Lou Lou’s Vintage Fair

Ever since I arrived in Nottingham I have realised just how many events and opportunities are going on in this city at all times! I almost feel overwhelmed by the amount of things I wish to go to and see (particularly high on my list at the moment are the Nottingham Contemporary and the Nottingham Playhouse), but if I do miss an event, I try to convince myself that there will certainly not be shortage of fun or interesting things to do over the next three years.

One of such events was a vintage fair, hosted by Lou Lou’s Vintage Fair, which I heard was being held at the Albert Hall in Nottingham last Sunday. I was unsure whether to go or not as I had a lot of work to do and reading to catch up on, but in the end I’m glad I did. I feel that they did a pretty good job at capturing the vintage atmosphere (they even had a live singer performing a few classics) and some of the stands were actually gorgeous. I especially liked the homeware and pottery sections, I kind of wish I had taken some of those flowery teacups back home with me!

Here are a few snaps I managed to take on the day:

Lou Lou's Nottingham Vintage Fair @Thorns Have Roses by Benedetta Barucco Lou Lou's Nottingham Vintage Fair @Thorns Have Roses by Benedetta Barucco Lou Lou's Nottingham Vintage Fair @Thorns Have Roses by Benedetta Barucco

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Even though I have travelled to England many times (and even lived for about 10 months with a local family just south of London), Nottingham was never one of my destinations. As most other people (especially from out of the UK) I had of course heard of it as the land of Robin Hood and the Sheriff of Nottingham; but that’s really all I knew about it before I moved in.

So what better way of getting to know the city than to do a treasure hunt?

nottscollageDuring our first week we were split up in groups of five and sent off with nothing more than a map and a list of clues. Our lecturers seem to rather like the “small & independent” as opposed to the “big & mainstream” (which is great!), therefore most of the sites on our list were cool, sometimes proper hidden shops and cafés that just added to my already very positive impression of this city. I have no doubt that I will be going back to some of these places and actually spend some time to take it all in – especially around the Creative Quarter.

Alongside exploring and noting down the names of the shops, we were also meant to document our little adventure through photos and make a collage out of them. It wasn’t too easy to get properly organised with my group, especially since it was still Freshers’ Week and we were all busy buzzing around the campus to try new things and meet new people, but the collage up there is what we came up with in the end.

Here’s some more photos that weren’t included in the final collage (click to enlarge):

bill cunningham: a chronicle of NY fashion trends

To ease into induction week and to get into the visually-oriented mindset that we will need during our course, we started off with a screening of the movie/documentary ‘Bill Cunningham New York’ by Richard Press. The movie was a fresh and insightful view into the life of 80+ New York-based legendary photographer Bill Cunningham, a man who almost entirely dedicated his whole life to his work and passion: street style. As I watched him go about his daily routine, carefully inspect the hems of the skirts of the women passing by on the pavement, and sometimes even chase an eye-catching outfit through heavily-trafficked streets, I couldn’t help but feel utter admiration towards this man. His dedication to clothes and his talent in spotting trends as they are born among the widely-varied New Yorker crowds were beyond inspiring, especially when topped by his humility and sense of humour.

“We all get dressed for Bill.”

– Anna Wintour

His philosophy? “If you don’t take money, they can’t tell you what to do”. And he most certainly lives by it. For the sake of preserving his artistic freedom, Cunningham has rejected most of the material goods that the majority of people in our society would consider mandatory: a private bathroom, a kitchen and a closet full of clothes. His tiny flat being essentially a storage for his negatives and photographs, he spends his days by cycling through the streets of New York to spot new and recurring trends, selecting which photos to keep (very few are actually published) and putting them together to write an article on whatever trend has caught his eye. His work is his life and his life is his work.

It was also interesting to hear his opinions circa the fashion industry as a whole and the glamour and glitter that this environment is drenched in. He is clearly fascinated by it, but at the same time he prefers to keep his distance from it. Cunningham successfully made a name of himself in the fashion world even though his persona doesn’t exactly match the dazzling, gleaming socialite image: an aged man, very reserved, living the humble life, who has been wearing the same cheap blue coat for several decades, and who simply doesn’t participate in the glittering fashion events and parties that he attends as a mere photographer, never a guest. As if he were staring through a looking glass, he observes but doesn’t touch, documents but doesn’t get involved. He wants to be invisible; which is what differentiates him from the aggressive paparazzi.

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👋 Bill! #hyperlapse #nyfw

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I have definitely enjoyed watching this movie and found it to be quite the perfect start to this course. As a movie junkie myself I can hardly hide my excitement for the Film Club sessions we are going to be having on each Monday afternoon, and I look forward to finding inspiration as to how to integrate my love for movies and TV into my own visual communication concept.

“Bill on Bill” – NYTimes.com
“Why Bill Cunningham is actually the most interesting person at Fashion Week” – Huffington Post

“Bill Cunningham New York” (2010) – IMDb

photo credits:
the sartorialist