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Friday, 31 October 2014

TRY THIS - A Fine Line in Nice Spines

These are the spines of fashion books displayed on a small chest of draws in my dressing room (aka the guest bedroom). While lovely tomes, when traditionally shelved they hang off the edge of the book case. An alternative resting place was needed. Stacked they act as a pretty plinth for my tray of everyday style necessities (perfume, ring box, hairspray, photo of husband). Most of these books were found in charity shops, the others were gifts. I've read all of them, enjoyed them and I'm likely to enjoy them in the future. For now however, they remain useful and beautiful piled high. To create a cover-girl space, decorate with books. THE END.

Tomorrow is the Northfields Jumble Trail CLICK HERE
Is there a Jumble Trail scheduled for your neighborhood? 

Thursday, 30 October 2014

FOUND - Call It A Fair Exchange

I found this Aquascutum scarf at Bang Bang Clothing Exchange on Drury Lane, CLICK HERE, my favourite buying and selling 2nd-hand clothing establishment with 3 shops in London. When I was a kid I longed for one of the plastic mock number plates all the kids were buying and attaching to their bikes. Like mini number plates, they featured common first names rather than digits. Hundreds of names were offered, anything from Anita to Walter. My sister Debbie had no problem finding her name. My best pal Cheryl was fine. Mates Jamie and Lisa had the name plates too. Me? No way. Christened and always called Anmarie, I was never able to have an off-the-peg name plate. When I turned 12, we moved to a new house and my arty dad painted ANMARIE on my bedroom wall. What I'm called, its unique spelling, its special treatment, even the letter A, have always helped me to feel unique. I am not an 'off-the-peg' kind of woman. On anyone else the 'A' on this 'monogram scarf' would stand for Aquascutum. On me, it begins to tell the story of who I am. Cost? Can't quite recall - I traded a few unwanted items in exchange for this very personal accessory.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

FOUND - Handbag That's Blue with Envy

I found this navy bag at the vintage fair at The Fox Pub in Hanwell. It was a small but perfectly formed little sale. This soft suede number with a gorgeous satin lining and lovely brass hardware sat among a wide variety of gorgeous handbags on offer from stallholder Annie Darlasson.

Annie also designs jewellery and wile I haven't purchased any of her baubles yet I'm mightily tempted after finding them in her virtual shop window, CLICK HERE. The online look of her work, coupled with her taste in handbags, elegant friendly manner and the fact that her husband was assisting her with the stall, all incline me toward loving whatever Annie creates. Spending weekends with my Mister selling 2nd-hand fashions in the shadow of a quaint canal-side pub? It's the life I aspire to. The blue suede bag was an enviable £5. 

Read recent interview with 
Huntress London on High 50

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

FOUND - A Tale of 2 Driving Gloves

Both pairs of these leather driving gloves are from Italy. The left hand pair were purchased (full price, 49 euros) at the Sermoneta shop in Rome CLICK HERE. The right hand pair, also from Sermoneta, were found at the Fara charity shop on Bond Street in Ealing. Last year a group of my mates met in Rome to celebrate our friend Kelly's 50th birthday. Well-traveled Kelly introduced us to 'her' Rome. She speaks Italian rather wonderfully, knew the city like the back of her hand and insisted (quite rightly) that we pop into the Sermoneta shop in the shadow of the Spanish Steps. There, we were all 'fitted' for leather gloves. The selection and service in the tiny but charming shop was second-to-none. Thanks to Kelly the brand Sermoneta is now synonymous with glove excellence, so I was thrilled when last week at Fara I happened upon the leather & crocheted gloves with a little Sermoneta tag on the inside. Let friends serve as a primary style resource; pick their brains, find out their faves, especially smaller more obscure but nonetheless quality brands. Thanks Kelly for steering me right! The like-new but 2nd-hand driving gloves were just £4.   

