DECADES Issue One, March 2013 Free
For Vintage Lovers
CONTENTS P4: Decades Icons P5: We asked the experts P6: London Vintage Guide P8: SS2013 Trends: Then and Now P16: Care Guide P18: Interview: Supermarket Sarah P22: Feature: Fashion’s Dirty Little Secret P26: Picking Pockets P30: Makeup P38: Feature: Wind Me Up
I’m very happy to welcome you to the first Issue of Decades magazine, a brand spanking new, free vintage magazine. In our Spring issue, we look to the trends that are going to be dominating our wardrobes over the coming season and where the originate from. We took the liberty of making a care guide for you to ensure you treat your vintage treasures with a little TLC. And speaking of thrifty treasures, turn to page 18 to see how Sarah Bagner turned her hoarding problem into her weekly income! Here in the office, we’re all going crazy for vintage cameras and the nostalgia attached to getting them developed, read all about it on page 38. On page 22 we try to get a little insight into the dirty little secret that is designers using vintage clothes for inspiration. Decades magazine is for girls like us, who love the finer things in life and clothes with a little history behind them, but also want to be recessionistas and get the most out of our thrifted goods. We had some much fun making the issue, and can’t wait to get to work on the next. Aoifa xxx Aoifa Smyth, Editor in Chief.
Contributors: Cover illustration: Alerjandro Garcia Ibañez Photography: Conor Lumsden and Jane Iardanou
EXPERT RECOMMENDATIONS Fashion journalist, Alison Taylor told us “My favourite vintage shop in London is Rellik. They’re mad passionate about fashion and have a great range of high end stuff.”
Naomi Thompson, author and vintage specialist said: ”Hunky Dory Vintage is my fav. The owners go to France and Italy to handpick the best European designs. Killer 1960s suits and dresses.”
This month, we’re channelling the style of Katie Pierson and Cindy Wilson from The B-52’s. So, backcomb your hair into a ceiling grazing bouffant, seek out a cosmic inspired shift dress and pout in pillar box red lipstick. These girls defied the hippy chick style of the the late seventies, with their space age, and occasionally fifties inspired outfits. Kate was the voluptuous, fiery red head in the sparkly
body con dresses, while Cindy sported a blonde fringe, a cute overbite and high waisted lame trousers, before the words American Apparel even entered our vocabulary. Although the band only released a handful of successful albums in over thirty years, they’re still touring to this day and rocking out in geriatric style. Plus who of you could honestly say that you wouldn’t be found doing the mashed potato on the dance floor to Rock Lobster?
Jo Elvin editor of Glamour Magazine said: “I love vintage but I’m rubbish at it. Not a talented rummager, so I love the exquisitly curated William Vintage“
Katie Dailey, fashion editor of Timeout told us “Blitz London is huge and cool, The Dog &Wardrobe for Furniture, East End Thrift Store for cheap and Rellik for swank!”
LONDON VINTAGE GUIDE If you’re looking for a 1960’s shift dress... What the Butler Wore 131 Lower Marsh, Waterloo SE1
If you’re looking for 1920’s beaded dresses... The Vintage Emporium, 14 Bacon Street, Brick Lane London E1
If you’re looking for a 1940’s tea dress... What Goes Around Comes Around Arch 27, Camden Stables Nw1 6
If you’re looking for a 1980’s power dress... Rokit vintage, 42 Shelton street, Covent Garden
If you’re looking for 1930’s skull caps try.. Annie’s Vintage, 12 Camden Passage Islington N18ED
If you’re looking for 1970’s flares, head to...
If you’re looking for 1990’s high waisted jeans..
Pop 6 Monmouth street, Covent Garden, WC2
The East end Thrift Store Unit 1A Assembly Passage, E1 4UT
If you’re looking for 1950’s rock’n’roll style... Vintage King, Chalk Farm Road, Camden NW18AH 7
THEN AND NOW If you think the high street is the only place you can bag a look that’s hot off the catwalk, you’re sorely mistaken. Aoifa Smyth investigates the origins of the trends you’ll see everywhere this spring/summer.
