Tuesday, November 30, 2010

At the market: old shoes new shoes

Fash n Treasure Canberra last Saturday:-
Not a big crowd --but it was thus great being able to spend time chatting to people about their loves. It was a thrill to meet a fashion blogger whose blog manages to score interviews with some great designers.
Called sneaky peek blog--it's an interesting read.

My highlight:--selling a red pair of All Stars in a size 13 to a male vintage lover who was thrilled with them--his shoes size says it all!

I love old shoes.
I love all the shoes I sell--they have character, they have the wisdom of age, they are a snapshot in time, and finding the right person for the shoes is as joyous as finding the shoes. I love seeing who buys what shoes--what their style is--how they think about things.

Shoes take us places, they protect our feet, they make us comfortable--But they can also transform our image. From such a small item comes such a large effect. A look can be completely changed by a shoe. Same as a hairstyle and glasses. I often am intrigued how something so little can have such a transforming effect.

I love old leather shoes especially. I love practical sturdy good looking shoes. If they can have a slight bit of quirk or interest all the better. New shoes often disappoint me. Vintage shoes are usually made better. The shoes moved with your feet. So many shoes now--they look stiff and with a mind of their own. People often look awkward in them like they are fighting with the shoe--like the shoes are to just sit on your foot as an ornament.-- a sculpture or decoration--not real. They seem to compromise on this and that--the style is way out you wear them out to a formal occasion only to have the heel fall off. How often have I seen this!

.....This is why vintage shoes and boots are a real treasure. But also why I was thrilled to find at the market, shoes that are made with excellent quality natural materials yet had an appealing modernity to them. They are made in Argentina--the home of great leather and artisan shoemakers.

So here are some shoes I had for sale--still for sale in fact....

From left to right: 40s grey suede and brown leather trim peep toe wedges, 80s/90s light camel nubuck leather longline lace up brogues with a flared wooden heel, 90s snakeskin pattern leather squared toe ankle boots.

These are circa 40s/50s bowling shoes in a perforated brogue style with wing tip and suede inserts. Wow! They are amazing- style and design really went into these....

Above are some shoes sold by Carajo of Argentina--a brother and sister duo selling bags and jewellery as well. Their shoes smell beautiful--on real leather, yes!, they are soft and supple yet strong, they are modern in the gladiator style, yet hint at Argentina as well. They use other wonderful natural materials such as canvas and cork and the leather insoles are not coated with synthetic so absorb your sweat readily. Josefina was ready to chat warmly about her gorgeous imports.

The next vintage fair I will be at is at Marrickville Town Hall on the 10th, 11th and 12th December--just in time for buying Christmas and New Year outfits and that unusual gift!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Vintage frog inspiration

I LOVE frogs...so this was a happy moment this morning...
....as I was getting ready for tomorrows Canberra Fash n Treasure market, what creature was cosily sitting inside this old umbrella? Yep! A cute, one can only call it taupe colour, frog. I love the colouring and how it blends with the subtle earthy colours and traditional design of the umbrella. Don't you love the yellow irregular spots on black markings down the side of its legs?

Great naturally occurring colours like this is what inspires me to look for appealing pieces of vintage. I find that pieces from the depression era, say the 20s and 30s-40s used this sort of colouring with splashes of bright here and there. The bright was never lairy though--but ever so slightly subdued...just as in the umbrella.

We have lots of frogs here and with so much rain this past season they are breeding happily.
Below are some other frog photos from our place.

Anyway--if you're in Canberra come on over to the Fash n Treasure market at the OLD BUS DEPOT tomorrow ie Saturday 27th November. Starts at 10am and finishes at 3pm. It promises to be a great one with the weather pretty good and all stalls booked out.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Mitchell Road Gallery---4th Birthday and revamp

Mitchell Road Antiques and Design Gallery in Alexandria, the place I adore and have stalls in, is 4 years old this month, and is slowly but surely having a revamp. Not too much--the general flavour, brand points and feel of the place needs to stay but it just needed some painting, tidying and a little more visible interesting promotion.

Things that have happened so far:-
cleaning and tidying entrance foyer
painting foyer
2 new chandeliers in foyer
large stairwell light
display cabinets in foyer
new street signage
painting Mitchell Road frontage
insertion of photo prints of inside to window cells on road frontages
general tidying upstairs

Now just to get the cafe area going!

From a bland old non descript colour (above)....

...... to a bright rich burnt retro red (below). That's Emma by the way--she's one of our great stall holders and ready to help you on Sundays behind the counter.

The entrance foyer all painted up and display cabinets operational. (Stairwell not done yet)

The fantastic metal and industrial look of the old water pipe system looks great against the new red.

