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NYFW Spring Summer 2014

14 Sep

NYFW Spring Summer 2014

Our favorite looks from New York Fashion Week! Now on our Pinterest Board!
http://www.pinterest.com/bessandevies

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Fall 2013 Must Haves!

10 Sep

This past week kicked off New York Fashion Week with all the major American designers showing collections for Spring/Summer 2014. If you follow any major fashion bloggers or magazines on Instagram or Twitter, you’ve been seeing all the fresh, sheer, cropped loveliness that awaits us in February. For the time being, at least here in Texas, we are caught in the “It’s September and I want to wear boots and sweaters but it’s still 100 degrees outside” trap that late summer and early fall brings us every year. So with a few weeks to get our fall wardrobe put together, we wanted to give you a list of the top 5 things you need in your closet for Fall 2013.

A fierce leather moto jacket. Black is good, basic, goes with everything. But don’t be afraid of white or a fabulous jewel tone. Wear with skinny jeans and a silk cami, a flowy chiffon dress that you just can’t give up quite yet, or anything in lace for that perfect Stevie Nicks homage.

60s leather moto jacket, 60s ivory lace cocktail dress

60s leather moto jacket, 60s ivory lace cocktail dress

Bullet and Bling pendant necklace from Bluebird Jewelry

Bullet and Bling pendant necklace from Bluebird Jewelry

Plaid. Think 80’s preppy meets classic Ralph Lauren. Pair plaid pants and skirts with cashmere sweaters, sweet floral prints and chunky boots. Even a leopard print if you are so bold! If you like things a little more on the subtle side, consider tweeds, glen plaid and houndstooth.

60s tan cardigan, 50s Pendelton reversible wool plaid skirt

60s tan cardigan, 50s Pendelton reversible wool plaid skirt

Embellishments. Whether it’s beading, feathers, fur or heavy embroidery, super embellished pieces can add a punch to your basics. Choose a beaded top with jeans and a blazer, an ethnic embroidered skirt with your favorite cashmere sweater or go all out in a feather hemmed cocktail dress.

60s beaded sweater

60s beaded sweater

60s hostess dress with maribou trim

60s hostess dress with maribou trim

Warm neutrals. Winter doesn’t have to mean black and gray and dull. Infuse your wardrobe with warmth with beige, eggshell, blush pink and camel. Mix together for a soft, fresh palette that will brighten the dullest winter day.

50s Chinese silk blush pink suit

50s Chinese silk blush pink suit

Feline fancies. If you have yet to get on the leopard/cheetah print bandwagon, just know that it is not going anywhere and it’s time to suck it up and climb on board. Choose from shoes, booties, bags, hats, coats; any or all of the above. Trust me, it’s time.

80s Anne Klein lion silk scarf

80s Anne Klein lion silk scarf

60s leopard print muff and hat, 60s alligator handbag

60s leopard print muff and hat, 60s alligator handbag

Fall in love with what you saw? Contact us here for pricing and availability!

On the Road: I’ve Died and Gone to Vintage Heaven

7 Aug

In my last post, I shared with you the adventures I had at the Rose Bowl Flea Market in Pasadena, CA. If you haven’t already figured out, I’m a girl who loves to dig for vintage treasures. As long as it is productive digging. Digging through $10 racks of decent vintage dresses? Sign me up. Digging through thrift stores for hours on the slim chance that a vintage DVF wrap dress is waiting to be unearthed? Thanks, I’ll pass. It’s a game, a challenge, a treasure hunt. But there are times in our lives when you just want to appreciate someone else’s hard work and immaculate taste and be in the midst of beautiful things. So, for the second half of my LA getaway, I paid a visit to the Mecca of vintage couture, Decades on Melrose Ave.

