Wednesday, September 30, 2015
How could we possibly resist a notice like this: "BEST STREET FAIR EVER LONDON TERRACE, WEST 24TH ST., NYC; SAT., 9/26"?
It went on to say: "Calling all Antique, Vintage, Collectibles Collectors, Shoppers, Dealers; Mark your calendars right this minute for the huge, one-of-a-kind, London Terrace Street Fair, Saturday, September 26th, 2015; 9:00AM-5:00PM; Fair runs along 24th street; North/South Side; between 9th and 10th Avenues, NYC. Do not miss this fantastic, multi-vendor annual event; tons and tons of unique items; Holiday gifts; bargains galore on all kinds of Thotchkies, Estate, Heritage, Flea Market, Garage Sale Finds. Stop by to Booth #20 (near to 9th Avenue) and say hello to your favorite vendors from Jackson Heights; Adrienne, Jimmy, Robert. Saturday is going to be a beautiful, sunny day; perfect weather for shopping and having fun at London Terrace Street Fair. Be there."
We'd barely arrived before we met this dapper gent, designer Jeffrey Gladstone. We had a wonderful chat and then kept running into each other in various booths up and down the block. Don't forget to check out his shoes. Luckily for him, they wouldn't fit either of us.
Actually, dapper men abounded, although we could not photograph them all. This gent gave us several wonderful poses before we finally captured this one.
Vendors and wares truly ran the gamut. This lovely young woman in a beautifully patterned turban presided over a booth of colorful jewelry, accessories and clothing.
At this same booth, Valerie tried on this blue and white print cotton denim jacket that Jean unsuccessfully tried to cajole her into buying. (FABULOUS African print (Cameroon??), but just a tad tight, said Valerie.) Aaaannnddd, did we mention that it was only $20? For a New York City market, prices were quite reasonable, which is of course "marking on a curve"!
Jean found an orangey-red cinnabar carved bracelet for under $20.
Amy Krakow had a rack of wonder after wonder. The first wonder was this marvelous smoking jacket.
And just behind it -- pulled out for your viewing pleasure -- was this marvelous purple Mongolian lamb bag. (Valerie checked it out to see how readily it would convert to a hat. About 1.5 readily on a scale of 1-10. It would have needed to be cut, by someone who knows how to cut leather.)
A meeting of the minds, and of the glasses. We meet so many women who take off their glasses to be photographed, but not these ladies. Don't take them off! We love your glasses.
We didn't just look at clothes. It was a toy buyer's paradise. This one, which brings to mind nothing so much as Tamara de Lempicka's self portrait (slyly called "Auto Portrait") came home with Valerie.
We've shown you this before, but it's so worth repeating.
Okay, back to toys. Since we were in the heart of gay Chelsea, it perhaps wasn't so surprising to run into Alan and Ken wedding day dolls.
And for the happy couple, a vintage stove.
Valerie found it hard to resist this bamboo box ornamented with a huge cicada. The workmanship is wonderful. The same vendor had an equally wonderful miniature wooden juke box/music box/cigarette box (not shown). When you turn the key, the music starts, the top of the juke box pops open, and a monkey emerges proffering a single cigarette.
Another one that got away: this metal crocodile with movable jaw. Even though it was adorable, neither of us bought it.
We were tickled when a French couple asked to photograph us. We asked the husband to photograph us with our camera afterward. His wife is next to Jean, and next to Valerie is Giselle, also from France, and a vendor of very original jewelry. Her beautiful face is unfortunately mostly hidden by her hat. We have to tell you more about Giselle one day. Last year she traveled to Asia by herself, and spent a month there, backpacking. Since we're contemporaries, she's a great role model.
Saving our best find for last, we had to show you Hot Girls' Pearls, invented by Constance Sherman, who dubs herself the Chief Cooling Officer. You refrigerate them before you wear them. When you get one of those darned hot flashes, these will save you. They'll keep you cool for about an hour, and then you pop them back in the refrigerator to revive them. Where were these when we needed them?
At the far end of the block, a little sandwich shop with outdoor seating called Rocket Man featured this catchy logo etched into its weathered metal door.
There just has to be a story behind this! As we walked east along 24th Street, we passed a building with a vintage evening gown just hanging from a 3rd floor fire escape against an otherwise rather unassuming facade. Was it an elaborate party advertisement? ("Stop by, dahling, you can't miss it. It's the apartment with a 1950's evening gown hanging outside".)
All we could do was speculate as to its meaning. What a great incarnation for a vintage strapless paste tulle evening gown! It is just one of so many New York City secrets.
Ciao until next time, kiddies!
Sunday, September 27, 2015
Jean here. While Valerie took a little time off, I went to The NYC Big Flea Antiques Market at Pier 90 on the Hudson River. With over 600 booths, it is the largest indoor antiques market in New York City. Judy Bergman from What Was Is Vintage from Merrick, NY posed for a photo. Her booth features vintage jewelry and accessories and men's and women's clothing.
Since I was flying solo and got a late start, I was moving quickly to see as much as possible. I stopped by D. Brett Benson's booth to visit the gents from Florida and admire this art deco green and black Bakelite vanity set.
This interesting asymmetrical buff metal bag in Cherry Boutique's display case really caught my eye. Wouldn't it be fun to carry that out to cocktails one evening?
