Tag Archives: New York

Review: Petrunia’s Diamond Dot Annie Dress

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

I may be the worst model ever - is the photo over yet?  But check out this dress!

I may be the worst model ever – is the photo over yet? But check out this dress!

After I blogged about Petrunia’s lovely reproduction dresses, I was contacted by the sales manager this line of clothing, Lucy Carey, about reviewing one of their lovely dresses! I happily selected the initial dress that had caught my eye in Bygones, the Diamond Dot Annie dress, and it was shipped to my doorstep.

I saved the dress so I could wear it this past weekend at Jammin on the James, a Lindy Hop workshop weekend in Richmond, Virginia, so that I could give it the full dance treatment of wearing it to dinner, social dancing, competing, and singing with the Blue Crescent Syncopators. It survived all of these activities without incident and remained fresh, from late afternoon through the late night dance with Naomi and her Handsome Devils.

The fabric is rayon, which has that wonderful “cold,” silky feel, with a bit of a textured sheen. The color is rich and the dot pattern on the fabric provides just enough decoration that it doesn’t compete with the little details in this dress that make it pop, like the wide collar and the pleating on the bodice. The dress zips up the side with a metal zipper (bonus vintage points!) and the skirt is cut on the bias, so it will lay nicely on the hips without hugging or bagging. My only complaint would be that the arm holes were a little low on me, but this is a common problem I have with garments – someone taller than my 5’2.5″ will be fine – and it didn’t noticeably inhibit my movement while dancing. I finished the look with Re-mix wedges and a fakelite rose pin to complete the repro ensemble.

I hope this Ithaca-based shop will continue to create reproductions, in addition to tending their vintage clothing shop – years of being around vintage clothing will make you want to re-create it and Petrunia has done so with all the right details.

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Lindy Focus 2012 Vendors

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

Wide view of the Lindy Focus consignment shop

Wide view of the Lindy Focus consignment shop

This was a bit of an interesting year for vendors at Lindy Focus, in that few of the usual suspects were present, so the vending was made up mostly of DIY lindy hoppers, including endeavors by Lindy Focus itself. Lindy Focus offered a consignment shop for those who had danceable clothes and shoes to get rid of and for those who needed/wanted such items. I did pretty well in the selling department, so some of you may have left Lindy Focus with a Lindy Shopper vintage garment. :)

Noticeably absent was Dancestore and their signature Aris Allen shoes, a serious business faux pas, in my opinion – 900+ attendees, many of which (including me) were looking to buy or replace dance shoes. To make up for the lack of being able to replace dancers’ worn out shoes, Lindy Focus offered a shoe sueding and repair service.

One of Sharon's creations

One of Sharon’s creations

Marathon dance event vendor Sharon Crawford of Creations by Crawford was on hand creating custom hair pieces, boutonnieres, and other elegant accoutrement for ladies and gents at her table, positioned next to the ballroom off the registration lobby. Sharon’s table was always open and always had a bevy of guests – from hairdressers to nappers to chatters, all were welcome to hang out. I don’t know how she got any work done, but I’d wager to say she’s the longest working vendor at Lindy Focus (as evidenced by the sunrise/survivors photo on the last day, she was probably working the whole time).

Forties Forward - love these gals!

Forties Forward – love these gals!

Forties Forward, one of my favorite hair flower vendors, was right across the hallway from Sharon, making sure that the ladies of Lindy Focus had all the hair flowers they needed. With the customary gussying up for New Year’s Eve, I’m sure they did well. Added inventory this year: false eyelashes. Va-va-voom!

Also a regular, Mike Thibault’s jazz and lindy hop prints are always a welcome sight. I love his selection, especially the new-ish one of the interior of the Savoy ballroom packed to the gills with dancers. If you haven’t seen what he has, definitely check out his website – Vintage Jazz Art – and pick up something inspiring to put on your wall.

Next to Mike’s table was a curious little table of notecards with photograph images of dancers with a sign saying “Dance Cards by DJ Stone.” Perhaps a few campers picked one up to send a note saying “Wish you were here?”

