Since moving to the Bay area, I had been meaning to get myself along to one of the infamous Vintage fashion events on Alameda island, but living in San Jose for almost 18 months, it seemed like a really long drive for 2 hours of shopping.
Imagine my surprise to see that this years May event was 0.2 mile of a walk from our new house now nestled just off Alameda's Webster street (that's approximately a 10-15 minute walk). Myself and a good Aussie friend who also recently moved to the Bay last year, decided to head down and see what goods the Bay area vendors had on offer.
For those who know me and my vintage venturing in Perth Australia, you'll know that I was a regular stall holder at the Polka Dot Vintage market - which was Perth's premier vintage fashion event/ fair held once every quarter. The comparison of this Vintage Faire was slightly smaller compared to the markets I was used to back home. $5 entry and the gymnasium at the College was transformed into a Paris theme. There were approx 50 vendors and a vast assortment of all kinds of vintage from the 20's through to the 70's. I really enjoyed the "Paris" theme and had sweet little Parisian lamps, tables and chairs and Binet's by my favorite little breakfast place down on Webster street - Cafe Jolie. The sellers were all lovely, eager to chat and help if you had trouble deciding on which item to get. I was sad that I forgot bringing some business cards as these kinds of events are excellent for networking at.
I was surprised actually to find so many gorgeous 50's and 60's frocks. Especially the 60's! Loud mod prints and cute bright florals have become a favorite of mine, and not just only to sell but to wear too. Iv'e found since living here in San Francisco that the fashion is very relaxed and casual, and you almost feel inferior for wearing a pretty vintage dress or frock to work. I found living in Perth, more "fashionista" than living here. It's an odd thing but I guess it is just SF's vibe.
I must admit when shopping for vintage that I am somewhat a bargain shopper. I understand certain price points for particular era's, dependent on labels, condition and styles. So I was a bit shocked to see some frocks very highly priced for what they were worth. Even so, there were also some excellent affordable finds nestled in with some of the more out of reach items. This green dress below was just stunning in real life and I am now wishing I had bought it! It was only $58!
Another regret was not buying a wonderful pair of vintage frames from a seller which had racks and racks of gorgeous cat eye and retro reading glasses frames. All for $25! I find these kinds of things over priced on Etsy so I'll have to wait until October and hope this seller appears again. I had just bought a pair of new frames from Bon Look, so didn't want to be over zealous with having too many pairs of glasses.
Until the next Antiques faire at the end of the month, I'll have to wait for my next vintage fix. There seems to be a lot of great events this side of the East Bay for retro and vintage outings.
The next Alameda Vintage Fashion Faire isn't until October 14th, but I may see whether it is worth having a stall there for next time. I have a LOT of stock which needs moving and is reasonably priced. It is so close to my house, it won't be too far from home!