THEN: Although the 1990’s are a decade in fashion many would rather forget, it’s back again this season whether you like it or not! So think Sweet Valley High, Supermodels and The Spice Girls, and dig those Buffalos out of the attic of your parents house. The 90’s saw grunge, pastel hues and anti fashion, dominating wardrobes throughout. Get nostalgic about those items you would have once cringed over: the bandannas, the Mom jeans and the chunky platforms. Polly pockets are optional, yet not essential to complete the look.
NOW: Balmain, DSquared2 and Topshop Unique didn’t have to look too far back for inspiration this season. Don’t fret though, it’s not all leopard print and middle partings, as most designers took a more gentle approach to the trend with sporty mesh materials, clean lines and minimalist colours.
THEN: In the 1940’s, taking inspiration from the so called ‘hobble skirt’, which saw ladies in 1910 tying ropes around their calves in floor length skirts, Christian Dior created the first pencil skirt, with a much higher hemline. The idea was to embrace and celebrate the sexy female shape. Pencil skirts became extremely popular in the late forties and fifties, usually paired with blouses or sweaters with nipped in waists and rounded hips. Nineteen fifties celebrities sported the skirts, contributing to their popularity. Women wanted to channel their icons Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, Brigitte Bardot and Ava Gardner. 10
NOW: Oscar De La Renta, Roland Mouret, Erdem, Christopher Kane, Prada, McQueen and Burberry Prorsum all pencilled the trend into their collections, straying away from masculine and androgynous looks and celebrating curves (yay!)
THEN: During the early 1900’s, a craze of all things oriental boomed in western civilisation, seeing japanese prints and kimono style dresses being worn. Designer Poiret worked this into his collection in 1912. The 1920’s saw silk dressing gowns, turbans and harem pants enter mainstream fashion. The oriental trend dropped off again until figure hugging, sexy chinese printed dresses emerged during the fifties. The hippy movement during the 1960’s meant ethnic fashion was embraced in rebellion to mass production.
NOW: Prada, Etro, Pucci, Roland Mouret, Lanvin, John Galliano and John Paul Gaultier are all jumping on the oriental expressthis season. Sexy kimonos and luxurious printed silks were spotted all over the catwalk for spring/summer.
THEN: Throw us back to the mods on Carnaby street during the swinging sixties, because monochrome is back this season. A quintessential look synonymous with the beatnicks who roamed the streets of London in mini skirts, white tights and polo necks and are forever associated with the reign of Mary Quant.
NOW: Marc Jacobs, Tommy Hillfiger, Louis Vuitton, Lanvin and Balenciaga say itâ€™s as simple as black and white. Checks, stripes, flowers and hounds tooth patterns in monochrome hues were a reoccurring feature during fashion weeks.
THEN: Designers are looking back to all things peace, love and floral. This summer, think back to Woodstock 1969. The latter years of the sixties saw an explosion of colour, patterns and flowers; very different to the clean lines worn by the mods. Young, free spirits would donne flowers in their hair and paint on their faces, in an act of individuality. Designers such as Emilio Pucci and John Stephan would take inspiration from these rebellious youths and incorporated floral patterns into their designs.
NOW: Prada, Holly Fulton, Moschino and Versusâ€™ collections were all in bloom at fashion weeks. Floral always comes around at this time of year, but these collections saw a modern take, with large and bold prints.
THEN: Inspired by the Yuri Gagarin space race in 1961, space age became a huge trend during the 1960s. Designers went futuristic and surreal, with their interpretations of what women would dress like in the year 2000, which turned out to be a tad inaccurate! Metals, plastics and vinyl were tailored into obscure lines creating a world of fantasy and fun. During the sixties, designers such as Andre Courreges, Paco Rabanne, Pierre Cardin, Mary Quant and Betsy Johnson created futuristic cosmic inspired looks.