The designer and her models - photograph courtesy of Jessica Keener Photography

The designer and her models – photograph courtesy of Jessica Keener Photography

Finally, New York designer Nicole Lenzen not only had a lovely rack of dresses at her vendor table, she debuted her first collection of dresses and rompers for dancers at Lindy Focus in a glorious fashion show during one of the camp meetings, featuring some of your favorite female instructors as models for her designs. The collection was movement-conscious, high in twirl factor, and rich in textiles. The designer loves to work with fine fabrics, produced ethically and created into garments in New York’s garment district. Nicole hopes to have her website ready to take orders soon – she does custom garments as well as those featured in her collection. Nicole is a delight and I look forward to seeing her business grow and flourish. Check out the fashion show in the video below for a full view of the collection and also Jessica Keener’s lovely photographs.

I think a fashion show and debut collection must be a swing dance event first, if not a Lindy Focus first, no? Clearly we are heading in the right direction.

I’ll close by saying I really enjoyed being on a panel discussing blogging and social media with Rebecca Brightly, Michael Seguin, and Jerry Almonte. Everyone had thoughtful commentary and different insights based on our different experiences. Special thanks to Abigail Browning for inviting us to participate and giving us questions so that we actually had something to say. :)

Mike Thibault's wonderful Vintage Jazz Art prints

Mike Thibault’s wonderful Vintage Jazz Art prints

Dance cards by DJ Stone

Dance cards by DJ Stone

I couldn't resist posting the beading detail from one of Nicole's dresses.  You should go look at the fashion show, but you won't be able to see all the wonderful details in her dresses!

I couldn’t resist posting the beading detail from one of Nicole’s dresses. You should go look at the fashion show, but you won’t be able to see all the wonderful details in her dresses!

A Philosophy on Dressing and Collecting Vintage Clothing: Tziporah Salamon

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

It is not often that I write about other posts, unless I find it particularly useful as a resource – here, I decided that this article entitled “Leading the Charge Against Casual Style, Armed With Antique Clothes and a Bike” by Lisa Hix was worth a read for several reasons:

1) Tziporah Salamon is truly inspiring – her carefully selected outfits of vintage pieces from so many decades are, in whole and in part, works of art. I love that the article not only chronicles her outfits today, but also some of the outfits she put together over the years.

2) Her philosophy on putting garments together to create an ensemble is unparalleled and I think everyone, including me, could benefit from adopting some of her ideas.

3) Her philosophy on collecting vintage and antique garments and accessories is spot on, definitely something we share – these items should be worn, reworked, mended, and cared for, but not stored in a museum. We also share a similar start to our collections – inheriting clothing from a benefactor (hoarder, whatever you want to call it).

4) I actually think that the title of this article is highly inaccurate and that this wonderful excerpt sums up what Ms. Salamon is all about: “My friends will say, ‘I feel terrible because next to you, because you’re all dressed.’ I’ll say, ‘That’s not a requirement of mine that you be dressed. It’s a requirement of mine that I be dressed.’” This is pretty much how I feel about what I am doing with Lindy Shopper, I’m just sharing with you things that inspire me. :)

Vintage Showgirl Costumes

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

I can’t help but be fascinated when these vintage dance performance items show up on eBay. I posted some 1920′s tap shoes earlier, but these auctions really take the cake! eBay seller monicasvintagefashions has four vintage dance costumes worthy of a Busby Berkeley style dance number, which is pretty rare, considering I had trouble even finding reference photographs while researching costumes for The Carolina Fascinators. These are just fantastic, especially the ones from the 1920′s…paging Sharon Davis and Sister Kate

Beaded 1920's Art Deco costume, with a nod to Egyptian revival

A beautiful sequined 1920's costume with butterfly wings

A three piece suit in gold sequins with Art Deco-style cutouts around the neck, hem, and top of the gloves

A lovely blue 1950's costume with beading on the bodice and gloves

Jazz Age Lawn Party Vendors 2011

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

The Jazz Age Lawn Party never ceases to amaze me, with its charm, beauty, number of well-dressed people, and even its power over mother nature. It is such a rare opportunity to dance entirely to 1920′s music and the quality of music was superb, thanks to Michael Arenella’s Dreamland Orchestra, the Gelber and Manning Band, and the twin Victrola turntables operated by DJ MAC. It was a beautiful weekend under the trees on Governor’s Island – the storms that threatened New York were held at bay until Sunday afternoon, when Michael Arenella commented from the bandstand that the rain couldn’t stop the festivities and called a tune with “rain” in the title to mock the threatening weather; it was then that the sky opened up, with only a few warning drops before the downpour sent everyone scurrying for cover.

