Sunday, November 23, 2014

Pier Review

We rock The Pier Show!

On the Saturday before Thanksgiving, we went to the Pier Show to check out an amazing selection of vintage women's and men's clothing, hats (of course!), jewelry, handbags and shoes --  and to people watch!

We didn't see some of our old favorites, but on the other hand there were some newcomers to the madness.  Case in point: Brown & Williams, dealers in British menswear, and dressed for the part.

We ran into Carol Weiss, who is endlessly a joy to talk with and look at.  Carol's look is very subtle and cannot be taken in at a single glance.

You would have to look closer to see that she's wearing eighteen square bangles.

And you would have to look closer to see the three dimensional spirals carved out of her Pataugus shoes.

We always have to stop by Cherry, where we see the most marvelous things.  This time, among other marvels, we saw these wonderful shoes (below is one of the pair).  We were told the folks at Cherry, who recently relocated to Brooklyn, bought out the entire stock of a store that sold handmade shoes.  It was hard to get this shoe at the best angle to see all its marvelous features.  In addition to the several harmonious colors you see, it also has a square, rather than rounded, back, and a delicately carved low heel.

Both of us zeroed in on this gorgeous  '40s - '50s chest of drawers at Andrew Spindler Antiques, which the dealer believes was a custom order, with all sorts of beautiful detailing, both inside and out.  We were further tickled because the centerpiece displayed atop the chest is a French hat mold from the '20s.

Valerie had a conversation with Leslie Stevens, drawn to her sweater with hand embroidered (?) circles on it.  Like us, Leslie has a fascination with dots; unlike us, she has a Pinterest board that features dots in many forms.  Check out Leslie's Dots board and see all the wonderful permutations of dots she's found and uploaded onto her board.  Not surprisingly, you'll find Yayoi Kusama, but all sorts of other delights await you if you link to her site.  (You might also look at her Hair and other boards while you're there.)  You never know where a chance conversation will take you!

We stopped at the booth of Karen Murphy and David Dew Bruner, where all sorts of treasures beckoned us.   Below is Karen, with her assistant.

Valerie found a pair of India ink-y pants by Issey Miyake.  Twenty years ago they would have fit perfectly; now they're a tad small.  Sigh...

Then there were the scrumptious Calder-like earrings…

We had to photograph this young couple in matching pants.

Adrienne Astrologico's Ladybag International features an extensive collection of designer handbags. What really caught our eye was this pair of Chanel glasses with camera lens frames!

Fran Cohen's Uniquities booth also had a beautiful collection of handbags, including this carved wooden minaudiere.

Heidi Rosenau and Joe McGlynn are a striking couple who seamlessly incorporate vintage into their everyday wardrobes.

We ran into Warren Franz of Another Man's Treasure who was looking particularly dashing.

Loved how David Owens displayed this Fiorucci scarf.

Lyn of Accidental Icon and Calvin are our nominees for most stylish couple!

Michal Feinmesser of What Once Was in Kedem Sasson dress that we shamelessly coveted.  She had several necklaces for sale like the one she is wearing.

We ran into Lori Lewin and her friend Ako.  Lori is one of those women who incorporates iconic vintage looks (like this scarf turban) into her daily wardrobe and makes the look her own.

Karen McWharter showed an absolutely striking example of a Victorian silk velvet jacket in black with intricate embroidery.

Emma Madnick joined us at the show as we strolled up and down the aisles of Fashion Alley, looking at booth after booth of great jewelry, shoes, hats, eyeglasses and clothes.  Wish you could see the tuxedo stripe on her pants and her chic suspenders.

We loved this Bonnie Cashen dress at Lenore Newman's Patina.

Incogneeto's 1920s cloche hat incorporated silver pins.

Linda Pastorino has an amazing knack for effortlessly putting together an eclectic combination of ethnic and tribal textiles and jewelry and making it all work.

A number of the vintage gowns like this one on display at Bruce Mihalski's Hollywood & Vine had delicately detailed stitching and intricate beadwork and were in terrific condition.

We met Kyle several years ago when she photographed us at the Manhattan Vintage Show.  We loved the look of her felted wool cap and round glasses with her black and white bag and jewelry.

Valerie found the perfect Lucy Ricardo dress.

Forget about Kendall Jenner.  Our money's on Coral Pastorino, a tall, beautiful and poised young woman who has a well-honed appreciation for vintage textiles, jewelry and clothing. Like her mother Linda, she wears her clothing, it doesn't wear her.

