After years of middling crowds and disappointing sales, business was brisk at the latest Brimfield Antique Show. Even high petrol prices, incessant rain and bumper-to-bumper traffic couldn’t dampen the mood. This year saw an army of buyers and stylists – from fashion and homeware brands such as Ralph Lauren, Marc Jacobs and Martha Stewart – competing to unearth vintage finds to merchandise stores, spice up shoots and inspire new products that capture the enduring appeal of yesteryear.
The desire for antique inspiration seems to be stronger than ever. Our content partner Stylus shares the emerging ideas and directions from a recent show.
It’s not unusual to find old circus paraphernalia at flea markets; the two wandering worlds have much in common. But one particular item made a rare repeat appearance: old carnival knockdown dolls, also known as carnival punks. Made from painted, filled canvas and usually nailed to a wooden base, these one-off dolls were crafted by carnival workers.
Sights and Sounds
Many dealers paid homage to electronics of the past.
Vintage radios, microphones, slide projectors
, cameras andstage lighting
stirred flashes of nostalgia and offered set designers
plenty to work with for whichever production might be the next Mad Men.
Furniture at Brimfield took its cue from the Vogue editors heralding the return of curves in fashion: there was hardly a straight, skinny leg in sight. Wooden bed frames, cribs and tables featured all manner of spool-turned construction andbeaded detail, adding energy and tactile appeal. The designs suggest ornamentation is making a comeback.
Making an Impact
Although there were many small collectibles to dig through, the standout signage and figural pieces at the show were mascot-like in scale and impact. From a wooden penguin to an antique pharmacy bust, from steer skulls with horns intact to lettering, sheer size and a singular focus cut through the static to grab the viewer’s attention and hold it.
Colour Goes Pop
Bold, saturated hues aren’t the first thing one expects to find at a show featuring timeworn items, but bright pops of colour abounded, particularly in Superman shades of canary yellow, royal blue, and cherry red.
Vintage Textile Inspiration
This story was produced by Decorex Content Partner Stylus.com.
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