This event has grown every year and this year it seemed to double in size from last year’s impressive turnout. I also noticed that the event organizers take note of how they can improve the event from year to year; for example, in an attempt to combat bystanders loitering on the dance floor and eventually taking it over, they roped off the dance floor area (which was someone effective, but there will always be chattel who don’t understand that a dance floor is for DANCING, not for standing or ogling). There were also more vendors this year, so let’s get to the list!

There simply couldn’t be a JALP without the classic and delicious cocktails made with St. Germain Liqueur, a cocktail confection made from elderflowers picked in the Alps. There was a rush on the cocktails, primarily due to an online coupon deal that offered all you can drink St. Germain for the day, and by the end of day one they were sold out of liqueur. Never fear, they replenished the supply for day two and the delicious festivities continued.

Kreamland Ice Cream was on hand with scoops of ice cream in classic flavors, the perfect treat on a hot August day. In the photograph at right you can see an example of the signs the JALP crew added to distinguish the different administrative and vendor tables, which were especially helpful with the throngs of people in attendance.

The table of necessaries.

Another improvement I noticed was a table set up with helpful items to get you through the day. Forgot your parasol? Need sunscreen or a tissue? Wishing you had a fan to escape the heat? Making these items available for purchase was a great idea! And isn’t the display lovely?

It was interesting to see a modern vendor, such as Yelp, have a table at JALP, but then Yelp is a very useful resource. Yelp sponsored a vintage photo booth at the event, with photographs taken by Tsirkus Fotografika, “an ongoing non-profit, public arts project based in Philadelphia, PA, designed to bring the creative process directly to communities and document populations at their most lively. Employing a mobile portrait studio and trailing-edge technologies such as analog film, old-fashioned “hot” lighting, and large format equipment, Tsirkus follows in the footsteps of itinerant photographers who would travel from town to town making portraits on-the-spot.” I now wish I had waited in line to get my photograph taken – perhaps next year. :/

Next in the line of vendors was Odd Twin, a Brooklyn-based vintage store with wares available from the jazz age and beyond. I will display more photographs below of the vendors’ wares, but I will note that I was particularly smitten with a two tone brown 1940′s suit that was displayed on the end of their hanging rack. Drool…

Sharing a vendor table were Necks Tuesday and hyc Creative letterpress. Necks Tuesday might be the most creative name for a bow tie company I’ve ever encountered. This Brooklyn-based company asserts that bow ties are a “facet of traditional menswear,” but are now “often an element of a forward, contemporary look.” What’s old is new again, eh? I can get behind this philosophy. Their ties are available in a number of wonderful muted tones and patterns that are sure to go with much of a man’s wardrobe and make a stylish statement without being too loud.

hyc Creative letterpress displayed an endearing collection of thoughtful printed cards, stationery, bookmarks and prints. From their website: “hyc Creative is the creation of Dawn Hylon Lucas-Carlson. A small private press founded in 2006. We print Letterpress greeting cards, bookmarks, coasters, prints, and invitations using a mix of found vintage blocks and fonts, hand carved linoleum blocks and newly created designs. Everything is hand-printed on a Kelsey 6 x 10 Excelsior Press.”

Do you see these pleats?!

Next in the lineup is The Original Prohibition Clothing Company, a company specializing in custom menswear. What I like about TOPCC is the wear-ability of the garments and the attention to detail. These clothes could be in a fine menswear store just about anywhere, you could wear the clothes anywhere, but they would be that piece that stands out as superb amongst the modern suits, with just enough nod to vintage to appear authentic. Details like fan pleating out of a belt back Norfolk jacket or a black and white Bette Davis printed on the inside of a newsboy cap make these items truly stand out against the competition. Their website is still under development, but I look forward to this company making their products available to the masses. Until then, you can browse some of their accessories available in TOPCC eBay store.

The Fine and Dandy Shop.com had a wonderful showing of men’s accessories – ties, pocket squares, handkerchiefs, cufflinks and other man jewelry, flasks, pocket watches, and even a vintage Boy Scout’s guide. Fine and Dandy has a fairly comprehensive website and I’d recommend that you gents check out their fantastic selection, including their ties, which are made in New York. See photographs below.

Lovely 1920's shoes peeking out from behind the sign!

