Sunday, September 3, 2017

Project Runway 16, Malan Breton, Happy Customers

Time for a new Vintage Stories blog installment – hey, it’s only been a year and a half or so… this time we have all sorts of things to share. We’d like to spend paragraphs on the 16th (2017) season of Project Runway, but we’ll make our observations as concise as possible: (1) Too many talking heads/too busy, (2) These are some of the best & worst PR designs we’ve ever seen, (3) Having watched the first three episodes, we like Aaron Myers much more than we thought we would, (4) We sort of have an auntie crush on Brandon Kee despite his plodding,  middle-earth attire, (5) Ayana Ife is knocking it out of the park, and (6) Kentaro Kemayama is adorable. We hope he pulls out of his slump to produce the elegantly minimal designs that made us root for Kemayama from the start. Oh, and Heidi should stop wearing so much eye make up and red clothing. We’re a fan. We care.

We is me, by the way, and I do not feel particularly royal. It’s just fun to say ‘we’ - but probably annoying, so I’ll switch to ‘I’. Here’s a Project Runway-related story that may amuse – I’m obsessed with Malan Breton. Found all the early PRs on one of those questionable sites that feature ads with women of all sizes and races looking for love, sex, husbands, and new anime adventures. Since we didn’t hold onto our DVDs of the first few seasons (used to buy them for each season, then sell after watching), this has been exciting. Watching Breton get axed in the first episode of the second season was as heartbreaking as the producers probably meant it to be, especially when he talked about being lonely, and how much he’d enjoyed being friends with the other designers (for the whole two weeks or so he’d been there – this is reality TV time-zoning, folks).

Feeling rather lonely that night myself, I decided to look Breton up on FB to see if he’d like to be friends. Wow, was the joke on me - PR had misled me! When he popped up on the ‘net, I realized that Breton is one of the most successful PR contestants ever, probably at least in part because he’s as sweet as he seemed in that first episode of the second season. Watching his fall-winter  2017 NY Fashion Week show, I’m blown away by Breton’s flattering suits, trousers and gowns, beautifully diverse  male/female models, and the evocative music. The presentation feels like something David Bowie would have appreciated – maybe even a bit influenced by Bowie:

Please watch the runway show through the finale - it’s so cool (and watch it later; I do have more to say here). The entire performance feels like a poem, a love letter to vintage. Go Malan Breton!

Vintage Stories (both on Etsy and Ebay) doesn’t currently have as many clothes as we sometimes do, but there are some rad purses, nifty corsets, and amazing midcentury jackets by smaller upscale designers, such as Ben Zuckerman and Ben Reig.  You can buy anything you see in any of our web offerings through this blog, by the way – just send a note saying you want something (for 5% off  the price shown, wherever you see it) – it will be held until your Paypal payment clears, then wrapped in some sort of attractive paper, with a vintage graphic thank you note. Returns? We hope not, but we have the same policy here as anywhere – if we’ve misrepresented an item significantly, or there’s damage or loss, you can exchange or return – but of course. There’s a list showing all our web presence(s) at the end of this installment.

I’m also obsessed with vintage sewing products – picked up a ton when I was kind of out of my mind after my dad died a few years ago – at the time, I had a lot of cash in hand. Nice as it would be to hold onto the collection, it’s been necessary to let these amazing old needle books, threaders and fabrics go, via Etsy and Ebay. This ‘Mary MacIntosh’ is a favorite:

Most of my sewing/crafting goodies can be found on Minty’s (my Etsy shop for household/supplies/holiday/children’s) – link to shop below.

Several delightful folks people have responded to the request for them to show how they use things they’ve purchased at one of my shops – the photo at the top of this installment shows a pair of Vintage Stories/Etsy white gloves, being used in a wedding shoot by Paper Moon. I’ve sold most of the vintage gloves that were available, but these smashing red-trimmed numbers can still be had, in women’s size XS.

And this is Libby, modeling a red print ‘80s dress from Vintage Stories/Etsy:

We love it when something ends up with just the right person, as is the case with this corduroy vest, shown here by Jade Harmon. Isn’t this the sweetest picture?

