Brimfield’s Antique Textiles and Vintage Fashion Show opens with good sales

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Cats Meow is a regular exhibitor at the show, collecting all year in their home area of Midland, Texas.

STURBRIDGE, Mass. – The 62nd Antique Textiles Vintage Fashions Show & Sale, Sept. 5, 2011 at The Sturbridge Host Hotel and Convention Center was a full house of exhibits and also was overflowing with customers happy to find their latest additions to collections of textile oriented antiques. This very unique and specialized show produced by Linda Zukas for over 20 years in the same location three times each year on the Monday of Brimfield Week has been a phenomenal success for customers, dealers and her, all of whom were happy to be there and leave even happier.

 Zukas filled the exhibition area, meeting rooms and ballroom with the exhibitors offering fresh style and merchandise in vintage fashions collected for their use as patterns, for wearing and even for stage and movie sets. Exhibitors collect for this event all year long, holding special pieces aside from regular antiques show to offer here. And customers plan their schedules around this thrice annually event, travelling from throughout the United States, Europe and Asia for this one day to shop the show.

 Dealers are in most cases antiques dealers with a penchant for the specialty of this show. Tricia LeTemp’s Red Door Antiques is often seen with a broad range of antiques at various shows throughout the country. But for this event three times each year her business deals in fine linens, early fashions and accessories and notions for the trade collected from her Eddyville, Ky. shop.

Wayne Murray offered a collection of very special ladies outfits from his business’s collection, Time Slot antiques of Oakville, Conn. On one table he had displayed several outfits including a Pacorabanne Dress from Mid-Century; an Art Deco shawl; a pale beige wedding gown in rose point lace circa 1900 and an evening gown from designer Philip Hulipaur circa 1950.

Right To The Moon, Alice, managed by Alice Lindholm of Cooks Falls, N.Y. is one of several exhibitors offering “retro” styles for designers who copy them and also shoppers who wear them. Playing on the expression popular by Jackie Gleason in the fifties, her style and collection includes everyday outfits and the fancy things as well, mostly for women. A group of customers from New York and Hollywood, those who buy these outfits for use as period costume for Broadway shows, television and movies never miss her exhibit. Connie Marks of Rocky Point, N.C finds Mid-Century designer gowns and outfits which she offers at the show.

They are sold as models for copying again as well as to customers who may actually wear the garments. At the May show there were three outfits including three by Elizabeth Arden and mixed in with them the underwear for each, selling from $150 to $495 per outfit. This month she was showing a collection of business dress outfits and Victorian children’s clothing and accessories.

 Quilts and coverlets were there from many parts of the country.  Julia Kelly-Hodenius, of Piqué, Sharpsburg, Ga. collects in The South, with a passion for early cotton quilts. Martha Perkins is a Massachusetts dealer where her searching turns up cotton quilts but also heavier pieces including the woolens and some homespun and Jacquards. Jane Lury, a New Yorker adds to the mix with pieces she finds from all The States and even in Europe. Recently she was showing a large bedcover with patriotic references from The Spanish American War, made from old military uniforms by wounded soldiers while recuperating from their battle injuries.

 Some exhibits are a little off beat or funkie. Nancy Stronzcek, Greenfield, Mass. was showing a large collection of rag dolls of various ages and races. Pat Vaillancourt, Adamstown, Penn. brought a large egg, really large that is. It was probably a store display for candy at Easter or served some similar purpose. Forget Me Not is Norwich Vt. dealer Susan Voake with recycled Valentines cards and other feminine little things. And Pat Frazer, Easton, Conn. was selling Chinese Celebration hats; hats that made the wearer into some dragon in brightly colored silk fabrics.

Off beat, maybe. Funkie, probably,…but all very popular with the customers who came for this 62nd time and bought in strength from the exhibitors

Showcasing about 140 exhibitors there was outstanding variety in the inventories, collections and selections. For the fashions there were even choices in sizes and colors. Zukas in a post show interview was thrilled with “the dealers because they not only anticipate trends the inspire them” She added that many of the customers “buy retro fashions here to reproduce in new fabrics for the contemporary markets.”

Next year May 7 will be the first of her three shows.

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