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By Leah Damiani, Leah’s Closet Vintage
After 30 years of hosting the bi-annual Intermezzo NYC Show, the leading wholesale trade show for retailers, UBM hosted the first-ever public show Vintage@Intermezzo. Premiered in August 2017, the show included vintage clothing and accessories from 21 vendors including fashion icons Iris Apfel and Norma Kamali. The show opened its doors to the public at the Javits Center for $20.
I own and operate Leah’s Closet Vintage in Royal Oak, a suburb of Detroit, and sell a large array of vintage clothing and accessories ranging from the Edwardian and Victorian eras to the 1990s. So, you can only imagine how honored and flattered I was to receive an invitation from show organizer Peter Berta. (Berta plans to offer Vintage@lntermezzo three times a year in January, May, and August.)
How exciting to have an opportunity to visit with industry icons as well as meet so many other incredible, like-minded people… all of whom subscribe to the philosophy of fashion being ageless. I have always believed getting dressed is an art, one of the most important ways to express your creativity and maintain your individuality. I’m thrilled to see vintage taking its long overdue and deserved place and would like to share some of the fantastic insights and resources I discovered during the show.
Free To Be at Vintage@Intermezzo
Just one of the amazing women I met while shopping in my booth was Tziporah Salamon. She is a teacher, model, fashion consultant, actress, and celebrated muse of late fashion photographer Bill Cunningham. Her book, The Art of Dressing (Rizzoli Press), was just released in April 2017. In it she expresses the beauty of freedom, that fashion is timeless, and original style is an outward expression of your soul.
Women Of A Certain Age
How’s this for a moniker: “Idiosyncratic Fashionistas.” The name belongs to two “women of a certain age”— N.Y.C. Style bloggers Jean and Valeri. Their blog focuses on “setting a bad, bad example for older women everywhere!” Their combined joie de vivre is contagious. Check them out on Instagram: @idiosyncracticfashionistas.
More Is More
A great highlight was an all-star panel discussion on the second day of the show called “The Value of Vintage,” conducted by Accessories Magazine and monitored by editor-in-chief Lauren Parker. The panel included industry icon Iris Apfel (96), designer Norma Kamali (72), and Lord and Taylor’s, Stephanie Solomon (over 60), who has been an integral part of the fashion industry for over 30 years. Much of the conversation repeatedly led back to the concept of agelessness and the importance of self-expression and creativity at any age.
Iris Apfel inadvertently describes passing the ageless torch when she said, “I am an accessories freak. . . I caught it from my mother.” And of course her infamous line: “More is more, less is a bore!”
I was lucky to have had a chance to also sit down and chat with Iris later that day and found her to be one the most energetic, inspiring and funny women I have ever met!
The importance of staying true to yourself, at any age, and mixing your favorite eras with modern trends was addressed by Stephanie Solomon when she stated that if you dress in all one era, you end up “looking like you’re wearing a costume.”
Age Is A State Of Mind
Norma Kamali is a celebratory walking billboard of maintaining your youth, no matter how many birthdays you acquire. During the interview she referred to her infamous “Sleeping Bag” coat with as much youth and enthusiasm as she did when it first hit the scene in the 1978 and is very proud of the fact that she still sells them today. She is also dressing Lady Gaga for her current tour.
Throughout the show’s duration I kept seeing signs that reinforced my personal belief that while “vintage” may be used to describe an era—it has nothing to do with age. I truly believe that with age comes freedom. Where youth is frequently celebrated, it’s inspiring to see people of all ages expressing themselves wearing whatever they like, whenever and wherever they like.
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