, London WC2 also Manchester, Liverpool and online at Knitwear, jeans, shirts, shoes, dresses, suits and accessories.

Threadneedleman Tailor: specialist in mod/60s clothes. 187a Walworth Road, London SE17. Tel: 0207 701 9181.

The Groove Generation: fab 60s dresses, ceramics, Levi’s, shoes, tartan suitcases, scoot prints, CDs, furniture and more. Tel: 07736 705041

Phigment Pop Art & Vintage Emporium: Original, exclusive and strictly limited edition retro T-shirts, framed prints and unique pieces. Plus vintage section! Free UK Delivery!

The Beehive: 340 Creek Road, London SE10 Retro collectables, vintage clothes, records, DVD/CD sold, bought an, exchanged

DNA Groove Clothing: suits, shirts, jeans, dresses, sweaters, t-shirts and accessories. One off items and limited edition items! Check out:

Sherry’s Clothing: est: 1979, Ganton Street (off Carnaby St), London W1. 1 stop Mod shop with suits, shirts, jeans, dresses, sweaters, t-shirts, shoes, music and accessories inc Lonsdale, Fred Perry, Ben Sherman and more.

Needles and Pins: Complete dressmaking & alteration service. Dresses, Shirts, Trousers etc, made to measure Over 20 years experience. Sarah: 0113 2160845/07754 218890

Mendoza: New & Vintage Mens clothing 158 Brick lane, London E1 6RU. Off the peg Mod shirts, knitwear, suede and leather jackets, suits and trousers & accessories. 0207 377 5263

Radio Days: 40/50/60’s retro clothing & accessories, Lower Marsh Road, Waterloo London SE1 0207 928 0800

Dandy Life: Unit 570-571,  Camden stables market. Chalk Farm Road, London, NW1 8AH t-Shirt specialist covering all your favourite bands and icons Open 7 days a week. Tel: 07810 284007

A Dandy in Aspic: (Casper) Unit 748/49 West Yard. Camden Stables market, Chalk Farm Road, NW1 8AH Tues-Sun Wide  range of beautiful Male & Female vintage clothing & accessories. Tel: 07974 594886

Jump the Gun: suits, shirts, coats, accessories etc. Mostly own brand, off the peg Mod at its very best. Brighton Tel: 01273 626 333. 28a North Road, Brighton lanes area. Go

Rare Vintage, 60s & 70s street fashion and youth fashions. Specialist in Biba, Quant, Vivienne Westwood and other British designers and boutiques. Contact Angie at

In With The In Crowd: Male & female 1960’s style clothing. IWTIC, Merc, POP Boutique & more! FREE UK P&P, worldwide distribution. Go to:

Adam of London: 11 Portobello Green, 281 Portobello Rd. Classic menswear often imitated never equalled. Quality suits, shirts and accessories

Smart & Clean: C/Riera Baixa, 7  Barcelona 08001 Spain. 60’s + 70’s shop in Barcelona since 1988!” Specializing in Sixties, Mod, Suedehead and traditional Skinhead clothing. New and Vintage inc own brand of shirts Britac and Smart & Clean,  3 button suits, hipsters sta prest, harrington jacket, crombies, belts, bags. Visit:

Velvet Cave Vintage: Specialist in 60’s and 70’s vintage & reproduction clothing. Mod, psychedelic, hippie, velvet dresses & more! Visit the Etsy shop:

Top of the Shops: Introducing a new online boutique selling a smashing assortment of iconic 1960’s-1970s clothing, accessories and records. Find us here for vintage gear!


Alfies Antique Market: 13 Church St, London, NW8 8DT

Pip! Pip! for Gonzo Graphix & Whizzo Websites: (we built this site too!)

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Pip! Pip! Are the Creative Business Engine behind various music based organisations of the cool underground variety. Providing angst, confusion, bewilderment and annoyance in equal amounts. We design/host/manage great sites like this one! Why not hire us one day soon?

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January 2, 2012 By : Category : General Listings Style UK Tags:, , ,
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