TEXT, VIVIAN KELLY
Cheers and HAppy New Year!
It’s getting on to noon, January 1, 2011. The snow is piled-up outside the French window of my home office, Sylvester is playing “You Make Me Feel Mighty Real” on the ipod, my new Rigaud Cypress Candle is burning, and we’re going to see TRUE GRIT, because I got swept away by the editorial in the January issue of W mag.
The HUnt to accessorize my evening ensemble [L.A. Schulman, White Plains NY - on the label] ended well, as at the 11 1/2 hour I found an acceptable shoe at DSW yesterday, around 2p.m., a mere 5 hours before we were due to arrive at the party.
The gold satin peep toe sling back by Nina I settled on at DSW was a bargain $49 minus 30% and the heel was just high enough for the rolled hem of the vintage gown to avoid dragging and acting as a broom.
In the end, when in came to the hair and makeup, I mixed and matched the advice of B. Michael [slicked-back hair], Erin Simmons [black eyeliner] and the friendly MAC Cosmetics Girl “Girl About Town” MAC Cosmetics lipstick.
All of this vintage activity has me reenergized to resume my studies of two women who currently fascinate me: Wallis Simpson and Anita Pallenberg. After a rushed pre-New Year’s Eve chat with gal pal Theodora Brack, the Paris Correspondent of www.eurocheapo.com, we both promised each other we’d hop onto www.amazon.com and buy “The Darkness of Wallis Simpson”
by Rose Tremain and compare notes in late Jan.
It’s a new year now and THe HUnt resumes, this time with a focus on What Will I Wear for the 7-10 Days of New York Fashion Week?
WHAT merits being packed into the small rolling suitcase I’m limiting myself to.
The black Valentino top I found three days ago at The Fashion Exchange is calling my name….
Dress – McGeorgie’s Antiques & Consignments
The Fashion Exchange
TEXT, VIVIAN KELLY
Yesterday, I resumed The HUnt [the one in which I am seeking to accessorize my Fifties Vintage dress for New Year’s Eve.
Yesterday, a visit to The Fashion Connection 2, where I remember there being a surfeit of wedding style silk shoes yielded very little. The most promising candidate was a pointy heel cream silk Gucci with a monstrous 4” heel and only secures to the foot with a thin ballerina style ribbon.
I’m making my last ditch effort today and tomorrow, which will include which will include visits to DSW and TJ Maxx. If none of those work out, I may go back and get the Guccis and just find a seat and spend the evening on my bum, getting up to circulate for 5 minutes here and there.
There’s usually a silver lining to everything, and yesterday’s quest was no exception. I’d been intending to investigate the William Rast for Target collection ever since I received emails from LaForce & Stevens PR that Justin Timberlake’s line would be in store soon.
Only last week over coffee, I’d told couture designer friend, B. [Michael] that I wasn’t going to drag myself to Target to look. The plan was to order a few pair of the jeans and to try them on at home.
Feeling a bit grouchy about my non-success vis a vis the shoe hunt, I decided to drop into Target since I was out and about anyhow. Key to this decision – I’m listening to the audio version of Keith Richards’ LIFE book on CD and it is great!
Nothing like a good Book on Tape to keep me motivated.
Once in Target, I focused on finding Rast. The display in the Bethel store was so small that I started to walk out before I caught sight of the understated signage that was overwhelmed by glaring displays for Mossimo.
Into the dressing room I went, with 4 pairs of jeans: 2 in dark denim “skinny leg” and 2 in a faded medium color with a bootleg cut. Sizing tends to err on the small side – unlike the Isaac Miz collection. A size “3” = a 25 waist in Rast, and a “5” = a 26 waist.
They’ve got a little bit of stretch to them and aren’t bad, actually better than I’d expected, coming in at $49. The deciding element for me was the thin-ish denim fabric. I walked-out sans jeans. If and when they go on clearance, I’ll probably pick up the medium denim and road test them and see how they fare in the wash.
Conclusion – for a Target –Designer Collaboration, this one was pretty good, and the quality a notch over the previous Rodarte, Zac Posen, and Jonathan Saunders Collaborations.
On the schedule for today, a trip to the fabric store to pick up thick satin ribbon to sew on to the vintage dress to as B. Michael said, “harness” myself into the dress, one more stab at finding the shoe, an a trip to the Aveda Salon to confer with my CT- go-to hair guru, Erin Simmons, about the hair style to best complement the dress.
Regardless of the outcome, I’ll be wearing the dress and putting up pictures. Hopefully, the final result will be a fashion “Do” not a “Don’t”.
I’ll let you write-in and decide!
This week, which yes, included Christmas Day, was nonetheless dominated by the fun problems presented by most recent acquisition while on THE HUNT. The dress [no coat] will be the centerpiece of my New Year’s outfit. Pamme is going to the bother of bringing-out the fine china, crystal and champagne. While I love my black wool and taffeta Vera Wang dress, it’s too minimalistic. For this occasion, more is more, and as such, better
The dress is the centerpiece, but it comes with its unique set of requirements: the right hair makeup, shoe, and jewelry.
