The Clock Stops Here...

Monday, April 9, 2012

Dressing For Keeps: Fashion Collectibles

I am incredibly excited to have written my first Style & Shop article for WAG Magazine. If you live in N.Y. or CT. and don't know WAG, it' a fabulous monthly lifestyle magazine. 

The WAG, "delivers unexpected in exciting people profiles, food, fashion, beauty, art, travel, entertainment and more. With its irresistible glimpse into high-end living, this glossy, oversized coffee-table book has become a must read among the discerning population." 
"The publication is always building fresh content, driven by local movers and shakers who create and influence culture; some even worldwide."

I am honored to be a contributor. 

The theme of April issue was a beautiful look into how history resonates in art, architecture, interiors and fashion and creates timeless value.  I was asked to weigh in on which fashion items may have vintage potential.  I hope you will enjoy it.


A  diaphanous Cavali, available at Richards of Greenwich, Photograph by Sergio Kurhajec.

I have fond memories of watching my still glamorous Aunt Dee Dee, packing for exotic cruises to Europe and the Caribbean.  I would sit on the end of her bed as she planned each night's dinner ensemble.
I particularly loved a bateau velvet Pucci dress, in ice cream shades of chocolate, strawberry and vanilla. Where oh where is that Pucci dress now?
When it comes to fashion, are there items that should get passed down from mother to daughter, (or aunt)?  Is it reasonable to think that anything is too precious to be discarded?
Here are my thoughts on what constitutes a keeper:
Wedding Gowns – Not surprisingly, this is the most frequently stored and kept garment in a woman's wardrobe. Yet I have never once seen a daughter wear her mother's original gown. From a sentimental point of view, bequeath it to your daughter.  Just don't expect her to wear it.  Every bride is entitled to wear the dress of her dreams on her wedding day.
Eveningwear – These are not everyday frocks.  They are purchased for special occasions and receive less wear and tear. They are ripe with vintage potential.
Full-length gowns, embroidered evening coats or cocktail dresses that are couture, designer or of exceptional quality silk, wool, velvet, lace or beadwork are all potential heirlooms. They are also of value to vintage-clothing stores that will purchase important items of a certain provenance in good condition to consign.
Store your treasures in breathable cotton garment bags, preferably in a cedar closet.
Furs – Sable, mink, chinchilla and broadtail coats have wonderful potential as heirlooms. 
I have assisted clients in shearing Nana's mink coat to use as a cozy liner for all-weather coats and used sable from an old stole as trim for a cashmere cape. Lynx, fox, and raccoon coats can be made into chic hip- or knee-length vests. 
Costume jewelry – In the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s, women commonly wore costume jewelry, inspired by important European jewels. Jacqueline Kennedy lent credence to the genre with the gumball-sized faux pearl choker she frequently wore. 
Signed costume jewelry pieces from manufacturers like Miriam Haskell, Ciner, Napier, Trifari, Marvella, Boucher and Eisenberg are briskly collected and traded for many times their original prices .
Recently, I wore a Kramer "Diamond Look" pin that my own stylish mother had given me. I used it to accent a grosgrain belt on an off-the-shoulder, full-skirted cocktail dress I wore to a majestic wedding at The Frick Collection.  It was a stunning touch that added a certain je nai se quoi to a classic black dress. Thanks, Mom!
Luggage and handbags – Investing in handcrafted leather goods is truly a win-win. You get to enjoy something of extraordinary quality now and hand down or consign something of beauty and value later.
Who are the pinnacles of status?  Hermès, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Lana Marks, Nancy Gonzalez and Bottega Veneta.
This past Christmas, one of my favorite clients came into purchase his wife an Hermès’ Birkin bag. Together, we watched as the sales clerk tissued it exquisitely in a gorgeous orange Hermès’ box and festooned it with classic brown Hermes’ ribbon. Gently, I reminded him that he will have to be back soon enough, to purchase another.
"Why?” he asked, mildly baffled.
"Because you have two daughters, and you just purchased an heirloom.”
One will never do.

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