Friday, 6 March 2015

The wonderful world of Chesterfield flea market

It's been some time since I visited Chesterfield flea market. A combination of bad weather and other commitments has meant that Joanne and I have spent our Thursdays elsewhere lately, so it was good to be back yesterday.

Don't worry, I did wear a coat, but I wanted to show off this new-to-me 1970s frock from my charity shop. I found it as I rummaged among the summer stock in the attic, looking for some colour and print to brighten up the dress rail, which was looking hopelessly tired, dull and drab.

I know this dress is sleeveless, but that doesn't make it an exclusively summer piece, does it? I brought all manner of pretty dresses down to put out in the shop, to the consternation of the other volunteers; but that's summer stock!  
Well, the proof of the strategy is in the sales; I put a sleeveless dress with a great digital print and a brightly coloured little jacket on a mannequin in the window, and a lady bought the entire outfit about 10 minutes later. So there! 
I can't tell you how much I love doing the window display, and how much I preen with self-satisfaction when a customer says it looks good.

1970s St Michael faux fur jacket, 1970s Christian Marcus dress, brooch, bangles and tights - charity shopped
Boots - retail
1970s necklace - vintage market

Now what was I saying? I've distracted myself. 
Oh yes - Chesterfield. 

Joseph greeted us like long-lost friends; I bought a 1950s Alfred Meakin Montmartre jug from his stall. We don't do Mothers Day in this house, but I don't need an excuse to buy myself something pretty for a quid.

I wonder what she gets for Mothers Day?

Booze, bunnies and buckets.

Only the strongest and best cocoa for Her Most Gracious Majesty.

No wonder Action Man looks grumpy - he's lost his pants.

Your own Personal Jesus.
Wonderful vintage packaging.

The juxtaposition of lard and champagne made me laugh.

Objects of the day, both from the early years of the Twentieth century;

a Cabinetta oak and canvas fold-up officer's campaign bed, possibly dating from the First World War or earlier (they were used in the Boer War too);
and a rather grotesque fur evening bag made out of ermine, I think. All its little teeth are intact, and if you lift up its head, you can see its paws. I'm used to seeing fox stoles, but I've never seen a bag with an animal's head on it before. 
I don't know what the poor thing's got to smile about... Possibly the fact that the seller informed me it was a bat.

Apart from my Meakin jug,  I pushed the boat out and spent a whole tenner on Jo and Amanda's stall. They were having one of their 3-items-for-a-fiver sales, so here are my six pieces;

an Edina Ronay Victoriana-style jacket (doesn't suit me at all, so it's destined for Ebay)
a very weighty beaded Twenties-style dress
a Monsoon silk and net skirt
 John Smedley cotton knit hoodie (for Claudia)
a blue/black wiggle dress by Taylor (not a brand I know)
and a 1970s Indian block-printed wraparound maxi skirt. 

£1.70 each - not bad.

And that's why I love a visit to Chesterfield market!

I'm out for dinner with my old friends Sally and Claire tonight, so I'd better go and put my face on; have a great weekend, everyone!



Vix said...

Eeek! Chesterfield! I'm excited already!
No, that dress is fabulous and deffo an all-year-round number, stick a vest underneath and you're good to go. It look fabulous on!
Get you with your top merchandising skillz, they're as good as your bargain hunting ones. Glad the ermine bag didn't come home with you, it looks a bit too poodle-like for comfort.
John Smedley! Even their seconds cost a bloomin' fortune.
Have a fabulous weekend, love! Have we got a Voice date?
Love you! xxxxxx

mondoagogo said...

Always nice when you're vindicated in the face of consternation, isn't it :)

Chesterfield looks ace. The champagne/lard combination made me laugh too -- and I love those grumpy whales on the Cabinetta.

Natalia Lialina said...

The dress is fantastic on you, Curtise! I'd wear it to, with a sweater or cardi in winter - why not! It's so good to read that you enjoy what you do! It does make the whole difference in life, to do what you love and to love whatever you do. As always, it was a fun trip to a flea market with you! Have a wonderful weekend, dear friend! xxx

Melanie said...

I'm glad your style eye is bringing the shop good fortune. Clearly it needs more of your eye for colour. You'll have converts before the year is out.
Your trip to the flea market was clearly productive and fun. I need a little purse that bites me every time I open it to buy something I shouldn't. Ah well, I'd just buy bite-proof gloves, wouldn't I?
Have a great night with your friends, but I don't have to tell you that, do I?

thorne garnet said...

that purse is even creeping me out! I want to go to Chesterfield flea market!

Mother of Reinvention said...

