November 11, 2011

Let's Talk Flea...

The first time I've been ever exposed to a flea market - [but I didn't know it was a 'flea' market, but rather a 'vintage' market] - was when I was little... My grandma took me to this local market, where I was very surprised, as a kid, to find out that here is actually a market, where people sell some old stuff - [stuff, I thought, you usually throw away] - worn clothes, tea-marked cups, waxed-up candle holders... And what surprised me the most - there were many people who were actually buying this old stuff. 

I turned to my grandma and asked her, why all these people are buying this old ugly stuff - [little did I know that THIS old stuff was more valuable than some of the new stuff out there...] But as a traditional grandma, she explained to me in almost 'fair tale' terms: "Well, you know, this stuff has history. Each of these things has a magic, it carries a spirit of that family, the family secrets, traditions, it might have seen the events that we only heard about.".. bla bla bla... I bought it and started roaming around the flea market, holding that old stuff, turning it up and down, looking inside and out, trying to figure out 'what kind of magic' that might have carried... Yep, that was my very FIRST exposure to a flea market.

Shopping the flea market in Paris, 2006

Of course, now I don't think so...
But I do know WHY people are so fascinated with the flea markets. Why even some of the richest and famous people go to such markets - you can find some unique stuff there, and some of that stuff might be of a designer's. Depending, of course, on where a flea market is located - obviously a flea market in Ohio is not the same as the one in NYC, and I doubt the vintage YSL would have made it to an Ohio flea market, per say... But it might have made it to Parisian or New York ones...

A flea market in the suburbs of Paris. A random stop to see some of the castles in the area, we came across a local flea market in a little village around the Chateaux of the Loire Valley (Loire Valley Castles).
To make it short - from an early age, I've been fascinated with flea markets. And even though I don't get to really buy anything there, perhaps once in a while, I do love going to them, and as in my childhood - explore the things, look at them... I thought I almost succumbed to an idea that I could wear something after another person wore it, and just the other day I stopped by a little flea shop to check it out and found a very cool sweater, it was made in Italy, pure soft wool that you don't see that often nowadays...The original price was like $150, it's being sold for $20, great deal, right? Well, almost...When I was almost contemplating an idea of where to wear it, it looked so cool as to totally go with jeans, as with a pant suit and/or knee high leather skirt, but when I approached the register and learned that those things are NOT usually being cleaned after the owners, it's just brought into a store and sold AS IS...I sadly left the store without that sweater. Did I make a mistake? Should I have gotten it? For some reason, I'm still more comfortable buying a new thing - perhaps much more expensive - rather than wearing one with the 'magic' and 'history'....

But my fascination with the flea markets would go on...I've seen many of those around the world. Here are a few photos from the one in Paris and the other one - in the suburbs of Paris. Can you tell the difference? :)










Me in Paris, 2006. A typical 'French' morning - on a morning run for baguettes...Don't remember why I'm looking so serious, but I guess I had a very reason :)
PARIS





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