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Debutante Clothing :: The DebLog

March 21, 2011

Vintage Inspired | Charlotte Taylor Meets Schiaparelli

One of my all time favorite designers is Elsa Schiaparelli. So when I saw British designer Charlotte Taylor's Fall 2011 line, I was giddy with surrealist delight. Large graphic prints of lobsters, ants and penguins punctuate gorgeously draped, feminine silhouettes. I am dying for the lobster print blouse and ant print dress. And the styling is equally divine. Charlotte Taylor's line features my favorite elements: vintage glamour, graphic prints, and a sense of humor. I'm really hoping I can figure out a way to purchase from the States.

Thanks to Bri at Love Design Fest for bringing this stunning collection to my attention.

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 3, 2011

Vintage Inspiration | Rainy Day Color

vintage rainy day

I am so sick of this rain! It's not supposed to rain in California. Where is my sun? Where is my crisp, bright winter day? Hopefully this lovely image will inspire me to ignore the rain and have an intense moment today rather than feel blue. A punch of color should do the trick!

How do you beat rainy day blues?

photo source: i am the child of the moon via Pinterest

November 15, 2010

Vintage Style | Fabulous in Fur

Athena Calderone

Oh how I love this vintage and modern mix. This little fur jacket, not sure if it's faux or real, is the perfect fit. I feel a bit awkward when I wear fur during the day because it's such a bold statement, but Athena Calderone pulls it off beautifully. I want to replicate this look with my cubby little vintage leopard print jacket (I'll show it to you later this week), but I may need to find a skirt with a hemline that is a wee bit longer. I don't have the gams that Athena does.

I also love this blend of neutrals. I read somewhere that you shouldn't mix more than three colors. But this totally breaks that rule and looks fab. Maybe confidence trumps style rules?

November 8, 2010

Vintage Style | Brown Polka Dots Meet Leopard Print


When it comes to mixing patterns, I am a complete and utter failure. I can mix lined patterns such as plaids or checks with thin stripes, but beyond that, I shy away. I also tend to be too matchy-matchy though. So when I saw this absolutely gorgeous mix of a 1950s vintage inspired brown polka dot dress and leopard print pumps on This Is Glamorous, I became obsessed with mixing patterns I wear constantly.

Although this ensemble is probably a very high fashion designer name, given that the chic woman wearing it is a fashion editor at Vogue Nippon, it's obvious vintage inspiration - a full skirt, chunky chain link resin bracelets - has me desperately looking for a brown polka dot dress. Finding a chic one is not as easy as it may seem. It's a fine line between Vogue editor and frumpy dumpy in this case.

I made an offer on a 1960s, sleevless brown and white dot dress with matching jacket on and it was accepted. As soon as I can find some glamorous and comfy leopard pumps, I'll show off my copy-cat outfit.

Any tips to help me further my mixing prints adventures?

photo via This Is Glamorous

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 22, 2010

Vintage Inspired | 1950s Cat Eye Sunglasses

There is one style of sunglasses that I feel is universally flattering. Whether you have chipmunk cheeks like me (yeah I know wrinkles are less evident with chubby cheeks) or a perfectly heart shaped face, cat eyes are the slightly flared jean of the eye wear world. While its hey day was in the 1950s, the cat eye has been reinterpreted every single decade since then.

In the 1960s, we saw tortoise shell cat eyes. in the 1970s, we saw a larger, more exaggerated upsweep such as my fave YSL sunglasses purchased from Market Publique.They were a hit at the TwoPointOhLA picnic, where this picture was taken.


The 1980s saw a resurgence of Rockabilly and with it, colorful cat eyes in wild patterns.

With the 1950s style making a come back, as seen on the Louis Vuitton runway for Fall 2010, the classic feline shape is the eye wear du jour.

sunglasses top: John Galliano, middle and bottom Sonia Rykiel (212) 369-3606

I'm really loving the Sonia Rykiel sunglasses. The rhinestone pair are such a fun exaggeration of 1950s rhinestone cat eyes and the bottom black rimmed ones are classic and cool.

