Published: June 5, 2007
Joining the ranks of must-see shows that have a special popularity such as Phantom of the Opera in New York and the Boston Symphony in Tanglewood, Linda Zukas’s Antique Textiles Vintage Fashions Show & Sale kicked off its 2007 season on May 7.
The show, in its 48th edition, boasted sold out dealer space and a very full house of visitors, who did a great deal of serious buying. The Sturbridge Host Hotel and Conference Center again hosted more than 135 exhibiting dealers and several thousand paid guests for this very popular one-day affair, held three times each year †May, July and September †on the Monday of Brimfield Week.
According to Zukas, “This show attracts really serious buyers; the crowd arrived early and wrapped around the building four abreast, waiting to spend their money on the special treasure, that one real find, which will forever be a part of their own personal collection.”
The dress that looks like one Ginger Rogers wore dancing with Fred Astaire, the spread that could have been on the four-poster bed in Scarlet’s bedroom or drapes reminiscent of those found in a stage production of a Noel Coward Broadway play were all there for collectors to buy.
The show has been sold out each time since its debut 16 years ago, with a waiting list for new dealers, Zukas says. This edition had several cancellations as late as Sunday, which she filled on less than 24 hours notice.
Regular exhibitors at the show include Emmons and Martin from Essex, Mass. Cheryl Emmons spends many hours throughout the year searching for merchandise for this trio of shows. The collection offered varies from raw textiles and vintage fashions to draperies and coverlets. She and her business partner Biff Martin also had a few antique accessories, such as mirrors, available.
Special designer dresses are always popular at this exhibition. Jean Breen had an eye-catcher in a bright yellow dress that seemed to be from the latter part of the Nineteenth Century. This Norwood, Mass., dealer hung it on the wall along with several other flappers’ dresses from the Roaring Twenties. Connie Marks brought only Victorian era fashions from her Rocky Point, N.C., home. Another seller of early fashions is Monica Seggos of Great Barrington. She said the buyers of her collection were generally planning to use the elegant dresses as models for designers to copy in new fashions for retailers.
Quilts and bed coverlets were the principal stock for Joe and Mary Koval, from Schellsburg, Penn. By noon that day, Joe said their sales had been “very good.” Their collection filled an oversized booth in the stage area of the exhibition hall. Jane Lury, trading as Labors of Love from Hillsdale, N.Y., was selling various bed covers as well. Her most striking piece, however, seemed to be a table cover made from military uniforms with intricately crafted corners, each of which had a coat of arms, including the British Union Jack and an American flag. She knew the piece to have been made in England and it was priced at $3,995.
Fashion accessories were among the show’s offerings. Dusty’s Vintage Linens from Holland, Mass., set up a table filled with early buttons in sets for the modern day seamstress. Emmons and Martin featured purses, and Tanterine Boutique of Gardner, Mass., was among the dealers showing costume jewelry.
Tom Delcambre and Sally LaGrone from Franklin, Tenn., were offering dresser accessories, including English patch boxes, antique jewelry boxes, pincushions and sewing boxes.
This event will repeat on July 9 and September 3. While both shows are sold out, Zukas said some openings might occur if there are unexpected cancellations. Visitors can enter as early buyers at 9:30 am for $20; 10:15 am for $10 or at 11 am for $5.
For information, www.vintagefashionandtextileshow.com or 207-439-2334.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm