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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Model J Vintage in the New York Times Style Section!

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

Photo by Bill Cunningham

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.

Front view of red wool 1940s dress and ensemble

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,

Vintage Train Dancing #2

Train in Background at 2nd Ave Station

Vintage Train Dancing #1

Swing Dancing on the Platform

Skirt shipped to Australia

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.

Sales at Jam Circle

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.

Banner Image for Etsy Shop is Da Bomb!

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!

Etsy Shop Launches on Mother’s Day

As a tribute to my mom on mother’s day I am launching my Etsy shop with two vintage suits she owned and wore.  Click here to see my main Etsy page.

My searchable name on Etsy is ModelJVintage: no spaces and capital M, J and V. I decided to start my Etsy shop with items from the 1970’s and 1980’s. From the research I’ve done it seems to be the place to market items from those decades. I believe it’s the younger, hip, DIY shoppers on Etsy that currently favor those styles. It’s funny because if they hadn’t become popular and resurfaced in current fashion offerings I wouldn’t appreciate them as I do now, nor see the connections those decades have to styles from the 20s, 30s and 40s.

The suits I am starting off with are two vintage early 80’s pants suits that my mom wore to sell real estate and work in showrooms. There is a banana yellow linen number by Anne Pinkerton and a magenta wool one by Adolfo. Both are in pristine vintage condition.

1980's Anne Pinkerton Linen Pants Suit

It’s amazing how contemporary they look. These are two wonderful suits that weren’t as big in the shoulders and thighs as those to come in the later 1980’s.

It’s a wonderful sense of accomplishment to get this shop up and running. I look forward

1980's Adolfo wool pants suit

to posting, oh, everything I own! Well, maybe not everything…

Model: Elaine Silver

Photography: Joy Grad