Hester Fleming Vintage

Vintage Accessories

Why Vintage?

Lifestyle, Vintage Accessories, Vintage Jewellery, Vintage Markets, Vintage Shopping TipsHester Fleming

Yesterday, after dropping off my five year old at school, I listened to a Melissa Ambrosini’s podcast interview with Samantha Wills. A wonderful Australian entrepreneur who took her jewellery business from the kitchen table to global domination. I really appreciated her 12 year overnight success story and down to earth philosophy when it comes to developing a strong brand. Long term followers of my passion project and business, Hester Fleming Vintage, will have definitely picked up on the ‘slow burn’ aspect of my approach to building this brand. I’m sure many of you have questioned why have I chosen this approach? Why vintage? And why do I keep doing this?

I started buying vintage jewellery seriously in London 2010, after the global financial market tanked and I was let go from my job in publishing. What I didn’t anticipate when I launched my business at Gray’s Antique Market in Mayfair and a very basic WIX e-commerce site, was the amount of personal growth you go through when embarking on the entrepreneur journey.

Like any business founder, I’ve seriously questioned whether vintage jewellery and accessories is the right product for me to sell. Simply put, the fast fashion movement upsets me. While I am no stranger to shopping at Zara or H&M, the environmental cost (including labour and production) is enormous. Plus, the quality of materials used, isn’t the best.

When you think about it, how many clothes or accessories you own, do you actually wear regularly? And, would you pass them onto an Op shop or friend after being worn a few times? Pieces of jewellery in particular, produced throughout the 20th century are of amazing quality and design, still standing strong today. Building a collection of authentic 20th century vintage pieces you love is a wonderful personal asset, that will retain its value.

The other aspect of vintage I love is the design. The explosion of creative innovation throughout the 20th century is inspired. At present, I’m concentrating on sourcing mid century Modernist pieces, Mod jewellery from the 60s, vintage zodiac designs (tricky to find) and large sculptural pendents from the 70s by iconic costume jewellers such as Trfiari and Napier. Eventually, I’d love to produce an ethical high quality collection of pieces inspired by the 20th century. These pieces will aim to hold the test of time and forever enrich your contemporary style. For now, watch this space. Also, look out for my book, soon to be published, How to Buy Vintage Jewellery and Accessories, including a comprehensive list of places to source great costume jewellery in the style capital of the world, New York. Hopefully, more editions about Sydney/Melbourne, London, Paris and Amsterdam to come! Below are some stunning examples of 60s and 70s jewelry design. If you’re keen to purchase, or you would like to take a closer look, contact me here. Enjoy!

1970s Trifari Pendent $75.00

1970s Trifari Pendent $75.00

1960s Goldtone Necklet $75.00

1960s Goldtone Necklet $75.00

1960s Confetti Lucite Hinged Bangle $75.00

1960s Confetti Lucite Hinged Bangle $75.00









Shopping Vintage at Camberwell Market

Vintage Accessories, Vintage Jewellery, Vintage Markets, Vintage Shopping TipsHester Fleming

It was a very wet morning at the Camberwell Sunday Market in Melbourne today. The challenge was a find a few pieces of costume jewellery before everything was under cover! While my theme this month is all about the mid century modernist edit, I couldn't resist the following pre-loved contemporary costume jewellery pieces, which I'll be taking to my next vintage pop up event in Sydney on the 19th of May.  The last piece of today's collection is vintage though,  a lovely pair of mid century modernist paste earrings.  For more mid century pieces, check out my shop collection here.

A pre-loved contemporary JCrew Necklace $75

A pre-loved contemporary JCrew Necklace $75

A pre-loved CK bangle (size S/M) $25 & A pre-loved Mimco Bangle (regular size) $25

A pre-loved CK bangle (size S/M) $25 & A pre-loved Mimco Bangle (regular size) $25

Mid century paste earrings, set in silvertone. $25.00

Mid century paste earrings, set in silvertone. $25.00

Mid Century Modernist Edit

Vintage Accessories, Vintage JewelleryHester Fleming

The following gallery images are a peak into my 21 piece, mid century modernist edit. Pieces date roughly from the 1930s to the late 1960s/70s.  To view the entire collection, please visit my shop here.  You can also make an appointment to view these pieces in person. To make an appointment, click here.

