Sunday, February 10, 2013

Everything Old Is You Again - We Visit the Metropolitan Vintage Show

Last weekend we went to the Manhattan Vintage Show at the Metropolitan Pavilion, one of our favorite destinations, to check out close to one hundred different vendors of vintage clothing, jewelry, and antique textiles from the 19th and 20th centuries.  

Before we'd even walked in, we were greeted by several mannequins, all wearing Betsey Johnson outfits from the 1970s. Here are a few:

Don't miss the transparent flounce on the black tube dress above. And don't miss the dual colors on the leggings below.

The young woman above has achieved a very stylish retro look using modern clothing.  Check out her scarf and glasses -- subtle, not over the top, but suggestive of another era.

Below is vintage to the "-nth degree", courtesy of Zondra Foxx in her mushroom cloud platinum wig.

Very early in our wanderings, we ran into milliner Gretchen Fenston and her husband, Roddy. Both are always turned out head to toe in vintage whenever we run into them. Gretchen made the hat she's wearing.

Hannah Kurland of Marmalade greeted us and showed off her colorful clown bag and circus motif skirt.

You have to see her fabulous solar system necklace!

And PBS' Market Warrior made an appearance. Next time, we need to ask him if shopping is any different now that he does it for a living on TV. (And we should ask him if he needs any assistants!)

At lunchtime, we ran into Charlotte, in for the day from Boston (as an early birthday present) with her mother. At 14, Charlotte is already deeply into vintage and style. Amazingly, despite her tender age, Charlotte recognized us, and later recognized StyleLikeU's Elisa Goodkind when she wandered past our table. We loved Charlotte's little hat, which conjures up pictures of eccentric old Georgian period English gentlemen in their robes, slippers and nightcaps at bedtime.

Charlotte bought this hat that day. (Yes, she knows it doesn't go with the suit. She was showing the hat, not the ensemble.)

This lovely young thing was modeling an evening gown and was sweet enough to let us photograph her coming ...

and going! Wonder if she bought it. It looked great on her.

Imagine our surprise and delight to discover that Suzanne Dache, daughter of milliner Lilly Dache, and a milliner herself, had a booth at the show. Here is Ms. Dache with a young milliner in a booth full of treasures.

This portrait of milliner Lily Dache graced the booth.

Chubo, one of our favorite vendors, broke out of his usual mold and modeled a huge raccoon coat.

While we were shopping, we were stopped and interviewed by this earnest pair of students from the New York Film Academy.  Who knows what cutting room floor our footage will end up on? 

Domino effect?  After scoping out the perimeter, we stopped in to visit Filippo Guerrieri and his partner Purvis, proprietors of Sunset Blvd Vintage, and were thrilled to find Filippo decked out in black and white too, with alternating color goat leggings. Have camera, will vogue! Speaking of black and white, the black and white sunglasses we were wearing in the opening photo were courtesy of Sunset Blvd.

Mara Vernaza, the proprietor of Mara, made this fabulous coat from a re-purposed vintage wool blanket. Here it looks good; in person it was gorgeous.

Valerie couldn't resist trying on this lovely Commedia dell'Arte style black felt and feather hat at Hollywood & Vine. Not sure it's right for her, or maybe it's not right for the outfit, but it's a rare find, very much of its period.

Isn't this little suit marvelous? In its time, this adorable child's outfit featuring black and white polka-dotted, bow-tied giraffes must have brought quite a smile to some little girl's face.

At the other end of the spectrum, this very '80s Marilyn sweater by Adrienne Vittadini, at La Rose booth.

Fool's Gold, run by Sheila Strong, carries a terrific selection of bakelite jewelry, napkin rings, and assorted vintage ephemera. This was just one of her display cases at the show. For further information, contact Sheila at: .

When Sheila showed Jean this black and ivory colored poker-chip bakelite necklace, it was love at first sight. If you look closely at the opening photograph, you can see Jean wearing it along with another ivory bakelite necklace, also from Fool's Gold from several shows ago.

This handbag of more recent vintage, embellished with miniature carved skulls, was made in Italy.  The skulls make a lovely (or creepy, depending on your viewpoint) little clickety-clack sound as they gently hit each other when the bag was moved. 

In the Vintage with a Twist booth, we discovered this incredible combination eyeglasses and head piece from one of designer Claude Montana's 1980s runway shows. For more information, contact Elaine Klausman at .

Remember we introduced you to Theodore of Paradox on our last trip to the Metropolitan? He had fashioned a natty pair of pants out of a large colorful sweater. This time, he had festooned his shoulders with two Mohawk wigs (hats?), and was wearing a buttery soft leather skirt with a beautiful drape.

Also at Paradox, Valerie admired this shibori'd black and grey vintage Issey Miyake.  The photo does it no justice at all.  A single long piece of material drapes from one shoulder way down to the calf and then back up to the other shoulder.  Strategically placed buttons allow it to have multiple incarnations.

At the Noble Savage Vintage booth, we found these adorable parasols.  Valerie's is an off-white linen children's parasol from about the 1920s.  Jean's is an Edwardian black silk toy parasol, with an elaborately carved gutta-percha handle which folds in half for easy storage. Very Edward Gorey, don't you think? 

Late in the afternoon, we met Terri and admired her short-cropped silver locks.

Not just another pretty face, Terri knits!  She made the sock (and its mate) which you can just glimpse at the top of her flowered Doc Martens.

At Recursive Chic, the proprietress pointed out these wonderful triangular buttons, which appear to be cut shells steeped in resin.

You've met Jae before.  Now meet her dapper husband, Wadsworth.

And to close, two favorite themes of ours in one photo: vintage and hats, as worn by a fellow shopper.

Now here's the same photo, with a close up of the hat, 'cause we're betting you didn't see that the hat is made of gray felt roses with individually cut petals. Want! Want! Want! (Can't have! Can't have! Can't have!!!!)

Until next time, keep on rocking in the free world! (And don't forget to wear a hat!)


  1. This post brings back such great memories of the October show! I recognize a number of people in the photos and the names of the vendors. Charlotte is just adorable - I would be so proud of her if she was my daughter.
    The grey felt-flower hat is divine - definitely a Want-Want. I would have loved to have met Lily Dache's daughter and shown her the hat designed by her mother that I bought at the last show.

  2. OMG, What amazing things and so much fun. I couldn't even imagine. I would love to go to one of those events.

  3. Love the hat Valerie is wearing! I'm a "big hat" type of person....looks marvelous on her.

  4. oh the show looks great. I seen so many things i'd love. lucyx

  5. Like Shelley, my memories of the Manhattan Vintage show in the fall have been fully and delightfully triggered. So many gorgeous hats, vintage pieces and people. How fortunate I was to get a taste of this show in October, and loved every photo, from beginning to end.

  6. These are amazing photos! I hope one day I can make it to the show but I may be dreaming. Charlotte's style is amazing and she sounds like a damn cool girl.

  7. Absolutely wonderful..thank you for sharing with us!