Jade and Libby have earned discounts for sending us their photos. About the portrait below, Barbara Freeman took the time to write, “Here’s a photo of the fantastic midcentury painting I got from you recently. It  hangs in my office and makes me happy every day.”  Awww…

 Then there’s Kennedy A., rocking a purple velveteen coat we destashed from our closet – a mini on Kennedy, who’s taller than me (lucky girl!):
I’ve also been selling off some records and CDs from a lifetime of collecting and finding – those can be found on Discogs; occasionally on Ebay. 
Here’s one more report from Mary Kreuger, who ordered one of our Brownie brooches (I’m  obsessed – vintage scout items are always available):
I just want to personally thank you for the care you put into sending me the girl scout pin. A little story about the pin. A dear friend of mine is having her 50th class reunion. She and her classmates were exchanging grade school photos. I notice the pin on her shirt. So going to surprise her with it the next time I see her. Thank you for all the care you put into mailing me this item..... thank you Mary.”

Speaking of school days, when I arrived at my college dorm room in Sevilla, Spain (during the Civil War/early‘70s/ha), the first thing I played after setting up my turntable was this David Bowie song, from Aladdin Sane. The rest is a vintage story for another time:

Here are links to all the places where you can see what’s on offer from me, I, we and us. Thanks so much for reading the Vintage Stories blog. I promise the next installment will appear faster than the slow-boat-to-China arrival of this one. Fingers crossed.

*All writing above copyright Mary Leary, aka Marie Provost - DJ, Infiltrator publisher, jokester, poet - 2017*

Monday, April 4, 2016

Happy Spring Stories

Naloni: 'I may look sad... but I'm actually...

... super happy - the sweater is wonderful.'


So launches (can you hear the sparkling grape/champagne bottles popping?) a blog for Vintage Stories, wherein shoppers share the ways they use items from our Etsy shop(s).  And a place for us to connect with you - yippie!

Ms. Naloni ordered this classic white turtleneck from us last year, then shared these pictures of herself. Based in New York City, Naloni has won 4.00 off any Vintage Stories or Minty's (our 'sister' shop) item for sending these pretty pics!  Sounds like she lives near Columbia University. We have dreamy memories of bussing through old, ivy-covered brick buildings to visit a friend in that neighborhood, years ago.  And, Nal, if you could teleport yourself to So. Cal. for modeling duty, there'd be ice cream, too - just saying. In the grand scheme, V. Stories may be a small shop, but we've always had what we think of as 'Barnum & Bailey' dreams.

Then there's Fiona, in San Francisco. Beautiful name, that.  Amazing city.  And a super-cute pic of a spin on a fairy tale, Fiona's '...own version of a Snow White outfit for Halloween.Our creative 'Frisco gal wins 3.00 off anything we have up for grabs for sharing her use of our late-'70s dotted navy shirt. If she hadn't covered her face, we swear, there'd be some Ben & J, as well...

 Vintage Stories is also about music. I was one of the first female 'new wave/alt' djs, along with writing about music since high school, writing & playing it. We're talking obsession here, folks - the most recent being our re-fixation on 1930s-'40s swing, when players created a vibrant merging of 'country', stomp & jazz.  Here's one of our faves:

Ahh... wonder if any guy that we'd be excited about would ever take us to tea (but hide us from the millionaires who'd like to steal us away).  Maybe too amazing a fantasy to even contemplate.  But surely Stephanie would be invited.  The Ottawan newlywed recently shared pics of her wedding outfit, which she paired with a vintage orange, Italian-made sweater from our shop.

Beautiful Canadian wedding shot!








Steph matched our cardi to her bouquet (or vice-versa) - ooh!

 I'm happy to announce to Steph that she's earned 5.00 off anything we have up for legal tender, in either shop.  By the way, links to those are:

Thanks for stopping by!  I'm closing with a pic of my mom and dad when he was at Annapolis.  Antiquing with my family - over hill and dale, through sun & rain, played a part in my vintage obsession. So this rather messy 1st post is dedicated to you, Betty & Sandy.  

Love (with a prayer to the blog gods, for answers to some of the wacky formatting above),