Andrea Hall Levy's Lofty Vintage booth gave pride of place to this striking red plaid Commes des Garcons ensemble.
Her display case contained terrific round silver earrings with colorful globes (lower left) and a glamorous necklace that looked like it was made of beads dipped in honey. Yummy.
Zondra Foxx was leaving the Lofty Vintage booth just as I arrived and, after a short chat, threw me a kiss and headed out to see more stuff.
Ira Scheck's booth featured the most tantalizing collection of Monies jewelry. This larger than life black and white graphic set of earrings, necklace and single cuff bracelet stopped traffic. (Be still, my heart.) Check out his wares at the Antiques Showplace at 40 W. 25th Street or at www.hotjools.com.
And how about this more colorful earring and necklace set?
Elaine Klausman's Vintage with a Twist always has amazing hats and a great selection of jewelry and this was no exception. This white hat with gathered, pleated material fit beautifully and reminded me a tiny bit (only a tiny bit, mind you) of the Sydney Opera House. And check out the green necklace and earrings (lower left).
Ronnie Sarnat was there, wearing a green woven variation on a gladiator boot, which i couldn't resist showing you again. Check out Ronnie's creations (accessories, necklaces, handbags and broaches) here.
Past Pleasures Moderne's booth featured art deco furniture, like this two-seater sofa and ash tray side table. In addition, this Annandale, VA company also carries art deco-era automotive and airline memorabilia.
An added treat were these shiny futuristic metal Red Streak toy cars that were in terrific shape. Owner Don Selkirk's card lists an email address rather than a website: firstname.lastname@example.org and a phone number: 703-798-3368.
The Big Flea features a number of top notch art deco dealers. Joan and Harvey Wenz' booth contained this black and pale turquoise carved wood vanity and mirror (that caught my reflection as I snapped the photo).
Front and center at Lulu's Vintage's booth was this two-strand carved cinnabar necklace that was designed by Dolfi and sold at Bergdorf Goodman.
This chrome and black art deco desk stole my heart.
By coincidence, Valerie and I had just photographed a metal 1950's Wolverine toy stove the day before at a street fair. This model, by Heiliger, is a smaller older version at John Ribar Antiques.
As my closing shot, I had to show you this bright red plastic pitcher from 20th Century Remains. Just looking at it made me smile.
Mark your calendars and start saving your money now! The winter NYC Big Flea is scheduled for January 23 & 24, 2016. If you are in town, you should check it out. Hope to see you there!
Thursday, September 24, 2015
During New York Fashion Week, we attended Jay Godfrey's S/S 2016 NYFW Presentation which was held Saturday, September 12th at Pier 59 Studios. His Spring 2016 is inspired by the work of the late interior designer and architect David Collins.
Godfrey's collection specifically pays tribute to London-based Collins' use of simplicity, architectural lines, and text to create sensual environments that are simultaneously contemporary and established.
While Godfrey, who also works in the interiors milieu, was working on designing a hotel project in Seoul, Korea, he often looked to Collins' recently released coffee table book, ABCDCS that memorialized the late designer's work in hotels, restaurants, bars, and private residences.
Godfrey was struck by Collins' use of different shades of white, ivory, alabaster and cream and has created a Spring 2016 show as homage to his work.
His monochromatic palette was sophisticated and sleek, and marked a departure from his previously extremely colorful collections. Click here to view our write up and photographs of last season's collection.
And now for the people-watching!
Roger Padilha of MAO Public Relations has the most wonderful smile that makes him look like the proverbial "cat that ate the canary".
Mauricio Padilha, the other half of the PR dynamo, stopped just long enough for Jean to snap a picture with Valerie.
Faustina Rose wore a flower petal headdress and tiny metal dots under her eyes as accents.
We ran into photographer Andrew Werner all over town at NYFW. Sometimes we get to chat and snap and other times, we see him running past on his way from one show to another.
Wasn't this guest lovely and well put together?
We couldn't resist a couple of street style shots of people like this dude, working his shorts and hoodie with a double breasted jacket and cap. Wouldn't this outfit translate to a uni-sex look (minus the sneaks, of course)?
The weather during fashion week was on the warm side and many dressed for the weather, not the event. This young lady worked her late summer look to perfection. She was wearing a necklace by the same designer who did the WXYZ jewelry for the show. More about that below.
Another street style shot. This is Jordan, of Ambitious Commanders. Love the hat - which he whipped up himself, for the event - paired with cropped pants, loafers and a moto jacket.
Tall, thin newly-wed Emily Kammeyer, who produces her own line of eponymous accessories, looks quite sophisticated in an understated way ...
... until one catches a glimpse of her wonderfully graphic nails!
We snapped these two gents in coordinated suits outside the event while we were waiting to get in.
Wish we had this lady's great muscle tone!
Floral prints were very big this year. This lady looks very striking in her suit.
Needless to say, we took a special shine to this troika, all wearing headpieces by Laura Wass, founder of WXYZ Jewelry. (We can easily imagine ourselves in them!) That's Laura on the right. Take a look at her website for her impressive resume. Or take a look at her Instagram. Or both!
And of course, when it was all over, we had to stop at a fabulous local dumpster, featuring one of our favorite Sesame Street characters, to add our own color to it.