This year marks the 75th anniversary of VE day and for us vintage loving guys and gals, it’s an important day in the calendar to not only honour those who gave up their lives fighting for us, but to also get on our vintage glad rags and celebrate our love of times gone by.
Melanie Calland and handsome escort, husband Frankie
Victory in Europe Day is a time where Brits celebrate the formal acceptance by the Allies of World War II, of Nazi Germany's unconditional surrender of its armed forces. As this years celebration fell in the same working week as the traditional May day Bank Holiday, the government changed the date of the Bank Holiday to VE day itself, so that the public could commemorate the day with their families and neighbours.
All sorts of exciting plans were put in motion across the country, with festivals and fetes being advertised. However, with the UK in lockdown as the Covid-19 pandemic sweeps the world, plans of street parties, festivals and village celebrations have now been put on hold. Yet us plucky Brits are never the type to be defeated and so thousands of retro lovers are planning unique celebrations to make sure that they still get to honour this special anniversary.
1940s aficionado Yvonne Somrani is a regular at 40s and vintage events and is well known for her stunning authentic outfits. Her and her friends, known as the ‘Strolling Six’ had big plans for the day but now those have had to change. Never one to be defeated though, she is still planning a packed day – dressed in her fabulous forties finest of course. She said: “At 11am its the three-minute silence, which we'll all observe. Then all of my 40s friends are having a vintage tea party in their front garden or drive. We are all trimming up the front with flags and bunting and getting out our vintage style picnic tables, best china and having a mock ‘street party’ for the household. We will be having Corned Beef or Spam sandwiches, and a sneaky gin out of the teapot. Of course, we will be playing 40s music all day and having a dance too.” She also told me that Facebook is going live with 40s style entertainers all day, from 10am until 10pm, so if you wanted to get in the vintage spirit, you can tune in too!
Stalwart of the rockabilly and vintage scene, Verena Love is planning to decorate her house with bunting and flags, like many others across the UK. She then plans to change into her USAAF WASP uniform for the 11am Churchill speech, to commemorate this historic moment. Her afternoon will be spent having a picnic afternoon tea in the front garden, with her music playing and a friend of hers, Simon (see below) has even promised to do a full drive by in his uniform and 1944 Ford Jeep, with an air raid siren soundtrack.
Simon Prout, friend of Verena, waiting to start his drive by!
Many communities are also planning socially distanced street parties or online celebrations, where people can enjoy the day but stick to the government guidelines.
To celebrate this historic day, we have curated some of Retropeepers' most patriotic frames into this article, as we fly the flag for the selfless generation who gave up so much, so that we can enjoy the freedom we have today. Here are our top VE day patriotic pics.
First up are these Anglo American Optical Groucho Round Glasses in ravishing red (£115.00). Not only are these a totally statement piece but they are incredibly sympathetic to the 30s and 40s style and would be the perfect shape to recreate this look.
For a glamorous pin up style, Hollywood take on the theme, why not try our Fifi Cat Eye Glasses in indigo/white (£125.00)? They’re in such a gorgeous shade and will brighten up any outfit. The more rounded cat eye shape means that they are not as extreme as some frames and will suit a range of face shapes.
Finally, it’s set to be a scorcher, so pop on a pair of our Betty Cat Eye Sunglasses in Pearl (£16.00) to add a touch of glamour to your outfit. However to celebrate, we are sure you will look fantastic and fly the flag high for our fallen heroes.