Wednesday, 29 September 2010

A visit to Vintage Revivial at Grays

Last week I visited the Vintage Revival exhibition at the Vaad Gallery in Grays Mews and what a treat it was!

Exhibited were stunning hand picked examples of vintage fashion and accessories, some great information on the Antiques are Green campaign as well other interesting vintage subjects.

1950s Green Gloves. Vintage Modes

Vintage Mah Jong Wooden Necklace. Ting's Jewellery Box

Vintage Green Brooch with Faux Pearls. Ting's Jewellery Box

(Left - Right)

Vintage Buckingham Palace Scarf - Vintage Modes

Vintage Liberty Scarf - Vintage Modes

Paloma Picasso Scarf - Linda Bee

Vintage Purple Jacqmar Scarf - Unicorn

Light Pink Floral Jacqmar Scarf - Vintage Modes

1960s Electric Blue Handbag with Gold Clasp. Ting's Jewellery Box

1950s/60s Blue Bracelet. Gillian Horsup

Information on the history of Alfies.

The information boards made fascinating reads on subjects such as 'The Feminine Silhouette', 'Vintage Hair and Make Up'' and 'Vintage and Tattoos'. These contributed to the aim of the exhibition, to explore what vintage means in todays society and what the term 'vintage' means.

If you missed this fantastic exhibition you can see more pictures on Grays Flickr

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Some Treasured Finds from Alfies

This week we would like to continue our little story about the wonderful vintage treasures some of our staff have found here at Alfies.

Sarina loves fine jewellery and is lucky enough to have lovely people in her life that made some perfect choices for her birthday. The gold swallow with seed pearls, in the image below, was originally a Victorian brooch which our goldsmith Migo (unit S053) worked into a pendant. Sarina also wears a 1980s copy of a Victorian style 'Regards' ring. If you spell out the first letter of each stone it reads the word 'Regards' - Ruby, Emerald, Garnet, Amethyst, Ruby, Diamond, Sapphire.

Both items by Gareth Brooks G079/80

While it is fair to say that she is a bit of a magpie, Sarina isn't the only lucky one to have been given some great vintage finds. Sarina also found the following items for friends and family at this treasure trove that is Alfies Antique Market:

A lovely brown handkerchief which is proudly worn in one of her friend's suit pocket, and a small, white, embroidered handkerchief which will be sewn onto a small cushion.
One friend was especially lucky, he was given the following presents, all very affordable and absolutely stunning vintage treasures: a very dapper navy silk scarf, a 1950's egg cup (beautiful and practical as it was designed for use in times when central heating was non existant, its inside is therefore insulated to the egg warm!). The gift was completed by a quriky card with an embroidered flamenco dancer. Please see the images below:

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Vintage Revival!

We would like to invite you to Alfies sister market Grays, where we are organising our first Vintage Fashion Exhibition showcasing rare pieces from both Alfies and Grays dealers. The staff at Alfies and Grays are passionate about everything Vintage and we got inspired to show other Vintage lovers what our fabulous dealers have to offer.

Clothes, jewellery and accessories on show range from 1920s to 1980s, and there will be a pretty piece, or several, to capture your eye.
All this, in conjunction with a brief history of topics such as vintage jewellery, hairstyling, burlesque and tattoos, accompanied by striking photographs, offers a personalised view on Vintage fashion in the 20th century.

Come and learn about the history of Vintage and how it came to have an impact on today's fashion.

The exhibition takes place 21 - 25 September at the newly opened VAAD Art Gallery on the lower ground floor at Grays, 1-7 Davies Mews, London W1K 5AB.

Open from 10am-6pm, and only 3 minutes walk from Bond Street station.

There is no entrance fee.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Antiques really are Green

Article taken from the Antiques Trade Gazette
06 September 2010

AN independent report has confirmed that antiques are the environmentally friendly way to furnish your home. A piece of antique furniture is likely to have a carbon footprint sixteen times lower than a newly manufactured item.

This is the finding of a study that compared the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the manufacture and use of an antique chest of drawers with its modern equivalent.

The exhaustive analysis was carried out by Carbon Clear, an independent consultancy specialising in carbon management and carbon accounting, who investigated every aspect of the manufacture and life of two specific pieces – a mahogany-veneered chest of c.1830 and a modern piece of roughly equivalent value available from a reputable High Street retailer.

