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Shopping: Bargains abound at Helms Vintage Boutique [Updated]

August 4, 2011 |  9:29 am

Helms Design District Vintage Boutique

There’s no doubt that Los Angeles’ two big vintage fashion fairs — the Santa Monica Vintage Expo and the Vintage Clothing and Textile Show — are stockpiles of retro treasures. But with up to 100 vendors featured at every show, their labyrinthine floorplans can feel overwhelming.

Enter the Helms Design District Vintage Boutique, a far less daunting vintage fashion show featuring only 20 vendors that inhabits a loft space in Culver City three times a year.

Produced by Dave C. Temple, who owns the downtown vintage fashion showroom Clever Vintage, the next show takes place Saturday Aug. 13 at LightSpace Studio — and, this time only, no single item will be priced over $50. [Updated Aug. 9, 9:10 a.m. to correct date.]

“I challenged all the dealers to bring their best, but things they’re willing to part with for $50 or less,” said Temple. “We’re all like-minded in that we don’t want vintage to be this exclusive thing that’s out of reach.”

The show features four primary categories: classic vintage from the ’40s, ’50s and ’60s; designer garb from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s; vintage jewelry and accessories from all eras; and repurposed, or “upcycled” vintage, which is vintage that’s been reworked into new styles (for example, new handbags made of old scarves).

Vendors include stores and collectors such as Little Treasures, Timeless Vixen, Stephanie LeVanda, Maxine Goldberg, Rockstar Vintage Couture, Elizabeth Gabaldon, Clever Vintage, Mother Beeson Classics, Vintazia and Mariana De Sousa.

"I wanted to create an event that has more of a party atmosphere,” said Temple. “And it turns out that people do come and stay all day. They do a loop around the show, grab lunch, do another loop, then do one last loop to say goodbye to everyone.”

Saturday Aug. 13 at LightSpace Studio, 8755 Washington Blvd., Culver City.  10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Entrance fee is $5, but 100 free tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis via Goldstar.


They only look old, really

They sell vintage clothes out of their homes

-- Emili Vesilind

Photo: The scene at a past Helms Design District Vintage Boutique event. Credit: GlamAmor