The Angels Sale Unfolded

The Angels Sale Unfolded

I will write a fuller report later and it has taken me all night to wrangle this video out of my slowly delapidated PC (I’ve had to solve something called a COM Surrogate error…???) and the footage didn’t turn out how I really wanted but here’s a rough idea of the whole shebang…

I’m sure the people who went (and there were literally thousands…) will have their own tales to tell (and apparently they also tales about me to tell…) but let me lay the facts out straight before I delve into the finer details…
-I arrived at around 8ish and yes, was granted access to the saleroom early before everyone else… however I was NOT allowed to touch the clothes or even look inside the boxes. The point of letting me in early was so that I could film people rushing into the sale when the doors opened.  Alas, that didn’t happen…  What actually happened was I went in at around 8.45 ish but people had already been allowed to come in and start rifling which was a bit of a bummer…

-My priority was to film the proceedings that took place which alas I didn’t do as well as I could but that was my number one priority… and not the clothes.  So many people expressed their woes about not being able to come to the sale and I really did want to report on it well to paint a picture of it.  People might have seen that I didn’t actually go through the clothes that much…more about what I got later…

P.S. I’m feeling a bit cranky after wrangling it out with readers and PC all in one night (I can only deal with one or the other at a time…).  I hope you guys know where I’m coming from because I’ve been sitting here rambling about it for the past five minutes when I could be rambling about other more useful things… like the fact that my head has a peculiar egg shape, and thus making it redundant for hats…

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  1. KD

    2008-12-07 at 1:09 AM

    EGADS!!! I wish I could have gone!!!! Those teens remind me of some of my peers – loving Facebook. I loved the blonde girl in the middle’s outfit. I’m 14 but I don’t have a Facebook account and don’t plan to get one. Blogging provides me with enough procrastination material as it is. I can’t wait to see what you got!

  2. littlemissellie

    2008-12-07 at 1:11 AM

    Wow that looks fun but really hectic!

  3. Anonymous

    2008-12-07 at 1:11 AM

    I wish I was as fashionable at 15 as the group of girls at the end of that video! I got there at 8.30 and was greeted by the massive queue (I couldn’t spot us on your video so we must have still been waaaay back). And when we finally got inside I was very disappointed after all the hype. But after seeing that video I understand that all the good stuff was snapped up by the lady with the bag train! Didn’t see you though Susie

  4. Top Bird

    2008-12-07 at 1:20 AM

    Holy moley – what a palarva. Great round-up and video of the proceedings, but I’m dying to hear more about your thoughts on it overall. Was it worth it?
    I’m still kinda kicking myself for not going (simply for the spectacle and being part of something so exciting), but I was feeling waay too sick/tired at 6am when my alarm went off. BUT – I went to BUST’s Christmas Craftacular later in the day and it was fantastic. Will write a wee report on my blog tomorrow.
    Now, my dear, I think you need to REST! XX

  5. Nick D.

    2008-12-07 at 1:22 AM

    that is a nice little documentation of the event! (i actually see myself briefly in your video lol). nice job.
    didn’t really get much stuff though ’cause people were pushing so hard and the clothes were kind of disgusting, but i’m happy with the bag i came out with.

  6. haps

    2008-12-07 at 1:29 AM

    I also came early like before 9 saw the queue and thought no way!!! I know I wasnt the only one, I was so annoyed bu then we went to oxford street and got some amazing mens jeans and stuff from Uniqlo and other shops on sale!
    Thanks for the video! opened my eye to vintage (sans fag stains!!)

  7. Anonymous

    2008-12-07 at 2:34 AM

    You had to pay for the bags…and if you saw nothing, you were up a creek? Sneeeeeaky! Horrible.
    I am not regretting skipping it. I have friends who work there, I will have to ask them about this.

