A Vintage Year …
Anyone who found themselves in Cupar on Saturday 3rd August may have thought they’d stepped into a time machine. The town centre had been transported back to a time when rock was accompanied with roll, when you could tell one car from another by its design … and when haircuts were high with quiffs and beehives. This was Cupar’s inaugural Vintage Festival – and it wowed visitors with music, displays, events and stalls selling all manner of retro collectibles. We caught up with the event’s impassioned organiser …
Since 2015, Lady Jane Hair & Beauty Salon on Crossgate has been welcoming customers to a unique experience. Run by mother of four, Kirstie, the Salon shouts vintage.
Kirstie explains: “I always really loved the vintage look. I remember watching old black and white films with my grandad when I was really young – and I just loved the hair! I think my love for vintage grew from then … from when I was six.”
She has worked in hairdressing for over 20 years. “I always knew I wanted to open a salon – but I wanted to be a bit different form all the other salons.” Just over a decade ago, Kirstie took part in a vintage photo shoot: it was “a moment“. She says: “I realised ‘Vintage’ was a ‘thing’ and it was my thing. People were actually into it … it wasn’t just a thing that I liked.”
Reveling in Retro
Kirstie adopted the retro look and created a vintage-style salon to be unique. She did a lot of weddings and her love of vintage meant her styles became more and more retro – though not totally intentionally: “I guess it’s just a natural flare, but after realising it was popular, I really pushed the creative vintage side because no one else was really doing it.”
Originally from Edinburgh, she moved with her husband and family to St Andrew six years ago. “It was right around the time I was head hunted by a vintage salon in Edinburgh. They saw my vintage styling online and wanted me to work for them. It wasn’t meant to be since I was going to be 70 miles away.” So she set up a salon – initially in Dundee – and then moved to Cupar to be closer to home.
In 2014, she was asked by Collecif – a vintage clothing company in London – to work with them on their autumn/winter launch. “I jumped at it. It was unpaid but I wanted the experience.” And what an experience it was! “Oh my days, it was vintage heaven. I will never forget the feeling of excitement as I walked into their Camden Market branch. It was overwhelming.”
Kirstie helped to do the hair for their launch and afterwards there was a huge street party: “The event went really well. We all did about 100 hair ups and then we moved onto the party. Wowzers! What a party! Now picture this … cobbled streets, vintage ladies singing ‘Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy’ on a small corner stage with ’50s style microphones and matching swing dresses … the men in leather jackets with hair slicked back with their retro motorbikes – and professional swing dancers jiving their hearts out in the middle of the street. It was like I had stepped right into 1950 itself. I was buzzing!”
Campden to Cupar
Her first thought? “OMG! Imagine if I could recreate this in Cupar?‘ She toyed with the idea at first – and time ticked by. Five years on, she decided to “stop thinking about it and to just go for it“. So she did.
This year’s festival was a great success. The Corn Exchange had a fantastic collection of stalls with vintage clothing, jewellery and collectibles. Crossgate saw vintage vehicles, dancing, face painting, music and more. Kirstie says: “I honestly feel like I did recreate that same experience I had in London that night. I will never be able to explain how utterly fabulous I felt after the Cupar Vintage Festival. For me it’s about making good memories. That’s what I did.”
A lot of folk have asked whether the Festival was a one off – or whether Kirstie will be planning a re-run next year. Kirstie says: “We plan on doing another one next year, on the first Saturday in August … that falls on the 1st of the month.” Most of the traders from this year have already asked to come along: “It was such a good day for them” she says.
And what’s in store? “I have huge plans already in motion with help from my committee. This year I did it all on my own, but I must admit the stress of it did tire me out a little … so I have a committee on hand to help out with next year which is great.” She adds: “Bigger & Better is the theme for 2020. I don’t want to spoil it – but we do have some rather interesting things happening on the main stage outside.”
And Kirstie has an eye on the future too. “We will be running the Cupar Vintage Festival annually and we are keen to hear from any local businesses that would like to get involved. The festival will create a buzz in the town centre and it will bring in lots of new people from all over Scotland. It’s a community event from which everyone can benefit.”
Back to her salon on Crossgate, Kirstie delivers on trend hair and beauty services with bespoke creative colouring and vintage styling – always “striving to provide the very best in everything we do“. Today, tomorrow … and yesterday!