Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Shop: How To Find The Perfect Vintage Bag with The Purse Lady

With Fashion's Night Out tomorrow night and Scott Antique Market this weekend, it seems like the perfect time to get shopping, ATL!

It also seems like a good time for me to share some insider secrets on scoring the perfect vintage purse. You know, the one you wear that has everyone asking...That's because with a great bag, it usually doesn't matter what you wear. The last time you saw Céline or Hermès on a woman's arm, can you tell me what she had on? Nope.

That's one thing Hilary Eiseman understands, and with a nickname like "the purse lady," would you expect anything else? I had the pleasure of finally meeting Hilary at this summer's Revival of Vintage at the Goat Farm (you may have read my post here), but I have always loved stopping by her booth at Scotts and Lakewood. 

I've asked this expert vendor a few questions to get you ready for this weekend and have visual proof of her amazing goods, so be sure to visit her! I call dibs on the black velvet and gold tooled leather drawstring bag, hands off ladies!

How did you become the Purse Lady, what drew you to vintage purses?

I have always loved bags... they always fit (being a plus size gal, this is sometimes an issue!), and they have such personality! I used to love running around Philly looking for treasures... I could wear a pretty basic outfit and use a handbag as the punch of individuality.

When shopping for a vintage purse, what should you look for? Quality, material, etc.?
I always look for condition, Quite frankly, I know myself, I don't do restoration work. Every time I have bought a fixer-upper, it has collected dust. I love great details and fun fabrics.

It's so hard to know the older labels. Any good names to look out for?
Coblentz, Rosenfeld, Meyers, Saks Fifth Ave, After Five, La Regale, Walborg, Whiting & Davis, anything French or Italian.

I often see gold and silver metal mesh evening bags, but they seem so delicate, any tips for maintaining them?
Keep away from moisture and sunlight. Store laying flat and use a dustbag.

Alligator bags are beautiful, what's the best way to find one in good condition and then care for it?
Tricky question... the straps are usually the first indication of wear. It is becoming increasingly more difficult to find the old alligator bags in good condition! If you find one and need it cleaned, take it to a good shoemaker for a cleaning. Or if you tackle the task yourself, Google is your friend! There are several great websites for care instructions.

A great tip: If you find a bag with a broken strap, no worries! You can add a metal chain and modernize the look.

What is the best thing about a vintage bag?
The bag is a true statement and is truly rare... you know it has history and a story, just like the owner carrying it!

Where can we find you around town? Any upcoming shows?
Scott Antique Market
North Bldg, B5, #322
2nd Weekend of Every Month
(This Weekend!!!)
Friday and Saturday: 9am-6pm
Sunday: 10am-4pm
Admission is $5 * Free Parking

Lakewood 400 Antique Market
B Hall
3nd Weekend of Every Month
Friday : 9am-5pm
Saturday: 9am-6pm
Sunday: 10am-5pm
Admission is $3 * Free Parking

You can also find her on Facebook. Thanks Hilary!

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