Vintage in Belfast

Drawing together the crème de la crème of Irish vintage designers and dealers, Frock Around the Clock’s Spectacular Vintage and Handmade Fair has become one of the Belfast’s biggest and best events.

Since the first Frock Around the Clock event in 2008, fair organiser Becky Moore has noticed “a big growth in the vintage and crafting scene in Belfast”. Northern Ireland’s first and longest-running vintage fair, they unfailingly tap into each new season’s retro inspirations. She explains the event has always had “a trend-led approach to vintage, so we search everywhere for exhibitors who sell vintage suited to a contemporary lifestyle. This outlook has always meant that the sellers are a good fit with the designer-makers and upcyclers that we invite along…our fairs appeal to creative people of all ages.”

Best of Belfast

Before you arrive, Becky recommends checking out FrockFairsNI.com “to see if your visit is lucky enough to coincide with one of our Vintage Fairs, as they have the biggest and best selection of vintage to be found under one roof!” She’s also got helpful suggestions for other stores flying the vintage flag in Belfast, with Studio Souk top of the list. “Studio Souk is an open plan creative studio and retail space – a charitable organisation which supports local artists and designers and has a wonderful mix of vintage fashion and homewares…The atmosphere is great, and as well as great vintage and handmade goods to buy, you can also see the resident designers at work, chat at the coffee bar with the friendly people and have some good old Belfast craic.”

Two other top choices are conveniently nearby: “I also love The Rusty Zip on Botanic Avenue, which has been there since 1998, and Oxfam Vintage on Castle Street, which is fantastic for picking up vintage bargains while supporting a worthy cause.”

Creative inspiration

If you’ve been swept up in the crafting craze, don’t miss FATC’s Total Stitch Fest: The Alternative Craft Show. Launched last year, Becky describes it as “a marketplace of handcrafted goods by designers and crafters from all over Ireland. It is also a place to buy unique fabric and haberdashery, quality yarn and natural wools, as well as vintage textiles – a perfect opportunity to meet the makers, chat about their work and to be inspired.”


Fun of the fair

At the flagship Spectacular Vintage and Handmade Fair on 8th March, Malone House will be packed with visually stunning stalls. Just a 15-minute walk from our Park Inn by Radisson, Belfast, arrive early and head straight to Tiny Tower Vintage Interiors. Here, you can browse through their “extensive and beautiful range of unique vintage china, eiderdowns, linen, paintings and prints, as well as highly collectible vintage and antique books and toys.”

Becky’s also a fan of Vintage Aggy & Molly, who “sell the most exquisite dolls handcrafted from antique and vintage haberdashery – every creation is a complete one-off and destined to become a family heirloom. They are made with love by Aine Marie who also produces natural soaps and skincare under the name of the Saul Soap Co.”

Last but not least, she recommends “White Rabbit Exchange, who specialize in bang-on-trend and affordable vintage clothing and accessories from the 1950s to 1980s. You’ll find vintage gems to suit all budgets here, but best to come on down early before everything flies off the racks!”