What about you? Are you sporting vintage or vintage inspired cat eyes this summer? Show us!

P.S. If you're looking for some professional advice on how to shop for vintage eyewear or quality manufacturers of reproduction vintage glasses, check out my article with optometrist & vintage dealer, Robert Alvarez.

April 23, 2010

Vintage Fashion Links | The Week in Vintage


I hope you have a happy weekend! Here are some vintage fashion news links I thought you would enjoy.

Author, Charlotte Smith, inherits over 3000 pieces of vintage and antique clothing including Dior and Chanel originals, and writes a book about them titled Dreaming of Dior. []

Mrs. Lilien gives a visual ode to Grace Kelly [Mrs.Lilien]

Olivier Saillard, curator at the Louvre's Musée des Arts Décoratifs, discusses fashion history, the 70s doing 40s, and the Paris debut of Comme des Garçons   []

Fashion spotlight on Lilly Pulitzer   []

Dita Von Teese wearing the most precious 1940s dress and green croc clutch [justjared]

March 16, 2010

Vintage Inspiration | Vintage Green Coat

vintage green coat chictopia


January 22, 2010

Links: The Week in Vintage

vintage shopping

What's Out: the Fashion Trend (WSJ)
"Trends are diluted," says Doris Raymond, owner of the Los Angeles vintage store The Way We Wore. That's because designers have in the past two decades "referenced every possible fashion period for inspiration."

MILLENNIAL PERSPECTIVE: Vintage Fashion & The Twice-Around Economy (NewGeography)
One impact of the recession has been a fundamental change in consumer clothing purchase patterns. Luxury retailers' losses have been second-hand retailers' gains. Internet marketers have also been uniquely positioned to benefit.

Coco Rocha Talks to StyleList About Her New Fashion Line (StyleList)
What I'm inspired by is vintage clothing, especially things from the 1800s, the Elizabethan times. But wearing anything from that period is like wearing a costume, so I'm trying to find a way to modernize it.

Julia & Penelope's Golden Globe Vintage was Ho Hum (
Julia Roberts's vintage jersey Yves Saint Laurent dress was too simple and casual for an event like the Golden Globes.

Life With Decades' Cameron Silver! (Fashionista) Candy Pratts Price says that "September's the Jannnnuary of fashion," and I'm tempted to mimic, "Cameron Silver's the Laaaagerfeld of vintage."

January 21, 2010

Glamour Inspiration: Dita in 1940s suit

It goes without saying that Dita Von Teese is one of the most stunning women on the planet. She is so glamorous, dark, mysterious. The perfect femme noir - I hesitate to call her femme fatale because she seems genuinely nice. I was mesmerized by this image of her in her 1940s suit. The strong shoulder makes the rest of the silhouette even more tantilizing, no?

dita von teese in vintage 1940s suit

image: via Dita's Twitpic feed

January 15, 2010

Links: The Week in Vintage

lily et cie beverly hills

Keith Johnson From Anthropologie Shares Flea Market Tips! - StyleCaster

NYT Critical Shopper, Cintra Wilson, reviews Lily et Cie in Beverly Hills
Lily et Cie, a Los Angeles institution for more than 30 years, is famous for being a veritable museum collection of, it says, more than a half-million pieces of vintage fashion. It is almost equally famous for having some of the most unpleasant service this side of France.

Vintage Shopping Like a Starr - vintage shopping tips from new San Francisco vintage boutique owner Bianca Kaplan of Bianca Star

Which is better for the environment, fake fur or real fur? Neither. Vintage!

Fixing Vintage Glasses (Wall Street Journal)

I spoke to, a Syracuse, N.Y., optical-repair company that is popular with eyeglass collectors. Owner August Cornell, whose personal specialty is restoring Civil War-era spectacles, says that eyeglass restoration can be as detailed as fixing up an antique automobile.

A New Look For A New Life (Wall Street Journal)
This sudden sale of Hermès scarves and Donna Karan dresses, at prices starting at $19.95, marks a new phase of Ms. Kan's life. Last fall, she left her job as a high-ranking communications executive, and, like many people in transition, she wants an image to match the new life she's pursuing. Out with St. John dresses and Armani suits. In with Y-3 hoodies and Hugo Boss motorcycle boots. "I want to dress like Blondie in the 80s," she says.

