Thursday, October 30, 2008

Twenty-Six Dresses in a Box

This blog entry is called Twenty-Six Dresses in a Box or What I did in My Summer Vacation Part 2. 

As a on-line vintage store owner I like to think every vintage dress has a story. Yes when I get the dress most likely the owner is dead or in a nursing home, this is what many people who look at an old dress think. That is just the facts of life. But I believe a dress has a life of it own and a story to tell. Sometime we can only guess at it's story but sometimes I get lucky and I get a story along with the dress.

A story of 26 dresses in a box.....

This summer I vacationed in the Catskills. It was quiet and there was good fishing for my husband and son and plenty of shops for me to visit.  The Catskills the the day used to be the hot spot of vacationing Jewish suburbanites. There were luxurious hotels like the Browns and the Pines where you can bring your family and enjoy the beautiful  environment and at night you can dance the night away or go see some of the best jewish comedians around.

The Concord 1958 (top) Martha Raye at The Concord (Below)

What does this have to do with 26 dresses in a box? Well the only vision of this era is the Movie Dirty Dancing.  Visiting this area now is nice but also depressing to me when I see the shut down hotels and the remnants of towns which had seen better days.  A time where there was cocktail hour. When you went out you dressed to kill with a sexy cocktail dress, gloves, heels and evening bag. I was brought back to this time when through a friend I was able to purchase a box of evening dresses from a woman who just lost her mother.

She did not want to dump the clothing at the Salvation Army. She wanted to honor the good times that her Mother had wearing these dresses. She told me of her memories as a child in the 50's and 60's going to flea markets to find dresses for her mother to wear out dancing and of the times she played with her friends whiles her parents danced. She wanted to give life back to these dresses to honor her Mother.

So, I ended my vacation by purchasing 26 cocktail dresses in a cardboard box. I went home and opened box and the dresses themselves told me more of their previous owner. She was fun and loved Ballroom Dancing. She had a great sense of style and knew how to dress with flair. And most of all she was resourceful and had a great eye for what would look good on her. So vintage dresses are not just discarded objects but they can tell a story and they can also take on many different lives. Maybe with someone who loves to ballroom dance or with a stylish fashionista who needs a dress for a special occassion. Maybe they could achieve their won sort of fame by being worn by an actress in a play or movie. You just have to use your imagination.

A sampling of the 26...

All available at buy one now and create your own story.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Fashion is an Honest Sweater

This title is a quote from a 1970's Time Magazine article on sweaters. Usually when you think of vintage sweaters you think of the traditional 1950's beaded sweater. I do love those sweaters and the 1940's knit sweater dress and pinup sweater. But my favorites are the sweaters of the 1970's. When Missoni wowed everyone with those zig zag knits and Sant'Angelo with his creative knits. Designers were going wild with imagination and taking advantage of all the yarns available at the time.

This is a classic
V-Neck Missoni Knit Sweater available from Hemlock Vintage

Celebrity images finally made it to knitwear. Thanks to the new technolgy and acrylic fibers. Awesome Groucho Marx Dress. Courtesy of

I just found this amazing Sant'Angelo Knit Dress with Bi-Plane Illustration. Its fun to find a dress and then find something in the press about your item. The above mentioned Time article mentions this exact dress...

QUOTE (1973 Time Magazine Article Fashion is an Honest Sweater)...

"There are many reasons for the new sweater enthusiasm. Selections in both color and style are wider than ever. In both London and New York, a big seller is the dolman (or batwing) version, which has long, wide sleeves growing out of its wide waistband. There are snug, armless sweater tubes and long sweater dresses. Many sweaters now sport knitted-in portraits of people or animals. Betsey Johnson's "ecology" line features trees and fish; Giorgio di Sant'Angelo portrays a plane taking off. Stan Herman's trompe 1'oeil sweater dresses have fake belts and scarves knitted into the material. Others contrast jazzy colors, stripes and polka dots in dazzling juxtaposition. "Sweaters are completely different now," says Sant'Angelo. "We have these fabulous synthetic yarns and colors." Says Herman: "Sweaters are the only way to dress.""

And I agree with with him whole heartedly!!!!!!!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

What I Did This Summer Part 1

While in the midst of running a on-line vintage clothing store it is in the Summer that I do alot of my buying. I meet alot of great people and visit some awesome shops during my travels. One of my favorite spots was the Ferndale Antiques Market in Ferndale, New York. Ferndale is run by Ron Greco and Richard Delia. They were personable, fun and knowledable. It is rumoured that Ron has an excellent recipe for Carrot Cake, which is my favorite!

Ferndale Antiques has loads of well presented antiques and collectibles, my favorite room being the vintage girl I am was the Jewelry and Handbag Room. Everything was lovely and well presented with loads of vintage handbags and jewelry to drool over. This summer they had an amazing collection of Judith Leiber Handbags with my favorite being the jeweled cat handbag. I have never seen a Leiber Handbag up close and it was great to see so many in one place.

For myself I bought a Maude Frizon Leather Cat Handbag. When I saw it I had to have it especially when I saw the shoe shaped charm that was attached to the zipper. It is great shopping for vintage online, but sometimes it is great to leave your computer and hit the road, you never know what gems you will find!

Check out their website