Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Way We Wear

I woke up this morning to torrential rain, a warm bed and a strong desire to stay there. But there was an even stronger motivation to venture out into that diabolical weather. Today the Vintage Fair came to town. So I got up, got fancy and headed on over Williamstown for a visual vintage orgy.

Unlike many vintage, collectable or antique-y type events, this fair focuses specifically on the sartorial and all its many accompaniments. It is rather like a combination of being in a older relatives closet and a museum exhibition. The joy is in the hunting and the subsequent discovery of a hidden treasure just perfect for you. Your eyes do a quick scan and you find yourself drawn to certain colours and patterns, that your fingers are itching to feel. More often than not, this is an exercise in appreciation only, as the likelyhood of finding that darling organza poppy print dress to be just your size is not high. But in these instances, the inspiration is ample while the outlaying of precious cash is not.

Pair of 1890's children's boots. So tempting, but for $190 as a mantle decoration, I sadly had to pass.

I was eyeing off some stunning canes, in particular an amber handled, dog's head style number. Props are a wonderful thing to have, but the temptation to poke people, or whack stray children with it, would have proved to much for me.

This is just another reason that I so enjoy these vintage fairs. I may not find just what I am after, but it helps me to hone my eye. Is that really silk that you spy from fifty paces, or simply a nifty rayon? As in most cases, practice makes perfect, and shopping for good vintage is no exception. There also seems to be a shopping rule of thumb that, should you head out with something specific in mind, you will never find it. So it pays to have a back up lust list, but beware, mine seems to be taking on Biblical proportions. And today, my back up list came to the rescue in the absence of fashionable purchases. Enjoy.

Vintage table cloth in just the colours I'm planning to paint the kitchen.

One of a couple of Ladies Home Journal's I picked up, (circa 1952) I love all the advertisements in these and they even bring me more pleasure than the latest Vogue. (Shhh...)

Girl's Story Book. I read these by the dozen growing up and I love the perfect little world they illustrate. Everyone dressed so nicely, had lovely manners and even the naughty kids were relative angels. I am trying to build my own collection to read to the girls to compliment all the other morally suspect entertainment that is bound to come their way.

Illustration from the Girls Story Book. I think they may be a nattily dressed ladies rowing team. Either that or the timber industry was looking for a more stylish way to market their product.


Lady Melbourne said...

Hey Mama, I would have seen you there today but my desire to stay in bed was too strong!
I'll be checking it out tomorrow, looks fantastic. I love the books you got as well.

Anonymous said...

Hi SKM! Thank you so much for commenting on my fur post, I've been absent from the blogging world for a while nw on account of computer troubles but I have menat to thank you.

I collect the boy's version of those girl's story books. They're so amazing. I used them as the inspiration for my Major Artwork in year 12.

I'm going to add you to my links list, because quite frankly I have meant to for ages but I've been shy.


Sahakiel said...

OMG Mama, I can't believe it, I had that Girls stories book!!

WendyB said...

I love the idea of a backup lust list.

atomicliving said...

yeah cute crew ladies!
I have the best pair of childrens victorian shoes that were my husbands great grandfathers. I alsways said if we had a baby he would wear them, alas we have no baby. Altho that is kind of on purpose for us ;)
This looked like a wonderful event and I wish it were warm here in New England. It has been extra chilly here BRRRRRR I am wearing with my petticote today a hat and muffler INDOORS!

oldflowers4me said...


ck4eva said...

I gave you an award! See my blog for details...

Too Many Shoes said...

Darling SWM! I saw that Poppy print dress you spied! One look told me that it would never fit me in a million years.

I remember reading all those Girls Annuals when I was a young child. I think my parents bought them from a jumble sale for me. I always wondered why they refered to each other as 'chums' and played hockey....

What great treasures you brought home with you.


hasoon said...

Oh, I envy you that Girls' book. I've re-started collecting them recently, I'll bet the illustrations inside are just wonderful.

Hammie said...

oh that is wonderful! My late great nana used to live in Willie'
In the tiniest little house that is probably worth a million squillion dollars now.
Tell me, in all that period splendour, do you run into wardrobe assistants from t.v. companies AND!!!! Do you ever wish you could break into Channel 9 with a large swag and fill it up with all Carolyn's outfits from The Sullivans (mark I and II)

I want to be in that rowing advert. Way more than I ever want to be in a Hilfiger ad

Pony said...

oh, i worked for the way we wear fair when they were in my little city :)
quite by accident, i managed to get paid in clothing rather than actual wages :P i did end up with a yellow 1850's child's cape from the Castle Howard collection, though, so to hell with grocery money, I say!!

& i think you'd look amazing clutching one of those canes :)

Super Kawaii Mama said...

LM: I hope you found some lovely things just perfect for your closet.
Grant: Hi there! So glad you stopped by. Those annuals are just the best, delightfully 'gay' in the old sense of the word.
Sahakiel: Isn't it funny how these things happen? Small blog world.
Wendy b: I think yours could easily rival mine for volume and glitz.
Atomic Living: Oh I feel for you. I hate those freezing days that chill you to the bone. They always make me eat too much junk food.
Old Flowers for me: Right back at you Jo! :)
ck4eva: Thank you, I'm honored!
TMS: Yes, it was a tad on the tiny side, but it was that lovely vendor that furnished me with my Ladies Home Journals. Sooo good.
Hasoon: It has a few illustrations, but not many colour plates. It is mainly the language that is so quaint.
Hammie: I'll bet it would be worth a mint now. But no, no wardrobe assistants. I think they'd try and stay clear of the competition and find other sneaky ways of garnering their vintage. And the sullivan's1 How long since I thought about them... i grew up on that show and had forgotten all about it. Perhaps that is another contributing factor to my passions.
Pony: I'm all for being paid in clothes, the tax man won't get a sleeve from a dress as payment that's for sure. And you know, I think one of those canes moves higher up the agenda the older I get. Perhaps when I don't have to push a pram and have a free hand it will be top of the list.