Debutante Clothing :: A vintage clothing and fashion blog for unconventional style where vintage and runway meet.

Debutante Clothing :: The DebLog

May 31, 2011

New in the SHOP!

I wanted to share with you two new dresses in the shop. The shop has been sort of quiet most of this year, but that's about to change. I have so many exciting things I want to share with you and I am bursting. For now, here are two lovely dresses to cheer up your Tuesday after a three day weekend.

debutante clothing vintage dress
debutante clothing vintage dress

March 14, 2011

Vintage Event | A Current Affair April 2-3


Just in time for spring! I'll be participating in A Current Affair, a unique vintage marketplace featuring top vintage dealers from LA and beyond. I am so excited about doing this show again. Richard Wainright and Joey Grana from Scout have created such an amazing event and have really curated the group of dealers who participate.GlamAmor will be there too. Can't wait to hang out with Kimberly. If you haven't been to this event yet, please GO! Saturday night will be the cocktail party. Stylish people from the vintage and fashion worlds mingle and cocktail amongst vintage Chanel, Dior, and some amazing anonymous vintage. Mention my blog and I'll give you a friend discount.

March 3, 2011

Vintage Find | Mid Century Modern Necklace

I love finding vintage pieces that marry fashion and interior design. I bought these two vintage necklaces for resale, but I swear I am having a hard time letting go of them. The resin link necklace is perfect for my leopard print sweaters and tops with its clear and amber tones. And the white and gold necklace feels like it was directly influenced by architectural features in a Palm Springs hotel or Hollywood Regency home. I'll let you know if I can bear to part with them. They might just live with me for a while.



February 15, 2011

Vintage Style | Vintage is Not Emasculating


Watching American Pickers last night, Valentine's Day to be precise, Mr. Debutante and I were discussing "mantiques". Luckily, I'm not overly girly, at least I don't think so, but I do occasionally try to convince the man of the house that hot pink tufted furniture is no reflection on his manhood. And then I discovered Manly Vintage via Thriftcore.


Manly Vintage's mission is "to cultivate and promote the idea that style is not emasculating, that men can and do enjoy good taste, and good design is appropriate for all men, everywhere. " I love this mantra. And it describes my husband perfectly. Athletic fit shirts and "retro sexual" style are not him at all. We constantly try to find a balance in our tastes for our home.

Manly Vintage is a perfect common ground blog for both of us. Beautiful images, gorgeous furniture, and two men's perspectives on good design.

January 25, 2011

Vintage Shopping | Video Interview with The Way We Wore


LA is the land of designer vintage. And no one does glamorous vintage in LA better than Doris Raymond and The Way We Wore. I got a chance to visit with Doris during her semi-annual sale going on right now.

Imagine this - Dior, YSL, Chanel, and thousands of other pieces with equally stellar names and some couture quality pieces made by anonymous hands - all for 50% off. I picked a few of my faves from the sale racks.

Check out my video interview with Doris. We chat about the sale, vintage trends and her amazing new collection of dead stock lingerie.

Continue reading "Vintage Shopping | Video Interview with The Way We Wore"

January 24, 2011

Vintage Inspired | F21 Makes An Attempt At Vintage


I'm not even sure why I am posting this, other than I need to release the images from my brain by sharing them with you.

Forever 21 has announced that they are creating vintage inspired garments. My readers might not see the vintage inspiration anywhere here, but 80s and 90s sweaters are big sellers amongst some vintage enthusiasts. I guess Forever 21 wanted to tap into that demographic and probably sees that vintage works for other retailers like Urban Outfitters.

I'm just questioning the taste level. Graphic, knit sweaters ala Bill Cosby have been cut up and sewn on to garments such as sweat pants and have been labeled the Vintage collection. Forever 21 claims that each piece is unique.


"It looks like it was made for you, because it was! Each piece is a little different but don't worry, the look and finish is so unique, no one else will ever have the same one."

Rachel Kane made her feelings VERY clear. What do you think about the Forever 21 Vintage collection?

via Huffington Post

January 12, 2011

Vintage Inspired | Rachel Zoe Copied Vintage Dress


Rachel Zoe has just debuted her new line in WWD, but it seems the vintage loving stylist may have taken her inspiration from vintage a little to literally. I was immediately drawn to this very graphic white beaded dress with a bold black beaded, graphic floral design. Very 1960s. Apparently Zoe copied the dress, exactly, for her collection.

Of course this isn't the first time a designer has recreated a vintage garment, stitch by stitch. A couple years ago, a fringed, beaded bag spotted on the Anna Sui runway struck me as being quite familiar. Well that's because the Anna Sui bag was an exact replica of an antique bag I had spotted at Dorthea's Closet. Fashionista picked up my tip here. Fashionista noticed the Zoe vintage replica, as well as Styleite and Fashionologie.

But is this really "vintage inspired" or simply a vintage reproduction. In my eyes, there is a huge difference.

Those of us in the vintage community - buyers, sellers, collectors and lovers alike - are well aware of the tremendous source of inspiration that vintage clothing plays in the collections of modern designers. When I think of vintage inspired designers I think of Marc Jacobs, Diane Von Furstenberg, Betsey Johnson. I mean let's face it - everything that can be done with fabric has been done. We can even find some ancient costume influence in avant garde designers like Martin Margiela.

But when does inspiration become flat out copying? And does it really matter so long as we have a constant stream of beautiful garments?

Five years ago, I would've been dead set against copying a vintage design so literally and calling it your creation. I guess I just take exception to "designers" that simply recreate something. A part of me is giddy that the Zoe dress will be available for me to purchase and wear, but couldn't it have had some new element. Something that makes it truly new and different rather than the same thing someone else did fifty years ago.

I guess when it comes to vintage, I'd like to think my garments are unique and rare. On the other hand, I really love this dress.

January 11, 2011

Vintage Inspired | Jeffrey Campbell Vintage Style Oxfords

vintage inspired shoes

I am having a total love affair with Jeffrey Campbell shoes. I know. Most women are. I just can't believe how well they get girls like me. They design killer shoes that add that bit of edge for the rocker in me, but then they sculpt vintage inspired masterpieces like these beauties for the vintage lover too. 1940s inspired oxfords with a heel, in the most amazing wine color. Love.

December 23, 2010

Vintage Shopping | My First Show Ever - A Current Affair Review


December 10th and 11th I participated in A Current Affair - a pop up vintage marketplace at the Cooper Design Space in Downtown LA. It was a first for me. My first show ever. I've always gone to the Vintage Expo as a spectator or a buyer, but I had never attended a show as a vendor. What an experience! Where to start...

First, I respect all vintage dealers who only do shows. Seriously people. When they say a dress costs $300, don't flinch. The amount of physical labor that goes into planning and setting up for a vintage show is awe inspiring. Richard Wainwright and Joey Grana planned A Current Affair so well, it was relatively painless.

The Goods
What an array of vintage fashion. You really had everything under the sun, from Victorian jewelry to funky 1980s pieces. The amazing part was that everything was very well curated for the person that loves to wear vintage in a fashion forward kind of way. Sound like an oxy moron? Liz Goldwyn gets it.

Liz was the hostess for the event. She picked ten pieces from the show and then signed copies of her beautiful book, now in paperback, Pretty Things. Her style is inspiring because she dares to wear many decades and always pulls off her look in a modern way.


I was thrilled when she picked one of my dresses! A gorgeous teal green party dress with a sculptured skirt and pleated bust. I actually brought this dress with me with her in mind. I could just see her in it. Unfortunately, the dress did not fit the mannequins. Nor Liz's bustline when she tried it on. So sad. But it was the ultimate affirmation and compliment that Liz Goldwyn would like one of my pieces.







Another celeb in the house was Marisa Tomei. Marisa is a huge vintage connoiseur. Red carpet, real life, she's constantly spotted wearing vintage. She stopped by my booth and I was a bit star struck again. Out of respect for her privacy, I won't reveal any purchases, but I was a very happy vendor. You can sort of see her crouched down in the image above, admiring some of Richard's stunning jewelry.

Tommy Ton was also present, taking pictures of Liz for a photo essay and blog post for Nowness.

I also sold several vintage Gucci pieces to some well known LA/NY vintage dealers - I won't mention any names.

photo: Melissa Manning/

photo: Melissa Manning/

photo: Melissa Manning/

I'm looking forward to doing A Current Affair again. I hope I can replenish my inventory by then!

November 29, 2010

Vintage Shopping | Debutante Clothing Will Be Selling at A Current Affair


I have the most amazing news! I will be selling some of my vintage pieces at the amazing new pop-up vintage marketplace A Current Affair. The brainchild of amazing vintage jewelry dealer Richard Wainwright and Scout owner and vintage guru Joey Gana, the show brings together some incredible vintage dealers who are likely to bring some fantastic vintage for the fashion forward LA crowd.

This is my first show EVER! I'm freaking out a bit. I've always attended the Vintage Fashion Expo as a buyer or press, but never as a seller. So why not jump into the deep end right? Luckily, vintage fans are such nice people, so I am guaranteed a good time at least.


And just when I thought this event couldn't get better, an announcement was made today that Liz Goldwyn will be the hostess! I love Ms. Goldwyn - her mix of vintage and modern always pays an homage to burlesque, theater and sexy glamor goddesses of the past. The paperback version of her book Pretty Things is coming out and she will be signing copies Friday night. I own the beautiful pink hardback - it's like a jewelry box full of tantalizing photos and history about this seductive art.

I would love to see any of you who live in the area and are planning on attending that day. I know there are a lot of events going on that weekend with Artisnal and UniqueLA going on at the same time, but vintage makes a great and unique Christmas gift! I'll even bribe you - mention my blog and get a 15% discount!

I'll be by the bar - no really. I will.

November 8, 2010

Vintage Shopping | Some Odd Rubies

some odd rubies reworked vintage

The folks over at SeenOn, a private shopping site that sells items related to entertainment, emailed me to let me know about their exclusive collection from Some Odd Rubies.

Summer Phoenix (sister of Joaquin and wife of Casey Affleck) and her long-time friend and business partner Ruby Canner, had such a passion for vintage, that they joined forces to create their own line of reworked vintage creations under their cleverly named label Some Odd Rubies.

some odd rubies reworked vintage

Their vintage fashions will be offered for the first time in an online private sale on Sale starts Monday, November 8, at 9 am PST and lasts just 72 hours. Membership is free at

You may know SeenOn as the online retailer of the collections created by contestants on Project Runway.

November 2, 2010

Vintage Style | Black and White Adorable Mod


Inspired by yesterday's vintage photo post, I gathered up some great vintage finds on! I saw this 1980s dress and fell in love. Black and white stripes AND a bow?! Love it. I also love scoring 1960s patent leather purses. Especially when they are a nice large size like this one. It's obvious women started carrying a lot more crap in their purses in the 60s. The vintage hat was a particularly good find because it's not too tall as many 1960s, modish hats can be. I think it's totally wearable with a modern wardrobe, if you are a hat person that is.

Check out these finds on Ebay now before they're gone!

Dress / Hat / Bag

disclaimer: I am an Ebay affiliate.

September 9, 2010

Vintage Shopping | Vintage for Men at Joyride Vintage

For my column at Today's Vintage Magazine, I had the pleasure of visiting a new men's vintage clothing shop, Joyride Vintage. I was super excited about this story this month because it was the cover story!

Joyride is owned by Kristine Houston, a member of the the Vintage Fashion Guild, along with her husband and sister. I was truly amazed by how well the store was merchandised - it looks like a high end boutique on Melrose, but located in the quaint Orange Circle in Orange, CA. Don't worry ladies- they have a women's store too, only three doors down. Read my full review on Today's!


August 6, 2010

Vintage Inspired | The Material Girl Is Back


If you grew up in the 80s like I did, then you worshiped Madonna, to some degree, especially in your early teens. I recall going to the swap meet to buy neon colored studded belts that wrapped around twice, neon ankle socks, rubber bracelets and Wayfarer knock offs. The pièce de résistance? My lace communion gloves of which I promptly cut off the fingers - yes I was grounded for that.

For most of us, we still think about those early forays into fashion and pop culture with warm nostalgia. So when I heard of the Material Girl line for Macy's, I was thrilled to see Madonna and child bring back some of the fun pieces that made the 80s such a great time in fashion.

Madonna's beautiful daughter, Lourdes, is getting a first rate education in entrepreneurship and style. Of course I was concerned with the decency level of the collection. I mean, do you really want your 13-year-old wearing a belt that says "Boy Toy"? But it seems Madonna, at least in promos, is a normal mom. She gives Lourdes a bit of room to express herself through her clothing, but does set some limits. Reminds me of my mom. Minus the empire.

I was quite pleased to see the pieces in the collection. I don't have a daughter, but I do have a niece and I'd love to buy her some of items in the collection such as the plaid shirts and jackets. She's a bit young for the skirts and shorts, but I'm sure she's going to try her luck.

The Material Girl collection is available now at Macy's. How about you? Would you let your teen girl wear Material Girl?

P.S. I had no idea that the photograph in the background, one of the images from the Like a Virgin album, was photographed by Steven Meisel!

August 2, 2010

Vintage Clothing | Just Added Vintage Lanvin & Gorgeous Summer Dresses

It's not too late for amazing vintage dresses. I always try to buy wearable vintage that fits perfectly into a modern wardrobe. These new additions are no exception. Take this gorgeous jersey Lanvin - it's the perfect summer to fall dress. I styled it with a gold link belt, but any color or style belt will look just as fantastic.

These are available in the Debutante Clothing Shop right nowI have more dresses coming in - stay tuned!

lanvin blue and white jersey dress

1960s vintage black and white dress

1960s I Magnin Pucci esque dress
Coming soon...
1970s vintage Lanvin jersey dress
Lanvin Op Art Dress!

August 2, 2010

Vintage Inspiration | Bring Back the Parasol

white paper parasol
square parasol


A few weeks ago, I went to the Two Point Oh LA picnic at Griffith Park. I don't do well in the sun after a while, so I decided to bring my lovely parasol. I bought this parasol at the Hootenanny a few years ago. The Hootenanny is a blues, rock, punk rockabilly music event. A whole day filled with music and fantastic vendors. Granted, I could pick up a parasol in Chinatown for a much cheaper price, but the one I purchased was less than $20 and was so beautiful, featuring cherry blossoms and scalloped trim, that I couldn't resist.

A parasol makes a perfect summer accessory. Sometimes even a hat gets too warm and sunblock protects you, but it doesn't shield you from the sweltering heat. The parasol is just like an umbrella, but much prettier, so it's not too much of a fashion risk for those of us that err on the conservative side. I say we bring back the parasol!

How about you - would you use a parasol?

Images: top (via Daily Bits of Beauty), painted parasol, square parasol, gold gilded pink parasol

July 12, 2010

Vintage Inspired | Janie Bryant Launches Her Mad Men Inspired Line for QVC


Early last year, Mad Men costume designer Janie Bryant announced that she would be working a new line of vintage inspired clothing. Well, it's here! Her 1960s style clothing line will be sold by QVC starting in September. Similarly to Rachel Zoe's line, the retro homage features faux furs and capelets. I've got my eye on this white and black spotted one.


Janie Bryant, costume designer Mad Men

According to WWD, the 20-piece line will include outerwear, jackets, sweaters and bottoms. In addition, there will be a handbag and 10 to 15 pieces of costume jewelry. All apparel and accessories are priced from $26 to $138 retail. Not bad!

I'm already loving a couple of the pieces I have seen. And I am thrilled that vintage inspired clothing will be available to the masses. Hey, if you can't find the real thing, buy the next best I say. I'm hoping she does a men's line too. Hubby's wardrobe would get a QVC facelift.

photos: Donato Sardella /

July 2, 2010

Vintage Inspired | Spectator Cork Platforms

Last week, I was inspired by a picture of two ladies lounging in the living room, looking ever so stylish. The object of my desire? Cork platform sandals. And look what I found at Anthropologie...

Back Rock Spectators, $148

June 30, 2010

Vintage Jewelry | Elva Fields Has a New Collection

elva fields necklaces

If you love vintage jewelry, especially costume and huge cocktail ready pieces, then you probably already worship Elva Fields. Inspired and made with vintage pieces, her stunning statement necklaces are both glamorous and whimsical.

There is a brand new summer collection available on the web. Alas, the top three pieces I immediately plopped my credit card down to purchase were already sold out! You've got to move fast for these babies. Check out the new collection at

June 28, 2010

Vintage Inspired | LOFT Gets Glamorous At Chateau Marmont Hollywood


Last Wednesday, I made the drive down the 101 to one of the most famous hotels in California - the Chateau Marmot. I was invited by LOFT to preview their Fall 2010 collection. LOFT Style Studio is a collaboration with stylists to create fashion forward looks using fall staples. The LOFT look book included four stylists: Tina Chai, Kate Young, Joanne Blades and Alia Ahmed-Yahia. For the LA event, LOFT partnered with LA stylist Nicole Chavez.

Now if memories of Ann Taylor's work appropriate clothing come to mind, you have another thing coming.

LOFT has completely changed their designs and branding. I would actually wear these pieces on the weekends and to casual events. I've always been a fan of their feminine, vintage inspired blouses, slacks and skirts, but the new collection adds a bit more edge.

Striped knit cardigans, tweed jackets, chiffon ruffled blouses and oversized herringbone pattern metallic skirts really made a youthful yet sophisticated impression with an undeniably vintage feel.

Gorgeous models lounged around the penthouse suite of the 1920s hotel. Each room had a different vignette including a terrace with LOFT models sitting in chairs, a living room with models sitting around on the sofa, a dining room with models sitting at a dining table, but the room that captivated me the most was the gorgeous bedroom.

I couldn't figure out if I wanted to stare at the models or the decor. Black and white striped curtains framed a perfectly glamorous boudoir complete with vintage vanity and accompanying trinkets. LOFT models sat around on the bed and vanity stool looking stylish, put together, and completely comfortable. Mission accomplished LOFT!

As if champagne, the Chateau Marmont dripping with celebrities, and great conversation weren't enough, we were given a gift bag on our way out. The bag itself is a gift in its own right, but the amazing jewelry in the bag was more than I had expected.

A stunning statement cuff and completely me necklace made of brass toned chain with dangling leather rectangles studded with rhinestones were tucked inside the goody bag. I am seriously looking at LOFT in a whole new light.










loftbag.jpg Can anyone tell me if the image on the gift bag is a Ruben Toledo illustration? it certainly looks like one!

What do you think about the new LOFT collection? Would you wear it?

June 27, 2010

Vintage Sale | Vintage Chanel Handbags at Billion Dollar Babes

CHANELTeaser62710-3.jpg always has the best selection of vintage Chanel. Don't miss this sale! Need an invite? No problem! Tell them Sandra at sent you!

June 22, 2010

Vintage Inspiration | Lounging in Satin and Cork


I came across the Life Magazine image and the first thing that caught my eye were those fabulous cork sandals. I know. You thought cork platforms were a 1970s thing. The 1970s did see a huge 1940s inspired throwback: platforms, long draped gowns.

I was even more giddy when I realized I have a pair of platform BareTraps (think comfy walking sandals, but cute. Trust me) that look just like these! Mine don't have a cute ankle strap though - they're just sling backs.

I was also inspired by the amazing lounging outfit the woman at the piano is wearing. Seriously. Who looks this fabulous while hanging out with a girlfriend at home anymore?

I found some great inspiration vintage pieces on Ebay including adorable vintage cork platforms and satin pants. One pair is from the 1930s. Too small for me though, otherwise I would've snatched them up!

Disclaimer: I am an Ebay affiliate.

Photo: Life Magazine Archives via Google Images

June 21, 2010

Vintage Sale | Vintage Gucci Handbags at Billion Dollar Babes

gucci.jpg is having a vintage Gucci handbag sale. GREAT prices for classic vintage Gucci styles.

Need an invite? No problem! Click here to get some vintage Gucci now!

June 21, 2010

Giveaway - Vintage Inspired Popina Swimwear


If you are in the market for vintage swimsuits this summer, have I got the line for you! Popina Swimwear specializes in retro swimwear with styles ranging in adorable polka dots to glamour puss halter suits. This Portland swimwear boutique doesn't just offer amazing swimsuits, they also carry cover ups, flip flops and a bunch of other summer essentials for lounging poolside in total vintage style.

I own the red and white polka dot swimsuit and I absolutely love it! It's got a great full cut on the bum that makes me feel completely comfortable and confident.

And they want to give one lucky Debutante Clothing reader a Popina suit of their very own. To enter, tell us your best swimwear experience in the comments section. Popina Swimwear will choose their favorite story and you get to pick any suit of your choice!


  • write your story in the comments
  • enter by Monday June 28 11pm PST
Good luck! Can't wait to read your stories. Feel free to retweet this contest!

