Over the past few years I have been a regular visitor to a monthly design market at the Lithuanian Club in North Melbourne. I found two of my best ever vintage buys there – a pair of beautiful Bally lace up high heel shoes and a classic brown leather Oroton bag (circa 1980). I can’t remember exactly what I paid for them but I’m pretty sure they were less than $40 each.
I love a good market. Even when I’m travelling I’ll make an effort to track down the local flea or design markets. Sometimes I’ve been lucky enough to discover one without even trying. In Barcelona, I stumbled across a great antique market in the Barri Gothic quarter and bought a gorgeous silver and pearl ring for only $50. One of the reasons I like the North Melbourne market is that it reminds me of the NYC Designer Market in Mulberry St that I visit whenever I’m in New York.
A few months ago I discovered that the North Melbourne market would no longer be held in the Lithuanian Club but at ‘secret’ venues around Melbourne. This week I received an email invitation to the Indie Fashion and Design market at the Jam Factory in South Yarra – the first of these new ‘pop-up’ events. As I like to support local artisans and designers (and was hoping to find another vintage bargain) I decided to go and take a look. My brother Terry lives just up the road from the Jam Factory so I roped him into checking it out with me.
Unfortunately it was just a shadow of its former self. There were fewer stall holders and customers and the venue was much less inviting. The Jam Factory is a shopping centre and has a very different atmosphere to the Lithuanian Club – a pretty cool old building in the heart of hip North Melbourne.
It didn’t take us long to get around the market so I suggested we walk down to the Chapel St bazaar. I’m not sure how old the Bazaar is but it looks like it’s been there forever. It has around 70 stalls and is literally overflowing with second-hand goodies. If you have a few hours to kill and like poking around old stuff that reminds you of your childhood and your grandparents, then I suggest you visit sometime.
Whenever I go there I’m always amazed at the huge range of interesting items for sale, some a little more bazaar (no pun intended) than others. Today we found a stuffed snow leopard, a snakeskin handbag including the head, and a goat’s skull described as ‘an excellent example of a goat’s skull compete with horns’ for $260.
Mostly though you can find the more traditional secondhand items – old clothes, games, cameras, haberdashery, lights, telephones, toys, paintings, posters, china, jewellery, and my personal favourite – handbags. Here are just a few of the things we looked at today.
What did I buy? – a cute green 1960’s leather evening bag.