I now have the great pleasure of beginning this next blog series by introducing Carrie from
Glad Rags and Curios.
1. What was your first vintage acquisition and where is it now? Starting in 7th grade, I developed a habit of absorbing select castoffs from my parents’ closets into my own (that year, it was my mother’s late 60s acid yellow and neon pink paisley satin turtleneck, while the piece I remember always wearing in high school was my dad’s late 50s black and white jacquard knit sport shirt, and in graduate school my mother’s cream leather 60s jacket and I became inseparable). I’m amazed at how clearly I remember those cherished garments! As far as my first actual purchase, though? That would have been the powder-blue, mink-trimmed early 60s suit jacket I bought as a 19 yr-old newlywed from a thrift store in upstate NY; I wore it to my first anniversary dinner (with a maxi-length, home-doctored jean skirt) a week later. I have no idea what became of it! 2. What was your favorite or best buy ever? In 2010 I got very lucky at an auction and bought a boatload of museum-deaccessioned Vera Maxwell garments (for a song!) that ranged in date from the late 30s through the early 80s. I love Vera Maxwell and have long thought she’s underappreciated, so snagging designs of hers like high-waisted black wool trousers from the 30s, WWII era skirt suits, and a fox-trimmed ultrasuede evening coat from the 70s, was an incredible high—which I have yet to descend from! 3. What was your most unusual buying experience? I went to an auction several years ago at a funeral home that was originally a turn of the century college. It was a gorgeous old building, full of chandeliers and ornate wood paneling, and the family that had converted it to a funeral home in the 1950s were collectors with an eccentric streak and tendency toward hoarding. Everything from antique biers, Victorian vanity sets and old Victrolas to beaded 60s dresses, kitschy Occupied Japan figurines and boxes and boxes of novelty aprons came up for sale. 4. If you had a time machine which decade or year would you choose to go back to and bring back some clothing or jewelry. Definitely the late 30s and early 40s, plus the Victorian era for some extra jewelry! A couple of years ago I acquired a photo album of my mother’s from the WWII period (from her teen years into young adulthood), and my jaw drops over and over at how gorgeously she was always dressed, despite the fact that her family was quite poor. I’m a huge fan of Depression- and WWII-era jewelry made from “alternate materials” (ie carved wood, bakelite, etc), and though it was due to an appreciation for nature vs the constraints of a war economy, the Victorian era was awash in jewelry made from unusual materials, too—hair, horn, bog oak, vulcanized rubber. I love when the imagination and earnest if not always sophisticated artistry that’s gone into crafting a piece of jewelry is what makes it desirable, rather than the value of its materials. 5. What are your favorite, most helpful reference materials/sources? The Vintage Fashion Guild’s Label Resource and Forums; old catalogs and magazines; my ever-growing collection of books that are catalogs of museum exhibits about vintage fashion. 6. What item were you most tempted to keep that is available in your shop right now? Definitely this one (if it fit, it would be in my closet!):
Here are some lovely items from Carrie's shop for you to see.