Well I’ve now become fed up of editing my last blog post to say in several different ways that I was only reviewing my personal experience of Vintage at Goodwood, that I was working and not there as a visitor, and my disappointment was in the organisation, not the hard working volunteers. I apologise to all for not having given a well-rounded review of the event from the other side of the fence, but the fact is that I wasn’t there as a paying visitor or a guest. I am not a festival-goer. I like weekenders where you get to stay in a kitsch chalet and everything is included for a fraction of the cost of a big commercial music festival. I like day trips and nights out at events full of like-minded people. This is why I don’t go to football matches or trendy nightclubs.
I’d just like to say that this blog is still, as it has only ever been, a sort of documentary of my life, or rather, the more interesting things in my life. And my personal opinion on them.
Sponsored posts aside, I only blog about the things I want to blog about, and this of course also applies to sponsor posts since I only accept sponsorship from companies that look or are fabulous, and vintage. A lot of my posts are effusive and full of gushing praise. This is because the things I am praising are pleasing to me. If I have a crummy experience, you can be darned sure I will be honest. The old adage says that if you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all. I wholeheartedly concur, which is why my review of Vintage mentions the bits I did enjoy as well as those I didn’t. I give praise where it is due, and I am not a sycophant. I am not afraid to say it like it is – if I was, then I’d have just reviewed the fun bits for fear that I will not be invited back next year. I have plenty of other things going on in my life to think about, both good and bad, without worrying whether I’ll be welcomed back to something that wasn’t particularly my cup of tea the first time round. I am sorry if the other hard working people there were hurt by my criticism of the event as a whole, but I can’t make stuff up about things I didn’t see or do; and I was unprepared to make myself tired and miserable by staying until the bitter end every night and really taking it all in, to give a ‘fair review’ for my blog. I am not an events reviewer so I didn’t have to.
This leads me to point out that I write this blog as a hobby. It’s a hobby that’s taken off in more ways than I could have ever imagined, and become something akin to a job in itself, but ultimately, it is still something I do essentially for fun. It’s why the time between posts has been stretching out longer recently – because the things I do to make myself enough money to live have been taking up more and more of my time lately. I try to be witty, I try to be entertaining and I try to be honest. I talk to you all as if you’re my friends and I’m telling you a story, and keep you interested; but the one thing I will not do is sell out, or bite my tongue about certain things. I am constantly turning down offers of money and partnerships from companies who either don’t fit with the tone of the blog, or who don’t gel with me as a person who is passionate about who I am and what I do. So I will not stand for being accused of being unfair or biased – yes I support lots of people, but only because they have integrity and a similar ethos to myself. I also don’t harbour grudges and would always love to have my opinion changed, so it’s disappointing to me when this doesn’t happen. I am sorry if people have been put off going by my blog. I would hope that they would form their own opinions based on the entertainment on offer, the prices and suchlike; and wouldn’t be so easily swayed by a critical review of an event from the point of view of a volunteer, not a visitor.
On the subject of me being a vintage snob, yes I suppose I am. But not in the way I was accused. As mentioned earlier, I like to spend my precious spare time with likeminded people. I don’t like going to events full of people in afro wigs. I am not a dog in a manger though – I love it when ‘normal’ people tell me they have had a wonderful time at a big 40s themed event and want to get more into dressing vintage. I love it when new people get into it – this is partly what my blog is for – to share information to help people get the look. As one of my anonymous commenters said, it’s getting new people into the scene that keeps it going. But you won’t find me going to these sorts of events for fun, because it turns into work. I’ll be asked 100 times about my hair and outfit, the chaps will be stared at and asked if their facial hair is real. When you dress like this every day, you take your chances on the street, to be ridiculed or admired, you don’t want to go out and be harrassed even more! I am always, always happy to share tips on hair, makeup and clothes, but as my vintage friends will vouch, ‘normal’ people don’t want to hear about pincurls, about how it took several years of practice to get my victory rolls so perfect, about how good vintage takes dedication to track down and can be an expensive minefield. The eyes just glaze over. Though please don’t think for a second that I get huffy and annoyed and cry, ‘God, all these compliments, it’s driving me mad!’ or ignore people because I always try to be helpful and friendly to those who are genuinely interested. I’ve seen firsthand enthusiastic people become crestfallen by daring to speak to unfriendly but perfect-looking vintage girls who don’t want to share their ‘secrets’. But that is not to say that I don’t end up wanting run away after a while. And this is why I don’t go to these events, aimed at normal people who can get dressed up and have a laugh. I applaud them and the people who go, but I don’t want to go myself.
That said, I have never and will never use the term ‘more vintage than you’ in a negative way, because that, quite frankly, is a steaming heap of horse doings. I’m not saying anyone did, but it’s come up before. There’s no competition in vintageness, my best friend of 12 years is perfectly ‘normal’ and gets dressed up only for dancing events, which we go to together. I love that she is interested in it enough to ask my advice and let me help her buy things so she looks fabulous. I’ve been through enough image transformations of my own and have enough alternative friends to be tolerant of anyone who goes out of their way to be ‘brave’ or ‘different’. But please, for goodness’ sake, have a bit of imagination! Don’t just buy your costume from the Party Shop!
And after all, being snobby with tongue firmly in cheek is what The Chap is all about, and that’s all I was doing by remarking upon the ‘awful costumes’ at Vintage. This is what happens when the promoters are struggling and end up putting advertising billboards on Elephant and Castle and leaving piles of flyers in random pubs all over the kingdom. The festival had wide appeal because of the music, and you always get people in silly costumes at music festivals. There were a number of amazing outfits there too as I saw in the photos afterwards, but not nearly as many as you see at the Revival. Once again, I could only relay what I saw while there, and the afro wigs stood out more than the real vintage, sad to say. There will be more criticism in my Chap column, because that is what it is all about. Sorry.
I just wish everyone would put more effort into their appearance, but then not everyone is quite as sad and anal as me. I am just going to have to live with that 😉
So instead of more negative things, how about something nice and positive to look at instead?
I haven’t yet posted these beautiful photographs taken at Tart by the very talented Celine Chaplin, but aren’t they just wonderful? I quite wish I was getting married or something as I would love to have a photographer as amazing as this record that momentous occasion! She has really managed to capture the glamour of both Tart and 40 Winks… and all the attendees of course! If anyone would like to come to Tart, then do send Mr Carter an email through the 40 Winks website. I shall be there again on September the 18th, preparing the day before and recovering the day after, so if you’re reading this Lord March, and you’d like to forcibly eject me from the Revival, you’ll just have to wait until next year instead. 😉
Until next time!