Here I am sitting around on a soggy Labor Day weekend, contemplating the unofficial beginning of fall (yay!), the upcoming New York Fashion Week for Spring 2007, and trying to figure out exactly what I will wear, which always brings me back to vintage. Buying vintage as far as I’m concerned, is still the best way to get the most bang for one’s buck, and is still the best way to find unusual, beautifully made, pieces with loads of personality, that are not part of a commercial collection, sitting on a rack alongside others like it, which will eventually turn up on the backs of countless others. In other words, the one of a kind aspect of vintage clothing is perfect for those who don’t want to look like anyone else.
While I agreed with some of what Lynn Yaeger touched upon in her recent article written for “T”, The New York Times Style Magazine, Fall 2006 (“Age Appropriate?”), where she mused out loud whether or not she was a bit too old to wear vintage, I hardly think that vintage clothing is the only category that begs the question. Every woman has to approach her fashion choices keeping in mind the concept of ‘appropriate’ as it pertains to her (age, body, lifestyle, occupation, geographic location, etc.)
And, with all due respect (I admire Ms. Yaeger as a writer and as a fashion individualist), since when did she become overly concerned with looking appropriate or ‘modern’? I mean really, this, from a woman who by her own admission, invites stares and comments from passers by, owing to her trademark ‘kewpie doll’ rouged cheeks and accentuated lips.
Be that as it may, if you are like me, and can’t get enough of vintage shops and online websites, I have great news. One of my favorite fashion insiders is the multi-talented Pinky Wolman, (someone I’ve known for many years, having met her decades ago when she was half the designing duo, Pinky & Dianne). These days, in addition to having her own label in Japan where she is a ‘brand’ (Pinky Wolman New York, which boasts 20 licensees), she has managed to turn her passion for vintage and fashion historian-knowledge/expertise, into a thriving side business.
Her right-on-target vintage website, Mid Century Chic, located on www.fashiondig.com, has been filled with wonderful collectibles, disarming finds, and seasonal must haves for many years. And this weekend, Pinky has just launched her new ‘baby’, www.midcenturychic.com which is totally independent of the www.Fashiondig.com yet conveniently linked to it.
So, what sets her new venture apart from the established website? According to Pinky:
“I plan to concentrate on the higher end, unusual, rare and collectible Designer/Couture Vintage items on my new site. On Fashiondig my shop will probably contain more accessories and less expensive, but this just depends on the season’s trends and what I come up with. I am adding many new things including some new finds from Andre Couregges and Roberta di Camerino. Vintage Gucci & Pucci are still as popular as ever, plus I am looking for more American Designer Couture - big names and unknowns (from the 60s & 70s) which I believe to be undervalued and under appreciated. And of course, any thing and everything in animal prints (leopard and black & white zebra are my favorites)...all kinds of clothing - coats, dresses, shoes, handbags, gloves & hats.
As for accessories, I have amassed a major collection of items form Whiting & Davis. I think it’s wonderful, original & American, and also often is underappreciated. So you shall be seeing more & more of that on my new web site. I am always hunting where ever I go and will continue to do so”.
In addition, there is a page in Japanese (because she is famous there, has a huge fan base, and the Japanese are not only huge vintage fans, but have more fun and more expertise combining vintage with modern than almost any one else) and she hopes to add some interesting content pages as well as a blog in the future.