My Vintage London - Vintage Guide writer Gemma King
The Vintage Guide to London: Who are you, and what do you do?
Gemma King:My name’s Gemma King and I work in radio as a broadcaster, producer and voice over. I’m also a writer and publish my scribblings here and on my blog, which is an emporium of vintage wafflings called Bake do and Mend.
The Vintage Guide to London: Why do you like vintage – or in other words, what does vintage mean to you?
Gemma King: The house I grew up in is like stepping into the Horniman Museum… full to brimming with various collections and curios. My father restored and sold antique furniture, ceramics and dolls and because of this, from an early age I spent most of my weekends at antique fairs, or rummaging through junk shops. I suppose my childhood has had a lasting effect on me, as I still love doing that sort of thing now!
As an ex-actress I got into vintage fashion because many of my costumes were original pieces. The best being a wonderful linen flapper dress with really sweet arts and crafts embroidery down the front – I wanted to permanently “borrow” it!
I love the fact that each vintage item I own has it’s own unique history, and I like to imagine who may have owned it before me. I’ve now taken this one step further by moving into an Art Deco flat and am getting a real buzz from researching about who lived in the place before me. So far I know that the first tenant in 1936 was called Theodora Mabel Davies and her next door neighbour was Ms. Francis Evelyn Du Pre, what names! I’m desperately researching to find out more.
The Vintage Guide to London: What are your favourite London vintage shops?
Gemma King: I do love a good vintage clothing fair and like fellow Vintage Guide writer Rebecka visit the Hammersmith one, which is held once a month at Hammersmith Town Hall. They have such a great selection of good quality stalls, selling a range of clothing, hats, shoes and jewelry.
Just around the corner from there is The Old Cinema on Chiswick High Road, which boasts being London’s only antique and vintage department store. On top of that, as a South Londoner I was overjoyed when I discovered North Cross Road in East Dulwich. There’s some great little shops down there, from an old fashioned sweet shop Hope and Greenwood to vintage home ware and bric a brac stores.