Tag Archives: road trip

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”. 

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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?