I’m excited to introduce our new Rome Antiques Diva Guide, Désirée Marie Townley, vintage fashion, couture and costume design and makeup artistry expert, and author of the popular blog THE CUT AND THE CLOTH. In addition to leading Rome antiques and vintage shopping tours, Désirée will be a regular contributor here on The Antiques Diva® & Co blog. With her trained eye for detail and world travels, she brings an artistic perspective to sourcing antiques and vintage fashion. If you’re attending our 5th Annual Paris Flea Market Champagne Brunch on Jan 21 (and I hope you are!) You can meet Désirée and some of our other Diva Guides in person. If not, book an Italy antiques buying, vintage fashion or design inspiration tour! Today Désirée is sharing a few tips she learned 1st hand for chic and stylish touring in Paris.
Chic Packing for Paris
Paris is its own cliche… full of things you have seen in movies and read about in books. There is a reason that descriptions and images of these streets are so widely used- this is one of the most incredible cities in the world. The more familiar the city becomes to me, the more I love her. It is impossible for me to be bored or hungry here.
To increase your pleasure of traveling to any city, I recommend engulfing yourself in cinematic and literary references to the culture. For Paris, I recommend:
• Watch: Paris Was a Woman to fall in love with the history of Paris in the 1920’s
• Watch: Midnight in Paris directed by Woody Allen, for fun
• Read: A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway because it is a classic
My sister had recently turned 30, and as a gift, my parents decided to bring her to Paris to meet me. I had to give her something memorable for such an important birthday so I sent a box containing a Chanel handbag with a note that said, “The French respect Chanel. Meet me in Paris with this bag on your arm”. So she did. My whole family did.
DREAMING OF A TRIP TO ITALY?
BOOK AN ANTIQUES, DESIGN INSPIRATION or VINTAGE FASHION TRIP
At The Antiques Diva we not only love antiques, my Diva Guides and I can be a bit style-obsessed; we love vintage fashion and accessories. J’adore Chanel – both new and vintage – but I am NOT a label-snob. Just as in interior design, in my wardrobe it’s all about the mix: I love to carry a Chanel bag with my H&M coat; I remember once I was chatting with Lynn Yaeger, contributing editor of Vogue and she complimented my fushia jacket – I confessed it’s origin and she said “Good design is good design regardless of the label.” On our Paris Tours we offer Antiques Diva® Paris Vintage Chanel and Vintage Fashion Tours for the equally design obsessed! (And yes, even on that tour you’ll discover the high low mix – unknown designers being sold next to the divine.)
If you’re in Paris December 1 and 2, don’t miss The Vintage Collector’s Fair at the fabulous Hotel Le Bristol. In its 2nd year, this curated high-end vintage fashion and accessories event for lovers of luxury and design will have amazing designer pieces from Hermès, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Dior, Balenciaga, Givenchy, Paco Rabanne, Courrèges, David Webb, Patek Philippe and designers you’ve never heard of – but want to know, presented by expert international vintage dealers and collectors. Featuring handbags, leather goods, couture and fine jewelry, watches and haute couture fashion and accessories, this event is perfectly timed at the start of the holidays to buy a gift for someone special… or for yourself. (Hmmm. My favorite presents are those I buy myself. After all, don’t we deserve to spoil ourselves?)
Fair organizer Catherine Lecomte, whom I know from from her vintage stall at The Decorative Fair in London, is well-known for her passion for style and vintage or rare fashion, having launched Katheley’s in 2010. A kindred spirit, she wants to make beautiful things accessible and launched the website and social media platforms so designs often only found in Europe are now globally available.
Our style-spotters have been able to preview the collection that will be available at The Vintage Collector’s Fair, and here are a few of my personal favorites:
Vintage Collector’s Fair Details
- FREE ENTRANCE
- Preview event on the 30th of November
- Friday 1 December 2017: 11 am – 10 pm
Saturday 2 December 2017: 11 am – 7 pm
If you’re in Paris, this special vintage fashion is not to be missed! If you’re planning a trip to Paris and want an insider’s guide to buying vintage fashion in Paris, contact me for an Antiques Diva Vintage Fashion Tour.
Toma – The Antiques Diva
Today’s post is by Sara Morel, who recently left her corporate fashion job to establish Reclaimed Woman. A blog and business, for those in search of a more conscious life. Fashion and home fashions that are equally style-savvy as they are ethical. Like a secret diary, she previously blogged under the name Style Salvo, recording her journey into antiques, salvage and a more sustainable existence (shoe collection excluded), as head of PR for a shoe brand at the time! She vowed to do-up her new home in London with as many old, reused and reclaimed things as possible. One bedroom, one bathroom, one garden, one kitchen… now her walk-in wardrobe.
