Sunday, May 31, 2015

A Current Affair: Vintage in Brooklyn's Industry City

With our old vintage haunts in Manhattan disappearing - victims of high real estate prices - we were thrilled to be invited to A Current Affair's, Pop-Up Vintage Marketplace in Brooklyn's Industry City this weekend, featuring 80+ vendors from New York and Los Angeles and a few other cities. The high-ceilinged, light-filled space was a revelation, as were the well curated goods on display. The West Coast meets East Coast vibe was energizing. Even the food selection was decidedly not East Coast: rice balls and miso soup!  Check out the wonderful selections (click on photos to enlarge) and vendors (click on their names to link to their websites).  There are rumors of a repeat show next year, so we've got our digits crossed.  For our far-flung and peripatetic readers, the next LA show is September 26-27 at Cooper Design Space.

As we entered the space, directly on our right was Andrea Hall Levy's Lofty Vintage, featuring large vitrines of silver and bakelite jewelry and an amazing selection of clothing. Front and center was this mannequin with CDG shorts (drawing a blank?  that's Comme des Garcons), Issey Miyake crinkled jacket, Sex Pistols' God Save the Queen tee shirt, and numerous mouthwatering necklaces necklaces.

Jean found this wonderful black, white and grey striped double-breasted lightweight cotton 1980s coat by Choon there.

Here's a shot of Richard Wainwright (r), who created NEW/FOUND, a Vintage Concept Studio in LA, in his booth at the show. Richard was also instrumental in bringing this Pop-Up vintage show to Brooklyn as well as the arrangements for a pre-event party at Shinola earlier in the week. (Jean confesses: "The name of his colleague, the handsome young man on the left, escapes me.  Dang, that is the one thing I really hate about getting old.")

These divine matching red bakelite cuffs were in the NEW/FOUND display case behind Richard in the previous picture. (Luckily, you can't see Jean's drool marks on the glass.)

Raleigh Vintage Clothing and Accessories' booth had vintage women's shoes (including a beautiful pair of Made in Mexico hand-tooled red leather pumps -- too small for either of us), clothing, jewelry, handbags and wonderful eyewear.  (Readers, are you also noticing that things are too small for you these days?  Are they making vintage smaller than they used to?)

Amanda Dolan from Spark Pretty and her partner in crime Meagan were attending the show as civilians, so they could run up and down the aisles like the rest of us.  Needless to say, they dressed for the occasion!  We loved those hats!  (Valerie once had a pink hat like that.  And so did Phyllis Diller!)

One of our favorite LA vendors is Scout. We've loved their aesthetic ever since we first ran into them a few years ago at the New York Vintage Show at the Metropolitan Pavilion. Their selection yesterday was amazing. Valerie tried on this colorful, warm and cozy '80s wool coat (ah! the '80s! what a sense of fun the designers had back then!) with built-in jester-like hood by Castelajabac.

Actress Michelle Williams and a few of her girlfriends showed up to cruise the space, shop and check everything out. She tried on these shorts in The Goods, our friend Liz Baca's booth. Yes, she is petite and impossibly beautiful in person, with the most amazing skin and eyes. Since she was so obviously in civilian mode, we didn't want to single her out or treat her as anything other than a gorgeous young woman out with her pals.

On the other end of the spectrum, where celebrity status was totally out in the open, we had a hilariously entertaining encounter with Lea DeLaria from Orange is the New Black and her fiance Chelsea Fairless. Lea, who plays tough as nails Carrie "Big Boo" Black on the show, is such a delightful and engaging pussycat in person.  The bag on the floor behind her says "GOD HATES BAGS".  She manages to walk the very fine line of being unapologetically out there, but not being directly in your face about it. Chelsea and Lea are obviously very much committed to each other and very much savoring life. Reading about celebrities in the press or online and then running into them face-to-face is such a trip. The force field of positive energy those two emit is totally addictive.

Valerie tried on this vintage straw hat in Elaine Klausman's booth Vintage with a Twist.  Valerie's not a flower girl, so to speak, but the way the straw was forced out of its comfort zone (again, so to speak) was really interesting, as was its unusual color.

Another New York vendor recently on our radar screen is andARCHIVE, specializing in rare Japanese designer vintage clothing for men and women located in Chinatown. They do also carry some non-Japanese designers like Gianfranco Ferre, Roland Mouret and Kedem Sasson. Jean really liked this minimalist white cotton Plantation jumpsuit.

Valerie discovered this shimmery to-die-for celadon Fortuny gown in Antique Wardrobe's booth of vintage clothing and textiles.  As the owner pointed out, someone had cut it in the back to insert a metal zipper, clearly not thinking about its value some fifty years later.

Here's Antique Wardrobe's co-owner, in a marvelous vintage dress. Valerie's older sister had one something like this back around 1967, which she bought after she got her first job.  Great big houndstooths were all the rage.  Great big ANY prints were all the rage, actually.

