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Retro fashion is now high fashion, with Julia Roberts wearing a black jersey 1970s Jean Jourban of Paris dress to the Academy Awards and Madonna clutching a 1940s red lizard handbag at the premiere of Evita.

I hear from New York that even the mainstream retailers like Burberry are selling vintage-inspired clothing next door to their ready-to-wear.

Some 50 specialist dealers, with such irresistible names as Paper Bag Princess and Just Say When, will be parading a whole array of fashion high and low, from Loretta Young’s signature beige chiffon gown to a 1940s silver fox fur jacket which reputedly belonged to a Pittsburgh gangster’s moll.

Certainly the fashion houses and up-and-coming designers use this fair as inspiration, and an increasing number of customers, both serious and frivolous, come here to shop or just look.

Worth catching are the special exhibitions of gloves and eyewear. Admission is $20.