Tag Archives: GA

And Even More from Atlanta

I promise, this is the very last post from Atlanta, but I just had to say a few more words about the city before moving on.

It is true that one can tell a lot about a place from looking at the stuff in its antique malls.  In the case of Atlanta, the malls are full of things that reference Gone with the Wind (or GWTW in its abbreviated form) and Coca Cola.  Until you visit Atlanta, you may be blissfully unaware that it is the birthplace of Coke, but once there, you can hardly escape the fact.

I’m so sorry that my photo cannot give the full impact of this window at the Fox Theater.  It really was beautiful, in a red and silver type of way.

One of the landmarks of midtown Atlanta is the 1920s Fox Theater.   Designed in the late 1920s as a Shriner’s “mosque,” the building ran into financial difficulty before it was finished, and the Shriners sold it to movie mogul William Fox who finished the building as a 4,700 seat movie house.  The building was almost demolished in the 1970s, but was thankfully saved through the efforts of a “Save the Fox” campaign.  Today the theater is fully restored and still open, as the venue of traveling Broadway plays and live musical performances.

From the side

Outside of the lobby

The old box office

Beautiful hotel across the street, the 1911  Georgian Terrace.  The gala for the premier of GWTW was held there, with all the stars in attendance.  You might think that the movie premier would have been at the Fox, but instead it was held at the downtown Loew’s Grand Theater.  But like the Fox, the Georgian Terrace fell into disrepair, and was scheduled for demolition.  It was saved when it was placed on the  National Register of Historic Places in 1986.  The Georgian Terrace was restored and reopened in the 1990s.

Yes, this is the same view as the top photo, as this was the view from our room.

And so the Atlanta saga ends.  I’m presently on my way to St. Louis, where I’ll be attending a family affair, and so my trip will be very short.  I hope to fit in a little sightseeing, and a tiny bit of shopping.  Wish me luck!


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Vintage Shopping – North Atlanta

Last Wednesday I met Monica Murgia for a little pre-CSA vintage shopping.   I’m usually a solo shopper, mainly because I’ve learned that I can cover more ground by myself and that there is no competition for the good stuff.   But I enjoyed having Monica’s company on this trip.  We shop at pretty much the same pace and we were in the market for different things, so it worked perfectly.

We stuck to the small towns that are just north of the city, mainly because I’m just more familiar with the area and because I knew that the thrifts and antique stores there usually have great things for sale.  We kept the day mixed, with both antique malls and thrift stores, so as not to be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of clothing that is found in the huge thrifts of the area.

The top photo is of some beautiful antique glove boxes.  It was truly the beginning of a collection.

Monica is saying farewell to this sweet dress from the 1960s that did not fit.

Soft rayon 1920s onsie-undies from Musingwear.  You just never know what will turn up in an antique mall!

I really liked this hat from Oleg Cassini, but knew it would not work with the clothing I have from its time.

This old dress form has seen better days, but showed promise as a conversation piece…

I just wish my photo of this early 60s dress was better, as it fit Monica perfectly and looked just adorable.  How could she miss for $5.99?

There were lots of nice mid 20th century pieces in the malls.  I liked this tea cart…

but I loved this set.

Taking a break in a coffee shop in Roswell, GA.  The milk bottle was from a dairy in Monica’s hometown in Pennsylvania!

The Cobb Antique Mall has a whole section of vintage clothing, and I rarely leave without finding something I love.  I bought a sweet 1940s swimsuit coverup and Monica bought a lovely 1950s lace dress.

Have you ever seen a dressform in an antique store that did not have loads of miscellaneous stuff pilled on it?  The swimsuit is from Rose Marie Reid.

Loved this hatbox, but the poor condition was just too much of an issue.

Sporty girls!

And lastly, this one is for Monica, from a shop we didn’t have time to visit.  I stopped by on my way out of town and found some lovely things, including this evening cape.


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Atlanta History Center

As part of the CSA Symposium, one day was spent at the Atlanta History Center.   One of the main features there is the Atlanta History Museum, which tells, of course, the story of the city of Atlanta and the surrounding area.

We were given an historical overview by a curator at the museum, and he said something that I’d never thought about, but immediately realized the truth of.  And that is that today Atlanta is strongly associated with the American Civil War purely because of Margaret Mitchell’s novel, Gone with the Wind, and the resulting blockbuster film.  Not that the war was not an important part of the history of Atlanta, and not that Atlanta was not an important aspect of the war. This is undeniable, but it was the book and movie that drew attention to the city and cemented the association.