Clarence and Alabama Pop-Up in Hanwell closes 8 Nov. 
Striking 'vintage style' dresses! CLICK HERE   

Monday, 27 October 2014

FOUND - Skirt with a Checkered Future

I found this Cacharel pencil skirt at the Cats Protection charity shop on Pitshanger Lane in Ealing. The French brand Cacharel was founded when John Bousquet in 1958 decided to leave his home in Nimes to go to Paris where, in a tiny studio, he would design his first collection. It was a resounding success and Cacharel was born. Maybe best known now for its wildly popular perfume Anais Anais, the likes of Clement-Ribeiro and Eley Kishimoto have created the ready-to-wear label's quirky but feminine look. This skirt, while relatively new and practically unworn, gives off a distinctively retro vibe. The gingham (stretch) fabric is reminiscent of French style-icon Brigette Bardot. The versatility of the skirt is easily illustrated by the variety of shoes that coordinate nicely with it. A kind of 'wow basic,' this skirt is capable of sending any number of style signals depending on the mood of the wearer. From a contrasting print blouse to pulling it on over all black - the possibilities are endless. No more skirting the issue, it was £5. 

The Northfields Jumble Trail CLICK HERE is 
            this Saturday 10am-3pm. See you there!            

Friday, 24 October 2014

TRY THIS - Give A 2nd-Hand Gift

I found this little stickpin at the debut Antiques Market in West Ealing, just outside the Drayton Court CLICK HERE. I've given him to friends who are getting married tomorrow in up-state New York. They're legalizing their 14-year relationship at a ceremony in the back garden of their home, nestled among enormous trees and a babbling brook. A small but special affair, they're wearing tweeds among the Autumn leaves and in keeping with the theme, a fox motif adorned their wedding invitations. I'm sad to say I can't join them but this little what-not serves as a reminder that I'm thinking of them on their day. This gift is not about the cost, the truth is they can buy nearly anything they like and after years together, well, a toaster is out of the question. I know they'll adore this foxy gent for his animal appeal. He's well-made, stylish and full of character - very much like them. Antiques markets are great places to find stylish mementos to mark special occasions. 

See you at the monthly West Ealing Antiques Market 
tomorrow, 25 October CLICK HERE

Thursday, 23 October 2014

FOUND - Paper Roses Bloom in W7

I found this hand-painted box at the Craft Barn in the forecourt of The Fox Pub in Hanwell, CLICK HERE. A little shed in the shadow of a lovely pub, the space is filled with a selection unique items created by area craftspeople. If you're like me, you save tissue paper and boxes re-using it to wrap gifts and such. The creator of this work of art also keeps boxes, but she makes the ordinary quite extraordinary - every surface of the box, inside and out is beautifully embellished by her hand. The Fox Pub is located on the Grand Union Canal, so it's not surprising that roses on the box resemble those that adorn longboats found along the banks of the canal.     

While the Craft Barn is open weekends with a selection of items, on the last Saturday of the month all the crafters pitch up with a wider variety of their wares. I'm told the artist who created this box is a talented woman of 70; I'm anxious to meet her on Saturday to express my appreciation for her work. Nothing but the best will be stored inside it; the box is the new home for my most delicate of lingerie. At just £6, everything's coming up paper roses.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

TRY THIS - Purchase Plaid Pre-Owned

I found this scarf over the weekend at a Vintage Fair hosted by The Fox in Hanwell - a small but perfectly formed sale in the courtyard outside the pub. And it seems I've landed on the 'latest' trend, in West London of all places. The AW14 season sees tartan offered up as if the blueprint for its creation was only yesterday ripped from a drawing board for immediate debut on runways worldwide. The FFI's* claim to the woolen fabric seems so brazen you wouldn't be blamed for wondering aloud, "um, do they think they invented this stuff? Last night?" While mindlessly celebrating the return of John Galliano and conjuring patronizing trends like normcore, how do you find the time FFI*? (Huntress on normcore CLICK HERE). I love tartan, full stop, but the way in which Capital 'F' Fashion jumps in front of a traditional and long-standing style parade makes me see red (and green, with a little white). Who doesn't own a bit of tartan? Okay, maybe you're too young to have loved the Bay City Rollers, and fair enough. However, if you do lack the organized, overlapping woven wonder that is tartan, for goodness sake, buy it second-hand. Vintage fairs and charity shops are stocked full of clothing made from this durable and forever-fashionable fabric. The scarf was £6.   