You look great in that dress and what a good haul. What a fabulous market. Wish we had one like that here. Nothing but tat recently. I am in love with that ermine purse. I wish I could give it a forever home. Looks like it would come alive at night and eat people. Have a great weekend too. Xxxxx

diaryofapennypincher said...

Thanks for the reminder about Chesterfield market, I've yet to visit but it looks fab, you should be on commission! Great buys again and I just love those wooden boxes!

Lesley Extance said...

Great dress ! it make me feel that summer is just round the corner !!! have a fab weekend xxx

freckleface said...

You look absolutely fantastic in that dress Curtise, it suits you to perfection with your lovely new dark copper bob. Just gorgeous. I'm really glad you finally found something for yourself, you seem to have done so much for everyone else. Oooh Chesterfield market, exciting!! Mind you, I'm not sure I want to come up close and personal with the bat bag or action man without his pants on. I found out the other day Personal Jesus is based on Elvis and Priscilla. i know, another fascinating fact...zzzz! Xxxxx

Kezzie said...

You scored brilliantly!!! I love love love the dress you are donning and the items you bought are fab! All the random antiquity photos are brilliant, poor Ermine and Action Men!!Xx

Patti said...

"Booze, bunnies and buckets." What else is there? You look fabulous in this Spring-y dress, I love the pattern. I too get such a thrill when something I've put together sells at the thrift store - like my babies are being loved! Have a great weekend (see you at Vis Monday). xox

Virginia at A Sewing Life said...

Years from now, you'll be kicking yourself for leaving that ermine purse behind. If nothing else, it would make the world's greatest gag gift.

Lovely dress and even lovelier (to me) fur jacket. I'm intrigued by the beaded dress you bought--perhaps we'll hear more about it soon and maybe see it on you?

Goody said...

I do sleeveless all winter too-that's what cardigans are for. Beauty of a dress, great colours on you.

The people who work in the visual department at shops are always the smartest, most entertaining people to hang out with (from my experience working at department stores). I'm not at all surprised that your window displays are impressive. Oh heavens yes, please break out the spring items. I hope you're keeping that beaded dress.

I sort of like the groovy Jesus. I'd have bought it. Have you ever seen those alligator handbags with the body of a baby alligator on them? The little furry bit reminds me of them.

Hope you have a great weekend.

Beth Waltz said...

A dark print dress that looks good over boots or sandals?! Well scored, Curtise: it looks very Louise Brooks with your sleek new 'do.

The beaded 20s tube dress belongs on a hangar on a dressing room wall, perhaps hung as Desiree of Pull Your Socks Up used to display her pet fancy frocks. Not really wearable, but fun to examine and discuss with fellow vintage collectors.

The ermine bag is also a conversation piece: let's worry and wonder about the woman who would carry it!

Laurie Duncan said...

Looks like fun, except for the scary purse! Love your new dress, I've never really could wear pleats, but you are rocking them! :)

Anonymous said...

I do love that dress, what a find in the attic. I use to dress the mannequin and decorate the window at the charity shop where I volunteered too. Often someone would buy pretty quickly after the window was done. They must be thrilled with the life and energy you're breathing into the place.

Anonymous said...

It's so wonderful to hear you enjoying the work in the charity shop. It's of no surprise that you enjoy the merchandising and dressing the mannequins, they'd be looking most stylish at your hands. The dress is wonderful and versatile.

Sue said...

Summer frocks can so be worn all year round, you proved it by adding your fur!! I love clothes that can be warn all year round. As for Action Man being Grumpy it is because he has no dick not pants!I love your markets and very much enjoy all your photos.

Olga Rani said...

I am always amused by what one can find at a flea market! That evening bag looks rather scary to me. I wonder who would take such a thing to a party.
Your summer dress is wonderful and looks great worn with the coat.

Ulla-Marie Nilsson said...

Perhaps the most feminine dress model available. Very beautiful. Thinking of Marilyn Monroe

Bobbi said...

Chesterfield looks like fun! It's making me want to run away to your country even more.

beate grigutsch said...

a lady can wear sleeveless year round - if there is (fake) fur ;-) the dress is just gorgeous, that disappearing pattern down south and that sun plissé!!!! hach!
the fleamarket of my dreams! faced purse - eeek! e.ronay jacket is a beauty - sadly such stuff looks only good over "sport bosom".

Suzanne Carillo said...

That dress you are wearing is divine! Ombre and all.

WTF...a BAT??? OMG Seriously? Yikes. What a freak show.

I envy that you get to create the window displays. I've always felt I would be brilliant at that. Of course the proof is in the pudding that you are when they buy the entire outfit right away. You need to take some photos of your finished outfits! I'd love to see them.


