One of the most famous vintage shops in London is Circa Vintage in Fulham, West London. Circa Vintage was started as a family affair some 16 years ago and was based midway along the Fulham Palace Road. Mother and daughter, Marianne and Astral had a real passion for design. Marianne has been in the ‘rag’ trade all her career became disillusioned with the quality and style of some of the modern couture. So, she looked back to the design geniuses of the past and started to source the most select pieces. This has been the aim of CV to this day.
They have an excellent website which showcases just some of the fabulous clothes, jewellery, and accessories. One of the primary regular fairs which were established specially to appeal to the current interest in vintage clothing is Frock Me!. This event occurs regularly throughout the year in Chelsea, London also in Brighton. Vintage clothing can occasionally be purchased from older relatives and friends because many people store their old clothing for long periods of time.
Interview With Circa Vintage
What does your brand stand for?
Circa Vintage specialises in ‘Vintage’ clothing, jewellery and accessories. Vintage clothing is definitely a generic term for brand new or used garments originating from a previous era. The phrase can also be used in connection with a retail store, e.g. “vintage clothing store.” It is also used as an adjective: “This dress is vintage.”
The term vintage is copied from its use within wine terminology, being a more elegant-seeming euphemism for “old” clothes. In many instances, clothing that was produced before the 1920s is known as antique clothing and clothing belonging to the 1920s to 1980s may be known as vintage (25 years and older).
Retro, short for retrospective, usually refers to clothing that imitates the design of a previous era. Clothing produced recently is generally called modern or contemporary fashion. Opinions vary on these definitions. At Circa we don’t sell retro clothing, all our items are genuinely vintage and antique.
What Time Periods Of Vintage/Retro Clothing Are Offered?
Although there has long been some demand for old and/or second-hand clothing, the awareness, demand and acceptance of this has grown dramatically since the early 1990s.
This increasing amount of interest is due partially to increased visibility, as vintage clothing was progressively more worn by top models and celebrities, e.g. Julia Roberts, Renee Zellweger, Chloë Sevigny, Tatiana Sorokko, Kate Moss and Dita von Teese.
There has also been a growing curiosity about environmental sustainability in terms of reusing, recycling and restoring in place of slinging things away. A resurgence of traditionally based sub-cultural groups like rockabilly, swing dancing and mods has additionally played a major part in the boost in curiosity about vintage clothes.
Do You Have Designer Pieces?
At Circa Vintage we provide unique or almost unique items. Most items were specially designed, while others were manufactured in small quantities only. ?The quality of the clothes reflected the intention for clothes to be worn for a long time and passed on to other family members, so they were manufactured from robust materials, well cut and well made, with generous seam allowances and hems which permit for alterations and customized.?
At Circa Vintage we have beautiful examples from designers such as Ossie Clark, Valentino, Yves St Laurent, Mollie Parnis, Janice Wainwright, Gianni Versace, John Galliano, Karl Largerfeld, Jean Muir, etc, and of course, many stunning examples from unnamed talent.
We source the finest materials as many of the unusual older textile varieties are no longer manufactured or turn out to be prohibitively expensive.
What Is The Price Range Of The Clothing You sell?
Circa Vintage clothing price ranges from around £100 to £2500 and people are prepared to pay for admiration of the past. Some people buy to collect as opposed to wearing, and considerably more often, top quality vintage clothing especially items by well-known designers are desired by collectors.
Vintage clothing also attracts people who are keen to reduce their Carbon Footprint, they buy vintage clothes because it is regarded as less demanding of world resources.?
From time to time, the cycle of fashion design turns to history for getting ideas, and clothing closely similar to authentic vintage (retro or antique) clothing are produced. An example of this is the simple slip dresses that emerged during the early 1990s and were influenced by lingerie of the 1930s.
These styles are usually termed as “vintage-inspired” or “vintage reproductions” depending on the faithfulness to the historical design, and serve as a convenient alternative to those who admire an old style but prefer a modern interpretation – another advantage is that often, unlike the original garments, they are usually to be found in a choice of sizes and perhaps, shades and/or fabrics.
Where are you located in London?
Circa Vintage moved to its present location at 64 Fulham High Street in 2005. Circa Vintage has only ever been based in London.