On this rainy Monday I called my old neighbor Umie and said “get ready I’m picking you up and we are hitting some thrift stores “, she replied “come on”. We drove over to Attic Treasures Thrift Shop and within seconds Umie snagged herself a Daniel Hechter Paris rain coat hanging on the 50% off rack, which made it $5.00. Minutes later she walked up to me carrying Escada slacks, marked at $3.00. When she tried the slacks on they looked as if they were tailored for her, perfect in every way. I wish I would have taken a photo of the exceptional workman ship and attention to detail around the pockets. Extraordinary! I walked over to the sweater section and one by one began my search. In less than a minute I ran across a very chic and sassy MaxMara black sweater. Seconds later came an argyle pattern cashmere sweater, no brand name in particular but honey it’s cashmere! The next and what I consider the “find of the day” was a Todd Oldham vest jacket , and not just any vest jacket . Every square inch was designed and arranged with precise execution. When I was living in Dallas in the early 1980′s, Todd had a studio, and one day I was fortunate to have caught his sample sale. I purchased several of his shirts and wore them for years and years. They never went out of style, Todd was always ahead of the curve and a visionary designer. When anyone asks me what my favorite shirt is or was, I honestly reply “my Todd Oldham white cotton dress shirt.” After spending about an hour in the thrift store Umie proceeded to the counter to pay for her stash. The grand total was $35 that included: Daniel Hechter rain coat, Escada slacks, cashmere sweater, MaxMara sweater, Todd Oldham vest jacket and one lovely Italian scarf. When we arrived back at her house I made her model all her outfits so I could photographed them for you all to see. Tomorrow I’ll tell you what I pillaged at the thrift store. All in all it was a fabulous day despite all the rain. Next time you are bored on a rainy day, call up an old friend and take them thrifting, who knows what you’ll find and just how much fun you will have. Toodles for now.
I started my morning by taking 2 boxes of miscellaneous items to the thrift store. Donating is always a positive act, you know that saying “when you give you receive”, well today I received. I hauled my 2 boxes into The Step Up Society Thrift Store, walked inside and nabbed a Versace shirt for $2.75. My god you should feel this fabric. Then I eyed this $1.50 Doncaster red leather belt, carried it around with me before returning it to the belt bend. Doncaster belts sell anywhere from $175-$250. Finally noticed this stool that reminded me of Van Keppel & Green, which are famous for using plastic cord and enameled metal. I did not buy it for a measly $2.99 so if you are looking for a magnificent stool, head to The Step Up Society. I then drove to Cathedral of St. Philip Thrift and ran across this Valentino jacket size 14. This Italian jacket, beautifully constructed, was marked $14.00. On the way home I started thinking, what would I wear with this new Versace shirt? Then I remembered I had recently purchased these stunning Ermenegildo Zegna trousers for $4.00, and a English wool hat for $5.00. Voila I had an outfit for a whopping $11.75. I have to say donating has its perks. Toodles for now.
I over estimated the amount of furniture we would need for our new house, my thoughts are more is better , if by chance we don’t use a piece, we can store in the attic . This vintage Alvar Aalto table , I paid $30 for at a used furniture shop, is a piece that didn’t make the cut. When you are working with a smaller space having less is so much more. I’m really saddened by this because I love the simple design of the table. This table needs space to really breathe and be admired, and our new house just doesn’t have space. Today I am placing the fabulous Alvar Aalto table in our attic, and I’m feeling a little grim. I have a strong feeling that the table won’t be alone for very long. Toodles for now.
I received an email from a follower that asked me what my most spectacular find was. Four years ago I stopped in The Step Up Society Thrift Store and noticed on a shelve this apple. I have seen hundreds of these cute apples made from silver, glass, crystal, and ceramics in my 27 years of thrifting. There was something different about this apple, I noticed it at first sight , it was the shape that stood out for me. It was designed with a bit more pizzazz, form, and structure. First thing I opened the lid, only to discover it had 6 tiny stainless shot glasses, then next thing I did was turn it over. It was hallmarked Cartier and priced at $3.50. If you heard someone shout for joy 4 years ago, it was me. I could not contain myself, I didn’t have the urge to continue to “hunt” for anything else, I just knew I had to pay and leave. When I got home I snapped a couple of images and emailed them to Cartier. I thought maybe they could provide me with a bit more information regarding this piece. Days later I received an email from Cartier, saying that if I wanted to do a “proper” search and have Cartier go back to their archive, then I would have to pay $500 for that “research”. I choose not to pay for that information, instead I ponder the question “who owned this bar accessory made by Cartier?” My mind goes wild, could it be the Duchess of WIndsor, Wallis Simpson, Jacqueline Kennedy, or Peggy Guggenheim. I would like to fantasize it once belonged to Peggy. The moral of this story is don’t judge an apple by its appearance, or for that matter anything. Take that additional moment to pick things up, turn things upside down, and step back and observe the design. What I have found is that things having a simple, elegant and have a clean line , more likely it’s quality. Toodles for now.
