Sunday, April 29, 2012

Metropolitan Pavilion Vintage Show 4/21/12

On Saturday, April 21st, we made our pilgrimage to the Metropolitan Pavilion's Vintage Show. The vendors' wares were in perfect sync with the spring-like weather. Valerie got into the spirit, donning a coat of many colors and a wonderful new straw hat. Even Jean made an effort to incorporate a little mustard into the normally black palette.

This very chic vendor wore a wonderfully tailored vinyl Donna Karan topper and a lucite necklace. Loved her black and white glasses with her silver hair.

Milliner Gretchen Fenston and her husband Roddy Caravella rock the vintage look like no other couple.

Couldn't resist a closeup of the back of Gretchen's hat.

Here's Lisa, who runs The Archives. Check out her outfit. She's wearing a sleeveless dress with wonderful insets at the sides, just above the knees, and finished with a series of white bands at the hem. She's paired it with a leotard-style top, with the shoulders pulled way down, exposing her shoulders dramatically. Way cool!

Lisa has a very carefully curated collection. Just about everything is a cause for surprise, delight, and nostalgia. Here she shows us two fabulous swimming caps. Notice the soft little rubber spikes that form the designs on the yellow one? And it might be hard to see in the photo, but the white one is covered with various sea shell designs. In a similar vein, Jean noticed a LOT of vintage bathing suits this time around. They had great style.

Valerie stopped to admire this hand-painted chamois leather jumpsuit which we pegged to be circa 1975. Think "Tony Orlando and Dawn". Valerie says: It hasn't photographed well, unfortunately. On line, it makes me say 'Huh?', but in person, even though it would not have been appropriate for me, I found it quite charming - for someone half my weight and half my age.

Lulu showed off one of her great graphic jackets.

Valerie had to check out this hand-painted suit in Lulu's booth. (Too small for me, says Valerie, but soooo interesting.)

We loved this imaginative scarecrow print on a skirt from Pocketbook, Susan Bergin's booth. Some dealers are reluctant to let their finds be photographed, which we understand and respect. So we were very grateful when Susan allowed us to take this photograph.

We also loved this vibrant print - probably close to the same vintage - featuring figures wearing necklets and anklets.

A balancing act! Jean in black, with a touch of yellow; Patricia Fox in stoplight yellow set off by black. We loved Paticia's polished black hat, vintage shades, and shoes and socks. How many people can pull that off?

Lisa Koenigsberg stopped by, wearing a very spring-like ensemble, right down to her great shoes.

Stacy LoAlbo of Incogneeto and her daughter Halayna Koehn paused for a photo.

Stacy always has at least one irresistible hat stashed away. When she showed this to Valerie, it was love at first sight. But when paired with her new hairdo, it didn't work at all, which was quite a disappointment. Since Jean has completely different hair, Valerie presented it to Jean, and urged her to try it, knowing that Jean doesn't wear red clothes, per se, but does wear red accessories.

Jean bought the hat! Valerie is consoled (relieved, in fact!) that knowing it's gone to a good home, and that she can visit with it periodically.

We had to stop this like-minded shopper and admire the small topper she wore to the show. This is from the '30s, when so-called dolls' hats were all the rage.

Valerie stopped to say hi to Hannah and Vita from Marmalade. Vita is off to an arts university this fall!

The mother and daughter duo showed off their fabulous footwear.

Along the way we ran into Zondra Foxx, aflame with color.

This lady was workin' it!

Jean spotted this gent trying on the short white jacket. Valerie thought he looked uncertain about his choice, and went over to encourage him. Turned out he'd already made up his mind to take the jacket, and didn't need a second opinion at all.

These two young vintage vixens were working their Mad Men look to the hilt and were having a ball.

We ran into Tziporah Salamon at the show, clad in her signature orientalia.

