Hester Fleming Vintage

Sourcing Vintage Treasures for the Modern Woman

Vintage Shopping Tips

Travel: Vintage Flea Markets, Paris.

Vintage MarketsHester Fleming
A vintage fashion boutique at Marché aux Puces de Clignancourt. Image courtesy of Google.

A vintage fashion boutique at Marché aux Puces de Clignancourt. Image courtesy of Google.

It’s another dream of mine to write a book about my perspective on vintage in Paris (and London of course!). I was lucky enough to visit Paris, half a dozen times when I was living in London. It was so easy on the Eurostar from London’s Kings Cross Station.

In my experience big cosmopolitan cities offer the gift of the ability to walk everywhere, with really efficient public transport systems. I say explore it all on foot! Unless it is absolutely freezing, boiling hot or you have young children in tow, keep out of the car. You can visit the Practical Paris resource on the Tourism Paris website for more information about getting around and best deals for train tickets etc.

For accommodation, I’ve stayed in a few areas of Paris. Saint Germain Des-Pres being my favourite. The 6th Arrondissement of Paris. The home of 19th century literary and artistic legends. Also offering today’s best shopping, restaurants, bars, art galleries, antique stores and street markets, at your doorstep. For accommodation ideas, I always start with Trip Advisor.

For the all important, holy grail vintage shopping part of your trip, I am really taken with the comprehensive, Paris Perfect, Flea Market Guide. They even offer tours (which I’m looking forward to booking myself on)! There are several blog posts about all the different angles of vintage shopping in Paris. Best times to visit, how to negotiate with Parisian dealers (very important), and even a section on the history of the Parisian flea market trade. So interesting! You can discover more here.

If you’re planning a more extensive trip around France and keen to discover more flea markets, I recommend looking into, Sandy Price’s Flea Markets of France guide.

Travel and vintage is such a bug! It goes hand in hand. I can’t wait to go on my next vintage seeking adventure.

Three Reasons to Buy Vintage Jewellery and Accessories

Vintage Accessories, Vintage Jewellery, Vintage Markets, Vintage Shopping TipsHester Fleming
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There’s so much value to investing in vintage jewellery and accessories. Here are my three top reasons for adding a touch of vintage to your contemporary wear.

When I was living in London and New York, my biggest frustration with affordable costume jewellery collections from the big retailers, was the quality! Most pieces if worn regularly would only last a season and start to look tatty, quickly.

Jewellers post world war II didn’t have access to the popular precious metals and stones, so they made do with good quality semi-precious materials. As a result they were able to focus on the design of a piece. Alfred Phileppe of Trifari, an American costume jewellery company, used to work with Cartier. While he wasn’t able to use the same materials he had access to at Cartier, he still had the ability to utilise his superior design skills. As a result, Trifari pieces from the 20th century, are highly collectable today.

Secondly, the ethical pitfalls of fast fashion are very real. Our society is knowingly exploiting workers wages and working conditions in third world countries by shopping at Zara or H&M. How much of what’s being produced from the ‘fast fashion revolution’ are we going to hold on to for our kids? I have pieces of costume jewellery from my grandmothers collection, which are still very wearable today. Are we going to be able to leave the same legacy?

Thirdly, help limit landfill! This is so important. When it’s too much of a hassle to take an item back, only to be thrown out a few months later, isn’t good. It’s like throwing money away. Not to mention the general pollution being created through the toxic chemicals, needed to produce mass quantities of clothing, jewellery and accessories. This doesn’t leave a nice taste in anyone’s mouth.

There are lots of avenues to go down when exploring the availability of vintage. Ebay and Etsy are great online resources. Give it a go. If you’re not happy, sell the item on Ebay later. Loads of vintage traders have their own shops on these platforms. Local pop up vintage markets, such as Round She Goes, are becoming more popular today. Not so much trash and treasure, but curated collections of vintage, attracting lots of interested people. There’s also pride in owning a good piece of vintage. Designers of the twentieth century pushed through so many conservative boundaries when it came to dress and presentation. Why not own your own piece of history. It’s exciting to see what you can dig up and find.

I’ve written in so much more detail about this in my newly published book! How to Buy Vintage Jewellery and Accessories. I have a limited amount of copies available to purchase (signed) here. But…it’s also available to purchase through Angus & Robertson, Booktopia and The Book Depository