Cheap JAP launches Rockford Peach vintage handpicked apparel and accessories. Highlights: a 1960s Bonnie Cashin rain cape, a 1970s Lanvin shirt dress and a vintage handmade purple leather and suede fringed skirt.
On an AuH2O stock run a few weeks back, Kate and I came across two labels of note.
One was vintage. One was pretending to be.
The label at left hails from a time when shoppers actually gave a shit about where their clothing came from. A time when textile workers had real, live rights.
An International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union tag basically says Hey, no one was killed or injured or forced to work overtime or paid unlivable wages to make this garment you’re buying. Isn’t that cool?!
Sooo cool. Sooo retro. Made in the U.S.A. with morally sound manufacturing practices – the only vintage trend that’ll never make a comeback.
The label at right reads, WE CREATED THIS GARMENT TO STAND OUT FROM ALL THE REST. EMBRACE THE IMPERFECTIONS OF YOUR SHIRT. THE HOLES, STREAKS AND SPOTS HELP CREATE THE “VINTAGE LOOK.”
I smell a vintage-inspired shitshow of verbiage. And it STINKS.
Note to Project E: Damaged things are cool when they’re old and actually have a bit of fucking history attached to them. Not when they’re intentionally beat up, marked up and made in China like everything else.
That being said, an item’s age doesn’t necessarily make damage a foregone conclusion. To imply as much makes me wonder if you know jack about vintage at all.
Vintage means classic styles and good fabric, responsibly produced in a way that enables the resulting garments to stand the test of time. Holes, streaks and spots hardly do it justice.
Ditto for those fugly, double Xs slapped on every synthetic top you import. Blech.
So, flea markets kind of scare me. Mostly because they’re notoriously free of price tags.
I’m a chatty person by nature – the only time I ever really shut up is when I’m shopping. I don’t do banter, I don’t do bargaining; I dig, find, pay and move on. I’m in the zone. And asking myself Do I want this badly enough to hemorrhage my precious time and energy haggling over it’s price? is disruptive to said zone, so me no likey.
Once upon a time, flea markets might have been the exception to the everything-costs-more-in-NYC rule: Every time I hit a local flea, I’m forced to acknowledge this is no longer the case. Brooklyn Flea might be cool, but browsing a mishmash of vintage and handmade items in the $50 – $150 range isn’t my idea of a Saturday well spent. I’m equally non-plussed by the numbers at Hell’s Kitchen Flea and Chelsea’s Antiques Garage: Asking after prices tends to make me bitter, and I’m bitter enough as it is.
My general disdain for NYC fleas was called into question a few weeks ago, by a duo of lovely shoppers at my store. We were in the midst of trading tips on our fave thrifting spots when they started gushing about the market on 11th and A.
Shopper 1: It’s right around here, and they’ve got the sickest vintage dresses!
CJ: Okayfine, but what are they, like $25 a pop?
Shopper 2: Try $7.00. Ten bucks, tops.
CJ: No way.
Shopper 1: Yes way.
So I took their advice, and hit the
There are two stellar vintage apparel booths at this particular flea: One’s in the back left corner of the lot, the other hugs most of the far right side. The good news? Every item at both booths has a visible price attached. The better news? Said price ranges from $3.00 to $10.00. Effing flea-tastic.
After browsing the larger booths and making off with some killer dresses, I was elated to the point of venturing into untagged territory.
At one of the interior booths, I spotted a pair of oversized orange aviators. Ridiculous, in the best sense of the term. I tried them on. I knew I had to have them. I braced myself internally, feigned nonchalance externally, and asked the seller for a price.
Well, they’re a little worn… and they’re so FUN on you… I don’t know… eight bucks?
Pardon the absence, chickadees – biznass at
The skirt above was unearthed from one of the back bins at
A brief analysis of my vintage number and its Dolce Vita counterpart:
Similar button placement.
Similar color family.
A two hundred and nineteen dollar difference in cost.
How you like me now, retail? HOW YOU LIKE ME NOW?!
This is a dress from
The technical term for a dress like this is vintage-inspired. Horseshit. This is highbrow copycatting at its most uncreative.
I mean, if you’re going to highjack a design from a previous era, at least DO SOMETHING to it to make it your own. Why buy a pricey, vintage-inspired dress if we can snag an authentic vintage one for hundreds of dollars less?
I found this gem of a dress in the back bins at Green Village Junk Shop.
The clothes there cost $2.00 a pound. So this dress cost me approximately 15 cents.