My Vintage London: singer Gabby Young
Singer Gabby Young shares her top tips for vintage shopping in the capital and urges you to explore one of London’s best hidden museums to view gems such as the Egyptian sarcophagus of Pharoah Seti – all for free.
The Vintage Guide to London: Tell us a bit about yourself: what do you do?
Gabby Young: I’m a singer and perform as Gabby Young. I also run Gabberdashery which is a collection of crafts, art, clothes and accessories made by friends of mine and talented people we meet along the way. We sell them at stalls and pop up shops at my gigs and other special events.
The Vintage Guide to London: Why do you like vintage – or in other words, what does vintage mean to you?
Gabby Young: I’ve always been a lover of objects with a history so vintage for me is exactly that – clothes with a story. I love the way I can wear a dress that went to a cocktail party in the Fifties and danced with interesting men, sipped cocktails with friends and maybe even knew a star of the time! I like to make up tales for everything I own- I get a feeling from them and feel honoured to wear them. I hope everything I wear and own will continue on after me and be loved again.
The Vintage Guide to London: What are your favourite London vintage shops?
Gabby Young: Before I moved to London (from Wiltshire) the only places I found vintage at were charity shops and jumble sales. These finds were rare, hidden gems and now I can go to Brick Lane and excitedly sift through hundreds of items. When I discovered Beyond RetroI really was like a kid in a sweet shop and I will always recommend that place for inexpensive, wonderful clothes. I also love Alfies Market in St. John’s Wood and have recently become a bit obsessed with Battersea Car Boot fair- the first time I went there I spent just £12 and came back with bags of goodies!
The Vintage Guide to London: Do you ever go to vintage events? If so, which ones would you recommend?
Gabby Young: I wish I had time for more parties but to be honest my music has completely taken oven my life- any night off I can’t help but stay in- I do watch vintage movies though! However, I love to make my shows into vintage events- we always have stalls and a vintage area, cupcakes and DJs playing music from the Thirties, Forties and Fifties – I like people to experience a slice of the jazz era! My friend and PR Katie Antoniou is great at introducing me to some amazing events like the outdoor cinema in Brick Lane last month and anything that Hendricks Gin is involved in is always amazing.
The Vintage Guide to London: What are your favourite vintage places in London?
Gabby Young: There are some live music venues that are very reminiscent of the bygone era – we played in Bloomsbury Ballroom recently which is a beautiful art deco style music hall that dates back to 1920. It inspires me to create events in spaces that have so much history and have original features. Also Wilton’s Music Hall is the oldest surviving Music Hall in the world and I love the way they haven’t felt the need to polish it up and make it look new- they have let the walls peel a bit, and as I am huge fan of ‘shabby chic’, I’m pleased about that!
The Vintage Guide to London: What’s the must see vintage thing one has to go to in London?
Gabby Young: Go to Soane’s Museumin Holborn which was the home of Sir John Soane, an architect and incessant traveller of the 18th century – he rebuilt three London townhouses to have natural light and display his art and antiquities – he even has the original Egyptian Sarcophagus of Pharoah Seti I! It’s free to wander round and enjoy his mindblowing collection of oddities and extremely precious art. My boyfriend took me for my birthday earlier this year - I had never heard of it – now everyone interesting I meet tells me about it and I want to do the same here and pass on this gem as you won’t regret it.
Watch Gabby perform her amazing first album in a swing-meets-circus performance at Koko on 13 October.