It's All About the Look, Darling

We could lose hours digging through boxes of Bakelite bracelets and rhinestone brooches, which is why we're giddy when the Vintage Fashion Expo weekend roles back around, which it is doing on October 17th and 18th at Santa Monica Civic.

That magical event comes but three times a year, and LA's retro- and sartorial- minded set shows up in droves. Bejeweled cardigans, cat-eye glasses, cloches and capes -- the Expo is like a clothing-packed museum, but all the items are to be touched, tried on and ideally purchased. Hot diggity!

New for the October '09 outing: Author Leigh Leshner will be doing jewelry appraisals. Two reps from the UCLA vintage dance group will be demonstrating period moves. And hairstylist Lauren Rennells will be sharing tips on swooping those bangs a la Veronica Lake.

First-time shoppers should not only carve space in their closets, they should carve out a chunk of their day, or, to be honest, entire weekend. Some 90 dealers will be at Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, showing snappy shoes, belts, dresses and pants and blouses galore. Plus jewelry. Plus notions and buttons and the details that make a person look sharp and put-together. Plus loads of other bits of frippery from decades long past. It's a gussied- up time machine.

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