After all this menswear, I arrived at my favorite vendor of the weekend, Noble Savage Vintage, who displayed exclusively pre-1940′s clothing and accessories for women. This table and rack were a dream come true, with beautiful beading, gauzy dresses, satin 1920′s shoes, and vintage lace galore. My friend Elizabeth picked up a wonderful 1930′s dress in a gauzy chiffon floral that was perfect for Day 2 of the lawn party.

I’ll end this tour-de-vendors with The Village Scandal, one of last year’s wonderful vendors who had amazing cloches and the must-have fascinator of the event. This year, their entire inventory must have been must-have because, by the time I made it out to their table, it had been ransacked. Their positioning near the entrance may have helped add to the chaos of what happened to their table, but I am pleased to see that they did so much business.

There were other vendors, but they did not have signs and I was unable to speak with the vendor representative (so many people!). I hope to return to this event next year and make it a priority to get to the event earlier to scope out the vendors’ wares. Until then, I leave you with these photos:

Amazing two tone suit from Odd Twin

Odds and ends from the Odd Twin table

Bow ties from Necks Tuesday

Close up of a plaid bow tie from Necks Tuesday

Hanging goodies from hyc Creative

hyc Creative's spread

Meet and greet with the Original Prohibition Clothing Company

A rack of jackets, vests, and shirts worthy of Jay Gatsby from TOPCC

Starlets peek out of your newsboy cap, courtesy of TOPCC

Man jewelry from the Fine and Dandy Shop

An array of collars and ties from the Fine and Dandy Shop

Beautiful beaded 1920's bags from Noble Savage Vintage

A wonderful cape in a jazz age print, courtesy of Noble Savage Vintage

What was left of The Village Scandal when I got to their table

I'll leave you with two turntables and two microphones - see you next year!

Jazz Age Lawn Party 2011

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

I am overjoyed to be returning to the Jazz Age Lawn Party this year! Held twice during the summer on Governor’s Island, off the tip of Manhattan, this event is a beautiful celebration of the Jazz Age, the Roaring Twenties, and the music, dancing, and clothing of that era. The people-watching at this event is unparalleled, as are the opportunities for photographers to capture images of the past in the present.

I went to the JALP last year in August for the first time and was delighted to discover some great vendors of vintage, reproduction, and vintage-inspired items. I am hopeful that some of the vendors from last year will return and that there may be a few new vendors to blog about when I get back. Until then, au revior!

My friend Rachel and I at last year's JALP - Rachel writes a wonderful blog on French food and culture, her Martha Stewart tendencies, and her life as a cupcake slinger at http://idratherbeinfrance.com/.

World’s Fair

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

Scarf from 1939 World's Fair

I’m still looking for the perfect compact and keep coming across ones I like from the swing era World’s Fairs. The World’s Fair is a series of large expos held in different countries, the highlight of which were the national pavilions, created by participating countries. According to Wikipedia, the early expos, starting in the early 1800′s and, until the late 1930′s, were focused on trade and “were the platform where the state of the art in science and technology from around the world was brought together.” After that, the World’s Fair focused more on cultural exchange. Key expos of the swing era held in the United States were Chicago in 1933 and New York in 1939 (the 1939 World’s Fair also featured performances from Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers). The merchandising opportunities for these expos were in abundance and you saw everything stamped with a world’s fair logo, from silk scarves to money clips to parasols.

Here are a few fun World’s Fair items on eBay:

1933 World's Fair pin - I think it would be hilarious to see this on someone's lapel - "You were there? Really??"

1933 World's Fair walking stick/cane - for that soft shoe routine you've been working on

1933 World's Fair Japanese silk scarf - seller says her mother-in-law kept it in her cedar chest for over 60 years

1939 World's Fair parasol

1939 World's Fair Persian lamb fur muff

1933 World's Fair Japanese silk scarf

1933 World's Fair radio in original box

Reproduction Harlem Baseball Henley

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

Shortly after I heard about the musicians v. dancers baseball game at the Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown in New Orleans, I serendipitously ran across this reproduction baseball henley on eBay, apparently a replica from 1930′s and 40′s baseball leagues. If Lindy Hoppers were to form a team, wouldn’t Harlem be home? Go Harlem!