So it’s not surprising that a large part of the museum is devoted to artifacts from the Civil War.  I just find it all so sad.  Among all the guns and flags and uniforms, you have poignant little things like this pin, which a soldier carved from his own leg bone.  It never was delivered to his sweetheart Lizzie, as he died before he could tell where to send it.

On a cheerier note, there is a nice section devoted to the game of golf, and to Atlanta favorite son, Bobby Jones.  The golf ensemble at the top of this post is a replica of a suit worn by Alexa Stirling in the 1920s.  Alexa was a friend of Bobby Jones, and was a golf  prodigy in her own right.  Below is a shot of her playing in a similar suit.

The Atlanta History Center has a very good collection of textiles, though during this visit there was not an exhibit dedicated to just clothing.  Instead, clothing and textiles are sprinkled throughout the exhibits and are used for illustration of the other themes explored.

In a large exhibit on folk arts, they have an ingenious way to display quilts where 6 or 8 quilts are mounted on slanted boards that are recessed into the wall.  You can push buttons, seen on the lower right of my photo, and the quilt you select to see will roll out for about 15 seconds, and then moves back into the darkness of the wall.

This is the Swan House, which is part of the history center complex.  At one time it actually housed the museum, but today is open to tours as a museum house.  The gardens are worth a walk though, and it is hard to believe that the city is just steps away!


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2012 Costume Society of America Symposium, Atlanta

I spent the past four days in Atlanta, attending the CSA Symposium and hanging out with my friend Monica Murgia.  On Wednesday I drove down and picked Monica up at the Marta (that’s Atlantaese for Metro) station and we spent the day hunting vintage treasures.  I’ll be writing about what we found later on this week.

The CSA Symposium is a yearly meeting of fashion history people – university professors and fashion school teachers, museum curators and conservators – and me.  Even though I don’t actually fit into any of the categories of scholars in attendance, the group is happy to accept all who have an interest in fashion studies.   I even had a few people tell me how much they enjoy The Vintage Traveler, and I tried very hard not to let my head swell.

Throughout the days of the symposium, people presented papers that were selected by a panel for inclusion in the program.  This year the theme had a multi-cultural slant, and many of the papers presented reflected this.  A favorite in this group was Sarah Scaturro’s presentation on a valuable collection of Vodou artifacts she worked on in Haiti.

Many of the papers were studies of 18th and early 19th century clothing, an area which I love but am woefully under-educated!  It was great to sit there and learn from people who really knew their stuff.

A common theme in many of these presentations was how clothing of the past was often restyled to fit the current mode.   More than one museum professional made the statement that a very large percentage of their 18th and 19th century clothing had led more than one life.  In the case of a 1740’s man’s coat, it was restyled in the late 1780s, and possibly in-between those dates.  Even in wealthy families, fine fabric was prized and often reused.

This got me to thinking about the current fad for remodeling vintage clothes, and how different our motivation for remodeling is from that of people in the past.  Clothing historians who have access to a collection of which they know the family who owned the clothing can research the family and make educated guesses as to who wore the clothing, who altered it and why.  It reveals quite a bit of information about both the clothing and the wearer.

On the other hand, if you find a 1930s silk slip what has been cut to a mini length and dyed with Kool-aid, all that says it that the former owner was clueless about the worth of the object they tried to make look as if it was bought at Forever 21.

But back to the stated topic…  On Friday, we all traipsed over to the Atlanta History Center where we got to tour the facility (report later this week!) and see some more presentations, most notably, a presentation of the Museum at F.I.T’s  exhibition, Eco-Fashion: Going Green and the keynote address, Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, by that rock star of the fashion museum world, Andrew Bolton.

On Saturday, there were more papers presented, and there were also juried research exhibits, including an excellent one by Monica on the couturier who took over at the house of Lanvin in 1950, Antonio Canovas del Castillo (see photo at top).  It was a great ending to an excellent conference!

Next year the CSA Symposium is in Las Vegas, so you might think now about your travel plans for May 2013!

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Visit to the Scott Antique Market

I rarely go to Atlanta’s monthly Scott Antique Market, and it had been two years since my last visit, so I was past due to check it out.  The Scott Market seems to get good reviews, and there is a lot to like about it, but I left feeling more than a little irritated this weekend.