* Flippin' Fashion Industry 

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

TRY THIS - She's Still Keeping Me Warm

This is Vivian, my Grandmother. She passed away in her 90s last year. Some years before she died she gave the fur she's wearing to my sister who re-purposed the dated, ageing coat. A lovely satin lined neck warmer is what remains of it for me. I realize fur is controversial, but to my mind binning something that belonged to this beloved lady is far more controversial. I can 'hear her' wearing this fur, along with a pencil skirt and nylons which 'woosh wooshed' when she walked. She introduced me to the delights of high-end handbags, Gucci in particular. When all her children had grown-up and finally moved out, she took a job at Higbees, a fancy department store in Massillon Ohio, where she stood regally behind the gleaming glass handbag counter. On very cold days I wrap this little bit of fur round my neck, pull my vintage Gucci pocketbook close and feel confident neither the elements nor the fashion police can get at me. I am protected by Vivian; my style saint, my memories, my grandma.  

REMINDER: This Saturday is the monthly West Ealing
Antiques Market - CLICK HERE for more information 

Monday, 20 October 2014

FOUND - Making A Case That's On Point

I found this homemade eyeglass case at Oxfam in Ealing. I love needlepoint. An easy-peasy project resulting in a highly effective graphic design, a point not lost on the fashion industry. In 2012 everyone from Dolce & Gabbana to Tory Burch showed needlepoint looks. Ornate dresses and handbags featured the time-honored stitchery. Me, I like the 80s preppy needlepoint belts that tended to feature seaside themes - whales, sailboats, buoys and anchors. I'm also head-over-heels for needlepoint flats from Stubbs & Wootten, CLICK HERE to view their rather charming website. These beauties don't come cheap. I managed to find a less-than-perfect pair on Ebay some years ago for £80. They're a personal favourite, as I oddly prize high-end that's a little down at heel. To see Huntress Post "Damaged Goodness" CLICK HERE. The eyeglass case holds extra appeal, along with my specs because someone sat on their sofa and made it. Like me, they longed to create, to invent, to be useful with their hands. And maybe like me, their skill level is wanting. All the same they stitched up a perfect, useful, lovely, handmade object. A lot of work (and heart I suspect) that cost just 49p.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

FOUND - Ab West Finds Huntress

Huntress London is proud to be featured in the November issue of Absolutely West. Not just a "vintage junkie," I'm a 2nd-hand style seeker. If I've said it once, I've said it 100 times, Never Buy New. To see the page on Pinterest, CLICK HERE. Sure, this is horn blowing, but who doesn't love a bit of brass? 

Friday, 17 October 2014

TRY THIS - Costume Flights of Fancy

My friend Monica gave me this little bird. I admired it in a 2nd-hand shop in NYC and while my head was turned, probably looking at bangles, she quietly bought him. He's costume jewelry by Monet - making him a sought after species. Costume once thought of as junk jewelry or fake, is often made with the same craftsmanship and technique as fine jewelry. Monet was launched by 2 brothers in 1937. Their early collections were influenced by both Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli, famed designers who both expected to be copied. By the 80s Monet was manufacturing for Yves Saint Laurent, probably the only jewelry maker able to meet the high-end designer's strict requirements. In 1995, Monet began manufacturing costume baubles for Christian Lacroix. This wee bird is not especially old, yet, but he is marked 'Monet' on the back and came to me under lovely circumstances. I'll wear him on a capped-sleeve black cashmere jumper (Oxfam) paired with a sheer black accordion pleat LK Bennett skirt (Fara) and COS black heels (RSPCA, yesterday's post) - with NAVY tights. I'm loving Navy + Black styling and this little birdie will get the look off the ground for me. 