June 10, 2010

Vintage Inspiring | Glamour & Travel

vintage model traveling

I have this fantasy travel wardrobe that usually consists of light gabardine and wool blends from the 1940s, an exquisite pair of slacks, and a perfectly square leather train case. It's probably not unlike your fantasy travel wardrobe. Travel used to be yet another occasion to dress, like dinner, or drinks. This picture really inspired me because this woman looks so casual and comfortable, but still put together. Beats a raggedy track suit any day!

photo: by gone fashion

June 9, 2010

Vintage Style | Customer in Her Debutante Clothing Vintage Dress

I'm so thrilled when customers keep in touch and let me know how much they loved their purchase. As I start getting back into selling vintage clothing online versus in my antique mall booth, and writing about vintage, I'm hoping to share with you some of my customer's stories.

vintage floral dress

Let's start with a new client with an enviable social calendar. Let's just call her Vintage Fashionista! VF bought this dress for a book signing party in San Francisco for a fashion writer. My kind of event! Doesn't she look gorgeous? I bet she was the best dressed woman in the room. I already have her measurements and likes/dislikes for some personal shopping!

What about you dear readers? Looking for anything special in vintage? Let me know! My stock is brimming and awaiting the photographer to make their debut.

June 1, 2010

Vintage Inspired | Rudi Gernreich Meets Hayden-Harnett Monokini

hayden harnett monokini Hayden-Harnett has just sent out their summer shopping newsletter. My eye popped with vintage excitement when I saw this very chic, very vintage inspired monokini. The bold, mod cutouts and plunging V neck give this swimsuit equal parts glamour and sexy edge. I can only imagine that the design team at Hayden-Harnett loves the genius and scandalous Rudi Gernreich as much as I do. Genius for creating swimsuits look like the equivalent of the little black dress. Scandalous for making a completely topless bathing suit. The Hayden-Harnett swimsuit is such a fabulous modern twist on an iconic classic. This suit is definitely on my summer must have list.

1959 Rudi Gernreich swimsuit

rudi gernreich swimsuits
Rudi Gernreich exhibit
Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania

May 23, 2010

Vintage Shopping | Kerry Taylor Auction May 25

I dare you to guess the era of this vintage dress...

1920s black and white flapper dress

If you guessed 1960s or something similarly modern, we think alike. But in fact, this amazing gown is from the 1920s. I was shocked. It's so modern looking. This designer was very fashion forward.

You can find this dress, and many more at the next Kerry Taylor auction in London this Tuesday, May 25. I copied and pasted all the important info from their website for your convenience.

if you bid and win, please let me know! I'd love to ooh and ahh over your treasure.

Our Spring Fashion and Textile auction is wide ranging and enticing. For the men we have the 1950s-60s Savile Row wardrobe of the actor Richard Todd. One of his most memorable roles was as the handsome Wing Commander - Guy Gibson in the `Dam Busters' in 1955. Mainly made by Cyril A. Castle they include morning suits, evening wear, country tweeds and city suits (lots 1187-1189). Immediately following on from these is the eye-catching wardrobe of Charles Lucas. He came into his inheritance in the 1960s and enjoyed himself by racing Formula III cars and dressing at Granny Takes a Trip, Mr Fish and the Savile Row tailor Sullivan, Woolley & Co. Not for him the sobriety of Mr Todd's wardrobe. It is a riot of stripes, flowers, kipper ties and velvet. It is one of the grooviest male wardrobes ever to come to auction.

Female fashion ranges from Queen Victoria's underwear, superb romantic Edwardian summer gowns, antique bridal wear, beaded flapper gowns, bias cut 30s garden party dresses, 40s suits with angular shoulders, 50s prom gowns, Balenciaga couture evening jacket, 60s pieces by Biba, 70s by Ossie Clark and Thea Porter, YSL Rive Gauche, Jean Paul Gaultier and Chanel.

Venue: Our warehouse - Unit C21, (second floor) 40 Martell Road, West Dulwich, London, SE21 8EN


On view: Sunday 23rd May 12 noon - 4.30pm; Monday 24th May 9.30am-5pm. THERE IS NO VIEWING ON THE MORNING OF THE SALE


Telephone: 00 44 (0)20 8676 4600

Fax: 00 44 (0)20 3137 0112


May 19, 2010

Vintage Style | How to Shop for Vintage Eyewear


I just scored a pair of amazing vintage YSL cat eye, tortoise shell sun glasses from Market Publique. I can't wait to get them. I recently wrote an article for Today's Vintage Magazine, my monthly vintage fashion column, about shopping for vintage eye wear. I interviewed Robert Alvarez, who is not only an optometrist, but also the co-owner of the Vintage Fashion Expo in Santa Monica.

Check out his tips on how to shop for vintage glasses and sunglasses. He even recommends a few brands to be on the look out for, especially if you will need a prescription like me! Enjoy!

today's vintage vintage eyewear

May 13, 2010

Vintage Shopping | Vintage Clothing From NYC and Beyond

1950s blue prom dress

The NY Times recently had an article, written by Sarah Maslin Nir, about vintage shopping in New York. She recounts the time she sifted through a pile of past season discards and mom jeans to discover a Pucci mini dress. The price? Wait for it. $5. My adrenaline pumps just thinking about it.

The makes a very important point about the greatness of vintage clothing shops and boutiques. The sifting through cast offs is done for you. You won't find a Pucci for $5, but I'd gladly pay much more if someone can just display it beautifully for me, like a birthday gift.

The directory of NYC vintage and resale shops seems solid, although I am not familiar with all of them, so NY readers, give us the real deal and tell us if they are any good. But what I loved the most was the photo essay of reader submitted pictures of their favorite vintage clothing finds. Each submission includes a short description of where and when they found the piece, why they love it, and how much they paid.


It was so much fun going through all of the images and reading about the beloved hunt. This heavenly blue 1950s prom dress especially touched my heart because the woman bought it as her wedding dress. How sweet is that?

This essay was a brilliant idea and sort of makes me want to start either a column or another blog (dear God like I have the time) with nothing but user submissions of vintage finds with the tales behind the hunt.

What do you think? Would you submit?

photo 1: Taken by Kris Arnold/via

photo 2: via

May 7, 2010

Links à la Mode : May 6 The Business and Beauty of Style

links a la mode

The Business and Beauty of Style

Edited by Debutante Clothing

This week, the links were especially thoughtful. With all of the buzz about fashion bloggers and how (or if) we make money, it was great to see some insightful posts about fashion and the almighty dollar. Grechen of Grechen Blogs discusses blogging for money, while Style On a String takes an in depth look at the dark side of logo chasing. But let's not get too bogged down with the seriousness of fashion. Perhaps Simply Luxurious can convince you to indulge in the beauty of fashion with her collage of gorgeous, backless gowns. Or maybe you're more interested in a catwalk down memory lane, via celluloid, with Old Fashion Love Story's stills of unforgettable 70s costumes from the film Mahogany (costume designed by Miss Diana Ross!). After all, in the sarcastic words of Stanley Tucci in The Devil Wears Prada, "Yes, that is what this billion dollar business is all about. Inner beauty". Enjoy!

Links à la Mode : May 6

May 4, 2010

Check Out My Vintage Inspired Finds From Marshalls! Vote for me.

The nice folks at Rocket XL contacted me about taking a little shopping trip to one of my must shop stores - Marshalls! When I'm not picking for vintage, I'm picking at discount stores like Marshalls for modern clothes that compliment my vintage sensibilities. I was extremely happy to oblige them. It's a dirty job, I know.

I walked into my local Marshalls and made a beeline for the shoes. The Upland, CA store happens to have a huge selection of shoes in their Shoe Shop. And check out what mama bought...

pink espadrilles

jessica simpson patent wedges

The pink espadrilles look like little ballet slippers don't they? I especially love he organza bow and ribbon ties. They're so sweet. And they are made in Spain!

I bought the patent wedges for the complete opposite effect. These wedges have that edgy, vampy look I love to add to pair of jeans or an overly girly dress. They're my tough chick sandal for the summer. Plus I look super tall in them!

And both of these shoes go great with this adorably vintage inspired, fitted bodice and flouncy skirt dress...

max studio dress

I love the khaki and black color combination and the sheer organza overlay. It lets a little of the khaki peek through.

Best part? How little I spent.

Espadrilles $ 24.99
Jessica Simpson patent wedges $ 34.99
Max Studio Dress $ 34.99

God I love Marshalls!

If you liked what I bought at Marshalls, please vote for me. Me and nine other bloggers are showing off what we bought and competing for a grand prize of a $250 shopping spree!

April 29, 2010

Vintage Inspired | Indie Finds at Unique LA

Right after the Santa Monica Vintage Expo, I headed east toward downtown LA for Unique LA. I met up with Liz from EJC Designs for some independent, LA shopping fun. Of course I had to stop and see my favorite milliner Kelsi of Stylesmith and Dedicated Follower of Fashion. And that little lady was wearing the coveted Cynthia Vincent tan gladiator wedges!



Liz and I made a beeline upon arrival to the Cafe where we devoured yummy (but pricey) sandwiches and when we spotted the tantalizing cupacake queens in aprons at Burlesque Bakery, we knew we were having dessert! I mean can you really say no to a bourbon laced cupcake named Bettie Page?




After a little chat with Stylesmith an Mr. Smith, I had commit some friendly fashion backstabbing. Kelsi pointed out the cute tees with illustrated fashion graphics from the 1970s. The tee I loved the most happened to be the one Kelsi loved as well. Sorry doll! I had to have it. She forgave me.


Aren't these illustrations amazing? I'm not even a huge fan of the 70s, but something about fashion illustrations just appeals to my low brow art connoisseur. The designer, Yvonne Podlewski, illustrates vintage images of models and sewing pattern envelopes. I bought a burned out, draped, cropped tee in that black and orange design. So cute. The line is called tminx and you can find them at


I also bought a cute jersey trompe l'oeil dress from Effie's Heart in black and a pair of very wide legged, high waisted pants with little tabs on the bottom to peg the legs for bicycle riding. Now I just need a bike!

I ended up buying more at Unique LA than at the Vintage Expo that day, but it was all very vintage inspired. Shhh. Don't tell the vintage folks. I'll get kicked out of the union!

April 13, 2010

Vintage Sale | Trina Turk Vintage Sale at 3rd St. Boutique

trina turk vintage sale

Trina Turk has been collecting vintage fashion for years. It's obvious in her designs how much she loves vintage, especially California, Palm Spring and resort wear styles. She's cleaning out her vintage closet and offering select pieces to her customers.  Prices are from $28 to $298. The sale is on Thursday, from 11am to 7pm. 8008 W. 3rd Street, LA [via Racked Inbox]

April 8, 2010

Vintage Inspired | 1940s Style Chie Mihara d'Orsay Sandals

Chie Mihara d'Orsay Sandals 1940s style shoes

Chie Mihara is known for their supple leathers. When I saw these 1940s style d'Orsay heels on Swing Fashionista, my heart skipped a beat. These are gorgeous! The hidden platform give you a bit more height and the leather construction makes these the perfect going out shoe. I absolutely need these. Yes, they are pricey, but LOOK AT THEM!

March 15, 2010

Shopping | Kerry Taylor Auctions & Topshop to Help the Aging

dita von teese 1930s inspired dress

Kerry Taylor Auctions
is having a bumper sale with over 300 lots, which opens with a collection of celebrity-owned dresses being auctioned by Topshop, in aid of the charities Help the Aged and Age Concern. The collection includes a wonderful Lanvin S/S 2003 cocktail dress from Kate Moss and a beautiful siren gown by Zac Posen, worn by Erin O'Connor, as well as others from Scarlett Johannson and Dita von Teese, and dresses by exciting young designers like Christopher Kane and Danielle Scutt. The rest of the sale covers every decade from the 18th century to the 1990s, and includes dozens of beaded flapper dresses, a stylish 1960s Balenciaga coat, and Thierry Mugler suits from 1980s. The fashion is accompanied by wonderful accessories, including twenties shoes, Hermes handbags, embroidered samplers, boxes of trimmings and much more.

Venue: Kerry Taylor warehouse - Unit C25, (second floor) 40 Martell Road, West Dulwich, London, SE21 8EN

On view: Sunday 14th March 12 noon - 4.30pm; Monday 15th March 9.30am-5pm. THERE IS NO VIEWING ON THE MORNING OF THE SALE

March 10, 2010

Vintage Inspiration | Bonwit Teller vs. Alexander McQueen Fall 2010

I didn't want to be all tacky and blatantly show off my inventory while still mending a broken heart left by the breathtaking McQueen collection, but...

vintage velvet cape

Isn't this cape hauntingly similar to the red Alexander McQueen cape? Now I don't know if I can part with it.

February 24, 2010

Vintage Jewelry | Q&A with Lucite line Circa Sixty Three

vintage lucite jewelry by circa 63

I don't know one vintage dealer or collector who doesn't fantasize about walking into someone's basement and finding a room full of hardly used, or never used, vintage fashion. It's the stuff urban legends are made of. But in the case of Circa Sixty Three designer, Danielle Insetta, it was an incredible twenty ton find that led to a fashion forward, vintage jewelry line.

I was able to snag an interview with Danielle of Circa Sixty Three who is gracing the pages of WWD Accessories and Marie Claire with her colorful baubles. I love plastic jewelry and collect it myself - Bakelite and Lucite mostly. Many jewelry designers are highly influenced by vintage plastic jewelry including Alexis Bittar. Danielle talks about the big score, her inspiration, and how to find and care for Lucite.

How on Earth does one acquire 20 tons of Lucite jewelry?

You have to search for it and know what you are looking for. There are plenty of vintage beads out there, but to find a stash this big you have to do some research. All of the beads and bangles in our collection originate from the same plastics factory in Providence, RI. I first found the beads in a bead store. I dug around a little online and in a few collectors' books and found the name of the original company, Best Plastics. The dead stock had been stored in the warehouse of a wholesale bead dealer who I came across in my research. Not only did I find the rest of the dead stock in Rhode Island, I found some of the original factory workers. They were able to verify my research on the company. It turns out the company made parts and jewelry for Trifari, Missoni, Diane von Fürstenburg, Lanvin and Givenchy.

Can you describe the collection?

We named this collection "Frontier" because it is inspired by the future and science. It is inspired by the shape of molecules and planets. There is an element of sci-fi throughout the collection. The color palette is sophisticated with a touch of whimsy. For example, we use a bit of neon here and there. The pieces are definitely statement pieces that can be worn for any occasion, whether it be to a dinner, a night club or even to work. They are very versatile. Definitely collectors' pieces, especially due to the fact that the beads are vintage and that the pieces are extremely limited and completely handmade.

Not everything in the collection is original dead stock Lucite. Some pieces are new pieces made from vintage Lucite. What inspires your designs?

I design 100% of the beaded jewelry. The bangle bracelets are the only pieces not designed in house. They are original. I am generally inspired by the space age and the 1960s. I am inspired by the designers of the day such as Paco Rabanne and Andre Courreges. I want to be true to the era in which the beads were manufactured and the designs that were being produced in the day.

Vintage fans will always love Lucite jewelry. How has the rest of the fashion world reacted to the collection?

The collection is novel. There is nothing like it out on the market. It does incorporate trends and is relevant to what is happening now in fashion, but it truly is unique. The main buyers of our wholesale jewelry are high end luxury department stores in the US, Europe and Japan. They are looking for something new. I think that we have seen the same look for several seasons now, and it is time for a change. It does not hurt that Lucite is insanely popular right now. Many, many designers are using the material in their jewelry.

Can you tell us a bit about how to identify Lucite and how to care for it?

Lucite has a certain weight to it as well as a special optical quality. It is not like Bakelite in that it is synthetic. Lucite can be distinguished from ordinary plastic in that it does not have seams. Plastic is poured into a mold which leaves a slight seam on one side. Lucite is carved out of a chunk. It is sculpted using lathes and similar machines so there is no seam. One great thing about Lucite is that if it is scratched, that scratch can be buffed out very easily with a plastic polish. Polish can be found in any hardware store. Lucite is also known as acrylic.

vintage lucite jewelry by circa 63

vintage lucite jewelry by circa 63

vintage lucite jewelry by circa 63

vintage lucite jewelry by circa 63

Check out the entire collection and prepare yourself to be mesmerized by pages of candy-like vintage Lucite jewelry. Visit

February 23, 2010

Vintage Inspired | Stylesmith Holiday Romance Features Debutante Clothing Dresses

stylesmith polka doted fascinators

I'm so excited to share Stylesmith's new Spring/Summer collection of pastel colored fascinators, pom pom hats and cute bolero ties. And the models are wearing dresses from Debutante Clothing!! Kelsi and I were chatting online when she asked me if I had any pastel vintage dresses for her sweet new collection. I had the perfect dresses for her shoot - 1950s cotton shirt dresses in pistachio, pink, and white. Ultra feminine and so girly. Just like Stylesmith's designs. Go check them out.

February 22, 2010

Vintage Sale | Vintage Chanel Handbags

vintage chanel handbags

Billion Dollar Babes is having another vintage sale! Who is supplying them with such great merchandise? I need to know their source(s). Get your hands on a vintage staple - vintage Chanel.

Aren't a member yet? Here's an invite!

Sale starts Monday, February 22 beginning at 11am EST.

February 16, 2010

Vintage Shopping | Santa Monica Vintage Fashion Expo Report

Last Sunday, Mary Kincaid of Zuburbia, and I headed out to the Santa Monica Vintage Expo for some shopping and long, overdue blogger/vintage maven meet up time. I wasn't necessarily shopping for anything in particular, and definitely not shopping for resale. I was really looking forward to meeting some of my favorite sellers and bloggers in person though.

liz baca sandra mendoza-daly mary kincaid vintage expertsliz, me, mary

I didn't have any celebrity sightings this time, but I did find some amazing couture vintage. It's like an archive!

I was thrilled to meet up with Liz Baca, the lovely treasure hunter at I was able to convince her to do a short video interview about her Vintage Expo experience...

I also got to chat with Kristine of Elsewhere Vintage in Orange, CA. She has the most amazing selection of mid-century vintage and is opening a vintage clothing store just for men!

I also met Janet of Woodland Farms Antiques in Texas who is a fellow Vintage Fashion Guild member.

woodland farms vintage, vintage expertjanet and me

You would've loved my little red hat! I wish I would've gotten a better picture of it. It has a velvet appliqued arrow across the top. It's very whimsical and surreal. I love it.

It was a great shopping, talking shop, and mingling sort of event. Mary and I cooked up some ideas and shared our vintage empire dreams over lunch. It was a great afternoon.

Are you liking these videos? I'm really enjoying doing them. Let me know what kinds of videos you would like to see!

February 3, 2010

Going to a Vintage Show? Insider Tips & Interview

This weekend, vintage collectors and sellers will be going nuts on both coasts - the Manhattan Vintage Clothing Show and Santa Monica Vintage Expo are in town. I'm already making plans to meet up with some of my favorite sellers and shoppers. Maybe I can get some pictures to show you!

In the meantime, if you've ever had questions about these types of shows, or are just curious about who runs them, I have a great interview with the co-owners of the SM Vintage Expo, Robert and Christie Alvarez. They share their history with the show, their professional observations, and some valuable insider tips on how to work the show. It's an older video, so don't mind the dates they have given.

If you want to see more videos, let me know what topics you are interested in! I promise to show my face in the next one.


February 2, 2010 presents Resurrection's 20 years of Maison Martin Margiela

Resurrection, the bicoastal boutique and international source for fine vintage, and, whom I mentioned before on the blog, have teamed up to offer a truly unique collection of avant-garde designer Maison Martin Margiela.

"Resurrection's 20 Years of Martin Margiela: The Marcia Berger Collection" is a collection of one of a kind collectible, vintage and artisanal Margiela pieces from 1989 to 2008, owned by the late Marcia Berger. Apparently Ms. Berger was quite the collector. She was the proud owner of one off pieces and several key pieces from each collection. The garments were never even worn. Ms. Berger felt Margiela pieces were works of art and preserved them as such.

I spoke with Resurrection co-owner Mark Haddaway about this unique collection. He explained that Marcia Berger did not work in fashion, she just loved unique, avant-garde fashion including Japanese designers such as Yohji Yamamoto, but loved collecting Margiela most of all. Of the astonishing 1500 Margiela pieces Resurrection is selling in their NY and LA boutiques, 300 will be available on

Being a vintage seller, I know how hard it must be to let go of such collectible pieces. I asked Mark if he was tempted to keep any of them. He slowly replied, "Each piece will be sold." It's got to be the hardest part of this business.

Margiela reminds me so much of Elsa Schiaparelli, especially when you look at this leather glove covered  top. Schiaparelli had a shoe hat, Maison Martin Margiela created split toe, hoof like booties. The surreal influence is uncanny. Ms. Berger was correct to collect and treasure such intriguing works of art.

I for one am dying to see the pieces at the LA store. Maybe I can nab a few images while I'm there for all of you!

1997 vest

MMLEATHERFRONT.jpg 1990 jacket

2001 glove top


2006 jacket

-photos courtesy of Resurrection Vintage Clothing

January 29, 2010

A Special Capsule Collection from Jeanne Suica Vintage

Any good stylist worth her salt will tell you that accessories can make an ordinary rag look glamorous and fashion forward. Make those vintage accessories and now you've got enviable style.

Jeanne Suica, the Parisian vintage couture maven, has created this one of a kind pop-up shop especially for Debutante Clothing readers and customers. If you find something you like, grab it quick, because the sale ends Friday, February 5, 11pm PST.