Mid Century Modern Style

Vintage Accessories, Vintage JewelleryHester Fleming

Over the next few weeks, I'll be overhauling my web shop with a mid century modern theme. Jewellery and accessories will date from the mid 1930s to the 1970s.  It was around this time Coco Channel revolutionised women's fashion. Amelia Earhart was the first woman to fly around the world and Queen Elizabeth II, was appointed to the throne.  

The Hollywood influence took the lead in the 30s. Fashions worn by the stars, particularly evening wear, gave people a distraction from the hardships of the decade. Material restrictions during World War II, ended up being an exciting time for costume jewellery development, with designers being more open to working with inexpensive materials, so access to high quality design to the middle class consumer was embraced. 

Rapid developments in style also took place from the conservative 50s, to the free thinking 60s. London was the centre of the Mod fashion revolution, also known as the 'youthquake'.  Think bright colours, flower power, psychedelic patterns and a fascination with space, to correlate with the first man landing on the moon.  There is so much energy from this era, I'm excited to bring you a wonderfully colourful curated collection of jewellery and accessories. 

 

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360 Fashion Market Review

Vintage Accessories, Vintage Markets, Vintage JewelleryHester Fleming

It was lovely to meet some of Canberra vintage enthusiasts last Sunday. The Fitters Workshop on the Kingston Foreshore is a great location. It was just a shame about the rain.  However, those that did come, were great. The coffee and DJ tunes were a treat too. 

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Vintage mid century starburst brooches were a popular choice. I think the rumour that the brooch is back, is true. 

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Pretty necklaces were also popular.  Particularly, the cameo and 1930s pendent.  A lot of people asked where I source my pieces and I always say it's a combination of all the years I've spent living in London, New York and Sydney. 

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This stunning Liberty bangle was snapped up quickly. Fingers crossed I find another one soon! Vintage bangles are a fantastic way to accessorise. They're a timeless accessory that rarely dates.  

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Mid century sterling silver and enamel pieces were in demand too. Butterflies in particular, as always.  If you have a piece in mind that you would like to source, I'd love to help, please contact me here.   My next event is in May. I'm sure I'll head across to Canberra again soon. Thank you for having me 360 Fashion Market. It was a great experience.   

Vintage Seekers Survival Guide: The Sydney Antique and Collectables Fair

Lifestyle, Vintage Jewellery, Vintage AccessoriesHester FlemingComment
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On the first Sunday of each calendar month, approximately 100 dealers from all over Australia, set up at the Sydney Antique and Collectables Fair, Wentworth Park Function Centre, Glebe. General admission is $6. Doors open at 9am and close at 3pm. Here are my top tips to make the most of this event, and others that you may attend.

1. Make sure you bring cash. Some dealers have an eftpos machine or a square reader, however, they don't always work.  You can withdraw cash from the event organiser but there is a fee on top of this withdrawal. My suggestion is to plan to visit an ATM before you arrive, to avoid any ounce of disappointment. 

2. Bring some nibbles and a bottle of water.  While there's a cafe on site which serves plenty of coffee and tea, a few nuts or a museli bar is a sure way too keep your mind sharp when you're working your way through the enormous range of collectables.

3. Wear comfortable shoes. There's lots to see and practically no where to sit, other than the cafe on site, which is always busy. 

3. Arrive early. It's a well known fact, trade starts as soon as the doors open.  For the best pieces of the day, it's first in, best dressed.

4. Be prepared to seriously rummage. Some dealers have mountains of estate lots on tables, waiting to be picked through. It's not glamorous, but there are definitely diamonds in the rough to be found. Be patient. 

5. Look at the piece of interest thoroughly. Think about the weight, the condition and whether all the stones are there, or if you see any cracks. Consider whether any repair work needs to be done and if you have the extra resources available to fix the piece properly.   

6. Ask the dealer politely for the best price they can offer.  Nine times out of ten, dealers won't be outrageous with their pricing. Often their first price is their best price. However, if you're buying a few pieces from a collection, then you can expect a reasonable discount. 

7. Regularly attend the Sydney Antiques and Collectables Fair. There's nothing better than developing a relationship with the dealers who trade at these shows. Let them know what you're interested in and ask a few questions about their collection. A touch of loyalty goes a long way too..  

Good Luck.