The show is advertised to open at 9 am on Friday.  I’m always in a hurry when I go there because I know I have to be out of the Atlanta area before rush hour begins around 4.  The fact that the show is located on the far south side of town means that I have a very small window of time or else I get stuck in a 30 mile long traffic jam.  So it is very important that I get there early and get started on what is a fairly large show.

When I arrived Friday morning at 9, I was greeted with the above scene, over and over.  I’d guess that less than half of the booths were actually open for business, and it was not until after 10 that the place was in full swing.  You might guess that this did nothing for my mood, and you would be right.  I tried to back track and see the things I’d missed, but I was really not in the mood to shop with people who should have been there waiting for me and my money!

As bad as that was, the real problem with Scott it that it is not really an antique market.  It’s a decorator market.  While there were plenty of booths selling some wonderful antiques and collectibles, there was a large amount of reproduction items, repurposed items and many items that did not even pretend to be antiques.  Truthfully, if I want to look at ugly droopy dresses made from flimsy jersey in Asia, I’d go to the mall.  There were at least five or six booths that sold such new clothing.

Remember, Scott advertises itself as an antique market, not a flea market.  If I’m paying $5 to get in and shop for antiques, that is what I expect to find.

To make it worse, the problem could be easily solved, as there are two large buildings, so it would be a simple matter to separate the new from the old.  So if a Scott employee just happens to be googling to see what is being written about the market, you might keep that in mind.  Otherwise, another market has just been marked off my list.

And one last thing while I’m getting this off my chest:  I know that one of the perks of being a selling at a market is that you get to shop around before the place is opened to the public, but that is one thing I’d prefer not to be reminded of.  One seller had a whole stack of old pennants that she was selling for $1 each.  While I was standing there looking through the stack she made the comment that I should have seen the ones she’d already sold that morning.  It was five minutes after 9 and I was the only customer in that area.  I imagine some of them ended up here:

Oh well, the day was not a complete bust, as I did find a super pair of 1940s/50s skiing boots and a photo of a girls’ basketball team, circa 1909.  I need not have worried about the time, because I was finished with the Scott Market by 1, which gave me time for another stop before leaving the city.

When faced with extra time in Atlanta, I usually opt for the Chamblee area which has four or five really good antique and junk stores.  But I’ve been wanting to visit a place called Kudzu, and since it was located pretty close to my route, I took a chance on it.  What a great store!  There were lots of booths with vintage clothing, and I found a wonderful cashmere and wool turtleneck for myself.  Calling it vintage was a bit of a stretch, as it was probably from the 1990s, but it was made by Burberry, in Italy, and is soft and thick and simply perfect.

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Savannah Shopping

You’l find this hard to believe, but I didn’t do a lot of shopping on this trip.  There were just too many other interesting things to do.  But I do have a few words about Savannah retail.

The main traditional shopping street, Broughton Street, suffered the fate of many US shopping districts after the rise of the shopping mall.  For years, there were very few downtown stores.  But that has all changed and downtown has made a comeback.  Many of the stores are chains – Gap, Banana Republic, Starbucks – but most are local like The Paris Market.

This is the kind of store you wander into and see a hundred things you think you *must* have.  Very pretty, very eclectic, very Parisian.

It’s a combination of new and old.  Downstairs there is a whole section of vintage photos.  I didn’t take the time to go through these baskets of $1 snapshots, but now I’m wishing I’d have taken a one hour rest break and plowed through them.  I’d have needed more like 3 or 4 hours, in reality though.

There is one antiques mall in downtown Savannah, and I did wander through it.  Other downtown stores I loved were Terra Cotta, which said vintage on the door, but I didn’t see any in the store.  No matter, because the things they have are darling, and there’s more than just clothing.  Again, a nice eclectic mix of Stuff.  And Nourish has wonderful soaps, candles and bath scrubs, made in Savannah.

But the most fun about shopping in Savannah is that you can be wandering through a residential area, and up pops a nice little paper goods shop, or a gourmet convenience store or a store devoted to Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.  It’s the randomness and serendipity of it all that makes it so much fun!


