Shopping with The Vintage Traveler: Asheville, NC

After several days of looking at photos on the internet of people baking Christmas goodies, I decided I needed a break from the I’m-not-cooking-guilt.  What could be nicer than a day shopping in the antique and vintage emporiums of Asheville?

I call it shopping, but what I really do is 99% looking as my life is a textbook case of knowing that I have more stuff than I need already, and that  I’m out of space for more.  Still, looking is an education, and that requires no space at all.

I adored the postcard of the shipboard shuffleboarders.   And even though postcards take up little space, I resisted.

This Vera Neumann shirt from the early 1970s is such a great example of her work.  I’ve written before how she would paint the design and then her team would convert it into a garment.  The print was engineered so that the pieces of the garment were printed right onto the fabric.

This was a new one for me.  This is a close-up of a quilt made from pieces of felt, at least some of which were from pennants.  Big faux fur diamond shapes were appliqued over, and the whole thing was tied to join the front and back.

This is a shawl or stole, with a silk paisley print on one side, and a deep pile velvet on the other.  I took photos of it because it reminded me so much of one I found and bought not too long ago.

I’m still trying to figure out the target customer for this piece.

This piece started life as a tablecloth, but I think I like it better as an oversized top.  It looks like it was made in the late 1950s or early 60s, by the shape of the collar and neckline.

Why is the tablecloth-turned-top acceptable to me while this conversion of vintage skates to Christmas decoration is not?  Maybe it is because I’ve been looking for a nice pair of women’s 1950s skates, and here they are all covered with fake snow.  I do find skates a surprising lot considering I’m in the South, but they are usually cheap vinyl.  These are leather, and were well-made.

This was interesting, and a bit unexpected.  It’s a sketch by Grace Sprague, who was Edith Head’s assistant and main sketcher in the 1950s and 60s.

If I ever become a time traveler, the guy on the left will be my Edwardian boyfriend.

The poor woman driver runs deep in our consciousness.  The Victorians started it with their cartoons of the woman on her bicycle, and this Colliers cover perpetuated the myth.

These left me speechless.  Made by Wrangler, I’m quite sure they were made for men.  (I forgot to check the fly to see which way it was oriented.)

Aren’t these photos fantastic?  I wonder if they were actually used in an advertisement.

I see a lot of vintage tailoring displays and books, but this one is nice because it features a woman’s suit as well as a man’s.

And just to show that it’s not just about clothes, here are two little Scottie friends.

I did actually make two purchases.  One is a 1942 Make and Mend for Victory booklet by the Cotton Spool Company.  The other is a 2013 book on French designer Jean Patou.  It’s one of those huge, over-sized books that could have been published small for half the price, but I had to have it because of the wonderful photos of Patou’s sportswear.  Many of the photos came from the Patou archive, and are simply envy-inducing.  Bathing suits, tennis dresses, and ski wear – Patou did them all.

These wonders can be found at Bryant Antiques, Local, Screen Door, and Sweeten Creek Antiques, all in the Biltmore area of Asheville.


Filed under Shopping

20 responses to “Shopping with The Vintage Traveler: Asheville, NC

  1. I love the table cloth turned jacket! As for those skates, I agree. I mean I have no problem with using skates as decor, but not when you alter them in a way they can no longer be used!

    I’m completely in love with those red, white and blue pants! I’ve been looking for a good pair of 70s printed pants. Both my mom and my dad’s best man boasted some amazing red, white and blue stripe pants, but these you found take the cake!


  2. I was taken by that quilt from pennant felts, the Collier’s, and too many of the other things to list. Must get “out West” once the Winter thaws, and will start my list of places to visit with these three. Thank you, Lizzie! Hope you’re enjoying a cozy fire & hot chocolate!


  3. the sketch by Grace Sprague reminds me of the lord and Taylor art/ads – I want the Scotties and great jeans-I sort of remember them!? Happy ! Peace! Health! To ALL!


  4. So much to love. I have decided to fight you for that Edwardian boyfriend. Or maybe just steal his vest. And you must be a Scottie magnet.


  5. Valentine

    The paisley silk velvet is probably Etro.


  6. A superb collection of finds, as always! I have a pair of jeans similar to those Wranglers (not as cool and not Wrangler) that I haven’t gotten around to listing.

    Andy used to collect ice skates for a guy (he was in either SC or NC) that made them into big wreaths! He still picks skates up when he finds them to re-sell to local sporting goods shops and says he will be happy to be on the lookout for a 1950s women’s pair for you (let me know if you want a certain size!).

    Happiest of holidays to you and yours, Lizzie!


  7. Ruth

    I love the tablecloth jacket! Now I know what to do with some old ones I have that aren’t table-usable. And I guess someone thought the cow manure (composted, no less) would be good for a gardener?


  8. Such fun and isn’t it great that the brain never runs out of space.


  9. My favorite is the scotty and Friendship poem. Love it!


  10. I’m sorry that the Instagram images of Christmas baking (guilty as charged) induce any feelings of guilt for you, Lizzie. I suppose It’s all a matter of perspective because I find seasonal baking a really therapeutic exercise which helps expunge my ‘I’m not buying’ guilt. 😉 Happy new year!


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