Connie said...

A true fashion model, braving the elements for fashion's sake. I drool over the cool clothing store windows the way teenage girls drool over One Direction. You have clearly found your calling. I think you may be the Patricia Field (Sex and the City) of Sheffield. Beautiful photos. See? You've got IT.

Angels have Red Hair said...

Oh that bag … OH THOSE TEETH … I've never seen anything like it before … thank the lord for that ;0)

Northern mum down South said...

That dress looks great with the fur coat Curtise. Good to hear you are able to get creative with the window displays at the Charity shop. I still need to get to Chesterfield flea market . . . one day! xx

Jazzy Jack said...

I do love that campaign bed and the way it all folds up! But I bed it wasn't very comfortable. Still better than sleeping on the ground!
The little face on that bag is soooo creepy.
So many wonderful finds, and your dress is amazing. I love the way the colour shades in from botoom to top. You have a fur jacket...what more do you need?
Lovely look around, thanks! xo Jazzy Jack

Diane said...

I LOVE that jug - and £1 !!!! I wish I didn't work Thursdays xxx

Emma Kate at Paint and Style said...

NOOOooo to the bag with a little face in it! That's just too freaky. Apart from that disturbing photo, some lovely photos Curtise. I do love a good flea market!

Emma Kate at Paint and Style said...

Sorry. Forgot the xxxx

Fiona said...

Yay, I do love your mooches around Chesterfield flea market. Your £1.70 pieces are the dog's whatsits, what bonkers prices! However the ermine bag is quite hideous and would give me the creeps to find that face grinning at me every time I went for my lippy. it's those teeth.

Miss Magpie said...

They had various bags like that at the handbag museum, they turned my stomach I have to say, especially the armadillo!

Excellent bargains, you certainly haven't lost your touch.

Miss Magpie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mrs Bertimus said...

Bargains galore!
Thanks for taking us round the market with you x

Helga said...

Oo, such a lovely frock! I wear the same frocks all year round, just adding long sleeved tops underneath and/or cardis as required. Unless it's a heavy fabric, frocks are all seasons as far as I am concerned!
I reckon I'd enjoy doing displays too. I think that's brilliant that your display sold in it's entirely!!! Clearly, you have the knack. One only has to look at you to see that.
I'd love to go to Chesterfields market. The doll is scary as feck, but I do love the bag. I've seen bags with baby alligators on them in the US, and a taxidermist friend made herself a bag from a donated deceased cat with the head on it. Oddly, for an animal lover, I am not bothered by this at all!

Delia Ryder said...

Chesterfield market looks and sounds great. But I have to say that fur bag with the face still on is well creepy and rather sad god can you imagine using it on a night out, yuk, poor old soul. Loving your jug that's gorgeous and blimey what some finds with the clothes that's so cheap :-) Loving your dress your wearing and I agree with you about wearing summer dresses any time of the year its how you accessories for sure :-) dee xx

Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Curtise,

The dress looks wonderful on you. A very flattering shape and we love the way that the floral design gradually disassembles from full blown flowers at the top to floating petals at the bottom. So very attractive.

As always, it is how you wear it which makes all the difference between frumpy frock and delicious dress. The boots, bangles and faux fur all lift the outfit into the higher level of style. Coupled with your classic bob, this is a winning combination.

We have never been to Chesterfield and so are feeling that we have definitely been missing out all these years. One thing is for certain, we should love to seek out Joseph......he looks charming. As for the bag.....well, we have so many stuffed animals in our lives joking, but they are all under glass....that we should have given this dainty number a miss. Great for warding off handbag snatchers though....!!

Porcelina said...

Looks like my kind of place to have a rummage! I would have snapped up the Meakin too, I collect it, though it started unintentionally, I just pick up bits of china I like and often they're Meakin!

I am chuckling about you spell-checking graffiti!!

Forest City Fashionista said...

Like Helga, I'm a die-hard animal lover too, but I am oddly in love with the ermine bag with its little teeth and paws. I wouldn't use it for a purse, I would hang it on my wall, and give it a name. Perhaps it would be friends with Ginger and Ruby?

Oh, you have found your groove at the Charity Shop, and I love that the other volunteers were aghast that you were putting out summer stock in March!!! So many summer dresses can be layered over something long-sleeved or covered with a jacket, as you found with your display outfit that sold right away.

Vintage Bird Girl said...

I love this frock on you...floaty and pretty but the colours have a certain moodiness about them. Xx

Melanie said...

That's a pretty dress, it really suits you.
I have never been to a flea market, I don't think I've ever even seen one advertised. I love those wooden crates.
My word, that bag has a face, how terrifying!