We also ran into Tim John, wearing a marvelous Ivan Grundhal jacket. The secret, he said, was that he was wearing it upside down. He took it off to show up how it looked right side up (he was right - far less interesting) and we photographed him after he'd casually flung it back on, one sleeve waiting to be positioned. The angles it creates are so interesting!

We loved the hairstyles on these two women.

Just before we left, we ran into Lori Lewin, who, just like last time, was dressed fabulously in vintage. Note the hint of an intriguing tattoo just above the top button on her dress.

Time sure flies when you're having fun! We ran out of time. We hadn't gotten through all of the aisles, but had to dash to artist Carol Markel's open studio. (More about that adventure in a future post!)

What we're wearing:

Jean is wearing an Urban Outfitters turban, Illysteva glasses, Kymio jacket (from Scout at a previous Metropolitan Pavilion show), Ronen Chen slacks (from Rosebud), Trippen boots (from A-Uno), Hello Kitty bag, Angela Caputi tortoise earrings, vintage bakelite rings.

Valerie is wearing a pink straw hat by Susy Krakowski, spattered jacket by Alberto Makali, imitation Chinese Warring States bead from the late great dollar flea market (where now stands a huge flavorless concrete box chocabloc with countless faceless high priced apartments), pink H&M bustier, silk pants by Yoshiki Hishinuma, pink suede shoes by Aerosoles.

And in case you missed the big brouhaha on Saturday, check us out on Here’s the link.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

We're on Today!

We’re on today! CLICK HERE to see us, and other like-minded older women, as we speak our minds and tell our tales.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Philly Dilly Dally

For months we had been planning a trip to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, on the strength of these shoes alone!

For those of you who don't know, Zaha Hadid, who designed the shoes, is not only one of the world's best known architects, she's also one of its few high profile women architects, and also works extensively in interior design, making interiors suited to her stunning futuristic structures. To celebrate her large body of work, the Philadelphia Museum of Art recently gave Ms. Hadid her own show. If only to get a look at the shoes (manufactured by Melissa; photo by David Grandorge), we had to go.

Before you even get inside, you are treated to Ms. Hadid's concept for an automobile, which looks tailor-made for Jean and her outfit.

Among Ms. Hadid's trademarks are stretched taffy-like lines, like those in her shoes. Much of her work looks as though it's reflected in a funhouse mirror, or like it's speeding away faster than the eye can take in. In the entryway to her exhibition, even the introductory panel was stretched out, as you can see below. We were not allowed to take photos, but we found these on the web, provided by Zaha Hadid Architects.

We were treated to a long series of video clips showing buildings she's finished and buildings she's planned, but we can't show you those. Here, however, at the center of this bird's eye view of the main room of the exhibition (below), is a cluster of seats she designed. At our age, when we hear "space age" we think The Jetsons, or 2001: A Space Odyssey. In other words, we think '60s. But Hadid's designs look like the 21st century version of the word "space age".

This is the underside of a Hadid table. It's reminiscent of tree roots or spider webs. Organic, and yet very original. How often is one as interested in the underside of a table as in its surface?

If you look at around the 11:00 point of the bird's eye view photo, you can see a little display that's too small to make out. THERE was our holy grail. The shoes we'd come to see. In addition, we were surprised to see Hadid has also made space age shoes for Lacoste.
Later, in our requisite trip to the gift shop, we were delighted to see that we could actually purchase the Lacoste shoes. They're wonderful, winding as they do around the ankle. The shoe stops at the ankle, but there's a boot version that stops just below the knee, winding around the leg as it ascends. The box is just as wonderful as the shoe, and we very much regret that we were not allowed to photograph that either. You might want to buy the box just to contemplate its lines. You can see a hint of it in this picture we found on line, but you really have to see it for yourself.