You can view more of Jeanne Suica's collection at and check out her VIP selection at

DSCN5299.JPG Red enamel and gold quilted necklace signed Graft on inner plaque

DSCN5363(2).JPG Pastel enamel bangle bracelet

DSCN8120.JPG Ungaro signed pastel clip earrings

DSCN8148.JPG Christian LaCroix silver metal clip with violet rhinestone signed heart earrings

DSCN8197.JPG Nina Ricci signed amber colored heart broach

DSCN8478.JPGRed "bakelite look" vintage clip earrings

Guidelines and Additional Information:

Items are a mix of new, gently worn or vintage condition.All items are guaranteed authentic.

All questions should be referred directly to Jeanne at

If you wish to purchase an item, payment should be made immediately via paypal only to

In rare cases a payment may be canceled at any time due to insufficient stock, if an item becomes damaged or is not in the same condition as listed the order may be cancelled, inability for paypal to authorize a payment, suspicion of fraudulent intent or any other reason seen fit.

Once a payment is made you'll receive a confirmation mail to confirm that your item is available. This confirmation will include the shipping date. Items will be shipped with 48 hours of payment excluding weekends. All duties and customs charges will be your responsibility. The full cost will be noted on the customs form this is necessary for insurance purposes.

All items include postage via signature required insured airmail and will be shipped from Paris France. FREE SHIPPING WORLDWIDE!! All items are final sale.

January 25, 2010

{ Vintage Event } Manhattan and Santa Monica Vintage Fashion Shows

manhattan vintage fashion showTheyre back! THE MUST ATTEND events for anyone who loves vintage clothing and accessories - the Manhattan Vintage Clothing Show and Santa Monica Vintage Expo are coming the first weekend in February.

Join vintage aficianados, designers, stylists, and collectors in NY or LA and do some serious vintage shopping damage. Recession be damned.

Manhattan Vintage Clothing Show
Friday, February 5, 1-8pm
Saturday, February 6, 11am-6pm
Admission is $20

The Metropolitan Pavilion is located at 125 W. 18th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues in Manhattan. For more information call 518-434-4312 or visit

Vintage Fashion Expo.jpg

Santa Monica Vintage Fashion Expo
Saturday, February 6 Early Buy 9am-10:30am, Regular Admission 10:30am-6pm

Sunday, February 7 11am-5pm

Santa Monica Civic Auditorium

Contact if you have questions!

Special guest for both days will be Leigh Leshner, author and vintage jewelry expert, will provide appraisals of vintage jewelry from 12:00pm-2:00pm each day.

Also, The Vintage Fashion Expo will be presenting vintage dances at 2:00pm each day - led by James Zimmer and Cynthia Harper of the UCLA vintage dance group.

Students free on Sunday with student ID.

January 14, 2010

Vintage Shopping: Customer Service & Etiquette

pretty woman snooty shop clerk

If you want the real deal on a shop, you have to read New York Times writer Cintra Wilson's column Critical Shopper. She pulls no punches. But there's no Perez-Hilton-esque snark. She just tells it like it is in a hysterically educated way. So when I read Cintra's review of infamous Lily et Cie in Beverly Hills, CA, it made me think about what kind of customer service is expected in vintage shops, real or virtual.

Lily et Cie got a well deserved lashing for their shitty attitude. But I do understand owner and curator's Rita Watnick protection of delicate, and often valuable, treasures.

When shopping for vintage there are a few guidelines you should keep in mind.

1. Know your size

Seriously I cannot stress this enough. If you know your measurements, you'll know you can't fit into a smaller size. Forgo the humilation and anger of ripping a vintage garment. Go up one size. Never risk it.

2. Handle the garment by the hanger

Vintage silks and rayon are fragile and so are their seams. Handling by the hanger, rahter than the sleeve or skirt will protect the garment from tearing or shredding.

3. Put it back where you found it or give it to the clerk

This is especially true in an antque mall. Don't assume that things can just be left laying around. If you forgot where it goes, simply give it back to the clerk.

Now I know this is coming off all preachy and elitist, but shopping for vintage is not like shopping at your local mall. Some care is needed with older garments.

But there is no way I would encourage you to shop with someone who does not value you as a customer. Stay away from virtual and brick and mortar stores with these red flags:

  • Attitude - seriously there is no excuse!
  • Unhelpful - if the seller can't give you insight about the garment (history, style advice, etc.), then they are just selling "stuff" not vintage. Vintage is an experience.
  • Lack of response - online sellers should respond to you in 1 business day unless otherwise stated.
  • Doesn't go the extra mile - Are clothes cleaned and in good condition? Do they offer care instructions? Do they call or email when they are having sales or found something perfect for you? These are all small things that show what an important client you are.
In today's economy, apparel companies that incorporate these four details are faring well. Nordstrom and are two companies I will always shop with because they have earned my customer loyalty through customer care.

What about you? Which vintage shops have earned your loyalty? What will make you shop elsewhere?

December 3, 2009

Shop and Party at The House of Love & Luck

house of love and luck

This Thursday, December 3 The House of Love & Luck is getting dressed up and ready to party. This haven for amazing vintage jewelry is celebrating its first anniversary from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM. The event features 'Jewelry by Nola', a hosted champagne bar, and special sale pricing. A portion of the evening's proceeds will benefit the animal rescue charity, Animal Advocates Alliance.

The House of Love and Luck is located at 370½ N. La Cienega Boulevard just South of Oakwood Avenue next to The Roger Room. Valet parking will be available.


November 9, 2009

Book Review: The Little Guide to Vintage Shopping

the little guide to vintage shopping book

It always baffles me when I browse through's vintage section or troll for vintage steals. More often than not, I see 1980s garments being sold as 20s flapper dresses, or worse, fringed polyester flapper costumes from Halloween super stores being listed as RARE! flapper dress. I want to take my already loved copy of The Little Guide to Vintage Shopping and scream, Here! Read this!.

If you are new to vintage, or thinking of starting, this is a MUST read book. Written by a well respected member of the Vintage Fashion Guild, Melody Fortier has been in the vintage fashion business for almost 2 decades. And she has proven her know how in this business in her wonderfully insightful book.

There are several books on collecting vintage clothing and accessories that merely give you bios on famous designers and tons of beautiful pictures. That's great for a coffee table or reference book. But The Little Guide to Vintage Shopping is truly a guide, and instructional manual on how to shop for quality vintage, and loaded with tons of insider tips.

The book is adorable. It has the illusion of being an old, embroidered cloth covered book. it's small and compact enough to fit in your bag - perfect for shopping. But let's talk about why this book is so invaluable.

Chapter 1 Vintage Defined gives you an overview of vintage is, and what it is not (ahem, 1990s) and a wonderful little glossary of some terminology you should know as a buyer. Not all designer is couture but that word is thrown around and awful lot, with a price tag to match.

Chapter 2 On the Market talks about options for places to buy and important considerations when shopping for quality.

Chapter 3 Styles of the Times gives an overview of typical styles for each decade with a great visual time line of silhouettes

Chapter 4 Dating Dilemmas (my favorite chapter) discusses how experts determine dates of garments: silhouettes, tags, labels, buttons, zippers, seams, and fabrics

Chapter 5 Sizing It Up gives you tips on how to measure and which measurements to pay attention to to ensure a good fit as well as typical silhouette features for each decade that could determine if the style is right for your body (I'm very 40s and 50s shaped)

Chapter 6 Labels and Pricing gives a good guideline for determining how much something is worth based on the designer and/or label. This is extremely helpful for today's market, but keep in mind that prices are set by the market at any given time.

Chapter 7 Condition and Care (another favorite chapter) gives tips on what to avoid when shopping, how to care for your vintage, how to determine what fabric the garment is made of (pre-1970s garments do not have care tags). These are tips that only experts know. I was impressed

Chapter 8 Finishing Touches discusses accessories and shoes, and equally important segment in the vintage marketplace

Chapter 9 Altered States (a surprising chapter) is all about how to alter vintage for the modern wardrobe, and what you should not alter - couture for one.

Throughout the book, you'll see colorful images of vintage pieces - some to illustrate the chapter, some are just eye candy. This is not a coffee table book, or a collector's book so you won't find the one page images of vintage. There are also expert tips from vintage sellers and authors sprinkled throughout the book.

There is a very brief section on great places to shop for vintage. A whole book can be, and has been, published on this topic alone so I didn't mind that it was brief.

All in all, I have to say I was very impressed with the breadth of knowledge that was published in this book. For such a little guide, you gets volumes of expert knowledge that the average vintage shopper might not know.

If you love wearing and shopping for vintage, or if you are a new vintage seller, I highly recommend The Little Guide to Vintage Shopping.

October 4, 2009

Links à la Mode : October 1 The Dos and Don'ts of Style

Edited by Debutante Clothing

I just turned 35. It's a landmark year not just chronologically, but style wise. I am now approaching that next age bracket in the How to Dress for Your Age features in mags. You know the ones. Thank goodness for my blogger pals here at Independent Fashion Bloggers. You'll find some of the best style guides here this week. Guides such as Mischief My Dear's advice on finding the perfect LBD and Fasshonaburu's Spring 2010 trends guide. But beware the urge to dress too sexy. 39th and Broadway tells you why toddlers and stilletos don't mix, and Squareectomy questions the taste level of visible thongs. Enjoy!

Links à la Mode : October 1st

September 16, 2009

Vintage Inspired - J. Peterman 1930s lace dress

Once in a while, i run into a friend or acquaintance that has no idea that the company Elaine from Seinfeld worked for really exists. J. Peterman is a real catalog, a real company, and yes, the copy is as witty as Elaine. And if you are a fan of vintage style, you'll love the clothing.

Men and women alike can find reproduction, vintage style fashion in every J. Peterman catalog. When I say reproduction, I don't mean cheap knock offs with modernized details. I mean that the only way you would be able to tell these garments are knew is if you inspected them for signs of age. These garments are so fantastically reproduced due to the fact that the little fashion elves at J. Peterman actually buy vintage garments in order to recreate them in large quantities.

Normally, I'm a bit miffed by such practices coming from fashion designers. But I think that I can appreciate it coming from J. Peterman because at least the company is honest about it. They don't try to take the credit for something that was created 70 years prior. Or maybe it is more palatable coming from the silver tongue that is J. Peterman...

j peterman black lace dressShe was part black.

She was part Irish.

They called her Bricktop, because of her flaming red hair.

And Ada Smith's "Bricktops" on Place Pigalle in Montmartre was the place to go.

"Bricktop" said she judged the success of a night by the number of kings in the house.

One night she had five kings and the Prince of Wales.

But Cole Porter was the only one who had a special table reserved for him.

Even when he wasn't there.

The in crowd came to hear her sing, and they came to be seen.

And if you had a dress like this, you were there too.

A little risqué just like the place you were in.

When Bricktop sang "Embraceable You," John Steinbeck told her, "You take 20 years off a man's life."

Same thing can be said for this confection of sheer magic.

1930's Vintage Black Lace Dress (No. 2584). Two layers of lace work their allure. Black lace over nude lace so you won't get arrested. Just enough shows through. Scoop neckline. V shape back. Lower-calf length. Hidden center back zipper with hook and eye. All the elegance of old lace with the easy to maneuver advantage of modern fabric. Imported.

"There's a party...where?"

Women's sizes: 2 through 18.

Color: Black lace over nude lace.

July 22, 2009

Mademoiselle Robot does Stockholm

When it comes to cities, I thought I'd already found the One. When I left Paris to move to London, I knew it would be my home for a long, long time. Sure, I have had impure thoughts about Los Angeles, but I know it is only a fantasy of sunshine and ocean. London has adopted me, and I was perfectly happy with my life here till I went to Stockholm at the beginning of July. As soon as I set foot in the Swedish capital, I thought I had died and gone to Heaven. Style & design heaven, where bad taste isn't. Yes, you read well. Bad. Taste. Isn't. People are beautiful, houses are beautiful, streets are clean, shops are minimal and tastefully laid out, clothes are great, even in high street chains. There is no tackiness, no garishness, nothing naff or slightly crap. I thought it would be a little overwhelming to have to adapt to such high standards but it actually was refreshing. What was overwhelming was having to leave after only 5 days. I came back feeling more inspired than I had been in years, and really really serene. But to get back to more mundane pursuits, I also visited many a vintage store, especially for you! I wrote a short guide to the Sodermalm area on my blog, but here you will find a more specific guide to Stockholm's best vintage shops.

Lisa Larsson
Bondegatan 48

Maybe one of the best known vintage shops in Stockholm, and rightly so. There is a beautiful collection there, definitely worth checking out.

lisa larson stockholm

Bondegatan 46

Right next to Lisa Larsson, a bit hit and miss.

vintge clothing repris stockholm

Life is Good


A small shop with a very good range of hand picked vintage pieces in more "modern" sizes - you can actually find shoes in sizes above a UK5, which is an exploit!

life is good vintage clothing stockholm


Possibly the swankiest charity shop I have ever seen. The selection is wonderful. They have three shops: children's clothes, interiors and womenswear.

Emmaus Stockholm vintage

Beyond Retro

Åsögatan 144

I don't think I need to say anything about Beyond Retro as they seem to be everywhere these days. Not necessarily the first shop to check out, as it holds mainly US Vintage, but worth a look anyway.

vintage clothing Stockholm Boutique Tva Tre Ganger Karlavagen 36

High-end vintage. Go there to see beautiful classic pieces.

Mint & Vintage

St Eriksgatan 48

The shop is very hard to find but is worth the effort. Go there for vintage & Swedish designers.

Saker & Ting Vintage
Sturegatan 28

This is a great place to go for dresses lovers. You will find mostly super cute dresses and shoes.

More shops, that I didn't have time to visit:

Petronella Second Hand
Lützengatan 4

Marielle Secondhand
Erik Dahlbergsgatan 23

Old Touch
Upplandsgatan 43

Judit's second hand
Hornsgatan 75

There is much more to Stockholm than shopping, but I would need about 70 posts to explain how much there is to see!

-Mademoiselle Robot


mademoisellerobot.jpgParisian expat in London, Mademoiselle Robot is a magazine Editor turned fashion blogger. On, she offers style tips, interviews of artists and designers, outfit ideas and she even launched her own TV channel! Her blog has been featured in the Independent, A nous Paris, Modepass and many others.

July 14, 2009

Guest Blogger: How to Wear Vintage

Laura Lanz Frolio is the savvy Budget Shopping expert on and has her own blog called Budget Land. She was kind enough to share her tips on how to shop for classic vintage pieces. I love seeing how other people approach vintage shopping - it's always inspiring and helps me break out of my style and shopping habits. Thanks Laura for taking the time to do this. Enjoy!

If you're a newbie to buying and wearing vintage, it can certainly be intimidating. Cuts and fit are a little different than what we're used to and styles are from days gone by. But with the right pieces, mixing a little vintage into your current wardrobe is a piece of cake. Plus, you'll never get caught wearing the same outfit as another girl at the party. Here are a few basics to get your started:

The Blazer


Blazers are literally everywhere this season and the best way to find an affordable version is to buy vintage. Do a search on eBay or Etsy and thousands of options will pop up. This plaid blazer is pretty bold but a simple navy or cream color works too. If you're smaller, try looking in the boys section for old prep school blazers.

The Dress


Vintage dresses are perhaps the easiest to integrate into your wardrobe since most of the dresses being sold these days are vintage inspired anyways. It's all about the fit so make sure you try before buying or measure the dimensions if you're shopping online. Add a belt for some always-crucial waist definition, and you've got a complete vintage look.

The Slouchy Vest


Vests like this knit one are a great layering piece; you can also go for a menswear look with a more structured version and don't forget to check the men's section for vintage suit vests. Wide leg jeans and a sturdy leather belt give this vest a cool '70s vibe.

The Pencil Skirt


The pencil skirt is a style that is in abundance in vintage shops so you shouldn't have trouble tracking one down. I found this blue suede YSL skirt at a thrift store in Vermont for $12, one of my favorite vintage finds! You can pair it with a button up for a chic work look or sex it up a little for a night out, as I did here.

The Boots


Boots like these flat brown leather pair are super versatile, you can wear them with dresses, leggings, jeans, you name it. As you can see from the photo, I've worn mine pretty much to death. Substitute some buttery leather boots for your flip-flops and you've got an instant update for your denim cutoffs.

You can read more of my articles on or on my blog.

July 9, 2009

Stimulate the Economy with Vintage Clothing at

katy kane 1stdibs vintage couture

We just celebrated our Independence Day. But what better way to show your patriotism than to shop? Especially when we are talking about high ticket vintage treasures like the ones offered on The luxury antique design site has made all vintage lovers' dreams come true with a collection of stunning vintage couture and collectible designer fashion pieces. The collection is curated Clair Watson, one of the most respected names in vintage couture and includes premiere vintage sellers such as Katy Kane, Resurrection, The Way We Wore, and Rare Vintage.

There is so much eye candy it's almost hard to bear. Especially when you think about how rare some of these pieces are - a Paco Rabanne chain dress doesn't really come around that often.

I spoke with Katy of Katy Kane Vintage & Couture Clothing about her involvement with With 30 years of dealing in vintage, she knows the ins and outs of the luxury antique business.

"I know a lot of the furniture & jewelry dealers on and the 1stdibs people know me, my merchandise, my reputation as a dealer. So I was invited to participate along with the other dealers on the vintage & couture section. Everyone of these dealers has different strengths and different selections. I think it is a great mix. I think vintage & couture is a perfect fit for 1stdibs and the dealers. This is a hot area in the antiques market right now, celebrity customers, museums exhibits, designers as celebrities, designer estate auctions, etc. People realize the value of vintage clothing now, from a financial standpoint as well as from the individual style it affords them. Just like a great piece of furniture or a beautiful jewel from 1stdibs."

The site looks like a museum collection, featuring couture pieces by designers such as Yves Saint Laurent, Chanel, Paco Rabanne, Christian Dior, and Valentino. But you can also find some collectible, quirky pieces by Moschino and Christian Lacroix. The collection is so well rounded that there really is something for everyone here.

My favorite piece has to be this YSL for Christian Dior black taffeta dress. It's so modern and edgy that I would feel just as comfortable wearing it to a gala as I would to some punk rock show.

ysl for christian dior

What about you? What's on your wish list?

July 1, 2009

Vintage Auctions: Ripley's Believe it or Not...Vintage Style


I used to love this show when I was younger and I believe that history does repeat itself. I'm working in the world of auctions now and am surrounded by pieces with a bit or a lot of history which can go for peanuts or a small fortune. Truly some of them are worthy of Ripley's Believe it or Not! Sometimes when I'm sitting in an auction I gasp out loud as I hear the bids increase and increase and increase and usually end up embarrassing myself.

Last week's auction at Kerry Taylor was a great example of believe it or not hammer prices with a number of the pieces well exceeding even her estimations.

For example:

Lot 57 A rare pair of grapefruit shaped bust improvers from the 1890s estimation of £400-£600 with a hammer price of £2400! I'm convinced that these were the original inspiration for the Wonderbra, my how times have changed!

Lot 94 An absolutely breathtaking rare Fortuny stenciled gown sold for £13,000 way over estimate. I can only dream of the wonderful and excitng adventures this dress once had!

Lot 130 A breathtaking Dior evening gown from 1952 with an estimate of £6000-£8000 hit a hammer price of £11,000. Oh the lucky person who won that! Gasp!

And many many more...I've only highlighted some of the older more historic pieces but even items as late as the year 2000 can be profitable. I hope that this update lights a fire under you or sparks a lightbulb so as you are rummaging through items at your local flea market or yard sale keep your eyes peeled for some vintage treasures! They may end up as seed money for your next vacation!

Stay tuned for our vintage antiques roadshow this fall via Debutante Clothing where you'll have the chance to show me and Sandra your latest finds!

Happy Hunting!


Jeanne Suica collaborates with a major auction house in searching for and evaluating pieces for upcoming auctions. Clients worldwide who may be interested in selling or consigning their items can email her images and questions regarding their items via her site

June 25, 2009

From London with Love... Obsession: a shoe story


If you have ever in your life been obsessed with finding the perfect pair of shoes, then you will feel my pain when reading this post. I am totally aware that the pursuit of the perfect shoe might seem trivial to some, but you should know one thing about me: when I want something, there are only very few things that can stand in my way: death, illness and that's about it (knock on wood neither happens, thank you).

For about 2 years now, I have been looking for a pair of simple vintage brown lace up oxford shoes. Not brogues, I don't want any detailing, just plain old 80's granny shoes. I know there are plenty available I have seen them on people, and in several Etsy shops. "Why don't you just buy them, you silly goose?" I hear you say. Well... this is the bane of my life. I cannot find my size anywhere. I would understand perfectly if I was looking for 40's or 50's shoes, since women seemed to have considerably smaller feet then - both in length and width. The thing is I am not looking for 40's or 50's footwear but for 80's shoes. And I know women had the same feet then as we do now. Before you start gossiping about how Mademoiselle Robot wears shoes in a size 23, I will tell you I am a UK 7 (which is probably a US 9.5 or 10). Not exactly Bigfoot, but not small feet either. Mind you, if my feet were any smaller, I would tip over when I walk. I am 5'8" I need my size 7 feet to keep me balancing. But enough about my feet and back to the shoes, I just know they would make my whole wardrobe come together seamlessly, they would go with everything and I would most certainly wear them all year long. So I am not being a spoilt brat here. I just need those shoes. I already made lists of outfit combinations:

Outfit 1: brown shoes, high-waist trousers, vintage tee-shirt, denim jacket.

