Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Cat's Pajamas! A Vintage Expo in Elgin, IL.


Phew, the months of January and February were busy with flea markets and antique shows including 2 iterations of The Vintage Bazaar, a Valentine's Day themed Randolph Street Market and last weekend was the Cat's Pajamas Vintage Clothing & Jewelry Show. Located in Elgin, a city an hour away from Chicago, the Cat's Pajamas show featured 75 vendors spread across 2 floors of a convention center. Surprisingly it was the first time I'd attended; I had the misconception that it would be too high end for my tastes but upon learning that several of my vintage vendor friends would be selling there this year I had to go take a peek. In exchange for helping a vendor load into the show I managed to get in early before the general public and had the chance to take PLENTY of photos and to do a little shopping.

Thankfully Maranda of Persnickety Vintage was also there so we had a grand time meandering through the stalls, molesting pretty 1950s dresses and trying on sparkly jewels. We were happy to discover a wide variety of eras represented at the show (from Victorian to Mod) and a wide range of prices that included $5 jewelry!


Marvelous hats were everywhere at the show, including this stunning feathered hat featuring an abstract parrot.



Vintage handbags galore! Below is a handbag featuring knitted decorations included a mini handbag.







Gorgeous millinery feathers for hats or fascinators. Each feather decoration was only $8, a good price as I believe they were 1920s or older.


I regret not getting more photos of the shoppers at the show, everyone was decked out in their finest including WWII uniforms, Titantic-era dresses and 1950s Rockabilly looks. The woman above was wearing the cousin to the parrot hat I tried on at the show.




Edwardian outfits as would have been worn on The Titantic. Look at the wide brimmed hats and teeny waists on the dresses.


Tiny leather Victorian shoes for children.




Maranda and I started gushing over this booth before we realized it belonged to our friend Dena, we have good taste! Everything in her booth was from the 1940s, 50s and '60s and she has a great eye for color and pattern.


She had a covetable collection of novelty print cotton dresses from the '40s and '50s-- in larger sizes too!


I loved the colors and print of this dress in Dena's booth as well as the rounded collar and little tie at the neck.



Yes, this dress had a large enough swing skirt that Maranda could almost hide behind it!


Competition for men's vintage at the show was fierce, it's difficult to find so I can understand why the lads were excited about being able to shop too.


A leather wrestling belt that has been personalized-- I would hang this up in my living room as a piece of folk art.


Only one booth sold home decor items and it was packed with quirky vintage cookbooks and unusual publications like the one below.


"Experiences with my cockatiels". I wish I'd looked inside this book, it almost sounds like a confessional.


"Poodles... as pets". What else would you do with poodles?



The biggest hair comb I've ever seen, it almost seemed like a joke. A lady with some serious hair rocked this comb back in the '30s.


So many sparkly jewels at the show!



My favorite, vintage plastic jewelry (lucite and bakelite).







Dawn of Timeless Treasure Vintage had a covetable collection of vintage handbags in her booth along with a duds for the guys too! The photo above and the next four photos are from her booth.


I really wish the embroidered strawberry purse and the FAMILY TREE (!) purse could have come home with me. They're both unusual and quirky.











A new-to-us collectibles category, Victorian sewing birds. They seemed like something you'd find out about on "The Antiques Roadshow". They're made of metal and would clamp to a sewing machine table and would hold pins.


Rows of antique bonnets in one booth and Maranda below trying on a Pioneer-style bonnet in another.





Jen of JenStyle Vintage looking sassy in her booth, I liked the bold print of her dress.



Pretty dresses in bright hues hanging from the ceiling of Karyn & Nicole's shared booth. I'm not sure how Karyn can part with the hot pink dress.


Nicole was selling this unusual sparkly bra, I wonder if it belonged to a burlesque dancer?



Karyn actually bought the '40s pinafore dress she's wearing at the show after setting up her booth. I'm in love with the color and ruffle detailing.


Across from Karyn & Nicole's booth was what we called "The Betty Draper" Mad Men dress. Aren't the colors gorgeous?


My friend Leah brought both men's and women's clothing to the show including the smart 1940s suit below.



Everything a dapper gentleman needs for a night out on the town!



I'm trying to convince Maranda to start wearing hats, fascinators are a good "gateway drug" into the world of vintage hats. I had her try on this pink feathered fascinator in the booth shared by Estate Chicago & Tangerine Vintage.


Of course it wouldn't be an antique show without Bakelite bangles.


If Maranda was a 1980s Barbie Doll she would wear this dress. Actually she told me that she wants to wear this dress for when she renews her wedding vows (yes she's serious!).


