I had conversations with wonderful vendors and bought beautiful, intriguing vintage buttons in the two and a half hours I whiled away at the Vintage Fashion and Accessory Fair yesterday.
Hammersmith Town Hall’s exterior is nothing to excite comment, that’s for sure. But just step inside during one of these fairs and it’s vintage overload of the best kind.
And all I’m seriously interested in is (are?) the vintage buttons and buckles.If I were a customer for jewelry, eyeglass frames, purses, shoes, trims, textiles, and every kind of women’s clothing I’d pay the higher admission to get in at 8 am instead of 10 and stay till the 5 o’clock closing time.
Imagine tables heaped with trays and baskets of brocanterie spilling onto the floor so that browsing resembles an Easter egg hunt, where narrow aisles are quickly clogged by browsers lost in reveries, where both vendors and shoppers are bedecked in strict period or eclectic vintage fashions and hairstyles, and you have your average vintage fashion fair.
I’ve been to probably eight such affairs now, having started three years ago when I was researching “Sewing Destination: London, England” for Threads magazine. It was at one of these fairs that I discovered vintage buttons so marvelous that they’ve pretty much replaced fabric as my favorite travel souvenir. (And they’re easier to pack.)
One of the many enjoyable features of vintage fashion fairs is chatting with dealers. I’ve found that if I express the least bit of interest or appreciation they are glad to share what they know about the provenance of their wares.
I bought buttons from five dealers yesterday. Thank you, dealers, for bringing such beautiful, odd, strange, curious, and appealing buttons out of dusty old shop basements and button jars to adorn new garments.
To learn more about the vintage fashion fairs held at Hammersmith Town Hall, click here.
Here are the buttons I bought, with a little information about reaching dealers.
From Gracie’s Vintage, [email protected]:
From Lyn Boulter. She is a regular at this vintage fair at Hammersmith Town Hall and also has a stall on Portobello Road.
From Gwyneth, former owner of Persiflage at Alfie’s Antiques, who is a regular at the vintage fashion fair at Hammersmith:
From Sue Unwin, dealer-owner of Adawn, [email protected]:
From Su Mason of Blue Linen: French Antique Linens, Textiles & Clothing. (And, I may add, fantastic buttons.) Contact: [email protected]o.uk