Thursday, 16 October 2014

FOUND - Stone Cold Black Gold

I found these black COS heels at the RSPCA charity shop in Ealing. How often do I hear doubtful hunters remark "yeah but you can't find current fashions in charity shops" or "you never find the stuff you really need." Don't these covet-able courts crush those old chestnuts? COS, Collection of Style, is a Swedish brand founded in 2007. Simple, striking, superior design is what it brings to the British High Street. Who doesn't need black heels? And these were hardly worn. 

Even though you're wearin' them citified heels, I can tell by your giant steps, 
you been walkin' through the cotton fields - 
                                        The Rolling Stones

A quickie inventory of my wardrobe reveals Reiss, Cacharel, Jigsaw, Boden, LK Bennett, Hobbs, not to mention Mulberry, Churches and Bally. All FOUND lightly used in charity shops. The trick is looking often, which needn't take ages. Lunch hour, Saturday morning, day off, while on holiday. The more you do it, the quicker you'll get at it. You might even consider volunteering at a local charity shop. And make sure you buy it when you find it. Don't hesitate if the item (and the price) is right. These trendy high street heels were only £8. 

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

FOUND - That Hat's Got My Name On It

I found this bowler hat at Retro Woman in Notting Hill. A clutch of shops selling 2nd-hand clothing and housewares, the Retros (there are several in the area) will buy your top-notch used items for cash. The hat is from Guerra, an Italian firm that's been making hats since 1885 - think quality, heritage, craftsmanship. I'd pitched up at Retro to trade in a Luella Gisele handbag; you know the one, seemingly classic bag sat inside a cage of S&M inspired straps? Stunning but completely impractical. Opening it was like a daily IQ test. I expected to swap her for a woman-friendly IT bag with an easy-open top. Once in the shop though I spied with my 2nd-hand eye this immaculate crimson topper. At the time, I was a few weeks from marrying, from joyfully becoming Mrs AJ Bowler. Really. I was thrilled with the idea that I would be Mrs Classic Style Accessory. From the Queen's Guards to the Quechua women of Bolivia, my new name was simple style excellence. Giddy with excitement, I turned over my Luella bag, the impracticality of my past, for the quirky but time-honored style of my future. 

Be sure to check out one of my fave fash blogs

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

FOUND - Pop-Bang-Fizz, Oh How Fab It Is

I found this velvet, embellished clutch bag at the Oxfam in Ealing. The stones are real, the silver and gold threading spectacular. In the latest Vogue UK, Julia Hobbs coins an interesting and rather useful style term; the Fizz Buy, "the utterly rash, entirely exciting, heart-pounding purchase that defies ordinary logic." This splashy bag is full of it. Okay I need another clutch bag like I need a net umbrella. To boot, this black beauty is rather small; phone, keys, lippy - that's it. It "defies ordinary logic" indeed. However, the workmanship, quality and high wattage elegance left my "heart pounding." Charity shops are THE place to look for Fizz Buys - off the rails fashion finds that aren't what you need but definitely what you want, but when purchased 2nd-hand don't drain your purse dry. I'm likely to team this with a mix of casual (jeans) and glam (silk blouse). But I'm tempted to pair it with my large leather caramel-coloured Hobbs "Kelly" bag, re-purposing the clutch as a highly ornate organizer. I'd fill it with cards, pens, a notebook, and then slip it inside my handbag - snap! Every day fizz for just £4.99. 