NOW: This spring/ summer saw Markus Lupfer, Antipodium, Jonathen Saunders, Teatum Jones, PPQ and Marc Jacobs taking one small step for mankind with shiny materials, flowy shapes and transparent layers.
THEN: You don't have to wait for Halloween to come around to channel your favourite 80's icon, as this spring/summer some designers got nostalgic on the catwalk. Think back to them good old days, when you had posters of stars on your walls and knew every lyric on their records. Whether you were a feisty Grace Jones or Annie Lennox type, a romantic Adam Ant or Boy George or like most of us a Sade or Madonna fanatic, let them shine on, through your wardrobe.
NOW: Jean Paul Gaultier, Balmain, Lanvin, Roland Mouret and Philip Treacy all payed homage to the trend setters of the eighties.
CARE INSTRUCTIONS Your fabulous vintage finds shouldn’t be hung on metal hangers. As this leads to rusting and stretching of fabric. Instead, invest in some wooden or padded hangers, you will benefit in the long run!
If your vintage shoes have a bad smell, dampen the lining and sprinkle with baking soda (Trust us!) Leave them overnight and shake out the next day.
Despite common belief, vintage clothes shouldn’t be hung in garment bags. This can result in a build up of mildew or a smell developing- they need to breathe! Never cut off loose beads, as this will lead to a whole line coming free. Rather, find the starting point from the lining, pull it back in as far as it goes and secure it in by stitching it inside.
VINTAGE REPAIR SPECIALISTS IN LONDON:
If your purchase has no care instructions on it, you should hand wash it to be safe. Care instructions were only brought into place in the seventies, so most clothes before this time are just a guessing game. If you really want to machine wash, put them on the lowest programme. You can also tie delicate, beaded or fringed items into a pillow case. Acetate, nylon and rayon should be dry cleaned or hand washed only.
I’ll be Darned Vintage alterations and repairs in North London. You can also post your clothes. Contact: Illbedarned@hotmail.com
Splendid Stitches Focusing on 1940’s to 1970’s, Nanna can even recreate garments that are seemingly beyond repair. Contact: 07766801108 or visit splendidstitches.co.uk
If an item exudes a bad odour, even after washing, try filling a bath with boiling water with a cup of white wine vinegar in it. Hang said item as close to the bath as possible, and leave for a couple of hours.
The Lady That Does The more reasonable of the mentioned three, Lindsay is located in Walthamstow. Call 07812191965 for queries. 17
SUPERMARKET SWEEP We caught up with Sarah Bagner, A.K.A Supermarket Sarah, to chat about her Portobello beginnings, her book and how she wants to put the fun back into shopping.
TOP 5 CAR BOOT SALES IN LONDON If, like us, you love nothing more than spending a lazy weekend rummaging around car boot sales, bagging some serious bargains, then look no further. We’ve rounded up a list of the best spots for car booting in London
Waving goodbye to her corporate job in advertising, Sarah set up her online shop in 2009, initially as a portfolio for new ventures to come. Little did she know it would come to be her main source of enjoyment and, of course, employment.“I felt a lot of online shops were more clinical and dry, they had no element of fun to them. I wanted to change that. I wanted to bring the market to the home of the shopper.” It was here where she got the idea for the concept behind her online shop. She wanted to emulate the atmosphere of the marketplace, of meeting the seller and getting some history. So she began to set up visually pleasing walls with vintage clothes and random brick-a-brack in her house and putting them on her site, for shoppers to simply click and buy. Soon enough her popularity was rocketing; designers like Rob Ryan and Donna Wilson were obliging to create walls, Selfridges were asking her to create a pop up store and shortly after a book deal followed. 20
Battersea Park School, Battersea Park Road. SW11 5AP This commences at a very reasonable 12 until 5, every Sunday except on calendar holidays. Battersea is considered to be more high end, and good for the designer lovers out there.