Beware of Fraudulent Label Switching (
I am going to make some people angry with this post, but as an honest and knowledgeable dealer of vintage clothing, I need to make my readers aware of an issue that has been bothering me for quite awhile. The fraudulent practice of sewing vintage or designer labels into clothing that has no label or replacing a less desirable label with a better known one is, unfortunately, becoming more prevalent.

January 8, 2010

Links: The Week in Vintage

500 days of summer
Fox Searchlight/Everett Collection
Zooey Deschanel's mix-and-match style in "(500) Days of Summer."

There's more to the vintage biz besides hunting for pretty dresses and researching fascinating labels. Starting this week, I'm bringing you the behind the scenes news, shop talk, and down and dirty business side of vintage.

So these are actually two weeks in vintage, but I'll be doing a roundup of vintage fashion and lifestyle related news from across the web every week. Enjoy!

Vintage Wedding Attire will be big in 2010 (Washington Post)
"The generation that grew up shopping for vintage clothes is getting married and looking for retro wedding dresses. Good news if you have your mom's Priscilla of Boston silk gown boxed up under a bed. "There is a market for vintage wedding dresses," says Rachel Leonard, Brides magazine fashion director. "

Predictions for Consumers in 2010 (CBS News)
"In addition, Koeppen said according to The Wedding Report, Inc., vintage clothing and shoes will be big items this year."

Ten Fashion Resolutions for Vintage Fashionistas (
"While I'm sure there are far more important resolutions on your list for 2010, here a few fashion resolutions for you to consider...

"I will think Quality, not Quantity. This year invest in quality, because less can definitely be more. Sure, it means you'll probably end up purchasing fewer pieces, but those pieces will serve you for years. This is especially important for classic items that never go out of style: a black skirt, a cashmere sweater, a pair of wool trousers."

The Decade in Film Style (NY Times)

Antiques and Collectibles show in Philly Jan. 22-23 (

1979 Jordache jeans ad law suit (
"He's still got "the Jordache look" -- but says they don't have permission to use it. Actor Jack Scalia yesterday filed a $5 million-plus suit against the Jordache jeans company for recycling a picture of him from its inaugural 1979 ad campaign."

Vintage clothing shops continue to close (
"Vintage stores are struggling to stay open. The latest victim is East Village vintage store O Mistress Mine, which closed yesterday after 40 years in business."

Beat the vintage funk with vodka (
excellent tip from Mad Men costume designer, Janie Bryant

Phaidon books is having a sale (

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

August 6, 2009

Guest Post by Super Kawaii Mama - Find Your Vintage Style

When it comes to wearing vintage, there is no one single path to travel. Everyone's interpretations of what is right for them is different, as well it should be, but how do you determine what is right for you and where do you find your inspiration?

Perhaps you are just setting out to dip a toe into the vintage pool, or perhaps your vintage look just isn't working for you any more; there are a few things you can do to create a look that is uniquely your own and find your vintage groove.

Firstly, and most importantly, you need to decide WHAT you are dressing. Are you dressing to suit your shape, disguising any flaws and highlighting your favorite features? Are you dressing to emulate a certain era in the best approximation possible? Are you choosing vintage solely for its sustainable fashion perspective? Are you trying to find a more creative side to your personality by finding a look not dictated by current trends and styles?

All of these elements may play a role in how you choose to dress, either exclusively or as part of a whole; but you need to know which of these factors is the most important to you before going forward.

Let's assume that your first priority is dressing to make the most of your figure. This will play a key role in determining which era of vintage is right for you. For instance, if you have a more curvy figure, are amply endowed, and like your clothes to skim rather than cling; you'll be looking towards the 1950's for your shape. Dresses that are waisted, flared skirts, shawl collars and cinchers to create a waist shape if yours needs a little help.

If you are tall and slim with killer legs and not much waist to speak of, you'll be looking to the 1920's and late 1960's for your style inspirations. With flapper dresses, bias cut jersey (thank you Coco) or even a pair of Go Go boots and a mini skirt; all of these elements can play to your body shape. Getting the picture?