Outfit 2: brown shoes, white socks, denim shorts, Victorian blouse, black blazer.

Outfit 3: brown shoes, 50's day dress, giant hair bow, vintage boy cardigan, stripy socks.

The list goes on and on, using all the items in my wardrobe, so I will spare you the details, but you get the idea.

Needless to say, I am very angry with vintage shoes at the moment and we are *this* close to fall out forever - even if in my quest for the perfect Oxfords I did find a really cute pair of beige dancing shoes.


Recently, I decided I couldn't carry on without some kind of replacement, so I started looking into some alternatives. I found two: the plimsolls and the jazz shoes. I am not a fan of Ked's and co, so I opted for some white leather jazz shoes (from ASOS, I needed a break from vintage). So far, so good, I have been wearing them a lot, and they go with all the outfits I mentioned above. I do look at them and wish they were brown and vintage but they really are the next best thing.

The morale of this tragic story: sometimes, a girl has to compromise her wishes a little to reach style nirvana.

However, because I am relentless, if you do come across the shoes I have described in this post in a size UK 7/US 10/ EU 40, do let me know.

If you email me ( with a link, I will be your slave forever.

- Mademoiselle Robot

May 28, 2009

Christian Louboutin on SALE at

Come get them while they're hot (or available in your size)! If you've ever dreamed about the red sole, here's your chance. is offering Christian Louboutin at DEEPLY discounted prices. Sorry for the shouting caps - I'm just so excited!

louboutins1.jpg louboutins2.jpg

May 22, 2009 Summer Sale

I have one more sale for you! This time from my good friend Posh Girl Vintage. If you have never visited this amazing vintage site, go there now! Posh Girl Vintage carries some of the most amazing dresses and accessories on the web. And you can trust that what you see is what you will get. No funny business here. You will not be disappointed.

posh girl vintage sale vintage clothing

May 22, 2009

Men's Vintage Clothing Sale May 31


I rarely feature men's vintage clothing, even though I have a husband with a closet full of vintage. But today, I break my sexist habits. If you have a boy or are a boy who loves vintage, here's a sale for you. Marc Joseph, an LA vintage dealer, is having one of his regular sales. Men's vintage from the 1940s to the '80s will be up for grabs here in LA.

Score yourself a vintage Hawaiian shirt or some comfy gabardine slacks. Bring lots of bills too because men's vintage is difficult to find. So if if you find it here, don't hesitate.

May 5, 2009

London's Vintage Geography Guide

I am so very pleased to present Debutante Clothing's London Contributor, Mademoiselle Robot! Equal parts cuteness, smarts, and style, Mademoiselle gives us the inside scoop on anything vintage and cool from the stylish streets of London. Enjoy! -Sandra

Coming from Paris, I am used to a very homogeneous & cyclical lifestyle, where one trend replaces another. So if you like a type of music or clothes that aren't "in", you can't really find anything anywhere.

When I first moved to London, what struck me most is the sheer amount of coexisting trends. Not so much in Fashion, as people here have very individual styles and don't are not overly trend led, but in music, nightlife etc.

What is interesting about London though is that those different "tribes" don't really mix that much, and seem to stay put in their respective areas. You can pretty much divide London into four big sectors North, East, South & West.

East London - Late '40s to Early '60s


Even though the original "Swinging London" was found around Carnaby Street, it is now in East London that you can find most of the mid-century styles.

In the evenings, around Shoreditch, Bethnal Green & Old Street, there is a multitude of places to go to. A lot of people can be seen sporting prom dresses, checked shirts or bouffant hair dos. Nights like Grind A Gogo, the Birthday party or the Lady Luck club  are the best examples. A new night called The Blitz even features a '40s style band in a World War II décor.

If you are in it for the shopping, there are lots of small vintage clothes shops around Brick Lane. Every time I go there, a new shop appears. For furniture, around Spitalfields Market is the best place to hunt.

Icons - The Broken Hearts DJs, Katy Perry

West London - Late '60s and '70s


Portobello market is well known for its vintage treasures. Not only from the Seventies, but from all eras, as far back as the Twenties. However, there is a distinct hippie vibe in this area. Walking around Westbourne Grove (a short 5 min walk from Portobello Market), you cross paths with a lot of Boho princesses. Not always authentic vintage style, it definitely stems from Seventies groupies. If you are a fan of the GTO (Girls Together Outrageously)  you will feel right at home there.

Icons - Sienna Miller, Alexa Chung


North London - '80s

Camden is a strange area for fashion as it attracts such a wide variety of people. The area is mostly popular for 80's fashion - especially heavily rock influenced styles. You also find quite a few 80's does 50's new rockabilly kids around there. The best illustration of this new rockabilly being Vivien of Holloway's designs .

Icons - Peaches Geldof, Kelly Osbourne


South London - '90s

A lot of students live around New Cross and Camberwell and the style du jour seems to be Grunge. Doc Martens, lumberjack shirts, vintage denim and chunky knitwear is the local style. Sometimes a few VERY brights are thrown in for a bit of old rave style.

Icons - Agyness Deyn, M.I.A.

Don't take this as a London guide though, it is only my humble interpretation of London's vintage geography. Someone else's personal experience of the city might lead to completely different conclusions.

-Mademoiselle Robot

Parisian expat in London, Mademoiselle Robot is a magazine Editor turned fashion blogger.  On, she offers style tips, interviews of artists and designers, outfit ideas and she even launched her own TV channel!  Her blog has been featured in the Independent, A nous Paris, Modepass and many others.


Alexa Chung credit to
Agyness Deyn credit to
Katy Perry credit
Peaches Geldof credit

May 3, 2009

Links ala Mode - IFB Weekly Roundup

Right Sized

Edited by Retro Chick

Hello and welcome to Links á la Mode!

This week I've noticed a few posts on the theme of body size issues, with 39th & Broadway asking whether the Fashion Industry is to blame for our skinny bitch obsession, The Curvy Fashionista interviewing the brains behind Full Figure Fashion Week and Dramatis Personae introducing us to plus size fashion line B &Lu.

Also in this week's selection you'll find some great DIY ideas, a Competition from The Coveted, tips on keeping to your shopping budget from Work Chic and vintage shopping hints from The Style PA and Culturistas.

There's the full version of Links á la Mode here in the forums... there's a lot of great posts there too.

Links à la Mode : April 30th

  • 39th & Broadway - Is the fashion industry responsible for our weight issues?

  • A Typical Atypical - When to ignore the fashion houses - the ridiculous, the impractical and the downright foolish!

  • Broke & Beautiful - Earth Week! The best of plastic bags are highlighted.

  • Capitola Girl Jewelry Blog - Take flight with some fanciful feathered jewelry

  • Culturistas - The Culturistas take a trip to the Vintage Expo and give tips on how to shop for vintage

  • Debutante Clothing - A private, curator led tour of the Valentina exhibit in NYC

  • Dirty Laundry - Who needs Marc Jacobs when you have DIY?

  • Dramatis Personae - B&Lu Presents Fun Plus-Sized Fashion...

  • Fashion in my eyes - Interview with Sarah Korsiak Cellier, owner of a vintage shop with designer pieces

  • FashionMind - Dressing up classy but very bright and not boring.

  • Fasshonaburu - A public request for online stores to provide more and better pictures of their merchandise!

  • Gladys L - Construction boots or Lotus shoes? The astonishing Chinese quest for female beauty incorporating small feet!

  • In Pursuit of Fashion - Bleach for beginners: How to DIY the latest trend, bleached jeans.

  • Independent Fashion Bloggers - 6 Do's and Don'ts for Networking Online

  • Retro Chick - Ethical Design Spotlight - Heart's Desire Jewellery (+ 20% Discount!)

  • Style Symmetry - My Storage System for Belts.

  • StyleCovered - How fusing trends and culture can create something unique and chic! Who said covering up had to be boring?

  • The Art of Accessories - The Art of Accessories show you how to make your own tinted moisturizer, how thrifty?

  • THE COVETED - The Coveted: Two chances to win Pequito Bun Vintage Jewelry!

  • The Curvy Fashionista - The brains behind Full Figure Fashion Week- Gwen DeVoe dares to bring Plus Size Fashion to the forefront

  • The Style PA - Where to go in Leeds for Vintage fashion and beauty treats.

  • Work Chic - Blowing your shopping budget? It may be your shopping habits!

April 30, 2009

Vintage Inspiration - Mod About eenamaria Handbags

eenamaria mod inspired handbags

eenamaria mod inspired handbags

Accessories that marry art and function are my favorite way to punctuate an otherwise ordinary outfit. So when I came across the super Mod and art inspired handbag line eenamaria, I had to contact the designer.  Sarah Morgan has been designing since she was 15-years-old, but it's no wonder since fashion design is in her blood - her grandmother was a fashion designer in Paris. With a degree from Pratt and an appreciation for art, Sarah started eenamaria, a vintage inspired line designed for the modern girl.

Check out my chat with eenamaria designer Sarah Morgan!

When did you start eenamaria?

2004 in the basement of Pratt Institute.

Who is "eenamaria"?

eenamaria is the essence of a woman, the name is taken from my mother, however, if you see the 'about' section of the website, this will give you the full description of who she is.

You come from a long line of artists and creative people. What inspired you to start a handbag line versus a different form of design?

eenamaria is currently only known for its handbags, however, over time we will be launching a clothing line, a perfume line, housewares and anything that the eenamaria woman would want or need to fit with her lifestyle. I am a trained industrial designer, so we are educated to develop an eye for form and function, rather than focus on just one aspect of design.

I love the Mondrian and Mod inspiration. What do you like about these aesthetics?

I have always been a chameleon, so for each group of bags designed and produced, there is a new inspiration. This collection was designed a few years ago, but is becoming the iconic look for eenamaria. I was interested in the look of the sixties and I was thinking about the energy of that time. I like the colors and the simple lines and design features, colorful, but simple.

Are you influenced by any other decades? Which?

The upcoming line is an homage to the 1930s/1940s, a similar era as far as the world climate is concerned. People want uplifting colors and reasons to celebrate, since so much of their world is in flux.

Who is a typical eenamaria girl?

The eenamaria girl is active, bold, an outlier. She probably has aspects to her that are somewhat unusual, maybe she's a sky diving fanatic, or a big Tango dancer, inevitably, the eenamaria girl is an engaged and dynamic woman. Its a spirit more than it is a socio-economic description.

What can we look forward to in your next collection?

Afro-centric dayglo! Think M.I.A for inspiration.

Any plans for expanding into clothing design?

Well, funny you should ask, watch this space.....

Vintage, particularly mid-century design, is hot right now, even amongst the masses. What do you feel is influencing this? How is this affecting eenamaria?

Well, there is always the idea that if you go back 20 years, you will find exactly what influences our current trends. That having been said, what we were wearing 20 years ago, was influenced by 20 years prior....ipso facto, you will see some type of lineage. Of course, the psychology of the times also has an impact on people's desires, wants and spending habits. So, if you look at particularly wealthy periods, you will see higher levels of detail, more expensive materials and more classic looks, and the opposite is true for hard times, brighter, more fun, simpler and perhaps a little more disposable design sensibilities, ie, how long were you really going to be wearing the flared jeans and tie die shirt? There's nothing 'classic' or timeless about that, at all.

Who is your favorite vintage style icon? Why?

Wow! Tough....I am a huge fan of Isaac Mizrahi, I think he has combined talent, business and a strong sense of spotting good opportunities to create an amazing career for himself. His work always looks beautifully 'appointed' yet, he has no arrogance or elitism in his approach to fashion.....I like that, a lot.

eenamaria is available at and

eenamaria mod inspired handbags

April 14, 2009

Vintage Shopping In My Own Closet

The problem with selling vintage clothing is that you have 24 hour access to to your own inventory. Even though I have had many of these pieces in stock for several months, I still manage to find something new to me. I try to avoid trying anything on for fear that I will just keep everything all to myself. I ddn't listen to my own unspoken rule. I tried on this dress and it fit me waist and hips perfectly! A little tuck in the bust and it's perfect.

vintage floral 1960s dress

vintage floral 1960s dress

vintage floral 1960s dress

April 9, 2009

Thrifting Words to Live By - Search High and Low - A Tale of Prada

Photo: mikefats

I have been thrifting less and less lately. What used to be a weekly activity has now dwindled to once a month. With so many sellers swarming to Ebay, styling aspiring models, and creating magazine like layouts, the thrift stores are pretty picked over. I'll be happy when many of these new sellers realize how much work it is, get bored, and move on.

But I had an amazing thrifting experience last week that may suck the bitterness right out of me. There I was at my favorite thrift - I'm not revealing so don't even ask ; ) - hoping to find a couple of worthy items. Things were looking pretty grim, especially after I spotted a fashionista strutting down the aisle sporting skin tight jeans, gorgeous riding boots, a cashmere sweater, and a cute little bob. I thought she was competition and I quickly felt the adrenaline rush, until I noticed a run of the mill sweater and plenty of jeans in her cart. But still, they could've been some great jeans!

With my competitive side fully engaged, I was determined to find a prize. I decided to search a section I rarely search - skirts. And there it was! The prize.

As soon as I touched it I knew it was quality. The softness of the wool, the bright cheery color. The real leather piping, and the silk lining. I look inside. PRADA!

And 50% off!

Even though it is not vintage, it has a definite vintage look. The box pleat gives way to a side slit. I'm a little torn because it is wool so technically it could be a fall piece, but the sun-shiny color screams spring. Maybe this would be good for a windy day with some boots.

Lesson learned: even with fashionistas trolling your turf, pickings looking slim, never forget to search high and low if it is treasure you seek.




April 2, 2009

Exclusive from London - Kerry Taylor Couture Auction

special guest post by Jeanne Suica

I'm back from London and wanted to report on the latest from Kerry Taylor Auctions in London and an exciting upcoming auction in the USA.

On March 10 she held one of the mini auctions at her warehouse which featured over 300 lots of historic and ready to wear now fashions. Her mini auctions held a few times per year offer bidders a wide array of articles by great designers at usually less expensive prices than the two major auctions she holds in conjunction with Sotheby's.

A rainbow of colors and designers which was straight out of the current fashion magazines we all know and love. The star of the day was a wonderful Hermes black crocodile bag from 1986 which sold for £5200. Other eyecatching lots included a day glo orange suit by Chanel circa 1980 and a highlighter yellow silk suit by Claude Montana both under £200. An example of history and fashion repeating itself was the voluminous shoulder suit by Thierry Mugler which sold for £500 looked so similar to the new Dolce & Gabbana extended shoulder jackets and tops so prominantly featured in the spring ad campaigns.

Her next auction will be held on April 28 and will feature items from the Amanda Wakely Archive collection. An on line catalog will be available approximately 1 week before the auction at

For those of you who may have won the lottery or are celebrity collectors check out Julien's Auctions at Over 2,000 lots of The King of Pop Michael Jackson personal belongings and memorabilia will be going on the block on April 22-25.

Happy bidding!


Jeanne collaborates with a major auction house in searching for and evaluating pieces for upcoming auctions. Clients worldwide who may be interested in selling or consigning their items can email her images and questions regarding their items via her site

April 1, 2009

Vintage Find - 1940s Copper Beaded Box Bag


When ever I sell a vintage bag, or gift a modern bag, I always drop a single penny in the bag for good fortune. I picked up this tip one year when a vendor at Viva Las Vegas told me to wait while he dropped a penny in my tooled clutch that I purchased from him. This week's Vintage Find is one giant lucky charm. This 1940s copper beaded bag is so different from other beaded evening bags. The copper beads are a refreshing alternative to traditional jet black beads. The braided handle gives this glittery box purse a touch of whimsy. Such a twist on the typical evening clutch.

available on
ends 4/5

March 19, 2009

Vintage Clothing Shopping for the Ladies in NYC

the good vintage clothing Get your wallets ready ladies!!! This Saturday and Sunday, March 21st & 22nd at Valley in NYC, M.I.S.S. is teaming up with The Goods! to bring you a weekend of shopping, and beauty treatments! Shop vintage clothing and accessories from The Goods! and Funky Fanny's and pick up something new from Cubannie Links, Princess of the Posse, Office Tramp, Too Fly, Covet, Dirty Librarian Chains and Agapantha.

Book your appointments NOW for one of the following beauty services offered by Valley:
Manicure, Pedicure, Waxing or Facials. Receive 10% off all service if you spend $50 or more during the event (discount must be used the same weekend).

The fun starts at 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. both days. For appointments call: 212-274-8985.

The shopping event is CASH only, although some vendors will be accepting
credit cards via Pay Pal. Valley accepts all major forms of payment.

March 11, 2009

Going, going, gone... Paris vintage clothing auction report

This is a special guest blog post from vintage clothing auction correspondent, Jeanne Suica...

Paris has been buzzing with the results of two major Yves Saint Laurent auctions that were held a couple weeks ago. The collection of Pierre Berge and Yves Saint Laurent which was held at Christie's broke a few major records in the antiques and art market. Did anyone say financial crisis? Not here! A pair of candelabra brought 253,000 euros and a chair fetched a sum of 21.9 million euros. Sadly, I couldn't even get close to the preview, there was a two hour wait to even get a peek of the fabulous collection.

I had better luck at the clothing and couture auction which was held a few days later at Hotel Duorot. The collection of 943 lots included a handful of haute couture pieces, many Rive Gauche items, accessories and a good amount of jewelry from 1962-2002.

vintage yves saint laurent haute couture
Lot 564 Yves Saint Laurent Haute Couture N 46547 Automne Hiver 1979-1980
Collection Hommage à Pablo Picasso

vintage yves saint laurent haute couture

Lot 46 Yves Saint Laurent Haute Couture N 1757 circa 1963 (ivory and black)

Continue reading "Going, going, gone... Paris vintage clothing auction report"

March 10, 2009

Introducing Market Publique - Ebay Has Met Its Match

For the past year and a half, vintage sellers all over the web have been complaining about the ever rising fees on what used to be the only game in town - Ebay. Other websites have come along, especially in the vintage and collectibles market, but none have been able to match the ease of use and user friendly layout of - until now.


Market Publique is a brand new marketplace strictly for vintage clothing and accessories. The site itself is beautifully laid out. When you scroll over one of the many images of items up for auction or sale, you immediately get all the pertinent information you need to know without having to click. This is one of the many features I think will set this site apart from any other vintage selling site.


But it takes more than a pretty face to meet the unique needs of vintage buyers and sellers. The component that impressed me the most was the fact that not everyone is allowed to sell at Market Publique. In order to sell here, you must apply. This will definitely weed out the newbies and undesirable crap that is sold on Ebay. According to their site,

"We're highly selective when it comes to choosing the sellers we partner with. Everyone selling on Market Publique displays style and integrity."

And after witnessing the shameful practices of some vintage sellers on Ebay, I hope that Market Publique can and will uphold this mantra.

If you are a seller, the dashboard is equally as user friendly. Everything is clearly laid out and easy to navigate. Currently, only flat rate shipping fees are possible - there is no shipping calculator. This may be an issue when you want to buy/sell internationally, but otherwise, I actually prefer flat fees, even if that means I have to eat a few bucks.

A site like this could easily charge what Ebay does for listing and closing fees because although they might not have the same traffic (yet), the audience is so niche that I imagine conversion rates will be high. Like my business skills?

But the rates are actually VERY reasonable. Almost too reasonable. A $0.25 listing fee and a flat 5% final value fee when the item sells. That's it. You can always upgrade and get some neat marketing perks such as "Fresh". For $5.00, you can get listed on the homepage, and for $2.50 you are featured on the category page. A small fee compared to Ebay.

I think Market Publique has a real chance at giving Ebay a run for its money by focusing on one niche Ebay just can't seem to stop pissing off with ridiculous fee increases and free for all community. They seems to get what vintage aficionados want in an online experience.

Come check out my first listing, since I have been completely ignoring my own selling site for the past year.

March 9, 2009

Vintage Find - 1950s Emma Domb Tulip Skirt Dress

vintage tulip skirt dress

After flipping through the latest issue of Lucky magazine, I rekindled my love for tulip skirts. Tulip shaped skirts give me the fullness I covet from a spring worthy skirt without the bulk of a full skirt. While A line skirts flatter my pear shape figure best, sometimes I want a little extra oomph on my lower half. Tulip skirts do the job! I prefer fewer pleats and avoid minis.

This week's Vintage Find is a perfect cocktail dress if you are looking for a tulip shaped skirt for evening. I love the pearl straps and the cute little pearl paisley detail. Add a pair of towering sexy heels to balance out the sweetness and you have a perfect evening look for spring.

1950s Emma Domb tulip skirt dress
available on, BIN $165

March 4, 2009

Web Snob 3/4


55 Secret Street rediscovers a Hollywood beauty classic, Erno Laszlo.

Stiletto Jungle takes a look at the new Madewell for ShopBop capsule collection.

Allie is Wired reports that The Hills is ending for Lauren Conrad after season five.

Bag Bliss has fallen for the Spring 2009 Fendi Peek-A-Boo Bag

Bag Snob - Get an exclusive peek at Nancy Gonzalez Fall 2009 bags!

Beauty Snob - Blast your fat away, and eat it too.

