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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
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.
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).
Amongst our fast-growing list of wonderful VCFF vendors, you’ll find:
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!
Bouffants, beehives, curls, waves and more hairspray than Viva Las Vegas! … but right here in Melbourne?
Yes, that sums up our Iconic 1960s Hairstyles Event at the National Gallery of Victoria. Part of the NGV Kids Summer Festival and stunning Warhol/WeiWei exhibition, the Australia Day styling demonstration was a raging success.
Who knew that watching ’60s hairstyles come to life could keep so many kids enraptured for three full hours? (Parents and babysitters, take note!)
Under the colourful stained glass ceiling of the Great Hall, our models Susanne, Eva and Meik had their tresses transformed into towering recreations from the Swinging Sixties, as you can see in the photos and video below.
Meanwhile, as I curled and teased our models’ hairdos to soaring heights, our enthusiastic audience offered up their own stories of how Mum or Grandma did their hair back in the day.
One woman shared with me her sixties-era bridal photographs, featuring her tower of perfectly pinned curls, artfully arranged over many hours by her hairdresser.
Best anecdote of the day? One woman shared her mother’s secret for the biggest, fullest beehive: she would hide a loaf of bread inside for maximum height!
We were delighted to see so many people not only turn out for this special event, but stay for the entire session. Yet our favorite part was how many also came and said hello, asked their burning questions, shared their own stories and came away with fresh ideas and a renewed sense of the fun of vintage styling.
A big thank you to my wonderful models Suzanne, Eva and Meik, who played their parts beautifully, and to Hunter Boyle and Mick Russell for the striking visuals that allow us to share this window into our day of diva-worthy hair. And of course, we’re incredibly grateful to the team at NGV for the opportunity to share our passion and all their support in making this event such a wonderful experience for all!
Videography: Linchpin Studios
Director/Photographer: Hunter Boyle
Models: Suzanne, Eva Las Vegas, Meik
Sweet, sophisticated, earthy and rich, each of these vintage bouquets have a different significance and will help add another layer to your story and big day.
The Sweatpea’s history can be traced back to 17th century Italy. It has a softly pastoral feel. Small and delicate these flowers signify blissful pleasure.
2. Rich reds and berry tones in this opulent arrangement are lent a slightly less formal structure by mixing both delicate and strong foliage in wild sprays.
3. Giant seed pods, white roses, glossy winter green leaves, succulents and wild boronia come together in the perfect mix of modern meets traditional.
4. Muted peach tones and the wide spread of blue and purple hued foliage give this bunch a soft romance. The perfect compliment to a softly draped gown.
5. Peonies, ferns and ranunculi add their blousy faces to this pretty posy. The deep rich raspberry colours against the navy suits, anchors this mid-century wedding ensemble.
6. Lilly of the Valley and Star Jasmine make the ideal vintage bridal bouquet. A hugely popular wedding motif in both the 1930s and 1950s, these flowers often carried over into the headpieces and wedding dress embroidery.
7. Luscious red cherries add a delicious touch to this rich berry toned posy of peonies and roses. A wonderful choice for the alternative vintage wedding and quite possibly the perfect bouquet for the Rockabilly bride.
8. Wild and free, daisies, pussy willows and thistles are the ideal flowerchild bouquet for our 1970s inspired bride.
9. Again, Star Jasmine and Lilly of the Valley with trailing strands of green ivy have been seen gracing the arms of the Edwardian and Victorian bride.
10. Giant tree peonies nestled in maidenhair ferns make a brilliant bouquet.
11. Jasmine, peony roses and orange blossom make a fragrant collection.
12. 1960s pastel shades to echo the perfectly sweet bridesmaid dresses of the time, can be found in a fluffy bouquet of hydrangea, roses and babies breath.
13. Bright yellows and lime greens in these fresh roses and daisies, call to mind the poppy tones of the 1970s bride.
14. Peonies and lilacs in shades of purple are an elegant, classic style.
15. Cascading Ivy, Baby’s Breath and other delicate blooms are reminiscent of Victorian era bridal bouquets.
Which of these bouquets do you like most? Would you choose any of them for your big day? Share your thoughts in the comments!
To create my art, I use brushes of a different kind.
I look at faces, both old and new. Round, soft, open, wide: each face is a new canvas and a foundation that I’m privileged to work with.
I first learnt the power of a great hairdo when I was very young. The Silver Screen was my mentor. The elderly women in my life, the discarded magazines and dog-earred manuals of bygone days were my teachers.
Meanwhile, my own thick, unruly hair was both a constant battle and an inspiration.
