1940s · vintage fashion

A chat with the women behind the Festival of Vintage fashion show

The fashion show at the Festival of Vintage in York is usually one of the highlights of the event, and this year, for the first time, it was a collaborative event between The House of Foxy and Maggie Mae’s Vintage.

Unfortunately I couldn’t make it this year (something that will be rectified next year), so I spoke to Clare, creative director at The House of Foxy, and Megan and Maggie, the owners of Maggie Mae’s Vintage, about the fashion show (spoiler: things of beauty coming up!).

1940s_rachel_nikki

What made you decide to put on the fashion show together, and how did it come about?

Clare: I had done a fashion show at the festival for 7 years and felt we had peaked in 2018. It was time for a change.

I always make a beeline for Maggie Mae’s stall at the festival because we have very similar taste and admire similar things. We got chatting last year about how we personally combine vintage and repro clothing and the idea evolved out of a conversation. There are certainly some missing pieces for vintage lovers because they are so rare or fragile. She currently stocks some of our blouses and trousers for her vintage customers to enable them to create a complete outfit. So this felt like an interesting subject to explore and i think we both learnt a lot.

Megan and Maggie: We first met Clare from The House of Foxy a few years ago at the Festival of Vintage and absolutely loved her reproduction collections. She often buys from our shop and uses original pieces as a source for inspiration and ideas for her new collections. It was over a coconut macaroon that we start discussing the idea of a collaboration over our loves of the vintage eras.

clare_megan
What were your inspirations for the show looks?

Megan and Maggie: We really wanted to showcase an array of looks, and what we felt were our favourite iconic looks from the era. We wanted to  show how you can create authentic looks using both original and reproduction pieces to wear both as daywear and evening wear and in our everyday lives.

Clare: Initially we considered going through the decades from 1920s to 1960s – but we decided to do iconic looks from the 1930s and 40s. We are VERY drawn to the 1930s because, in our opinion, its a silhouette that hasn’t really been bettered.

There are definite trends even in the vintage niche and 1940s is definitely very popular at the moment – so we decided to cover that decade too.

So we settled on showing more looks from these two decades rather than trying to capture the feel of it in one or two outfits.

 

What was the most challenging element of the show?

Megan: Looking back, I think the only challenge on putting on the show was having the overall vision of what it would be like having no dress run and mixing both the original and reproduction pieces together!

Clare: It’s the practicality of the situation to be honest. There is a tight schedule and limited changing areas – so it’s getting balance right between number of outfits and not stressing out our volunteers too much! There was no opportunity to practise what we were doing – so some of it had to be spontaneous. The ladies were amazing and great sports!

 

And what’s your standout memory of it looking back?

Clare: The show was made possible due to the amazing ladies who volunteered their time and did an amazing job: Sam, Rachel, Nikki, Lucy, Lizzie, Claire, Rachel, Kelly, Eva.

I just love it when you hear those unintentional gasps of adoration from the audience when a splendid outfit comes into view. Particularly when Sophie came out in the House of Foxy 1930s inspired evening dress topped with a stunning original 1930s beaded caplet from Maggie Mae’s. That really was a museum standard piece

Megan and Maggie: It was so fabulous to have such an amazing response from the audience, we were overwhelmed with how many people wanted to watch the collaboration but also how many people who commented on how inspiring it was to see the outfits being put together and showcasing how to wear a fully accessorised ensemble.


Is this something you’ll look to do again at Festival of Vintage or even other events?

Megan and Maggie: We have already been pencilled in for next years 10th anniversary of Festival of Vintage and are already planning ahead to the looks. Who knows maybe you will see us showcasing at other events throughout the season.

Clare: Absolutely, it’s a privilege to be involved. Since next year will be 2020 – id like to do something on the 1920s. See if i can get Maggie Mae’s to release some of their other hidden gems…we would still have some 1930s in there too of course.

Thanks so much Clare, Maggie and Megan – I’m looking forward to seeing next year’s show already!

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Photos used with permission from The House of Foxy.

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