Thursday, November 11, 2010

From Helen's closet to Kimberly's closet

                                                     This is Helen P.

I purchased a nice carload of vintage clothing from Helen last May when she invited me to come over while she was cleaning out her family home across the river in Greene County.
 inlcuding the yellow and blue silk ensemble she is holding in the photo at top.

Helen served as a nurse in the Vietnam War, and had the outfit custom made during a visit to Hong Kong.  
 Just like the good old days (and still common overseas) You'd walk into a tailors shop, get measured, pick out styles and fabric, and then the outfit would be constructed, personalized with embroidery, and delivered to your door in a sturdy cardboard suitcase.

The ensemble included a blue purse to match the blue coat, and yellow shoes to match the dress.

This is Kimberly.
Unlike many customers throughout the summer, Kimberly was interested in the entire ensemble as a whole, (while everyone else just wanted the coat, or just the dress). She got the whole shebang for $50.

If you know of anyone who would be interested in a ca 1970 wool Nurse's Uniform, I promised Helen I would find a good home for that too.  It's about a size 12.

Happy Veteran's Day.

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Fairy Gaga Halloween Costume

I started on my Halloween costume early this year, as I usually do---with one big difference-- I didn't really know what I was going to be.   All I really knew was a) I wanted to wear a pleather dominatrix suit I'd picked up at Salvation Army last summer, and b) I wanted to try my hand at making a cage/hoop skirt from scratch.  At some point Lady Gaga entered into the non-idea, as well as the fact that I was attending a "Witches' Ball", so I just kept improvising and struggling along with multiple concepts, hoping for the best.  

ie. sleeve design fail 
Hurdles included bad wigs, challenging sleeves, fabric shortages, and what felt like seven thousand trial-and-error measurements getting the hoop skirt to look right.

many, many glue sticks into the project....

Much as I adore hours and hours wielding a glue gun, my favorite moment in the whole costume process came when I spotted the plastic Princess tiaras at Ye Olde Dollar Store, which I envisioned as brilliant sparkling epaulets.

The stars for the wand were also from the Dollar Store:

I did not decide on the fairy wings until just hours before the party, when I saw them at Rite-Aid while buying candy.  I bought them and changed the fabric and trim, using an old pair of silver pantyhose.   The wings provided 
a nice backdrop for the puffy sleeves, but made a fairy princess silhouette, which conflicted conceptually with the witch's hat. Uh-ooh...whatever.  With one more day I may have made a Glinda from Oz crown for the top instead, but --my time was up. 

In the end, it all somehow came together.

(Thank You to Scott Baldinger and Gretchen Kelly for use of their photos here )

Monday, September 13, 2010

big red inverted pleats!

Did you see that great dress Peggy was wearing on Mad Men last night? The blue one with the big red inverted pleats?  Pretty fab.

Almost as fab as the one I sold a couple weeks ago here at Five and Diamond:

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

this has turned into bi-weekly ritual....

Today we used some new dye colors that had to be purchased off the RIT website: Fuscia, Kelly Green, and Purple.
 We also did some royal blue, because all of that stuff has sold -- including the wonderful blue party dress from the madmen window.

I always indicate it on the price tag, but please remember to wash any hand dyed items separately in cold water...

Thursday, July 29, 2010

clothesline candy

Did a lot of dyeing this week  (Nothing like sweating over a lobster pot of boiling clothes on a 85° day---).   Some of this stuff will be showing up on the racks today... the blue dress in the middle is already in the madmen window....

Here's my post from a year ago which goes into more detail.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

the mad men windows

   Last week, in anticipation of the Mad Men season premier, I hunkered down and put a little extra effort in the shop windows.  (Generally speaking, I dread dressing the windows;  I rarely have any good creative ideas to speak of, and I have to worry about the clothing getting ruined by the sun---so I have to change them often.)

For the 5th Street window I painted a big Don Draper silhouette onto a roll of paper,
 cut it out, ironed it (it got rumply from the paint),  and taped it to the inside of the glass.  (I supposed I could have just painted the silhouette directly on the glass but I was in improvisation mode...)


