While my personal style doesn't necessarily reflect this, I absolutely love vintage. Just thinking about it makes me feel all warm and tingly, and brings on an unexplained sense of nostalgia for a time period I didn't personally experience. It is little wonder that the Gadsden's Artscape Wychwood Barns Vintage Clothing Show and Sale caught my eye.
The event poster invited folks to join them for "the GTA's top show and sale of vintage clothing, jewellery and fashion accessories, as well as old textiles, linens, fabrics and quilts" and promised "more than 30 top Ontario and Quebec dealers in vintage fashion and textiles." They had me at "vintage". I dutifully marked it down in my calendar and anxiously awaited the day.
The event was definitely popular - there was a steady stream of people through the door and a couple of vendors mentioned that it's been like that all day. Two rows of booths were set up down the middle, back-to-back, so you kind of made a big circle around all the vendors to take it all in. Because of the nature of the show (booths were set up as mini-shops that you go into as opposed to just counters you look at from the outside), the set-up was a little crowded. Everybody wanted to get in and browse the wares but there was only enough space for 2 or 3 people inside, so there was definitely some bumping and waiting involved. You get used to it though, and it becomes part of the process. Just remember to pack your patience!
As for the wares themselves, the range of styles was absolutely astounding - from classy and elegant to fun and whimsical to totally whack-a-doodle. But all of it fun! It's like going to an art show and a museum at the same time. You might not find pieces that are actually wearable (though I did see a few I loved), but you'll still have fun browsing. At least I sure did! And for those wishing to try things on, there was a make-shift change room set up halfway down the aisle. And if you chatted up the merchants, you could learn a whole lot about some of the nifty contraptions that existed back in the day and the social customs that went along with them. Good fun.
WHAT: Vintage Clothing Show and Sale
WHERE: Artscape Wychwood Barns
WHEN: April 14 - 10:00am-4:30pm
COST: $8 (you could get a coupon for $1 off online)
INSIDER DETAILS: Bring a purse that leaves your hands free to browse and if the weather allows it, leave your jacket at home or in the car if you drove. It's tight quarters in there! And take your time looking at the displays - the visual array can be overwhelming and make it difficult to notice something you might actually be interested in. If you're not sure what something is - ask the vendors! They're a wealth of information and some of the back stories are incredible. Finally, don't treat this like a shopping trip but more like a fun day out. Because all the items are one of a kind and the sizes take some mental calculations to translate into what you're used to, you might find it frustrating if you go with the purpose to shop. But if you just go to explore and keep an open mind, who knows what you might find.