A CHEESE pin. Why didn't I buy this? The vendor was from Wisconsin, of course.



A feathered hat that could double as a sculpture. Or a weapon.




1960s Siberian Princess coat.





Maranda trying on a sweet '50s ('40s?) periwinkle blue dress with full pleated skirt and tie at the collar. Yes, she did buy it!


Mod Sunglasses.


My biggest regret is not buying this Pop Art style sunglasses case. It reminds me of the sleep mask Audrey Hepburn wears in "Breakfast At Tiffany's".




Go Go Boots and vinyl hats/helmets. I hear 1960s London calling.


Please let me know if you can identify any of the booths as I'll be happy to link to the owner's etsy site.

Have you ever been to an antique show that just sells clothing/jewelry/accessories? What was it like?


Antoinette said...

The Vintage expo looks absolutely amazing!! I would have such a ball going through all of those treasures. You are so adorable.

Nelly said...

Ok I officially drooled alot what a great post so many yummy things.Cant believe there are still so many items like this around.I just need to find me some.

Kaelyn Choo said...

Amazing vintage expo! Wish I could be there...

Dani @ ItchforKitsch said...

Swoon! I wish we had vintage expos where I live! I don't think we've ever had any in Tuscaloosa, AL. :/

Thoroughly entertaining post. Keep the eye candy coming!


Tangerine said...

I enjoy so much reading and viewing pictures from your blog. You sense of style and the way you frame the photos is just so good. It is inspiring to me to read your comments. And a big thank you for mentioning Tangerine Vintage in your posts. Sending you a big hug...

Pure Vintage Chicago said...

Great post as usual Leilani!

Love Of The Hunt said...

Fantastic pictures!

Tasha said...

I always have a hard time remembering to take photos when I shop, my camera hung on my arm the entire time. Ha! You got some great shots.

Sorry I didn't run into you and Maranda there. But you've just solved a mystery for me!! I bought a dress from Dena but didn't know her name so I could mention it on my blog if she had a shop (does she?). She had some of the best dresses I've seen in ages! In fact in the photo of you holding up the polka dot dress, you can see the edge of the dress I bought behind you! :D

Sarah Azzouzi said...

Oh my god Leilani! I'm dying! I'm so upset I didn't get to go to this just to drool over all of the amazing pieces. Everything was beyond beautiful. I was going to list my favorite pieces..but I can't. There are just way too many!

figure8studio said...

Love all your photos! Thank you for sharing. The huge hair comb most probably belonged to a flamenco dancer. Lizxo

mary van note said...

SO MUCH EYE CANDY!!! I pinned so much from this post on pinterest because there was so much good stuff. It's getting me excited about the SF vintage expo coming up.

wardrobeexperience said...

girls, please take me with you next time! this market looks so amazing!

love the betty draper dress and the full skirted dress with these purple florals on most....

pam said...

Does your friend Deena sell online at all? I would love to take a peek at a few things I saw! There were so many things in this post I would have snapped up in a minute. I don't know how you hang on to any money! Thanks for sharing!

bopfish said...

Wow, that's some show. Yes, we "lads" do have trouble finding good vintage threads.

Crystal Lee said...

My word. My eyes are going to burst out of my head from vintage sensory overload. amazing! I enjoyed your funny commentary too. I haven't been to a vintage expo before for the same reason you stated -- out of fear that the prices would be too high, but now I think I'll have to check one out.

Bec said...

Oh my gosh that expo looks so amazing it's giving me heart palpitations!!! What did you end up buying?

Circus Girl (Zoë) said...

What a wonderful show! I love going to vintage shows! This one looks to have had many lovely finds! :) I love how it was called the cat's pjs too! :) x

Circus Girl (Zoë) said...

oh ps, you look adorable but I figured that goes without saying! ;) x

Lisa said...

Great post! I am DYING over that rose print cotton dress and the bakelite bow necklace. I have the matching earrings! Now I must find the necklace...

Paigey The Vintage Dame said...

Oh my goodness! This place looks AMAZING! I'm so jealous! Everything looks like it's in great condition and there is a bunch of great clothing! I adore the early 1900's dresses and hats! They're beautiful!!

P.S. thanks for following!(: You have a new follower that's for sure!(:

Groovy Green Designs said...

Lucky Duck... i wish that show was near me!!!

Konad-licious said...

OMG, I have that dress Maranda is hiding behind!

Katrina said...

I love your blog!!! I'm a thrift blogger as well, and I really adore your content!

xoxo -

Onomatopoeia said...

Love, love, love all the pictures from Elgin! So many beautiful things there it makes you wonder how we are not all completely broke!