Male Pattern Boldness is proud to be the world's most popular men's sewing blog!

Jun 18, 2010

Shop-till-you-dropping with Shona!

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. 

Nothing really...

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.

Happy Friday everybody!  Say "Cheese!"


  1. Well, I am a huge fan of Heyday. I am also following your blog from Wellington, New Zealand. Hello from the south pacific! Quite jealous of all these New York shopping expeditions.

  2. I'm so jealous of all these girls that get to come shop with you! Never mind the fact that I am beside myself because you know that my little ol' Rhode Island exists!
    I can't wait to see the purchases.

  3. Oh sure, first you make us all hate you and your perfect first pants draft. But that wasn't good enough - Now you make us all hate Shona too. Perfect skin, a cute NZ accent, a day spent thrifting with you in NYC, and meeting your adorable pups (and vintage SM collection too, I'm guessing). So. Not. Fair.

    Have a great weekend, Peter!

  4. Well you know where I live, ladies.

    Debbie we're going to draft you a pair of fabulous pants; brings sheets.

  5. So jealous! And to be with such a vixen! I want to see what you bought too. And I want to see it modeled!

  6. They'd have to be king-sized.

    (I crack myself up!)

  7. Oh wow! I haven't been to Marelene Wetherell in forever! I only stopped in once or twice when I still lived in NY, but seeing those pictures make me homesick!

  8. Ha! I will be the first to admit that one can't compete with an Englsih Rose.

    The Show Place looks crazy awesome.

  9. heh! hello from another Kiwi. Fancy 'meeting' someone from my home town via you in NY. It's a mad mad sewists world.

  10. That yellow and orange necklace is fantastic!!!!!!!!

  11. Ohh Peter you are such a flatterer! You can expect a equally gushy return blog post when I get my feet underneath me from such a whirlwind trip. I had such a ball nipping around all your great hang outs in NY, thank you sooo much for the grand tour!
    The ribbon you chose was perfect for the dress by the way and I wore it on Sat
    This morning bought me back to old (and cold) London town and have already washed the Hawaiian print fabric ready for pattern selection. More to come later! Hug Hug!

    Hello all your fellow followers who are Kiwis and Aussies too - It is indeed a small world now.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Related Posts with Thumbnails