Vintage at Goodwood review

Vintage at Goodwood is a three-day festival dedicated to music, fashion, film and design from the ‘40s to the present day, hosted on the beautifully situated Goodwood estate in the Summer of 2010.

You probably wont be surprised to read that the festival is as middle class as it is nostalgic. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing. It’s just slightly odd to walk into a field and come face to face with a John Lewis store in the purpose-built vintage Market Place. I didn’t go in so I have no idea what they were selling (presumably not washing machines or sofas) but I’m pretty sure that being ‘never knowingly undersold’ was a festival first.

I headed instead for what was billed as the largest vintage fashion bazaar in Europe, with over 320 fashion and accessories stalls of dressing up delights.  This was also the perfect place to people watch – and it’s the wonderfully attired punters that made Goodwood special.

So many (and hopefully everyone in future) had arrived dressed in vintage finery and the result was glamour everywhere you looked. Meanwhile the Vintage Goodwood beauty parlour was doing a roaring trade in retro makeovers – ‘natural’ didn’t get a look in.

Mr AM  amused himself by looking at the vintage cinema bus (showing Joe Strummer movies), watching new bands in the woods and trying to find the beer tent. It turned out that the bars were situated the soul, rock n roll and dance music ‘clubs’ – (don’t ask me who was playing – this is a beauty blog, not the NME) – well away from the second hand frocks.

Time for  a cream tea (because you always have one at a festival, right?) . The bunting festooned outdoor cafes were a stone’s throw away from the soul stage so I enjoyed a cuppa and a nibble of home made scone while tapping a toe to ‘Move On Up’ – I bet Curtis Mayfield often did the same, way back in vintage times.

With a nod to our rock and roll aristocracy, ever so posh auction house Bonhams were showing off some rock star memorabilia before an auction on Sunday. Lots included rock star portraits and a tatty old piano – from Abbey Road studios – that was apparently worth £150,000. No doubt someone very rich has now taken it home and I expect their cleaner will secretly shake her head in disbelief as she wipes the rock star finger prints off the keys.

Having consumed some very middle class organic hot dogs (like normal hot dogs, but way more expensive) we headed for the main stage. Here, we enjoyed the outdoor bar (at last!) and The Noisettes who played a wonderfully glitzy set as the sun went down and a crescent moon rose. As we left – tired, happy, and planning what to wear next year – the walkways were illuminated with twinkling fairy lights. I expect you can buy a similar set at John Lewis.

Elegy to the photo shoot Polaroid

Before digital photography usurped film, every photographer, stylist, make up artist and model had a Polaroid collection – a personal set of photographic trophies gathered from photo shoots and kept in ordered notebooks, pinned on the studio wall or in the back of a portfolio.

Polaroid was the workhorse used to check lighting, composition, and hair and make up before shooting film.  It was far from perfect, being fragile and expensive to use, and it had an unmistakable chemical smell that never faded as well as a tendency to make everything look a bit too green. But it was always kind of cool and is the only type of film considered worthy of its own dance move, thanks to Outkast’s ‘Shake it like a Polaroid picture’ line in Hey Ya!. It is also still uniquely beautiful.

These images were taken in Miami, on a trip to shoot beauty pictures for Just 17. We were meant, officially, to be using Polaroid for behind the scenes shots. Unofficially we used it to record the fact that we were a crew that couldn’t quite believe our luck. Miami was hot, sunny and photogenic with fabulous light and model agencies on the beach – and we were, for a few days, part of it. These ethereal images are a visual reminder that such heady moments are precious and fleeting. It is something that a technically precise digital image on a laptop screen will never convey quite so eloquently.

From a blog written for Mat Dolphin