I’ve been very busy moving, and have been away from my computer for what feels like eternity (3 days). Right now I’m in the mist of settling into my new place just 5 years ago Mitch and I found a 1967 California split level contemporary house. It was the perfect house to showcase my thrift store furniture finds. Thrifting for 27 years I’ve acquired a rather lovely furniture collection including: 6 Mies van der Rohe Brno flat bar chairs paying $15 each, a Milo Baughman bench and rocking chair $100 for both, an Alvar Aalto table for $30,and the list goes on. Moving to the North Crest subdivision was initially unsettling for me since I was living in a fantastic downtown Atlanta loft. Moving 13 miles out of my comfort zone was needless to say uncomfortable. Over our five years living in North Crest we had formed very strong friendships with our neighbors Rex and Cathy who live next door, and Umie and Vid across the street who both have 1960′s split level modern houses as well. Umie and I became kindred spirits. When I’m at a thrift store and spot something she may die for, I whip out my iPhone, take a photo, and hit the send button. Within a minute she will call and give me the thumbs up or thumbs down, you just have to love the iPhone. Waking up this morning I realized they aren’t next door to me anymore so I’m feeling that uncomfortable feeling again. I think I might need to do some thrifting today as therapy. Toodles for now.
I went to 3 thrift stores today and each one was busy busy busy. At 10:30 am I stopped in The Attic Treasures Thrift Shop and there wasn’t one parking space available, in fact I had to park across the street at the post office. I didn’t find anything there for me today,but for women they had a good bit of St. John jackets, tops and suits. For any woman looking for St.John at a bargain, head over to The Attic Treasures. Just down the street a few blocks is St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store again I didn’t find anything for me. There was a size 40 regular green Burberry mens blazer but I passed on it. They did however have several racks of clothes for just $1. I found several really beautiful women’s suits and a fantastic black trench coat all for $1 each. Finally, I stopped by The Step Up Society Thrift Store and found 2 Lacoste short sleeve shirts for $2.75 each. In addition there were 4 other Lacoste shirts as well as several Lucky Brand shirts, all for just $2.75 each. I saw the color orange in both shirts and just had to have them, I love orange, always have. You know you love orange when that’s the color on your front door. It’s a bold and daring color for a front door, and after 5 years I have still not grown bored of it. Tomorrow at 3:30 pm we will close on our house and walk away from that orange door, but it will always be close to my heart. Toodles for now.
Yesterday I mentioned I was putting the 2 MR Lounge Mies van der Rohe chairs into storage well today is another day with Gio going into storage next. This beautifully designed table by Gio Ponti was discovered at a used furniture shop next to a trashy, filthy, sex theater in Decatur Ga. Don’t ask me how I know that…. I walked into the shop and right in front of the counter was this table, stacked with all kinds of crap on top. I took everything off, turned it upside down checking for a label, and thankfully Singer & Sons paper label was intact. At that moment to be honest with you I had never heard of Singer & Sons or knew who might have designed the table. I just knew that it was just to good to pass up especially for $35. I called my friend Robby Comer who is Atlanta’s premier modern furniture authority and described him the table. Minutes later I received an email with a photo of the exact table from Robby. It was from 1stdibs.com website, which happens to be the official marketplace for antique, mid-century modern furniture, estate jewelry, vintage watches and now haute couture. If you haven’t been on 1stdibs.com site please check it out, I can spend hours on that site searching and educating myself on everything from pottery to Parzinger. My newly found table was on that site and some dealer from New York priced it at $4,500. The vase on top the table is another thrift store find, it’s a Tapio Wirkkala for Rosenthal. I saw it in a thrift store while out in Hollywood with my friend Hollis Gilliespie . Instantly I knew it wasn’t a Pier One Halloween knock off paper bag vase. I paid $25 for the vase and thought to myself “damn these Hollywood people are upped with their prices.” Very soon Tapio Wirkkala and Gio Ponti will be resting together in my dark but climate controlled storage unit. Toodles for now.
The other day at The Step Up Society Thrift store I was excavating in the scarf bend and what lovely name did I run across, Hermes. Initially I was shocked, surprised, quite frankly stunned, discovering a Hermes scarf at a thrift store is a rare experience. That is if it were authentic, but in this case I immediately knew that it was a fake. The first thing that gave it away was the edges were machined stitched instead of a hand rolled hem. Secondly, the scarf I found was 100% polyester not 100% silk, and finally,the colors were less vibrant in this fake. With so many fakes on the market, eBay has a link on how to avoid fake Hermes scarves. Another informative link on eBay regarding Hermes is the genuine care labels versus fake labels. For the lovely women out there who own genuine Hermes scarves I wanted to include this link of knotting tips and tricks. Most women are so conservative when it comes to scarves they wear them like their grandmother did. I say loosen up and have fun with your scarves. Even if you don’t own a Hermes you can still find vintage Dior, YSL and Vera scarves, and use the guide to show you how to tie your scarf in a stylish manner. When I’m wearing a vest with my blazer for that extra edge I will sometimes roll up a vintage scarf and tie it like I would a regular tie. I purchased this fake in order for me to talk about spotting a fake at a thrift store. Being informed is making a fashionable statement. That scarf is now in a ziplock bag filled with lots of scarves that I have collected with the goal of one day making a quilt out of them. Toodles for now.