Sunday, 9 February 2014

The Stylist's Rail: Bargain Hunting and Cocktail Sipping Galore

A shiny new fashion event hit the Hoxton Hotel in East London this weekend; The Stylist's Rail was a vintage-meets-new-designers shopping experience, complete with cocktails and goodie bags for the crowds of attendees. I went along to sip and shop (sometimes simultaneously) and report back for you.

Vintage stall with red retro hat
 Guests were greeted by quirky displays set against rails of pre-loved or brand new clothing and accessories.

Quirky travel themed passport covers and watches
 I couldn't resist snapping these passport covers by Elsie & Fred, made by customising brightly coloured pieces of leather. In fact, I ended up buying the top one.

Multicoloured scarf worn multiple ways
 A trader showed off her amazingly versatile silk scarves, made in batches of 180.

There was a real mixture of styles available, meaning that you were in no danger of leaving the event empty-handed. From rock chick fringed black leathers to 60s PVC and suede skirts, there was something to appeal to even the pickiest vintage shopper, whilst the new brands on show offered really interesting accessories and outfits, including delicate gold bespoke jewellery and grungy sheer dresses.

Close-up vintage knitwear
 These vintage knitwear pieces caught my roving eye.

Bloom cocktail glasses at the Hoxton Hotel
 Cocktails were kindly provided by Bloom.

Fashion blogger at The Stylists' Rail
 As you can see, we had rather generous glasses. Chin chin!

The cocktail element of the event was a real bonus. Whilst I'm not normally a fan of gin, I can definitely recommend a G&T made with Bloom, a dry London variety, and served with a strawberry. However, juggling shopping purchases and a glass became something of a balancing act for most of us!

Hoxton DJ in hotel
 There was even a DJ to get the party started.

Stylish Gin and Tonic at the Hoxton
 My +1 was one of my best friends, Katherine, who enjoyed her G&T as well.

Vintage shoes through the ages
 This retro shoe line-up shows just how diverse the stock was at the vintage stalls.

 One of the key considerations when buying vintage at events like The Stylist's Rail is to really go through the rails with a fine tooth comb, so you don't miss anything. We found it helped to do a circuit of all the stalls a few times, just to make sure we saw everything available, and we looked out for eye-catching patterns and textures.

Gold jewellery including clip-on earrings
 Jewellery on sale was affordable, blinged up and trendy.

White brogue sneakers
 Some of the pricier pieces were worth splashing out on. I would definitely have taken the plunge and bought these unusual brogue-style trainers (£68) if they'd been in my size.

D&G twill coat in jade green and yellow
 Incredibly, this Dolce & Gabbana coat was only £235.

 When checking out designer bargains, it's worth remembering that these items are going to generally be of better quality than your average high street vintage pick, so you won't really be able to haggle as much, because the price will be reflecting the brand name. Also, there will probably be someone willing to give the stallholder the offer they're looking for, so if you really want it then just go ahead and make that designer piece yours.

Denim twill handbag by Prada
 A Prada denim twill handbag hung from the rails.

Floral bomber jackets in bright colours
 These colourful bomber jackets were a photo opportunity waiting to happen.

Sequin, PVC and gauze pieces on sale at The Stylists' Rail
If you wanted something more futuristic and less vintage, this stallholder was happy to oblige.

Having seen the success of this event, I'm sure The Stylist's Rail will be delivering more fashion injections to the people of East London, and I'm looking forward to a similarly eclectic mix of brands and retro bargains.

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