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You may be familiar with Decades from the Bravo TV show, “The Dukes of Melrose” which follows owners Cameron Silver and Christos Garkinos in their buying and selling and celebrity schmoozing that comes with owning one of the top vintage and couture consignment boutiques in the country. I had the pleasure of meeting Cameron at a fund-raiser luncheon in the spring where he was the guest speaker. He was cordial and made time to talk to anyone who approached him, but as someone who is known worldwide in the fashion industry, I wonder what he really thought of little ol’ Fort Worth. Nevertheless, I told him I was coming to LA and wanted to stop by the store. (He’s great to follow on Twitter, btw, you might even get a reply!) He said he and Christos would “roll out the red carpet” for my visit which of course got me super excited (yeah right, it was probably just left out from Rachel Zoe’s last visit).

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Cowgirl Museum Old Bags Luncheon
April 2013

The boutique is two stories with designer consignment items on the ground floor and vintage upstairs. It’s not a huge space and there are really only 6 racks of clothes up there, but let me tell ya, they are the most amazing 6 racks you have ever set your eyes on. One of the first pieces I spotted was a 60s classic Chanel tweed jacket. No biggie. $3000.

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1960s Chanel Metallic Tweed Jacket
Decades

As I’m shopping, Cameron comes out to say hi in his own flustered, “my life is crazy” way. He’s just returned from Paris Fashion Week (and the Chanel Haute Couture show) and it’s his first day back in the store in 3 weeks. That peon from Fort Worth feeling comes back over me and I “let him get back to work” while I continue making my way through the racks with now sweaty palms. Secretly I was hoping for him to say, “Let’s play dress up! What do you want to try on?!” and we would spend the next couple hours drinking champagne, taking pictures of me in whatever I could fit in to and having someone order us lunch in. In truth I was too damn scared to even take dresses out of the garment bags, let alone try something on.

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The Red Carpet Rack
Decades

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1970s John Anthony paillette mermaid gown
Decades

The selection and the quality of the garments they sell are seriously second to none. If I say I didn’t shed a tear, I’d be lying. The most amazing pieces are on one wall all in garment bags. One of my favorite gowns that was featured on the show, “The Dukes of Melrose” was a Christian Lacroix for Jean Patou Haute Couture 1987. When I saw it on the rack in all of its $20,000 glory, I couldn’t help but shake a little.

 

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The Lacroix!!!

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Christian Lacroix for Jean Patou Haute Couture Spring/Summer 1987

I wish I had been able to take a picture of the interior construction because you can honestly understand why these gowns are worth these prices. Anyway, I’m getting all construction geek on you. Let’s just say these designers are artists, and their garments are serious works of art. (FYI, it’s still for sale, you can buy it here.)

Sadly, I didn’t buy anything. But I left there with the same feeling you get when leaving a museum filled with great works of art. And despite what you might think, the staff there was really nice to a good ol’ girl from Fort Worth. So next time you are in LA, take some time to stop by and enjoy the masterpieces at Decades, buy something fabulous, because you deserve it.  Oh, and tell Cameron the girl from Fort Worth says “hi”. 

On the Road: Rose Bowl Flea Market

27 Jul

I crossed a Bucket List item off a few weeks ago and made a trip to California to go to the Rose Bowl Flea Market.

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I think I saw maybe 30% of the entire market, but let me tell you, it didn’t disappoint. The market is held on the second Sunday of every month and it’s an easy early morning flight that gets you there with plenty of time to shop. Or so I thought. I flew in to LAX Sunday morning with the hopes of a celebrity sighting or two, but sadly, no luck. By the time I got my rent car and made my way out to Pasadena, it was 11:00. 4 hours. Should be plenty of time! HOLY CRAP. This place is huge!!

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Arial view. Courtesy of http://www.fleamarketinsiders.com

The market is separated in to sections by types of merchandise. Furniture, antiques, housewares, etc. Booths that sold vintage jewelry, bags, and some clothes were mixed in to the “Antiques” section and there were plenty to choose from.

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You know that sweet Fort Worth one came home with me!