  8. Brandon

    2008-12-07 at 2:38 AM

    Oh thank you thank you thank you for posting this. I felt the comaraderie just watching the video. Shame i missed it, i did send my sister off to it though, but i have a feeling she didnt go. Anywho I can’t wait to see the things you got oh and those were AMAZING!!!!!!! boots that the guy ended up with W O W! thank you Susie!!!!!! (ok enough with the exclamation marks)

  9. Rhiannon

    2008-12-07 at 2:40 AM

    Oh wow, I’m so glad you got that on video! I have to say I was super jealous that I couldn’t go before but I don’t know how much shopping I’d be able to do in those crowds either . . . Thousands of people!!!!

  10. Nick D.

    2008-12-07 at 3:03 AM

    click on me for my own tale 🙂 nx

  11. Anonymous

    2008-12-07 at 3:06 AM

    cool vid, the sale looked massive crazy. umm this is kind of going off in a tanget, but every since i’ve started reading your blog i don’t think i’ve ever heard your voice. just thought i’d point that out. you sound really cool though.

  12. SOS!

    2008-12-07 at 3:20 AM

    Aw miss bubble, you must be exhausted! Just looking at that queue made me feel tired. The sale looks insane, in a good way though. I wish I was in London to go to this, it would have been amazing to look at both the victorian, and 30’s-50’s era. Pretty sure I would have came out with a trolly of bags.. We must have a looksie at what you got!! x

  13. deexdeexdreamer

    2008-12-07 at 3:37 AM

    Ahhhh i actually was around the Ikea in Wembley today and kept randomly seeing people with Angels’ bags! It looked awesome everyone seemed really buzzy + excited…
    For those who are upset though, at least in (london) vintage terms the loot was cheap as chips. If you’ve even got a coat in amongst it, you’ve got your money’s worth and the rest is just gravy (chipshop analogies, oy)…

  14. aa

    2008-12-07 at 4:16 AM

    Oh my gosh. I’d trade my New Zealand accent for yours any day!

  15. Jen

    2008-12-07 at 5:42 AM

    ooh man, i totally know what you mean about the egg head…My head never has that nice side profile look. Hats look retarded on me if I don’t stuff the back of the hat…

  16. mybeaumonde

    2008-12-07 at 6:44 AM

    looks like a vision of dreams and nightmares…

  17. Eli

    2008-12-07 at 6:50 AM

    Im very intrigued to see what bag size you got and what you put in it!

  18. The Six Six Sick Girls

    2008-12-07 at 8:55 AM

    Even though my husband has just made fun of me for watching a video of people at a sale, as if I don’t do enough shopping in real life, it was quite fun to live vicariously through you, without the added stress of having to stand in a line and fight with loads of people!

  19. Lola

    2008-12-07 at 9:14 AM

    I was in the queue for 3 hours and there was nothing when I got in, but thats my fault I didnt get there till ten, I knew I should have got up early. Susie, Cat’s a Tw@t (ooh I rhyme!)not queuing is your privlege and you are definatly providing a service, where would we be wthout your blog?

  20. alicepleasance

    2008-12-07 at 9:47 AM

    Susie, you makes my heart cry! That’s insane (in a positive manner of course!) Oh, how I wish I live in a country where at least there are thrift stores and affordable vintage stores!

  21. Jamie

    2008-12-07 at 10:03 AM

    I got there at 7am and was only a couple of hundred back in the queue. Think I got to a few boxes before anyone else and got some amazing dresses in the sixties section. Once a few people had gone through a box though, all the good stuff would have been gone. If it was nice I just put it in the bag. Got about 20 dresses, 15 of which fit and I’ll wear! A few need some mending but will be fine once i’ve done that- they are ex-costume after all.Also everything I picked up was quite large-good for me as I’m tall. Don’t know if much would have fitted smaller ladies. Good value and worth getting up at 6am for!

