Old Tat Magazine

Where fashion and art come together to celebrate a love for old tat.

24 hrs with a Vintage Seller, Madam Popoff Vintage

I’m Deborah, and I have been selling vintage for ten years now. I had my son in 1998 and due to being a single parent and having no money, yet having a passion for fashion – I attended local jumble sales to get not only my son’s clothes but also for my own fashion fix, be it vintage or modern.
After a few years I realised that I had accumulated a vast collection of vintage that I had bought just because I loved it (even if it didn’t fit!). Then a friend suggested I stick some on an online auction site. So I listed a pair of vintage Levis 201s that I paid 30p for.. I got £50 in return! This helped start Madam Popoff Vintage
After seven years of online trading I had moved to the Kent coast. One day I came across a lovely shop in the Old Town area of Margate where I met a sweet girl who needed someone to sublet the shop. I pondered for a split second and decided to go for it and voilà! 3 years later – Madam Popoff Vintage is still trading in Margate!
I love all clothes, I really do! I love the way a girl can make a statement without opening her mouth! I love the way clothes can tell the people around you who you are, and the way they can tell an outrageous lie. I love the way clothes can disguise the worst in us, and also bring out the best.
I love to juxtaposition items together, things that on paper would not go together, yet strangely work when thrown on. I like to mix decades, styles, fabrics, party dresses with brogues, trashy jumpsuits with glam faux fur capes etc. I’m also lucky to be based by the sea so I take advantage of this by shooting a lot of our photos with our wonderful seaside town of Margate as the backdrop.




Wake up early to a face full of dog courtesy of Kobe the shop dog. Get up, shower and decide which costume is best for the day from my extensive vintage wardrobe.


Take Kobe for a walk along the beach in Ramsgate – seaside life is just the best! Make sure that my son knows to empty dishwasher and vacuum whilst I’m at workm Get a grunt which I presume is a yes.


Open shop as have to style and shoot our model Monica in the haul of vintage Ossie Clark dresses we acquired a few days ago for our Etsy shop along with some other beautiful pieces. We like to style our shoots with modern and on trend accessories to make our vintage wearable and not look like fancy dress. Monica totally rocks the Ossies, and also the plunge front Yuki – even though she was getting lustful looks from the local men!


Shoot over and done with, now we have a client come in needing help with her S/S campaign being shot next month. We got into our stockroom downstairs and source some amazing ’70s “DollyBird” nighties and underwear which looks straight out of a carry on film and that will look perfect with her designs. Client leaves happy and we cannot wait to join the shoot in September – not only that but she is also attending a film premiere with her actor boyfriend so decides to treat herself with the plunge front Yuki dress – amazing!


Lady comes in with some items she has had since the ’70s including a beautiful Vintage Biba Moss Crepe dress from Big Biba in High Street Kensington, plus some of her grandmother’s dresses from the ’30s – swoon. Automatically Instagram the haul and sell a ’50s duster coat straight away. We tend to cherry pick only the best vintage for our clients – none of this “buy by the carton” carp for you babes!


Facebook message asking if I am available to do an interview on film for a show about luck by an uber glam performer from East London wanting to try out a new show down here in Margate. I’m totally up for it! Arrange for him and the camera girl to come in a few days – make mental note to wear something fabulous!


See online that a film I was costume designer for is nearly ready and that i’m lined up to design costumes for the next one. Super excited as I really love working on film as its a totally different life to working in the shop. Looking forward to getting the next script and then working on it.

4pm Quick flick through September issues of glossy magazines to give myself an idea of what trends to keep an eye on whilst buying vintage to keep our stock not only exclusive but also on trend.


Home time. No time to rest as it’s a quick in and out as Michasia (from Little M Clothing) and I have been invited to a preview at our new and exciting pleasure park – Dreamland. Decide on wearing something a bit more practical than last time we went as even though my Ossie Clark maxi and Terry De Havilland platforms looked fab, they weren’t really practical! Choose a ’70s psychedelic maxi, ’70s leather biker jacket and an H&M black tube top and silver brogues from Russell and Bromley.


Brr, glad I chose to wear my jacket as we went on the Big Wheel – it’s not too warm when you hit the top but boy, what a beautiful view of Margate. Top a great evening off by being the queen of the Roller disco… even if I did accidentally use a child as a brake to stop and knocked him off his feet (soz!).


Home… check emails and social media to plan next day then it’s off to bed. Goodnight!


Author: oldtatmag

Old Tat magazine is a British niche bi-annual print publication featuring fashion, art and the miscellaneous celebrating all things tatty with a love for clutter. Print magazine available in stores now! Editor: Loo Loo Rose We accept submissions and welcome contributors. Email: oldtatmagazine@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter: @OldTatMag

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