Model J Vintage on New Year’s Eve Eve and on Metromix

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.

Photo by John Russo

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

Silk I.Miller shoes circa 1980

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.

Woven Fabric 1930s/40s Handbag

Velvet 1970s Floor Length Coat by Jacobson's Young Signature Collection

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.

NY Eve Eve 2011

Photo by Gabi Porter for Metromix.

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!

Joy

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Swing For Japan

I attended Swing For Japan last night in New York City. I decided to dress vintage and represent Model J in all my finery for the evening. I ended up wearing a tulip print wrap dress in beige and black with a lovely satin tie, patterned fishnets, suede open toe pumps with bows and a vintage 1950’s velvet and mink headpiece.

At Swing For Japan in velvet & mink 50's headpiece w/Paolo Pasta Lanna.

The disparate eras worked very well together and I got a lot of compliments. One funny occurrence was that the hat blended in so well with my hair that it looked like I was wearing elaborate bangs instead of a headpiece. Hmmm. Too funny!

This was a wonderful event filled with great music and entertainment as well as excellent donations for some serious raffling. (I think I just made that word up…) It seemed like a sizeable amount was raised to help the Japanese relief effort and many raffle winners went home with boxes of chocolate, gift certificates to a host of establishments and services, as well as a cooking class for 8 as the grand prize. I was excited to find out that George Gee‘s son won my $25 Model J Vintage gift certificate that I donated, knowing that his wife Mutsumi would end up with it. I hope I have something she likes for herself.

Someone else donated some beautiful vintage clothing and I couldn’t resist trying things on. First off the hanger was a green wool skirt and sweater set from the 1930’s. It fit me perfectly. Uh oh. The sweater is cashmere with a wool neckpiece that matches the skirt. The skirt is long, with two front pleats, and curiously only lined in the front. Hmmm. I wonder why. I will have to take a closer look at that. The zipper is on the right side too which is unusual. Next I tried on two 1950’s dresses that were just too darn small. If one of them had been larger than the size “0” it seemed to be I might have bought it to resell. Lastly I tried on a plaid wool skirt that didn’t seem like much until I put it on. Ooh la la! It fit perfect and is a full circle skirt in a light tan color that looked, well, amazing.  I am not generally allowed to buy things for myself but these vintage beauties had to come home with me. They fill a gap in my personal collection: vintage daywear. I also took home a purse, entirely hand beaded and handmade in France.  I bought this to sell but who knows. It is so lovely it might have to live with me for a while before I can bear to part with it!

Last but not least, I spotted the beautiful blue satin asian themed 50’s wiggle dress with matching jacket and though it didn’t look like much on the hanger I knew it was a knockout outfit. It was in pristine condition. I spotted one of my customers across the room and just knew it would fit her. She tried it on and it was perfect. It was good to help make a sale for the Japanese relief effort and make a customer extremely happy 🙂

Adjustable dress form

Ooooh, the dress form is sweet! All put together and playing with putting clothes on it and checking out the adjustable parts.

This is actually an old post I found that I never published! I’ve had this dress form for a while and love it. Easy to use, great to lay out alterations or create something new. It is a little lightweight but I expected that. I think higher end versions might have a little more heft and hence stability. This works just great for my needs 🙂

Stylish Blogger award received

I just received a “Stylish Blogger” award! How nice 🙂  I look forward to passing it along to other new bloggers out there that are creating something interesting, not necessarily in the Vintage Clothing field.  I got this award from my friend who runs the blog “Stupid America” at umseti.blogspot.com.  Take a look! And stay tuned for mention of other blogs that I think are interesting and worth a Stylish Blogger award.

Stylish Blogger Award

Model J Vintage Premieres at Swing ReMix in NYC

Model J Vintage has got a new gig! I will be bringing my vintage clothes and some other items to Swing ReMix in NYC tomorrow night. Woot! So now I’ve got two gigs per month just for all the swing dancers out there. Know that I will be on the lookout for more items that are great to dance in. I am also doing some alterations that make things great to dance in. I am excited to be clothing the swing scene here in my native city. Model J Vintage accepts cash and checks at this time so be prepared.

Item Tease: “A split is good but a strike is better.” Do you know what I’m bringing to sell?