As we celebrate our fifth birthday, we thought we’d share some stories from our fabulous traders who help make the fair so special. Who better than Roberta Dimola from Van der Brit who also celebrates five years in business this year! Van der Brit has a shop on the world-famous Portobello Road, selling fashionable, unique and super chic vintage clothing and accessories, and they have been bringing their one-of-a-kind selection to Clerkenwell Vintage Fashion Fair for the past four years. Come and find her at our anniversary fair on 11th May (https://www.facebook.com/vanderbrit) in the Great Hall.
CVFF: How did you get into selling vintage?
VDB: Almost by chance really, I started my business as an embellisher (hats, furs, dresses) and would only use vintage, cherry-picked findings to embellish my pieces – some of which were also vintage. The very first vintage fashion fair I ever went to was actually Clerkenwell Vintage Fair at The Old Sessions House. I was mind-blown by the gorgeousness of all those pieces…I found my vocation then!
CVFF: What do you look for when sourcing pieces for your stall?
VDB: I primarily look for beauty, style, quality, perfect or near-perfect condition and usability. I like that all of my pieces can still be very current and wearable.
CVFF: Do you specialise in any particular eras/styles?
VDB: I specialise in 1950’s and 1960’s spreading into the 1970’s in regards to jewellery – I absolutely love oversized jewellery and I find the style of these eras particularly glamorous and appealing to me. Post-war everything was more extravagant and joyous, a bit like in the 1920’s and 1930’s. I do however source and buy any pieces – handbags, clothing, jewellery or any other accessories that I think are suitable. I am obsessed with 1920’s – 1930’s handbags right now!
CVFF: Which era do you wish you were born in and why?
VDB: Undoubtedly 1920’s and 1930’s – The Great Gatsby springs to mind! The 20th Century was the most extravagant and innovative decade not only in terms of fashion but the arts, design, furniture and architecture. However 1950’s, 1960’s and 1970’s have all been great eras too!
CVFF: What can we expect to see at your stand on 11th May?
VDB: A small capsule wardrobe of gorgeous dresses just arrived from Italy!
CVFF: How long have you been coming to Clerkenwell Vintage Fashion Fair?
VDB: I am on my fourth year since it moved to The Old Finsbury Town Hall and I love it! I am in the Great Hall if you want to come see me.
CVFF: Finally, what is your birthday message for Clerkenwell Vintage Fashion Fair…?
VDB: From the bottom of my heart a very felt HAPPY 5TH BIRTHDAY CLERKENWELL VINTAGE FASHION FAIR!!!! May the success achieved by your hard work grow and prosper year by year and may the quirkiness and the uniqueness of this fair never leave us!!! To the best organizer and all of the best traders that participate and make this fair so special!!
Roberta Dimola of Van der Brit xxx