Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Big Flea Comes to New York
The Big Flea, a D.C. phenomenon we'd been hearing about for years, finally made its way to the Big Apple, so last Saturday afternoon, we headed over to Pier 94 on West 55th Street and the West Side Highway to check it out for ourselves.
Since it was Jessica Bonarius' last weekend in the city, we made arrangements to meet her at 3 PM at the Big Flea NYC and cruise the booths together. Needless to say, Jessica did not disappoint. Her bronze and copper-toned vintage dress with stitched down pleated waist and full skirt fit her perfectly. A costume designer, you can see she also matched her look to her dress. Seeing her set the tone for the day. We focused much more on the customers, many of whom dressed for the occasion, rather than on the merchandise.
Just as we arrived, we crossed paths with Gretchen Fenston and Roddy Caravella just before they exited the show. Their outfits were spot on and beautifully coordinated. (Gretchen made her fabulous hat.)
The Big Flea featured a number of different food vendors with delicious offerings. Jean got edamame guacamole and chips, Jessica opted for a chicken taco, and Valerie had a BLT. While we were relaxing at the picnic tables, we ran into Martha, looking stunning (as usual).
Later, we ran into Martha again while she was trying on hats. She has the bone structure and chutzpah to wear this dramatic red feathered number. As she put it on, she immediately invoked The Women, one of the best movies of 1939, and a visual feast for hat afficionadas. A cadre of admirers among the vendors on that aisle agreed with us (and with Martha) that she HAD TO BUY THAT HAT. Luckily, she did. We'd like to draw your attention to the veil, the color of which contrasts with the hat, rather than matching it. Very unusual.
Heidi looked terrific in her vintage dress and sweater. She agreed that the show was a success from the shopper's point of view.
We also ran into Big Ange who was running around with our pal Linda Pastorino, whom she'd just met at an Asian jewelry seminar. Small world! When we saw her at the picnic table, Ange said she had spotted a short black and white monkey fur jacket that she was thinking about. About a half hour later, when we saw her trying it on, we asked to take a photo. Judge for yourselves how fab she looks.
While we were at Bruce Mihalski's Hollywood and Vine, we met a woman (far right) trying a grey full skirted Claire McCardell dress. She and Bruce's assistant joined us in a group photo. Wish you could see the amazing tailored breast pockets, like modified wings!
As always, Linda Pastorino put together a wonderful outfit combining a range of colors and fabrics with jewelry (earrings, bracelets, rings) and accessories (printed fabric boots). Her collection must be amazing.
Linda's tall, willowy daughter Coral has the same piercing eyes as her mother and her own unique style.
Valerie posed with Jessica, whom Valerie and I met at Sue Kreitzman's home. (Remember we blogged about it not too long ago?)
Last month, we had the good fortune to attend an Issey Miyake sample sale (no secret - it was widely advertised), and the same way some people are hit with a hangover after a night of drinking, Valerie was hit by a credit card bill that sent her spiraling into a state of shock and repentance. (Not repentance for buying - only for having to pay.) So she looked on as Jean bought three hats, and never once took her wallet out of its nest deep in the bottom of her bag. Every time she was tempted to pull it out, she thought of her wallet as Houdini - shackled, in a strait jacket, in a tank of water - in full view, but completely out of reach. There is something very zen about going home empty handed. (There is nothing zen about paying a credit card bill.)