After a solid month of inventory accumulating, steam cleaning, keyword research, lighting tweaking and photo editing, I’m finally ready to kick off my first solo resale venture: Rockford Peach – a collection of vintage apparel and accessories, thrifted by yours truly and currently available on Etsy!
Firstly, the logo – a dress in a peach tree, because each piece is a peach. Obviously.
Nextly, a few personal faves for your viewing pleasure. (Oh P.S. – I finally kinda sorta know how to take photographs. Lighting kits are a godsend.)
The Vintage 1960s Bonnie Cashin Rain Cape.
A phenomenal fusion of Mad Men style and Superwoman construction, and the best alternative to a trench coat ever.
Bonnie Cashin – FYI – was the reason Coach became the handbag and accessory powerhouse it still is today. I’m learning all sorts of vintage fashion trivia as of late :P
The 1970s Lanvin Floral Shirt Dress.
Lanvin and polyester might sound like an oxymoron, but this uber
pricey brand was all about it, once upon a retro time.
The print on this is bananas – vibrant florals paired with geometric paint splashes, with a vaguely Oriental vibe (aaaand I sound like I’m writing copy for Lucky oy veyyyyy).
Lastly, the most amazeballs skirt ever. Leather. Suede. Fringe. Purple. Oh, with some killer embroidered patchwork on the side. Think it sounds like too much? THINK AGAIN.
Know how sometimes vintage leather’s all stiff and shizzz? Not the case here – it’s buttery soft and and crinkled and moves like the purple cow it came from. Handmade in Israel, and the ultimate in wearable leather artistry.
If you’re active on Etsy and want to throw me a favorite (or nine) I’ll obvs be indebted to you fo eva. And to all my fellow label whores: Fret not, chickadees, there’s a contemporary component of Rockford Peach resale in the works. Stay tuned for more vintage AND brandtastic Peach picks.
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 11th Street Flea Market (The Mary Help of Christians Church Flea Market, officially) on my next Sunday off.
My shoppers are the shiznat.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?Doneskies.
Pardon the absence, chickadees – biznass at my thriftique is, well, BOOMING.
By the by, we’re phasing out consignment and phasing in cash-for-clothes – if you’ve got castoffs to sell, we’d love to take a look! Email firstname.lastname@example.org to set up an appointment with me or my hetero-life-mate, Kate Goldwater.
I schlep it out on stock runs, but I’ve started classing it up a bit on my days running the store. For someone with an affinity for hiked-up hemlines and shredded denim, this is obvs uncharted territory.
I used to think cardigans, blouses and skirts of the non-mini ilk had some kind of transformative power – wear them in conjunction and poof! You’re Betty Draper.
A wildly irrational assumption, yes. I mean, they’re just clothes, for fuck’s sake – any power they have over us is always in our own heads. Alas, sometimes logic alone isn’t enough to cut through one’s own ridiculous projections.
Throw an effing amazing ladylike piece into the mix, and the argument for occasional elegance is a hell of a lot more convincing. The skirt above was unearthed from one of the back bins at Green Village Junk Shop. I was on the hunt for store stock at the time, but one look at this puppy was enough to convince me to sell it never. Tuck a white tank into it, throw on flat sandals and some jewelry and it’s not just the easiest outfit in existence – it’s one of the greats.
FYI you guys: While Green Village’s front racks are always ripe with vintage finds, its by-the-pound selection (and I use that term loosely) bears the highest of sketch factors. Successful guerilla thrifting generally hinges on hard work and endurance – where Green Village’s back bins are concerned, sometimes neither gets you jack shit.
Finding a skirt like this in a by-the-pound context is a matter of blind luck alone. Save yourself the agony, and stick to the racks. (Unless you have a borderline-psychotic addiction to digging a la moi, in which case, go for it.)
Now lookie, I wasn’t drawn to this skirt because tea-lengths are oh-so-haute-right-now. I just like to stick it to retail as much as possible. Attached to the occasional on-trend secondhand find is something I’m not nearly mature enough to forgo.
BRAGGING RIGHTS.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 Marc by Marc Jacobs‘ latest runway show.
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.