Music, handbags and gladrags: the festival with a stylish twist

They're calling it the world's biggest dressing-up box. Never before has such a vast collection of vintage clothing – in excess of 7,000 dresses, 6,000 pairs of shoes and 20,000 items of jewellery – been assembled in one place in Britain.

Yet this precious attire, from 70-year-old Dior couture to Biba dresses from the Sixties, will be sold in a field at a music festival. Instead of Wellingtons and striped ponchos, the dress code at West Sussex's Vintage Festival will be seamed stockings and twinsets, kipper ties and winkle-pickers.

Festival veterans might point to the Lost Vagueness corner of Glastonbury where it became customary to cut a late-night sartorial dash in ballgowns and second-hand suits – but that was a style statement that came caked in mud. Vintage Festival will not do dirt. "It's rare that a cool person wants to be grubby – there wouldn't be a fashion and beauty industry if people enjoyed being filthy," says the founder, Wayne Hemingway. "Wouldn't it be great if you could just go to a festival and be how you'd be if you were going to a nightclub and didn't have to feel dirty?"

Vintage will be a festival where the toilets are plumbed and have basins and mirrors "so that you can do your lippy". Camping will come with ready-made beds and the option of breakfast brought to your tent. And the clothes stalls will have stylists on hand, alterations experts equipped with sewing machines and a home delivery service for any purchases.

"I'm already picking out my outfit, we are all so excited," says Judy Berger, who is curating the Vintage Market Place, which will feature clothes from the Forties through to the Eighties. "I'm going to go to the on-site hairdresser every day and do a different decade, but starting on the Fifties because that's my favourite."

Berger has brought together specialist vintage vendors from around Britain, avoiding those who source stock from wholesalers. "The biggest challenge has been ensuring that all the traders are selling something different," she said. "We've brought in people who scour flea markets and car-boot sales and who go to Paris, Italy and LA to find amazing vintage."

Arrive in combat trousers and a T-shirt paying tribute to your drinking capacity and Hemingway will not be impressed. "I would be disappointed if people turned up in that at ours, I really would. I'm not interested in just creating another festival."

Vintage is not a nostalgia fest and is targeted at under-25s as much as at those who actually remember wearing the styles of the Seventies and Eighties. The music and dress of Eighties artists, including Heaven 17 and Human League, will be celebrated by contemporary performers such as La Roux. "I like the idea that you can take from the past, enjoy the present and look to the future," said Hemingway, who has planned the festival with his three older children, all in their early twenties.

Berger hopes the vintage clothing will appeal to younger buyers who want to incorporate the style of a previous era into their look. "There will be seasoned collectors but we want to attract young people as well," she said. "You can get an amazing Seventies dress for £15 or a piece of fashion history from Dior for £300. You're not walking into a high-street chain and buying something that everybody else has."

Alongside clothes, there will be stalls selling vintage furnishings. "We have proper chandeliers coming," said Berger. "Just yesterday I booked in a 'kitchenalia' store selling glassware and pottery and stuff for the home. They will be next to a stall that sells Sixties and Seventies movie posters."

Berger has already bought a pair of Seventies roller-skates to wear at the festival's Roller Disco, one of several music arenas dedicated to specific decades. Music will range from Sixties icons Sandie Shaw and Martha and the Vandellas to contemporary party hosts Horse Meat Disco.

According to Hemingway, the music industry's problems began when it lost sight of its relationship with stylish dress. "When I was growing up, music and fashion went totally together," he said, recalling his childhood love for the style of David Bowie and the close relationship between Acid House and the Red or Dead clothing label that he founded with his wife and business partner Gerardine.

He said the media has prevented British style movements emerging in the past 20 years by saturating new trends before they had a chance to develop. Britpop, he argued, did not have its own look. "Damon Albarn in a Harrington jacket and jeans is not a seminal moment in youth culture and you can't picture how Brett Anderson in Suede dressed."

The loss of album artwork to the culture of downloading has also cut the ties between music and style, he said, claiming that the Vintage Festival could play a role in reversing that trend. "The reason that music was of more value was because it was wrapped up in graphics, design and fashion," he said. "I think there's a business case for bringing that back together, where you go to an event and music and fashion are totally intertwined."



Vintage Festival is at Goodwood, West Sussex, 13-15 August

News
news
Arts and Entertainment
British author Helen Macdonald, pictured with Costa book of the year, 'H is for Hawk'
booksPanel hail Helen Macdonald's 'brilliantly written, muscular prose' in memoir of a grief-stricken daughter who became obsessed with training a goshawk
Sport
footballLive blog: Follow the action from the Capital One Cup semi-final
Life and Style
food + drink
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Manager - OTE £40,000

    £25000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This web-based lead generation ...

    Tradewind Recruitment: Intervention Teacher Required To Start ASAP.

    £125 - £150 per day + Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: A 'wonderful primary ...

    Tradewind Recruitment: Maths Teacher

    £90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Our client is an 11-16 mixed commun...

    Recruitment Genius: PHP / Drupal / SaaS Developer

    £32000 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A rapidly developing company in...

    Day In a Page

    Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

    Greece elections

    In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
    Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

    Holocaust Memorial Day

    Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
    Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

    Front National family feud?

    Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
    Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

    Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

    Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
    DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

    The inside track on France's trial of the year

    Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
    As provocative now as they ever were

    Sarah Kane season

    Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
    Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

    Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

    Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
    Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

    Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

    One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
    The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

    The enemy within

    People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
    Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

    Autumn/winter menswear 2015

    The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
    'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

    'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

    Army general planning to come out
    Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

    What the six wise men told Tony Blair

    Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
    25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

    25 years of The Independent on Sunday

    The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century