Last weekend saw the sixteenth ‘The Way We Wear’ vintage and retro fair. The event is run by Frock up Australia and is held bi-annually in Brisbane.

This year, the fair ran over three days in total and saw vintage dealers from all over Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria selling items spanning multiple decades. Now that we’re moving into Autumn and soon enough, Winter – I thought where better to track down some wintry vintage delights. Being Queensland though, the weather on the day I attended the fair was far from wintry but the hope of cooler weather seemed to inspire most fair-goers. The event saw more than just vintage fashion on display – there were retro homewares, estate jewellery, linen and lace, fashion art, retro toys and textiles.

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The best part of the fair for me was when one of the vendors held out a basket of necklaces to me and told me that they were all free! I couldn’t believe my luck, so I picked up a few and left some for other fair-goers to enjoy. Another highlight of the day was when I came across a vendor by the name of Susan who was sitting quietly dressed in the finest vintage – head to toe. I really loved how her hat matched perfectly to her lavender pleated dress and cat’s eye glasses. I couldn’t resist asking her to pose for a quick photo.

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Susan Barnes looking extremely elegant in her vintage lavender outfit

The quality of items on display and for sale really exceeded all expectation and that was especially true for the Bakelite and Lucite hand bags from Vintage Hippy. In particular, one little caramel purse which I actually gasped when I saw it sitting on the shelf. I had to pick it up and feel its beauty in my hands. Bakelite was first created in the early 1900s and was one of the first plastics to be used. The material is super smooth to touch and these days, it’s rare to see handbags or purses still in good condition.

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There’s something about vintage fairs that bring out nostalgic feelings in everyone. The decorative kitchenware pieces and the detail manufacturers went to when designing the simplest items. The 50s and 60s are especially endearing and it really makes you want to jump into a time machine and just spend a day swanning around in magnificent dresses, matching gloves and of course, a hat.
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A beautiful display of hats, gloves, shoes, bags and everything a vintage girl could dream of.

A beautiful display of hats, gloves, shoes, bags and everything a vintage girl could dream of.

Although the fair has come to an end, it’s not over. The seventeenth ‘The Way We Wear’ vintage and retro fair will be back at Mt Gravatt show grounds this August. It’s only a 20 minute drive from West End, so get your best Winter vintage outfits ready for a good day out and be ready to step back in time.

You can check out Frock up Australia’s website at www.frockupaustralia.com for more details.

Words by Bianca Scargill (@the_vintage_fox)
Images by John Colombo (@casualpedestrian)