Sarah confided that while in uni in Brighton, the lack of art galleries drove her to flea markets on the weekends for inspiration. It was here that the hoarder inside became unleashed. “I actually like going to markets more than galleries, it’s where I get my ideas. There’s just something magical about how each seller sets up their stall. You really get to learn something about them.” When it comes to brainstorming for new themes for walls, Sarah told me that she firstly looks through everything she’s collected in her house and works from there. “Sometimes I pick up things, and I don’t know what I’m going to use them for. But they always come into use for something! It’s like blind fate. When I go rummaging for a particular item in a market or charity shop, I never find it. I have so many half started collections around my house.”
Sarah told us she still loves to visit Portobello on Fridays to have a rummage and adds “You have to be there early to beat the dealers!” She also listed Wimbledon car boot sale, Chiswick and Brighton market as some of her favourite spots for bargain hunting. Her main tip when it comes to bagging a bargain at a market? “Look at the seller!”, giggled Sarah. “It’s like store branding. If you see someone your size, or with similar style or you just get the vibes from them, make a beeline. It’s quite fun when you get a bit of a relationship going. They almost become your personal shopper!” As for the future, Sarah plans to create a vintage inspired interiors range, to have celebrities whose style she admires create walls and to write more books. Check out Sarah’s pop up shop collaboration with The Environmental Justice Foundation at 42 Carnaby street. Her book “Wonder Walls, Supermarket Sarah’s Guide to Display” is available in all good book shops.
Capital Car boot Pimlico Academy, Chicester Street entrance, Lupus Street, SW1V Super cool, central London Capital Car boot, attracts young fashion lovers each Sunday from 11:30am. Chiswick School, Burlington Lane, Chiswick W4 3UN Whatever the weather, Chiswick takes place on the first Sunday of every month. Sellers arrive at 5am, so arrive according to hardcore you feel about bargain hunting. Princess May School, Princess May Road, Stoke Newington N168DF Set in super hip, Stoke Newy, this car boot is hosted on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the year from 9am-3pm. During the summer months, they serve up BBQ food. Wimbledon Stadium, Plough Lane, Wimbledon, London. SW17 0BL This carboot is packed to the brims with treasures. The early bird catches the bargain, so be there at 7am if this is you. Wimbledon is on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday excluding holidays.
FASHION’S DIRTY LITTLE SECRET The notion of designers using vintage for inspiration is becoming more and more popular. Aoifa Smyth investigates where we draw the line between inspiration and outright copying.
Have you ever been browsing the rails of high street shop and gotten a: ‘I feel like I’ve seen that before’ feeling? Well, you’re probably correct. Over and over, high street brands and designers are looking to the past to influence their future, in a constant attempt to reinvent the wheel. From Primark to Prada, the majority of garments that hit stores today, have been inspired by vintage clothing from days gone by. Raf Simons and Hedi Slimane have been spotted with their design teams in vintage shops in L.A. Vintage retailers are cashing in serious money from showing, sell-
ing and lending out their wares to big fashion names. It’s a top secret world, in which a fine line between inspiration and copying can be drawn, and I attempted to delve into the underground dealings going on in the fashion world. Researching fashion history and accessing archives is an inevitable pillar in the design process. It is close to impossible to create brand new designs without reference points from fashion’s past, with the few exceptions like Huessain Chaylan, Christopher Kane
Speaking with Doug Gunn, co owner of The Vintage Showroom, he talked me through the process by which designer’s use their fantastic collection of vintage and antique clothing. Referring to their Notting Hill studio as “a museum”, Doug explained that these, unnamed, designers could be looking for simple details such as washes on denim, or an unusual zip fixture, but then in some instances Doug and his business partner, Roy, could be commissioned to work with designer’s concept teams to inspire whole collections. “Depending on our relationship with the company, sometimes we might work with their concept teams. They will come with loose ideas in mind and sometimes at the start we will work with them visually. We will look through photographic archives and create a Vintage Belstaff jacket from