Olivia Wilde in Vintage at the CFDA Awards


In an beautiful homage to fashion history, Olivia WIlde wore  Angelica Huston’s Mollie Parnis dress to the CFDAs. Angelica looked radiant in the fringed gown at the 1974 Cannes Film Festival, and so did Olivia. Kudos to Olivia for her bold, original choice!

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Vintage at the Met Gala

The highly anticipated “Charles James: Beyond Fashion” opens at the Met on Thursday, but last night at the Met Gala, no one paid homage to the master of couture by wearing one of his dresses…as a matter of fact, there was very little vintage at all. But we can always count on the Olsen Twins to shake things up in vintage gowns: they always make unusual choices, and always stand out for doing so. That’s Mary-Kate in a striped vintage Chanel gown and Ashley in military-inspired Gianfranco Ferré."Charles James: Beyond Fashion" Costume Institute Gala - Arrivals

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Pharrell Williams in Vintage Vivienne Westwood Hat at the Grammys

Pharrell’s hat at last night’s Grammys got lots of laughs in a parody Twitter account that went viral. But few knew that the hat was designed by Vivienne Westwood in 1982, and has become an iconic piece of fashion history.56th GRAMMY Awards - Red Carpet

The hat was originally made for Westwood’s “Nostalgia of Mud” collection from 1982/ 1983, also called the “Buffalo” collection, and was sold at Westwood and McLaren’s store, World’s End. The hat itself has several names — including the “Buffalo Hat” and the “Mountain Hat.” According to Westwood, Pharrell purchased the hat himself a few years ago from World’s End, where it is still sold, for £95.

The hat famously appeared in Malcolm McLaren and the World’s Famous Supreme Team’s  music video for their 1982 early hip-hop classic “Buffalo Girls.” The traditional American popular song, written in 1844 and called “Buffalo Gals,” was originally performed by blackface minstrel singer John “Cool White” Hodges. McLaren’s version was sampled on Neneh Cherry’s 1988 hit, “Buffalo Stance.”

You can watch the music video here:

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Vintage at the Golden Globes – Go Brits!

lanvin:Laura AshleyGaiaEmmaThompson

Emma Thompson in vintage Lanvin and her daughter Gaia in vintage Laura Ashley.

Fans of vintage know that across the pond, vintage is hotter than ever, on trend for both its green attributes (Europe is far more concerned about our environment than the US is) as much as for its timeless style. So we’re not surprised that our beloved Brits were flaunting vintage at the Golden Globes. Kudos to Sally and Emma…and how awesome that Emma’s 14-year-old daughter Gaia wore vintage, too!


The amazing Sally Hawkins in vintage Dior.

Highlighting two vintage looks that have gotten a lot of attention, below, I’d like to offer my quick opinions. I think Zooey Deschanel’s vintage look has trapped her…she doesn’t look “cute” anymore, just stale. And although Joanna Newsom has already landed on all the worst-dressed lists for her frilly, vintage-inspired (is it true vintage?) frock, I thought the dress was a huge risk…that worked!…and she was glowing. Cheers, to taking chances and being different!

71st Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals

Joanna Newsom and Andy Samberg.

71st Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals

Zooey Deschanel in (not vintage but may as well have been) Oscar de la Renta.

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Vintage at the Emmy Awards


Anna Chlumsky in vintage Versace


Elizabeth Moss in Andrew Gn

With the intense competition amongst designers to dress celebrities for award events, it’s not surprising that the stars, who are given dresses worth thousands of dollars, are wearing vintage gowns far less often than they used to. But with so much buzz about “green” clothing, why aren’t more celebrities taking a stance and wearing vintage, like Anna Chlumsky (who looked glamorous, edgy and unique) did last night? We think it has something to do with the Emmy Awards in particular, which let’s face it, is not the most sophisticated gathering. Regardless, we love that so many celebrities chose vintage jewelry, and many chose vintage “looks,” like Elizabeth Moss, stunning in her Andrew Gn dress.

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Back To School


The subway entrance to Bloomies.


My mom in one of her designer outfits made from Jerry Brown fabrics, circa 1977.


Pat Field on 8th Street.