While I dreamt of a Louise Brooks bob, when I looked in the mirror I saw a puffy, frizzy chaos of curls. I’d built a powerful image in my mind of the woman I wanted to become … and this was not what she looked like.
At age 14, my rudimentary tools were limited to hair mousse and a hair dryer diffuser. That year, everyone wanted to look like Jennifer Beals; I wanted Rosalind Russell. Writing my own style script was the only way forward.
Andy Warhol clearly knew the transformative power of hair.
From Marilyn to Mao, his artwork prominently features iconic hairstyles. And his silver grey wig became an inherent part of his iconic status. You simply can’t picture Warhol without it, can you?
This Australia Day, January 26th, from 12-3pm in the Great Hall at NGV, I’ll be creating three different looks, taking you through the step-by-step techniques of how these are achieved. We’ll also chat about hairstyling history and trends in the 1960s, with particular focus on the ornate and complex styling worn by many of Warhols’ celebrity muses.
In a time where it has never been easier to become your own work of art, I’d love to share with you the experience of creating these mini-masterpieces.
This event is free and doesn’t require a booking. Join me, come say hello and enjoy our iconic styling adventures this Australia Day (or follow the fun via hashtag #WarholWeiwei).
The Dressmaker costume exhibition at Barwon Park Mansion is a must see for anyone with an appreciation for couture fashion.
Love, Revenge and Haute Couture
– an utterly intriguing and accurate synopsis of this visually stunning film.
Adapted from Rosalie Ham’s bestselling book and featuring over 50 pieces of the costume design work of Marion Boyce and Margot Wilson, this exhibition is a stand-alone highlight of Australian design talent.
Featuring a hand picked wardrobe of pieces worn by Kate Winslet and the cast, this showcase shines a spotlight on the transformative power of fashion as well as the integral process of costume design in character development.
Stepping onto the pebbled driveway, the vision of Barwon Park Manor instantly transports you to another world. Set amongst a golden pastoral landscape and cushioned by elderly pines, the bluestone walls open into a vision of Tilly Dunnage’s country Australia.
Behind it’s double doors, the residents of 1950’s Dungatar come alive in each flutter of chiffon and rustle of moiré silk. We are treated to an up close and personal experience with the fabrics, the processes, the sheer magic of these costumes and their secrets.
Both the film and the exhibition take you on a transformative journey, setting the luxurious designs and opulent fabrics against the dusty Australian landscape.
Artfully staged, the story line of each character can be seen in every stitch, letting you lose yourself in the world of Parisian glamour and dream of what such garments might do for your own story.
Vintage Current talked to costume designer Marion Boyce about her challenges and triumphs working on The Dressmaker.
Starring Kate Winslet and Liam Hemsworth, The Dressmaker Costume Exhibition hosted by the National Trust, is on now at the Barwon Park Mansion in Winchelsea, Victoria.
Make a day of it and treat your friends to a mini road trip of fabulous fashion and style inspiration. Imogen, Anne and I had the most fantastic day complete with Devonshire tea in the converted stables.
Keep an eye out for the Sunday Style session, a 1950s style garden party day, (details TBA) and the perfect opportunity to frock up!
Only 40 minutes from Geelong or1 hr 20 mins from Melbourne, Barwon Park’s 42 room heritage beauty is the perfect setting to truly experience this remarkable showcase of re-created 1950’s Parisian influenced couture.
The Dressmaker costume exhibition is not to be missed!
It’s one of the biggest days of your life. You’ve found the dress, now all you need is the perfect pair of vintage wedding shoes to go with it.
Each bride who comes through our door has tales of shoe sourcing woes. Finding the right pair to dance in, to match her 1950s wedding dress, to show her personality and to keep her walking on air … you get the picture.
As a certified shoeaholic, I have ever-growing pages of inspiration, ranging from the simple to the sublime.
Here’s my list of the 20 vintage wedding shoes I love most (right now*) …
19. For 1940s red carpet worthy glamour, these Badgley Mischka champagne heels are ideal.
20. The ultimate in 1950s style stiletto glamour. Christian Louboton creations in a sheer mesh with crystal embellishments (pictured below).
* Here’s how we handle the “right now” part …
Who knows, by the time you’re reading this, we may have found 10 or 20 new favorites. And no matter what, we’ll keep adding to our collection of dazzling, divine shoe styles for brides and their parties.
Want to keep up with us? Let us know what you think of our picks?
Follow our new Bridal Shoes Board on Pinterest here — and build your own virtual dream shoes rack!