The Reading List: The Vintage Fashion Journal

Illustrated by Niki Pilkington, this journal is designed to be the perfect accompaniment to the whimsical vintage girl, who spends time in flea markets, art galleries and old-fashioned tearooms.  There are a lot of these Manic Pixie Dream Girls floating around the place; some more dedicated than others, some only being Manic Pixies on a part-time basis (old-fashioned tearooms are the only places I can get my sugar high on, I swear). I can easily imagine Zooey Deschanel using this notebook to dream up more perplexing questions for Siri, then sighing over her Darjeeling and looking through her fringe into the middle distance.

The first impression you get holding this notebook is that it is pretty – very, very pretty. It is designed to shoot a laser beam right at the weak spot in every person who goes slightly squishy over cute things. The cloth-bound (!) hardback (!!) is illustrated with overtly whimsical vintage accessories(!?!!**!?! *faints*). A 35mm camera here, a quilted purse there. A perfume bottle spritzes dangerously close to a lace collar. It is all tied up with a pretty red ribbon.

There’s a little bit of everything for a stationary lover; pages are ruled, crossed, left blank or covered with Pilkington’s dreamy dreamy dream girls. If there’s one aspect of the notebook that hits a bum note, it’s the inclusion of ‘inspirational’ quotes from the likes of Chanel and Schiaparelli, which are a tad contrived (but also quite sparse in number).

The illustrations, however, are gorgeous. If Pilkington’s romantic but bright designs look familiar, it might be because you’ve seen them in the likes of Topshop, Ted Baker, Elle and Nylon.  According to her blog, she’s also working on a collaboration with DIY Nails guru Tammy – now that I can’t wait to get my hands on.

If you’re a vintage lover looking for a notebook that elevates list making from mundanity to, um, FUNdanity, then this is a good ‘un.  It would also make a lovely Christmas gift (am I allowed to start thinking about Christmas now?).

The Vintage Fashion Journal is published by Laurence King and will be available in September.

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