Coquette is loving the new trend in one shoulder fashions.

Debutante Clothing admires vintage couture designer Valentina.

Fashion Pulse Daily recaps some of its favorite collections from New York Fashion Week: Milly, Mackage, 3.1 Phillip Lim, and more.

KRISTOPHER is wanting, wearing, and hating Belgian shoes.

Second City Style broke down all the trends we found during New York Fashion Week Fall '09.

Shopping and Info checks out: Givenchy for Spring 2009.

Check Out Shrimpton Couture's Real Life Vintage Spot from Karla's Closet shares 10 ways to recession-proof your wardrobe.

Stylehive has a bit of a crush on first lady of France Carla Bruni's style, and has found a few ways to get her look!

The Beauty Stop calls out the 2009 Academy Awards hair disasters.

The Fashion Bomb chit chats with Lisa Price of Carol's Daughter about celebrity beauty musts and year round skin care!

The Shoe Goddess channels her inner candy striper with these quirky DSquared2 shoes!

Check out TheMakeupGirl's coverage of the best looks of the 2009 Oscars!

March 2, 2009

Vintage Find - 1950s Pretty in Pink Jewelry

This weekend, I went to a birthday party where scrapbooking, crafting, cupcakes, and Bellinis reined. My friend, Julie Wanda, was wearing the most fabulously glittery, sparkly rhinestone encrusted jewelry bangles in girly colors. She looked like a sparkly cupcake. I was mesmerized.

As an ode to Julie's drive to sparkle like a Vegas showgirl in the middle of the afternoon, I found this gorgeous set of pink lucite and rhinestone jewelry. Because if you're going to go girly, pink and sparkly is as girly as you can get.

vintage pink lucite and rhinestone set

February 27, 2009

Lucite Box Purse Reproductions - Yay or Nay?

One of my many vintage obsessions is lucite box purses. I used to wear them out all the time, but these days, I mostly display and admire them. Lucite purses are beautiful little sculptures that you can take with you. And just like sculpture, the more intricate the details, the more valuable the piece. Color plays an important role too. I'm partial to clear, but if you can find a red or black lucite purse, you have scored!

But finding the little gems, in mint condition is not easy. Dekonstruckted Hollywood, a California based vintage shop, is filling the need of this market by selling reproduction vintage style lucite purses.When it comes to repros, I have to admit that these are some fantastic copies. With the exception of the handle turned forward instead of across the length of the body of the purse, the new ones are dead ringers.

My favorite is the pink, pearl swirl one, but I always get a little twinge of guilt, as if I am cheating or something, when I consider reproduction.

What do you think? Yay or Nay?

pink lucite purse

February 16, 2009

Vintage Find - Bakelite Heart Pin

red heart bakelite pin
available on, $195

This week made me think of hearts, plastics, and the economy. Of course I had hearts on the brain because of St. Valentine's Day, but this year, the calendared day of love was over shadowed by fear of the crumbling economy and the letter du jour - the lay off notification.

The last time we saw this sort of economic climate was the Great Depression. While we are not technically in a depression, news of mass lay offs and plummeting stock markets are frightening. It's unbelievable, just as it was in the 1920s when everyone was sipping champagne, people were doing the Charleston till dawn, and living the Garçonne lifestyle. Then Crash!

But what did this do for fashion? Fashionistas who once donned feathers and beads had to learn to mend and reuse. Fashion became minimal and modest.

As we enter an era where we are spending only on the basics and trying to find ways to perk up our wardrobes with inexpensive details in order to save money but still look fab, I am reminded of the amazing little accessory made of the most mundane material that brought joy to frugalistas everywhere - Bakelite jewelry.  Bakelite accessories were a relatively inexpensive way to wear highly decorative and whimsical jewelry.  Bakelite was such a hit that even women with money started buying the plastic beauties.

This week's vintage find is a perfect way to bid adieu to another Valentine's Day and to welcome wonderful, colorful accessories that brought a whole generation of frugal but fashionable women joy and dazzle to a closet of basics in one of the darkest economic times in history.

February 13, 2009

Are Your Vintage & Past Season Clothes Auction Worthy?

A few weeks ago, I interviewed Abigail Rutherford of Leslie Hindman Auctioneers. As covetable as her job is, I envy Jeanne Suica even more. Jeanne jets sets across the world hunting through people's closets and spying collectible, auction worthy treasures. Check out this article she wrote just for Debutante Clothing!


I've been a part of the auction world for the past few years and it is probably my favorite part of my clothing business which is based in Europe.


We all have a story of a special piece that we've found and mine was a Jean Paul Gaultier dress that I picked up at Goodwill in New York City. The dress which was labelled Jean Paul Gaultier Maille was a long acid green net fabric with a gold metallic overlay print which resembled body contours. Not in perfect condition but for $40.00 I thought that I had found the perfect Halloween costume.

A few months later I decided to send a photo to an auction house in London that I had consigned with a few times. Imagine my surprise when I received an estimation of £300-£500 and learned that it was from 1996 and part of a major museum collection in Japan. A few months later and £500 richer I decided that I wanted to learn more about what made an item collectable and realized that I enjoyed sitting in the library day after day doing research as much as hunting for a great vintage find at my favorite yard sale.

I provide a range of services for clients selecting items that might be auction worthy, providing estimations in conjunction with one of the leading auction houses in Europe, scheduling large collection or estate evaluations worldwide and coordinating the logistics of putting their fine collectables up for auction. My clients are worldwide and diverse, from Parisians cleaning out their storage units, vintage dealers worldwide who may not have found a client in their local market for specialty pieces they need to sell, clients who want to remain anonymous or modern day fashionistas who don't have the time to handle the details of consigning their items.

Below are some general guidelines that auction houses follow in deciding if a piece might be suitable for auction:

Label and Design

Not everything that has a famous label is auction worthy. I think that all of us have seen pieces by our favorite designers and wondered "What were they thinking?" Pieces that usually attract attention are the pieces that speak to us and convey the message of the period and trademark of the designer. A very simple example is that of Emilio Pucci, his colorful prints are much more desireable than his solid colored clothing and because the fabric is signed throughout on most pieces there is usually not a doubt as to authenticity.

Design of course plays an important part. You may find an eyecatching piece at an estate sale without a label. Pieces without labels but that are well constructed or have a historical value may be desireable for auction houses. You may even get a wonderful surprise and have your unlabelled item attributed to a major designer or find out that it is much more valuable than you ever imagined.


In a perfect world everyone would take care of their clothing but we all know that while collectors generally want an item to be in perfect or near perfect condition there are many desirable items out there that have been enjoyed and well worn by their owners. Items which are strong examples of a particular period, designer or collection may still be auction worthy and bought but never worn by designers who are looking for inspiration, museums, or private individuals who are looking to complete a segment of their collection.


Do you have a piece that was featured in a fashion publication, a film or owned by someone famous? If so and you can provide proof your item it may certainly increase the "desirable factor" with bidders.


Most of us know that a Schiaparelli dress would probably bring a fantastic price at auction but do you know that many newer items (up to the year 2000) are also appearing on a regular basis at auction houses worldwide? Fashionistas who love mixing old and new styles are now clamouring for front row seats at some of the major auction houses hoping to snap up a bargain Cheap & Chic cocktail dress or a gently used Hermes handbag.

My advice is to always deal with a reputable auction house. Not all auction houses will accept the same items and fees and charges vary. Estimations for consignment are free of charge and I can honestly say that most people that I have met or worked with at the major auction houses have been wonderful professional and knowlegable. There is no need to be initimidated by auction houses so clean out your closet and turn those unwanted items into cash and one of your treasures just may end up in a museum!

For a free evaluation of you items please don't hesitate to contact me at:

February 11, 2009

My newest vintage handbag

Looky what I got! I just love this Roger Van S two tone purse! It looks so modern, in all senses of the word. I just saw an ad for a Kate Spade tote that looked very similar to this. But I am fortunate enough to own an original, finely crafted Roger Van S. When it comes to leather goods, you can't beat Roger Van S.

vintage roger van s bag

According to the mavens at Enoki World...

Who was Roger Van S? Technically a husband and wife team, Roger Van Schoyck and wife Doris, a former model, made some of the best bags in all vintage archives. Actually Roger was encouraged to take up a craft when he injured himself in the Army so he started tooling around with leather. When the savvy Mrs. put in her two cents, they created a signature collection of pigskin bags in all shapes and sizes with amazing shape and hardware.

The best part is this is such a season-less bag. This baby will carry me from winter to spring. Now I have to rethink my Coco Trophy Queen bag I was going to buy in the same color combination, but can anyone ever have enough black and white in their wardrobe?

February 9, 2009

Vintage Find - 1980s Avant Tux

I think I am finally coming around to accepting some, SOME, '80s into my vintage lexicon. What I don't want to accept are acid washed jeans. But I am willing to indulge in a bit of 1980s luxe or avant garde. I'm not totally ashamed of the '80s - there was a lot of great cutting edge fashion and music that was born in the '80s. Mostly, I think my aversion stems from the fact that a decade I was witness to is now becoming vintage with the young fashionistas. I'm feeling a bit old.

This week's vintage find is a jacket I would not mind wearing though. This tux-like little jacket  looks a bit avant garde, a bit glam with a touch of 1930s vamp. The fox fur details at the shoulders make this jacket smolder. It's a tad femme fatale no? But if I were to wear something like this, would the youngsters get the irony? Or would they think I'm just dated?

1980s avant garde fox trim jacket

February 5, 2009

Vintage Fashion Expo Santa Monica Feb. 7-8

If you're looking for something to do this weekend, check out the Santa Monica Vintage Fashion Expo. At the last expo, Dita Von Teese cause quite a stir amongst the dealers and shoppers alike. Come shop where modern pin ups shop! I'll be there.

Feb. 7th - 8th Santa Monica Civic Auditorium directions

January 31, 2009

I Was Featured on

Journalist Stephanie Nolasco asked me to share vintage shopping tips with the readers of! Check it out...

January 30, 2009

Q&A with Director of Vintage Couture at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers

When it comes to vintage clothing, couture and designer finds are the treasures that entice us to check one more thrift, visit one more estate sale, rummage through one more church bazaar. But when you find something so amazing that Ebay might be too small potatoes for your vintage find, it's time to hit the auction circuit.


Abigail Rutherford is the Director of Vintage Couture and Accessories at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, one of the premier auction houses in the US. Located in Chicago, Ill., Leslie Hindman hold vintage couture and accessories auction three to four times per year. Rutherford is currently seeking lots for their upcoming couture auction April 19.

Abigail was gracious enough to take a few moments from her busy schedule to answer a few questions about couture and auctions...

How did you get your start in vintage couture?

Here at Leslie Hindman- My background was in Art History so this seemed like the perfect liaison between my two loves, fashion and art!

What's the best part of your job?

Uncovering the treasures that people bring in and learning the history behind each one, it is fascinating!

When it comes to designer and couture vintage, what do you look for in auction consignment pieces?

There are two categories that I look for- collectability and wearability. Both categories sell equally as well.

What are hot sellers right now at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers?

Evening and cocktail as well as Chanel and Hermes accessories.

What's been the highest closing auction you've come across?

Hermes crocodile Birkins always garner the highest price, they can be comparable to prices of Picassos!

What's been the strangest auction piece you've seen?

A see-through mesh evening gown from the 40s that sold for $4000 against an estimate of 200-400, I was stunned watching it go up at auction.

How does Chicago's vintage marketplace differ from New York?

New York has a very strong retail market, but is without an auction resource. Leslie Hindman is the premier auction resource in the country catering to clients worldwide. It should also be known that when buying at auction you are paying fair market value, which is closer to a wholesale value rather than a retail value, therefore the vintage couture at auction is less expensive than a retail venue that would be marking up these garments.

What types of bidders come to Leslie Hindman auctions?

There are a huge variety of bidders from all over. They are generally associated with museums, institutions, retail venues, or just private individuals looking to collect.

What should one do if they are interested in selling a vintage piece at a live auction?

Go to our website at and there are instructions for the consignment process!

Any tips for vintage bidders?

Always request more information on the piece, whether it is measurements or general condition, this information will better equip you when you go to bid!

leslie hindman auctioneers
Leslie Hindman Auctioneers
1338 West Lake Street
Chicago, Illinois 60607

January 20, 2009

Interview with Vintage & Antique Jewelry Site

pastera.jpg I came across through I immediately loved the name and look of the site. It exuded quality in its display of fine, collectible jewelry without even having seen the pieces. And when I did see the collection of exquisite jewelry, I knew I had to contact the mavens behind the jewels. is known for its exceptional jewelry ranging from the 17th through 20th centuries. It is comprised of a team of collectors, historians, gemologists, curators, and jewelry experts. You can rest assured that what you purchase from them is top notch finery. I got a chance to chat with the dame of divine jewelry, Marion Glober. Check out what she had to share...


Past Era's collection spans many important historical periods. Which one seems to be the most collectible?

In my over 40 years of experience in the antique jewelry business I would have to say that nothing antique ever really goes out of style. For example I've noticed that various historical periods appear to be more collectible at one time or another, depending on current preferences and taste and somewhat dictated by fashion styles. On the other hand, some people collect a certain look, some a certain time period and others a particular kind of genre. Fine early memorial pieces known as memento mori for example. Other collectors look for pieces made of a particular material such as Berlin Ironwork. It so depends on the whims of collectors.

Many people confuse Art Deco and Art Nouveau. Can you tell us the difference?

The focus of the Art Nouveau was romanticism and the skills of the artisan. Beautiful metalwork was revered and the use of delicate enamels and semi-precious stones in soft, pale colors were preferred. Art Nouveau precedes the Art Deco. Art Nouveau comes at the end of the Victorian era right around the turn of the century. Flowing, asymmetrical and sensual designs were popular incorporating women's heads, designs from the natural world such as floral motifs and lots of insects and mythical creatures. For example see the work of René Lalique, the renowned French Art Nouveau artisan and jewelry maker. WW1 put an end to the of the Art Nouveau period.

Art Deco follows immediately after the end of WW1 when machinery and the industrial world really takes off. The designs are much more geometric and industrial looking than the Art Nouveau and incorporate the use of platinum and diamonds and bold designs with lots of vibrant colored stones. The jewelry of the Art Deco period is bold and beautiful and comes to an end at the start of WW2.

What advice would you give someone starting in collecting vintage and antique jewelry?

The most important first step is to shop with a reputable antique jeweler that you know and trust and buy the best you can afford and something you love. Build a collection of the finest (within your budget) of a certain period or design or material or style and slowly refine your collection as time goes by. Don't waste money buying items that are not true to a period and/or not in perfect original condition. Also, buy things that you would love wearing and then you will have continued enjoyment from your collection.

What is the rarest piece you have offered on

We have had quite a few extraordinary pieces through the years. Including a rare Lasque diamond ring with a hand painted miniature of Shakespeare under the diamond, beautiful lacy Berlin ironwork pieces, early 17th century memorial rings, a wonderful Carlo Giuliano necklace, some items made by René Lalique and a fine 19th century cameo pin/pendant in its original fitted box and signed by Henri Vever. As an example we currently have a very beautiful Edwardian cluster ring set with a gorgeous untreated, natural Burmese ruby & diamonds.


I noticed you include everything after the Art Deco period in the "Retro" category. Why is this?

Retro refers to 1940s and early 1950s wartime and post-war 'cocktail' jewelry when lifestyles changed so dramatically. Also, referred to as the Art Moderne period. Lots of
standing around at cocktail parties and much less formal dinner entertaining. The jewelry is fun, very bold using lots of rose gold and bold colored stones. There was a shortage of platinum after the war and so very little was used during the Retro period. We also have an Estate section for things 1950s and later on

Some of your pieces look so modern. Do you specifically look for jewelry that can be incorporated into a modern wardrobe?

Everything I buy for Past Era Antique Jewelry can be worn with today's fashions. We love helping customers find new and fun ways to incorporate their antique jewelry into their contemporary wardrobes for fresh look.

I always fantasize about finding some rare treasure in the thrift store. Does this happen?

Absolutely! I suspect lots of people share your fantasy. However, realistically, it takes a very trained eye to spot a rare treasure. It is very important to be able to distinguish between real and fake, old and reproduction, quality and current condition. It takes many years of handling and buying this beautiful jewelry to become skilled at spotting that rare treasure. That is why it is critical, when building a collection, to be able to depend on a reliable and expert dealer who has many, many years of experience. Our history in the antique jewelry business is something that we are very proud of at Past Era Antique Jewelry and that is why we know people will love finding the gorgeous antique jewelry available at

Continue reading "Interview with Vintage & Antique Jewelry Site"

January 18, 2009

Vintage Roadshow - Raquel, Peggy, Coats & Vogue


Couture Allure shows how to recycle a vintage coat.

Debutante Clothing digs through the vintage Vogue archives and finds wisdom on handkerchiefs and reputations.

Here's Looking Like You, Kid shows off retro platform shoes that Raquel Welch could "Fathom".

Market Publique gives you an inside look at their Listing Page.

iKonic Vintage visits the swinging 60's with the first fashion video starring Peggy Moffitt wearing Rudi Gernreich.

January 15, 2009

Vintage Roadshow - Swimsuits, Sex Kittens, and Bill Blass


It's time for another Vintage Roadshow roundup - the best vintage talk on the web. Our little vintage blogger group is starting to grow! If you write about vintage clothing or living, come join us.

Debutante Clothing rings in the New Year in 1960s black and white paillettes.

The Vintage Travelermourns the end of Bill Blass.

Glamoursplash begins a series of posts on swimwear through the ages.

Here's Looking Like You, Kid has lots of leopard print for sex kittens.

iKonic does her part for the economy with her new weekly feature Vintage Cheap But Chic.

January 5, 2009

Vintage Find - 1960s Black & White Op Art Boots & Dress

Boot shopping is quite a chore for me. I am 5'0" and have short legs. However, it seems I have the muscle mass of a normal sized person because getting any tall boots to zip up above my calves is rare. So when I saw these gorgeous 1960s black and white boots, I sighed in disappointment knowing my poor little stubby legs would never be clocked in two tone leather goodness.

1960s black white op art go go boots

available on
ends 1/9

January 2, 2009

New Years Eve - What I Wore

I rarely take pictures of myself for the blog. I absolutely love looking at pictures of some of my favorite bloggers such as Galadarling, Jennine of theCoveted, and Wendy Brandes, but I have an aversion to taking pictures of myself. I rarely photograph well anyway, so to try to look cute on purpose is tough.

However, for NYE, I will make an exception, mostly because I am dying to show off my new vintage sweater shell top. It's covered in black and off white paillettes, the more sophisticated and iridescent cousin of the sequin. When I saw this shell online, I had an audible reaction. That's always a good sign for me. So I bought it without thinking about where I would even wear this.

vintage black white sequin paillette top

vintage black white sequin paillette top

vintage black white sequin paillettes

I honestly didn't care if I had an occasion because I loved it so much. it made perfect sense to wear it on New Years Eve because, seriously, when else could I pull this off? A trip to Vegas maybe.

I have a very fond memory of a gown my mom used to own. I remember sneaking into er closet and picking off the clear paillettes, bending them and attaching them to my nails with her Lee Press On glue because they reminded me of fake finger nails. When my mother saw my top, she remembered the dress and claimed she still owned it. She might discover a few bald spots on the bodice!

I am so in love with the color combination, the smooth almost scale like feel of the paillettes, and the fun almost jingly sound they make. I didn't go anywhere fancy though so I toned it down with jeans and a light weight, long cardigan. My outfit would've been perfect with a tight pair of slim jeans. Consider those next on my shopping list.

December 24, 2008

Second Hand Stores in Italy? NYE Parties in Venice?

Reader, Dale, is going on a whirlwind adventure to Italia! But she wanted to trust us vintage and second had fashionphiles with this question based on all the great responses from Vintage Shopping in Italy:

Thanks to all who posted! But I'm wondering if there are simple second-hand stores that are not strictly vintage/collectible?

Also, any recommendations for what to do on New Year's Eve in Venice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks! Dale

If anyone can help Dale out, she'd really appreciate it!

December 18, 2008

Frugalista, recessionista, passeista?

Christian LouboutinMonica Corcoran of the LA Times has written a witty article on the latest fashion related word added to the lexicon of style. For the past few months, blogs and blog posts have been springing up all with one theme in common - style during hard times. I have never felt more compelled to blog about something than I do now.

Ladies! Shouldn't you be frugal with your money at all times? Shouldn't you forgo paying exorbitant amounts of money on the latest "it" bag while panicking about how to pay your rent? The truth is that we have become such a must have, credit dependent society that we make irresponsible choices when it comes to money. Now, if you have the dough to buy the latest stam-2.55-spy bag, cash, and still pay your rent, more power to you! I admire and envy you. You probably work your ass off for that dough - you deserve it.

off saks fifthBut for me, and women like me, who have style, but do it by mixing vintage and discount finds, mix high and low fashion, and would prefer to spend a couple Ks on a trip to some far off land, we've been living frugal forever. There's a recession on? We hadn't noticed. We were blinded by our past season Vivienne Westwood sunglasses we got at Off Saks 5th Avenue.