SALVO Fair: Life is not a Rehearsal – Green Living Fest
A boulder engraved with the words of the estate owner, Sir William McAlpine reads ‘Life is not a Rehearsal.’ I love this phrase, and find it can be applied to all sorts of scenarios life throws at one. In light of the bright green antique theme, SALVO 2017 is not only about appreciating antiques for their connection with history, but for their relationship with the future and the environmental benefits of reuse. Shop vintage fashion and hats including unique designs by Dior from Mary Jones Vintage, whose rare finds for gents and ladies are stocked in Liberty of London as well as her shop in Liverpool.
Whatever your motivation, here are some shopping tips you can apply to architectural antiques and vintage fashion:
- Shopping in a meaningful way starts with knowing what your personal style is and what your needs are. Fashions move in cycles, so don’t let current trends dictate your taste. If you buy something you love, it will hold your interest.
- That’s all very well… but if you’re not yet sure what your style is, antique and vintage fairs are a great place to learn and discover what you like.
- Try to buy architectural antiques first, then make design decisions based on what is available – this will make your hunt much easier. The same goes for rare vintage fashion. It makes sense to start with your statement-makers, then you can build the rest of your look around them.
- Ask about provenance (the earliest known history about the piece). This not only adds value to the item, but to your dinner party conversation. For example, the extractor pipe on the cooker hood in my kitchen is a Victorian organ pipe reclaimed from a church in East London, the overhead cabinets were converted from a 1940s staff noticeboard reclaimed from London’s St Pancras Station. And you’ll have to come for dinner to hear the rest…
- Find designers, builders and tailors that are antique and vintage fashion friendly, as alterations and allowances may be required.
- You may be in a field (at Salvo Fair for example) but you are also surrounded by some rare and incredibly valuable period pieces. Dealers are rarely offended if you negotiate reasonably and there are definitely deals to be found at the fair.
- If you insist on wearing heels like Toma, take her Salvo Fair field lead and opt for a wedge.
- Any finally, it’s easy to get intimidated; whether you’re overwhelmed by the sheer size of an architectural antique or the price of a collectible vintage handbag, I recommend starting with an experienced Antiques Diva guide tailored to you and your budget.
Welcome to today’s guest blogger Brendan Von Enck, manager, agent and consultant at Fashion+Decor, as he shares his 1st visit to the Paris Flea Market with Antiques Diva Guide Katie. Enter our giveaway and #TellMeAboutYourFirstTime by Oct 25!
My 1st Time at the Paris Flea Market
by Brendan Von Enck
I met Toma Clark Haines three years ago at the High Point Market Antique and Design Center. Through different interior design industry events I grew to be close friends with The Diva herself, and when I decided to take a vacation to Paris I knew the flea market had to be one of my first stops. Upon telling the Diva the dates I would be in Paris, purely in hopes she would be passing through at the same time, I was swiftly put in touch with my amazing guide, Katie.
Katie arrived at my AirBnB in the 13th district of Paris off the Michel Bizot metro stop promptly at 8:30am as arranged by the Barbara the amazing office manager of AD&CO. Katie, my friend and I jumped in the electric rental and took off for the flea market. Once we arrived, Katie directed us to a delightful breakfast at a restaurant right in the heart of the market where we strategized on how to make the most of our day. We started at the high-end booths that showcased gorgeous midcentury furnishings and Murano chandeliers.
Obviously, I had to make a stop at the fashion booth to visit an amazing dealer that The Diva had told me about several months before.
With my mind racing over the gorgeous inspirational mix of antiques and vintage items I had just seen, we walked into an open air part of the flea market. At this point, it was around 11am and Katie told us we were making great time through the market and all of the vendors in the area we were heading to should now be open!
It was in this area that I saw a pair of twin beds which took my breath away! This pair of 18th-century beds were hand carved and painted with gold flaked details and luxurious red velvet drapery.
After gazing at the beds for about an hour and trying to figure out if I could sell my car, belongings, move back into my mother’s home and fit these two beauties into my suitcase, Katie and I pushed on into the rest of this gorgeous booth and found another breathtaking twin bed frame and absolutely amazing mirrors!
Once we left another booth that made my heart swoon we walked through a wonderful area with tables and tables of beads, hardware and other wonderful grab-and-go items that made wonderful gifts for my friends back in the states!
