Life After Politics

In the wake of the Presidential election, it may seem that it has been ‘all about’ politics, but thankfully, diversions abound around town- particularly if you are one of the many who gravitate to vintage and love the chance to hunt down vintage treasures. In fact, there are no less than three fabulous events coming up this week and next.

In addition to Housing Works’ 4 day benefit, called Fashion4Action, which was the subject of Guy Trebay’s column (“Old Is Everywhere, So a Charity Tries On the New”) in Tuesday, November 9th’s ‘Fashion’ section of The New York Times, there is the Triple Piers Antique Show, held this weekend and next, at Piers 88, 90, 92, which is kicking off with a first time only ‘preview’ sale this Friday, November 12th (

Then, there is the venerable and bi-annual Doyle New York Couture, Textiles, and Accessories Auction on Tuesday, November 16th ( I was curious to know what Clair Watson (Doyle’s Director of Couture) thought to be the most noteworthy and interesting aspects of this highly anticipated event.

In Clair’s own words: “Firstly, the costume jewelry is absolutely fascinating- items from each decade of the last century, European and American, all the way to 80’s: Ugo Correani for Lagerfeld at Chloe, and Versace- both of whom adored him although as competitors professional jealousy could have stunted his creativity. But as there was none, he was given free reign by these two important 1980s designers.

Also, Shara Pagano for Armani, (an equally interesting relationship). The designs from this period are very fresh to auction, have never been offered anywhere before, and are a pure joy to behold, witty and intelligent. I am looking forward to seeing the market response.

There are some beautiful examples from the Europeans’ post war that are not so easy to come by, especially the Italians- Coppola e Toppo, and the French- Roger Jean-Pierre and Scemama (although both later started in the thirties to work for all the great couturiers).

In addition to the bijoux de couture, there are pieces showing the sensuality of the Art Nouveau, followed by the geometric designs of the Deco period. There is a Schiaparelli piece and a Chanel that marks their significance in the history of fashion and illustrates how important they both felt adornment was.

There are some supreme Haskells and of course Eisenberg, denoting the rise of American costume jewelry during WWII. Notwithstanding the current fad for brooches, of which there are quite a few in this unusual collection, I believe that costume jewelry is here to stay. Within the context of mixing old and new to define individual identity, mixing costume with ‘real’ (putting rhinestones on silk, lucite with black crepe) is all too divine! Well worth viewing as a rare opportunity frankly.

Regarding the Couture, there is also a significant showing commencing with the first couturier, Worth, the first female couturiere, Lucile, and through some early pieces of haute bohemia, which for me right now is key. Velvet is appearing as a luxe fabric in quite a few ensembles, rich colors to get lost in.

A pre-war 1939 Balenciaga with a bustle is very important and rare, through some 60’s couture wool suits from Balenciaga, Chanel, and some delicate Laroche, which really show his light touch, including an ombre feather cape. Also a great believer in the cape as a ‘dashing’ garment- Halston’s caramel cashmere, Galanos’s aubergine military – very luxe Revillon sable cape that is obscenely light (every girl should have one)…and 70’s, 70’s 70’s…Jean Barthet’s feather hats, Hermes’s Kilt Bag (more 70’s), Cartier’s gray flannel clutch, so chic.

Then there is the Tom Ford for YSL dress, never worn, is there a market yet? Who will buy it and how much for!!! What fun!” I don’t know about you, but this certainly whets my appetite. Happy hunting!

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.

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.