Monday, 31 December 2012

2012 Highlights

It's the death throes of 2012, its been an unbelievably busy but enjoyable year. So from Lesley's Girls here are are our highlights of 2012.  And what highlights- from new stock to new babies; 1940s revival parties to art exhibitions; Hollywood Costume to burlesque, our year has certainly been a full one. So in no particular order except the order they occurred to me.
At the end of May we were fortunate enough to get tickets to the fabulous Mr B the Gentleman Rhymer when he headed to the Arts Centre in Colchester (a de-consecrated church), and managed to corner him in the graveyard (as you do) before the recital for a few words about his latest album.
During the summer I went to Royal Ascot for the first time with my closest friend, Mel, and managed to soak up the atmosphere for our mutual 30th birthday treat.
We have been privileged with managing to source some of the most amazing and beautiful stock this year, including two original 1950s French fashion magazines- so rare and so beautiful, we were sorry to see them go, but not before we had a proper flick through them.
It was a patriotic summer in the United Kingdom this year with the Diamond Jubilee celebrations and the London 2012 games. And Colchester joined in the celebrations too at its heart in Castle Park.
This summer we had a fabulous trip to Devon where we managed to stop in the Dingles Heritage Fairground Museum  and I loved it, as did the children and my husband- the opportunity to point his camera at such interesting exhibits was too much to resist for him.
Surprisingly Devon seems to  be something of a mecca when it comes to historical fashion exhibitions- we kept stumbling on museums with gloorious collections of fashion form the 18th century to the 20th century, and I loved every second of it.
My husband and I had our first trip away on our own without the children this year, while the sewing half of Lesley's Girls- Susannah, took care of our children for a few days.  We had a weekend in London and enjoyed every second.
The third annual Colchester Free Festival took place this year, and we spent the whole day soaking up the sights and sounds (Tankton was my favourite part- a triumphant steampunk village fete).  Simon of SJR Photography got a whole host of atmospheric shots that he has shared on his blog as well, so if you get the chance stop by.
The Heritage Open Days took place in sunny Colchester once again, and as always we had a peek at some of the buildings, houses and museums which we don't always get the chance to see.
This year we rediscovered our vintage Singer sewing machine, and spent some time looking over it and taking some shots to share with our readers.
Sonya Todd's outstanding fashion illustration exhibition came to The Minories Art gallery, where after the obligatory gingerbread latte I frequently popped in to get another look at her original images of fashion in the 1960s.
I also undertook my first article for VandOAK, the specialist vintage magazine, where I got to go to the press preiew of the Hollywood Costume exhibition, whihc was every bit as enthralling as I imagined and more.
We met the girls from Helle Belles burlesque for the first time.....
...and then again later in the year for more fun in the underground club of the Judge and Jury. Sadly we missed there Christmas do but we look forward to seeing them again next year with all the vintage atmosphere.
2012 was the first year Lesley's Girls branched out into fairs and markets, and we have loved it- and with lots more planned in the Spring.
This year was a big year for Susannah specifically. As regular readers will know Susannah has had to take a back seat in Lesley's Girls Vintage this year because she was pregnant with her third child.  Her daughter was happily borne in October, and has been the happiest piece of news this year- so again to my wonderful sister and her family congratulations!
Another highlight this year was the Alison Stockmarr exhibition which was a delightful mix of vintage books, upcycling and art, so was right up our street.
More recently we enjoyed Hanger 39's 1940s revival dance, an opportunity for me to wear my favourite 1940s dress and for my husband to don his classic Christmas style jumper!  We also got to spend the evening with great friends and met the lovely Miss Kitty, the Forces Sweetheart.
My favourite stalls of the year were the Christmas ones- my two personal favourites were the most atmospheric Secret Vintage Fair and the Minories Art and Design Fair.  I have loved meeting so many new friends and customers at all the fairs.
The year is closing with our latest give-away of Rosie Fox goodies- if you haven't entered yet you should as there are lots of ways to enter and the prizes are beautiful.
And excitingly to top off the year is the announcement that myself and Clare from Clare's Vintage Tea Party are joining Lucy from Lullabelle's Treasure on The Secret Vintage Fair team, and what plans we have afoot for next year!  The next post will be an introduction to the lovely Clare and Lucy as no doubt you'll be hearing more about them in the coming months.

We hope you all have had a lovely 2012 and wish you all the best for 2013.


  1. I second your description of 2012 completely. It was wildly busy (not sure if I got a chance to stop and catch my breath once!), but also incredible. It was odd, for the first time in ages, to actually feel a bit leery of saying goodbye to a year. Time stops for no one though, so I'll just keep my fingers crossed, and do whatever I can, to help ensure 2013 is another winner! :)

    Wishing you a truly magnificent 2013, dear Janine!
    ♥ Jessica

  2. Keep up the fantastic work Lesley!


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