June 29, 2008

Damn I find good stuff

As my clearout extends to my cyber presence, I've been cleaning out the photos hosted on my server, meaning I get to go through thousands of shots from the past few years. It's tedious, but it's cool to see some of the things I've sold, like:

1930's Art Deco Print Dress

1950's Ceil Chapman Silk Jersey Dress

1920's Cycle Club Jersey (in wool! ugh!)

1950's Reindeer Applique Parka

1950's Harvey Berin Dress

1950's Black All in One Girdle

Iconic 1950's Claire McCardell Blue Dress

1940's Copper Satin Suit with Double Peplum

1938 Embroidered "Beer" Jacket

June 28, 2008

Geek tweak

Yes, I was one of the people who joined in the record-breaking download of Firefox 3. To quote Bubbles, from The Trailer Park Boys, "It's f*cking awesome!"

My favorite tweak, so far, is that I can adjust the colors of jpegs, making them richer, and truer to their original scheme (it always drove me nuts that my photos looked great until I viewed them in my browser).

HERE it is.

June 26, 2008


really wants to get out.

June 23, 2008

Beauty in Decay

Maybe it was the two root beer vodka tonics (delicious! at night. the next day? not so delicious) but a sentence in this article in the Sunday New York Times Magazine about Floral Designer Daniel Ost all of a sudden gave me a "theme" to some of the crap in the junk drawer that is my brain.

Here's the quotation, in case you don't feel like reading the whole article:

The process of decay interests Ost. “I’ve always wanted to show flowers in their optimum moment, but now that I’m older, I also want to explore the beauty of dying.”

Like Ost, I'm getting older, and find myself increasingly interested in the descendent curve of the arc. And when you start to look for it, you see it everywhere. All of a sudden I realize that my yard is FULL of examples - like the grass and Columbine-choked staircase in the back of my yard.

Or the massive rotting birch tree, planted by the previous owner of the house, when he was a little boy. (Sadly this is going to have to be cut down before it falls into the garage full of vintage motorcyles).

Decay is not so lovely in vintage clothing, rendering most things unsaleable. But I do (emotionally, not financially) love the smear of lipstick and spots of wine and a party dress - the remnants of a good night. Or the wear and tear to an obviously favorite jacket, replaced buttons, pinholes, shredded lining.

June 21, 2008

Best Novelty Print Ever

Like most people who are into vintage clothing, I am a serious sucker for novelty prints. My favorite theme is "the impossible": Reading dogs; Edwardian women riding motor scooters; fuschia horses; hippos on unicycles....

As much as I love novelty prints, I've never met one so cool that I couldn't bring myself to sell it. Until now. I have met my match, and it's formidable. A 1950's blouse in a futurist newspaper print.

It's "dated" April 1, 1999 (get it?). Not surprisingly, the 50's vision of the future involved people living on the moon, atomic devices, aliens, pills instead of meals, a one hour work week, and my favorite, the portable TV, which looks a lot like my Mac laptop.

I love this shirt.

June 20, 2008

Summer Sale!

It's my annual "I'd rather be riding my motorcycle" summer sale. All my store items are 30% off. Mention this blog and shipping is free.


The more you buy, the more time I get to spend with my beloved....

June 16, 2008


Every kid in my high school loved Rush. Except me. I figured that if everyone liked them, then I was far too "alternative" to follow the herd.

Getting older can be enlightening. And giving up "the cool" can be a hell of a lot of fun. Because every kid in my high school was right and I was wrong. Rush rocks. ROCKS. I saw them live last night. 10th row. I now have a wee (okay, huge) crush on Geddy Lee.

How could I not?! He just gets more and more dreamy.

One of the things I love about anything vintage is that it's removed from its original context, and you can view the band, the dress, the movie objectively, without the situational bias. Of course there's nostalgia - the 80's clothing I sell evokes all sorts of memories. But when I see it today, without drowning in teen-age angst, it looks so much better.

Just like Geddy Lee (meow). I can't wait for the next Rush concert.

June 11, 2008

Buy Local

While listing this 60's pink silk dress, I did some research on the designer, Mary Sachs. According to this site, she opened her first store in 1918, which blossomed into a small chain of stores in the mid-Pennsylvania area, and she was a generous and influential member of the community.

I see a lot of beautiful vintage clothing, made by "smaller" designers, who had a niche in their region.

Her stores were special - I'm sure the salespeople knew their clients, and that the experience of going shopping as as much of an allure as the clothing themselves.

Now it's anonymity in Marshall's, the warehouse overload of Old Navy, or the constant subtle (but not) sales pressure from fake-friendly 20 somethings at the The Limited. Sadly, there are few places where you know the person who made the clothing, and the sales folks are also your friends.

That's why I try to buy local when I can. My links include lots of people in the Portland area (and some outside) who create beautiful things. And I like to buy from them.

Apparently I'm not the only person who thinks that Portland has a great scene. Design*Sponge agrees!

June 8, 2008

Profile Picture

Judging from my Dorothy Hamill haircut, it was taken in the summer of 1977.

My sister is wearing a bombshell (for a 7 year old) black velvet 50's party dress (I shudder to think there was a designer label inside), and the other two girls are in pretty pink floral party dresses.

Me? I chose the secretary look. Not a sexy (for a 9 year old) secretary look. It was more the look of the secretary who has been with the firm for 50 years and secretly scares everyone because she knows all their dirt. Red skirt, white blouse with a high ruffled neck and a pink cardigan. In July. Yeesh.

We had found the clothes at a 4th of July Rummage Sale in Standish, Maine. $1.00 a bag. It on a lawn in the village (I CLEARLY remember it Nancy!). *My sister swears it was held in the fire barn, but that was a later, not so good, rummage sale. (We also disagree about who caught that bluefish at Cape May in the early 70's (Nancy just because I handed the pole over to you after it bit doesn't mean you caught it!)].

At the age of 9, I didn't "get" vintage clothing, I just knew we found some cool dressup. But I remember peplums and velvet and chiffon, and my mother and our neighbor going on about the old clothes. We kept them in a tent outside of the house and put on a fashion show at the end of the summer to raise money for ice cream.

And then they got mildewed or filled with bugs and my mother tossed them all. Those clothes, along with my 1970's Matchbox cars and my dad's 1950's baseball cards, are pretty much the only thing she ever threw out.

June 4, 2008

Links added

After reading my friend Holly's latest blog, I was inspired to add a link to her site, and to others.

I have so many talented friends in real life, and online. Here are their links.

If I've missed you, please let me know - I am being distracted by my associate as he practices for his Led Zeppelin tribute show (speaking of being surrounded by talent!)

June 2, 2008

What I've been doing

We had our bi-annual yard sale here at NorthStar Vintage Corporate Headquarters this week. It was a lot of work - every time I do this I question the wisdom of holding a "cocktail preview" for friends the night before. It does not enhance the experience of waking up and dealing with "early birds."

Still, clearing out is a great feeling, and just being outside makes me happy.

HERE are some pics of the setup. We still have that damn mixing board.

And now back to our regularly scheduled posting and listing.