A Blast From the Past:

This past weekend’s New York Vintage Fashion & Textile Show & Sale at the New Yorker Hotel (www.newyorkvintagefashionshow.com), may have been so disappointingly scaled down, that I even overheard customers complaining about the unusually small group of dealers present, but it WAS a great place to find collectibles, ready to wear, evening wear, fabulous accessories- specifically pins- AND some new faces.

Chanel necklace from the 1930’s

One of the most standout booths to display a wide assortment of vintage jewelry — not to mention eye-catching pins — was that of Frontino & Vaz, represented by co-owner, Lucille Vaz. In business with partner Georgene Frontino for about 5 years, the duo began as collectors. According to Ms. Vaz, they specialize in late 19th century through the 1980’s- “best in design” items that they believe will become “classics of tomorrow”. Most importantly, they are not interested in over the top, costumey, un-wearable pieces. Quite the contrary – they hope their loyal customers find their jewelry “wearable”. And though they “specialize in Miriam Haskell”, they also have a notable collection of Eisenbergs and Bouchers. Prices start at about $50 up to $1800 for a “one of a kind, real find” – a Chanel necklace from the 1930’s (see photo above). They buy and sell by appointment and you can contact Lucille at 212 689 6616, or email: fandvv@earthlink.net.

Pins and other highly collectible treasures were on view at the booth of Jean Claude Mastroianni (www.jeanclaudenewyork.com) who has a studio at 218 West 29th street, New York, NY 10004, (212) 947 9347. A collector with a highly trained eye, he has been in business for about 20 years and specializes in “out of the ordinary items that we find or create”, as he put it.

As for favorite designer or period? “I like it as long as it’s beautiful”. Among the items displayed in his eclectic booth were a wide range of accessories and jewelry, scarves, gloves, and museum worthy Norells and Valentinos, plus a large silk flower that had belonged to the late Eleanor Roosevelt (not for sale). He knows a great deal about this legendary First Lady and had some wonderful stories to tell about the woman who had quite an interesting “secret life” and was hardly just the Waspy dowager one thinks of. For example, he recounted that she had a penchant for lounging around at home in kimonos over leggings! Who knew?

And newcomers, John Hadeed and David Gorski, made quite a splash with their large corner booth, filled with an amazing assortment of ‘eye candy’. While their Portland Oregon based company – Torso – is a Mecca for Hollywood stylists and other West Coast fashionistas, and those in the know, they are new to the New York vintage scene. They told me this is only their second show here but are already planning to do the two other big vintage shows: the one held at the Metropolitan Pavilion and perhaps the Triple Piers.

As they put it, “they go where the customers are” and see themselves as “an all inclusive store; not piece by piece but all inclusive”. Translation: they can outfit you from the foundation up with accessories included. They can be reached at (503) 294 1493.

-posted by Marilyn Kirschner

Marilyn Kirschner

I am a long time fashion editor with 40+ years of experience. As senior market of Harper's Bazaar for 21 years I met and worked with every major fashion designer in the world and covered all of the collections in Paris, London, Milan and New York. I was responsible for overall content, finding and pulling in the best clothes out there, and for formulating ideas and stories.

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