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.


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).


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.


1960s Chanel Metallic Tweed Jacket

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.


The Red Carpet Rack


1970s John Anthony paillette mermaid gown

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.



The Lacroix!!!


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”. 


3 Responses to “On the Road: I’ve Died and Gone to Vintage Heaven”

  1. Cameron Silver (@CameronDecades) August 7, 2013 at 7:47 pm #

    Thank you for your sweet words! Coming to Fort Worth in October I think.

    • bessandeviesvintage August 8, 2013 at 10:39 am #

      Look forward to seeing you!

  2. charlespeebles August 7, 2013 at 6:10 pm #

    Sounds like a good time!

    “Peon from Ft. Worth…” Please. You can’t say that just because somebody hasn’t made the realization of how fabulous you really are!

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