Monday, April 07, 2008

Feeling the vintage love

This has been the weekend of English visitors and I am exhausted. (Three different sets on consecutive days!) My last date was with J, who was over for meetings, so last night we met for supper at Soho House and, supposedly, an acoustic gig by David Ford under the Artists' Den banner.

I arrived first and was seriously unimpressed, an opinion shared by J, a music industry maven, when she arrived, so we left the Drawing Room to perch at the main bar and feed our communal hangover with fries, sliders and cosmos whilst trying not to listen to Ford murder The Smiths' There is a Light That Never Goes Out".

We met up again today for an expedition to Williamsburg to rootle through the vintage stores. There is great vintage on Manhattan - but only if you want to pay $75up for a cotton frock. When new deliveries come into the East Village stores they are snapped up immediately by researchers & buyers for the likes of Ralph Lauren and so pieces are priced accordingly.

So between industry pricing and higher rents, a simple two stop, ten minute subway trip across the East River, from the East Village to Williamsburg, Brooklyn can result in a fifty dollar price drop.

That's not to say that every vintage store in Williamsburg is full of bargains - some are staggeringly over-priced: a white cotton lab coat, marked 'European Vintage' was $75 in one store.

We headed straight to Beacon's Closet. It's no secret store (at weekends it's rammed and even on a quiet Monday afternoon we spotted several people walking down Bedford Avenue swinging Beacon's distinctive pink plastic carriers), but the owners haven't succumbed to vintage madness and everything is reasonably priced, with dresses ranging from $9.99 to an average of $25. Altho, like most vintage stores now, there's more second hand modern clothing (H&M, BCBG etc) than pieces dating from the 60's or earlier.

Their pricing is whack tho: I spotted a beautiful size 6 black silk crepe & lace Diane von Furstenberg slip dress for just $24.95, and J picked up a pretty green & white jersey Topshop dress for the same price.

I was eCstatic with my bargains: a navy blue, heavy silk faille A line, cap sleeve 1960's mini dress in mint condition for $19.99 and three pairs of practically unworn designer shoes that were so startlingly cheap I can only presume the store staff didn't recognise the labels.
Joseph AzaguryClassic, timeless, black suedeJoseph Azagury$21.95 - worn once, if at all. (Worth $700)Calypso shoes, Jacqueline Schnabel Brown leather ankle strap wedges by Jacqueline Schnabel for Calypso $24.95 (worth $200) Shop worn. No marks.Sportmax, Sportmax heelsCream nubuck & gold leather Mary Janes by Sportmax $24.95 (worth $450)Worn once, if at all.
Still waiting for my insurance digital camera. Cameraphone pictures just aren't ideal