Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Vintage & Art

I am still floating on air after my recent visit to NYC.  In the past I have maintained my standard shopping protocol: Bergdorf (just to gawk), Barneys (glass of wine at Fred's), then Bloomies (to buy!), and a few stops here & there along the way.  Being the expert online shopper that I am, I felt the need to maximize my NY shopping experience & do the vintage thing this time.  Now, as much as I love fashion, and love the idea of vintage, it totally freaks me out!  Like most artists (fashion is art, right?!) I just know what I like & usually go with what I am drawn to.  I guess you could say I follow my fashion instincts.  Shy of grandma handing down something fabulous, vintage is out of my comfort zone & the idea of rummaging through racks of stuff to find that 1 diamond in the rough just sounds like too much work.  Craving the uniqueness that a Nordtrom website cannot provide I was determined to do the vintage thing this time & I did.  I found a few places on the NYmag website & with my trusty partner in tow (Frank) we found our way to a vintage store in Nolita where I found plenty of diamonds in the rough!  Being the vintage novice that I am I still know enough to know that this store was special!  Mostly designer (high-end designer, that even I cannot justify affording), but truly one of a kind pieces in very good shape & at reasonable prices.  One of my buys included a Chanel pea coat from the 1960s.  Even Chanel doesn't make things like they used to & I truly feel like Audrey when I put it on.  In a way, I don't feel like I deserve to attempt to do the coat any justice.  It is a vision all on it's own.

Perhaps my willingness to step out of my NYC comfort zone afforded me the next incredible find!  After brunch I stumbled upon a street vendor just off Union Square with the most incredible acrylic & enamel on canvas paintings.  She uses the brightest of colors & splatters & drips & drops paint in the most melodic yet random fashion.  The colors she uses almost don't belong together so much so, they do.  Stella, the artist, was the most eccentric & beautiful woman & was so honest & passionate about her work I fell even further in love with many of her pieces.  There was one in particular that I was especially drawn to & had to have.  So 1 Christmas gift from Frank later & a really great memory behind the purchase of the artwork, I walked away from a street vendor with something so incredibly unique & beautiful, again, I feel privileged to own.

Never again will I maintain my former NYC routine, nor will I enter my former home town San Francisco with the same methodology as I have in the past.  Because I discovered that the cities are as unique and individual as the fabulous finds within them.  I find myself addicted to the thrill of my next rummage through racks of vintage garb only to come across something I can only strive to do justice.  I now dream about the previous owners of that Chanel coat & fantasize about their life & who they were.  I picture Stella in her crazy fur coat with hundreds of strands of miniature beads around her neck covered in paint splattering color all over the blank canvas that will find its way onto some one's wall & create a reaction from everyone who views it.  When there are so many wonderful stories to invent behind the not so obvious finds in NYC who needs that Big Brown Bag anyway.  That is what is for, after all.

Stylishly yours,

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