Vintage Showrooms mood board, once that is approved, they will return to us and we will start to pull pieces to and Martin Maison Margiela, who achieve fit the theme which they can hire or buy if they stand alone and futuristic pieces, making their wish.” design inspiration tough to gauge. Other well known designers like Alexander McQueen, Joseph O’Brien who is the archive manager Vivienne Westwood and Zandra Rhodes, take at Beyond Retro, kindly allowed me into great pride in their acknowledgment and use the archives to get a feel for how the whole of vintage and antique clothing to elevate their process works within their company. Their designs into something completely new and archives are utilised by many high street unique. Westwood famously studied historical brands and luxury labels, whose identities we garments on display at London’s own Victoria can only guess. Starting out as a print cataAlbert Museum and deconstructed Victorian logue, with swatches of old fabric available clothing to gain a better understanding into for inspiration, Beyond Retro now houses a their meticulous creation. This is of course vast collection of vintage clothing, which is all obvious in Westwood’s trademark bask wearmeticulously categorised into trends depending wench and full skirted style. McQueen ing on the season. “Brands they send me their started his design career as an apprentice at story boards ahead of season, they send me Saville Row’s prestigious Anderson and Sheptheir initial ideas or some reference pieces. I’ll pard, here he gained an insight and educago through all of our storage and I’ll pick out tion into the history of men’s tailoring, which relevant prints and pieces and I’ll put together transcended through in his own designs later a rail for them”, Joseph explained. “If it’s just in his career. This kind of research is vital to a theme I’ll go through and I’ll pick out difdesigners, be it influencing entire collections, ferent dresses, different blouses etc. and put or a mere detail on a shirt cuff on one gartogether more of a concept feeling for them. ment. It adds more value and layers meaning They’ll come in and have a look through and and thought into fashion. we’ll chat about ideas and how things could
Vintage archives at Beyond Retro be adapted.” Joseph encourages his clients to make changes to what they buy from him, to avoid anyone getting in trouble. Obviously designers need to start somewhere to find inspiration, and vintage clothing acts as a constant library to refer to for ideas on shapes, colours, cuts and details. Where this process gets tricky, is when designers use these items too literally. Joseph admitted he can literally walk around the high street and recognise items he has provided to companies. “The notion of them using items straight up as is it doesn’t shock me or anger me in any way, it’s the nature of the game now. I think that’s the way the clothing industry is going.” The idea of fast fashion and the sheer turnover of what goes in and out of high street shops means that retailers need a quick fix to keep the the flow going. Designers and brands who take inspiration from prints, are obliged to change the piece up to 40% from the original, a difficult thing to police of course. In the U.S.A, with the extremely common practise of designers using vintage for reference, they have to change it up to 60% from the original, in order to avoid numerous designers or brands coming up with the
same collections and resulting in legal action. “You’ve got to have some dignity and some integrity with your design to make it your own and put your own personality on it” said Joseph. “That’s what I say to my clients, you can copy this print as is but I didn’t design it and i don’t know where it came from, so what is to say if someone else found a similar print and you both put it into production” From the consumers point of view it’s the same thing. If you see someone that you respect or someone you idolise as a designer and suddenly one of their rivals or a big chain comes out with exactly the same thing because they didn’t change the vintage item. There’s a risk of losing face. The notion of reproducing vintage pieces, means that anyone can call themselves a designer, and many celebrities seem to be picking up on this idea. Lily Allen’s shop Lucy in Disguise, sees her sourcing stunning vintage rarities, but also with lines of modern items based on vintage patterns. Dita Von Teese has released a collection of dresses, based on her most loved vintage items. She is rumoured to have gotten the idea after spying a design team in L..A. buying up in
