Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Pier Antiques Show

The Pier Antiques Show, presented by U.S.Antique Shows, is one of the largest antique events in New York City, featuring more than 400 vendors.   Although it wasn't done intentionally, the unthinkable happened: two antique shows were scheduled for the same weekend (!), so we had to do quite a bit of scurrying to see them both.  If we were frazzled, so were the dealers, who usually have booths at both shows, but this time had to decide between one and the other. It will probably never happen again, and just as well.  We like to savor our fun slowly, like port wine, rather than take it all in in fast gulps, like shots of whiskey lined up in a scene from a movie.

Canny dealers Carol and Dan Walker of Walker's Collectibles put this polka dot hat out where it could be seen from one hundred feet away.  Just as movie vampires are drawn to blood, Valerie was drawn to the hat, and had it on her head before anyone could overcome her.

We failed to get Jean to buy any hats this time, but she found these marvelous bakelite earrings at What Was Is Vintage.

We very much miss the Asian Art Fair, but some of the dealers, who carry the most marvelous ethnographic art pieces, have started coming to the antique shows.  Below, an early 20th century Chinese woman's headpiece from the mind boggling collection of Linda Pastorino.  It's a treasure trove of small semiprecious stones in luscious colors.  Have a look at her Pinterest page.

Linda's young daughter Coral talks so knowledgeably about the objects on display that you'd think she'd been in the business twenty years if you couldn't see her face.

Love this lady's nonchalant look.  Turns out she is one of Gudrun's ambassadors of style.

It's always fun to run into Maki and Junichi.  Maki never fails to wear vintage, and pays great attention to period accuracy.   Maki has her own website, Maison Murasaki, and also does a Pinterest board on hats.  Feeling down?  Check out Maki's Pinterest hats.  As good as chocolate, and other forms of serotonin.

Valerie has to be dragged away from the Japanese textiles.  On the left, a pilgrimage coat for people visiting temples as an act of piety.  The large lettering is Sanskit.  The red stamps, a bit difficult to make out, are inked on to the coat for each temple visited by the pilgrim.  On the right, a fireman's jacket.  Too thin to be worn for protection, it was most likely worn at festivals, and identified the firefighting team the wearer belonged to.  These were at the booth of Karen Murphy and David Dew Bruner.

The jacket below, in Ainu style, which is very different from the predominant Japanese aesthetic, is from Miyamoto - Japanese Art of Textiles - in Sag Harbor, New York.

We enjoyed Shin Huang's singular look.  When she took off her colorful coat, underneath was this austere shirt.  And we loved her lucky cicada, having a few of our own.  Shin Huang is a fashion blogger.  See her peripatetic blog here.

We first met Lee and Vichai Chinalai, like Linda Pastorino, at the Asian Art Fair.  The Chinalais seem to have an inexhaustible supply of wondrous and mysterious wearables that double as pure art objects.  If you ask about anything in their booth, you can tell by their response how much they love their work, and how much they know about the various cultures the objects represent.

Willard Morgan stopped by the show before jetting off to tour Japan with the Ideal Orkestra.  Their new song, Sweatshop Boogie, is in response to cheap, fast fashion.

A camera-shy friend of ours with flaming red hair placed this fabulous necklace on her friend Renee for a photo op. The balls are made of banana leaves.

Valerie posed in front of an antique stuffed clown suit to give some idea of its size.  This is the stuff of nightmares and strange dreams.

At Deco Etc., we saw this colorful juxtaposition of a classic bakelite radio from the '30s and a coral evening bag from the '50s - '60s.

When we overheard someone talking about "Spring Shoes", we took it to be  a reference to Spring footwear. Imagine our surprise to learn they were literally Rube Goldberg-style shoes.  We thought the idea started with Z-Coil shoes a few years back, but no!  Every generation thinks it's the first, until proof - um - springs up!

Loved this metal car at the same booth, Past Pleasures Moderne from Annandale, Virginia.

Kathleen at Beads and Baubles looked spectacular in a bright pimento-colored poncho.

Michal Feinmesser of What Once Was looked terrific in her black and white jacket and minimalist necklace.  (Covet, covet!)

Hannah Schiff at David Owens Vintage was wearing a necklace that Valerie talked her into buying into at the last show.  Love how this gal wears vintage -- with such flair!  And oh, the fabulous one of a kind hat!

Last time we photographed Barbara Kennedy, she was wearing a hat adorned with asparagus.  This time, she sported a large pink rose.

Vendor Caryn Abroms shows off one of her Monies necklaces.  It was so much fun to view and try on items from her extensive collection.

Valerie tried on Monies earrings at Caryn's booth.

This lovely lady purchased an orange-colored Monies necklace that afternoon which coordinated beautifully with her outfit.  She and her husband were totally enjoying the show.

Just as we were about to leave, we ran smack into the booth of Ira Scheck, who had mounds of Monies jewelry.  We've loved Monies for ages, but fashion is fickle, and Monies retreated to the background for a while.  We had our memories refreshed (to use a bit of TV legalese) when we went to the Museum of Arts and Design's LOOT show last fall, and saw a display of want-them-all pieces, so we welcomed this endless display.  Valerie, still doing the vampire thing, made a beeline for the necklace you see here.  What you DON'T see, alas, is the HUGE amethyst colored rough hewn quartz stone closure that finishes it with a bang.  One of Ira Scheck's assistants draped two red Monies necklaces with magnetic and polished wood clasps on Jean's neck, for this great look.  Valerie wound up buying one of the pieces seen in the background.  More about that another time!

As we mentioned at the opening of this post, the Pier Show was only one of the two vintage clothing shows held last weekend.  Come back and see us again on Sunday, and we'll tell you about the other show.

What we're wearing:
Valerie is wearing: vintage Chisato Tsumori hat, vintage pink straw earrings, vintage Kaffe Fassett knock-off sweater coat, Yoshiki Hishinuma shirt, Issey Miyake pants, Icon shoes.

Jean is wearing: Amy Downs origami turban; Porto skirt; Alexander Wang purse; Kyodan jacket; Trippen boots;  vintage bakelite earnings and rings, vintage frames from Fabulous Fanny's.


  1. Love the effect of the two red Monies necklaces, draped around Jean's neck.

    And that bright pimento-colored poncho...

    Great fun.


  2. Way too much cool stuff here - the Monies necklaces, the bakelite radio, the Miyamoto jacket, etc. I will have to get to the Pier Show one of these years (I should start saving now).