  22. Louise

    2008-12-07 at 10:21 AM

    oh seeing what they all got im now so bummed i didnt do better
    we left at like 5:00am and with the tubes being all messed up by the time we got there i was so knackered i dont think i rummages hard enough
    totally regret not doing what jamie (above) did, shes right about all the 60s dressed being snapped up strait away
    despite that the items i got were defiantly worth more than the ¬£20 the bag cost, so it was completely worth it 🙂

  23. ivania(love-aesthetics)

    2008-12-07 at 10:23 AM

    wooow what a crazy event! all those people!! I can understand there wasnt enough goodstuff for everyone.
    who is this cat? I’m sure that if she was asked to go in first to film, she would be more than happy to do so (like you said)
    but who wouldn’t! Its so unfair to blaim someone for a well earned privilege

  24. Alicia - Sea Of Ghosts

    2008-12-07 at 10:33 AM

    Ahhhh I’ve never heard your voice before! You know how you read things and you hear it in your own voice in your head? It’s always so weird to hear other people when you’ve read their words in your own voice for so long. I love your accent.
    The sale looked really intense, no surprise you were so exhausted by the end!

  25. Mademoiselle Robot

    2008-12-07 at 10:59 AM

    I decided at the last minute NOT TO go, and I am glad, I don’t think my old bones would have appreciated all that queuing and all that rifling through boxes with ten gazillion people. I am pretty excited to see what you found though!

  26. Mrs Gorman

    2008-12-07 at 11:21 AM

    I stayed at home and picked up a floral thirties tea dress and a Ralph Laurel seventies blazer for under ¬£30 on Ebay…
    I must be getting old.

  27. Claire

    2008-12-07 at 11:46 AM

    I arrived at 9.30am (wanted to get there much earlier but the tube wasn’t running)I was greeted, along with 100s of others on the same train by a man saying that people had been queueing since midday the day before and after a 3-4hr wait I wouldn’t get anything decent. What a waste of time!

  28. Jen

    2008-12-07 at 12:00 PM

    omg maheme!
    i made the mistake of going with a hangover and i don’t think i was at my rummaging best tbh.
    Spent most of the time feeling somewhat ill and trying not to fall over.
    I was disappointed that the didn’t sort by piece instead of era (would have made more sense in my opinion)
    There was a lot of great mens stuff there i felt, but being a fairly small girl even the “oversize” its just to big, was really sad i couldn’t find a military jacket in amongst it all 🙁
    When we got there at about 8:15 (after sprinting from the station) Its was literally about 10 minutes after the que tripled.

  29. mimi devereaux

    2008-12-07 at 12:02 PM

    Did you get anything? I was suprised at the condition of a lopt of the stuff – sun damaged, moth eaten, torn to shreds etc.
    I arrived shortly after you and to be honest thought you were taunting us with your camera circuits up and down the queue and the filming from the handbag section. I was all geared up to leave a condemning comment. hahaha. Alas no, thanks for the split second glance at myself in the vid too.

  30. dressed and pressed

    2008-12-07 at 12:09 PM

    I am so glad I didn’t go. I don’t do rummaging with crowds at all well. Or queueing. Looks like people had fun and got swag though.

  31. Dooz

    2008-12-07 at 12:11 PM

    I got there at 9:38 and got so scared by the mile long queue…a guy in a yellow jacket told us the wait was 3-4 hours and there probably won’t be anything decent left by the time we got in. So, obviously, I left! I was so disappointed because I was really looking forward to getting some 50’s dresses. But judging by the manic crowds I don’t think I would have got anything decent anyway. Argh how did people manage to shove such ridiculous amounts of stuff in their bags. Can’t wait to see what you bought though Susie! Did you go alone or with your bf?

  32. Hapsical London Fashion Blog

    2008-12-07 at 12:22 PM

    Awww, don’t worry about the haters.
    Even if you had got *VIP* treatment (even though you didn’t!), so what – I think you would’ve deserved it, having spent so long building up this incredible blog and being the xth most influential person in fashion in London accorrding to the ES mag!
    What annoys me is when celebrities, who have no fashion ‘credentials’, get VIP treatment (like at the H&M CDG launch) when they really don’t deserve it.

  33. Natalie

    2008-12-07 at 12:29 PM

    I’m glad I went, just for the experience, at least I know what to expect if there ever is a next time. And I won’t forgot some of the things I saw/heard in the queue. For people watching it was amazing and there was a definite feeling of camaraderie. However after queuing 3 hours, I struggled to even fill a ¬£10 bag, all the good stuff was gone. I’m about to upload my post about it.
    I saw you leaving as I was on the final straight actually but you looked like you’d had enough so did not want to disturb you!

