Alameda Point Vintage Fashion Faire Returns
Don’t miss the popular fashion fair for steals and deals in vintage clothing and jewelry.
Alameda Point Vintage Fashion Faire
After founding the popular Alameda Point Antiques Faire, which draws upwards of 800 vendors, show organizer Sandra Michaan had an enviable problem: a surplus of amazing vintage clothing dealers and no way to showcase them. What’s a girl to do? She created the Vintage Fashion Faire, a biannual show celebrating meticulously-crafted vintage clothing (think Mad Men–esque sheath dresses and playful flappers fit for Gatsby), which returns to Alameda Point this Friday and Saturday, May 18–19.
“Every May it’s more popular,” says Michaan, while winding through the booths at the Antiques Faire. “Dealers bring items you don’t normally see at antique shows.” The majority of the show’s 54 booths, organized by style and type, will focus on clothing, with roughly a dozen for jewelry and accessories. Everything is at least 20 years old, and if it’s repurposed, it must use vintage components.
Michaan, a collector herself (she picked up a ‘20s hat pin and nautical charm bracelet while chatting), encourages people to come early for the best selection, but is confident there will be plenty of gems left for late birds. “I once found a pair of pink leather cowboy boots at the end of the show. I couldn’t believe no one had swooped them up!”
As far as final advice, her years of experience have taught her to act quickly. “If the price is right and you like it, don’t hesitate to snap it up,” she says. “When you go back, it will be gone, and it’ll haunt you.”
Can’t Miss Dealers:
Bohemian Boudoir: In addition to necklaces crafted from discarded Frozen Charlotte doll parts and vintage Monopoly pieces, Mel Chappell repurposes old pocket watches—which still work—into intricate yet delicate necklaces.
Daughters of Simone: Brides looking for one-of-a-kind, vintage gowns from the ‘50s and ‘60s should flock to this newcomer to the Fashion Faire. Many dresses include delicate lace details and unique necklines, and clock in at less than $800.
J. H. Schee Co.: Jim Schee keeps the fellas looking dapper with his selection of well-tailored men’s clothing and pristine accessories, such as mint condition tie clips for as little as $5.
J Fein Designs: Jessica Feinsmith’s designs have been so popular in the past, the designer could barely keep up with the demand for her repurposed vintage rings. You can pick up ring snuggies ($4 a pack) to ensure any oversized ring will fit.
Joan Young: Three generations of women shop international flea markets for six months to bring the best selection of French vintage to Young’s booth. Past finds have included French necklaces carved from ivory from the 1900s.
Louise Champion: Don’t miss Champion’s fantasy jewels during the vintage fair—she only brings her flashy costume jewelry to indoor shows. Her pieces span 1920s art deco to bold and graphic patterns from the ‘60s.
Maria Crums: You can only find Crums at Alameda Point, and the only way to get your hands on the Victorian paste jewelry she collects from France is to swing by her booth during the Vintage Faire. Shop owners come from Washington, Oregon, and LA. to buy her beautiful, one-of-a-kind vintage jewelry.
When collecting for the show, Crums looks for quality and workmanship, and encourages shoppers to do the same. “You want to look for prong-set pieces, which means the jewelers took their time and were meticulous,” she advises. “Otherwise you run the risk of having the stone pop out or the piece fall apart.”
Susan Lemon: Lemon’s selection of vintage luggage, purses, and hats already draw visitors, but it’s her innovative displays that make her booth a must-stop, even if you’re not in the market for accessories.
On Friday night, the Faire will host a preview party and early buy, which includes a Pan Am–style vintage travel costume contest, complimentary cocktails from St. George Distillery, and music from Bay Area Swing All Stars.
Friday, May 18, $10, 6–9 p.m., Saturday, May 19, $10, 10–11 a.m., $5, 11 a.m.–5 p.m., free with Friday ticket, O’ Club, 641 W. Red Line Ave., Alameda. (510) 522-7500, alamedapointantiquesfaire.com.