Do you remember “finding your true home” in the vintage community?
And how wonderful it was to discover that your passion was shared and cherished by others?
I do. It was at the best vintage fair I’ve ever been to (still to this day).
There, for the first time, I didn’t feel out of place in my 1940s suit, hair piled high. From the moment the first person tapped me on the shoulder and asked about the “soutache” on my lapels, I knew I’d found my people.
It was a long way from home, a plane ride away. I had saved for almost a year to acquire my own pieces of history. And although I went alone and didn’t know anyone there, when I walked into that room, heaving with smiling people, I felt instantly at home.
Finding Your Vintage Story: A Source of Inspiration
That experience set the bar for me on what an exceptional, authentic vintage fair and event should be: a community of like-minded people, with myriad styles and inspirations, brought together by their mutual love of historical fashion.
There were no hard and fast rules as to what should be worn and how. Instead what I found was a genuine exchange between friends, buyers and sellers, hardcore fans and the curious, all sharing their joy and finding appreciative homes for each treasure.
However, in recent years, as the vintage trend has taken hold, I’ve seen hyper commercialism chipping away at this wonderful camaraderie at the heart of why so many of us love vintage.
What I didn’t realize, back at that milestone event, was how much it would later inspire me to create and launch a new initiative to bring out the best in vintage for our community.
Ready, Set, Go! Breathing New Life Into Vintage Markets
I’m thrilled to announce the debut of Vintage Current Fashion Fair, coming this May 7-8 (Mother’s Day Weekend) as part of Ballarat Heritage Weekend 2016!
Having inherited my love of fashion from my mum, with her talent for sewing and restyling old outfits, and nurturing the love of vintage in my own daughters, teaching them to shop smart and appreciate styles from bygone days, hosting this event over Mother’s Day Weekend is an extra special treat for me.
Just as exciting is the opportunity to collaborate with so many talented, passionate vintage lovers around this event.
Thanks to our partnership with the brilliant teams at the City of Ballarat and Ballarat Regional Tourism, we anticipate a crowd of 20,000 enthusiasts at Ballarat Heritage Weekend 2016, and we’re working with several partners, vendors and sponsors to make this premiere event one for all to remember.
Here’s just a taste of what you can expect during this fun-filled weekend …
Pictured clockwise from top left: St Pat’s Hall VCFF heritage venue, local Ballarat fashion blogger Finding Femme, ladies ready for the Tweed Ride, Charlotte Smith on stage.
We’re teaming up with our good friend Charlotte Smith, author of Dreaming of Dior and Dreaming of Chanel, to host an interactive session on how to discover and refine your own vintage style. Charlotte is also hosting an array of stunning vintage fashion parades plus her “In Conversation” sessions with the fabulous Catriona Rowntree and Claudia Chan Shaw (pictured below).
- Audrey Scarlett Vintage a personal favourite for their extensive range of affordable pieces.
- Frizzy Vintage with a great range of accessories and stunning Japanese vintage frocks.
- Vintage Online who carry a superior range of genuine vintage jewellery to fit every budget.
- Jack’s Daughter our friends set the standard for authentic vintage reproduction fashion (several of their designs are in my wardrobe right now).
- Steady with Betty Vintage Clothing beautiful vintage pieces, with show-stopping gowns, featured in countless glamour shoots I’ve styled.
- Recycology always makes me smile with their exotic collection of brightly coloured, fabulous pieces (including the most stunning burnt silk velvet kimono I had to have).
That’s barely the tip of the iceberg, as our plans and partnerships are rapidly growing, and the other key ingredient we’re looking for now is YOU.
Vintage Vendors, Makers and Sponsors: We Want You!
With over 25 years as a collector, I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know some of Australia’s finest vintage vendors — the backbone of these events. Their tireless sourcing, restoring and curating is what makes these people as rare as the gems they sell.
The same goes for the vintage makers, who take the time to faithfully reproduce garments and accessories to our needs. From hoarding buttons and trim, to custom making the perfect piece just for you, these dedicated individuals are creating the vintage of the future.
And of course, the re-imagineers (a term I much prefer to upcycling), who allow us to see what is possible for things that may otherwise have reached the end of their lives. They breathe new purpose into pieces, giving us the chance to create a new story for them.
Join Our Vintage Current Fashion Fair Mission
We’re proud to be creating a new haven for quality vintage vendors and passionate shoppers to come together during Ballarat Heritage Weekend.
We want to bring back all the reasons you fell in love with vintage in the first place, and that’s shaped our mission for Vintage Current Fashion Fair:
- It is unique – allowing you to explore your own personal sense of style to create something that reflects who you are.
- It has a story – vintage has romance and history, quietly weaving the tale of social change through each hemline.
- It is a responsible choice – wearing well and living through generations, teaching us about true value per wear and quality of make.
- It inspires – No longer are we slaves to the vicious cycle of fast fashion and the dictates of trends, we get to write the story.
- It represents real value – The hand beaded, pure cashmere sweater you find on these racks can be had for ½ or less the price of a mass produced high street version, and is made to a quality standard rarely seen today.
Whether you are a collector, a vendor, a maker or any manner of vintage enthusiast — anywhere in the world — if this mission resonates with you, we’d love to hear from you!
If you’re a seller of quality vintage, based or trading in Australia, let’s work together to help promote you and your passion. Click here to learn more and apply to be part of VCFF!
(Note: If you’re not based in Australia, don’t worry: We’ll be sharing videos, photos, posts and more online, and you can catch the buzz via our #VCFF event hashtag.)