It's great that, just like living green, there is a nationwide trend towards living frugally. But how long will this last? Until prices of homes come back up and we are back to buying things we can't afford and then complaining that the economy sucks. We need the Al Gore of fashion to champion frugal living - Kathryn?

It bugs me that being financially savvy requires economic upheaval. I'm not saying don't buy beautiful, expensive items. But choose wisely. Spend money on items that bring you joy and don't interrupt important things in life. Invest in pieces that will last forever and transcend trends. More importantly, live a stylish life within your means.

Now, I'm off to snipe some unassuming, unaware recessionista on Ebay!

December 15, 2008

Vintage Find: Clear As Day - Lucite Box Purse

When my best friend Sonja was getting married, she needed something borrowed. I loaned her my carved, clear lucite clutch which was covered in the most brilliant rhinestones. Unfortunately, I never got it back, and I didn't have the heart to ask for it as I assumed she kept it as a momento of her big day.

Lucite purses are highly collectible and coveted. The more intricate the carving or embellishments, the more it's worth. But there is something about the simplicity of this plastic beauty that really amazes me. Perhaps it's the fact that it is crystal clear and perfect. Maybe it's the sweet floral carvings on the cover and handle. Whatever it is, plastic never looked so stunning.

vintage clear lucite purse

available at - ends 12/21

December 12, 2008

Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda Vintage Dior

I don't know what's gotten into me. The older I get, the longer I have been in the vintage game, the more gun shy, or maybe even apathetic I have become when it comes to bidding on Ebay. Maybe it's the economy - maybe I am feeling a twinge of guilt for wanting to buy designer luxury items that I don't necessarily need, I just want.

cathay.jpgI have had vintage Dior travel bag on my Ebay watch list for months. I suddenly became obsessed with finding a Dior logo travel bag, but not a duffel style. I want a real, honest to goodness travel bag pre-1980. I have this style fantasy of the perfect travel outfit. It consists of comfortable casual pants or lightweight slack style denim, funky vintage oxfords, a cashmere cardi in a great print, like leopard, a tissue thin 3/4 length sleeve top, and a sophisticated designer carry on bag.

I have had two failed attempts on Ebay. The first, I was totally outbid at $300 - I know it's Dior, but I still want it reasonably priced.

My last attempt, and the reason I feel like I am losing my touch or hunger, was for a perfect brown and white canvas Dior carry on. It was probably from the early '70s. I won! But, I didn't meet the reserve. I hate reserves. Unless they are mine.


I emailed the seller to find out what the reserve was. It was about $50 dollars more than I wanted to spend. Apparently, she emailed me back and told me she would let it go for my asking price. But I never saw the response, Does anyone else hate Ebay's notification system?

The seller relisted so I bid. This time, it sold for $100 more than what she was willing to sell it to me for. Sigh. Am I being too cheap? Or do I not care enough?

So now of course the regret has set in. Someone please slap me the next time I don't just indulge and buy myself something nice.

November 21, 2008

Past & Present - vintage and contemporary jewelry at

yoox costume has done it again. This time they have curated a gorgeous collection of some of the finest vintage and contemporary jewelry. The Italy based online retailer is showcasing vintage costume jewelry from some of the most collectible designer names.

The collection, titled Past & Present features vintage pieces from Coppola e Toppo, Trifari, Monet, Miriam Haskell, Chanel, Kenneth Jay Lane, and Correani. Many of the pieces come from precious private collections like that of the jewelry historian Deanna Farneti Cera.

The selection is presented through six themes, all of which illustrate the most significant trends of next season: Black, Cuffs & Bracelets, Graphic Themes, Chains, Pearls, and Glamorous Ornaments.

"Jewelry lifts our spirits and transforms the clothes we wear. Once dismissed as a poor imitation of fine jewelry, costume jewelry came into its own in the 20th century, with its own glamour and its own design tradition-adventurous, stylish, bigger, bolder."  Holly Brubach

Be sure to check out Natalia Brilli's interview. She discusses her inspiration for her leather based jewelry line and how she uses vintage haute couture techniques to create her exquisite collection.

Deanna Farneti Cera
, costume jewelry historian and author of many collecting books, not only contributed some of her own private collection, but she also gives some insight into the world of collectible costume jewelry.

She claims there are two types of people who purchase costume jewelry. One buys without much thought but with the purpose of purchasing something elegant that matches an outfit or their appearance. The other is the type that puts thought into each purchase - the collector. This buyer selects pieces based on themes, periods or styles.

I think I am more of a theme shopper. I have tons of buckle bracelets and I can't seem to stop. It's funny how you realize in hindsight that you have amassed a collection without knowing it when you continue to buy what tickles your fancy.

Check out the Past & Present article where you can find the videos and a ton of great historical information.

Sale ends January 31, 2009.

November 19, 2008

Vintage Inspired Trend - Couture Safety Pins

vintage ingber safety pin purse

I have been coveting this 1950s Ingber safety pin bag for almost a year now. I love the quirky safety pin handle. Punk rock meets 5th Ave. While this bag is still chic, the audacious pin gives it a sense of humor. Really, the only thing holding me back is the price. And I think many others feel the same way because it's been sitting there forever! Secretly, I know I'll be devastated if anyone else buys it. So imagine my glee when I saw this safety pin bag by Bodhi. I declared, "It's my safety pin bag!"

bodhi safety pin clutch

Their "Safety Clutch" features a leather and fur body, looks like pony hair, topped by an exaggerated safety pin handle. The Bodhi silhouette is a bit more modern, but I can't help but love its original inspiration more.

Marc Jacobs also featured giant gold tone safety pins as fasteners for wide leather belts at his spring show.

marc jacobs spring belt Photo: Greg Kessler

My punk rock friends may gag at the idea of couture safety pins, but there is something so tongue in cheek about accenting chic design with shiny, giant, household objects.

November 16, 2008

the Vintage Roadshow - Twiggy, McQueen and Budget Living


Couture Allure talks about dressing well on a budget in the 1950's.

Debutante Clothing finds a chic '50s hat she can actually wear.

Freudian Slips Vintage showcases recent vintage finds.

Glamoursplash writes about Twiggy - the 1960's Supermodel and Icon.

iKonic Vintage explores Target's upcoming Designer Collaborations.

November 10, 2008

Vintage Find - 1950s Leopard Cap Hat

I love hats, but unfortunately, I was not blessed with a head for them. Or maybe it's my face in general. Because I am petite, I always feel that l look like a bobble head with nothing but cheeks poking out from under the brim. Which is why I love this week's vintage find.

This little cap is perfect for someone like me who has an aversion to big brims. This dainty little cap is a cross between a headband and a beanie. In fact, I would have no problem fitting this into a modern wardrobe. The best part is that the fuzzy fabric will keep my head nice and toasty during the cold California months when it dips below 60. Ha!

1950s leopard print hat

available at Ballyhoo Vintage $35

November 6, 2008

Mademoiselle's Guide to Vintage Shopping in London & Online

This is a guest post from the lovely Mademoiselle Robot. She was gracious enough to accept posting some of her favorite vintage boutiques in London and beyond.

Vintage shopping can be extremely rewarding, but it can also be a massive drag if you go to all the wrong places. Dirty, dusty, badly lit vintage shops are my nightmare. It is fun from time to time, but mostly annoying as you end up bringing home smelly garments, sometimes involuntary hosts to entire families of bugs. And this, is not cool. Here is a non exhaustive list of pleasant London shops & some online boutiques.

Beyond Retro

When I first set foot in the Cheshire St shop a few years ago, I thought I had died and gone to vintage heaven. Rows after rows of clothes, all arranged by colour & type of items make for a very easy shopping experience. They have a mix of 70s/80s stuff & "real" vintage from the 40s & 50s, which is really good, as most shops these days seem to focus too much on the 70s & 80s.
Two shops in London: east at 110-112 Cheshire Street & west at 58-59 Great Marlborough Street. You can also find them in Stockholm.

Absolute Vintage & Blondie

Another giant temple of vintage in East London. Here, it is a bit messier, but there is just so much choice that it doesn't really matter. The main interest in this one is shoes, as they have an awful lot of them, all the time.
More interesting is Blondie, the luxury sister of Absolute Vintage, about two streets further. There you will find vintage designer pieces from Jourdan to Dior.

Absolute Vintage - 15 Hanbury St
Blondie - 114-118 Commercial Street
& you can also buy online.

The Lazy Ones

As well as designing the Des Moines collection (sold in their shop & in Topshop), The Lazy Ones keep a handpicked vintage selection in their cute little boutique. And if you want a little tip from me: this shop is brilliant for celebrity spotting, as it is where all the cool kids go.

102 Sclater Street (off Brick Lane)

Vintage at Liberty

Now, kids, this is the place dreams are made of. Vintage Hermés, Chanel, YSL, they are all there. You won't find any bargains there at all, only beautiful pieces, unique items survivors from eras past. The whole shop is a dream anyway, so you should go and check it out.

Entrance on Regent street & Carnaby street.

Bang Bang

It is mainly a second hand designer shop, but you can also find good vintage items at reasonable prices there. Think vintage Valentino & Dior mixed with current Marc Jacobs & Chloë. I try to go regularly as they always get new stock. The staff there is always super nice and friendly which also helps making the whole experience better.
21 Goodge street
9 Berwick Street


Another one specialised in vintage couture & avant-garde, a feast for the eyes. There you will find Pucci, Ossie Clark & Courrèges amongst others.

21 Canonbury Lane


Perfect place to buy vintage accessories, but also very good for real vintage at good prices.

12 Camden Passage


I Heart Cheeky Chops
Peppermint Vintage
Martha's closet
Vintage Revival
Candy Says
Liebemarlene Vintage

I hope these addresses and links will prove helpful for all of you my darlings, I am sure those of you who live in London already know most of these addresses!


Check out Mademoiselle's other stylish thoughts at Mademoiselle Robot.

November 5, 2008

Interview - Malie Raef of The Vintage Shopping Guide

I virtually met Malie Raef earlier this year when I discovered her amazing website Vintage Shopping She walks the fashion line working as a men's fashion designer and through her vintage fashion resource business. Malie has been there, done that when it comes to vintage fashion, and she wants to share her wealth of information with all vintage fashion mavens.

MalieRaef04.jpgDC: How did you get involved in the crazy world of fashion?

VSG: I was born and raised in Houston Texas. I always knew I wanted to be a fashion designer, but I didn't know I would end up in menswear. I studied in Miami University of Art and Design. Then, my father insisted that I get a Bachelors degree, so I moved to Atlanta where I double majored Fashion Marketing and Design. Well, when I graduated I was kind of stuck in Atlanta, GA where there are not too many fashion design jobs. My very first job was with the Sero Shirt Company. It was a menswear company that did a label called Madison Trader. Well, that ended up being the very best thing that could have happened to me because the company was very small and I got to do EVERYTHING!

Unfortunately the Sero Shirt Company closed down a couple years later. From there I moved back to Miami to work for Perry Ellis International. (PEI is where I also met my now fiancé, Joe!) After a couple years there I made a big leap to come to NYC. I am still here and have worked for the same company, Phillips Van Heusen, ever sense. I design for both the Geoffrey Beene sportswear and the Van Heusen sportswear lines. And I love it!

DC: What is Vintage Shopping Guide? How did Vintage Shopping Guide come about?

VSG: is an online resource for all things relating to vintage clothing and accessories. We have a store listing of all vintage stores across the country. We also do interviews every other week with designers, stylists, curators, etc. talking about how they use vintage as inspiration in their work. We also list all fashion exhibits from around the world, and there is a VSG Blog.

VSG got started because as a designer you have to constantly shop for inspiration. That means shopping current designers at high end boutiques all the way to the down and dirty vintage stores. I had compiled a list of vintage stores from all the cities I had lived and visited. People I worked with were always asking me where to go and I would email them the list. Someone pointed out that this should be on the web, and VSG was born!

DC: Your articles and interviews are always so intriguing. How do you decide whom to interview?

VSG: There is really no special formula. I love talking to people and when I visit a store or a vintage trade show I start talking to people. Sometimes people recommend other people to me or sometimes I read about someone, and I think they might be interesting. Almost all the time people are willing to be interviewed.

DC: Which has been your best interview yet?

VSG: There have been some really good ones! But I learned a lot from Kerry Taylor from Kerry Taylor Auctions in London. She has worked for Sotheby's Auction House, and specializes in the super high end clothing and textiles. At that time I knew nothing about the auction side of vintage. She explained everything so well, and I ended up using much of the information later in my e-book How to Make Money Cleaning Out Your Closet in the chapter on selling via auction houses.

DC: What is your philosophy on vintage in the modern fashion landscape?

VSG: Don't date yourself! I love vintage as much as the next person, but I never wear it head to toe. I like to mix it in with current fashion so that it becomes just a cool skirt or an interesting top I have on. I would much rather someone say to me, "Hey, that's a really nice dress. Where did you get it?" Then I can say, "Oh, it's vintage." Smirk!

DC: How do you feel about some designers infusing so much vintage reference into their collections? How much is too much?

VSG: As a designer myself I am a little bit bias. I love to see designers using inspiration from all kinds of different sources. But I don't like it when they just copy it exactly. I believe you have to make something your own by changing it up just a little bit. You know, change the fabric, add a tuck here, change the sleeve or the collar. Do something so it is surprising and fresh.

DC: What's been your best vintage score?

VSG: I have two. My adorable fiancé got my engagement ring at Doyle & Doyle, and estate jewelry store here in NYC. It turned out to be a 1930s vintage Tiffany! I was ecstatic!

Then, when I was looking for my wedding dress, one day I decided to stop into this vintage store close by to where I work. I wasn't expecting to find anything as they don't really specialize in evening gowns. Anyway, I totally scored on my lunch break when I found this super pale pink rejected prom dress that is covered in tulle. It is strapless and super tight in the bodice and then poofs out like a princess dress down to right above my ankles! I feel like such an ingénue in that dress! The best part, is that even with the slight alteration, the dress was only $175. I love a bargain!

DC: Which are your favorite vintage stores in NY? LA? Anywhere else?

VSG: In NYC for jewelry you can't beat This N' That Collectibles. For casual clothes I go to Cheap Jacks. For the best selection of boots it has to be Daha Vintage. And for fancy vintage you have to go to New York Vintage. In LA, for casual I like Wasteland. For a more memorable evening dress The Way We Wore is incredible. In Miami you have to go to Miami Twice and Back-N-Style.

DC: You just developed an Ebook. Tell us about it.

VSG: With the economy being in such flux lately I was getting a lot of emails from people wanting to know where and how to sell their items to the vintage stores. So I decided to make a step-by-step guide that takes people through the steps of giving to charity, selling to a resale shop or vintage store, selling it themselves via online auction, and selling via action house. I worked directly with vintage store owners and auctioneers and other people in the vintage business to find out the inside scoop on what to look for, and what someone can expect from each kind of deal. The e-book is called How to Make Money Cleaning Out Your Closet, and it is available on and on Kindle Store.

DC: Who is your favorite designer-not living?

VSG: I adore the lady-like silhouettes of Dior, in the early years.

November 4, 2008

Inspiring Vintage Patriotism - Get Out and VOTE!

Politicians and crazed supporters will argue, scream and shout about patriotism. The only real patriotic action in this country is to VOTE!

Here's a little vintage inspiration for this long, stressful day...


And if you need a little vintage fashion coping mechanism, check out my post on Vintage Patriotic Shoes at! By the way, have you entered the contest?


November 2, 2008

Websnob Style Links

Alicia Nijdam55 Secret Street discovers her SoleMates - discreet high heel protection for everything from cobblestone walks to the mean sidewalks on New York City.

A Few Goody GumDrops has just ordered the ultimate Digital Goody from Vivienne Tam!

Stiletto Jungle names the best jeans for pear-shaped women.

Allie is Wired has the first pictures of Gwen Stefani's new baby, Zuma Nesta Rock Rossdale.

Bag Snob exclusive: Pierre Hardy bags!

Beauty Snob glows with Laura Mercier Illuminating Tinted Moisturizer!

Christina Loves... amazing overnight hair treatment, Kronos Phyx.

Coquette gets cozy with the hoodie scarf.

Debutante Clothing is in awe of Resurrection's avant garde fashion at Christie's London.

Fashion Pulse is mesmerized by Alexander McQueen's Spring 2009 Collection.

KRISTOPHER is wanting, wearing, hating Jimmy Choo clutches.

Ladybrille captures fun pictures from Nollywood A-List Actress Stephanie Okereke's Through the Glass Film Premiere!.

Vintage Marc Jacobs (1991) auctioned off, Papierblog is in lust.

In this economy pretty much anything is negotiable. Second City Style offers tips how to bargain for a better deal.

Shopping and Info found out who made Angelina Jolie's dress from the Hollywood Film Festival Gala.

StyleBakery went on a recession-proof shopping spree and found must-haves to wear now and forever

Stylehive brings you a sneak peek of Edun's stylishly sustainable 'Nocturne' collection!

The Beauty Stop says that false eyelashes are easier than you think.

The Fashionable Housewife just got back from a 10 day getaway to beautiful Naples, FL and want to share What Was In Her Suitcase!!!

The Shoe Goddess ponders the practicality of 6-inch heels. How high will you go?

Photo by Alicia Nijdam

October 30, 2008

Vintage Roadshow - Frank Usher, vintage hair, and booties

vintageroadshow.jpgThe Vintage Roadshow is back! And we're having a great time sharing vintage goodies. Check it out...

Debutante Clothing scours the web for booties with vintage appeal.

Freudian Slips Vintage showcases vintage Frank Usher dresses.

iKonic Vintage finds how-to videos on perfecting that vintage hairstyle.

Love blogging about vintage? Join the Vintage Roadshow!

October 29, 2008

Vintage Shoes - Molly Ringwald, Sex Shoes, and Bows

I'm having a great time blogging about shoes at In fact, the Editor In Chief, and shoe maven, wants to play with Debutante Clothing readers. I can't reveal too much right now, but it's going to be worth while. Trust me! Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, check out what I'm gabbing about at Fantastic Toe.

Riding Boots 'ala Molly Ringwald

Even in my 30s, I still hold a place in my heart for '80s teen angst films. In fact, my first dose of vintage fashion was given to me by the fashion icon of the decade, Molly Ringwald.

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Heels

Before we had Blahniks, we had Maglis. Bruno Maglis. The 1980s were the beginning of label loving and luxury footwear, and Bruno Magli was the IT brand of the decade.

Sexy Shoes Go Under Hammer At Christie's

These black patent leather stilettos are part of her (Viveinne Westwood) Sex line (1974-1977). And don't they ooze sex? The spiked stilettos are estimated at $464 to $774.

Vintage Bows for Your Pretty Toes

Nothing screams girlie like bows on your shoes. But you don't have to look like a mary jane clad school girl.

October 27, 2008

Vintage Find - 1920s Avant Garde Coat

I'm yearning for change - change in administration, change in weather, and of course this all reflects on my wardrobe. This week's Vintage Find is a perfect example of how change in society affects fashion history.

The 1920s brought change in society, economy and it all showed up in fashion. Clothes were cut slimmer and women's fashions always brought attention to the face. The rounded crushed velvet collar frames the face perfectly, while the cut away hemline give a peek of the seductive knee that ladies were exposing at the time. Shocking!

It's so rare to find vintage clothing from the 1920s that is in such great condition and perfectly wearable.

1920s coat
available at Dorthea's Closet, $345

October 24, 2008

Vintage Inspired Booties

lamb bootieOne of the topics I rarely cover here on Debutante Clothing is shoes. But now I get to do just that at I will be gabbing about vintage, vintage inspired and runway inspired shoes (at prices we can actually afford). Come check out Debutante's Shoebox!

I have a round up of the best vintage inspired booties on the web. The great thing about Fantastic Toe is that you can upload images of your own shoes to your "collection". It's kind of like "What Are You Wearing?" but for shoe lovers.

CorsoComo_DodieWedge.jpgOne of my fellow bloggers discovered THE cutest pair of wedge booties I have ever seen. I want these so bad I can't contain myself. I can't do a huge heel, so this wedge heel is perfect. And look at the bow? Aren't these perfection? My only fear is that I will look a bit cartoonish because they are so "adorable". Like a Hispanic Harajuku girl. What do you think?

October 24, 2008

Vintage Roadshow - Humble Overalls to Hermes

The Vintage Roadshow is back! And we're having a great time sharing vintage goodies. Check it out...

Debutante Clothing finds a vintage black dress and gives styling advice.

Freudian Slips Vintage shows off her latest favourite vintage find - a 1970's Hermes beach wrap!

The Vintage Traveler tells about those WWII Farm Girls and their Overalls

Love blogging about vintage? Join the Vintage Roadshow!

October 22, 2008

Dame Rosamond Bernier Brings Her Vintage Closet to

rosamondbernierdior.jpgRosamond Bernier, the glamorous lecturer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, has led a life of art, high culture and equally high fashion. Dame Bernier will be letting the world into her closet as she unloads some of her envious wardrobe on today.

The 92 year old socialite and lecturer hobnobbed with the likes of artists such as Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Joan Miró and Georges Braque. One can only imagine the caliber of her dinner parties. has become a major resource in collectible vintage couture so it makes perfect sense that founder, Federico Marchetti, would encourage Mrs. Bernier to grace the site with her legendary wardrobe. One of the most talked about pieces in the sale is a haute couture 1959 Dior water-color dress with matching purse. This was the time when the late Yves Saint Laurent designed for the house of Dior. is no stranger to the wonder of vintage Dior as evidenced by their recent vintage Dior collection.

