Posts Tagged ‘Vintage Fashion Expo’

Another fabric handbag, this time a clutch in brown with swipes of black. I spotted this bag at the now defunct Vintage Fashion Expo – a vintage sale held twice a year in San Francisco (oh how I miss the Fashion Expo). I instantly fell in love with the unusual curve at the bottom of this bag, which is just perfect for holding. The shape and fabric remind me of mid-century furniture.

A classic 1950s handbag, I often wear it with a brown full skirt dress that I bought at the same time from the same dealer. This is my go-to autumn party outfit. Parties? Remember those?

Remember to stop back tomorrow for another vintage handbag.

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Gatsby Summer Afternoon 2018. Photo: Richard Aiello.

It was a record breaking year for the Art Deco Society of California Gatsby Summer Afternoon. Just over 1000 people gathered on Sunday, September 9th for an opportunity to live for a day the elegance of the 1920s/1930s.

Attendance to Gatsby Summer Afternoon has been on the increase for the past several years. I met many first timers.  One young woman heard about the event from Face Book and was happy to pull out her extensive collection of all things vintage. Quite a few attendees were from LA and a woman from the Sacramento Art Deco Society was very impressed with her first visit, commenting on how well organized the event was.

The costumes of course were fabulous. Everyone dressed to the nines in period appropriate clothing (1920s-30s). Here’s a look-see:



I like how this couple, Kim and Kenneth, coordinated their colors and gave a nod to the upcoming fall season with touches of orange.


Katie and Gregg toast the day. Katie made her dress and it turned out great!


This was Ann’s first Gatsby Summer Afternoon. Doesn’t she look lovely? Ann found her dress at Relic Vintage in SF.


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Jill (pictured right) was attending Gatsby Summer Afternoon for the first time with her old college chum, Amy. Jill told us that she remembers the very first invitation from 34 years ago. She wasn’t able to attend and for one reason or another hasn’t all these years since. But she wanted to and has been planning. Finally this was the year! She was so thrilled to win Best Petite Picnic Site her excitement and big smile made my day. Oh, and she made her dress!


And here’s yours truly. This is the third time I’ve worn this dress to Gatsby Summer Afternoon. I found it at Vintage Fashion Expo. The lace gloves came from Lacis in Berkeley. The purse was my grandmother’s and the pendant was my great grandmother’s. People often comment on my sunglasses, which are not period. They’re Liz Claiborne, circa 1990s.

It takes a lot of volunteers to put this day together. A round of applause for the committee and Event Co-Chairs Heather Ripley and Marie Riccobene. Gatsby Summer Afternoon was founded by Laurie Gordon.

We look forward to next year when the Art Deco Society of California will celebrate 35 years of Gatsby Summer Afternoon. See what all the buzz is about and join us, Sunday, September 8, 2019.

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Dita Von Teese, on the Vanity Fair International Best Dressed List.

Dita Von Teese, on the Vanity Fair International Best Dressed List.

Dita Von Teese is on the Vanity Fair International Best Dressed list and … you know where she gets her clothes? The Vintage Fashion Expo!

Ms. Von Teese says her FAVORITE place to shop is The Vintage Fashion Expo, which just happens to be coming up this weekend, Saturday September 21st and Sunday the 22nd, at the Concourse Exhibition Center, in San Francisco.

Hey, I’m with her, The Vintage Fashion Expo is the best with over 80 dealers from across the country offering selected men’s and women’s clothing, antique 1850s right on up to vintage 1980s (yes, I guess 80s is now considered vintage). Plus jewelry, hats, shoes, handbags, buttons, hair accessories, and more. Fall in particular is my very favorite Expo as I dream of 40s suits, shirtwaist dresses, and this season I’m on the lookout for vintage sunglasses.

You can’t argue with Best Dressed so make your fall fashion list and show up at The Vintage Fashion Expo this weekend at the Concourse Exhibition Center, 635 8th Street at Brannan. September 21st, 10:30am to 6:00pm, $10 (early birds, 9am to 10:30am, $20). September 22nd, 11:00am to 5:00pm. Sunday only – free to students with a student ID.

Click here to get a $2 off coupon.

See you at The Expo.

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THATCH 8506278220_3f1f0d484f_cThe Spring 2013 Vintage Fashion Expo in San Francisco is coming up on March 16th and 17th at the Concourse Exhibition Center.

New to the Expo this season is the celebrated Thatch Vintage and their Vintage Mobile Boutique, a converted Silver Streamlined Boles Aero trailer. Air-conditioned and handsomely outfitted, this super-cool vintage trailer is complete with all the standard ‘brick-and-mortar’ amenities such as showcase lighting and a private dressing room.

We all can’t wait to see that, not to mention the 80 or so other dealers from around the country showcasing the best in vintage spring fashions.

Vintage is always stylish and spring 2013 trends include cardigan sweaters in shades of pink and green, scarves in solids and floral prints, two-tone mod printed everything (thanks to Marc Jacobs) and dresses, dresses, dresses of all silhouettes.

The Vintage Fashion Expo, Saturday March 16th and Sunday, March 17th at the Concourse Exhibition Center, 8th & Brannan, SF. Click here for more information.

Be there or be square!

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Dita Von Teese shops the Expo. Photo courtesy of Vintage Fashion Expo.