Dressing for your best features is one of the quickest and simplest ways to determine your vintage style, as each era is known for focusing on key features of the figure. It's just down to you to put in a little research to mix and match those eras to your shape. Also, remember that in the latter part of the 20th century, fashion began taking it's cues from the earlier years. Thus the 1980's did its own versions of the 1940's and the 1950's, which means you can still get the silhouettes you're looking for at a lesser price and with more laundry friendly fabrics.


Once you've figured out your vintage motivation, it's time to get cracking on creating a look all your own. A vintage look is more than just a 40's floral dress hastily paired with some brogues or a cherry print dress and a flower in your hair. The variations are infinite, and it is up to you to make yours something special. A great place to start is by collecting images of your favorite silver screen icons from your chosen era.


It is likely that you'll find yourself gravitating towards the big names like Monroe, Twiggy or Hepburn. But once you have these in hand, it is time to do a little more digging. Thank god for Google, because here is where it comes into its own for creating your look. Start searching for movies made around the same time, with lesser known actresses/ actors, foreign film titles and advertisements. What you'll begin to see is much more variation on the styles within your chosen era. Marilyn and Audrey had a signature look all of their own, and it certainly isn't a one size fits all. So it is up to you to create your own signature look, pulling the elements you love from the looks you're researching.

Remember too, that what you see on screen is not always achievable for your everyday look, so keep in mind to search for candid shots off set. Another great resource is to search people's old family photos on Flickr to see what your everyday gal was wearing to the beach in 1951. Trust me, it is an eye opening exercise and will shatter many of the myths around what it means to dress vintage.


Once you've sorted all this out, create some collages of your inspirations, or simply set aside an image folder on your computer to store all your favorite pics and have a simple 'go to' file for those moments when you feel your inspirations waning. If you're going for a true emulation of your chosen era, there isn't much more to do other than follow through on creating the subtleties' of your look; hair, makeup, shoes; and committing to it. (No, not much at all Ha!) But if you're seeking a unique look that has the stamp of your own personality woven into it, now is your chance to go wild!

You can pick and mix pieces from your chosen eras and hair from another. Have a thing for cats? Find some great cat print fabric and have a vintage pattern made up in that. Start collecting vintage brooches in your theme and attach them to the hats you find. Have a favorite colour? Choose to go monochrome and develop your wardrobe into a collection of harmonious pieces in a single shade. Don't just stick to the clothes, choose all our accessories in that colour and go wild with parasols, handbags, glasses frames and the rest. I think you're starting to get the idea.


Whatever your motivation for dressing vintage, the interpretations are endless. Don't be dictated to be the current fads for certain vintage eras, nor by big name labels (unless yours is a serious investment collection). The beauty of dressing in vintage and living in the now, is that we are limited only by our imagination. Set yours free!

Read more of Super Kawaii Mama's fabulous vintage style tips at!

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

June 5, 2009

Links à la Mode: Fashion History

links a la mode

Fashion History

Edited by Debutante Clothing

I was particularly proud of this week's choices of IFB member links. As a vintage lover, I think fashion history is an often over-looked part of the fashion equation. I was thrilled to see so many fellow IFBers agree. Bonne Vie, Miss Glitzy, and Couture Allure are some of the blogs that took a trip to the past of fashion. But what good is history if we can't learn from it? Several other bloggers explored contemporary fashion in the workplace and as a form of expression. We've got some real cerebral reads this week - enjoy!