My favorite time of year has always been Fall: the crisp, dry air, the bittersweet goodbye to summer, and the promise of wooly knits, leather boots, cashmere and my favorite Fall accessory, big chunky scarves. And yes, the leaves are pretty and all that, but there’s no place better to spend the season than New York City, which is where I grew up. Catching glimpses of fashionable women who got a jump on Fall fashions was always exciting and shaped my thoughts about what I was going to purchase for “back to school.” But there was no bigger influence on me than the August issue of Seventeen Magazine, which I pored over, deciding which items were absolutely necessary (a fair isle sweater?) to purchase in order to transform last year’s wardrobe.

My mom would always take me to Bloomingdales, or as we, insiders, called it, “Bloomies.” We would take the subway in from Queens and exit the 59th Street 6 station directly into the basement, which gave me the impression that we had a private entrance to the famed department store. The weather was still warm, so getting hit with the cool air and generic scent of 1000 different perfumes (that somehow always smelled, and still smells, exactly the same) was always a thrill. We’d pass Forty Carrots, the ground breaking frozen yogurt and health food restaurant that has now moved to the 7th floor, take the escalator up to the main floor, where no matter the time of day there was extreme cacophony, and finally, end up at the Young East Sider (Y.E.S.)  department, which catered to juniors and because of its name, made me feel like a real “Manhattanite.”

I was never disappointed with the selection. Although it felt odd to be trying on sweaters in late August, I loved that I’d be prepared when the weather got cooler. After our haul, we’d go back down to Forty Carrots and I’d enjoy my newest obsession, strawberry frozen yogurt smothered in fresh strawberries. Leaving the store with my iconic “Big Brown Bag” in hand made me feel richer than a queen.

Depending on the era, we’d also go to Olaf (late 70s), the clog store, or Capezio (early 80s) for new white lace-up dance shoes that I destroyed quickly (and had to replace frequently) by wearing them out on the street. The final stop was always Jerry Brown fabrics on 57th Street. My mom made all her own clothes because she coveted the trendy designer styles, but didn’t like the quality or the high prices.  The musty-wool smell of the store is etched in my memory, and it’s one of those New York institutions that I miss dearly. Although I’d get bored waiting for her to choose her fabrics for the season, and go off into a corner to read my book, I always enjoyed seeing Jerry and Lou, and was proud that they treated my mom like a celebrity.

ImageIn high school, I did my Fall shopping with friends, mom’s credit card in hand, but we still went to Bloomies (with a detour to Fiorucci, which was across the street.)  But the summer before my freshman year at NYU stands out, as I went to the Village alone (my high school friends had all left for college in Boston) to check out the dorm I’d be living in, Weinstein, and explore the shops that would shape my wardrobe for years to come: Antique Boutique, Patricia Field, Flip, Capezio, Reminiscence, Canal Jean Company, Trash and Vaudeville, Urban Outfitters (the first NY store, on 8th Street) and all the thrift shops in the East Village that I came to adore. I remember exactly what I bought that summer of 1983: black suede (my friends called them “punky”) ankle boots, an oversized purple angora sweater, an army surplus bag and an antique volume of Shakespeare’s works ($35, a huge impulse buy for me.) I still have the book, but alas, not the clothes.

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Who Wore Vintage to the Met’s “Punk: Chaos to Couture” Opening Gala?

I look forward to seeing the Met’s “Punk” exhibit, but the excess at the gala seemed positively distasteful. It didn’t help that Beyoncé was the chair of the event. I don’t know what was worse…the celebs that were completely oblivious to the historic aspect of the exhibit and wore couture gowns and Cartier jewels or the ones that tried to “dress punk.” Regardless, the Olsen twins didn’t disappoint, wearing vintage (Mary-Kate in Chanel, Ashley in Dior) in a slightly defiant gesture. Amanda Seyfried looked gorgeous in vintage Givenchy. Ann Hathaway sported a vintage (well, 1992) Valentino gown and Lily Collins threw a vintage Moschino leather jacket over her dress.
PS-If I were invited this is what I would have worn: TRASH COUTURE GOWN

1992 valentinolily-collins-met-2

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