The box has an outer sleeve that surrounds the box and slides off it like a glove from a hand. And the box itself is not constructed at right angles, giving it the illusion of motion, even when it's still. When you remove the box's outer sleeve, you find the shoe lying in a little molded bed, almost like a diamond ring in a velvet cushion. Taking the shoe out seems like an act of reverence. We saw the price of the shoe, and paying for it would also be an act of reverence! We were sooooo disappointed not to be able to buy, or even try on, the purple plastic Melissa shoe. The sales assistant was very sympathetic. They had tried to get it for the store, she said, but it was a limited edition, and was simply not available. SIGH.

And here follows a picture of Zaha herself. A woman of a certain age, born in Baghdad.

To give you some idea how far behind we still are, this was part of our trip to Philadelphia on March 3. We reported on the biennial fiber show, but we wound up packing so much into our day that we decided to give the Museum its own space, and we're only now getting around to it. We have to highly recommend this museum (which is now showing a blockbuster van Gogh exhibition). Not only does it have great shows, it also has two great gift shops. Their buyers take care to stock merchandise that other museums don't (but should). But we digress.

Tucked away on the second floor of the Museum was an unexpected installation titled "Great Coats".

Of course, our favorite was this ivory and black coat by Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto. Produced in the mid-1980s, the coat is made of wool and nylon blend fulled twill. It is the perfect Cruella de Vil outfit, totally white in front and totally black in back.

This '80s coat was also lovely, but was nearly impossible to photograph among all the reflections. That large rectangle is actually a slide show reflected from the other side of the room.

Valerie fell in love with this collar, and took this picture, but failed to record the name of the designer.

Museum hijinks! As we have confessed on prior occasions, something comes over us in museums and we tend to act out more than usual. In the beautifully appointed elevator, Valerie perched on the operator's seat and struck a pose for the ages. No doubt, our cackling reverberated up and down the elevator shaft.

Not to be outdone, Jean gets up close and personal with Auguste Rodin's Monument to Victor Hugo.

Wandering back downstairs, we both loved this light fixture aptly titled "Comet/Nature" on the first floor. Designed by Tristan Lane in 2011, it is constructed of neon, glass transformers, aluminum and steel.

Another fabulous show at the Philadelphia Museum of Art is Collab's Chair exhibition. Here are just a few of our favorites:

This wonderfully iconic 1907 beechwood and leather chair was designed by Josef Hoffman.

Jean posed by Japanese designer Masanori Umeda's 1982 "Ginza Robot" cabinet made of plastic-laminate wood and chip board by Memphis, Milan.

"MR 20" Armchair and Stool were designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in 1927 and are constructed of chrome-plated steel, lacquered caning.

Dutch designer Gerrit Thomas Rietveld's iconic "Zigzag" chair was designed in 1932-33 and made in 1935 of painted plywood.

Having had our fill, we were off to the fiber biennial. While we were waiting outside for the bus to whisk us away, Jean found an irrestible dog.

And we'd just thought we'd close with this photo. In case you couldn't imagine what the Melissa shoes would look like with feet in them...

Sunday, April 22, 2012

SOFA SO GOOD: SOFA New York 2012

This past Wednesday, press passes in hand, we attended the opening night reception for the international exhibition of Sculptural Objects and Functional Art at the cavernous Park Avenue Armory in New York. Since this is a people-watching event par excellence, and the artwork is amazing, we decided to split our posting down the middle, to be sure to give you a flavor of the best of both worlds!


As soon as we entered the main hall, we met Marilyn White (whose PR firm handled event publicity) and another guest. Don't you love Marilyn's leopard sheath?

Here's glass artist Kazuko Mitsushima modeling her ring and necklace at Dai-Ichi Arts. The ring has two cleverly cut holes in it to slip the finger through. The knuckle stays inside the bubble.


Ruth Snyderman, one of the owners of Snyderman-Works Galleries, shows off the work of Myung Urso. The necklace is hand painted silk stretched over a metal frame and stitched closed.

