Vintage lovers, put 4 October in your diaries for Frock Me! at Chelsea Old Town Hall. The Frock Me vintage fair, established 23 years ago in 1997, was the very first vintage fair to be held in London and possibly the very first vintage fair in the whole of the UK. It is held at both Chelsea Old Town Hall on the King’s Road and at Kensington Town Hall. It was started by Matthew Adams, who has run antiques fairs and markets in London for 39 years and continues to run the popular Horti Fair. Matthew studied Theatre & Costume Design at Central School of Art & Design in the 1970s and became an antiques and vintage dealer around 1979. The first market that Matthew set up was The Stables Market in Camden in 1981. In 1997 he started London's original vintage fair coupled with a decorative arts event at Kensington Town Hall. This event became hugely popular amongst those seeking vintage fashion and due to its success Matthew focused on the vintage fashion side of the event and transferred it to Chelsea Old Town Hall.
The current exhibitors are carefully curated and come from across the UK and France (Paris and Bordeaux) with occasional guest appearances by dealers from the USA. The events usually have 60 exhibitors in Chelsea and over 100 exhibitors in Kensington. Many have formerly been costume designers for film and TV or have a background in fashion design. Each has their own specialism - for example fashion from the 1920s, 1970s labels such as Ossie Clark and Biba, French textiles and popular vintage designer labels such as Chanel.
At present, the organisers expect the October event to go ahead - with appropriate measures in place - but they will be posting regular updates on social media.