Readers, you probably know by now that one of the most important qualities I look for in others is good skin.
As I settle into my middle years, overrated virtues like loyalty, generosity, and kindness have been trumped by small pores, plump cheeks, and clear eyes -- the things that really count.
That's why I was so delighted to spend yesterday afternoon shopping with the fair Shona van B., who is visiting New York this week. Shona originally hails from New Zealand, which until yesterday I thought was a town just north of Cranston, Rhode Island. Shona has what I believe is called a classic English rose complexion (in contrast to my wilting, possibly mite-infested American begonia). Beautiful!
If Shona looks familiar it's because she's writes the sunny/funny blog In the Heyday, and owns Heyday! Vintage Style Clothing, where she designs and manufactures gorgeous reproductions of women's and men's clothing of the 30's, 40's, and 50's (She ships globally, by the way).
A frequent MPB commenter, Shona told me she was coming to town and, desperate for any distraction from pattern drafting, I made a date for a little thrifting through Chelsea, a favorite pastime.
Now you'll recall that I'd just spent last Saturday shopping with the also-lovely-if perhaps-not-quite-as-strikingly-complected Johanna and Rachel so I felt confident I could handle this new challenge; spring flea market jaunts have vastly improved my cardio (sorely taxed when digging through old underwear) and I've even dropped a few pounds thanks to regular fabric store excursions.
Shona and I started at Housing Works and Good Angel thrift stores on West 17th St., headed east and north to the Salvation Army on 8th Avenue and 20th, then on to Goodwill on West 25th St., and beyond.
The highlight for me was The Show Place on 40 West 25th St., a huge 4-story space carved up into an endless number of small boutiques brimming with glorious vintage finds of every kind -- shops devoted to nothing but Scandinavian art pottery from the 50's and 60's, bakelite jewelry, antique radios and phonographs -- you name it.
We visited three fantastic vintage clothing shops.
This is Joe Sundlie's Vintedge on the ground floor. Just look at that vintage burlesque headdress -- very "Gypsy" meets "My Favorite Martian." (Click on pics to supersize.)
Upstairs is the sumptuous Marlene Wetherell, which boasts a superb selection of vintage designer clothing and accessories. Just look:
A few doors down is Vintage Lingerie Styled by Illisa, which has to be seen to be believed -- it's like walking into Marlene Dietrich's underwear drawer. I got to examine my first bullet bra up close and Shona fell in love with this dainty hand-crocheted cachet.
By now on the proverbial shopper's high, we were ready to tackle M&J Trimmings, which I'd never visited before. Shona needed one yard of yellow grosgrain ribbon -- where else?
The lady was in her element to put it mildly. (Don't they have beads in the U.K.?)
As was I...
Readers, there's so much more to show and tell, but it will have to wait for Part II -- Purchases.
By now you're probably wondering what I asked in return for escorting sweet Shona all over Chelsea.
Shona begged to see Cathy's latest modeling slide show, I swear it. It was her idea. And we were right by my house. And I had to pick up my camera anyway. And Shona wanted to meet my dogs.
Isn't that true, Shona?
Kids, if you haven't visited Heyday! Vintage Style, please take a look. (You'll even see va-va-voom Kitten von Mew modeling the frocks!) And when in NYC, be sure to visit The Show Place.
I'm a native New Yorker and sewing fanatic! I started sewing in 2009 and today make all my own clothes using vintage sewing machines and vintage patterns, in addition to sewing for private clients. Welcome to the warm and whimsical world of Male Pattern Boldness, where the conversation is sewing, style, fashion, fabric, and more!