30 September 2009

13bees on design*sponge.


I love amy merrick's movie themed living in round-ups on d*s and was so thrilled to be included in yesterday's all-things the godfather.

click here to read the full story. and here to see some past living in columns, each more clever than the next.

29 September 2009

the holy grail.

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chanel: it's the holy grail of 50s cocktails, and lauren from timeless vixen's got it.

13bees on glamour.com.

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we could all tell tales of those random, must have garments that exist only in our heads. I had a thing for a navy dress and susan, from glamour.com's style blog slaves to fashion, had it out for the perfect velvet blazer. she tells a sweet story about finding the jacket of her dreams on etsy and hunts down a few other fabulous velvet pieces listed there right now, including my favorite 40s strapless dress.

vintage has always been a go-to for editors and stylists, but it's my hope that stories like this will help the rest of us feel more comfortable turning to vintage to satisfy our cravings for those super random and super special pieces. thanks, s!

28 September 2009

hard hearted.

new, amazingly gorgeous works on canvas from elizabeth schuppe. I'm clearing some wall space...

27 September 2009

finishing touch.


I'm crazy about a vintage dress, but accessories sometimes do me in.

25 September 2009


I am on a mini break this weekend, enjoying the last few days of summer (erm...I mean, the first few days of fall) out in the country. I just picked this up at the library this morning and can't wait to dig in.

24 September 2009

everything's golden.

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this goldenrod-meets-mustard color is really it for me for this fall season. (last year it was that dusky grey-meets-purple that I couldn't get enough of). inspired, I did a quick search on etsy vintage and came up with a sweet little deep gold outfit. and while I wouldn't necessarily recommend wearing all of these pieces together, you get the point.

clockwise from top left: backinstyle, erstwhilevintage, salvagelife.

23 September 2009

31st avenue.

while I love new york for all its famous haunts and buzzy places to sit down for a fancy cocktail and a meal, what gets me most excited is finding somewhere amazing off the beaten path. this usually means the outer boroughs and more specifically for us these days, it usually means queens.

I'm having such fun imagining ticking off the places on this new york magazine list of finds on astoria's 31st avenue. we love the bohemian beer garden for late afternoon pints, but fried pickles and a dumpling garden?! yes! yes!

(coincidentally, the first stop on the list happens to be a vintage store.)

new in the shop: all black.

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a series of black dresses from every era. but seriously, there's no excuse not to own a whole collection of them and there's always room for one more...

22 September 2009

rago arts.

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paul evans cityscape pedestals. closing price: $1464.

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bent plywood chair in the style of luther conover. closing price: $1098.

living in new york city, I tend to think of auction houses like christie's and sotheby's and ellen barkin's jewels and picasso oil paintings bid on by phone by russian oil tycoons...and generally not an atmosphere where I would fit in terribly well or where my pockets were deep enough to participate.

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jens risom sofa and sofa table. closing price: $488.

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edward fields rug. closing price: $1159.

but this weekend we found rago arts, a high end arts and furniture auction house that lets plebes like mw and me take part. what I like most (apart from the insane roster of modern pieces) is that they post past auction results clearly for everyone to see on the web, which is an amazing and invaluable resource to have consistently available.

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faceted wall mirror in the style of neal small. closing price: $1708

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bertoia slat bench. closing price: $519.

we made our first purchase of a passed lot of five dining chairs, so have yet to really dig our heels in and raise our paddles. but there's another modern auction at the end of october, and my catalog is in the mail...

21 September 2009

patterns and prints.

I go on and on about vintage prints: I know. but I just listed this dress last night and was so taken with its abstract light-and-dark modernist pattern, that I thought it would be interesting to dig into my closets (both my own and 13bees) to pull out some of my other favorite examples of midcentury prints.

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the earliest of the bunch and also the most whimsical: a 40s turquoise rayon dress that has tiny hearts with wings all over. (this one is especially close to my heart because the print matches some of mw's tattoos).

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from one of my favorite dresses ever: a 50s sheer cotton jack posluns sundress.

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from this amazing late 40s/early 50s cotton dress.

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from a sundress with a jerry gilden spectator label, circa early 1950s.

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from an early 60s silk chiffon cocktail dress, a recent acquisition that I'm having a hard time letting go of.

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and finally, the dress that inspired this post: a sheer nylon day dress from the early 60s.

20 September 2009

sunday shop update.

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a sunday shop update in honor of the day before the first day of fall.

19 September 2009

jamaican sweet potato kugel.

I'm pretty lucky. as someone with a non-jewish background married to someone with a jewish-background, I get to celebrate all the holidays. and in both of our families, this usually centers around a night of food (see why I'm so lucky?). although I aspire to be an expert bubbe in the kitchen, I'm pretty sure everyone gives me wider margins when it comes to interpreting the traditional dishes.

case in point: there is a dish of sweet potato kugel in the oven right now for the new year's feast, but it's got bit of a jamaican twist...and it smells good.

