Buy My Wardrobe presents Buy My Frock
Queueing up for the Buy My Wardrobe’s Buy My Frock event, the excitement among the group of anxious women was palpable. Strangers turned to one another, eager to know how much their spending-competition were willing to hand over for pieces of designer apparel. Since the event featured only womenswear, I was safe in the knowledge that my bank balance wouldn’t be damaged beyond the tube fare paid to travel to Home House, and so I readied myself to observe the furore which was about to ensue.
Yet inside, the opulence of the venue hadn’t deterred the financially-restrained from attending; several teenagers were there for “the inspiration” sought from this sartorial celebration, taking photos with the enthusiasm of an under-eighteen club night. Undoubtedly, these photos would appear on Facebook, and their shared idolisation of the premeditated consumers was an insight into the way that this next generation of the fashion-conscious coveted consumerism: occurring with the revelry not seen on the fiscally-orientated high street.
Contending with one another to sell their pieces, the comprehensive credentials of the vendors enhanced the mélange; while some had participated in this event many times before, others amateurishly plied their pieces. Being drawn towards a display of handbags, Theresa, whose personality was as vivacious as her gold Lulu Guinness clutch, informed me that for her this event was akin to a car-boot sale – albeit with the prospect of earning well beyond the price of an average car. This prospect seemed inconceivable, yet she humbly justified: “my love of fashion means that I cannot be frugal. Instead, I sell and reinvest.”
Among the rails of once-worn cocktail dresses, several wedding gowns aroused the greatest excitement. Attending with a gaggle of discerning aids, the engaged combed through the stalls, envisaging the sartorial individualism which could be unearthed. For those who were successful, they acquired a gown of such standard and exquisite detailing that it would otherwise have been financially unattainable. Their purchases embodied the significance of vintage fairs: a democratisation of designer fashion, in which enthusiasts need not be constrained by their finances.
Except for a single mishap, where an overzealous customer spilt her complementary glass of prosseco over a pair of Marc Jacobs heels, insisting that she’d purchase them nonetheless and clean them later – such is the practicality of patent leather – the triumph of the event was unmistakable. Those who had seemingly restocked their wardrobe left with much-cherished, unique pieces, and the few who had upheld their steadfast parsimony were exhilarated by the spectacle itself.