  34. John

    2008-12-07 at 12:59 PM

    Thanks go to Susie for advertising this to us, what an exhausting morning it was. I managed to get some nice boots (Men’s size 12.5, rare enough finding my size in the shops)… however after watching the video and spending too many hours rumbling through piles of clothes, here are some suggestions, should Angels ever do something like this again:
    1) Restrict Everyone to 1 Bag
    I didn’t really feel that it was in the spirit of the event for some people to have bought about 10 bags and stuffed them full of all the good items straight away. Everyone came to find something good. Fair enough, if you are in the queue early you get first pick, but buying everything doesn’t make it much fun for everyone else.
    2) Next time, hang everything up. It might have been orderly at the very beginning (first 5 minutes) but after that there were just piles of stuff everywhere, impossible to sort through everything without causing more mess. And anything that was slightly ripped would surely have been destroyed once it had been pulled through the piles of other garments.
    3) Don’t squash everyone in at once. The video Susie posted made it look fairly calm but post 10 o clock inside it was manic, impossible to move around. If people were limited to one bag then there wouldn’t be such a frenzy inside.
    Just some suggestions, I doubt this will happen again in a while. Angels must be rolling in it now.
    RSC did a similar event in Stratford-upon-Avon a while back, on a smaller scale. It was much more organised and it made the whole experience more enjoyable. I really feel for the people who turned up at 9+ and queued for hours only to get in and find a load of tat. I think a lot of stuff is going to end up on eBay too…

  35. Mouse

    2008-12-07 at 1:06 PM

    We (me, my boyfriend and our flatmate and his girlfriend) got up at 6 and ended up getting there at 8.30. We would have got there earlier but the Bakerloo line was suspended in bits because – and I don’t know if they told the later people this – there was somebody UNDER a train…The Underground warden at Paddington asked why everyone was still desperately checking if they could still get to North Wembley! Weird.
    We got in at 9.30, and by that point it was pretty chock-full inside. I think the vast majority of the stock was a bit duff – and what would have been the good stuff was snapped up by the people who went in first and bought about ten million bags.
    I don’t know about anyone else, but usually when I go to sales I get a nervous feeling in my stomach…which I had as we were queuing up for this! Although it might have had something to do with the slow loss of blood and warmth to my toes. Anyway, I lost that feeling pretty soon after we went in (rummage around Victorian and 50s yielded sparse results) and had a pretty good rifle around 80s-90s in the end. I can’t tell you how much old St. Michaels (M&S) and BHS stuff I picked up…I can’t decide whether this is ‘cheat’ vintage or not?
    Weirdly all the stuff I filled my bag with was the kind of thing you could find in a charity shop (NOT a vintage shop) i.e. big woolly Nicole Farhi jumper, yellow jersey t-shirt dress, etc. Probably because I gave up on the classically ‘Vintage’ sections. BUT my boyfriend meanwhile was picking over the uniforms section and got an ace pair of distressed boots, wool greatcoat, and a few other jackets. I think this definitely warranted the ¬£50 bag he bought (even if I was hoodwinked into schlepping it round after him while he rummaged).
    Sorry for the ramble. Susie and Steve, we saw you, like a lot of other people it seems, but was not quite brave enough to battle my way through the crowds to say hi…
    Does anyone else think it would have been a lot less hoardy and bogged down if stuff was on hangers and rails? Albeit more time consuming for Angels.

  36. jeanie

    2008-12-07 at 1:15 PM

    I’m soooo sooo sooo glad i just left and didnt fight it out i had great plans of buying every plaid shirt i could and some mazing boots for my big feet but it was a 4 hour wait and i knew everyone would get all the big slouchy dresses and shirts first booooo next time illl get there a week

  37. a la mode

    2008-12-07 at 2:17 PM

    I turned up a bit late (11am) and the queue was absolutely horrendous! I had to get my bus home at two so there was no time to queue what so ever, instead I had to just call it a day before it had even begun, and get the train home surrounded by girls and boys all with handfulls of vintage finds. such a sad day!

