Not only do I love vintage costume jewelry, but I love vintage clothing, as well. Even though I'm no longer a vendor at the Alameda Point Vintage Fashion Fair (for various reasons), I have amassed a nice collection of vintage coats, dresses, negligees, etc. that I have no idea what I'm going to do with. Is that a grammatically correct sentence? It looks AWFUL!
I even bought an "Ethel Mertz" dress for myself for the Fair since my figure is much closer to Ethel's than it is to Lucy's. The dress is a beautiful thin crepey material and over the years has received a little tear or two but since it's really just a day dress its former owners didn't care for it as well as they should have. I purchased it at a wonderful little vintage clothing store called Polly Esthers Closet in Hattiesburg, MS. They're right across the street from the University of Mississippi so a good amount of their "vintage" stuff is from the 80's, which is ANCIENT for a college-age girl. Their location also means they're not going to have many Ethel-size frocks, either.
This photo of Mom and her new mother-in-law, Meta, shows Mom in a snappy little suit with matching shoes, purse and hat. Meta is in what very closely resembles my Ethel dress. And yes, mine came with a belt but NO ONE looks good in a belted Ethel dress, considering that if you're wearing an Ethel dress you're probably old and fat and your boobs, even though encased in a bra, still threaten to hang down trying to lay on top of your protruding belly.
This coat is actually something I purchased for myself a few years ago for the five days in January down here that it's cold enough to wear anything wool. It is VERY warm.
Two labels sewn into the coat:
Unfortunately, I can find no information on either Ellis Woolens, Townley, or Goldring's New Orleans. All I could come up with was a photo of what 810 Canal Street looks like today:
From the looks of this building, I think Goldring's may have been a small exclusive women's boutique in the 30's-50's. The Goldring family established its fortune in the wine & spirits industry and are major philanthropists. Next time I'm in New Orleans I'm going to take a closer look at the building because it has some beautiful architectural elements, especially on the top floor. I believe Townley refers to a now-defunct clothing manufacturer that at one time employed Claire McCardell.
I'm really not into vintage clothing all that much (mainly since I can't wear most of it) but now that I've collected some I, of course, have to get more information. And I'd love to hear from anyone who might have more info.
My find of the century occurred two days ago when I started looking through the costume jewelry at a favorite local consignment shop and lo and behold, there was an absolutely perfect, probably unused, Whiting and Davis gold mesh/chainmail halter top. The shop doesn't sell clothing so I guess the best place they could put it was with the jewelry, being Whiting & Davis. It's not the mesh necklace--it's the halter top with the leather strings to tie at the neck and the waist. The one that Jenny wore in "Forrest Gump" when she was about to o.d. on cocaine. That one.
I posted a photo of it to Facebook using my iphone but will get a pic for the blog. It is absolutely breathtaking!