Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A Heavenly Day at The Roaring Twenties Lawn Party

Most of the time I like my job as a vintage dealer...then there are the days when I just love it! Sunday was one of those days. A few weeks ago I was invited to be one of 8 vendors at a brand new and exciting event, The Roaring Twenties Lawn Party. This Gatsby themed party was planned by Boston Swing Central and the Trustees of the Crane Estate in Ipswich Ma. Spending a summer day on the beautiful Crane Estate was more than enough reason to say yes.

Just close your eyes and imagine winding your way up a private wooded road, until you come to an open manicured hilltop with terraced grounds. There, a gravel drive leads to a magnificent 59 room, Stuart style mansion. The grounds behind the mansion are the most breathtaking of all....like something out of a fairy tale. A half-mile-long corridor of perfect emerald lawn, softly rolling it's way to a distant private ocean beach, flanked on either side by larger than life, Grecian style statues. The surrounding hill is lush with protected forests. Lawn party is an understatement! The vendors were to set up on a lovely side terrace with post card worthy vista as backdrop. Oh yes, this sounded nice :)

If the setting didn't hook me the venue was sure to.  Live jazz music all afternoon and evening, performed by Brooklyn's own, Baby Soda Band. Swing dance lessons were scheduled for afternoon and evening . A huge dance floor to be spread beneath a gorgeous summer sky. Nature would provide a steady flow of ocean breeze to cool the revelers, picnickers AND the vendors.

Advance ticket sales promised a huge crowd. Dressing the period was strongly suggested for all party goers and I was looking forward to enjoying the parade of twenties inspired attire. The vintage community is close and I knew most of the other dealers who were attending, so I was keen to hear all the news.

The fates were with us because the day arrived just after the break of a heat wave. The morning dawned cool and clear. It was hard to focus on setting our booth up with so much beauty around but we managed to be ready when the first guests arrived. Picnickers staked out their spots, some even set up vintage venues complete with linen covered tables and flowers! In time the band began playing and they were amazing. After a brief dance lesson, the floor went into full swing and the party was on!

Things were busy in the vendors area as well, people strolled in and out of booths to peruse the carefully curated merchandise. Shopping may not have been the main event but so many tempting choices made it hard to say no. This was our crowd, people who loved all things beautiful from earlier times. Jason Volk, was the man who coordinated our little market and he did a wonderful job.

By 8:00 pm the festivities were over, content guests made their way to the parking lot and the merchants started to pack up. There were smiles all around.

A few snap shots of our lovely day. Enjoy!


                    A Sampling of Party Guests   


Two of my favorite outfits. Laura Kimsey, on the left, is an illustrator and devoted fan of vintage as well as a long time and dear customer.

The lush lawn was an irresistible invitation to kick off ones shoes and relax
The fine art of picnicking.
Dashing well dressed men...such a pleasure to see!
The music was intoxicating and the dancing divine!
Vintage dealer, Adam Irish, from Old as Adam, attended the party with this lovely lady at his side.

A Few of my Vendor Friends 

 Amy and helper Amanda, Artifaktori       
    Carrie , Curio Vintage  
Jen and Vince,

 Booth Shots



There was so much more to see, I wish I had more pics. As you can see the merchandise was to die for :)
AND my favorite shot....
... my dear and VERY handsome husband Bob. I could not do any of this without him.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Fashion Ephemera from the turn of the 19th to 20th Century (1900-1902)

I’m still in the process of moving into my studio. Yesterday and today are dedicated to transferring my collection of books, magazines and fashion related ephemera. I just now came across a pile of pages that had once been part of an old scrap book. Most are fashion plates from turn of the century (1900-1902), clipped from McCalls  Magazines. They are gorgeous and I wanted to share a sampling.
January 1900, Ladies gray cloth costume trimmed in Karakul (Persian lamb) fur, with matching muff 

April 1901, early spring outing toilettes. Notice the difference in hairstyles. Adolescent and teen girls often wore their hair down in ringlets or braids. Their dresses hovered above the ankle to mid calf. Pompadours and floor sweeping hems were reserved for the ladies.

January 1901, outdoor toilettes for winter. Elaborate wide brimmed hats were de rigueur in the early 1900s. Feathers were the appropriate millinery trim for winter.

March 1901, a duo of visiting toilettes. Note the iconic S-bend silhouette with tiny waist, jutting rear and puffed pigeon chest. This was achieved with a very specific corset, ironically called the "Health Corset". It was anything but healthy. A stiff, straight busk in front, forced the torso forward and pushed the hips out in back putting terrible strain of the back.

October 1901, promenade costumes. The promenade or leisurely walk was an important activity. It was an acceptable activity for courting couples, a way for neighbors to keep in touch and a much need source of light exercise for the pampered society lady. In 1895 the Concert Promenade became popular in London. A live band provided music as strollers walked the public gardens, how genteel! 


March 1902, indoor toilettes. Delicate pastels and feminine prints marked the onset of spring.

October 1902, another duo of promenade costumes. Note the more conservative suit, designed with the "older" woman in mind, on the right.