Vintage carpetbags

Vintage carpetbags

I spent about 2 hours roaming around, not willing to commit to buying anything just yet. I mean come on, everyone knows the better prices are in the booths way in the back that cost less. So, I’m about to commit, to go back and find the booths with the Whiting & Davis snake necklace, the fringed leather jacket, the hundreds of tooled leather belts. And then I see this:

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More vintage? Seriously??

Seriously.  I only have 2 hours left and NOW I find this. How did I not know? (Note to self: That map they handed you when you walked in might have been a clue. Just sayin’.) By this time the mild California weather is beginning to look more and more like a Texas summer day with temperatures creeping in to the nineties. Find me a bottle of water and I’m good to go.

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One of at least 20 booths that sold vintage bags

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My friends, you have not seriously flea marketed for vintage until you have flea marketed at the Rose Bowl. Hundreds of booths. Bags, coats, T-shirts, dresses, belts, cowboy boots, even new crap that is “vintage inspired”. (Umm, why??) Kid in a candy store does not even begin to describe the overwhelmingness.

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Vintage T-shirts. 5 for $20.

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This booth was twice as long as you see here. Everything was $10.

I shop, I dig, I bargain, I spend every penny of my $200 cash budget (minus the $8 it costs to get in. Parking is free though). Trust me, I could have spent way more. Finally, by 3:00 I’m exhausted, starving and as I haul my trash bag full of treasures across the parking lot, I can’t quite remember where I parked my rent car, let alone what my rent car even looks like.  Fortunately, my hotel, food and a nap are only a few minutes away and as I drive there I’m already trying to figure out how and when I can come back. Wanna go?

Do You Muumuu?

9 Jul

It’s July in Texas once again, when the ultimate goals in dressing for the day are:

A. avoid having your thighs stick to the blistering black leather upholstery in your car.
B. figure out how to wear that cute halter maxi dress without a damn bra.
C. resisting the urge to run to Target in your bikini and cut-offs because you need more limeade for the margaritas*.

Yes, we know the people of Wal-Mart show us daily that there are far more major fashion faux-pas than wearing a bikini to Target, but seriously, we are better than that. I once caught my husband coming home from a quick grocery store run after we had been out at the pool all day in his fluorescent Hawaiian print swim trunks and a Tshirt with the sleeves cut off so the armholes went down to his waist. “Seriously? You wore that out of the house??” I was mortified. He was amused, and that Tshirt went in the rag bin the next morning. Who wins now??
So, I bring you, the muumuu. Not the loud, floral, housedress that can double for a tent muumuu, but the classic, true Hawaiian muumuu that will soon become your summer staple.

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The word “mu’umu’u” in Hawaiian translates to “cut off” because originally they were made without a yoke. They were long, simple dresses made from tropical printed fabrics that mirrored the Polynesian feel of the islands. When tourism to Hawaii began to boom in the 1960s, at the top of every woman’s shopping list was an authentic Hawaiian muumuu, and, if she could convince her spouse to oblige, an “aloha” shirt for him in the matching fabric.

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The most coveted muumuus were made out of bark cloth. A cotton/linen type fabric made from the bark of trees common in Asia and the Pacific. Popular brands included Hawaiian Casuals, Malihini, Ui-Maikai and Hilo Hattie, but any brand made in Hawaii is a real treasure.

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So, embrace the tropics and the heat wave, make yourself a mai tai and keep cool in your vintage muumuu. Mahalo!

*bonus! Best Margarita Recipe Ever
1 can frozen limeade
tequila
ice
orange liqueur (optional)
blender
Dump can of frozen limeade in to blender. Fill can to the top with tequila, dump in  blender. Add 1/4 can of orange liqueur. Fill blender with ice. Blend to desired consistency.

