Sunday, February 5, 2012

Manhattan Vintage Clothing Show 2/4/12

On the weekend before the opening of fashion week, all of the early birds converge at the Manhattan Vintage Clothing Show. All the high profile people whose names and faces everyone recognizes go on the first day, Friday. As working girls, we made our thrice-annual pilgrimage this past Saturday. (Mark your calendars for the two remaining 2012 shows on April 20-21 and October 12-13.) Right after we arrived, we ran into Lulu, of Lulu's Lovelies, one of our favorite vendors who also has a booth at the indoor flea market at the 26th Street Garage. As you can see, she's not the shy, retiring type. She's wearing a terrific white feathered wig. (

Featured Designer: Christian Lacroix

The Winter/Spring 2012 show, held at the Metropolitan Pavilion, featured French designer "Christian Lacroix - The Darling of Outrageous Excess" who first sprang onto the scene in the 1980s with his iconic pouf dresses worn by the likes of then socialite and party girl Princess Gloria von Sturn und Taxis to Studio 54.


Sometimes, the vendors look as chic as the customers. Case in point:

Hannah Kurland sported a very cool woodblock-style haircut. She owns and operates Marmalade Vintage on Mott Street in Soho.

Hannah and her daughter Vita wore polka dots and camouflage - two hot fashion trends. They both appeared in our October 29, 2011 posting on our Brooklyn book launch party for Life Dressing and our November 6, 2011 posting, Old Loot and New LOOT. Jean purchased a pair of black and white striped ball chandelier earrings made of straw.

Here are jean's new earrings - very graphic and light as a feather.

We snapped our friend Tziporah Salamon as she stopped into one of our favorite booths -- Sheila Strong's Fools' Gold. Sheila always has an inventory of very interesting bakelite jewelry. Jean purchased a fabulous big red resin scarab pin that was extremely well-priced.

Here's Jean's new scarab pin. It measures about 2" x 3 1/2" and is just in time for Valentine's Day.

In the same booth, Valerie stopped to chat with Susan Bergin of Pocketbook, who always has an interesting variety of vintage, and often shows up at the 26th Street Garage, like Lulu.


This is Wren. Already tall without his three inch platforms, he added another two inches with an array of spikes on one side of his bowler.

We asked Wren if he had a card, and when he handed us his postcard, we got a great view of his rings. We thought our readers should get a gander, too. He's doing his menacing Clockwork Orange droogie thing, but Wren was really sweet.

This very hip trio stopped us and asked for our picture and we returned the favor. The gent on the left recognized us from our stint on Fashion Hunters!

Some vendors and customers really get into the swing and wear head-to-toe vintage. The former , Lori Lewin (left), wearing a vintage suit, blouse, hat and shoes, works at David Owens Vintage Clothing. She made the snood herself, and added it to her hat. The latter is Zondra Foxx (right), a fixture at the vintage clothing shows and flea markets. Her style ranges from this bewigged 1940's Lana Turner look to 1980's spandex disco wear a la Olivia Newton John, complete with gold lame short-shorts and high-top sneakers. Truly a sight to behold.


This giant Keds sneaker display caught our eye.

Every young woman at the show drooled over these sky-high black and gold striped platforms worn by a very chic shopper. And, um, so did some of the older women, who shall remain nameless...

We loved these tan and white platform flats, worn by a very fashionable young shopper.

Chubo, one of our favorite vendors, was sporting these steel-toed work boots under a vintage tweed suit. Jean wondered if he might have painted the tips yellow. Maybe he did, maybe he didn't. But it makes you think of a way you can play with your clothes.

Vintage Merchandise

This beautiful black scalloped evening gown at 1 of a Find featured a three-tiered hem reminiscent of tuxedo tails. It had no tag, unfortunately, so the dealer couldn't identify the designer.

In anticipation of Valentine's Day, Jae Jarrell featured vintage men's red dressing gowns.

Antique Wardrobe featured an authentic woman's vintage hoop skirt frame.

A shopper wearing a white satin deco dress gets some advice about her potential purchase.

Stacy LoAlbo of Incogneeto featured a vignette of western-style tooled leather bags. Our favorite was the modified doctor's bag on the upper left.


The Lacroix mannequin in the lobby wore a great 1980's horsehair high crowned affair atop a Missoni-like mid-calf length knit dress.

This hat and snood at David Owens Vintage Clothing were in terrific shape and totally of the period.

Although Jean got a lot of positive feedback when she tried on this black felt cone-shaped hat with feather at Wildfell Hall (raise your hand if you recognize the literary allusion), she experienced a rare attack of fiscal restraint.

Not for Sale!

We offer the following in the spirit of saving the best for last:

From time to time, display items catch our eye which are not available for purchase. And perhaps, in the words of Martha Stewart, "that's a good thing". In a slightly belated nod to Groundhog Day, Jean took a liking to this adorable prairie dog-like creature. She thought he looked adorable from all angles.

Valerie, on the other hand, fell in love with this hat made from a zebra's mane that was on display with a matching handbag offered by SwaneeGRACE, right next to Wildfell Hall. Of course, rather than wear it as intended, like a headband, leave it to Valerie to position it Mohawk style for maximum effect. When you turn it over, you can see it has a very 50s look about it, not to mention a Made in Nairobi label. Some 50s hats look like the wearer never went anywhere except the school bake sale. This hat looks like the wearer frequented - or wanted to frequent - El Morocco. (Raise your hand if you remember El Morocco, if only from the movies.) Imagine Valerie's disappointment when she learned it was only for display. SO understandable, though. SIGH...

What we're wearing:

Jean is wearing her Clockwork Orange look; black vintage bowler; black Cynthia Steffe jacket with built-in suspenders; black Rick Owens top; black Zara Woman drop crotch pants; black patent Doc Martens lace-up boots; red leather Tignanello bag; black vintage sunglass frames; black leather necklace with silver and brass charms; black vintage bakelite rings and jewelry; and black and white felt pin on hat band (by Danielle Gori-Montanelli,featured in our Nov. 6, 2011 post on Old Loot and New LOOT and our Nov. 20, 2011 post on the Philadelphia Museum Craft Show).

Valerie is wearing a vintage unlabeled felt hat, unlabeled second hand bolero, Jamie B shirt, Comme des Garcons pants (consignment shop), high heeled sneakers (ok, actually, they're LOW heeled - remember Valerie can't wear high heels) by Chinese Laundry.


  1. This post pretty much convinces me I have to come to the April show. So much to love--the zebra hat, Wren's brilliant style, Hannah and Vita, and that black scalloped evening dress!!! Great jewellery scores for both of you.

  2. love it . you ladies are always inspiring !

  3. Ahh, if only I did not have to man my own space... Thanks for such lovely coverage. It's almost as good as being there.

  4. I always like to see vintage cloths. This show has produced some fine vintage cloths. I like those different hats. Such unique design they has. Awesome presentation.

  5. If you adored Wren's need to see his incredible purevile creations...and yes...Wren is very sweet...

  6. Great article. Will have to try to get to the next one. Thanks for including my son, Wren, of whom I'm very proud.