As an added bonus, Rosamond Bernier will comment on each featured item from her wardrobe, sharing her recollections of how and when she acquired it and the noteworthy occasions on which she wore it. Provenance and a good story is always a plus when purchasing vintage!

The sale will also feature a Zandra Rhodes dress from the early 1970's, a Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel red wool bouclé suit from the early 1980's and a Kenneth Jay Lane leaf necklace, circa 1970.

The sale starts this Thursday October 23 at around 9 a.m., EST at

October 16, 2008 Now Selling Men's Vintage

eluxury men's vintage

First it was Then it was And now, the latest of the luxury online retailers, is carrying a selection of vintage clothing for men. Men's buyer Caroline Goodman purchased the pieces from La Rosa Vintage, a long standing vintage boutique on San Francisco's famous Haight St. She talks to the owner of La Rosa, a colorful vintage collector from Berlin, about vintage and La Rosa's history in a video.

The collection includes men's sport jackets, shirts from the '50s to the '70s, jackets and ties all from the '40s to the '70s. And the dapper model looks pretty spectacular in a sharkskin smoking jacket.

I'm sure many stylish men will want to check out the collection. But when I showed the collection to my husband, a vintage lover as well, he stated "WTF! $400 for a shirt?". Enough said.

Yes the pieces are very nice, but I think the prices may be a tad high. On one hand, I know that men's vintage is much rarer than women's. It is impossible to find high quality vintage for men, so men's vintage sellers have an advantage in their markup.

Of course, is owned by LVMH so maybe their customers expect to pay such prices. I just don't know many men who have the money, or who lack enough style and resourcefulness, that would pay that much for a shirt.

What do you think? Is's vintage worth the price tag?

October 15, 2008

Beauty Find - the Perfect Conditioner

biolagematrix.jpgEver since I cut my hair into a mod-Sassoon-esque bob, it's been a constant battle trying to get it smooth and sleek. I have a weird wave - sometimes it shows up, sometimes it hides. I also have dry, frizzy hair due to years of styling, color treatments, and low thyroid issues. In other words, my hair is a mess!

After perusing looking for the answer to my prayers, I found Biolage by Matrix Ultra-Hydrating Conditioning Balm. I was already familiar with this line because I have used several of the shampoos and most recently was using the regular Hydrating Conditioning balm.

I am so glad I paid the $17.99 because I have never had such soft, shiny hair. This is a must buy. In fact, I didn't even have to use a straightener on my hair. All I used, after washing and conditioning, was Sexy Hair Power Straight before blow drying, used a flat paddle brush, and I am good to go.

But be careful. As you know, more expensive products seem to go a long way with very little product. I had to cut down to half the amount I would normally use of a cheaper conditioner because I noticed I got a bit greasy after day 2. I don't like to wash my hair every day because it is so dry.

I promise you'll love it.

October 13, 2008

Vintage Find - Black Lace Dress

Lace, especially in black, is big for Fall 08. This is one of the few trends I can get on board with. Lace never goes out of style, not amongst the truly stylish anyway. Luckily, you can find beautiful vintage lace dresses in every shade.

When you are shopping for vintage lace clothing, be sure to inspect the garment carefully. Inevitably, there may be a snag or two, and usually they aren't noticeable so you can easily find a beautiful dress at bargain prices because of slight damage.

When shopping online, be sure to ask the seller directly if there are any holes or snags. Sometimes we can overlook minor flaws, so if perfection is important to you, ask first!

Here is an example of a vintage lace dress that looks like it just stepped off the runway. You do run a risk of looking too gothic if you go with obvious accessories. Mix it up with some unexpected fun accessories. I tend to err on the side of dark and gothic myself, so if this still looks a little witchy, try different colors such as pinks and whites.

60s vintage black lace dress

available at the Family Vintage on Ebay
currently $16

October 8, 2008

Vintage Fashion Event - Manhattan Vintage Clothing Show

manhattan vintage fashion showIt's back! One of the must attend events for anyone who loves vintage clothing and accessories - the Manhattan Vintage Clothing Show. I've never been to NYC, but when I do, I am definitely going during this show. Can you imagine the caliber of vintage you could find? New York is the American epicenter of fashion.

I can just imagined the mounds of fluffy and decadent vintage furs (and I convince myself it's ok because it's old), the rails of vintage dresses - full ones, sleek ones, printed ones,beaded ones.

If you are near Manhattan, get yourself to the event and just basque in the glory of tailoring, quality fabrics and silhouettes that never go out of style.

Manhattan Vintage Clothing Show
Friday, October 10th, 1-8pm
Saturday, Oct. 11th, 11am-6pm
Admission is $20

The Metropolitan Pavilion is located at 125 W. 18th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues in Manhattan. For more information call 518-434-4312 or visit

October 6, 2008

Vintage Find - Feathered Handbag

It seems that feathers and fascinators are going to be with us for a while, and I couldn't be happier. Finally, mass consensus that eccentric glamour is always a good thing. When I saw this gorgeous vintage purse at Handbag Gallery, I thought, why should feathers be restricted to my head?

If you aren't quite eccentric enough to wear fowl bits on your head, maybe this little bag will bring you over to the eccentric side.

vintage feathered handbag

available at Handbag Gallery

October 5, 2008

Links a la Mode - Fashion for the Rest of Us


I just joined a really impressive group of bloggers at Independent Fashion Bloggers. Jennine of the Coveted is really blazing trails in the independent fashion blogger scene. My love for fashion and fashion history really fits in with this collection of bloggers. Enjoy their sense of style and reading picks of the week...

If you're a fashion blogger, and would like to know more about IFB (Independent Fashion Bloggers), click here.

a sense sublime - Make Do and Mend: Brilliant boot fair fashion finds!

Add Bubbles To Taste. - Nikki gives Beautiful People Purple Eaters their fix.

Clutch 22
- DIY: Bow Headbands (in seconds)

Debutante Clothing
- Vintage Vogues Go To Auction

Dress Me Up Dollie - Seeking closed-toe wedges!

Fab Fashion Blog
- Skirts Tight Knee Length Almost Pencil Skirts Looks Fall Winter 2008 2009 Trends

Fashion Architect
- Athens Fashion Week is coming!

fashion in my eyes
- a great editorial containing the twelve most important regal women in history!

Mademoiselle Robot - Let your style age with you.

O.M.O. Writes - Fashion Icon: Dynasty The fashion sense from the 80s soap opera is seen all over Spring runways! Get style tips on how to make the look your own!

Or False Glitter - How far do the opinions of others dictate our fashion choices?

PR COUTURE - Fashion PR Call for Media Kits; Get Featured on PR Couture

respectfully yours - is fashion taking itself too seriously?

Retro Chick - The Boyfriend Blazer: Hot Picks

- ShopDiary gets a piece of Eairth.

Tainted & Sweet... - Old School Fly Girls!!!

- Do you ever wear clothes intended for kids?

The Life and Times of a Problem Child
- Rediscovering a forgotten icon of architecture and turning it into a fashion occasion.

The Ongoing Project
- Developing your personal style, part 2

September 30, 2008

Vintage Find - Little Bow Peep

I love it when a LBD is two parts girly and one part naughty. This amazing body hugging dress is the epitome of the Audrey look and it doesn't get much better than a perfectly sized bow resting right on the girls. But the part I love the most is that this bow is actually just barely concealing, because if you look right beneath - well you get quite the little peep through that peep hole!

60s bow keyhole dress
available at Dorthea's Closet

September 29, 2008

Vintage Roadshow - 'Tis the Season for Goths and Weddings

The best of the vintage bloggers:

Debutante Clothing finds a wickedly chic vintage Halloween dress

The Vintage Traveler explains how not to store a wedding dress

iKonic Vintage starts off Video Thursdays with gothic glamour.

Want to join the vintage linking fun? Join us at Yahoo Groups!

September 24, 2008

Online Shopping Drama - How Not to Get Screwed

The lovely ladies at Dramatis Personae have just encountered an unfortunately common experience while shopping online - they got screwed!

Long story short: they ended paying more for their purchase even though it was supposed to be discounted due to fraudulent shipping charges.

The store in question is Pinup Girl Clothing. I admit that they do carry a great assortment of vintage reproduction clothing, although I have never purchased from them. My conclusion about all of this is that they are a small operation, probably run by fewer than 5 people, and they haven't worked out the bugs in their International transactions. I am not excusing it because it is terrible business and they better get it together if they want to make sales and not be virtually stoned by bloggers like us.

As a veteran shopper, both for old and new things, I wanted to pass down some handy tips so that you do not get screwed by online sellers.

Check the return policy

if the seller has too many restrictions when it comes to returns, keep moving. In this day and age, with online shopping being so competitive, online retailers need to get a clue and make transactions as smooth as possible.

Check shipping charges beforehand

I rarely shop at international e-commerce stores because the charges are so much. A good e-commerce company that is serious about making customers happy will charge a flat, reasonable fee. But, keep in mind that all countries are different when it comes to postage, taxes, etc.

Take measurements

You must know your measurements ladies! I will preach this until I die. A good e-commerce store will have a measurements guide. Please check it and yourself! I don't know anyone who can afford to pay for shipping charges just to try something on. Not everyone is where you pay nothing for shipping.

Vintage shopping has it's own set of rules. I've provided some handy information so shopping for vintage online won't be so stressful.

I hope this helps! Don't be afraid to shop online, but understand the constrictions.

September 22, 2008

Vintage Find - Deadly Sexy Halloween Dress

Groovy goulie good times shall be had in this sexy Halloween black widow dress. I love the spider web sheer inset on the back. So much better than slutty nurses and french maids, don't you think?


available at

September 16, 2008

Getting Your Closet Fall Ready

In California, it's very easy to keep the same wardrobe all year round. I have a drawer full of sweaters but I rarely need to put them in storage when summer comes around. I also live in the 'burbs and have more closet space than a city gal, but sometimes it doesn't seem to be enough.

The ritual of changing your wardrobe for the season doesn't have to be daunting. This fall, many spring trends will transfer over, such as florals. Keep the darker florals in your closet and pair them with the latest shooties (shoe booties) for a fall ready look.


Booth Moore at the LA Times has some great tips for fall-ifying your closet. I especially love the advice about shopping at unexpected places.

Just because it's fall doesn't mean you have to hit the mall. Shop thrift stores, vintage stores and discount stores for trends. If you are lucky, you'll find something unique, not the same old piece you're already sick of after seeing it in the pages of InStyle, Vogue and Marie Claire. I recently picked up a 1970s-inspired, wood and gold drop architectural necklace for $19.99 at Loehmann's that's a dead ringer for a similar (much pricier) Tory Burch style.

I stopped at Shabon on Beverly Boulevard in L.A., one of my favorite vintage stores, and found a divine paisley peasant dress that could have walked right off the Gucci runway. It was $69. I can't wait to wear it with suede boots, tights and a chunky necklace. American Rag Cie is another good source for clothing that is vintage and also of-the-moment.

shoes: via spiga nikki $260,

September 8, 2008

Vintage Find - Buxom Brocade

Maybe it's the influence of the smoky drama Mad Men, but I am seeing brocades in many fashion magazines. Done just right, a brocade can luxe, but many times you find beautiful patterns and colors on dowdy, unflattering dresses. Unless you are lucky enough to find a beauty like this...

vintage brocade dress

available at Jazzboogie @

September 3, 2008

Vintage 101 - Vintage Costume Jewelry

Sometimes I find the line between collecting and hording vintage gets a bit blurred. And don't even get me started on trying to sell the treasures I find. You should see my inventory. I am working very hard on trying to get back into selling mode and get things listed in the store, but I have to admit the blog has taken on a life of its own.

But when it comes to collecting, I only collect what I love. And I just can't get enough vintage costume jewelry. The great thing about shopping for vintage jewelry is that you can still find some great stuff in the thrifts and at yard sales.

Before you make your next thrift store expedition, check out this great video on vintage costume jewelry.

August 18, 2008

Vintage Find - Want Some Candy Little Hippie?

I have to admit that boho/hippie chic is not my style. I think I am too short to pull off long layers of miniscule floral prints and too tan to look good in earth tones. And while I love Anna Sui's modern take on the boho look, I still can't get on board personally.

Until I found this...

Metallic. Candy colors. Short skirt. And sexy. If all boho dresses looked like this, I'd snatch the patchouli right out of your hands and smoke a fashion peace pipe with Rachel Zoe.

available at Vintage-a-Peel

August 6, 2008

Classic Hardware with Vintage Flair

What do you get when you cross a vintage, guest artists, rugged hardware and subculture appeal? Karyn Cantor fused all of these elements and more in her one of a kind collection of jewelry and accessories -- Classic Hardware.

classic hardware

Karyn has been the President and head designer of Classic Hardware since 1995. Her love of vintage and unique style blend into a funky, fun and conversation worthy collection of accessories for those of us that want something to the left of conservative. Although the pieces are funky, there are quite a few items that completely office ready.
classichardwareheart.gif classichardwarerose.gif classichardwarecase.gif

Classic Hardware is so delightful, it has caught the eye of mainstream media and has been styled for various TV shows including Bones, Nip Tuck, Roller Girls, The Chris Isaak Show, Sex in the City, Friends, News Radio and Caroline in the City. Celebrities who wear Classic Hardware include Paris Hilton, Eva Mendez, Madonna (in her HOLLYWOOD video), Mandy Moore, Carmen Electra, Christina Aguilera, Hillary Duff, Jennifer Love Hewitt and singers Lucinda Williams, Neko Case, Exene of X and Jane Wiedlin of The Go-Go's.

I bought two necklaces at the Hootenanny -- one is a camelia type resin flower in black and white with a rhinestone in the center (very Chanel like) and the other is a picture box necklace with a Mexican maiden and gentleman courting. I pretend it's me and my husband. I'm not wearing them here, but you can see Julie Wanda (left) wearing the adorable heart bracelet and a complimentary necklace.


Do take a romp through the online selection and pick up a little piece of joy!

July 23, 2008

Hot for Teacher - Rockabilly Style at Work

Renee asks:

Hi Sandra!

PinupTeacher.jpgI just stumbled across your blog on Google. Anyway, I was very intrigued when I read the 5 things about you because I am going to start teaching this fall and am concerned about my love of vintage and rockabilly fashions in such a conservative place. I have tattoos, but I have figured out ways to cover them, but it's the clothes themselves that are stumping me. I can find plenty of after work clothes, but clothes that are "teacher-looking" enough yet still retain some sense of my love of vintage/rockabilly are soooo hard to find. What kinds of stores did you shop at as a teacher or did you dress one way at work and another after work? I'm really for advice from someone who has been there/done that! How far did you let your fashion take you or did the job dictate for you a more conservative look? I hope to hear any advice or stories you would like to share. Renee

Hi Renee.
Oh this is such a good question! Thanks for contacting me. When I first started out teaching about 7 years ago, I looked a lot more Rockabilly. The rockabilly boys and girls at a high school I taught at were perplexed that a teacher could relate to their style. I don't necessarily wear vintage everyday, but definitely vintage inspired and I always try to wear some kind of vintage accessory. I love vintage above all else.

My suggestion would be to wear vintage inspired clothing: cute cardigans, A line skirts, 3/4 length sleeve tops, capri pants. I always wear comfy heels or adorable flats and mary janes. I've even worn the comfort/orthopedic kind because they are perfect for teachers who have to stand most of the day (and some don't look as matronly as they once did).

I wouldn't suggest patriotic rolls in my hair, but maybe wear some hair combs or a cute headband. Think cute 40s and 50s versus pin up. And yes! Keep those tattoos covered! But don't worry, there are many of us living the double life.

Good places to shop: Ann Taylor and Ann Taylor Loft, Old Navy, thrifts, Marshalls. I love shopping online too. and are a good ones also.

The trick is not to give up too much of your personal style, but still fit in with "normal" society. But the reality is that as long as you are not a distraction or showing skin inappropriately, principals won't care what you wear. Most of them anyway.

As a personal preference, I don't think it's appropriate to look costumey at work, no matter what your field. But that's just my personal taste.

Good luck Renee! Teachers are a blessing to this world. Even though the public education system can be a pain in the rear, the kids are what makes me come back.

July 20, 2008

Websnob Weekly Roundup

55 Secret Street discovers that Al Gore has joined NARS in the beauty business. Sort of...

A Few Goody GumDrops asked Jelly Belly or Yummie Tummie?

Snag a designer swimwear look for way less with Malia Mills for Martin + Osa - Stiletto Jungle.

All About the Pretty loves a legend like L'Oreal

Allie is Wired asks, "Did Kirsten Dunst steal Drew Barrymore's boyfriend?"

Bag Bliss reviews the Yves Saint Laurent Y-Mail Continental Wallet

Check out the punk rock elegance of YSL Muse clutch - Bag Snob.

Catch the sneak peek at organic beauty care from Bamford at Beauty Snob!

A little naughty and a little bit nice, Coquette discovers the subversively embroidered vintage gloves by Doublespeak.

Fashion, evolved is excited about the smart style of Nadia Nour!

Fashiontribes has 5 fab dresses for any occasion this summer.

I'm Not Obsessed shows you how to replicate Marc Jacobs' Ruffle Pump for less.

Kristopher eats the "Unforbidden Fruit" of Miami's South Beach.

Ladybrille interviews Stephanie Okereke Nollywood's it Girl!

Papierblog praises then rails against Project Runway Seaons 5

Quinta Trends discovers feminine and classical touch ofBoga Diseño .

Second City Style has again begun it's memorable quotes series from this season's episodes of Project Runway! has the scoop on this summer's surprise must-have accessory: lightweight scarves.

Stylehive finds Canadian designers that hike up hemlines with must have mini dresses.

Stylenotes' latest fashion-related tech feature explores the world of chic, colorful, electronic items from earphones to cameras that would make any fashionista swoon!

SugarShock Beauty is feeding her skin from the outside in with Keri Glassman's Skin Appetit Balm Stick.

A few days from 63, Helen Mirren still has a bikini body - The Beauty Stop.

The Fashionable Housewife gives us all the juicy details of her shopping spree at The Garden State Plaza Mall in NJ!!

The Shoe Goddess finds fabulous shoes at great prices!

July 17, 2008

How to Mix Vintage Accessories with a Little Black Dress

The little black dress is a wardrobe staple that will never go out of style. You can credit Audrey Hepburn with this must have basic. She was always chic and demure and millions of fashionable women since have run out and added a little bit of Audrey to their wardrobes.

The problem with that is that everyone has a little black dress. How do you create a unique look that will help you stand out from the sea of ebony frocks? Here are 4 vintage accessories that will take you from ordinary to extraordinary in an instant.

target wrap dress

1. Wear multiple necklaces
A stunning necklace or five can make you look like Coco Chanel herself. Layer metals and styles to create a high end, couture look.

available at Annie Sherman

2. Wear one bold piece
When you are going for a chic look, your little black dress should be clean and streamlined. A stunning brooch can add a perfect dose of intrigue to a day or evening dress.

available at Michelle's Vintage Jewelry

3. A clutch
Straw, exotic skins, beads-the clutch comes in all shapes, sizes and textures. A touristy straw clutch can add a touch of whimsy to a modern cotton day dress. But if you want to go for a red carpet look, go for glitz with a sparkly beaded or rhinestone clutch.

available at Vintage Bag

4. Shoes
While Marilyn sang about her best friend, the diamond, today's woman is buddied up with the new luxury item-shoes. But beautiful shoes don't have to cost half your rent.

Geoffrey Beene pumps available at Damn Good Vintage

July 16, 2008

New Vintage Items In the Shop!

I have been having so much fun blogging that I have completely neglected my vintage clothing shop. In case you didn't know, Debutante Clothing started off as an online vintage clothing store and the blog was just a way to share new stuff with you. But it kind of took on a life of its own.

But I have way to much beautiful inventory and I really need to find my pretties a new home. I've only uploaded three new items, but this week is all about getting things listed in the shop.

Take a peek!

greenfloralTH.jpg whitepocketTH.jpg lacroixTH.jpg

July 15, 2008

Resurrection Vintage Sale Thru 7/31


Resurrection Vintage, co-founded in the mid-'90s by Katy Rodriguez, has begun its month long summer sale. Select pieces from its designer collection will be marked at 70 percent off including pieces by Alaia, Vivian Westwood and Gucci, along with Katy Rodriquez's Spring/Summer '08 collection. At Resurrection, 8006 Melrose Ave., L.A.


July 10, 2008

Vintage 101 - How to Take Your Measurements

They say Marilyn Monroe was a size 12. Well, the 12 of the '50s is not the 12 of today. In fact, there is no standardized sizing system in place. I love going to the Gap or Old Navy and kidding myself that I am a size 6 when really I'm an 8.

When shopping online, especially for vintage clothing, it is very important to know your measurements before falling in love with a dress that won't fit. Here's a little video tutorial I created to help you figure out the dimensions of your curves!


July 10, 2008

Summer Sale at Locher's

My favorite little Parisian tarts are having a sale!


