Last Saturday, it seemed half of the Oxford student body – and a fair few locals too – braved the rain for Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair in the University Catholic Chaplaincy.
Celebrating their 10 year anniversary, the fair began when its founder, Judy Berger, tired with the extortionate prices in the East End of London, decided to put more reasonably priced vintage-wear on the market. Emily, the organiser of Saturday’s fair, had a lot to say for Judy’s affordability principle: “Why pay £30 for a jumper when you can pay £10? We always keep prices reasonable, because we bring traders from the North without the London price-tags. And this doesn’t mean compromising on quality; back then pieces were made to last, you can be pretty sure a dress from the 50s won’t break”.
So, longwearing pieces and bargain prices – pretty ideal for students, right? “Exactly! We tend to get a pretty good student turn out, as goes to show from how busy our Oxford fair has been. It’s about the fashion statement too – students like to experiment with their style, wearing things they might not do in their home towns. Vintage is great for that because you can be so individual. We have items from a range of eras, sourced from all over the country, so it’s not hard to find something a bit different.”
Browsing the 40 stands, there were certainly some great finds to be had. One trader, Vintage Mabel’s, put her stall’s individual and authentic collection down to handpicking everything: “I only buy things I like, and tend to work from the 1970s backwards”, while Retro Bambi stressed the personal taste that goes into a quality vintage stall: “I’m always on the lookout for interesting items. And you find everything has a story, I once found a dress from 1954 with a label saying ‘I made this dress’. It’s exciting, like being a kid playing dress up!”
But how did shoppers find it? Oxford students were impressed at the selection of styles and modest prices. However, they complained about the lack of sizes: “everything is enormous!” one student was heard complaining.
Nevertheless, most seemed to come away with a purchase or two (your OxStu reporter included), and it was clear to see the fair was a success. Vintage shopping has never been cooler: it’s a way to be ethically conscious, help small businesses, and express your individual style with that one-of-a-kind treasure. And thanks to Judy’s fair, we can do it without breaking the bank.
Judy’s Affordable Vintage’s sister event, the Vintage Kilo Sale, will be in Oxford on November 14th.
To keep up to date with the fair visit http://www.judysvintagefair.co.uk.
Featured image: Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair