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My Vintage Brighton: A Brighton Belle

8 April 2013 No Comment

Hannah Carrick blogs at www.abrightonbelle.blogspot.co.uk and last year won a competition to model for Dollydagger. Here she answers our questions on all things Brighton and vintage…

Who are you? Hello, I’m Hannah!

What do you do? During the day I work for a high street bank, dreaming of being whisked away on a vintage adventure. By night and weekend, I’m busy blogging, drinking tea, eating cake and practising vintage hair and makeup, alongside hunting for vintage clothing and furniture.

Hannah Carrick - A Brighton Belle

What does vintage mean to you? It’s the thrill of the bargain hunt – the quest for that completely unique piece of history. I am fascinated by the the story behind the object, how it ended up where it is today and the things it has seen. I love to be a walking homage to the wonderful times that brought us to where we are today, and the conversations that dressing in this way can open up.

How do you like to get dressed in the morning (and afternoon and evening)? I get my inspiration from a new item of clothing or make up, song, film, magazine feature or perhaps a style I have seen on the street that I would like to emulate. This all results in a rather haphazard dressing process, which I admit can drag on when there is no time frame!

Hannah Carrick - A Brighton Belle

What’s your favourite decade for style? I look towards the Forties for everyday style as despite having so little, people in this decade looked fantastic! Of an evening, or dressier occasion, I look towards the Fifties and early Sixties. I mainly focus on fit and how I feel in the clothing, which I consider to be the most important part of looking great, no matter what you wear.

As for makeup and hair, my go-to everyday look for work is Sixties inspired, with a flick of eyeliner and a French twist. I spice it up on other days with a Forties-inspired set and red lipstick.

Hannah Carrick - A Brighton Belle

What’s your favourite vintage shop in Brighton (and the surrounding area)? For a dressier occasion, Tramp Boutique is a failsafe. I recently bought two vintage dresses from Kate & Aud – their upstairs section is always well stocked with so many tempting pieces. A Sunday walk along Blatchington Road in Hove always ends with a visit to Bobby & Dandy, another favourite of mine. For reproduction vintage clothing, Dollydagger turns up trumps.

If travelling further afield, East Grinstead has a growing array of vintage shops: Wear It Again Sam and Love Me Two Times have proven bountiful for me, with the added bonus of more choice due to being out of Brighton.

What’s your favourite online vintage shop? I am a frequent Ebay and Etsy-er, especially with wages burning a hole in my pocket! One of my favourite Etsy finds was from The Splendid Suitcase, a Brighton-based online store that sources its items from France. Hand-delivery of my purchase was an added bonus! 

Hannah Carrick - A Brighton Belle

Where do you like to go to eat and drink yummy things? I am a serious foodie and really enjoy Brighton’s range of individual cafes and restaurants. I’m frequently found on a Sunday morning enjoying breakfast in Cafe Koba – their Eggs Royale is excellent. A mid-shopping cup of tea and cake is best found at The Marwood Coffee Shop, or a warming bowl of soup at Soup-urb.

Where do you like to go to listen to awesome music? I regularly keep an eye out on the Brighton Dome listings, having been lucky enough to recently see Ray Davies there. I also like to pretend I can dance when I visit The Mesmerist.

Have you been to any tip top vintage events of late?  I’m hoping to visit a vintage festival this summer: a day at The Festival of Vintage, Goodwood Revival or The Vintage Festival being on my list of must-visits!

Hannah Carrick - A Brighton Belle

What are your favourite vintage hangouts? I love a visit to Duke’s at Komedia; the chance to catch a classic film over a glass of wine in an independent Brighton cinema is perfect for relaxing and finding inspiration. I can also spend a happy few hours browsing Snooper’s Paradise, Lewes Flea Market or Department in Hove.

Where do you like to go hunting for second-hand bargains? Having recently discovered the Brighton Marina car boot, I can regularly be found with a cup of tea browsing the stalls there on a Sunday morning. I am also a sucker for a charity shop bargain.

What has been your best ever vintage/second-hand/charity shop find? My best find is a 1940’s wool and cashmere coat – a steal at £10 from a charity shop! It has seen me through this winter, and is coming out of the other side still a firm favourite. Even better, it originally came from a shop where my Great-Grandma and Grandma used to shop, which was on a road that I used to live on! My very own piece of history.

Hannah Carrick - A Brighton Belle

What is it about Brighton that makes you smile? I love the intriguing history, architecture and diverse culture which is unique to Brighton. A city that allows me to indulge my interests to my heart’s desire will always hold a special place in it.

Any other hints, tips or recommendations for vintage-lovers in Brighton and beyond? I would really recommend visiting as many vintage fairs and reading as many vintage blogs and magazines as possible. Surround and immerse yourself in local goings on and you will soon discover that there’s much more going on than you ever realised!

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