  38. Cate

    2008-12-07 at 2:22 PM

    Susie, this is an amazing video! I’ve never seen a sale like this before – they don’t do them where I live 🙁 and wow. It’s CRAZY. But I would have gone there. Vintage. I love vintage. There was so much stuff! I think even if you were standing in the queue for hours, you wouldn’t have to worry about all the good stuff being gone because there was so MUCH stuff, endless amounts of clothes! I really enjoyed watching the video and I must tell you that I like your accent! ^^ But I agree with Mouse, it would have been better if the stuff had been on hangers and rails… But well, you can’t have everything.
    Oh, and you were allowed to enter before the others to film the event? That is to say you were something of an ‘official’ filmer? Cool. And did you buy anything?

  39. cat

    2008-12-07 at 2:38 PM

    I am sorry if i sounded rude before that was certainly not my intention. I did not realise you were there to film so I am sorry if my comments were taken to heart I would hate to think I had upset someone that is totaly not in my nature.
    I was really happy at the sale and got some amazing things but I was queing from just after 7, clothes were not great but the books and jewelery amazing.
    And for those who said some nasty things (wendy B), really is that necessary, how do you know if I am ‘fashionable’ or not.

  40. Jojo

    2008-12-07 at 3:13 PM

    I for one am not at my best in the morning so I rolled out of bed painfully and got there about 11am and the queue was still as long as the one in the video, and still ridiculously cold, but I figured I did not get up that early on a Saturday for no reason!
    By the time I got in I had lost the will to live and energy to rummage so my friend and I initially tried not to get killed by crazy bargain hunters for the first hour, and by 2pm the 20s/30s/40s room was starting to get cleaned up as it was practically empty (we sought refuge in this room!) but we stayed to pick out the best from a bad bunch without so many frenzied shoppers.
    I managed to find some coral-coloured harem pants, a bright yellow leotard (sound gross much?!)and some old-school high-waisted black skinnies etc without my hair being pulled. To reinforce the bad condition of many of the clothes, my friend managed to rummage through a box of ‘sticky’ clothes, which was amusing!
    It was well worth the experience – even though I wasn’t there for crazy bargain hunting like most other people there, I managed to find some good pieces all amounting to about ¬£1 each! Would go again but might not risk my life by getting there later and having a good old rummage into things others have missed.

  41. Janavi

    2008-12-07 at 3:15 PM

    There is going to be a YSL sale/auction in NY this week, and after seeing this video I’m wondering if it will be worth the hassle! But Susie you did a great job at documenting the event.

  42. Sarah Edwina Rose

    2008-12-07 at 3:17 PM

    I arrived at 9.30 to a laughing man in an orange jacket talking of a 4hr wait. I couldn’t even see the end of the queue so turned straight back and went home.
    Bit annoyed to have woken at dawn on a Sat for nothing, but when I heard people had camped out I couldn’t be too cross. I clearly wasn’t that dedicated!!

  43. b

    2008-12-07 at 4:27 PM

    I got there at 8:30am and although the queue was miles long, I thought it moved in fairly quickly. I made a bee-line for the 1930’s room only to get squashed by tonnes of people trying to get into the room. I managed to get pushed into a box and gave up on that room. I only bought 1 ¬£20 bag but managed to stuff it with a military coat, some ankle boots and loads of jumpers and scarves. I got myself a Herm√©s scarf in the mix but can’t really comment on its authenticity…pretty though!

  44. ce

    2008-12-07 at 4:48 PM

    Ha ha I got there at 9 because of the tube and thought that despite the long queue there sure would be lots left by the time I got in. But alas, all I got was a blazer and a skirt. Although I managed to put together a quite decent book bag, clothes were a complete waste of time and money.