Local shoppers are abuzz with the approaching fall Vintage Fashion Expo this weekend September 22-23 at the Concourse Exhibition Center in San Francisco.

The Vintage Fashion Expo brings together dealers from around the country to offer an array of treasures from the early 1900s to the 1980s.

Vintage Vogue’s Barbara Grigg will be there displaying designer gowns perfect for upcoming holiday parties and events. Marta Koehne of Hot Couture Vintage Fashion has a wide selection of chic winter coats among other great finds.

Vintage-inspired is omnipresent on the runways and this season designers focussed on accessories:

  • Hats are favored by Marc Jacobs, Jason Wu, and Giorgio Armani.
  • YSL looks include daytime gloves.
  • Miu Miu and Oscar de la Renta like structured handbags.
  • Chunky pendants and brooches are the big news of the season.

    Hats and handbags to rival any modern design. Image courtesy of Vintage Fashion Expo.

Hats, gloves, handbags, costume jewelry? The Expo has all that and more, including clothing for men and children. Plus celebrities! Dita Von Teese often shops the Expo as does designer and Fashion Star Contestant Lisa Hunter who finds inspiration while strolling the aisles.

The Vintage Fashion Expo, September 22-23 at the Concourse Exhibition Center 635 Eighth Street, San Francisco. Click here for all the details.

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Designer and Fashion Star contestant Lisa Hunter shopping at the Vintage Fashion Expo in San Francisco.

The Vintage Fashion Expo last weekend was, as always, great fun and a shopping success. I found a Joseph Magnin 1970s patent leather handbag and a fantastic pair of navy and white leather gloves with ah … slits in the wrists. Really! I’ve never seen anything like them. But my real find was Lisa Hunter, contestant on the new fashion reality show Fashion Star.

I spotted Lisa conversing with another attendee and introduced myself. Friendly and ready to talk vintage fashions, Lisa agreed to take a break from her shopping and chat.

Lisa told me she got into vintage when she was studying fashion design at Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. One day she picked up a copy of the school’s newsletter and saw a help wanted ad for someone to work the Vintage Fashion Expo. She got the job and when she showed up on that first day, she was blown away by all the beautiful vintage clothing.  “I felt like I died and went to heaven,” explained Lisa sporting a retro curly bob hairstyle and a green plaid dress from her own line.

Although she had grown up watching old movies with her mother and loved glamour, vintage fashions were not on her radar. At FIDM she was thinking of designing clothes for tweens. But after working the Expo for three years surrounded by the best in vintage clothing, her whole fashion focus shifted.

Lisa says she came to appreciate all that vintage has to offer. “It’s classic and beautiful and it never goes out of style.”

After she graduated from FIDM in 2004 Lisa started her own line – Vian Hunter.  She now lives in Seattle, Washington and has a store where she features her own vintage-inspired designs as well as a selection of vintage clothing. The late 50s to early 60s is her favorite period.

At the Expo that day Lisa shopped for coats, suits, and fitted jackets for fall as well as dressy dresses. Seattle is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Space Needle and many of Lisa’s customers are attending the big 1960s themed party.

I asked Lisa what’s inspiring her these days. “The new longer skirt lengths I find oddly refreshing,” she says, “and eight inch hems.” Back in the day, skirts and dresses had big hems and Lisa is pondering that as a design element.

Hmmm … I like that idea.

For those of you watching Fashion Star you know that Lisa is a contestant and she was a winner on this week’s episode with Macy’s picking up her sleeveless pleated empire waist dress.

Congratulations Lisa and a big thank you for taking time to speak with Over Dressed for Life.

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One way or another, vintage fashions are always in. This season the big fashion story is the Ladylike Dress of the 1950s – nipped-waist, full skirt. The best place to pick up an original of the new trend is of course The Vintage Fashion Expo this weekend March 17th and 18th at the Concourse Exhibition Center in San Francisco.

Vintage-inspired dress by Lisa Hunter from Vian Hunter House of Fashion.

I never miss the Expo and guess who else will be there –  Lisa Hunter, current contestant on the newest NBC television fashion show Fashion Star. Lisa is a women’s clothing designer and longtime shopper at the Expo.

Inspired by the feminine look of the 1950s and 1960s, Lisa studied at FIDM and started her own fashion house in 2004 called Vian Hunter House of Fashion. She currently lives in Seattle, Washington and has a shop where she sells her own designs and select vintage pieces. (I like the fact that all her designs are made in the USA.)

Lisa isn’t the only fashionable to shop the Expo. Stylists, fashion students, fashion journalists (like moi), collectors, and clothing historians are just some of the folks in the biz who find the Expo not just a place to buy vintage, but also to find inspiration, meet like-minded people, and network.

For over 30 years, every spring and fall The Vintage Fashion Expo has brought to us 80 dealers from around the country offering fashions and accessories for men, women, and children from the 1850s to the 1980s. There’s something for everyone and more.

The Vintage Fashion Expo, March 17th and 18th, 2012 at the Concourse Exhibition Center, 635 8th Street at Brannan, SF. Saturday hours, Early Bird $20 admission 9am to 10:30 AM. Regular hours $10 admission 10:30 to 6pm. Sunday, 11am to 5pm. Students with ID free on Sunday.

See you at the Expo.

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