New chandelier photographed from below. Reminds me of a spiders web with dew drops hanging off.

New A-frame sign and flags, looking down Mitchell Road Alexandria--cross street is Fountain Street. Mitchell Road is lined with large plane trees and even though common they look fantastic all in leaf and cool the area significantly in summer.

One of the points of interest of Mitchell Road Auctions and the Design Gallery is the continuously changing "graffiti wall" on Fountain street. Geoff, the owner is prolific and artistic and who knows what he'll think up next. To celebrate Melbourne Cup week and racing season he painted on some race horses. It was so clever really--the further away you went the more realistic they looked.

The brand colour of Mitchell Road Auctions and Design Gallery has always been yellow--yes, it is bright, but no going back now as it's known as the "big yellow brick building in Alexandra". So the new paintwork had to be yellow again--this time slightly more intense. Those window cells were blocked off anyway, so Filip, our amazing steampunk craftsman, organised for large photo prints of inside views to be pasted onto the outside. These can be replaced with new photos when they wear out.

AND...being the 4th Birthday we need to share the joy with the public so there has been 10-50% off just about all items in the Gallery from last weekend. I am not sure when it's ending so come on in asap and grab that item you've been wanting for a while at a cheaper price.

Will post some enticing photos of inside soon!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Youthful Bohemian pzazz at Canberra

Boho, foho, folk, ethnic, tribal, hippy styles all in one.

Well, I am not always ready with my camera and to engage my mind when I see a particularly stylish person at the vintage markets and fairs. This is mainly due to my being new to this facet of blogging but also because if I'm busy with customers I can't drop them and devote time to hobby photography.

This time however I knew I had to do it--everything was right--my partner was there to help, I had been serving this group of slightly boho dressed people and had time to take note of their dressing. I have to confess I am a wannabe hippy and the 70s bohemian/folk/ethnic/tribal style of dress has always been my love and I often have elements of this style in my own dressing. So this girl impressed me immediately.

Sophie is 15. When I heard this I was amazed. I still don't have the dare and confidence to dress with such eager difference and natural taste. And when it comes to mismatched matching well I think she has done it extremely well. She told me she doesn't try too hard--just whatever takes her fancy at the time--and she does wear different styles also....obviously a natural.

Here Sophie wears all thrifted pieces--batik floral harem pants, 2-tone teal and brown brocade fitted jacket, fabric moccasins, a pop of colour with a royal blue longline t-shirt and to tie it in, a blue and white striped tie--no pun intended! Her green leaf earrings echo the pattern of the brocade.

Thanks Sophie for allowing me to stage your great look to the world.

Canberra Way We Wear Vintage Fashion Fair


So... I'm late with this post, as Canberra's Way We Wear Fair was on last weekend. Yesterday was Paddington Vintage Fashion Market at the RSL auditorium.

Canberra again was a hugely successful fair with thousands enjoying the beautiful Albert Hall filled with incredible vintage items. Canberra residents obviously love their vintage as they oooed and ahhed often and came dressed in vintage of all sorts. The theme was the little black dress with prizes for best dressed and an historic exhibition of LBD's including many from the 1920s.

The next Canberra Fair is in May, however for those Canberra-ites eager for another vintage fix before Christmas there is the Fash n Treasure market coming up in 2 weeks at the Old Bus Depot and Marrickville Way We Wear Fair at the Town Hall on 10,11, 12th December.

The Albert Hall rear area.
The Albert Hall rear area looking out to Lake Burley Griffin--it's just beyond the trees. Albert Hall is near the end of major renovations. The back is painted and paved, the front still isn't. Inside is complete, with brilliant new lighting in the style of the era it was built ie 1920s.

Part of the little black dress exhibition.

Looking from the stage down to half the hall of exhibitors.

A stall packed with goodies.

80s felt dress hat with velvet band, 50s black tapestry handbag, 70s Glomesh shoulder bag with black enamel and gold detailing. I always find it rather fascinating how items from any era can work together if there is at least one binding element--in this case it's the colour black.

Some sellers have a cute creative knack!

Beautiful 60s crepe and lace empire waist formal dress.

An enticing collection of formal bags.

You know me by now--I can't help but spend time observing and being amused by the nature of an area. These obviously sensible magpies, thought it much easier to get breakfast out of the cigarette trough that had been lazily used for disposal of coffee cups and muffin papers. A few seconds later I heard the hungry cries of a baby magpie and walked over to see Mum feeding the big ball of grey fluff--photo below. As soon as she left, those hungry cries started again and I got the feeling this wasn't going to stop too soon! Neither were particularly scared of me.....just a delightful way to start Saturday morning!