The Greatness Of Gatsby

22 Jun

If you haven’t seen The Great Gatsby yet, it is the equivalent of being dropped in the middle of your favorite town with a black AMEX card and 24 hours to splurge.  You are overwhelmed with sights, sounds, flash, opulence, excess. Baz Luhrmann is the King of over-the-top productions and this one does not disappoint. From the jazz/rap/ethereal sounds of the soundtrack from artists like will.i.am, Beyonce, The XX and Jack White to the extravagant sets that scream conspicuous consumption and eccentricity, the film never lacks in giving you something to absorb. Of course the fashions designed by Miuccia Prada and jewelry by Tiffany are reason enough for us to sit and drool in front of the screen for 2 hours.

Here are some of our favorite scenes from the movie, and from Carey Mulligan’s fashion shoot with Vogue magazine.

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Tom and Daisy’s parlor with the flowing curtains and Daisy’s frothy tea dress. We also love that Jordan is bold enough to wear pants.

ImageGatsby in Nick’s cottage after he had “a few” flowers delivered for tea with Daisy.

ImageThis scene made us fall in love with head scarves all over again!

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Of all the characters, Jordan was the one that kept surprising us in her costumes. Here, for their outing to the city, she is prim and proper in her dress, capelet, hat and bag. A far cry from the rebel who wore pants in the earlier scene.

ImageHere, at Gatsby’s largest party, she is daring in her cutaway halter dress with the low back. The hat she holds in her hand is actually a headband with a veil worn over the eyes.

ImageThe mayhem that was Gatsby’s parties.

ImageCarey Mulligan graces the cover of Vogue in this amazing chartreuse velvet gown from Oscar de la Renta and those jewels from Tiffany. GAH!!

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Oscar de la Renta Fall 2012

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Our favorite spread in the Vogue issue. Chanel Haute Couture sequin dress, headpiece by Julien d’Ys.

In these increasingly warm summer Texas days, it’s nice to be able to escape to the coolness of a movie theater. This movie will make that theater even cooler.

Did You Miss Us???

6 Jun

Yes, we are still alive over here in Vintageland. Forgive us for the extreme lapse in postings. We initially blamed Lindsay Lohan*,

Lindsay Lohan as Elizabeth Taylor

but then that excuse got to be too old and then Christmas came and Kalen went to NYC and had loads of great material to write about, but then it was FWSSR time (Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo) here in the Fort and we were selling boots as fast as our little stuffing, polishing, pulling on and off hands could handle. Then it was kinda slow and we really didn’t have anything compelling to write about, and we kinda thought you had given up on us ever writing anything interesting or witty or fashionable again so we just let it go.

So, I’m sitting here inhaling nibbling on a J. Rae’s sugar cookie, aka crack with glittery frosting, and my afternoon cuppa tea feeling inspired once again to write. I’ll start with sharing my adventures in NYC in January. I went by myself, which can be a refreshing thing to do every once in a while.
A. You don’t have to share the hotel bathroom with anyone
B. No one rolls their eyes at you when you want to walk the 20 blocks back to the hotel
C. Spending 6 hours at the Flea Market bothers no one except the vendors that I continue to haggle with until I get the price I want
D. I don’t have to stop at every H&M looking for “that skirt” in my size
E. Avoiding travelling in large groups where someone is inevitably walking around with their jaw dropped at the sights and sounds of Times Square makes it a lot easier to get around and might actually get you mistaken for a local (oh yeah, I was asked for directions. Sweet!)

The Garage Antique Flea Market

The Garage Antique Flea Market

I did spend 6 hours at The Garage Antique Flea Market in Chelsea and it was like walking in to the best episode of Hoarders ever; minus the dead animals in the freezer and non-working plumbing. The flea market is housed in an old parking garage (2 levels!!) which is great because it is open EVERY WEEKEND YEAR ROUND! Vintage clothing (obviously), jewelry, furs, African art, housewares, handbags, furs, furniture, and luggage; everything you can imagine is here. And yes, if you are EVER in the market for a vintage fur, those dead, rich, NYC society ladies had closets full of them and you can get your hands on just about anything for a steal. Sadly, I did not come home with a new furry friend, but did find some amazing jewelry and a suede poncho. Most definitely a successful trip, I can’t wait to go back!