For the Diamond Street window I made a giant stencil--
Drawn freehand  (woopsie on that right leg--)
Cut out

 spray-painted onto a white sheet,
and hung on a rod.

It was worth the extra effort -- more window compliments are rolling in than ever before (including props on my favorite local blog),
and all I have to do for the next several weeks is rotate some fun mid-60s dresses on the dress forms.   

I'm guessing I won't have to answer one of the many questions I am getting tired of ... "Have you seen that show Mad Men?"

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Atalandi, Come Back!

I bought this dress last Wednesday at Brimfield.  (Looked a mess, yes, but had absolutley nothing wrong with it- Just had been disassembled at the seams by a seamstress who was about to alter it.)  On Thursday I put it back together, and on Friday I sold it to Atalandi:
Atalandi was/is visiting from London, had been in the store a couple of years ago, but had to google around to find me again.   She found this blog.
Now I'm hoping she'll visit the blog again, because she left without the matching belt for the dress (paying cash and only telling me her first name).  It's one of the tragedies of the vintage clothing business; self-matching belts getting separated from their dresses!

While I'm on the subject--Here's another woman I'm looking for:

She bought this 40's rayon skirt suit over two years ago---
and I'm still waiting for her to walk in again so I can present her with the matching belt.

Monday, June 28, 2010

NY Souvenir

On Saturday a woman came into my shop looking for a souvenir scarf from the state of New York.  I pulled out a couple dozen souvenir scarves I keep behind the counter, but none were of New York, (she ended up settling for Florida and Montreal.)
I was curious what a NY scarf would feature/highlight in its graphics, so
when I got home that night I did some googling, expecting to find pages and pages of NY souvenir scarf imagery harvested from vintage websites and ebay and etsy offerings.
 I was surprised to come up with nothing. I did find some World's Fair items, and this etsy listing  for a NY CITY scarf, -and a wonderful Tammis Keefe NYC silk scarf here, but NO state scarves. Whattup?  I thought I had such great googling finesse?

The next morning, yesterday, I woke up and drove to a flea market.
Guess what I found.
Old, silk, New York, The Empire State souvenir scarf.

It's pretty great, except that the only serious damage on the map happens to be right in the mid-Hudson Valley, where I live. 
I really enjoy perusing the graphics on these scarves  (people on waterskis, factory towns, tourist attractions.....) and I have to wonder 
A)why they don't seem to make them anymore...  
B) If they made these scarves today, would Olana State Historic Site or The FASNY Museum of Firefighting be on the map?  

If you know of any current or recent souvenir scarf resources out there that I'm completely overlooking, feel free to send me the heads up.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Hudson Pride Rainbow

The first-ever Hudson Pride Parade and Rally were held here yesterday, and I figured out a cute way of getting Five and Diamond represented in the very well-attended parade. We were on TV and ev'rythang!

Big Thanks to my peeps Denise (red), John (yellow), Kari (green), Paula (blue), and Peter (purple) for rising to the occasion at the last minute and marching along with me. It was a blast!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Thank You Mrs. Poor!

Last weekend while I was away a woman came in and dropped off two old organza dresses as a donation.  All I know is that her name was Mrs. Poor.  She did not want money, and she did not leave a phone number. She just wanted to find a good home for some old dresses.
One dress was super-quaint/costumey, but quite dingy-- and to my surprise someone asked if they could buy it yesterday, before I could even remove it from its wire hanger and wash it.

The other one was this full length 1930s gown, with tiny white stars all over it.
It has a built-in taffeta slip, with a super-full trumpeted skirt with gathered flounce in back, plus the flouncy bib collar.  I made several minor repairs and added the new/old celluloid buckle to the front sash.   Usually dresses from this era are in tiny sizes, so naturally I was pretty delighted when I  discovered this fit me.  Flag Day is today and I want to wear it at least once before I move it along...