As my first trip the Paris Flea Market wound down Katie took me into a storefront that has changed what my idea of #goals means! The wonderful Daisy, owner of Marc Mason, welcomed us into her store and made us feel as though we were family. Katie and she spoke in French, at best I could blurt out “Merci” when they would look to me which of course was met with a joyous laughter. The storefront was breathtaking but it was when we entered the basement that I was absolutely speechless, in both languages. These fireplace mantels changed the game!
Then I almost spit out my champagne when I saw the one that brought me to tears.
Once Katie pried me from the basement we did another sweep through some artist areas of the flea market. Of course, many of these artists wouldn’t let me take any photo’s for understandable reasons but I have to say that the volume of original art at this flea market was amazing!
At this point in the day Katie, my friend and I grabbed a drink before leaving, this is another point when I discovered an amazing drink, Aperol Spritz. I must say that my day at the Paris Flea Market will always be one for the record book! I look forward to my next trip to France and can only hope that I run into the Toma!
We’d love to take you antiques shopping at the Paris Flea Market!
Book a Tour With The Antiques Diva & Co
See you in Paris!
Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva
Dear Diva Readers,
Les Merveilles de Babellou. And if you should happen to feel generous, you can send any of these lovely pieces to my flat! And by the way, Les Merveilles de Babellou has so much more than just Chanel pieces—peruse their website for some seriously drool-worthy vintage goodies!ome people may think that I’m difficult to buy for, but the truth is, all I want for Christmas (or any time of year!) is vintage Chanel! Check out some fabulous pieces offered by one of our favorite vintage fashion source in Paris,
Now let’s talk prices! What’s it cost to buy vintage Chanel?
A timeless Chanel bright red quilted patent leather bag decorated with a CC clasp and a silver metal shoulder strap chain interlaced with red leather. Simply perfect! 3800 Euro
These Chanel clip earrings made of gilt metal and adorned with blue, red, and green glass paste cabochons would be perfect for the holiday season! 530 Euro
Chanel by Gripoix atelier, a necklace made of several rows of faux pearls with an arabesque element in blackened gold metal with multicolored cabochons and four chains of red glass beads. A true stunner! 3800 Euro
Chanel by Gripoix atelier, a demi-parure consisting of a pearl necklace with a centered brooch and a pair of clip earrings both in golden metal and blue and green glass paste. 3500 Euro
A Chanel transparent resin bracelet encrusted with black and green tweed, small CC logo and a silver metal chain interlaced with black tweed. 850 Euro
Merry Christmas, and as Coco might have said “May All Your Christmases be Stylish and Chic!”
The Antiques Diva®
Dear Diva Readers,
Vintage Fashion Tour in Paris. Seriously, what better place to find fashion than Paris? Ooh La La!ressing in vintage fashion allows me to drape myself in the past – taking my passion for antiques a step beyond interior decor! There’s something special about the style, the cuts, and the attention to detail that went into vintage attire and accessories that makes my heart pitter patter a bit more. Anytime I’m at a flea market, I always keep my eyes peeled for a piece of vintage fashion that may be calling out to me, and I know I am not alone in this! One of our most popular antique buying tours in France is our
Chez Sarah in Paris Flea Market
While our vintage fashion tour includes many sources, shops, and stops along the way we certainly have our favorite places that specialize in high-quality vintage fashion. One of those places is Chez Sarah located off the beaten path in the Lecuyer Passage at the Paris Flea Market. I love to go in and sift through the historic clothing and textiles.
Chez Sarah is not just flea market finery – it has evolved into a real shop that is beyond imagination! It’s the ideal place for anyone with even the slightest interest in vintage fashion—whether you are a serious collector, a fashion designer, or someone looking to purchase a piece wear every day. From clothing to laces & ribbons, hats, lingerie & corsets, bags & shoes, fabric samples, vintage jewelry, and even men’s vintage fashion, Chez Sarah has something for everyone! Its positively huge!
Being born into the business—Sarah is the granddaughter of a chiffonier— she took over the business from her mother and inherited the eye for quality and detail learning her trade at her mother’s knee. What I enjoy is hearing the story behind each piece and imagining myself giving it a new life or rather continuing its story. When shopping for vintage fashion I can’t help but to ask myself… “Who wore that hat before? What events has that gown been to? Whose closet did that outfit hang in?” I suppose vintage fashion is similar to vintage and antique furniture in the fact that each piece has a story to tell. But that’s the charm of the past… other lives, other times, other place and other stories.
When you’re shopping the Paris Flea Market – Chez Sarah is a must-visit! And if you’d like more information on our Paris Vintage Fashion Tour or any of our Antiques Diva Buying Tours, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to share more of our secret addresses and share with you our Europe!
Be Chic, Be Stylish. Always Dress Like a Diva.