A Dress for the Chrysler Building

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

This dress is impeccable and stunning, just like that gorgeous Art Deco skyscraper in New York. I love everything about this dress – the color combination, the contrast, the points that go down the front and back, the buttons down the back, the pockets, the belt buckle, oh, I could go on! There’s drama in this dress, but not so much that it would be too formal for dancing.

This dress is offered for sale on eBay by Mill Street Vintage, a store that has caught my eye on numerous occasions, with outstanding pieces of clothing from the swing era. Definitely keep your eye on this eBay seller.

Jazz Age Lawn Party Vendors

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

This past weekend I was transported to a parallel universe, where the Jazz Age met modern day New York under the boughs of ancient trees on an island that felt so far away from the city it could have been a country estate in the middle of…somewhere fabulous. The weather was perfect, the dance floor shaded, and the eye and ear candy plentiful. While the champagne sorbet and Saint Germaine cocktails flowed, strollers could pick out a cloche or fedora to wear that day, just in case they hadn’t brought their own. Need a parasol? No problem, just pick one up the way to your picnic blanket. While the shopping, eating, and drinking were all delightful, the centerpiece of this event was the people – Michael Arenella’s Dreamland Orchestra serenaded the crowd with 1920′s dance favorites, while the raucous Drew Nugent and the Midnight Society egged the dancers on with their high energy tunes and antics. Dancers were on hand for 1920′s-inspired performances, bathing beauties and hat wearers paraded, and all kinds of people joined in for the tug of war.

I only hope I can come back to one of the Jazz Age Lawn Parties next year. I better get started shopping for my outfits now, as the vintage clothing collectors who attended obviously spent a lot of time scouring vintage sources for the perfect ensemble, from shoes to hat to accessories to picnic blankets.

For more information about the Jazz Age Lawn Party, visit the Dreamland Orchestra’s web site. For more photographs of this lovely event, especially those featuring swing dancers, visit the Yehoodi thread for the August 2010 Jazz Age Lawn Party.

As promised, I scouted out the vendors at the lawn party and managed to take a few pictures of their wares. While you can’t wear anything from the food vendors, two of them are definitely worth mentioning: first, Wine Cellar Sorbet out of Brooklyn, N.Y. had a delicious assortment of flavors, such as sangria, mimosa, pinot noir, and other varietals; second, a cocktail made with St. Germain Elderflower liqueur kept everyone refreshed on a warm summer’s day. I picked up a little cocktail book from the St. Germain table and hope to make use of it soon, as I did not get to try one of these cocktails (but certainly heard a lot about them from others).

My favorite vendor of the weekend was The Village Scandal, which had a delightful array of jazz era millinery for men and women. Boaters and straw fedora style hats were popular, and I saw a number of gals sporting their straw cloches and a beautiful fascinator made of lightweight straw material and feathers curled into a divine confection. My friend Rachel Hundley models her fascinator, pictured to the right. The Village Scandal has a retail location in New York at 19 E. 7th Street, but I understand from the shopkeepers that the website is being revamped and will be more friendly to shoppers soon. These were truly wonderful hats and the cloches are to die for.

There were some odds and ends vendors, selling less expensive goods like these parasols. If you weren’t in the shade, you definitely needed one of these!

Finally, Odd Twin out of Brooklyn, NY was on hand with vintage clothing and accessories. While most of the clothing at their tent was not of the Jazz Age, they had tables spread out with some solid older accessories, like purses and ties, and some fun bloomers on the racks.

In all a wonderful weekend – if you’ve been on the fence about going, I’m here to say solidly that the grass is greener on Governor’s Island!

Jazz Age Lawn Party on Governors Island

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

This weekend I will be heading to the Big Apple for the bi-annual Jazz Age Lawn Party, held on the grounds of Governors Island, which is just a short ferry ride from the lower tip of Manhattan. I’m not sure how many years this event has run, but for the past couple of years I have pined over the gorgeous photos of people in vintage clothing, dancing vintage dances to a vintage band, with vintage cars in the background…well, you get the idea. I’m going to get it all out of my system over the weekend at this picturesque event.

There will be vendors at this event, selling vintage clothing and hats – hopefully, I won’t be too distracted so you can get a full report (with photos) when I get back.

In the interim, you can enjoy photos of the July 2010 Lawn Party from The Sartorialist, Metromix, lensjockey, Time Out New York, Citizen Couture, New York Post, a video from the New York Post, and a 3-D interactive mini-site courtesy of Martin Lenclos. Cheers!