18 September 2009

the perfect navy peep toe pumps.

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be still my beating heart. I unearthed these little beauties today. since they are very much not my size, I'll resist the urge to hold onto them just to marvel at their perfection. (they'll be up in the shop soon).

update: they are here!

17 September 2009

a leopard can’t change its spots.


one of my earliest vintage finds was this amazing thick poly button up blouse that I'd dug up in a local church thrift store with my mom. there's definitely nothing too special about a 70s poly shirt. they are ubiquitous and usually hideous. however, this one was leopard print.

I was thinking about that shirt this morning and wondering what ever came of it (that happens a lot when flashes of things I used to have appear...sort of like deja vu, but of the vintage variety). I always felt a bit out of place in it, as a high schooler and even later on. as far as I was concerned, it was the sort of thing you'd wear while preparing martinis for your nearest and dearest at a fondue party, with the ends of your bob flipped and a cigarette dangling from one hand. I just wasn't sophisticated enough.

all that has changed as I've gotten a bit on in years and have actually thrown a party complete with hand shaken vodka martinis. leopard will come and it will go, but it will always remain a total classic wearable by every kind of girl. a couple of new, classic pieces in the shop.

16 September 2009

two pieces.

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I'm swooning a bit at the moment over this little black two piece ensemble. is there a more chic way to leave the house? hm, I think not...

15 September 2009

shape rhythm.

when it comes to mid century and modern industrial design, I'm not sure if there was anything that raymond loewy didn't do. it seems every time I'm instantly drawn to something we find at an antique shop or flea, mr. loewy had a part in creating it.

my other great find from this weekend's trip was a large rosenthal porcelain platter, edged in a pattern called shape rhythm and of course, designed by raymond loewy.

a quick internet search reveals several other sets of china from this era with loewy's stamp but this one is by far my favorite. I'm also swooning over the set called simply rhythm that bears an uncanny resemblance to the off kilter all white dishes we registered for at crate and barrel when we got married. it just goes to prove again that most of what is sold in the stores today is inspired, somehow inevitably, by the masters of the past.

13 September 2009

when the curtain falls.


so, at brimfield it rained and it rained and it rained. and at the estate sale, I took a number (28! I was two hours early!), waited in line and got pummelled by the other vintage hungry ladies and gents. next time, I am bringing reinforcement.

I somehow made it home in one piece, somehow still with bags and bags of vintage in tow. it's days of washing and mending and steaming and photographing ahead but I have seen more metal zippers in the past three days than I have in awhile and for that, I am happy.

my favorite part of the weekend by far was the romantic, almost-by-the-fire dinner with mw here. and my favorite find (and probably the only thing I am going to hold on to) was the late 30s mustard crepe gown pictured above.

11 September 2009

off to massachusetts, again!


I've been conspicuously absent from this blog for the past few days and for that, moms, I apologize. this morning, I'm sitting inside with a hot cup of my dad's brilliantly strong coffee waiting to jump in the car, hit an estate sale on my way back home and then travel, once again, two hours north to the magical place that is brimfield, mass.

I cannot wait. it's appropriate because these days I'm pretty much sleeping, dreaming and breathing vintage. this will be a wonderful way to actualize all the time I spend thinking about it!

this amazing photo of jean patchett is from a 50s bergdorf goodman ad and comes via the ever amazing flickr stream of myvintagevogue.

08 September 2009

scenes from the weekend.

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made into poloroids courtesy of rollip.

06 September 2009


I'll freely admit: I get obsessed with dresses and totally fixated on furniture and other sorts of ephemera. it's easy to convince myself that I'm not actually a shopper since it's rare that I'll walk into a full priced retail store and be even a little tempted to lay down serious cash on a new dress or pair of pants. but all of that flies out the window when I'm confronted with something I actually want.

it's so nice to have an outlet for my vintage dress obsession. the shop allows my collecting and hoarding to stay firmly on the healthy side of the spectrum since there's a means and an end. but there is no way to justify the fixation I am currently experiencing with these chairs.

I know it's obscene to even consider a set of 4 chairs for this price (my mom would say, "they'd better be made of gold, or tie your shoes") but I am now sleeping and dreaming paul mccobb.

04 September 2009

long weekend.


rather than do as we've done every other year and flee far from the city over the long labor day weekend, we're keeping close to home to enjoy the last few days of summer in new york.

tonight, we're heading out to see this on the rooftop at the met and drink a signature cucumber-honeydew vodka martini or two.

tomorrow, we're off to have a delicious vegan meal here followed by a connie converse tribute concert at joe's pub, one of my favorite places to see a show (tables and chairs? yes, please!)

and on sunday, we have plans to shop and eat at the closing weekend of the brooklyn county fair.

(we will probably spend monday recovering from all of this.)

happy weekends everyone!

1950 life magazine photo of actress peggy o'connor via myvintagevogue.