Everything Old Is New Again (Duh!)

There’s no denying the ease and efficiency inherent in buying off the rack (especially when it comes to basics and wardrobe staples). But if you’re like me, and Washington D.C based pal Madge Novel (In-Style Vintage), you crave a certain amount of individuality and uniqueness in your wardrobe: something that is guaranteed to set you apart from the pack. There is no high compared with scoring that one of a kind piece (where the odds of finding it again are stacked against you); hence, my ongoing fixation with shopping vintage. Quite frankly, the older I get (and the more I see), the more I appreciate it.
Rachel Zabar vintage 80’s
Oscar de la Renta jacket

One of my favorite vintage shopping destinations, is the tri-annual Manhattan Vintage Show, (www.manhattanvintage.com), the ultimate vintage showcase, which brings together over 90 of the country’s top vintage clothing and antique textile dealers under one roof. Held at the Metropolitan Pavillion, 125 West 18th Street, it is seamlessly produced by Maureen McGill, David Ornstein, and Adam Ornstein (the next one will be April 19th and 20th). The February show took place this past Friday and Saturday, and its timing (just days away from New York Fashion Week, which kicks off the spring/ summer ready-to-wear collections), could not could it be more perfect, and its coincidence is not lost on me. As we speak, fashion professionals are once again getting ready for the bi-annual round of shows which will foretell the next season, and yet another set of trends, must haves, and ins and outs will robotic-ally be decreed by fashion journalists, editors, retailers, bloggers.

Evolution’s 60’s cream and black
beaded wool dress, by Banff

But the truth is, nothing is ever in or out;  when something is great, it’s always great; and there are certain things you can’t improve upon as they stand the test of time. This was perfectly illustrated and brought into focus as I perused the aisles at the Metropolitan Pavillion, where I could literally rattle off a laundry list of some of those themes which have not only recurred again and again, but are completely of the moment, judging from recent runways: Mod stripes, hounds tooth checks, and geometrics in bold combinations of black and white; color blocks; patchwork; animal prints; statement making gold accessories; wide belts with enormous gold buckles; structured bags with distinctive gold hardware; flowers and florals; lace; nautical; boho fringe trim; embellished bellhop jackets; beautifully crafted furs and fur trims; stellar outerwear; tassels, tassels, and more tassels.

Evolution’s Robert Lee Morris for Donna Karan belt from the 80’s
And, for those who insist on pointing out that sure, it all comes back, but it comes back differently, I beg to disagree. The Robert Lee Morris for Donna Karan wide suede belts with sculptural gold buckles seen at Evolution  and Lofty Vintage, easily rival those at Celine, Pre- Fall 2013; the 60’s black & white geometric beaded wool gown at Evolution, the black & white striped Byron Lars coat dress at Vintage With A Twist, and Lofty Vintage’s overblown black & white hounds tooth coat from the 60’s, each give Marc Jacobs, (spring 2013), a run for his money; Icon Vintage’s 50’s flapper style sautoir braided seed and glass beaded tassel necklace, immediately called to mind Saint Laurent, (currently under the tutelage of Hedi Slimane), as did Patina’s black knit sweater with gold embroidery and gold tassels a (see below).

Patina’s vintage black knit sweater with gold embroidery and tassels
The latter also reminded me of a few ornate black with gold embroidered vests and jackets that Ralph Lauren showed during the course of his Spanish themed spring 2013 collection last September. Of course, nothing can improve upon Azzedine Alaia when it comes to fantastic, beautifully cut coats, and his fit and flare black wool coat from the 80’s, which I saw at the Amarcord Vintage booth, was truly stunning (unfortunately, so was the price: $6000, though in general, you will most likely pay less for vintage, than you will for anything similar at retail).
And talk about ‘separated at birth’, the 60’s mod Bill Blass for Bond Street black vinyl coat (top photo) decorated with appliqued daisies, which was for sale on www.etsy.com, is as good, if not better than Prada, and you can’t beat the price, $395.
 Contact information for some of my favorite dealers:
Cherry, Cesar Padilla & Radford Brown, 718 786 8645, www.cherryboutique.com
De Jewels, Deirdre Geary, NYC 212 228 6445, dgeary7@verizon.net
Evolution, Tony Tiemeyer, 513 560 1983′ ton@insightbb.com, www.1stdibs.com
Icon Style, Lara Kornbluh, 212 799 0029, lara@iconstyle.net, www.iconstyle.net
Lofty Vintage, Andrea Hall Levy, 646 705 6465, www.loftyvintage.com, andrea@loftyvintage.com
Lulu’s Vintage Lovelies, Yardena, NYC, 212 684 7193, www.luluvintage.net, nyluluvintage@gmail.com
Marlene Wetherell Vintage Fashion, The Show Place, Gallerie 210, 40 West 25th Street, NYC, 917, 225 0662, marleneweetherall@gmail.com
Patina, Lenore Newman, 451 Broome Street, NYC, 212 625 3375, patinavintage@gmail.com, www.patina-vintage.com
Rachel Zabar Vintage, Rachel Zabar, 323 243 0100, rachelzabarvintage@gmail.com, www.1stdibs.com
Vintage With A Twist, Elaine Klausman, Bedford, NY., 914 924 5006, antiquelaney@gmail.com

– 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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