Sunday, December 1, 2013

A Trip to the Pier Show

Just before Thanksgiving, we went to The Pier Antiques Show on the Hudson River. It was the first show after Stella Management sold its business to U.S. Antique Shows, so we were anxious to see if the same wonderful melange of vendors would be back. Thankfully, minimal changes were evident and nearly all of our favorite vendors (Karen McWharter, Sunset Boulevard, ICON Style, David Owens, Lulu, to name just a few) were all in the new space. One change the new management made was to add three masseurs. Vendors have a hard job putting up their booths, and sometimes manning them singlehandedly all day, so a massage really hits the spot. (Visitors trying to visit nine hundred booths in one day also have a hard job...)

People flock to the show to view the amazing treasures on display. Sometimes it's hard to decide which treasures are more fun - the people or the objects, so we're showing you some of both.

We fell in love with this mint-condition Indian motorcyle sculpture we saw at Frank's Specialties.

Way on the other end of the spectrum, we were also delighted to see these impossible Vivienne Westwood platforms from Nomad Vintage.

We always fall in love with Michal Feinmesser, who looks as fabulous as her wares, decked out here in a grey and white polka dot reversible coat from Israeli designer Kedem Sasson that both of us coveted.

In Michal's booth, What Once Was, we spotted one of the most unusual pieces either of us had seen in a long time: intricately woven dyed red Victorian horsehair earrings in pristine condition. The delicate jewelry was colorful and extremely lightweight.

Okay, what do you think this is? We present it to you as if we were showing the phases of the moon.  (The varying sizes might throw you, but that's just our bad photography.  Imagine they're all the same size.  'Cause they are.)

TADAAAAA!!!!  Valerie models the fascinating folding Bakelite glasses we spotted in D. Brett Benson's booth.

We spied Maira and couldn't help but compliment her on how stylishly her glasses frames matched tones in her colorful scarves.

Loved the top and vintage bag sported by our friend Friederike. She introduced us to Michael who heads a rockabilly band. We love a man who appreciates and wears vintage clothing well. He was rocking an Eisenhower jacket, pants and boots by pairing them with a wide-brimmed hat. Even his moustache was tonsoriolly correct.

Or maybe Michael was going for the early Howard Hughes look.  It's a marvelous coincidence if he's not!

Daniel is a perennial favorite of ours. Does he own any clothes that aren't vintage? One gets the impression he has a copy of every 1940s movie ever made, and presses the PAUSE button at just the right moment to look at the details. Daniel's better than the movies, though, because he's in color.

Jean was positively agog at the wide variety and selection of vintage Bakelite jewelry, like these colorfully carved resin bangles in Shiny Little Objects booth.

"Come to mama!" Jean spotted this incredible black and banana yellow Bakelite ring there. It fit her ring finger perfectly, so she had to have it. With less than twenty-four hours until her birthday, she treated herself.

Speaking of men who appreciate vintage style, here is Robert Bryan, who is always so immaculately and suavely turned out, and his friend Suzanne whom we ran into right at the outskirts of Fashion Alley. You should have seen the fabulous polka dotted turban she found at Walker's Collectibles!

While we tend to focus on the Fashion Alley for clothing, jewelry and hats, the show carries all sorts of antiques from Victorian silver sets to mid-century electronics like this kitchy but visually stunning television which looked like something out of The Jetsons.

For some reason, we were very drawn to plastics/resins/synthetics this time. At Suzanne Schneider's booth, we found this carved bag with pre-Columbian Mexican motifs. Great conversation piece for a night club table. The esthetics of the '60s (above) and the esthetics of the '40s (below) are like night and day.

In our travels around the show, we stopped and had a Mutual Admiration Society moment with La Juana. Everything about her is perfect!

Loved this lady's whole look, especially her silver bracelets and earrings and her thick round tortoise shell glasses.

Here's Joyce, of Lara Joyce Antiques , who had her hair done up in Gibson Girl style.

Renee, on the other hand, went for the totally modern look. At least one vendor at the show offered to buy her aluminum necklace.

Stephanie Rubin's very up-to-date look contrasted beautifully with her selection of antiques.

We ran into our friend Mo from Ohio and all three of us pledged to get together in January when she's back in the Big Apple.

Anne and Dr. Gerry Weissmann stopped to chat. We'd first met them and photographed her at the Sonia Delaunay exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York.

We had the great good fortune to run into photographer Henny Garfunkel. First, we noticed her wonderful purple jacket. No, her hundred earrings. No, it was her gorgeous smile and great lipstick.  No, wait, it was the wonderful glasses. No, it was the sock hat she was wearing way on top of her head, as if she were a dignified ancient Japanese aristocrat. Okay, it was the whole package.  Henny's website features a photo of Johnny Depp, which gives us two degrees of separation from one of our celebrity heroes.

Hannah at David Owens' booth is new to us, but she's not new to vintage. In five minutes' time she showed us two great hats, both of which looked marvelous on her. And check out her vintage shoes.

Lara Kornbluh from "Icon Style" models an art deco style clear plexi and black earring which we both admired.

Lulu, of "Lulu's Vintage Lovelies", posed for our camera.    Jean bought a hat from her, to be revealed in a later post.

Barbara Kennedy always has a stunning selection of hats. This one, which Barbara thinks might be from the '60s, is decorated with wonderful hand painted silk vegetables.

Readers of our Metropolitan Pavilion Vintage posting from October (which Valerie missed due to ankle issues) may remember Filippo and Pervis from Sunset Boulevard holding a black jacket with buttons resembling a Paris subway map.  Here is Valerie with the guys, modeling it in obvious pleasure.

The proprietress of Past Perfect wore a fetching black hat and posed for a shot with us. (She said we had inspired her to wear hats.  Yaaay!)

Just before we left, we ran into Cynthia Hardy - or really, she found us, and told us her daughter had just seen us in a film (which one???!!!). In our short chat, Cynthia told us she'd lived in Bali for thirty years, designing jewelry. Later, when we did what all modern people do now and googled her, we found that Cynthia is also co-founder, with her husband John, of The Green School in Bali, subtitled The Greenest School on Earth. (See more about it on The TED Blog. TED is a wonderful organization dedicated to what they modestly call "ideas worth spreading".)

The After-Party: Disembarking from the Pier Show's complimentary shuttle bus at Madison and 55th Street, we decided to head to The Modern, the restaurant at MOMA, to have a celebratory cocktail in honor of Jean's 64th birthday. We both selected The Modern's delicious and colorful take on the margarita, the South by Southwest (NOT on the rocks, of course - we already know what water tastes like).

The Birthday Girl:

The Toaster (so to speak):

What we're wearing:
*Other purchases and Jean's birthday presents from Valerie to be revealed in later posts, so stay tuned!

Jean is wearing: black wool conical hat with little fins from Amy Downs' Schiaparelli collection; mid-century black & white polka dot earrings; vintage black eyeglass frames from Fabulous Fanny's; Kyodan jacket and Eileen Fisher harem pants; long, pleated black, white and red "Yuuka" scarf designed by Yoshiaki Yuki from Gallery Gen; Tignanello red leather cross-body bag; customized Dansko clogs.

Valerie is wearing: a black and white vintage Schiaparelli hat (from Etsy), plastic target clip on earrings, a monkey fur coat (from Loretta), barely visible Mexican silver necklace, barely visible Charivari sweater (also from Loretta), faceted horn ring from Task, two headed goat ring from Athens, barely visible Comme des Garcons pants, two toned shoes by Apartment, AND NO BOOT.