Published: September 17, 2019
Review and Photos by Tom O’Hara
STURBRIDGE, MASS. – The second edition for the year of Linda Zukas’ extremely popular Antique Textiles & Vintage Fashions Show at the Sturbridge Host Hotel was filled to overflowing with just what the long name says; fashions, textiles and related materials, and the shoppers were there in great numbers as well. Zukas was quick to point out that “this is the last show of the 29th year, and it is again a full house of exhibitors.”
About her exhibitors, Zukas additionally said, “…(they) are among the best, all very good at what they do, with great selections and know-how into showing what they have.” For example, Susan Voake of Forget Me Not Antiques has a collection of antique sewing notions and vintage valentines. She can put together a display for each show that draws a large crowd that can examine all of her merchandise and choose from different fresh merchandise often for the same customers.
Zukas’ show has been attracting attention not just around this country but around the world over the last 12 years. This week’s show had a crew from a Chinese television show, Shop Shops, broadcasting a live feed back to their station with Hao Ran as the newscaster discussing the merits of the items and values.
As the show opened, there was again a surge at the doors, with shoppers rushing to their favorite exhibits for the first look to find the special pieces they cherish for their collection or, in many cases, inventory for shops back home. There are also many designers who were shopping for vintage styles to buy examples that they will use as the model for updating their own original designer pieces.
Carolyn Forbes, Hollis, N.H., has had New York sisters regularly shop her exhibit to purchase 100-year-old gowns from her collection, which they both sell as-is and modify for their own clients. These sisters sell from their home shop and online.
Verna Scott searches for vintage wedding dresses. Trading as 1840 House Antiques from Yarmouth, Maine, Scott has built a large collection that includes gowns for both the bride and for the other ladies in the wedding party as well as all the necessary accessories.
Maria Niforos, Irvington, N.Y., trades in similar stock, but her material is early Victorian. Niforos lived in London for many years and built contacts there who assist her in finding more inventory, giving her collection a very distinctive look.
The show and sale do not simply feature high style from long ago. Many dealers there sell styles from the 1970s-90s very well.
Blue Mirror Vintage, Crown Point, Ind., had biker styles from the 1970s and fancy jeans, and both were selling well. There were even some shirts that Jimmy Buffett or the Beach Boys might have worn.
Vintage with a Twist is Elaine Klausman’s business in Bedford, N.Y., which features accessories for flappers from the Roaring Twenties.
Even Midcentury apparel for babies and toddlers was available. Loraine Updike Toler of New Haven, Conn., was exhibiting for the first time, and she said she sold well from her collection.
Textiles are a very big part of the show, too, and they come in many different forms.
Right from the starting bell, Martha Perkins, Ashby, Mass., sold from her collection of early handmade quilts. Several applique pieces went first, one with butterflies in a checkerboard pattern, another with repeated flower baskets.
Button Babes are Sharon and Jennifer Lakovic from Downingtown, Penn. This was their first time at the show, but they were happy after the first hour, as sales seemed to be good with their vintage collection of – guess what – buttons. Just buttons.
Susan Simon, Susan Simon Design from New York City, had a collection of exotic textiles, mostly silks but also some other materials as well. Her pieces are the style that are most often wall coverings or bed and furniture covers.
Kay Mertens, East Meadow, N.Y., was showing her yard goods. She has been trading and importing an assortment of high-grade cottons and silks for some time, with various sources.
Zukas will be back for her 30th year next year at the Sturbridge Host Hotel, on May 11 and Labor Day, September 7. This unique event is popular worldwide for what it offers for antique and vintage style in the fashion and textile field and is well worth a spot on your calendar.
For information, 207-363-1320 or www.vintagefashionandtextileshow.com.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
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