Bringing new life to vintage at the Baltic's Red Brick market; TAKES A LOOK AT THE CITY'S 'NEW QUIGGINS' AT THE BALTIC VILLAGE - AND MEETS SOME OF THE STALLHOLDERS.
THERE'S the nicest kind of revolution happening in the Baltic Triangle now - one where the only offensive strike would be a navy blue trimphone paired with an avocado sofa.
For the first time in a long time, vintage, retro and crafty wares are gathered in one building, creating the sort of eclectic emporium that hasn't been seen in Liverpool since the glory days of Quiggins.
They can all be found in the coming together of Red Brick Vintage and Red Brick Hangar, adjoining complexes in the increasingly fascinating world of Cains Brewery Village.
Around 2,000 people were over the door for its official opening at the weekend and for Deborah Steggel, a fashion textiles lecturer and expert in public spaces, it's affirmation of the vision she had when first setting foot on the premises.
Deborah said: "We've already been compared to Quiggins, Camden and the markets in Berlin and that is such a compliment for us.
"I have an MA in public space which led me to working on the Metquarter and that, probably, led me to wanting to find my own site with my partner.
"Constellations in the Baltic Triangle was a big inspiration to us before we opened here, they're a few years ahead of us though.
"It was just a derelict space when I first stepped in here but we saw a vision of what we could do with it.
"Our friends thought we were mad, there were no other businesses here but it very quickly transformed into a working, trading space that grew and grew. We put the word out to independent businesses, designers, traders, creatives and musicians to come with us and use the space. It's just taken off.
"We're getting very varied customers. Very young to very old, students - we work with all the universities - theatres, prop hire, TV and we kit out and style bars and restaurants.
"We're a small independent music venue too and we're about to do Sound City. We'll always open our doors to collaboration."
For anyone stepping through this rabbit hole for the first time, Red Brick is a succulent selection box of stalls that redefines the term browsing. And these are just some of the people you will meet in that enticing warren.
Katie Graham from Ormskirk has run The Retro Room for the past 18 months due to her love of old-school fashion.
With so many customers making the trip from Liverpool to her West Lancs store, Katie took the plunge to open up in the city.
The dress she picked out from her collection is a 1970s dress (PS35 to you) with those all-important bell sleeves that are a good look for this year.
Katie said: "This is a good dress for summer and ideal to wear if you're going to the races.
"It's off-the-shoulder and really 'out there' if you like that kind of look."
Staten Dereli is a wonderland for anyone who loves mid-20th Century furniture.
It's run by Port Sunlight's Nigel Chapman-Rogers who is passionate about the vintage look, right down to his own outfit, reminiscent of 1940s New York.
Everywhere you turn in his particular Red Brick nook there are examples of textiles, crockery Wayne of Black and furniture roughly from the 1950s to the 1970s, including one of those G Plan glass door display cabinets that any child of the '80s will recognise from their nan's house.
Nigel said: "I've built up a loyal following so far. One item that's very popular right now is the Meakin pottery, you can get a full set here for around PS40."
Pennington's is a family run unit which caters for lovers of both vinyl records and handmade crafts.
The crafty side of the operation comes from Caroline Pennington. Originally from Thurstaston in Wirral, the bulk of her stock is made by her own hand although some giftware, especially the crockery, is sourced elsewhere.
Caroline said: "My Frida Kahlo cushions (PS14) sell well.
Anything with Frida Kahlo's face on it has that appeal, as well as any other Mexicana. I make handmade cards in that style as well."
Oldham may be an hour or so away via the M62 but Carl Spiers is more than happy to make the trip for his Retro-Clobber stall, part of the Red Brick Hangar section of the market accessed through the Vintage market.
In pride of place on the shop mannequin was a cool ensemble of 1960s college scarf (PS10) over a three-quarter length wool overcoat (PS40) and a blue felt trilby (PS5) which Nigel from Staten Dereli has his eye on.
Carl told us: "I've wanted somewhere permanent and this is ideal. I would say my customers are between 35 and 55 and really interested in that '70s look although Mod clothing is probably the most popular."
Wayne Anderson's ability to create bespoke objects out of everyday items was one pastime which helped him through the post-traumatic stress disorder he suffered after his time with the Special Forces.
That led to him opening Black Piper in the Red Brick Hangar where there's an impressive collection of (mainly) lamps, made from guitars, harps and even beer pumps which are the perfect example of upcycling, all made in his home workshop in Rainhill. He's even Pennington helped furnish the studio of broadcaster Andy Kershaw.