This is just ONE level!

This is just ONE level!

One of the best vintage shops in NYC

One of the best vintage shops in NYC

Copper Garden Statue

Copper Garden Statue

Scary Baby Doll

Scary Baby Doll

Another thing that surprised me on this trip was how friendly everyone was. An older gentleman at the flea market overheard me tell a dealer that I was from Fort Worth and he immediately told me that he also was from The Fort. He went to the same high school that my daughters attend and although we didn’t know anyone in common, it seemed he was happy to have a bit of Texas brought in to his life that day. Or maybe he was just flirting, who knows. Later that day, as I was waiting to cross the street, a group of cool, hipster dudes commented on my coat. Why yes, it IS vintage, 1970s Bill Blass! What’s that? Oh, thanks, it’s just something I threw on. I am wearing that coat every damn day. You New Yorkers with your puffy down coats got nothin’ on this Texas girl stylin’ in vintage. Seriously, it’s not even that cold.

Need a fur??

Need a fur??

Keeper of the furs, on his own Persian Lamb blanket, of course!

Keeper of the furs, on his own Persian Lamb blanket, of course!

If you can't afford the WHOLE fur...

If you can’t afford the WHOLE fur…

So, we promise, we are back. There’s a lot of Mad Men to catch up on and those always fun awards show red carpets. If there’s anything you’re curious about or would like us to write about, please let us know! We missed y’all!!!

For more info on NYC Flea Markets, go to http://www.hellskitchenfleamarket.com/home/

*Lindsay Lohan starred in the TV Movie Dick & Liz about the life of Elizabeth Taylor back in December. Our post was going to be about the fabulous outfits in the movie and how they made it almost worth suffering through the horrendous “acting”. Alas, after trolling the internet for 2 days looking for images of such fabulous outfits, we gave up and hence our 5 month long blogging sabbatical.

WORN: Fashion with a Purpose

14 Nov

We had the pleasure of hosting a Trunk Show for Worn for Peace last week.

WORN is a business of Catholic Charities of Fort Worth that provides refugee women from war torn countries an opportunity to earn an income through the sales of scarves that they hand knit. All the scarves are knit in the USA by women who have survived the war and poverty of their homelands.

The Fall 2012 line includes scarves of various styles and price points all hand-knit from 100% Peruvian wool in gorgeous fall colors.

The founder of WORN, Abbi Ice, came up with the concept two years ago and now 41 refugee women are on the path to being financially self-sufficient. WORN scarves are available on their website, www.wornforpeace.com and also at these retailers. This holiday season, give a gift that is not only fashionable, but socially-conscious and provides hope for refugees to find value in both their work and themselves. WORN but not abandoned. Thanks to Abbi and Meredith for bringing your beautiful products to Bess & Evie’s!

Lusts and Loves from the Dallas Vintage Show

3 Nov

First off, apologies for my highly sporadic posts lately. Last week we were prepping for the Dallas Vintage Clothing and Jewelry Show, and this week we have been, well, recovering. It was a great show, and it’s always so nice to meet other dealers and see some of the amazing treasures they have discovered. Here are a few of our favorites:

This vendor took great pride in presenting the most unique and unusual items for sale. Our favorite pieces included this chain-link vest. A little Jean-Paul Gaultier, a little Medieval, a LOT Madonna. Which, I guess goes without saying when you mention JPG. I’m not sure who wears this, or to where, but there’s something so fabulous about it. Oh if only I were a bit more daring!

Chain Link Vest

The same vendor also had this great armadillo handbag. Now, we have had a few 1940s Cuban baby alligator bags come through the store, but never anything as disturbing and wonderful as this little guy. Definitely not a purse snatcher on the planet that would come close to grabbing this off of your shoulder.

