Most people come down pretty strongly on one side or the other…they either LOVE vintage or HATE it. For those with a love for “older” rather than new and disposable, this is a BIG weekend. The Vintage Fashion Expo is coming to SF! There will be 85 dealers of vintage clothing for both men and women, along with jewelry, textiles and accessories. In college, I regularly scoured the one vintage store in the small upstate N.Y. town where I went to school, searching for great buys on my meager budget. I felt like a kid in a candy store when I was there. I branched out when I moved to Manhattan post- college, and found some of the best vintage stores around. Once I entered the professional world, my love of vintage faded as I tried to emulate Melanie Griffith in Working Girl (the “after” not the “before”).
Over the past 10 years my love of vintage has been rekindled in the form of handbags! I adore vintage handbags. I especially like when it still contains the little lipstick mirror that so many of the bags of the 30′s- 50′s came with. You won’t be surprised to know that I am a huge fan of the TV show, Mad Men. I think for me, it’s all about the thrill of the “find”. I’ve found treasures in the most unlikely places.
I imagine what the original owner of each bag was like. Did she work or was she a typical 50′s housewife? Where did she go and with who? Was she happy, did she go to fun cocktail parties? Did she live in a city, the suburbs or the country? I love imagining what her life was like. It’s one of the things that draws me to these pieces, they’re a part of history.
Two of my favorite bags were steals and that adds to their appeal. The cinnamon colored vintage Christian Dior bag was in a clearance bin at Labels Consignment Store in Walnut Creek. I think I paid $20 or $30 dollars. My all time favorite, an alligator one- handled bag with a tortoise shell clasp was at a garage sale. I questioned the owner about the price not wanting to give away my excitement. He looked at me shyly, careful not to offend and said ”how’s $5?”. I was elated, handed him the five bucks and grabbed it before he could change his mind…SCORE!!!
I’d love to hear about any vintage finds that had you jumping for joy (at least on the inside). Please share them with me and include photos if you can. The Vintage Fashion Expo happens this weekend, March 17 & 18 at the Concourse Exhibition Center at 635 Eighth St. (at Brannan) in San Francisco. You can check their website at http://www.vinategexpo.com . I’ll be the one looking for the perfect vintage bag…