GRR

How the vintage lifestyle can bring you joy

12th September 2022
Jennifer Barton

Vintage aficionado Jessica Kellgren-Fozard will be taking to the Revive & Thrive Stage at Goodwood Revival to share why she’s all about Vintage Style, NOT Vintage Values and how vintage clothing can be a helpful addition to a disabled person’s wardrobe.

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With over 955,000 YouTube subscribers and counting, the deaf and disabled activist and LGBTQ+ advocate, Jessica Kellgren-Fozard has spent the last decade putting smiles on her fans’ faces with her brilliantly candid videos, which cover topics including queer history, disability awareness and parenting her one-year-old son, Rupert, with wife Claudia.

In her words, she’s ‘adding vintage lesbian fabulousness to a life with disabilities and chronic illnesses.’

Jessica will be bringing her signature style and humour to the Revival, where she’ll be in discussion with New York bandleader and style activist, Dandy Wellington on Friday 11:30am at the new Revive & Thrive Village. Jessica and Dandy will be talking about how to embrace vintage and make more sustainable choices, and why they both adopt the mantra of ‘Vintage Style, NOT Vintage Values’.

Here, Jessica tells us when she first became enamoured by vintage and how she’s found the vintage community to be welcoming and inclusive.

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When did you discover your passion for vintage?

As a small child, I had really bad eczema and I couldn’t wear a lot of clothes that were sold in shops in the '90s — most girls' clothes had a lot of lace on, or were made in fabrics that I would react to. So, my grandmother would make all of my clothes from the same patterns she used for my aunt’s clothes in the 1950s and I guess I just never really grew out of enjoying dressing that way. While I aged, the era of my clothing just didn’t.

There's also an aspect of how much joy vintage clothes bring me. There’s just something about a big skirt and petticoats that makes my heart sing.

What brings you to the Revival this year?

I’ve always wanted to attend the Revival, but unfortunately the dates have just never seemed to work out before, so I’m really excited that this year I will be able to come and experience it. I adore vintage style and I live it every day. 

I’m really excited to be talking to Dandy Wellington, although he is so fabulous I’m not sure how I’ll keep my cool.

Other than that, I will be out and about taking in the sights, the outfits, exploring all of the wonderful workshops, and of course taking many photos of gorgeous motor cars!

As someone who is LGBTQ+ and deaf, how does the ‘Vintage Style NOT Vintage Values’ message resonate with you?

I couldn’t really be any other way as a gay and disabled woman, after all. There are a lot of misconceptions that the public have about people who wear vintage clothing, one being that we fully embrace all aspects of the era our clothes come from — of course this isn’t the case.

I obviously can’t speak for everyone, but I’ve personally found the [vintage] community to be one of the most inclusive and welcoming, especially amongst younger online groups, and I think that's really wonderful.

It’s great to see people making different accommodations for things. For example, 'here’s how this style can be adapted if you are a wheelchair user’ or being more inclusive of different hair textures when it comes to hair tutorials.

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What do you love most about the vintage community and vintage style?

The freedom to express myself!

So, what will you be wearing to Revival?

I tend to go for the same (or similar) silhouettes a lot. For me, a nipped-in waist and a big skirt with petticoats just does it for me, everytime.

Funnily enough, there’s also an aspect of it being helpful for my disabilities, which you might not think about when it comes to clothing, but we’ll discuss that more in my panel — you’ll just have to come and see!

Find Jessica at the Revive & Thrive Village where she’ll be in conversation, talking all things vintage style, with vintage activist, bandleader and this year’s Revival moderator, Dandy Wellington.

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