Two questions I’m asked all them time – firstly, where do I buy my vintage pieces and secondly, where in Sydney can we see good quality vintage pieces older than the 1970s?
The answer to the first is complicated, as I have to source a great deal online from overseas, but is also partly answered by the second. The vintage scene in Sydney has taken a few blows in recent years with some of the best fairs and dealers either downscaling or disappearing, notably with the hiatus (hopefully to be lifted) of Love Vintage and the closure of the Sydney Antique Centre and its vintage stalls, but there have been some shining lights that have seen us through. These include both the sellers that continue to operate their bricks and mortar stores, and events like the wonderful Sydney Fair.
Since it debuted in 2014, The Sydney Fair has become the talked about event for lovers of Art Nouveau to Art Deco design (with some very notable inclusions of decorative movements outside that era). Walking into the Byron Kennedy Hall is like walking into a cave of wonders for those of us who love the design of this period – be it fine art, interior decorating items, furniture, jewelry, fashion or accessories. Everything beautifully selected and displayed with some of Australia’s best dealers (and some overseas visitors) – and because the organiser, Dianne, has a passion that includes furniture, art and fashion, she creates an environment for the very best dealers and experts in all these areas. She sets the tone with the Arte Deco/Online Antiques display, which lavishly showcases everything from soft furnishings to gowns. Those who exhibit here have a passion for their areas of expertise that makes not only viewing their pieces but also talking with them as delightful as it is informative – people like the owners of Deco Diva who sell a collection of Deco sculpture and furniture that can usually only be found in such quality and quantity in heavy coffee table books, or Lena of Coutura Vintage whose care and skill in selecting and displaying vintage clothing and accessories a visual delight.
We’ll be there on opening night to revel in the best of high style Art Deco, and also – we hope! – to find the pieces that will bring us such joy for years to come. In the past, we’ve walked away with Art Deco figural lamps, Russian style bandeaux, flapper beaded dance dresses, lamé capes, velvet lined 1920s coats, Czech Egyptian revival necklaces and other such delights. If you wonder where the good vintage pieces are to be had in Sydney, they’re here under the one roof.
Byron Kennedy Hall
26 – 29 May 2016