Vintage clothing show and sale

Featuring over 30 of the country's prominent vintage clothing specialists, the first annual Chicago Vintage Clothing Show & Sale ( ) will be held on Saturday, October 31 and Sunday November 1, with a preview on Friday, October 30, at the beautiful Art Deco Arts Plumbers Union Hall Building.

(release) Produced by David Ornstein, founder of the world-famous Manhattan Vintage Clothing Show (, the new Chicago edition will have all of the ingredients that have made the Manhattan event an institution. Top designers and celebrities from around the world have made it the place to go for design inspiration as well as that much needed spark for their personal wardrobe. Donna Karan, Anna Sui, Marc Jacobs, Tommy Hilfiger, Julia Stiles, Sarah Michele Gellar and Scarlet Johansson have all been spotted at recent Manhattan Vintage Clothing shows.

At the Chicago event, show goers will browse through 15,000 items from around the country. Some of Chicago's top vintage dealers and boutiques have been gathered for this event, offering designer labels at prices far less than couture originals.

What's hot for fall 2009?

  • Leather and more leather. Get your kicks on Route 66 in a vintage motorcycle jacket. In fact, the Chicago Vintage Clothing Show & Sale will feature vintage motorcycle jackets in a special exhibit called "Road Vogue." Browse through the exhibit then purchase your own Marlon Brando look-alike.
  • The 1940s fashion statement is back - big time! - spotted on celebrities such as Katie Perry and Lady Gaga and in New York's East Village.
  • It's all about the pin-up girl - a sex tease type of look that had soldiers aching to return to their sweethearts. The 40s also influenced the 80s - a decade of opulence that has enjoyed recent fashion popularity.
  • The excesses of the 80s can be seen in oversized sweaters worn with tapered jeans. The mod dress is back paired with black tights. Worn with several chain necklaces, inspired by Chanel, it's a great look for 2010.
  • The bubble dress is also making a huge comeback with Marc Jacobs introducing it this Fall and pairing it with leggings for an updated look. Find the original bubble dress at the Chicago Vintage Clothing Show & Sale.
  • And the ultimate 80s fashion? The cat suit, combined with a short jacket that brings it into today.

    "We are seeing an important shift away from the mass homogenization of fashion," notes Ornstein, producer of the Chicago show. "Vintage provides relief. It allows individuals to express themselves in a personal way."

    So, this season make your own fashion statement, Ornstein adds, and have the most fun you'll ever shopping at the first Chicago Vintage Clothing Show & Sale.

    Show hours are Saturday 10am to 6pm and Sunday 11am to 5pm. Preview Shopping Party is on Friday, October 30 from 6 to 9 pm.

    The show will be held in the Steven M. Bailey Auditorium at the Plumbers Hall Complex, 1340 W. Washington Blvd., Chicago. Parking available in gated lot accessible from either Randolph St. or Washington Blvd; free parking with advanced ticket purchase.

    Tickets are $25 in advance for the Preview Party and provide entry for Friday night and the entire weekend. Main show prices are $10 in advance; $15 at the door. To purchase advance tickets call 1-800-838-3006 or visit


  • 1940's Dinner dress black/green
  • 1990's Party outfit Lynx coat with beaded cocktail dress
  • 1980's Night clubbing outfit Polka dot body suit with skirt with leggings and motorcycle jacket
  • 1970's Evening party dress Chester Weinberg multi textured with sable wrap


    Friday through Sunday
    Plumber's Hall
    1340 W. Washington



    Who could forget the magnetism of Marlon Brando in his leather motorcycle jacket in The Wild One, or, lady-killer Arthur (The Fonz) Fonzarelli in Happy Days. (His leather jacket is now in the Smithsonian). Then there is the magnetic sex appeal of Harrison Ford in his beat-up brown leather jacket, swinging through danger with his bull-whip as Indiana Jones. Face it, leather makes the man.

    This fall, you can bring home an original version of the leather jacket that made heroes out of ordinary men and sirens out of women at the upcoming Chicago Vintage Clothing Show & Sale, October 30 through November 1 at the Plumbers Union Hall Building in Chicago. There's nothing like vintage to make a personal fashion statement and nothing like the vintage leather motorcycle jacket to make you feel that you've embarked on an adventure.

    Dealers will have different genres and styles of jacket from which to choose. Part of the fun is trying on a jacket and taking on a different persona, like Michael Jackson in his smash 1983 video, Beat It. His red leather jacket heated up the tube and blazed a trail on MTV. He repeated this fashion sensation and blew it completely out of the water with the unprecedented success of the video, Thriller, which is considered one of the greatest music videos of all time. Due to the passing of the King of Pop, these jackets are once again on the vintage Hot List. You'll find yourself doing the Moon Walk, the minute you try on a leather look-alike.

    And then, there's Olivia Newton John. She changed her entire persona, from subtle to siren, with just a flip of a leather collar in the musical film classic Grease. forget the She proved, once and for all, that the leather motorcycle jacket is just as right for divas as it is for dudes.

    The leather motorcycle jacket had practical beginnings. Back in the nineteen twenties and thirties, it was made of brown goatskin in an aviator/military style that emulated the A-1 jacket used by the Army Air Corp prior to WWII. The jacket had a button front closure, a short, mandarin-style collar and a fitted waist. It was warm and protective. Other versions were made of thick horse hide -- abundantly available then as horses were still used by the Army Calvary as well as by farmers who provided hides from their stock to the clothing industry. These heavier jackets protected the rider against burns and road rash were he to fall off his bike.

    The classic motorcycle jacket, as we know it, can be traced to a company called Schott who opened its doors in 1913 and began producing motorcycle jackets during the 1920s. The jacket Brando wore in The Wild One was actually a double-breasted version by Schott, featuring one star on the epaulet -- an embellishment other manufacturers later emulated.

    In 1910, Harley Davidson started in business and by 1940 was producing quality leathers such as the Cycle Champ for men and the Cycle Queen for women. Around the same time, Indian Motorcycles came out with their Ranger jacket for men and the Rangerette for women. The Joseph Buegeleisen Company joined the competition, adding motorcycle jackets to their line of leather accessories and saddlebags. "The Pistol Pocket" holster-shaped design was a Harley Davidson innovation that became widely copied by such makers as Buco, Hercules, and Beck. This design was carried over into the 1960s with the Sears Oakbrook model.

    There is a substantial difference between real biker jackets like those worn by the Hell's Angels that are heavier, thicker and equipped with armor, versus "rocker" jackets which are all about fashion and not likely to be of much protection in a motorcycle accident.

    At the upcoming Chicago Vintage Clothing Show & Sale, visitors will have an opportunity to check out all of these early styles in a special lobby exhibit "Road Vogue" that celebrates the motorcycle jacket as a fashion icon.

    For tickets and information, call 800-838-3006 or visit

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