a vintage shop. But Dita promised that she adjusted the designs, making the dresses more wearable and altering the pieces, so is this really something to be criticised for? On one side it could be said that this easy solution means that designers and shops are cashing in on the hard work behind the original, and usually unknown maker of the item, but on the other hand, they are reviving beautiful pieces and making them more accessible to a wider audience. A big reason that people are attracted to shopping vintage comes with the chase, the rummage and the chances of finding something really special that no one else has. Vintage items generally have a lot more attention to detail and craftsmanship behind them, so when a high street shop reproduces them for a quick sell, they are often shoddily constructed and double the price. I interviewed Richard Free, owner of Pop Boutique and vintage wholesaler, who sells a line of repo clothing based on classic vintage items. He explained that it is very important to him to put your own stamp on a design, when being influenced by it. “We always recut patterns and update fabrics. It is important to
add your own influence and not just copy.” He confided that a large chain store even ripped off some of his repo designs, but the nature of proving this, meant he had to back down in his desires to take legal action. Richard has sold vintage for inspiration to big names like Abercrombie and Fitch, Ralph Lauren, Levi Strauss, The Gap and many more. Designers taking inspiration from vintage clothing is fantastic, especially when they put their own stamp on it. Taking ideas from obscure details; a button, a cuff, a collar or a niche theme. Vintage clothing becomes a rich and invaluable source of influence for designers. But inspiration and influence are different to claiming ownership over something which is a carbon copy of a previous item and making a living from this. This seems to be a grey area, as it’s still hard to prove. Really talented designers take an aspect of an old design and work with it, changing it, evolving it and taking it to a new place, it can reflect a previous style but shouldn’t be a reflection. So for now, the vintage archivists who supply the goods, will be the only one in the know of fashion’s dirty little secret.
PICKING POCKETS We have found our share of weird, wonderful and sometimes not so wonderful trinkets inside of our thrifted goods. We went to the horse’s mouth and asked some vintage shop assitants about the oddest things they have found while sorting through stock in their stores. Portraits by Conor Lumsden
“I FOUND A VIBRATOR IN A BOOT” MATT FROM BEYOND RETRO
“I FOUND AN ENGRAVED PILL IN THE POCKET OF A 1960’S HANDBAG” LAURA FROM PAPER DOLL BOUTIQUE
“I FOUND A DRIED UP DEAD MOUSE IN A COAT POCKET”
“I FOUND A HEART SHAPED ENGAGEMENT RING BOX”
KYOKO FROM POP
FINN FROM ROKIT
S/S 13 MAKEUP TRENDS We picked our favourite vintage inspired make-up trends, as seen on the catwalk during the spring/summer catwalk shows. Model: Katie Groark from Spirit Models Agency Makeup: Jane McBennett Photography: Jane Iardanou
Jane said: “I loved the Moschino SS13 Beauty looks that walked down the runway this season. The hair and makeup were a definite nod to the 60s, but the pop accent of a glossy orange lip brings the look right up to date. Eyes are monochromatic although a soft, blurred definition in the crease, similar to that of NARS for Marc Jacobs gives, it a more modern take. Must have beauty products for this look are white eyeliner, matte black eyeshadow, black gel eyeliner and an orangey red lip like Lady Danger from Mac. Slick some clear gloss on top and you are ready to rock.” 32
Jane said: “ The Beauty looks in the SS13 Gaultier show were the ultimate homage to all that was great during the 80s. For a visually striking look I went for a Monochromatic palette with varying tones of pinks and reds. The Boy George themed look is defined by matte skin with dramatically sculpted cheekbones and sharp winged eyes. A strong bright lip with bright intense eyes is very reminiscent of the New Romantics. My favourite product in this look was MAC Pigment in Pink Fuscia, as it was used on the eyes and cheeks. It can even be brought onto the lip for a matte finish.”
Jane said: “The 90s revival celebrates the era of The Supermodel and the classic natural beauty that prevailed at the time. My Inspiration for this 90s look was Cindy Crawford. Warm, neutral tones are used to contour and sculpt the eyes and face with a matte finish to the skin. A soft Brown Kohl Liner is perfect to smudge and blur around the eye, Matte bronzer for that Crawford glow, a good full brow and MAC Spice lip liner sum up the look.” 36
WIND ME UP The use of analog photography is becoming increasingly popular with photographers and hobbyists alike. Aoifa Smyth spoke with some film enthusiats, about why theyâ€™re going back to bascis and embracing cameras from days gone by.