Wayne said: "People come to me with the concept and then I work with them on the finished product.
"I saw this alien figure on another stall, bought it and fitted a colour changing bulb and globe lamp onto it."
If you like said lamp, it's PS150.
Rumble Records is all about the band t-shirt as well as classic vinyl with a leaning towrds reggae.
Paula Rizzotti from West Derby can print T-shirts for anyone and made many of the signs currently on display in the Red Brick Hangar.
She said: "We try to be varied. I bought this Beatles design from an artist in America so we are the only place where you can get it now.
"The Woodstock T-shirts sell well too."
The US way of fashion from the '80s is popular right now and Joe Buck Vintage is a perfect place to look.
Named after Jon Voight's character from Midnight Cowboy, it's owned by couple Maisie Jeynes and Ed Dalley.
To ensure the best stock, they make regular visits to the US and bring enough stock back to fill a shipping container.
Maisie said: "A lot of our t-shirts are genuine ones from truck stops and I'd say our most popular items for women are the baggy sweatshirts which are fashionable at the moment. The men like the oversized shirts. They're all genuine US brands."
The shirt Ed is pictured with sells for PS12.
Sarah Jones is already in the process of moving her antiques, arts and curios business into a larger stall at Red Brick Hangar.
Based in Liverpool, she was making trips to run another shop in North Yorkshire three times a week but she's now able to work a lot closer to home.
Among her favourite pieces are period suitcases featuring original labels from the Cunard shipping line. Fitted out with their own hangers, Sarah reckons they'd make an ideal mini-wardrobe for a guest room.
She said: "I love anything that's unusual, a bit different. I restore items too. There's a chair in here which was found in a cellar and it needed a lot of work but now it's so comfortable."
Knitting is the new rock'n'roll and Becky Pennington's Ovis Yarns is a technoicolor treat for anyone who wants to get busy purling one.
Becky explained: "These are all independently made British yarns. I hand-dye all the wool in my studio in Litherland. I've been doing that for two years now and I really want to champion local producers. Lazykate is based in Ormskirk and Honey Badger crafts is all produced on a narrowboat on the Leeds-Liverpool canal. I also get my cotton from the last cotton producing mill in Blackburn."
Zino Chryseliou of Walton wants to do something a little different with his tattoo parlour Amethyst Ink. He still uses his skills to get the preferred designs on his customers' skin but there's a spiritual and healing element to the process as well.
Zino said: "I welcome people to sit down and have a talk first, to create as many positive vibes as possible. It's a more light-hearted approach than you may get in other tattoo studios.
"One of my favourite pieces of work was a tattoo I did for a customer which was dedicated to her grandmother, who had Alzheimer's.
It was just before she passed but one of the last things they shared was the moment when she showed her grandmother the tattoo. It was one last way of saying I love you."
Not Too Shabby is one of the first stalls people will see when they enter Red Brick Vintage from the Cains Brewery Village courtyard.
It's run by site manager Chris Day from Childwall, a man fully aware of the space restrictions in many of the flats his customer base are getting the keys for around the city.
He explained: "I get a lot of the student and hipster market in here and my approach is all things kitsch, colourful, retro and shabby chic.
"I also concentrate on the smaller furniture, the two-seater sofas for example, as they're best for a lot of flats around here."
The Baltic Ukes is the band that's the perfect outcome for Colour & Music's Mark Henderson.
Living in Chester - via New Zealand - he'll be giving ukelele lessons in his stall while also selling what he calls a 'skiffle' range of downtown guitars alongside art works from Natalie Gilmour, who provides the colour in the business name.
Mark said: "We're going to have a group to perform at open mic nights, I can't wait."
Ed Dalley of Joe Buck Village
Red Brick Hanger and Red Brick Vintage have joined together to form what some are calling the new Quiggins
Katie Graham of the Retro Room
Sarah Jones runs an antiques stall
Chris Day from Not Too Shabby
Caroline Pennington of Pennigton's
Paula Rizzotti of Rumble Records
Deborah Steggel who is behind the opening
Zino Chryseliou of Amethyst Ink
Nigel Chapman-Rogers of Staten Dereli
Carl Spiers of Retro-Clobber
Wayne Anderson of Black Piper
Becky Pennington of Ovis Yarns
Mark Henderson of Colour & Music
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|Publication:||Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)|
|Date:||Apr 27, 2018|
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