Though it had been assumed that it was more environmentally friendly to buy furniture that was already in circulation, the independent study now puts this beyond doubt.

The findings will give huge encouragement to the hundreds of antique dealers who are backing the Antiques are Green campaign, led by Nigel Worboys of Beaconsfield. “The research demonstrates the importance of buying antiques over modern furniture for economic and environmental reasons,” he commented.

“Buying antiques reduces landfill, reduces carbon emissions and reduces consumption of new goods from abroad. The antiques trade is the oldest recycling business in the world and the ultimate in terms of preserving our heritage for future generations. This report provides further proof that antiques should be recognised for their genuine green hallmark - sustainable, re-usable and re-saleable”.

While details of the cutting and processing involved in the manufacture of the modern chest of drawers in China were readily available, certain assumptions had to be made about the origins of the antique piece based on expert opinion.

The carbon emissions associated with the actual manufacture of the antique piece were very low. Cabinetmaker’s workshops in the 1830s were not generally powered and all work was done by hand and in daylight, timber cutting was also done by hand but the report factored in 70 per cent of the greenhouse gas emissions coefficient already calculated at Bath University for current wood cutting and processing.

A similarly conservative approach was taken to the life of the antiques chest, where it was assumed to have been sold and restored twice, where many pieces would have required little or no restoration. Even with this conservative approach it was found that the absolute emissions associated with the old chest including restoration, storage and transport were significantly lower.

The lifespan of the antique piece was assumed to be 195 years, though it could be much longer. Once this was taken into account, its average emissions per year were shown to be 16 times less than those for the modern chest. The lifespan of the new chest was estimated at 15 years based on expert opinion.

The Carbon Clear report was commissioned by the antiques trade as represented by Antiques Trade Gazette, Antiques are Green, International Antiques & Collectors Fairs, The British Antique Dealers’ Association, LAPADA - The Association of Art & Antiques Dealers, The Society of Fine Art Auctioneers and Valuers and Online Galleries.

Click here to see full report.

Olympic Fever

One of my favourity things about the Olympics, oddly is the graphics; its advertising and promotion and the memorabilia. That is why I am so excited about going to see 'A Century of Olympic Posters' at the Europa Gallery in Sutton's Central Library, on tour from The V & A Museum of Childhood.

This is a whole exhibition displaying posters from the games as early as 1912 (including my favourite, Mexico 1968) and memorabilia including the 1948 Olympic Torch and ticket to the 1900 Paris Olympic Games.

Here at Alfies, Liz Farrow from Dodo Posters has a vast collection of vintage prints, posters and advertising. She also has several early sporting prints available at shop on the 1st Floor.

A 1938, Frederiksberg poster, paper on linen

Liz Farrow's stand F071-73, 1st Floor in Alfies

So, if like me, the Olympics hasn't kick-started your practical interest in sport, why not immerse yourself in the early design and print on offer, so you are ready for the buzz of 2012?

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Canvas Bag Design Competition

Illustration by Lindsay Taggart

Antique Market is experiencing a green revolution! Alongside the campaign Antiques are Green, Alfies is setting the standard of promoting vintage and antiques as an ethical way to shop by running a competition for illustrators and designers to create limited edition canvas bags.

Buying antiques and vintage celebrates traditional craftsmanship and quality of design as well as keeping ahead of the game in the style stakes;

“Buying antiques is the perfect way to recycle; unique objects are re-used and their histories are carried on, preserving their authenticity for future generations.” Pia Tohveri, General Manager of Alfies Antique Market.

Vintage items are timely, their individuality ignites people to look for quality pieces and this is the perfect way to create and exhibit your own style.

Alfies is running a competition for illustrators and designers to come up with an iconic design to be printed onto 200 limited edition canvas bags. Alfies has teamed up with Bag It Don’t Bin It who supply printed canvas bags using eco-friendly inks and sustainable materials. The bags will be on sale at Alfies from the 16th November to coincide with National Antiques Week and the winning design and runners up will be exhibited in an exhibition in the Rooftop Restaurant at Alfies.

If you would like to enter the competition please email and we will send you the design brief and entry details. Good Luck!
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