Doesn't Lee Chinalai look terrific in her back and white outfit? Check out Chinalai Tribal Antiques, Ltd.

Tim John was channeling his inner Dr. Zhivago.

Jean fell in love with this Norma Kamali jacket at Lofty Vintage.  If she'd been able to button (ahem) ALL of the buttons, she would have taken it home with her.  Sigh! Things like those white Miyake pants and this black Kamali jacket keep each of us humble.

Just before we left we ran into Pratt Institute's Professor Adrienne Jones (right), curator of Pratt's exhibition Black Dress, which we reviewed earlier this year.  (See Elle magazine's interview with Adrienne here.)  At the same time, who should walk by but vintage fashion afficionada Jill (left), whom you've seen here in previous posts.

Check out Jill's backpack, too.  (Yes, that's a Norma Kamali jacket.)

Here's a little eye candy as we leave the show.  We went back to photograph a Miro bark cloth window drape, but it had been sold, so you will have to imagine how fabulous it was.

On our way home on the subway (Why is it that we're still not taking limosines?), these gorgeous ladies asked to photograph us.  We gave them our card, and asked to photograph them back.  It never ceases to delight us that people half our age (or younger!) are on our wavelength.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


The Fabulous Hats of Ignatius Creegan and Rod Givens

Ignatius Creegan and Rod Givens are the mad geniuses behind Ignatius Hats. Longtime readers know of our well-chronicled addiction to their millinery creations. Valerie even commissioned them to make her a hat in the shape of the Guggenheim Museum! (For more about the origins and adventures of the Guggenheim hat, click here.) We spent an inordinate amount of time in their booth at the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show, a fact we can document for you now. The opening shot gives you an idea of the whimsical nature of some of their designs, to say nothing of the technical prowess involved, or the creative thinking.

Here are the guys themselves.  (Rod left; Ignatius right.)

Their straw creations run the gamut from crazy, geometric cartoonish shapes like those in our opening shot

to traditional shapes like the top hat.  It's always interesting to see how two different people will wear the same hat.

While the bulk of their creations are in straw, they do design whole winter collections of sumptuous felt hats. They have even started to produce a few men's hats. Our pal Mary Joy tried on one of the men's top hats. While we were wondering who could possibly wear such large headwear, a gentleman walked up and tried one on and it was TOO SMALL! Go figure.

Ginny found an olive felted wool cloche with button detail that fit like a glove.

Mary Joy went for a large grey wool hat with brim with a spotted cat motif that has a wonderful silhouette.

Valerie tried on one of several leaf creations on headbands.

These double feather pom-poms appealed to Jean.

A dramatic veiled number with crystals that encircles the head and neck was designed for a runway show.  It looks worthy of a dowager duchess, or Queen Elizabeth I.  It does raise issues for would-be smokers or imbibers, however chic one might look with a cigarette holder or a glass of champagne.

Here's Jean wearing a hat with large button detailing, with Rod.  The guys buy all sorts of trim from all sorts of places, and put them together in wonderfully unexpected ways.

Valerie tried this large brimmed matte gold hat in feather-light sinamay.

Jean took this Dr. Sesuss-like hat for a spin. The top swirl moves when the wearer does.

A straw disc under the shadow print silk fabric gives shape to this Renaissance print hat.

Jean's selfie in a mini-straw hat that caught her eye.

This pink feather concoction is just the thing to wear for cocktails, don't you think?

Not ready to commit?  Ignatius and Rod have you (and your head) covered.  They have a selection of fun fleece hats like this one. Which you can wear the traditional way, with its tail down your back...

Or, because the fleece is fuzzy, and the fibers tend to adhere easily to themselves, you can pile the tail on your head for a different look.

The gents told us they had a client who had bought a hat from them that day based on our postings!  A convert!  Can't get a much better compliment than that.  And later on we ran into her, hat box in hand.  Here's Deborah, below.  We only wish we'd asked for to show off her new hat for us.  Deborah, if you're reading, send us a photo to post!

Nothing makes our hearts go pitter-patter like hats! Ciao, until next time, kiddies.

**  Thanks to Jimmy Durante for today's title.  (Younger than we are?  Click here to find out who he was.  And for the record, he hails from our parents' generation.  We're not that old.)