We only got spend one day shopping Brimfield, but there was a lot to see and document, so here’s round II of the photos. You’ll note a giant Westinghouse sign (that came close to coming home with our group), some classic ephemera, a BB gun target and a flock of Ralph Lauren folks plotting their takeover. Part I of our spring 2012 Brimfield adventure can be seen here.
Walking down Route 20 on a rainy day in Western Massachusetts, I spotted many a familiar face. Brimfield, the expansive outdoor antique show, has become it’s own little trade show for vintage lovers; a place to get your flea market fix and maybe even to buy something. The event is a bit of a phenomenon, some of the people at Brimfield are there for work (you’ll notice those people with their two-way radios), and others are there purely on a voyeuristic pursuit. I’m somewhere in between those two categorizations.
“We could all just meet in the city if we could coordinated better.” -Kings County Salvage
Brimfield for me is more about the journey than the destination. At this point I’m not looking for anything specific, I’m really just in-town on the ultimate browsing session. With that said, I was partially unimpressed with what was on offer yesterday, a feeling that also keep me away last year. Though, that’s the nature of flea markets — they are hit or miss. Often, the success lies in one’s quickness and persistence. You have to know good things (and prices) when you see them, and then you need to have the ability to get to stuff before someone else beats you to it. That’s just if you are crazy about it. I like to wander around and not worry about who gets what and if I buy anything. Lord knows I don’t need any more stuff.
There’s The Impossible Cool, and then there’s this collection of home movies from Roddy McDowall’s personal archive featuring many an iconic actor and actress enjoying themselves on the California coast. Paul Newman (with his can of Busch beer) is present, as is Jane Fonda (looking exceptionally young and beautiful), Kirk Douglas, Anthony Perkins, Judy Garland and many more of their famous friends who make appearances.
While it is truly amazing to see all of these stars relaxed and having fun with one another, it is also amazing to see what they are wearing. The clothing in these films are incredible. The only branding I noticed during the whole series was a few shots of one perfect red Lacoste polo shirt. A fascinating glimpse into an otherwise private and decidedly stylish life. Thanks to Andy for the tip.
While perusing the madness of Brick Lane in East London a few weeks ago I stopped into the vintage shop called Levisons on Cheshire Street. The tidy little outpost has a nice selection of men’s and women’s vintage on offer with lots of what you’d want from a good British vintage shop — schoolboy scarves, tweedy accessories of every want, country brogues and nearly an entire rack of well worn Barbour coats. Those coats almost almost fall under the classification as ‘tattered’ (and I mean that in the best possible), but considering the way Barbours are made, they will probably last quite a while longer. Everyone working in the shop was welcoming and knowledgeable, making it even more enjoyable to look through every single item on hand and maybe even take some of it home.
While in Tokyo last week with the folks from Red Wing (who is a client, full disclosure and all that good stuff) we fell upon what turned out to be the most amazing cache of deadstock Red Wings that I have ever seen all together in one place. Everything was unworn and for sale — only in Japan my friends. More here.
The folks at Three Potato Four had a barn sale this weekend and a few friends and I decided to take the trip down to Philadelphia for the day to check things out. Husband and wife team Stu and Janet Morales started Three Potato Four as an online only shop in 2007. They opened their physical store last August and started doing the barn sales this past January. The “barn” is an awesome old brick building that used to be the dye room in an old wool mill. The internal structure looks to be composed of both brick and some weathered old wood with a bunch of windows at the top. The windows provide for a lot of great natural light, the kind of natural light that those of us that live in Manhattan don’t often get to enjoy. The contents of the barn consist of a bunch of old awesome stuff that must have been culled from farms and old factories and junk drawers all over the U.S.
At some vintage stores you feel like you’re pulling off a heist—you find a pair of iconic sunglasses for $10 and keep your poker face until you get outside and start smiling. Like good fishing holes, however, you keeps their names and locations to yourself. Then there are the stores that are open secrets, like Mister Freedom in LA. Everybody knows how good they are and they’re frequented by industry types trying to find the perfect canvas coat to knockoff or Japanese collectors ferociously hunting for a pair of 1940’s Red Wings. For certain design-obsessed types money becomes irrelevant (though it helps if you’ve got the corporate Am Ex).