Monday, January 24, 2011

Histoire d'une chineuse

When I first wrote about La Bellevilleoise (read post here), I was not totally convinced by its charms.  Since then, there hasn’t been an opportunity to go back till yesterday. But as I write this post, I realize its not quite fair to say that it was a second chance for La Bellevilleoise as it was for entirely another reason that brought me to its premises. Yesterday a special Vintage Brocante event was held at La Bellevilloise.  Sometimes it amazes me to see how much vintage and all things vintage related has become so much a part and parcel of our zeitgest.  When did it become so acceptable, so fashionable, to hunt for and acquire things that have already lived previous lives? Why are we so fascinated by vintage?

For myself, I can’t claim any highbrow reasons. I just simply adore the idea of finding treasure in the middle of what is often the detritus and dross of someone else’s well lived life.  And as treasure is a subjective idea, there’s always something for everyone right?  Someone, I forget who thanks to the sieve that is now my memory, once told me that I had the soul of a chineuse and I had to look up the meaning of the word.  And in fact, one meaning of a chineuer or chineuse is someone who recovers things.  I thought then, as now, that it seemed a lovely way to describe one’s soul.

Well, my chineur of a soul pushed me out of the comforts of home yesterday into the cold and in the special brocante.  As brocantes go, it was a rather large affair with plenty of things to marvel at.   There was no lack of clothing and bags and fur played a starring role in several stands.  It was also packed with people and believe it or not, there was even a queue to get inside?!  There was also a 50s themed band giving a special concert and it really added to the rockabilly spirit of the brocante.  Oddly enough, I learned that there was also a special Burlesque show scheduled just after the brocante.  That explained the number of Dita von Teese wanna be girls walking around. That would have been some photo to take but I’m afraid they didn’t look too receptive to the idea of me taking their photos. I had to content myself with just shamelessly gawking at them. 

Some photos I took...

A nice turntable that still works and that comes with its own luggage

A lovely retro print

Old fashioned weighing scales

Nice bags and jewelry

This lady's stand had a collection of Christian Dior ties

I loved the hand luggage at the back!

Oddly, someone was selling an old post box. 

Fur hats

Fur scarves, though I was pretty scared by them. They looked too animal like even for me!

Someone's bits and bobs, including an old compass and coat hanger in the shape of a gun!

Someone's collection of powder cases but in fine croco...

And finally,my own find of the day! A beautiful 60s era necklace made of brilliantly faceted jet stones! A lovely lovely piece that made my trip out into the cold well worth it.


  1. Love your writing style and I enjoyed the pictures! I too, like that handbag :-)

  2. what a delightful post, pink princess. and that gorgeous necklace is a fantastic find!

  3. Great piece that weighing scale! Luveet. :)