Jane Vanroe on collecting vintage powder compacts and compact mirrors. You can find Jane's designs at www.vanroe.com and on Amazon in the EU & USA
The arrival of compacts in the 1920s caused quite the sensation. Scandalous young beauties began to apply makeup in public. They flashed their new compacts and the older generation looked on aghast. A blind eye could be turned to powder puffed indoors, but in full view? Diabolical!
Today, a gorgeous compact brings an instant rush of glamour. Opening a compact on the tube or morning bus turns us for a moment into one of those daring young things. And who doesn’t want a dash of that?!
But for some of us the glamour grows into an addiction. We catch the compact bug. Each of us has the story of that first compact. Mine happened when I was about fourteen. My favourite place was a vintage clothing shop, the kind with fur coats and cigarette holders, and a dusty glass cabinet under the counter. In the cabinet was a beautiful vintage compact. I left it too long and it was gone.
The pain of not owning that compact didn’t go away. It got worse every time looked for a present for a special, elegant friend. That compact would have been perfect! So, I began restoring vintage compacts as gifts. The ones I really couldn’t bear to part with, I kept. My collection grew to over three hundred.
Then I began to look for beautiful, new compact mirrors. The kind to give to friends who preferred modern dresses over vintage. But no one seemed to make them anymore! So I began Vanroe Compact Mirrors and my passion turned into a business. Vanroe compacts are now given as gifts worldwide.
This site is a home for the insider tips and info I’ve gathered while designing and collecting my compacts. I’m certainly not an antiques expert, but can share some wonderful stories and collecting ideas with you. Whether you’re a seasoned collector or just starting out, I hope you’ll find something here to add to the glamour of compacts!
You’ll find an extract from my ebook on Collecting Compact Mirrors and Powder Compacts here.
You can also see more of my design work for Vanroe, and the things that inspire my compact mirrors, here.