Monday, October 19, 2009

So much vintage, my head is spinning ...

This past weekend was the bi-annual Love Vintage Fair at Canterbury Racecourse; by far and away the largest and most eagerly anticipated event on the vintage clothing calendar. In the past I've rocked up on a Saturday morning, when the Fair resembles Tokyo's Shinjuku Station on a busy Monday morning, but this time around I decided to make the journey on Friday evening. The opening night crowd was far more manageable and many of the keen shoppers were suitably attired in their best vintage gear; ladies, men and children all looked wonderful . My dear friend Cath and I got an early look at many of the amazing vintage finds that were no doubt snapped up by the time Sunday afternoon rolled around.

A vintage clothing fair is a little bit like a mall for vintage lovers, except unlike a mall your chances of seeing the same thing twice are almost nil. There is usually something for every taste and every style of collector; from those who love antique hand-made lingerie, to crafty types who collect vintage fabrics and ephemera to sculpt into lovely new things to ladies like me who are suckers for pretty 50's, 60's and 70's dresses. There is so much to tempt. I love meeting new vintage vendors I haven't encountered before and bonding over our passion for beautiful bits and pieces from the past. The whole evening really did have my head spinning and my wallet yawning as money spontaneously ran-out.

Truth be told, I didn't go too crazy, as my recent move has already had my bank account shedding tears. I bought a Christmas gift for my Mum (who is one of those crafty types, clever thing) and the cute pink plastic brooch I'm wearing above.

What really impressed me at this year's Fair though, was the quality of the vintage hats on display, perfect for the current Spring Racing season. I met this wonderful mother and daughter from Adelaide - Briony Nottage - who create one-of-a-kind hats from vintage fabrics (they also create teddy bears!). There were several I was sorely tempted by. I also met Jacinta Sanders, an enthusiastic collector and vendor devoted to the art of millinery. I had come across her great E-bay store shop circa 239 before, but the hats she had available in the flesh were even more gorgeous. And in her case I couldn't resist. I purchased a very glam hat from the late 1940's which I'm keeping under wraps as I may decide to wear it for my wedding. Meanwhile I keep trying it on when the betrothed is out of the house.
Here are just a couple of the hats you can bid for at Jacinta's e-bay store right now ...


A wonderful coincidence for the evening was meeting new author Charlotte Smith, owner of the Darnell Collection, on the same day I received my advance copy of the book from the publisher. Dreaming of Dior, which arrived gift-wrapped in fashion illustrations, is being published by HarperCollins on the 1st November. The gift-wrap - for media and select retailers - is an inspired marketing move and I love the cover treatment, which features a classic New Look Dior dress overlaid with black felt.

Charlotte and I posed with our books by her stall, which featured some of her priceless vintage clothing collection, inherited from her American quaker godmother Doris Darnell. The collection is too precious to be for sale and Charlotte told me she is now continually adding to it. It includes more than three thousand pieces dating from 1790 to 1995, many of which are designer couture made available to fashion design students to draw inspiration from.

The Darnell Collection is apparently well-known to vintage afficiandos in the US, but they may not know that it is now residing in Australia with Doris' god-daughter. When Charlotte inherited the gorgeous gowns they arrived with catalogue notes which told the story of each dress and it's original owner. It is these stories which form the basis of this delightfully illustrated book.
I know I've said this a thousand times before in press releases, but this book really would make the perfect gift for a fashion loving friend. The stories and dresses I've dipped into thus far have seriously warmed my heart. Love, love, love it.
More on another new book I purchased at the Fair later ...

5 comments:

The Glamorous Housewife said...

Seems as if we both had wonderful vintage weekends! That purple dress is stunning!

Thanks doll,
The Glamorous Housewife

Ms. B said...

That first dress you posted is gorgeous and I love your little pink brooch! So cute!!

Fashionable Earth said...

LOVE the idea of resurrecting fashion from past decades!!! We also wrote about some vintage-inspired halloween ideas: http://fashionableearth.org/blog/2009/10/27/vintage-halloween-ideas/

lauren said...

i went to my first vintage show this past weekend and it was just the most fun i could have. i bought some hats and dresses and will now never miss a show that is near me!

lauren
http://www.deargolden.com

Anonymous said...

I can only pray that this book becomes a movie so I can see all of the clothing!