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The Sydney Fair 2017

Writing about The Sydney Fair always presents a dilemma – with so many pieces showcased from Art Deco sculpture to 1920s beaded dresses, it’s hard to do justice to every facet of what’s on display. I could write reams on the vintage fashion alone, or on just how many wonderful celluloid dance purses I saw last night.


1920s beaded, mesh and celluloid purses and other accessories at Coutura Vintage

The venue has moved from the Byron Kennedy Hall a short distance away to the Hall of Industries (familiar from so many childhood Easter Shows), and the comparative intimacy and beautiful interior features of the smaller venue have given way to the vast space of the latter. It can be a bit cavernous in there, but with many new exhibitors I think it’s safe to say that the atmosphere of the fair filled it. Queues were way up the street when we arrived for the opening night, but once the doors opened there was no sense of being overcrowded, and while I do miss the aforementioned intimacy, it is nice to have plenty of space to view the stalls.


1920s blue velvet cape with beaded and sequin embellishment, Coutura Vintage


Gold lace and lamé 1920s dress at Audrey Scarlett vintage

The stalwarts of the fair, there since its first year, are back – Arte Deco with a grand display of Art Deco furniture, Virtanen Antiques with their extraordinary and sometimes quite monumental pieces going back deeper into the 19th century, and Deco Diva with a truly breathtaking display of Art Deco sculptural pieces, figurines, lamps and clocks. Prism Lighting, Demigod Antique Prints and so many others that have delighted us in years past. There are also newcomers to the fair, like the Coo-ee Art Gallery, Australia’s oldest Aboriginal exhibiting art gallery.


Art Deco sculpture, Arte Deco
The vintage fashion front is one of the greatest draws for me, and this year I was delighted to see the offering of regulars like Arte Deco and Coutura Vintage expanded to new stallholders like Audrey Scarlett and The Vintage Drawer. It was my introduction to Audrey Scarlett, and after falling in love with some of their 1920s pieces I finally had to exclaim “why have I not come across you before?” Answer: they’re Melbourne based!


1910s-1920s bandeau – brass with faux gemstones, at Coutura Vintage.

I’m back tomorrow where I’ll be helping out with the fashion parade and vintage clothing competition (times below), and opening night was largely spent socialising and catching up with friends – I feel I’ve hardly had a chance to dive into the fair’s offerings and have just skirted the surface, but I did walk away with one piece…an exquisite 1920s black beaded dress with beaded floral motifs from Coutura Vintage.

25 May – 28 May
25 May at 18:00 to 28 May at 17:00
1 Driver Avenue, Moore Park 2021
Tickets available www.thesydneyfair.com.au

Fashion Parades of Evening Dresses from the Couture Exhibition
Saturday 27 May at 1.00pm and 3.00pm and at 2.00pm a Best Dressed Event

Find out more and see some fabulous previews at The Sydney Fair FB page: https://www.facebook.com/TheSydneyFair/


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