Posted by Victoria Rickert:

I love seeing other sites, even if is from a distance, like the armchair traveler. I was thinking of writing about my town, the shops the street people (as in the way of fashion) Thanks for the inspiration, from Ashland, Oregon. Loved the photos and story.:) 

Wednesday, June 23rd 2010 @ 5:58 PM

Posted by Lin VintageVoyager:

Gosh, i *really* want to visit Savannah now… 

Thursday, June 24th 2010 @ 6:41 AM

Posted by Karen/Small Earth Vintage:

What Lin said–this makes me want to travel to Savannah even more! What a fab-looking shop. 

Thursday, June 24th 2010 @ 6:57 AM

Posted by Couture Allure:

LOVE The Paris Market and always make it a point to go there when we visit Savannah. My favorite restaurant is Soho South. They serve a Tomato Bisque that is out of this world. And they keep the recipe top secret, too! You must go there the next time you’re in Savannah. 

Friday, June 25th 2010 @ 10:01 AM

Posted by Lisa:

Thank you for sharing this – my husband and I are headed to Savannah on our way to Florida next week and I’ll be sure to check out Paris Market! 

Friday, June 25th 2010 @ 12:45 PM

Posted by Lizzie:

Victoria, that’s a great idea; I ought to do a shopping guide to Asheville. 

Jody, one of the great things about Savannah is that there are so many wonderful restaurants and bakeries. I’ll have to put Soho South on my list!

Lisa, have a wonderful trip. It’s a beautiful city!

Saturday, June 26th 2010 @ 7:05 PM

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Scott’s Antique Market, Atlanta

I had a wonderful time in North Georgia the past couple of days.  I try to go quite often to visit my Aunt Ruth, who lives in Marietta, which is just north-west of Atlanta.  She always has great stories to tell.  This time it was about her first husband (James the rat) and how her second husband paid the $50 for her divorce because she could not afford it!  Divorce went though and they were married the next day.

There’s just something about these great old stories from the 30s and 40s.  It’s probably how they managed to have such wonderful and full lives with a tiny fraction of the things we think we have to have in order to be happy today.  And that’s a pretty ironic statement considering the rest of this post is about things.

I spent some time in my favorite Marietta antique malls.  Considering how so many antiques and collectibles cooperatives have failed in the past two years, these seemed to be doing quite well.  Granted, there have been two others that have closed, and I assume the dealers who wanted to continue selling move on to fill empty spaces in more thriving malls.  So there are few of the empty holes seen in other malls I’ve been to in the past year.

I love Marietta for another reason.  It has become quite multi-cultural in the past few years, so that there are wonderful Argentine buffets and European bakeries.  No boring fast food for me!  Not that fast food in Marieta is boring.  Long time readers might remember the Big Chicken KFC:

Yesterday I went to Scott’s Antique Market.  This is held every month and is quite a large event.  I rarely go for two reasons.  First, it is south of Atlanta, and the last thing I want to do after a day of treasure hunting is battle the traffic trying to get out of the city.  So I rarely venture south of Buckhead (where the Atlanta History Center is located) and usually no further south than the “village” of Chamblee. Chamblee is one of my favorite vintage hunting spots in the Southeast.  There are several great shops and it makes for a really fun day.  But I digress…

The other reason is probably even more important, and that is the nature of the Scott’s Market.  They seem to really cater to the decorating trade.  Metro Atlanta is a mac-mansion mega-center, and it takes a lot of stuff to fill up one of those suckers.  So there is a lot of really big stuff, most of which is not antique, but rather, antique-y.  But if you are prepared to look past all that sort of thing, are are some wonderful truly antique and vintage things to be found.

Unfortunately, the thing I wanted most – the suitcase in the top photo – was not for sale.  It was part of the seller’s decor.  I really wanted it but left not holding a grudge because she was just so nice.  I’ll never pass another white 1950s suitcase without looking inside to check out the lining!

I also did not buy this cute bowling themed shirt, just for the reason that it was for a small child.  I was tempted though:

I also did not buy these Vera cocktail napkins, purely because I also have 2 sets and do not want to add another pattern to my wantlist.  If I were a smoker though, I’d have gotten them.  Too cute:

But yes, I did buy a few little items: enough 1950s patterns to pay for the trip; two mid 60s hats, one quite mod in a sophisticated way, the other very Faye Dunaway in the Getaway; A super pair of early mod shoes, brown suede and black patent, and the sexiest/trashiest piece of 50s lingerie I’ve ever seen.  Look for that on ebay soon!

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