The puffin in the photo is from Audubon's Birds of America book   

Monday, 13 October 2014

TRY THIS - Cardigan Replacement Therapy

I found this silk Chinese-style jacket at the Randolph Street Market in Chicago CLICK HERE. It's soft, a beautiful gold neutral-ish hue, with a lovely aged patina. I came to live in London some 8 years ago and can say with great certainty the Big Smoke has influenced my style in positive fashion. I've become less matchy-matchy, I've developed a kind of colour courage that once eluded me and I can make brogues work with almost anything. I credit London for these style turns. I've also come to rely on a cardigan capsule wardrobe, a team of button-through sweaters, I never had (or needed) in the USA; for this London's changeable weather must take credit. Cardigans, while 4-season saviors, have easily become my dull fashion default.                  

So this gold jacket offered welcome Cardigan Replacement Therapy - a first step in learning to use cardigans more sparingly. Perfect alone in the late days of August, this brocade beauty also works underneath the heavy coats we'll be wearing all too soon. Atop a dress or trousers it provides stylish relief from cardigan repeat. Need a change of life style? Find a few flashy cardigan alternatives. My Chinese jacket was US$20.

What style pieces do you wear to  
combat the banality of cardigan-ality? 

Friday, 10 October 2014

TRY THIS - With Jaeger it's a Wrap

I found these two Jaeger silk scarves at the Children's Hope Foundation charity shop, 51 The Mall in Ealing. Jaeger, a British fashion house founded in 1884, is credited with inventing the camel hair coat. In the 30s and 40s Cary Grant, Vivien Leigh and George Bernard Shaw were among the brand's celebrity devotees. In 1956 Jean Muir joined the company as a designer and by the mid-60s famed photographer David Baily was snapping the company's ad campaigns. In 1984, the year of Jaeger's centenary, camels were paraded along Regents Street in celebration. In the 90s Dame Judi wore Jaeger for her role as 'M' in the Bond films and Kirsten Scott Thomas donned the label in The English Patient. In 2001 Bella Freud began designing for Jaeger. Stock up on cheap and cheerful 2nd-hand scarves; among other things, they make easy, effective and ecological wrapping for gifts. These squares of style were £2.50 each.

See Huntress London featured in 
Absolutely West magazine CLICK HERE

Thursday, 9 October 2014

TRY THIS - Face It Sister, She's a Keeper

My sister recently returned this brooch to me. I bought it some 20 years ago; at the time she begged me to let her have it and reluctantly I did. What a lovely old/new surprise when she gave it back to me on a recent visit. My sister and I are magpies. We like stuff, we buy stuff, stuff makes us sing. While we're birds of a feather, our flight patterns are completely different. Debra, the round-faced girl in braids, buys things and keeps them forever. She falls in love for life, keeping but not always wearing the shoes, dresses and jewelry she covets. In boxes, closets and cedar chests Deb has a sort of archive of our childhood, for she's been known to even keep things that were once mine. Me, the show-off on the lawn chair, I love things, wear them, re-purpose them, stain them, tear them, wash them and then take them to charity shops where I'm likely to find something new/old to replace what I've donated. If Deb is a sartorial archivist, then I'm a clothing custodian. Pretty stuff is mine for a time to love and enjoy but then set free. What style flight pattern are you navigating through your life? 

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

FOUND - Feeling Anything But Blue in NYC

I found this super fat blue wood bangle at Housing Work Thrift in New York City's West Village, along with my new favourite straight jeans by Theory. Housing Works CLICK HERE is a community of people living with and affected by AIDS/HIV. Their mission is to end the dual crises of homelessness and AIDS/HIV through relentless advocacy, the provision of lifesaving services and entrepreneurial businesses that sustain their efforts. The shop in the West Village was beautifully organized & stocked with countless treasures. My friend Monica, recently relocated to the village from London, nabbed a gorgeous pair of YSL kid-skin tan heels in Housing Work Thrift. Classic - like her. The West Village is actually a 2nd-hand style hunters paradise. Be sure to check out The Goodwill on W. 8th Street CLICK HERE. The Waverly Diner on 6th is nearby, a quintessentially New York eatery - perfect late lunch stop off. Vintage Thrift with 2 locations, one just across the street from Housing Work Thrift is superb CLICK HERE. Between us we picked up goodies in all these shops. The big bangle was only US$12 and the denim trousers, a wardrobe basic that fit like a glove, just US$45. A day out in the Big Apple, sorted. 

