I never thought that I would be one to say/do this. I mean, I like my shit new. Don’t like things used and dirty (hah, that seems reminiscent of the Real Housewife of New Jersey that said “I don’t want to live in a used house. That’s gross”. I’m not THAT bad…). Really though, I wouldn’t want to call myself a snob, but hey, if the $500 shoe fits… But really, vintage clothes do kind of creep me out, though one of my favorite people (you know who you are) did once convince me to buy a hot fuchsia pleather Versace skirt for Madonna-rama at a DC club (that’s a whooole other story) from a thrift shop. But I don’t really know what a real antique is. Just seems like the kind of thing that could really rip off a young girl with a shopping problem and the propensity to spend irresponsibly. So, thus, never been “antiquing.” In fact, I’m not quite sure I was aware there was such a verb.
BUT, anyways. Any excuse for me to get out of town and hang out with my mama works for me. So I met her and her friends in Round Top, Texas, which is about an hour and a half outside of Austin. It is a twice per year antiques fair of sorts, though they really sell everything from antique jewelry to art to furniture to crap that you would not believe people would pay money for. It’s totally overwhelming. You have to have a map if there is somewhere in particular that you’d like to go. Usually people come every year so they know the vendors they want to see. It’s quite an art. You could buy something for a dollar and then move to the next table to find jewelry for thousands.
The vendors apparently come from all over the country. Many of them seem to drive around in their RVs from place to place, park, and unpack their wares wherever they stop. The life of a nomad. While I sort of expected this to be (sorry for the language Mom) a clusterfuck, I found the place to be surprisingly charming, despite crazy nomad hippies, incredible heat, mud and crowds. There were cutsie little stores and restaurants in this small town – it’s one of those places where all the people know each other and are always up in each other’s business – except twice a year when the city folk pour in. One fun part that stood out to me (makes sense if you know me at all…) was the Veuve-Cliquot champagne bar. They were not open for our early happy hour, but it seemed out of place in a rural setting. But yet, I welcome that. More along the lines of what I might expect from this place, apparently there is a Prom Night, complete with people wearing ridiculous vintage 80’s-style prom dresses. I was very disappointed to find that I would no longer be in town for the grand event. That would have made a fab blog post.
My mom tells me that most of the people she knows that go to antiques fairs such as this all try to buy the same thing each time they go so that they build up some sort of collection. And have something to shop for each trip. Like spoons. But not spoons you eat with, just like, decorative spoons (??). So that really wasn’t going to work for me. My major interests were in furniture items, which until I become a grownup, I have neither the funds nor the surface area in an apartment to make any major purchases. However, I did find some really awesome vintage designer sketches by Parisian fashion designers (Hello! They had my name written aaaall over them!). One of the designers apparently designed clothes for Coco Chanel. They were very cool – they showed notes by the artists, fabric swatches, and erasures where the designer made changes. Very cool. (Photos to come soon) I was pleasantly surprised to find something old that fit my tastes and personality. AND, I was so excited that the dude that sold me these told me to call/email him if I’d like more, or if I’m looking for something else. He’d find me things, photo them, and send them to me to see if I were interested. As if I were a real art collector/grownup! Good service, sir. So, I’ll be back to see him next year (Mom, that means you’ll have to pack more wine!). Hopefully I’ll return with more funds.