You get 20 percent off everything in our online shop, both tops and jewelry. All you have to do is use the coupon code word "LOVERBOY" when checking out. Get it while you still can, this sale ends July 22nd. Vas vite mon cherie!

July 9, 2008

Web Snob Roundup

bows.jpgBag Snob gets ultra luxe with Tod's Dokt Bags!

Beauty Snob gets moisturized with Clinique Superbalm!

The Brows Have It at 55 Secret Street.

Stiletto Jungle- Public Library "Obama Rama" Tee.

Friends: The Movie? Allie is Wired has the scoop!

Coquette - Summer's bohemian embroidery details.

Debutante Clothing checks out Vintage LA style.

Fashion Indie- Fall beauty trends to watch for.

Fashionable fun in the sun- Fashiontribes.

KRiSTOPHER is wanting, wearing, and hating sexy masks.

My Fashion Life goes crazy for the Samsung F-480!

Second City Style-helpful tips to stretch your fashion dollar.

How to rock Duffy's retro-glam style from Stylehive!

The Shoe Goddess has the Jimmy Choos for you!

nitro:licious-alternatives for the "famous" Balenciaga gladiator wedge sandal!

A Few Goody GumDrops Celebrates July 4th with ared patent leather Roger Vivier Handbag!

Calculatus Eliminatusreminds the world that ugly, tacky key chains are slowly killing him. Please stop the violence.

Fashion, Evolved explores the amazing natural beauty resource known as The Organic Beauty Blog!

Ladybrille names actress/model Tomiko Fraser its Woman of the Month!

Quinta Trendstalks to Srta Peel about her sexy underwear collection

Stylenotes shows you how to get the flirty, fun look from the Betsey Johnson spring '08 collection.

SugarShock Beauty loves the versatile rainbow of shades in Pop Beauty's Liner Cake eyeliner palette.

The Beauty Stop shows how to get Selma Blair's fresh-faced look.

The Coveted ...Naughty Bows, Nice Bows

The Fashionable Housewife shows us how to copy Lindsay Lohan's classy, sophisticated look.

V-Style had found the source of the Two-Tone Color Craze.

July 7, 2008

Vintage Find - YSL Fringe Necklace

When you think of the late Yves Saint Laurent, certain images come to mind: regular use of black models, le smoking, safari. But rarely do we think of the beautiful accoutrements that accessorized these YSL icons. Although the necklace is licensed, I feel it clearly reflects the mind and interests of Yves Saint Laurent's collections of the 1970s - bold and exotic.

vintage ysl necklace

available at Blonde Vintage

July 2, 2008

Vintage & Modern Fashion Mix - Style & Sculpture

Now that we are in Couture season, my mind drifts into my fantasy world and I imagine I am sitting in the front row of Dior or Alexander McQueen. I visualize the movement of gravity defying skirts with mounds of fabric that float like air.

dior couture
Photo credit:, Alessandro Lucione

One of my favorite fashion details is elements of sculpture. Like the couture runways, a sculptural accessory or dress gives me the ability to make a bold statement with my clothing, with merely a whisper of detail. And since my reality is online discount shopping and an eye for vintage, a structured dress or handbag is my attainable ticket to the world of couture.

Dress: vintage Pauline Trigere,
Shoes: Report,
Bangles: Ciro Coleczzione,

June 25, 2008

Beautiful Skin via

It's summer. I've given up on bikini body but my skin is in tank top and minimal make up condition. Unlike my good friend Stevie at, the queen of beauty products, my beauty arsenal consists of mostly drugstore finds with a few MAC and Benefit products. Some of the best products are ones that don't cost you the equivalent of a tank of gas. Check out my tried and true favorites from!

Zim's Crack Creme, Liquid Herbal Formula
I had extremely dry cracked skin. Not the kind that even Gold Bond could cure. i found Zim's line of Crack Creme products very good. They really take care of cracks and flakiness.

Dickinson's Cleansing Astringent Towelettes

These little towelettes were a blessing when my husband and I traveled to Italy. In the summer. Let's just say that it's a good thing the place is beautiful because the humidity and heat, anywhere else, would've put a damper on the fun. When ever you feel a little sticky or icky, pull one of these out and wipe. You feel fresh and ready to go instantly.

Olay Total Effects Moisturizing Vitamin Complex
One of the best parts of being a writer is that I get to try out products I would never be able to afford. Yet, when it comes to moisturizers, I always come back to my tried and true -- Oil of Olay. It just works. My skin looks taut, moist and nearly pore free. I have combination skin and I have never had a problem with oiliness with Total Effects.

Burt's Beeswax Lip Balm
Remember when all we had was Chapstick? Burt's Beeswax Lip Balm is only slightly more expensive but a thousand times better. It actually moisturizes not just covers up the problem. The minty smell and sensation soothes as it smoothes. For a very subtle day time look, I use this with a bit of lipliner.

Nature's Cure Body Acne Treatment Spray
it wasn't long ago that I would never dream of wearing a halter top or a tank with my hair in a pony tail during summer months. I was so embarrassed of the acne on my back, yet my face was perfectly clear. The irony! I used Nature's Cure for about a month and I rarely break out now. And you don't have to get someone else to spray your back because it sprays at any angle.

June 25, 2008

Web Snobs Heart Fashion and Beauty

vintage heart sunglasses

55 Secret Street offers a few tips on How To Not Look Old (Hint: Start Young!)

A Few Goody GumDrops Visits The Met to seeSuper Heroes:Fantasy and Fashion.

Stiletto Jungle features cheap-chic summer fashion finds.

All About the Pretty has a little glimmer and shimmer for her hair with Redken's Glimmer Shimmer Treatment.

Bag Bliss has fallen for Valentino's version of the YSL Nadja Purse!

Bag Snob discovers the Parisian chic of Gerard Darel!

Beauty Snob travels in style with Ooh La Spa!

Calculatus Eliminatus praises the classic leather duffle bag and condemns Mr. Gucci's failed attempt at luggage fashion.

Cheap JAP shows you how to snag the latest in designer discounts with The Top Five Ways to Score at a Sample Sale.

Bohemian chic never looked so good with modern tye-dye fashions, says Coquette.

Fashion, Evolved shares some great indie designed pieces Found on Etsy.

In honor of the upcoming Viktor & Rolf exhibition, Fashiontribes salutes a major talent with a mini retrospective.

I'm Not Obsessed shows you how to get Nicole Kidman's Lady Like Style From Her Recent Vogue Shoot.

KRiSTOPHER is wanting, wearing, and hating DvF dresses

Ladybrille says get ready for a star studded Nigeria Entertainment Awards 2008!

My Fashion Life takes a look at this season's key sunglasses.

Papierblog goes to Chicago to view the SAIC Runway fashion show can comes back with photos.

Quinta Trends talks to Mexican designer Paola Hernández about her career and her participation in the Mexico Fashion Week .

Second City Style feels your pain and finds two smashing Sex in the City outfits for a bit less.

StyleBakery likes short shorts - find out their favorites and how to work the trend

Stylehive shows you 10 Bridesmaid Dresses you'll actually want to wear again!

SugarShock Beauty is loving the humble bar soap again, courtesy of Mor's gorgeously crafted Moroccan Mint Soap.

Sxy Fashion Queen has spotted some really heavenly celebrity shoes.

The Coveted wonders if she really needs another vibrator in her purse.

The Shoe Goddess finds the perfect Fendi pump and dress for fall!

V-Style Shows You Wear to Get Carrie's Studded Belt From the Sex And The City Movie.

WE LOVE wants you to Beat the Heat with our favorite summertime product picks for poolside beauty!

June 23, 2008

Vintage Find - Japanese Novelty Print Skirt

I love clothing with illustrations, cheeky patterns and humorous prints. The circle skirt of the 1950s really took a step into the world of novelty with adorable prints ranging from animals to foods to cultural scenes.

Take this 1950s Japanese novelty print skirt. The golden brown serves as a muted background for a bevy of flowers, streams, foliage, birds and Japanese people taking a cruise around the bay. If I wore this skirt, I think people might find me odd because i would be staring at my lap all day.

50s novelty print skirt

available at fast eddie's retro rags @

June 19, 2008

Vintage Fashion Mix - Flapper Era Touches

I really need to watch something else besides TMC. I've been watching silent and just barely talking talkies, with some of the worst editing I have ever seen, and as a result, I have a new obsession with anything flapper or jazzy. I'm sure Miss Kristopher Dukes is thrilled to know a mid century convert.

Unfortunately, as a vintage shopper and seller, it is damn near impossible to find 1920s garments that are in wearable condition. If I were lucky enough to find a piece that isn't shattered or missing a ton of beading, I'd be to afraid to wear it. All it takes is one clumsy guy to spill his cocktail, and that's it! Ruined. Maybe I'm overly cautious.

But if you're like me and you can't shake the flapper cravings, I found some great vintage and reproduction accessories that will give you a bit of tartness for your modern wardrobe. No go forth and listen to jazz, drink, talk about sex, wear too much rouge and drive an automobile and show the world how liberated you are!

Inspiration photo: The Sartorialist

Clarks Lena (Black Suede) - Dress Shoes

Gabriella Rocha Cosette (Pink Multi) - Junior Women's Shoes

Franco Sarto Ability (Bloom/Ivory Patent) - T-Straps Dress Shoes

Hair Accessories:
Jennifer Behr


Art Deco buckle bracelet

beaded clutch

White Gold Art Deco Dinner Ring

Technibond® Platinum-Plated Art Deco Ring

June 17, 2008

Web Snob Round Up

A Few Goody GumDrops tells us that dad needs a day at the beach in a Vilebrequin Bathing Suit

Stiletto Jungle names the top must-have beauty tools.

Bag Bliss has some Father's Day Gift ideas: Bags worthy for Dad

Bag Snob digs the sexy vibe of Hermes Medor clutch!

Beauty Snob brings the spa to YOU!

Cardigans aren't just for posers and indie fashion carwrecks. Calculatus Eliminatus leads you in the right direction towards cardigan enlightenment.

Coquette says there's nothing hotter than a knit chain necklace by Little Purls.

Fashion Indie looks at Miley Cyrus, Madonna, and David Beckham before they had stylist.

Fashion, Evolved scopes out Elwood, the recently re-launched brand that now features off the hook style for the urban betty.

Fashiontribes tags along on a Annie Liebovitz shoot of Sofia & Francis Ford Coppola for Louis Vuitton.

KRiSTOPHER is wanting, wearing, and hating foldover clutches.

Ladybrille interviews Noella Coursaris, Africa's Humanitarian Modelpreneur.

My Fashion Life indulges in some beauty therapy with Satellite3 Cosmetics!

Papierblog goes mod with their Erin with an "e" foto story.

Quinta trends shows Luciana Regolo shoes's: fallen from heaven. She amazed me!

Second City Style gets the scoop on summer hair care and color tips. gives us the scoop on where to find drastically reduced designer duds online

Stylehive delivers 10 Maxi Dresses With Summer Sex Appeal

Looking for a new swimsuit? Fear not! Stylenotes puts together the season's must-have swimwear & cover-ups.

SugarShock Beauty discovers that Kenzo Amour Indian Holi is as pretty on the inside as it is on the outside.

Sxy Fashion Queen loves boyfriend jeans trend.

The Coveted wonders Prada will bring back the bicycle short?

Chipped nails on purpose? You've got to be kidding me! The Fashionable Housewife dishes on less-than-impeccable polish trend.

The Shoe Goddess dishes about her fave celeb looks from the CFDA Awards.

June 11, 2008

Daytime Shoes and 1920s Exotic Dancers

I swear, that title was not a ploy to get you to click. They do have something in common.

For the month of June, Turner Classic Movies (TCM) is spotlighting Asian images in film. Last week, I watched a film called Piccadilly starring the beautiful Anna May Wong. I am not familiar with her work, but I was fascinated by her breakthrough roles in early cinema.
anna may wong
Piccadilly is a silent film from 1929 set in London. Shosho, Wong's character, is a poor dishwasher from the wrong side of the tracks who works in an extravagant club called "The Piccadilly". After catching the attention of her boss, who runs a very tight ship, while dancing on top of a table in the kitchen, she becomes the center attention as the new exotic act. Her exotic beauty and sensuous dancing mesmerize the audience, including her boss.

Of course, being a fashion historian and vintage lover, I was totally captivated by the costumes. But not so much by the dancers' costumes as you would expect. I was even more intrigued by the costumes of the simple folks - we're so used to seeing this fantasy of what people wore at the time. In cinema, even the down trodden seem to dress better than what was worn in real life. But this film really captured the essence of what I imagine was worn by the working class.

In one scene, Ana May Wong is wearing a simple skirt and a knit sweater with an adorable keyhole neckline punctuated with little rhinestones. She wore a small beret pulled over her severe bangs. And although her stockings had runs, her shoes were simply adorable. Her mary jane shoes buckled at the top of the foot rather than the side.

This pair of Farylrobin Gia shoes look exactly like Shosho's shoes, except these come with a modern open toe. These shoes are perfect with a little dropped waist dress - a much more unique alternative to gladiators for the summer.


By the end of the film, Anna May has ditched her shabby rags and grows accustomed to the life of an exotic dancer - in those days, her type of dancing was a bit risqué. Anna May clutches fur-trimmed coats and the finest cloches graze her brow - right before the jilted dancer she replaces seeks her revenge. I won't tell you the rest. Go out and watch it.

June 9, 2008

Vintage Find - Fancy Flight Pink Maribou Dress

The color pink conjures up images of sweetness and femininity -- everything girlie. But when you add a trim of maribou feathers, you go from demure to seductive in an instant. I imagine the lady wearing this dress as a dancer who dares to expose a glimpse of her stage props for day wear. A seductive little pink frock don't you think?

pink marabou dress

dress available at Orchid Room Vintage

June 6, 2008

Web Snob Round Up

55 Secret Street remembers the one and only Yves Saint Laurent for his genius and for being the very first major designer to put black models on the runway.

A Few Goody GumDrops is dreaming of glimmering cupcakes. And you will be too once you set your eyes on this Judith Leiber creation!

Stiletto Jungle delivers an ode to the iconic Tory Burch flat.

All About the Pretty loves sunscreen that you can carry in your purse like MD Skincare Sun Packettes.

Louis Vuitton courtroom trademark news on Bag Bliss

Bag Snob discovers the real stars of Sex and the City: The Bags!

Beauty Snob supports World Ocean Day with La Mer!

Cheap JAP discusses the perils of the Under $100 Outfit.

Coquette picks her best dressed favorites from the 2008 CFDA awards.

All aboard, says Fashiontribes. The Botox Boat is about to set sail!

I'm Not Obsessed shows you how to get Reese Witherspoon's look for less.

KRiSTOPHER is wanting, wearing - and hating - ruffles for spring

Ladybrille gives you the 411 on Gwyneth Shoes, the latest African owned designer shoe brand that goes up to size 14!

My Fashion Life swoons over the eye-catching metallic version of the timeless Chanel bag

Papierblog writes an ode to Michelle Obama's sense of style

Quinta Trends explores theAmada & Cruz proposal.

Dying to know more about the designer duds the stars of SATC wore in the movie? Second City Style has the answers.

Shrimpton Couture says Bye Bye Biba (Again)

Get bejeweled with's ultimate summer jewelry guide.

Stylehive Inside Fashion: Behind the Scenes of Greenbaum Clothing's Look Book Shoot!

Stumped on what to get dad for Father's Day? We've got some incredible gift suggestions that dad will surely love at Stylenotes.

SugarShock Beauty has become quite enamored with the strange little pink blob known as the beautyblender makeup sponge.

Sxy Fashion Queen takes you to the dVb Celebrity Team get together!

The Coveted tutorial for craft-dummies DIY Fringe Tank (easier than you think!)

In case you die-hard Carrie fans haven't gotten enough of SATC yet, The Fashionable Housewife found awesome knock-offs of the Dior Extreme Gladiator!!

The Shoe Goddess gets an exclusive interview with Bridget Assil, owner of the trendy, Beverly Hills shoe boutique, Madison.

nitro:licious gives you the first scoop on the upcoming collection of Old Navy's "The Stunning Summer" Collection debuting in July, ON has really stepped their game up!

June 5, 2008

Vintage Fashion Mix - Vintage & Modern Mondrian

It's amazing how such simple lines and colors can cause such an arresting visual. After Piet Mondrian created his important color block works in the 1920s, Yves Saint Laurent took notice and brought art to the body with the creation of the Mondrian dress in 1965.

Dress available at
Shoes available at
Handbag available at Olive's Very Vintage
Ring available at

Photo: Piet Mondrian, Composition with Yellow, Blue, and Red, 1921, oil on canvas, 72.5 x 69 cm, Tate Gallery. London. Courtesy of

June 4, 2008

Vintage Shopping Tips With Vintage Expert Holly Brubach

dior.jpgWith the vintage Dior sale now under way at, Holly Brubach shares some insider tips on how to shop for vintage clothing. Holly has served as Style Editor at The New York Times Magazine and The New Yorker. She compiled a collection of her essays and published a book titled "A Dedicated Follower of Fashion". Currently, she is also a contributing editor for Vanity Fair and the Creative Consultant for YOOX. Is there anything she can't do?

Check out this special Q & A with the vintage expert...

What are a few statement pieces in the Dior sale?

dior-mariafelix.jpgA Haute Couture cocktail dress from the 1967 Spring Summer collection, which once belonged to Maria Felix, the legendary film star of the 1940s-1950s and devoted customer of Dior. The dress was purchased from Christie's of New York.

dior-giraffe.jpgWith the founder's death in 1957, Yves Saint Laurent took command of the Dior Empire adding a modern twist to Dior's excellence is portrayed in the gorgeous afternoon dress in giraffe print featured in the sale.

Dior's accessories are statement pieces within themselves. The crystal starburst earrings or the Brooch in Gold toned Metal with Cabochon Stones are truly eye catching pieces that can bring elegance to any outfit; whether it is paired with a pair of jeans, a suit, or an evening dress.

What do you believe are the best years of Christian Dior's work?

Certainly 1947, the launch of the New Look and its elaboration in subsequent seasons. But he remained a dominant force in fashion throughout the Fifties. All designers have their ups and downs, but I don't believe Dior had a "bad" collection. His career was cut short by his untimely death.

How should vintage be worn today?

The first rule of thumb is: not head-to-toe. It's important to mix vintage with contemporary, to integrate the old with the new in a way that doesn't call too much attention to the vintage item(s), just as an antique chair can become part of a modern room. Concentrate on the whole effect and not on a single piece. Many people treat vintage too formally, maybe because it's "precious." But one great way to make it seem completely timely is to pair it with jeans.

What accessories best go with a vintage outfit?

Ones that aren't of the same period. It's important to contrast the old and the new and, if the outfit has great presence, not to choose accessories that are self-important and compete with it.

What is the best way to shop for vintage?

Online! The vintage landscape has been transformed by the internet, bringing unique pieces to an avid audience. It's still worthwhile, making the rounds of the dealers, but it requires a lot of legwork and the best of them are scattered across too many cities for one person to cover.

How should vintage be cleaned and maintained?

With care! Find the best dry cleaner where you live, with a reputation for handling high fashion and a familiarity with different materials. The most fanatical collectors store their clothes in boxes, in acid-free tissue, to preserve items that are museum-worthy. But hanging vintage items that you wear often is fine.

If I buy vintage will I look old?

No, but that's a common fear. The crucial thing is to mix it. It requires a certain self-assurance to carry off wearing vintage. Perhaps that's why it's often associated with women who have great style.

How do you know if you are getting a deal with vintage pieces?

It helps to know a little history, which is easily accessible. As far as pricing is concerned, you can research what similar items from the same designers have sold for. But because pieces are often one-of-a-kind and the demand is competitive, the rule of thumb is the same as for anything else in fashion: if you love it enough, it's worth the price....

How can I wear vintage year round?

Some designers, like Emilio Pucci, specialized in resort wear and their looks translate easily into warm climates and seasons. Others, like Balenciaga, were better known for their coats and suits, more structured looks. Accessories are a great way to incorporate vintage into a summer wardrobe. Experiment with vintage jewelry, handbags and scarves to add an accent to the latest clothes in a way that's chic and personal. Dior's pieces are timeless and able to be worn year round, making them true fashion treasures to own.

June 3, 2008 Launches Vintage Dior collection

vintage diorToday, launches its newest vintage installation. Yoox traces the history of the maison Christian Dior with a selection of Vintage clothing and accessories. Through July, you'll get to feast your eyes on a carefully selected collection, curated but none other than Holly Brubach, a woman that I thank my writing instructor Sally de Lourenco for introducing me to her work.

Holly Brubach is a talented writer who has the keen ability to write prose about couture but in such a sassy and entertaining manner that non New Yorker socialites like me can appreciate. She curated the last vintage sale which featured vintage Chanel pieces, which incidentally flew off the virtual shelf.

"The limited time YOOX.COM Christian Dior Vintage Sale will feature a selection of hard-to-find signature styles and classic everyday treasures. With the expertise of Holly Brubach, renowned fashion critic and creative consultant for YOOX.COM, items were collected from a variety of sources such as estate sales, private collections and auctions from prestigious houses like Christie's New York. Pieces that were once hidden in one corner of the world, will now be available to anyone with internet access."

vintage diorvintage dior