Rebecca Naen with her collection The reign of Instagram and Hipstamatic sees us using technology to get nostalgic over camera effects from days gone by. But recently, an increasing interest in the stripped back basics of analog film cameras has come back into fashion. Vintage film cameras are all being snapped up at car boot sales, markets and in charity shops by eagle eyed budding professionals and photogs alike. Famous fashion photographers like David Bailey and Bill Cunningham, have refused to make the transition to digital from their beloved film cameras, which they used to make their mark in the sixties. Young photographers are also embracing this reversion in technology and going back to basics. Rebecca Naen, a London based fashion photographer, collects vintage cameras and last time she checked she had "between seventy and eighty!". Explaining that this collection, is purely 40
for recreational use for the time being, Rebecca has plans to shoot professionally on them in the future. "I use digital because that's what I was brought up on. But I'm easing my way into film, the same way I did with digital. I'm building it up until I'm comfortable with it." Starting out her collection, by picking up old cameras around second hand shops and markets, she doesn't have to work so hard to find them nowadays, as they just arrive at her door step from time to time. "In the little village where my family live in Ireland, all the old people have heard that I collect old cameras, so they keep arriving in packages at the house for me. The most amazing one I got a couple of months ago, was my grandparents’ next door neighbours’, who I have known all my life. It was a medium format camera, which is really beautiful for film." Analog photography means that there is a lot more time and thought invested
in each shot, as obviously there is no way to tell at the time how the picture has turned out, until developing time comes around. This seems to be a huge part of the attraction, for many lovers of film. Michelle Doyle, a visual media student who uses an Agat 18, an eighties, russian, half frame 35mm camera, explained, “I opt for analog because it’s a more considered process, as you have to be precious with the film.” She added, “The pictures look more cinematic. The occasional lack of quality and discrepancies add to the pictures. There is an excitement attached to not knowing how they’re going to turn out.” The art of film photography is a journey, you take a picture and wait days, weeks or even months until you finish your roll. By that point, the picture is a pleasant surprise to you, and a memento to hold on to. Laura Wallace, who uses a Contax MT 167, to take snaps in her free time, expressed that the beauty of analog, is the effort you put in to getting the picture right at the time to get that amazing shot. “I just prefer the whole process of shooting film. I like developing it myself and getting it as perfect as I can at the time I shoot the photograph” Photographer Katie O’Neill agreed that she can see a definite resurgence in the use of film in recent times. “Many people are bored of the cleanliness instantaneous results of digital, and for some people: it’s just more fun, it looks cooler, it’s nostalgic, it’s different, it’s kooky.” For her, she gets off on the messiness of analog. “I prefer a more raw edge, light leaks, under and over exposure, grain, scratches, dusts. I’m a messy, unpredictable person and so is my art.”
sic Cameras in Essex and My Vintage Camera at Spitalfields market have all made their businesses from their expertise in vintage cameras. Speaking with Ian Hamilton who owns My Vintage Camera at Spitalfields, he told me that younger generations buying into film cameras is an increasing trend. “A few years ago, no one would have wanted anything less than the newest digital camera with multitudes of functions, they would literally dump film cameras they used to own. But, I’m glad to say that’s changing and it’s all walks in life who go after them, with a growing amount of people in their late teens and early twenties seeking out analog for university or just for fun.” Although these shops do offer a fantastic selection and knowledge in the field, they do come at a price. Our advice, for those wanting to play around with film cameras is to keep your eyes peeled in charity shops and jumble sales, or even grab a disposable one in the pound shop, as a starting point. The excitement that comes with waiting for your pictures to be developed, will trump using a U.S.B cable to transfer them onto your computer, any day. And maybe when you get a hang on it, you can upgrade on eBay or luckily stumble across a better model second hand.
Camera shops in London, such as Red Dot Cameras on Old street, MW Clas41
Taken by Katie Oâ€™Neill
Taken by Alex Sinclair
Taken by Michelle Doyle
Taken by Laura Wallace 43