The Antiques Diva®
Dear Diva Readers,
Violet’s Volition, which is an online curated collection of vintage and designer pieces, primarily featuring textiles and fashion.s a woman entrepreneur myself, I’m always excited when fellow female friends start their own businesses. When these businesses have to do with antiques, vintage pieces, or design in any way, I’m that much more thrilled! My friend Rebecca Vicars is one of those friends who has recently launched
As a lifelong lover of vintage textiles and design, Rebecca hand-selects each piece, looking for quality, wearability, and uniqueness. Stylish pieces for men and women can be found on her website, along with links to her Etsy and Ebay stores.
Rebecca takes pride in creating and maintaining a store that makes the most sustainable choice at every junction. Every garment is hand cleaned using non-toxic, eco-conscious (when available, fair trade) solvents and kept in a smoke free environment and most pieces are comprised of natural fibers. Buying vintage makes a difference by saving natural resources and energy invested in the making of these garments. In addition to the environmental benefits, Rebecca donates a percentage of sales to various causes and helping those in need. Currently she’s donating 20% to Pushpa in Nepal, who has built a home and early education center for children whose mothers have been imprisoned.
If you’re a vintage fashion lover, you can also learn about the sustainability of vintage, green living and inspirations relating to violet (the flower AND the color) and also the concept of volition on her blog. If you follow the blog, you’ll receive an update when she posts new items. You can also sign up at the website to receive a newsletter.
If you’ll be in the New York area this month on September, 26-27, Violet’s Volition will have a pop-up shop at the Brooklyn Artists and Flea so stop by and say hello!
The Antiques Diva®
Dear Diva Readers,
t The Antiques Diva & Co, we love vintage fashion! Taking clients on tours to search for Chanel bags & jewelry or the perfect vintage dress is one of the great parts of my and my Diva Guides’ jobs! Sometimes, however, the closets of style setters are opened to the public via auction. Well if you’re a fashionista, hold onto your wallets, because I have good news for you! On Tuesday June 24th at 5pm, Rosebery’s is holding an auction of the personal wardrobe of International Vogue Editor, Suzy Menkes. She has been a style icon since the inception of her career, donning some of the most fashionable garments from the 1960’s through the 2000’s. Her clothing along with enviable accessories will go to the highest bidder at this Fine Art Sale. Yes. Fashion is Art!
Designs from renowned fashion designers will go under the hammer, including pieces from Bill Gibb, Biba and Ozzie Clark, Janice Wainwright, Chanel, Yves St Laurent, English Eccentrics and Christian Lacroix. This auction is surely featuring some of the best designers of our time and will be a lively evening as bidders vie for the most sought after pieces of the 67 lots.
In case you’re thinking “would love to buy, but don’t have the funds” don’t despair yet. Even bidders on a budget may score some vintage fashion. Estimates range from an affordable £80-100 for a Janice Wainwright printed silk chiffon kaftan style dress, to £400-600 for a stylish black Chanel leather vanity case.
The sale is on view at The Old Chocolate Factory, West Norwood, London from Friday – Tuesday, 20 -24th June. The full catalogue can be viewed online and even if you can’t make it to London, online bidding will also be available.
Want even more vintage fashion? Consider taking an Antiques Diva & Co Vintage Fashion Tour! We offer great vintage fashion tours in Paris, London & Berlin! Simply email us at email@example.com for more information.
The Antiques Diva®
Dear Diva Readers,
MadeByDi” and I strolled the street window shopping we were thrilled to discover Tony was “in the house” at his great vintage shop located at number 62. Tony is an international jetsetter and has one of my favorite shops in London – located at Alfie’s Antique Mall at 13 – 25 Church Street – but he shares his time jetting back and forth between chic locales.arlier this week I was delighted to spend some time on the Suarezstrasse – Berlin’s antique street clustered with over 30 great antique shops and vintage stores. While Di Venter, the South African born-Berlin based designer and founder of “
His shops sell excellent vintage fashion, gorgeous dresses as practical for wearing today as they were in their heyday as well as vintage purses and jewelry. And psssttt… make sure to ask Tony about his own designs. Though I visit his shop every chance I get, I didn’t know until last week that Tony not only sells vintage jewelry but also designs jewelry as well. A charmer of a man, a visit to Tony’s shops in Berlin and London should be on every diva’s MUST SHOP list!
Until next time, let all your days be filled with fun vintage fashion!
The Antiques Diva®
PS. If you’re looking for a Father’s Day gift – consider Tony’s affable collection of cuff links. My husband is like a kid in the candy store when he see’s Tony’s glass display on vintage finds!