One-of-a-kind vintage pieces are up for grabs at UBM’s first ever consumer-facing trade show in New York City.
There’s nothing quite like the satisfaction that comes when you find a completely original vintage piece of clothing. It’s the closest thing we have to a time machine. You can feel the decades of stories in its stitches, the energy embroidered from all the different bodies it’s clothed, and if it fits, the piece transforms, like it was made just for you. Vintage clothing is magic, the ethereal past made physical, tangible, wearable.
I could feel this particular magic when browsing the vendors at VINTAGE@Intermezzo at Javits Center a.k.a the dress up closet of my dreams. UBM Fashion at NY Women’s hosted the trade show which they had opened to consumers for the first time. For a $20 entrance fee, you could shop alongside retailers and take home a pair of shining black leather Chanel booties or a chunky bangle bracelet that belonged to the personal collection of fashion icon and Netflix documentary subject Iris Apfel.
“We set this show up for the idea that these retailers can now put a capsule collection in their store, a curated collection,” says New York designer Brigette Morphew of Morphew Concept. “Everybody wants something they can’t get any more. Nobody wants to have the same boring stuff. Who wants to spend money on that? Nobody. They want to be characters. So that’s why Intermezzo happened. With the biggest trade show founders, UBM, they can see the market that everyone wants.”
Each seller has their own point of view and vintage sensibility, with vendors like Morphew reworking older fabrics into modern silhouettes.
“What we do here is we do antique textiles and modern fits. That’s one of our niches and that’s how we do what people would call ‘up-cycling.'” Brigitte showed me a few of her favorite pieces ranging from patterned kimonos revived from piano shawls with fringe on the sleeves to delicate and airy Victorian floor-length whites.
Another featured vendor is Brent Edward, a San Francisco based designer who’s aesthetic is self-described as “all over the place.”
“I do anything from early 1900s to 1990s. Right now I have a really soft spot for 70s and 90s.” When asked about his favorite piece, Edward goes straight to a thick red cape and takes it off the rack. “It’s a 1976 Yves Saint Laurent from his Russian Collection. Just the detail of it- I mean feel it, hold it, it’s so heavy. It’s so magnificent.”
In total, twenty-three vendors were showcasing their best finds at VINTAGE@Intermezzo, including Norma Kamali, The Wayward Collection, Mia Vesper, Icon Style, Dusty Rose Vintage, Another Man’s Treasure, Lulu’s Vintage, Lady V Second Time Around, James Veloria, Bui’s & Whistles, Cabana Vintage, Kitschtopia, Leah’s Closet, IMJM Antiques and Vintage Couture, Les Femme Vintage, The Bargain District, Lifestyle Boutique, Natalie Como’s Wardrobe Revolution.
One vendor that really caught my eye wasn’t selling vintage apparel at all. Nestled in the back of the Javits center, I got to talking with inventor and CEO Annie Abraham of Jewelinx and her husband and son. Jewelinx is a small and sturdy “tree” with plastic prongs and hooks for earrings, rings, necklaces, and all types of jewelry that you can loop over a clothes hanger head. It’s a great tool for organizing jewelry and a genius way to create a cohesive accessory look to match your outfit. Having immersed myself in the fantasy world of vintage fashion, it was a delight to look forward with Annie and her lovely family at her innovative solution for the modern woman.
As I perused the booths I was transfixed by the colors, the sequins, the lace, the myriad patterns and wishing that my bank account could support my taste level. (Although, I couldn’t leave without snatching a perfectly fitted, pale yellow 70s button-up jumpsuit for $150 from Dusty Rose Vintage.) VINTAGE@Intermezzo was a magical event that showcased how the risks of yesterday influence the trends of the future.