Visit Oxfam Fashion CLICK HERE to see Huntress London's 
Circle of Fashion post

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

TRY THIS - Style on Hand At Dress Agency

I found these beautifully-made black fishnet gloves at Vintage Rose, 24 Richmond Hill, TW10. This is a classic dress agency with a terrific selection of 2nd-hand fashions, CLICK HERE. Jimmy Choo, Diane VF, Margaret Howell, Ralph Lauren, and many other well-known names could be found when I popped in. My sister Deb was visiting from the US and on a sunny September Saturday, Richmond Upon Thames called to us. She's a high-end style seeker, so rather than dropping designer names she grabs them with gusto and holds on tight. After lots of looking, ooing and aahing at Vintage Rose, Deb came away with Lulu Guinness boots that were absolutely made for walking - out the door, at just £75. My find, seemingly more meager but no less stylish, is unbranded. Long black cotton net gloves look relaxed when made slouchy and worn with my wool hacking jacket. This handy accessory was just £15. 

Monday, 6 October 2014

TRY THIS - 5 Point Shopping Prompt *****

You head out to the charity shops, excited. You arrive and quickly find yourself stifled, confused and frustrated. May I suggest you ponder the Huntress Shopping Prompts before you begin your next search? Scrutinize your style. Ask questions, make lists, consider and re-consider your clothes. Once you pin down the gaps in your wardrobe, you'll know exactly how a charity shop can fill them. 

1 Which basics in your wardrobe need replacing or beefing up?
For me this is usually trousers, in particular black. But black doesn't have to mean boring. For example, I recently found a pair of black/cream tartan 7/8 length crops from Reiss at a local charity shop. They check the basics box with added flare. Which style basics need special attention in your wardrobe?  

2 What fashion fave do you buy over and over? Is this because you want multiples or have yet to find a really good example?
Nothing makes me happier than a shirt dress styled with a big chunky belt. I'm always on the look out for quality shirt dresses - I've at least a dozen and counting, but which looked best on me was a learning curve. Not all of them hit the mark. When trying on a potential find, I now ask "Is this at least as good as other shirt dresses in my wardrobe?" Are you buying the best of your favourite fashion item? Or settling for something that's nearly-but-not-quite? Keep looking.

3 If you found them cheap, what wild style pieces would you take a risk on?
Charity shops are perfect for out-of-the-ordinary pieces - funky things someone loved in a shop but then got home and thought otherwise. I continually find mad print blouses that I pair with black, on the cheap. Another wild (west) buy? I picked up a pair of red leather cowboy boots for US$10. I love them but wouldn't have risked it had they not been rock-bottom reduced. Set your wild-buy boundaries, allowing for something a little off the rails.    

Do you have the right topper for every occasion? 
Coats are the cherry on your style sundae but can be a budget buster. I suggest trying on any number of outfits you love and wear often. Then ask, "am I topping my treasures with a sour cherry?" Consider your vast coat needs; mac, short military, hacking jacket, long black, hot-coloured, fitted, sporty, super warm, tails (really, my men's 2nd-hand tail coat, £20, is a lifesaver), leather, denim, utilitarian, blanket wrap, cardigans, etc. Since you need a variety of toppers, buying a few quality 2nd-hand versions makes style sense. 