German jeweler Hilde Leiss on the right (, shown here with Lisa Linhardt, was wearing one of her designs, which are on display at the Lindhardt Design Studio (

Artist Charlotte Thorp wore an oriental robe and a paper fascinator of her own design.

Valerie posed with our pal, artist Nancy Koenigsberg.

Ute Decker, right, below, is not showing at SOFA, but we had to show you the fabulous necklaces she made. That's her sister modeling the other necklace. Ute's work is showing now at Kentshire Gallery.


Jean, Sandy Long, and Valerie.


We were thrilled to see Israeli goldsmith Sara Basch again, wearing another one of her ingenious creations.

Here is a closeup of Sara's marvelous necklace, which looks like something out of Lord of the Rings.

Milliner Yuka Hasegawa posed in front of a wonderful monkey statue.

We ran into Suzanne Golden, here showing off her tradmark intricately beaded bracelets.


We met Phillip at a show at Staley-Wise Gallery last year. Don't you love his dapper style? We also admired the hair style of his friend, actress Julie Berndt.


Julie Dale, owner of Julie Artisans' Gallery, her husband, actor Jim Dale, and Rose Hartman (she of the photograph of Bianca Jagger astride a white horse in Studio 54).


Sandy Long and her traveling companion.

Yoshiko Ebihara, right, owner of Gallery 91, and friend.


Valerie stopped to chat with Masako Dempo Yuki, owner of Gallery Gen, one of the exhibitors at SOFA.

Masako greets Noriko Miyamoto (owner of Miyamoto Antiques), who was wearing a wonderfully graphic jacket.

We ran into our friend artist Katherine D. Crone, who has been getting ready for an open studio showing of her work.

Milliner Maryanne, seen lately in the Times Sunday Styles section, posed in one of her Tipsy Topper creations.

Jean stopped to chat with Jonathan and his wife Cindy, who is an art history fellow.

Don't these two look great? The lady on the left designed and made her striking necklace.

Sue and Valerie posed with a positively delightful young woman in red, who asked for a photograph.


We missed a lecture by Georg Dobler, maker of these wonderful 3D pieces, unfortunately. Top right is a brooch modeled after a Kandinsky work; below left is a necklace. All are made of steel, but light and flexible.


Dobler also made this papier mache necklace with depictions of heavenly bodies.


Arthur Hash, at Sienna Gallery, has a similar turn of mind. This large necklace, made of a kind of polymer, was light as a feather.


Wexler Gallery showed the next two modern pieces, the first made of polymer, by Phillipp Aduatz, the second of steel and concrete by Vivian Beer.


Cavin-Morris Gallery had these wonderful sensuous textured baskets.


TAI Gallery features a number of bamboo artists from Japan. This one, by Hajime Nakatomi, takes the technique in an entirely different direction, building a very open structure.


Erskine, Hall & Coe had a selection by the late Hans Coper, whose work often has an element of mystery about it.


Lacoste Gallery, a who's who of potters / ceramists, had this piece by Jun Kaneko,


and these minimalist tea bowls by Tim Rowan, whose work looks like it was made by a Japanese master.


What we're wearing:
Jean is wearing a black Louis Feraud jacket; black and white polka dot Kedem Sasson skirt; black & white Underground shoes; black patent Lux de Vil bag from Enz; white & black striped Uniqlo turtleneck; vintage black & white striped raffia chandelier earrings from Marmalade; vintage Stetson bowler; black & white Danielle Gori-Montanelli felt pin.

Valerie is wearing one of the thrift shop hats that Jean and Valerie bought and spray painted red, red plastic earrings, tubular knit coat by Chisato Tsumori, sleeveless dress by Joan Vass, shirt by Pleats Please, red plastic ring, shoes by Nicole.

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Valerie would just like to take a moment to thank everyone who wrote in to give her the thumbs up on her new hair style. We love hearing from our readers, and all your comments are very much appreciated. You ladies ROCK! (But then, you already knew that, didn't you?!)