Meet fabulous  Vintage Queen no 142, Donna from East Sussex. Her passion for vintage dominates her entire life from some amazing experiences to owning her own vintage shop.

My name is Donna Grimaldi , I’m 36 and I’m the owner of Bobby & Dandy in Hove, East Sussex. The shop opened in 2012 and specialises in vintage and heritage clothing for guys and gals, it was even finalist last year for the Venus Natwest Awards ‘Best New Business’ 2013.

I have been interested in all things vintage for the last twenty years, with a particular love for mid- century style, particularly the Fifties – the fashion, make-up and glamour of course, as well as the films, interiors and furnishing, photography, advertising and automobiles!

As a wearer of almost head-to-toe vintage on a daily basis, I enjoy the level of self- expression and individuality enabled through such clothing.  As these clothes get rarer and rarer, the thrill of the find is even more exciting. I am always on the lookout for quirky, interesting and classic pieces for Bobby & Dandy (keeping some for myself!). My greatest weakness is the Fifties printed cotton day dress, I just can’t get enough of them!

When I was younger, I thought that dressing in a non-mainstream way might be a phase I’d grow out of, it is clear though, that it has become a way of life and a part of me, so I can’t visualise my attraction to all things vintage to ever fade.

Being so passionate about things from past eras has given me a varied and creative path, in which I have been involved in lots of fantastic events and activities. I have toured as showgirl and costumier with a Thirties-style traveling circus, modelled for vintage lingerie brand Ophelia Fancy, been a member of The Chap magazine crew and a magazine cover girl, danced in a vintage- style tap trio, performed at Goodwood Revival and on the catwalk of The Vintage Festival, learnt how to Jive and Lindy Hop, and my house has been featured in an interiors book. My latest challenge has been taking my online vintage clothing business onto the high street!

Pictures: Russ Bell photography, Rue Grimaldi by Drew Vaughan, b&w gingham dress photo by Mat Keller of Southern Retro

 

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