The first Vintage Fashion Expo in San Francisco for this year was held last March 16-17 at the Concourse Exhibition Center. Costumers were able to browse and purchase costumes and accessories from 85 dealers selling vintage clothing, jewelry and accessories for men and women.
There was a broad range of periods covered such as from the Victorian, Edwardian, Roaring Twenties, World War II, Hippy, Disco and 1980s eras. Prices varied widely with more recent items such as Jessica McClintock prairie dresses costing much less than authentic Victorian outfits that were fetching upwards of $1,000. Other than clothing there were also hats, shoes, estate jewelry, watches and even vintage eyewear.
Robert and Kristi Alvarez from Southern California are co-producers of the expo and also had a large booth called Vintage Blue Moon. Robert said that he is in charge of the men’s section of their booth and he specializes in the 1930s through the early 1960s. He revealed that it’s harder to find men’s clothing from the 1920s and earlier because men were much smaller in stature before the 1930s.
Kristi carries clothes from the 1920s through the early 1960s. She said that “people love vintage” because it’s “cool to have original dresses” and “fabrics and cuts were superior in quality than stuff made today.” She added that young women especially love day dresses because they want to look “classically beautiful like Audrey Hepburn.” Kristi started collecting vintage fashion in high school, and when she met Robert, he was doing the same thing. They have been selling since 1998 after their “little armoire became a huge warehouse.”
A couple of local vendors who had nice booths were Susan Lemmon of Juniper Tree Vintage in Alameda and Marissa Patrick of Chic-A-BOOM! Vintage in Petaluma. Lemmon moved her store nine months ago from Oakland to Alameda and now sells strictly vintage because she “decided to do what I love.” Patrick featured clothing from the 1930s through the 1960s in her booth but also sells earlier and later periods on her Etsy and eBay sites. She revealed that her “grandmother was a seamstress for I. Magnin in the 1940s and left chests of vintage clothing.” She has been wearing and loving it ever since.
Copyright 2013, Jean Martin.
Like what you’ve read? Then please share this article with anyone who might be interested by using any of the social media sites with buttons below the title. You can also find similar articles in my fanzine: Science Fiction/San Francisco.
If you have any questions or suggested topics, you can email: firstname.lastname@example.org.