5 You're offered an invite at 5pm to attend a cocktail/red carpet/black tie do at 7pm. Do you have something to wear? 
Luckily the modern-day definition of evening wear is much broader than it once was. But a day dress with heals won't cut it. However, cigarette trousers with a sequin top will. A short 80s cocktail dress with a sculpted wedge is perfect. And a vintage fringe shift teamed with a man's tailcoat (see!) is spot on. If you're like me, you aren't traipsing the red carpet regularly but nonetheless every woman should be able to throw together a fabulous evening look at short notice. Charity shops are awash in mint after-eight gear, hardly worn and waiting for you. Buy it when you see it, not when you need it. 

Now get out there and charity shop with confidence and creativity!                     

Friday, 3 October 2014

FOUND - Silk Blouse Fit for A Princess

I found this raw silk blouse at Traid in Shepherds Bush. A lovely label in the waist tells me it was Made in England and created by Maureen Baker. Never heard of Ms Baker? That would suit her to a tee. For 30 years she was lead designer for the British ready-to-wear firm Susan Small, when in 1973 Princess Anne asked Maureen to create a wedding dress for her impending union to Mark Phillips. In 1978 the talented designer started her own label but really made no attempt to cash in on her couturier royal coup. She quietly created over 250 outfits for Princess Anne before setting aside her scissors in the 1990s. Interestingly, the Emanuel's consulted Ms Barker before creating Princess Diane's iconic wedding frock. Maureen Baker's work is included in the V&A's fashion collection. 

The blouse's fabric is sumptuous, the stitching immaculate. Little details - fitted peplum waist, bow tie and pleats at the shoulder - mark it out as a quality garment. I'll wear it with a pair of dark blue, snake print silk cigarette trousers and keep the bow tie undone. I'm thrilled to have found this piece of fashion history. It cost me the princely sum of £8.99.  

CLICK HERE to see Princess Anne's wedding dress
created by Maureen Baker.  

Thursday, 2 October 2014

TRY THIS - Support A New Indie Biz

I found this lovely little leather oval box - once a makeup container, now a home for jewelry - at Vecchio Vintage's pop-up shop. VV is the style-child of Sharmina Rahman, a Fashion Textiles grad from Middlesex University, with an eye for quality vintage. 

The shop popped-up to sing the praises of the Vecchio Vintage website CLICK HERE, a lovely collection of pre-owned clothing and accessories. Pop-up shops are a personal favourite, Huntress loves a now-you-see-it-now-you-don't hunting ground. Sharmina created a dressing-up box of vintage goodies, along with drinkies and red velvet cake that made for an enjoyable night out. My friend Lucy - a 2nd-hand novice - found a Pierre Cardin 70s tweedy jacket that's sure to be an Autumn style staple. A steal at only £70. The red leather oval in near perfect nick was just £25. The night of fashion chat and laughs at a new, independent business - priceless.   
To Shop Vecchio Vintage Online 

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

FOUND - Big Smoke Blew into Chicago

I found this crinkly cotton "housecoat" at Randolph Street Market CLICK HERE in Chicago. A few weeks ago, the husband and I set out on a holiday to the country of my birth, starting in The Windy City where my dad joined us for Cubs baseball and 2nd-hand shopping. We hopped on an Amtrak train to my mother's place on Lake Erie in Ohio and then carried on to see friends in The Big Apple. Randolph Street Market is a monthly retro/antiques selling spree that Huntress highly recommends. You'll also find a parade of well-stocked, organized and affordable vintage shops in the Wicker Park neighborhood of Chicago. I particularly loved Store B Vintage CLICK HERE and Vintage Underground CLICK HERE.

I feel luck to have repatriated this London-centric coat/dress. It's a spectacular pattern of Queen's Guards, Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abby, entangled in graphic brambles. If it had been red and black, I would have left it. But the unique GREEN and black colour combo keeps it from feeling like a brand new tourist souvenir. Over my silk fitted cami and rolled up denim, it's the perfect outfit for the unexpected warmth of September back in The Big Smoke. Re-styling a 'button through' dress as an overcoat is a great way to breath life into a piece of lovely but dated vintage. This pretty pop of print was just US$30.