Thanks to all for looking at my site here. It is now being hosting on my own wordpress site at modeljvintage.joygrad.com. Please go there to continue to check out the latest happenings with Model J Vintage.
I am in the process of linking this blog to my new website which is www.modeljvintage.com. Right now all you will see is the name at the top of the page and a bunch of ads on GoDaddy.com, where I bought my domain name, so don’t get too excited yet! This site will be a WordPress.org e-Commerce site that will be the basis for my new online vintage store! This blog will be a section of the new site. This is quite a daunting task to do on one’s own with limited computer knowledge. I was constantly consulting Wikipedia for definitions of programming terminology as well as reading tons of reviews, ‘best of’ lists and watching youtube video ‘how tos’.
I chose HostGator as my hosting site after looking at 3 or 4 possible hosts. They have great reviews, excellent customer service, are accessible for help 24/7 and have a plan that will grow with me and my business. Isn’t this exciting?! I am soooo looking forward to having my own site that houses everything under one roof. This is as close to having a brick and mortar store as you can get on the web. The site will get my personal visual style as I am doing everything myself. The site is being created with Joy, both figuratively and literally 🙂
New Years Eve Eve is a one of the highlights in every swing dancer and vintage enthusiast’s year. One of the big events on that evening is put on by The Salon, a Soluri brother operation here in New York known for their wonderful speakeasy style happenings. It is captured here by photographer Gabi Porter for Metromix.
This year I attended to dance to the tunes of George Gee’s Big Band, see friends and generally have a wonderful time. I chose to wear a vintage silk 1930s gown that I have had since college days when everything vintage was easily found. It is a beautiful flower print. I sewed up a few seams as the thread is over 80 years old and periodically wears out. I added a thin black belt in place of its missing belt and realized I can never wear it again without it. It was perfect! I added a pair of black retro-1930s satin shoes that I’ve had for years from a family wedding event
and a purple orchid hair flower from My Heinies. To add even more I wore my vintage 1970s floor-length black velvet coat with cuffed and buttoned sleeves that I treasure and purchased many moons ago in Michigan. Despite the wide collar it has a very 1930s/1940s style about it and blends in very well. The absolute finishing touch is a black woven handbag from the 1930s/40s that I’ve had so long I don’t even remember where I got it.
It is my go-to bag but, to my chagrin, seems to be more delicate these days. The zipper works but is torn and last year I spent a few hours weaving new thick threads into it to replace the old broken ones.
Well, it was a lovely evening filled with friends and dancing and homemade cookies that sat alongside Dawn Hampton in her place of honor by the side of the band. Afterwards, a small band of weary dancers made our way to a diner for late-night food and giddy silliness before heading off in our separate directions. If any of you love The Fifth Element then you would have appreciated our replication of the “Gimme the cash” sequence. Good times!
Now vintage-wise, I have to say I put that outfit through the ringer. It was spilled on, sweated in, pulled and generally manhandled to the tune of busted seams, broken belt loop and alcohol stain. I was able to hand wash it and remove the alcohol (whew!). The busted seams will have to wait but are definitely repairable. I feel lucky no tears developed (woot!) and have to say this dress will never be danced in again. While I am definitely of the school of thought that advocates use over mere collecting, I will save it for other evening gatherings. 80+ years is a long time and while vigorous swing dancing is a bit too much for it, it will remain in its honored place in my wardrobe forever.
I would love to hear your New Years Eve Stories too! Please comment below and share the highlights of your vintage outfits and swell times wearing them. Happy New Year to all!
Me and my vintage outfit made it into the New York Times Style Section this past Sunday January 1st, 2012. I was swing dancing at the Plaza Atrium in Manhattan to the Vince Giordano and The Nighthawks big band. A lot of my fellow dancers and I came out dressed to the nines in vintage as we had all attended the Vintage Train ride together to dance on the platforms and on the trains to live music. Here is the link to Bill Cunningham’s NYT Evening Hours Column
in the Style section and Bill Cunningham’s photo of me dancing in my 1930s felt hat with white trim, red wool 1940s dress with belt, front waist gathers, back buttons and decorative buttons down the sleeves, and retro mary janes circa 2008 from London. Those shoes were a must have purchased on the last day of my trip. They have served me very well, accenting countless vintage ensembles I have put together since then. My dancing partners are Samuel Coleman and Arturo Perez Saad.
Here are some photos from the vintage train ride as well that occurred earlier in the day. It is so much fun to meet up with other vintage attired dancers and vintage enthusiasts for hours of dancing on the platform and in the cars while the train is moving. This is my third year in a row attending this event and I wouldn’t miss it for the world! It is amusing to see the vintage advertising in the trains and ponder how much life has changed. The wonderful construction details of the old trains are always a pleasure to see as well. I personally like the old textured seats, the green color, the typefaces that were used for notices and all the exposed bolts. There was a tea party as well that was going on while some of us were dancing. Perhaps I will attend that next year as well. Bring your own tea cup! Musicians are Gordon Au Ensemble. Dancers in foreground are Michael Blank and Jeri Lynn Astra Herbert,
I just shipped a beautiful black linen trumpet skirt, perfect for Balboa or Lindy, to Australia. There are so many excellent Balboa dancers out there. The skirt was a rare find with asymmetrical, angled seams that pieced the body of the skirt together. The fabric is a nice matte black that updates the 1930s styling. Great for dancing but also beautiful for non-dancing activities. This is my favorite skirt style as it really flatters the figure.
At Jam Circle this past friday two beautiful retro wool numbers were adopted by a lovely visiting Balboa Instructor. A bright red bias Chaiken and a wine colored bias Express with huge flowers around the hem. Some other items went home with people as well but this Express skirt was the prettiest.
I have added a skirt styles and features guide to the main page listings. I hope this helps to clarify styles for many of you!
Ok. This looks good. I have to admit it. Check it out here. Whew. That was a lot of photoshop cutting and pasting. Lots of lovely photos to choose from. I’ll have to keep updating it and switching photos in and out. I have more lovely model photos than I could fit in one banner. Special thanks to the discerning eye of my artist friend John Unger who kept reminding me to keep it simple. I really needed to hear that. It made all the difference. Thanks John!