By  on April 18, 2005

LYON, France — With the craze for all things vintage reaching a populist crescendo, France’s retro enthusiasts are fleeing overpriced city markets in search of hidden treasures in the provinces. To wit: Last week’s Marche de la Mode sale here attracted many Parisians, who pored over the offerings of the 200 local collectors and merchants hawking accessories, clothes and trimmings from the Fifties through the Eighties.

While the hunt for the bargain-priced Hermes Kelly remains an eternal mission, discerning bag hunters were also seeking distinctive, more affordable varieties. “Even though we’ve been overloaded with monogram designs, Celine’s Seventies buckle bag is highly sought after,” said one-named French vintage collector Anoushka, gleeful after bagging a Sixties Hermes Evelyn bag for a mere 160 euros ($205). “Certain Christian Dior monogram bags from the Seventies also have exceptional fabrics and finishes,” she added.

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