Published: April 15, 2008
From retro clothing chosen by Sex and the City star Sarah Jessica Parker and a ten-year collection of Chanel bags, chic accessories and clothing proved extremely popular for the second year in a row at Vivien Cord’s Vintage Clothing, Accessories, Textiles & Jewelry Show & Sale. Taking place April 5 and 6, selections of Bakelite, Indian turquoise jewelry, Miriam Haskell-designed jewelry, Gucci, Dior and chenille spreads took over the PAL building and attracted serious shoppers.
This year’s show had more serious and knowledgeable people on the floor than the first year, according to Elaine Klausman of Vintage With A Twist. While the show did not attract hordes of people, those who came were there to buy. “There were not huge crowds, but the people who came in were buyers, collectors and dealers †people who knew what they were looking for,” she said
Many who lined up at 10 am for the opening said they were “from the city,” or “from Brooklyn, but I have a shop in Manhattan.” One serious buyer who had been at the first show, Maria Benson from Brooklyn, said, “I had to come back; last year I found some amazing things, and hopefully will again this year.”
Many of the 35 dealers were returnees from last year, but several newcomers also energized the brightly lit space. One late comer was Virgil Rogers, who brought his beautiful ten-year collection of Chanel handbags and bags by Dior and Gucci as well. “I only buy them if they are pristine,” the New York City dealer said. “Like this alligator briefcase that was handmade for a prince by Gucci. By the looks of it, the prince never used it, which is what I prefer.”
His display cases were filled with Chanel bags from the 1980s and 1990s, each with its own box, which made design statements and were incorporated into Rogers’ doublewide booth. “I was lucky,” he admitted. “I didn’t think I would be able to show, but when I called Vivien, she had just had someone cancel due to that awful flu. So, here I am †late, but here!”
Sporting a vintage sign identifying it as a “Boutique de Chapeau,” Vintage Pastelle of Wappingers Falls, N.Y., did have hats, as well as 1930s lingerie, some textiles and a 1940s silk dress by a “premier California textile designer,” Pam Daly said, as she showed off the black and red flowered dress with inset pleats of black handmade lace.
Hanging across the aisle, a shocking pink and blue Findaci-designed elegant evening dress was displayed at Antique Wardrobe. Fulfilling the theme of the show “to wear today,” the 1970s Italian creation looked almost new. The Southbridge, Mass., dealer was also offering a 1950s prom dress in white tulle with puffy tulle flowers in primary colors, early hand worked cotton children’s clothing and a hunt jacket, with boots, stock and vest that were decidedly British.
Accessories are a significant part of any vintage clothing emporium, and at Vintage Couture a pair of 1970s gold leaf over leather evening shoes sported a clear Lucite heel with a crouching gold lion. The Easton, Conn., dealer was showing costume jewelry from the 1930s to the 1980s, retro purses and couture hats, all ready to wear.
Fine antique jewelry dealers included JFS Associates of Harrisburg, Penn., who was showing heavy, hand worked silver necklaces inlaid with turquoise from various tribes, such as the Navajo. Jerry and Fran Schwartz also had good sales in Lea Stein’s vintage, colorful, celluloid jewelry, including many from the Paris designer’s “golden period,” 1969‱981, with such classics as rabbit, rhino, panther, crocodile, choupette (basset), poodle, Art Deco girl, tomcat and flowers.
Susan Vatell’s Fine Arts Ltd, had a lovely setup once again, with many high-end and estate pieces, which were unusual in the plethora of costume jewelry. Michael Weinstein, Artifacts, brought cameos, vintage watches, Art Nouveau and Art Deco filigree jewelry, as well as an interesting collection of canes and walking sticks. The Binghamton, N.Y., dealer came a long way, but, said, “It is great to find a show that is dedicated to vintage wear.”
While the show’s theme focused on wearable arts, several dealers were showing vintage textiles, lace, buttons, bedspreads, table clothes and rugs. Sally Wistman of Danbury was offering textiles, laces, paisleys, tassels and a wonderful early textile screen. Sheryl Muzzillo’s Queen Anne’s Laces was filled with fine linens, silks and, of course, lace †handmade or machine made in cotton and silk draped around small vintage lamps, vases and compacts. The Prospect, Conn., dealer was here for the second time and said the first year was “more than I expected for a first-year show, and I hope this year will be better.”
Most of the dealers brought “a little bit of everything,” as one of the Three Vintage Babes said. Jennifer Wright, Patricia Rosace and Lorraine Walsh came from New Vernon, N.J., with everything from silk scarves and coats to furs, jewelry, handbags and clothes. “We sold fabric and more things for the home; people were more interested in home wares than clothes this year, but we had a good show,” Patricia called to say.
Retro couture clothing hung at Grape in the Shade, where the Washington Depot, Conn., dealer also had a series of photographs of her dresses that were chosen and worn by Parker in Sex and the City . “I had to take loads of clothes down to the set, and then the costume people came and chose some, but Sarah Jessica Parker made the final choice, and here she is wearing my dress!”
Studio 42 is also a design resource for movies, television and stage productions, according to its owner, Elizabeth Kolansky. She was also showing her own designed and manufactured jewelry and Oly’s Vintage design clothing, which is part of the Woodbourne, N.Y., design research studio.
Vivien Cord has booked the PAL building for April 4 and 5, 2009. Her next antiques show will be May 26, the 23rd Lasdon Memorial Day Antiques Fair. For information, www.cordshows.com or 914-273-4667.
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