Angela Winter Mean's Greatest Friend has an interesting collection of accessories, including this magnificent white celluloid hair comb.

Thriftways' booth had lace-up sneakers known as Snakers that reminded Valerie of the decade she spent in Japan when she bought two pairs in succession, one after the other died, on astonishing Takeshita-dori in central Tokyo.  If these had been her size, she would have scarfed up a third pair.

We both love polka dots, so Valerie couldn't resist trying on this unusual art deco velvet robe, a refashioned kimono, with great big ombre shibori dots at Vintage Le Monde.

In the same booth, Jean found this amusing black knit Van de Vorst glove sweater. We can't wait until somebody discovers us and gives us a TV show or something so we can actually purchase some of the amazing, iconic pieces clothing that we discover and display here for your (and our) vicarious reading pleasure!

Wildfell Hall's vintage clothing ran the gamut from printed 1950's shirtwaist dresses to this more hippy style leather top and long, semi-transparent skirt.

Valerie had to try on this belted striped red and yellow wool Rudi Gernreich coat at Another Man's Treasure.  LOVE that fabric!  A bit dizzying with the hat.  (But not to worry - we won't be pairing straw with wool anytime soon.)

From left to right, Meika of Another Man's Treasure, Jean and Liz Baca and Mike of The Goods!.

At Another Man's Treasure, we found these wonderful wooden platform shoes with no centers.  Of COURSE we couldn't wear them (they didn't fit either of us, and we haven't even mentioned the incline factor), but we soooo want them!   Would they fit Daphne Guiness?

Many of the dealers were advertisements for their fabulous wares. Here are just a few. (Are you asking about the newspaper dress below?  Yes, it's made of paper.) These are the folks at Mercy Vintage in Oakland, CA (Karen and Jenny) and at Desert Vintage in Tucson, AZ (Robert Cowan and Salima Boufelfel), all first timers in New York. Oh, sorry - first timers in Brooklyn.  New York is so yesterday. The striking Karen Anderson (far left) is proud of her 6'4" frame. Check out her blog postings on Mercy's website.

Don't you wish you could occasionally go to work looking like this?  (If you know this dealer's name, please write to us so we can credit her.)

This outfit looks fabulous from the front as well, but we had to show you the little button detail at the small of the back and the gathers in the skirt.  Can't remember if it was Plantation or Issey Miyake, but it's one and the same to us.  It's by The Master.

Here's Heather from Noble Savage wearing one of her 1930s hats.  Hats from that period are so hard to come by in color, so it was wonderful to see this one in deep red, with a lovely trim.

At Scout, we ran into Tziporah Salamon, wearing a top knot - all the rage now.  Valerie is holding a dress with a silk bodice and raffia (RAFFIA!) skirt.  Double click to see the amazing weave in the raffia.  Wow!

This woman tried on a vibrant Missoni dress that is quite a departure from the company's signature specialty knits.

Fresh-faced Dina Rayzman was rocking a '70s look, although it's a sure bet she wasn't there for any of it, and probably not for the '80s either.  How do we date ourselves?  Let us count the ways.  We turned up on Dina's Instagram today.

We were terribly flattered when Zoe Ehrlich, of Zoe's Style File, and her mother asked if they could photograph us.  Like us, Zoe is a style blogger, but unlike us, Zoe is not old enough to drive.  We're on Zoe's Instagram / iPhoneogram today, too.  And we're flattered because we're probably old enough to be Zoe's mom's mom.  We're getting adjusted to the fact that we are crossing age lines.  We love it, but it still surprises us.

And this is what we saw when we left.  Pitter pat.  Pitter pat.  Pitter pat.

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Unfortunately, we couldn't cover every single vendor at the event in this posting. Here are a handful more websites and companies you should check out for additional goodies: in NYC Katie McDonnell 718-644-7634
Rhiannon's Vintage Clothing New Milford, CT Brenda Sabbatino 203-837-7595
Maeven Amy Maureen Yee 917-859-4463


  1. I follow Liz Baca, Heather from Noble Savage, and AMT on IG so I knew this was coming up. It looks like a wonderful show with a nice mix of some of the usual suspects and new vendors. The Castelajabac coat and the art deco velvet robe are my faves. I would love to have the embroidered caftan/dress that Chelsea Fairless is wearing - so cool that you ran into her and Lea, who plays one of my favourite characters in the show.

  2. Well, coulda shoulda woulda, however it wasn't in the cards. But NEXT TIME?!!! Thank you for showing me what I missed. My salivary glands are working overtime. Great pics and great commentary. I'm already planning a little up cycled skirt with that button treatment in the back. XXXOOO

  3. Well ladies you're all looking totally fab and obviously enjoying life! Fantastic. Amazing vintage….I oved the vintage glasses…and that little straw chapeau was divine!

    Anyway glad I've found you…..and if you have time take a squizz at my blog down here in Brisbane, Australia…..



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