From clothes and jewelry to shoes and other accessories, Vintage Fashion Expo has it all. (Jaclyn Joan/Living Out Loud LA)
Have you ever spent a day vintage shopping only to return home frustrated and exhausted from the hours spent trying on garments that just didn’t do it for you? The Vintage Fashion Expo cuts out the hunt and puts the creme de la creme on a rack right in front of you. All you have to do is try it on.
Having started in 1987 in San Francisco, the Vintage Fashion Expo gathers vendors and shop owners together five times a year in both Los Angeles and San Francisco to peddle the most beautiful, obscure, shiny, pristine and strange vintage you could possibly find on the West Coast. The L.A. Convention Center transforms into a dream mall for anyone whose eye always seems to wander to pieces from another decade.
This last Vintage Fashion Expo took place over the weekend of May 17th and 18th. With celebrities such as Dita Von Teese and Lauren Conrad both speaking fondly of the expo in the press, vendors and customers alike were surprised by the placid atmosphere of the large Convention Center room. Sunday morning was especially calm and quiet, however, the bright side of this tranquility for the patrons was the exclusivity to not only reach each booth, but most importantly, a mirror.
Each vendor manned his/her booth as people trickled in, one by one. Soft music played overhead, and while it can fall into the background when vast numbers of people are speaking, on this morning, you could hear every note. Clothing, shoes, purses, magazines, real and costume jewelry, glasses and anything else you could possibly adorn your person with were displayed in an organized way that appeased the eye. Each booth had its own personality, as they were decorated to welcome you into their mini shop. Mannequins were dressed to the nines to show off the treasures you might find.
Couples meandered around, thumbing through the racks while asking opinions of one another. Older women in groovy get-ups greeted each person as they enter their booths. The vibe was friendly. The mood was relaxed. The sheer amount of stuff was overwhelming. While it could not compare to the quantity of the Rose Bowl Flea Market’s piles of garments strewn all over the parking lot, the quality greatly surpasses anything you may find at the Pasadena flea market.
Vintage shopping usually is not for the impatient. It can take hours just to find a purse you like, let alone a dress that fits you perfectly. When you enter the Vintage Fashion Expo, you know you are gaining access to a world of experts that have meticulously sorted through clothing, jewelry, shoes and the like in order to sell the best to their customers. These vendors know their stuff. From what decade those earrings came from, to where you can find a Chanel jacket from the early 1960s. If you have a question about an item you want to acquire, you will not only have it answered, but be pointed in the direction of where you may find it. Each booth is full of something you will want to take home. You have been warned.
The next Vintage Fashion Expo is in October. For more information, visit vintageexpo.com.