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…
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 🙂
I had the pleasure of doing a private fitting with a local NYC Lindy dancer who saw my clothes at an event but didn’t have time to try on anything as her dance card was full. This is often the case. A mutual Lindy dancer friend made the introduction via email and we embarked on some virtual shopping. First she gave me her approximate size and style interests. Then I looked through my stock, measured items and photographed them, and sent her the photos via email with prices. Next we set up an appointment. On the day of I packed a suitcase with the skirts she liked plus a few other items I thought she might like and a couple of skirts that seemed a bit small but that might work. We met up and she tried on all the skirts and we both reviewed them on her. She ended up purchasing five skirts and staying within her budget. A successful first private fitting for Model J Vintage and a very satisfied customer.
Here are a few of the skirts she took home with her:
Super twirly trumpet skirt by Atmosphere, a UK brand.
Red Silk Polka Dot Skirt w/Belt and Pleats
NYC skyline print 1950's style full circle skirt
Gap stretch cotton flare skirt, perfect for Balboa!
She got a selection of skirts great for dancing different swing styles including Lindy, Charleston, Balboa and a little rockabilly.
With the help of Makeup Artist Lani Barry to make the models even more lovely than nature I was able to photograph a lot of the vintage clothing that will be put up for sale. You can’t really see the clothes, how they fit, how they move without a person in them. Some of these unique outfits came alive on the models as I had imagined them in my head. What a world of difference to see them in motion on a live human. It points up the flaws in my current mannequins as well. I’m sure there are better ones out there but nothing does an outfit justice as well as a live body.
Many thanks go to the models I used; Emily DeWan of Emily DeWan Photography, who took time out from her own portrait photography of the models to model for me, Lani Barry, my makeup artist who modeled my one Victorian outfit at the very end, my sister-in-law, Kim Grad and her daughter Amanda, who I was able to photograph together for some sweet family portraits, and to New York City swing dancers Elaine Silver, Mimi Liu, Laurel Carpenter and Jeri Lynn Astra Herbert who brought a lot of sass and dancerly grace to the shots.
The models will get copies of their photos as well as a piece of clothing from Model J Vintage. Mimi picked out a wonderful retro 1950’s style jacket with an enlarged herringbone, almost puzzle piece pattern. Jeri picked out a black velvet dress that really flattered her figure and is also great for dancing.
Most of this clothing will go up on Facebook and Etsy.com but some might be destined for eBay so stay tuned!
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.
I acquired some gently used skirts great for dancing, ladies. Some trumpet, a-line, full, cut on the bias and generally twirly ones in all sizes and colors are now available. I also picked up some sweet and sexy fishtail skirts that are great for our other non-dancing activities. Come check them out before they get snapped up at my excellent prices!
I will also have a box of free stuff from my closet for everyone to pick through so have fun with that 🙂
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?