  45. calamityjem

    2008-12-07 at 4:58 PM

    I’m thankful that my flu stopped me from going now cause I would have probably ended up killing someone or atleast giving them a Glasgow kiss, especially if I happened to be pushed into a box, poor you ‘B’…mayhem! I would have given one of my lungs to browse the boxes all to my self but hell I just couldn’t have done hours of waiting around in the cold & then have to act like a “vintage hunter gathering Xena warrior princess” to get to the goodies! Hopefully some of the stuff that the vintage gathering pro’s came away with will filter down to hip markets, boutiques & eBay before long!

  46. The Fashion Assistant

    2008-12-07 at 5:24 PM

    I just wanna say: ‘THANK GOODNESS I DIDN’T GO!!!!’ Watching a clip of the hideous-continious queues had chocked me.

  47. Penny

    2008-12-07 at 8:12 PM

    eee! i spotted myself in the queue at 58 seconds! haha
    i did see your boyfriend and you but i was too shy to say hi!

  48. lisa

    2008-12-07 at 8:39 PM

    Wow, it looks like it was quite the event! Good job capturing it with the video.

  49. jaimetonstyle

    2008-12-07 at 9:48 PM

    i saw you! looking super cool as usual!

  50. Little Miss Random

    2008-12-07 at 10:12 PM

    Great video – especially given how quickly you put this up!
    I got there around 9.45 am (was delayed thanks to an incident on the Bakerloo line) and, like Dooz, heard the steward announce it would be a three to four hour queue. So I left and made my way to Jumble and Pearls at the Albert and Pearl instead. I may have ended up spending a bit more cash there, but, at least, I didn’t have to queue up for ages on end and bought stuff that actually suited me.
    Still, I’m glad the sale was worth it to at least a couple of people. I thought queueing up overnight was something that was only done back in East Asia (where I come from so I know what I’m talking about)!

  51. londonlulu

    2008-12-07 at 10:13 PM

    Love that pinky/purple lace dress! Great finds! Alas we got there at 8.45 am and queued for 3 hours to get in and all of the good stuff had been snapped up. Felt it could have been organised better, esp with the bags sitch. My other half wasn’t interested in clothes, just military stuff but still had to buy a bag (¬£10) to get in but then had to pay extra for shields. I couldn’t fill my ¬£20 bag so we swapped bags and I managed to get a ¬£20 refund. Managed to get a Moschino Cheap & Chic skirt 🙂 and denim flares that fit really well.

  52. Lisa

    2008-12-07 at 11:51 PM

    Hi Susie,
    I love this blog, and thank you for filming this. I live in Tokyo, and there’s no way I could have gone to this sale, but I’ve enjoyed the vicarious viewing lots.

  53. Saskia

    2008-12-08 at 2:35 PM

    omg i can’t believe it!
    did people really carry ten or fifteen bags out? that’s like buying every size of a comme des garcons for H&M piece just to sell it via ebay ten minutes later and thus refusing others to buy the stuff…
    glad i missed it.

  54. leigh

    2008-12-08 at 4:12 PM

    can i just say, i thoroughly enjoy your videos? they’re wonderful!

  55. mr

    2008-12-08 at 5:14 PM

    oh so you paid for the bag and then filled it- I thought you had to pay for the bag, just for the privilege of getting to go inside and then pay for every item on top of that. Oh I’m so dumb, but I couldn’t make it there anyway. oh well!

  56. Rebekka

    2008-12-08 at 6:33 PM

    Great video, thank you for giving those of us who couldn’t be there a taste of what it was like. I wish I was there!

  57. Songy

    2008-12-09 at 1:20 AM

    You captured the sense of urgency really well. So job well done!
    You must be using Vista. Is that the case?
    Wish I was there with you shooting the video.. not so much shopping as I can’t really do well in that kind of environment. 😛

  58. idil vice

    2008-12-09 at 9:12 PM

    Well, I am glad that nobody got stumped and on died that way, as it happened here in the United States somewhere in the early wee hours of Black Friday, the most important shopping day for Americans after their celebrated Thanks Giving Day. Well done!!

  59. charlotte

    2008-12-10 at 1:47 AM

    i was one of the lucky of 20 people that was able to go to the preview the week before.I had the place to myself and was a whole different experience.not trying to make anyone jealous or anything.x

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