Vintage garment sale to buy items for public display

Emily Walsh examines some of the donations
Emily Walsh examines some of the donations
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Fashionistas in the Capital are to be treated to a one-off vintage and designer extravaganza to help raise funds to buy artworks for public exhibitions.

Organisers of Edinburgh Art Fund’s one-day pop-up shop said they had amassed a “treasure trove” ranging from rare historic items made in the late 19th century to contemporary pieces, and all available at a fraction of the original price.

The sale, to be held on Thursday at Bourne Fine Art in the New Town, will generate money to purchase major artworks for public collections.

Outfits donated to the shop include a Dolce & Gabbana leopard print-lined coat and a mint-condition Worth evening gown. Fishtail evening dresses from the 1920s, classic Jean Muir numbers and 1980s-style silk cocktail dresses will also be among the garments on offer.

Emily Walsh, managing director of Bourne Fine Art and a committee member of Edinburgh Art Fund, said: “The fund got together a number of ladies from Edinburgh and they went out and spread the word. We have managed to gather nearly 1000 items.

“We’ve been overwhelmed by how generous and positive people have been and we’ve received some incredible donations. There will be some wonderful stuff, everything from the high street to designer wear.”

Ms Walsh said she thought the event would appeal to shoppers in the Capital looking for an original purchase against a backdrop of austerity.

She said: “If you read the papers or Vogue or any other art magazine, vintage is everywhere.

“People are really looking for something one-off at the moment, something that doesn’t just look like it’s been bought in H&M.

She added: “You just feel a great sense of history when you handle some of these clothes – you imagine the person who wore them originally and the joy they gave. It’s history coming to life.”

In addition to the sale of designer and vintage clothes, a silent auction will be held for an original work created by the writer and artist John Byrne.

Edinburgh-based jeweller Jo Bonnar has donated two unique pieces of jewellery and there will also be kitchen utensils, decorative antiques and children’s clothes on display.

Ms Walsh said: “It is probably going to be easier for women than men to find something they like, but there will be a whole range of things because there’s been a community of us working on this event.

“I would challenge anyone to come along this week and not find something to wear.”

Leaders at the Art Fund, which has provided financial support to projects such as Antony Gormley’s 6 Times series of human figures in the Water of Leith, said its mission was to make art available for everyone to enjoy.

Chair Deirdre Armstrong said: “We have been overwhelmed by the fantastic support. Offerings have come from those in their 20s to those well over 80.

“All have had their curiosity or love of art nurtured at some stage by what we do.

“In the last five years, The Art Fund has distributed more than £6 million in Scotland, and this latest venture is a departure from our more traditional fundraising activities.”