Armadillo Handbag

One of our favorite dealers is Ken Weber, owner of Vintage Martini in Carrolton. His collection is to die for and when you have amazing pieces, you can create amazing displays. We are visiting his store soon and I have a feeling I will never want to leave!

Vintage Martini

Ken’s mother, Janet is also in the business with her online shop Woodland Farms Vintage. They tend to travel together on buying and show trips and never, EVER fight over who gets what in their picks. Janet has a collection of 1920s cloche hats that are truly works of art. Probably not hats that you would actually wear, given their age and fragile nature, but beauties to look at!

1920s Cloche Hats

Just as with the cloche hats, anytime you find a garment from the 20s that is wearable, it is a true find. This beaded silk dress was appropriately put up on a mannequin high out of reach of hands itching to touch. Including mine!

1920s Beaded Silk Dress

Finally, there were two booths of jewelry across from mine. Normally, I’m so overwhelmed by the massive amounts of rhinestones and bling that I tend to stay away from these booths. But, there is always down time, and boredom and curiosity drive you to wander and check out what everyone else has. The one piece I did fall in love with was this snake pin. Of course, we are all about snake jewelry in any form so it’s no surprise that this caught our attention. However, at $225, a bit out of our price range!

Snake pin

The next show will be in March. If that chain link vest is still there, I am SO buying it!

Observations from a Project Runway Junkie

19 Oct

If you follow us on Twitter, you know that I am a Project Runway junkie. Last night was the finale for Season 10 and while the final 4 designers were not the best we have seen on the show, the finale was definitely a nail-biter between 2 very different yet equally intriguing collections. If you are unfamiliar with the show, in a nutshell, it is a fashion design competition that starts with 15 designers and is whittled down each week through elimination design challenges. The challenges include everything from the wacky “Create a garment out of candy” to my favorite, the “Avant-garde challenge” which gives the designers the opportunity to push the limits of fashion design. The final 3-4 contestants (depending on the judges’ discretion) create 10 look collections and show at NY Fashion Week. The final four contestants were Melissa, Fabio, Christopher and Dmitry.

Melissa is a tough-as-nails, semi-goth, 31 year old from San Francisco with an affinity for structured garments in black and leather. Take her to any 80s concert with The Cure or Depeche Mode and you are guaranteed a great time. Although she struggled with overthinking designs and time management, she had a definite “look” that was her own.

Fabio is a 29 year old from Brooklyn who has a hippie/hare-krishna vibe to him. You just want to sit down with him and a chai tea and a clove cigarette and discuss the philosophy of buttons. His designs of draped pastel silks in multiple organic layers are ethereal works of art and full of soul. With all the huge egos on the show, Fabio was the calming presence that seemed to keep everyone sane.

Christopher. OH, Christopher! For some reason he reminds me of Winnie the Pooh eternally searching for his honey pot. He was one of the youngest designers, at 24 and from Massepequa, NY. Not one of my favorites, his signature design element consisted of frayed raw ends of chiffon layered in skirts, tops, and gowns. Probably not my choice for one of the final 4 as there were other designers (Sanjia) that I would have loved to have seen collections from.

Dmitry is a 33 year old New Yorker who emigrated from Belarus at the age of 18. A former ballroom dancer, Dmitry’s story is the epitome of the American Dream. He is soft spoken, but still very Slavic in that he is serious and doesn’t put up with crap from anyone. He was one of the best tailors on the show and his clothes always fit his model perfectly.

After the final runway shows, it was evident that Dmitry and Fabio were the front runners. As much as I loved Melissa and felt it my obligation to root for the only female designer, it was clear that her collection was not as innovative and compelling as Dmitry’s or Fabio’s. I won’t give away the winner, you can go here to find out for yourself. But here are some more pics of Dmitry and Fabio’s collections. Who would you pick?

Fabio Costa

Dmitry Sholokhov

All image courtesy of www.mylifetime.com