Late this summer, members of our design and R&D teams travelled to Brimfield Massachusetts. Three times a year, Brimfield plays host to one of the nation’s largest flea markets and antiques fairs, stretching over a mile along Route 20. Designers, collectors, and vintage enthusiasts across the country flock here in search of inspiration and treasure. It’s a vintage lover’s paradise: antique slips mingle with vintage military jackets and Deco beaded dresses. Members of our team found inspiration everywhere, from hand-woven baskets to Bakelite baubles. So I asked three of our designers to share what inspired them most…
-Aileen, Associate Designer, especially loved the vintage botanical illustrations and delicate silk flowers pictured here.
-Alice, Designer- Knits, was drawn to bold color and vintage graphics, like this cherry-red mid-century typewriter.
-Jill, Designer- Sweaters, was inspired by the vintage buttons she found, as well as the bright, bold colors of 1950’s surfboards.
Every once in a while, we find a print that just makes us happy. You can’t help but smile looking at it. This fall, our buckle print is our go-to cheerful print.
The buckle print is actually a special type of print known as a “conversational” print. This style of print rose to popularity in the early 20th century. These prints can feature a wide variety of subjects, themes and even products. We’ve seen a lot in our years of buying vintage: animals, people, nautical elements, logos, holiday elements, places, even cocktails.
Above: A great example of the huge variety of subjects found in vintage conversationals. There’s a great vintage-fabric resource you can check out here.
But our fall buckle print might be one of our favorites- it has the playful quality of a good ‘conversational’ but its graphic layout keeps it looking grown-up and polished.
We found this little beauty looking through some vintage swatch books. And with a few tweaks by our print artists and a few custom colors, the buckle print is ready to bring a smile to a whole new generation.
Pretty print collage image credit: Rickrack
Talbots was born in 1947, opening as a small store in a clapboard house in Hingham, Massachusetts. They started producing catalogs not long after, and the rest, as they say, is history. We’ve grown quite a bit over the years, but we are lucky enough to have an archive of many of our catalogs from over the years. Occasionally, we’ll find inspiration in those pages- a great belt buckle shape, a pretty print, a fantastic neckline detail. There are so many wonderful, eclectic, and COLORFUL things in those pages that I just had to share a few with you. These two pages are from 1972. Looks like that was a bright, fun (& groovy) summer!
Such fun prints and graphics!
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: we love vintage! And once in a while, we come across a piece we love so much that we just have to share. Case in point, this fab orange silk shirtwaist dress we found early last spring. It had such a great, bold paisley print on it, that we took it to our CAD artists to do a modern reinterpretation for us. Photographed below: one of our intrepid designers digging for treasure; the original gem of a dress (just look at that great old tag!), and our finished product, straight from our Summer look-book….
Like our Hibiscus Paisley print as much as we do? You can get one of your own here.
We found these great vintage suitcases in bright shades. I like to imagine these now, amidst a sea of black and navy duffels and rolling suitcases, on the carousel at the airport. They would practically jump into your arms! (P.S.- the orange suitcase was part of a 3-piece luggage set. I’d love to know what fabulous lady once carried those!)
A rainbow of vintage jewels…
Another of our fave places in London is in Islington- it’s a small arcade, or passage of vintage and antique dealers and shops. We visited this time on a rainy, gloomy London day, but found lots of treasures to brighten our day…