Links à la Mode : June 4th

Idiosyncratic Style - Infatuation List: Top 5 May flowers
Bonne Vie - The history and technique of the bias cut
Miss Glitzy - The story and photos of creation of the first Chanel bi-color sandals in 1955
The Recessionista™ - Meets Norma Kamali and Previews her Summer Line for Walmart
A Typical Atypical - Shows us how to pack for a holiday
The Coveted - One Hot Unveiling from Benefit
Unfunded - Bullets for peace fashion show
MissRedLips - Swap Your Stuff: Someone's junk is another person's treasure
Couture Allure - Big hair from 1965
The Demoiselles - The dangers of creativity infringement
Retro Chick - Bargain hunting essentials
Workchic - Collaborates with Polyvore on what types of T-Shirts are appropriate to wear to the office!
Style Symmetry - An Interview with Beth Jones of The Vintage Society and Quicksilver Women
Dramatis Personae - The Art of Self Love
Hong Kong Fashion Geek - Stripper shoes - classy or trashy? Who can tell anymore?
Threadbared - History and the harem pant
Decline Designs - How to dye your hair crazy colors (and keep it that way)
V is for Olive - a look at the best lingerie shop in San Francisco
Style On the Street - Photographer Isabelle Bonjean
Debutante Clothing - How to market your vintage clothing shop through photography
Independent Fashion Bloggers: How has your blog evolved?

June 5, 2009

Vintage Roadshow - Dressing and Frolicking

vintageroadshow.jpgThis week's Vintage Roadshow roundup is all about the art of dressing and showing it off once your dressed! We've got a guide on sheath dresses, stockings, and how to get sultry finger waves. But if you are ready for fun in the sun, you better win a vintage bathing suit from GlamourSplash! Enjoy.

Couture Allure shows how to stretch your wardrobe with a vintage sheath dress.

Debutante Clothing introduces Vintage Style Muse Helsinki Pinup, Freelancer's Fashionblog.

Glamoursplash has a customer win a prize in a vintage beach bathing beauty contest.

Here's Looking Like You, Kid talks about the history of rompers & playsuits.

Kitsch-Slapped shares vintage party games.

The Bobbypin Blog shows us how to get a fingerwave look like Keira Knightley.

Things Your Grandmother Knew has tips on darning stockings.

Do you have a vintage blog? Want to join our carousel? It's easy! Join the Vintage Roadshow and share your best vintage themed blog posts. Traffic is nice, but community is even better!

May 16, 2009

Vintage Roadshow - Fashion Reads & Summer Dressing


This week's Vintage Roadshow round up is good for the mind and the eyes! Vintage bloggers are feeding their minds with vintage fashion history while others are looking for vintage inspiration for summer dressing. Check out the goods!

A Slip Of A Girl with vintage tips for laundering vintage girdles.
Couture Allure looks at vintage swimsuits from Tina Leser, Givenchy, and Polly Hornburg.
Glamoursplash takes note of Claire's McCardellisms.
Here's Looking Like You, Kid reviews Vintage Compacts & Beauty Accessories by Lynell Schwartz.
Kitsch-Slapped reviews Cinderella Nurse, a novel from the 1960s.
Things Your Grandmother Knew has FREE vintage slipper & scuff crochet patterns.

April 30, 2009

Vintage Roadshow - glamour, shoes, and undies


it's time for another Vintage Roadshow - a collection of vintage bloggers gabbing about vintage fashion and anything glamorous from decades past. Grab your cold toddie (or Irish coffee if your so inclined) and catch up of the trashy glamour of Maggie the Cat, vintage lingerie, vintage shoes and other glamorous sundries.

Interested in contributing to the Vintage Roadshow? Tell us about your vintage blog!

A Slip of a Girl dishes about Vanity Fair lingerie's 90th anniversary.

Couture Allure looks at shoes from 1949 and readers share where to find modern reproductions.

Debutante Clothing features a review and images of the private curator led tour of the Valentina exhibit in NYC.

Glamoursplash gives a brief history of 1950's swim cap glamour.

Here's Looking Like You, Kid says, "Maggie the cat is alive.".

April 12, 2009

Vintage Style Links From Around the Web

Photo by Amy Dickerson

Supermodel Karen Elson and Amy Patterson bring pretty vintage frocks to Nashville

L.A. Times reports on the vintage costumes in Grey Gardens - the story of the more eccentric Bouviers

Shameless self-promotion: My published articled in Today's Vintage on Living Budget and Eco Friendly with Vintage Clothing

More vintage shopping in Italy - Rome!

Fantastic book giveaway on collectible vintage prints