I won’t take-off my platinum and diamond wedding band, but other than that, the only jewelry I’ll wear is the starter piece in my Miriam Haskell collection – a pair of pearl and gold clip on earrings. If you’re not familiar with Miriam Haskell Costume Jewelry, here’s a little 411 from ww.miriamhaskell.com
Miriam Haskell has been synonymous with impeccable style and beautiful jewelry since the 1920’s. Haskell Jewels, headquartered in New York City, is a leading designer, marketer and distributor of costume jewelry. Founded in 1926 by Miriam Haskell, she established her brand name as one that represented, and continues to represent, the utmost in style and quality by creating hand crafted jewelry with keen attention to detail.
While the company is busy with initiatives that involve some of the majors such as Macy’s and Nordstrom, it is her VINTAGE pieces that I consider “true Haskell” and which experts such as Camilla Dietz Bergeron deem worthy of collecting.
The thrill of the hunt –
I got sucked-in when I was 25 years old, and working for a powerful battleaxe of a woman on Wall Street in the late Eighties. With a boyfriend who was living thousands of miles away in Texas, I had my only day off – Sunday – to do as I pleased. That’s when I discovered designer goods for less. I’d heard that there was a good designer flea market a few miles North of my former High School,
Susan Munson changed my life because after buying my first few important pieces from her, I started what was to become my life-long love affair with fashion.
my boss pronounced “Vegas” and a Speedy 35 that impressed even her. When I told her I scored it for $45, I had the satisfaction of seeing her jaw drop to the ground.
Years later, I’m still on the hunt. I am unable to go travel without visiting at least ONE designer consignment store while at that particular destination. Sometimes, that includes Goodwill or Salvation Army shops, as in the one in San Francisco, where an acquaintance of one of my AAU students found a Chanel leather and gold chain belt for $8. When I dropped in, I found some vintage Monet clip earrings, which I happily scooped up, but no Chanel.
My most recent score is a vintage [I’m guessing circa 1955 turquoise evening gown laden-down with pearl embroidery with a matching sleeveless coat. Both are floor length and I am facing one of my biggest fashion challenges ever and would love any feedback from you, my friends and readers.
So far, I've been piecing it together with a little help from my friends: B. Michael, Dawn Sheppard and Kathy of Dawn's Vintage Jewelry and master hair stylists, Anthony Leonard [NYC] and Erin Simmons [CT].
CHALLENGE: I’ve decided to wear only the dress, which is a size 12. I am a size zero or two, but that’s by today’s standards. Standing 5’5” tall, I’m dwarfed by the gown which weights-in at around 10 lbs.
My friend, couture designer, B. Michael, forbade me to cut the dress. His suggestion is an easy one and brilliant. I’ll sew-in two sets of ribbons, one just below the breastbone, and one, above the waist. Once tied, the dress will be anchored onto me. The effect will be that of a tunic rather than a fitted gown, but I’m thrilled to be able to actually WEAR the dress to the black tie New Year’s Eve Party I bought it for.
SECRET ADDRESS, revealed – I first spotted this treasure at the end of the summer at McGeorgi’s Antiques & Consignments when I was there looking for a desk lamp. I was drawn by the color but passed, as I had nothing to wear it to.
Once my brilliant Improv Actor friend, Pamme Jones invited us to a black tie New Year’s Eve gathering, I had my excuse to go back and buy this gown from Carl H. Georgi II, the shop’s owner. Curiously, Carl claims not to “know anything about fashion and style” but he’s got the eye, no question.
Now that I’ve acquired the dress, I’m working on the right hairstyle, which I’ll be blogging about next complete with the video of B. Michael’s suggestion on what hair to do that will modernize my vintage dress with a modern spin. He also points me in the right direction as to which shoes I should wear.
The hunt for the right shoe resumes on December 26th. On December 28th, a visit with Anthony
at his Anthony Leonard Salon, to discuss the hair and on the 31st, Erin of Aveda Shine Salon will actually set the hair for the party 6 hours later.
By “fake”, I DO NOT MEAN KNOCK-OFFS. THIS FAKE IS ALSO KNOWN AS FAUX FUR.
THE KAISER, KARL LAGERFELD, MOST NOTABLY DID IT FOR FALL/WINTER 2010 AT CHANEL, BUT HAVE A LOOK AT THIS WILD LOOK BY CUSTO BARCELONA.
for Fall 2010,
CUSTO BARCELONA introduced the “2 great coats in 1”. It’s all-glam on one side, and all-about vintage on the other.
It’s currently available in Burgundy and Hunter Green, as seen on the fall 2010 New York runway show. I got there too late, and despite having a ticket to a decent seat, had to content myself with watching the show on the monitor in the Bryant Park lobby. Nonetheless, as menswear writer, MARK BEHNKE of www.fashiontribes.com and I studied the looks, I was all-in. HERE, IS A DESIGNER WHO STILL MANAGES TO CUE INTO THE TRENDS, BUT STILL DOES IT “MY WAY”. We loved the color, the flash, and the sheer hutzpah of this collection, that reminded me of the ghetto-glam of one of my favorite BOND flicks, “Live and Let Die”, in which one of the Harlem drug lord-villains, ‘Mr. Karanga’ [actor, Yaphet Kotto], wore a coat quite similar to this one, in the scene where he was assassinated in his over the top Caddy pimp mobile.
I love the fashion AND economical aspect of this coat. You get to hit fall’s vintage trend, and as for glamour – THAT is ALWAYS in fashion.
Available at www.custo-barcelona.com