Friday, February 28, 2014

A 1930s Suit in Brooklyn



This 1930s suit came to me by way of the Antiques Garage in Chelsea, a giant market in, accurately enough, a garage on W 25th Street.  Though its full name is the Antiques Garage Flea Market, I really hesitate to bill it as a flea market; this is the first thing I've ever found there that was a deal, let alone a steal.  It's definitely worth a visit, but be prepared for the vibe to be a little less convivial than you may expect for a flea market.

In any case, I was thrilled to find this suit in the stall of a very nice woman who used to wear it herself in the 80s, funnily enough a decade more known for its reproduction of vintage silhouettes than the popularization of the actual garments themselves.  Since then, the suit fell into some disrepair, unbeknownst to the seller-- I had that awful vintage collector's moment of having to point out numerous flaws in a garment she'd thought was still in great condition.  Really hate that.  The jacket was so gorgeous, though, and had almost entirely been spared the damage done to the skirt, so I bought it hoping I could just patch up the skirt.  It's not the first time I took on a fixer-upper, but I'd learned my lesson about what I can and can't repair.  I'm pretty happy with the results, and even happier it was so warm when I wore it out to meet friends in Brooklyn a few weeks ago.




A photographer friend of mine was nice enough to take photos of me, the suit, and the entrance of Grand Army Plaza in Prospect Park.  It's a really beautiful monument.

Photo courtesy of NYC Parks





The detailing in the jacket is really what sold me on the suit. The shoulder pads give it that really sleek V silhouette, and the embroidery along the front, almost in a sort of leaf pattern, is just gorgeous.  The metal closure (I learned the name for this at the FIT 1930s exhibit, and then promptly forgot it--anyone know?) is original, and gives it that added luxe feel while wearing it.


Another detail worth mentioning?  The fantastic embroidered tag.  The fact that the suit came from New York only makes me love it more.

I think the design in the mirror is the number 10; I haven't researched yet to see what that's about!



I've been dying for a piece from the 1930s--I have one other that I need to repair before I can wear it without risking further damage--and this find was beyond what I'd hoped for.



"V"-shaped silhouette
The skirt's construction is still pretty sturdy, with two clasps at the waist, and I love the inverted pleat at the front.  The suit on the whole feels like something I can wear full-on vintage, as shown, or that I could modernize for a job interview.  (I think the idea of what a vintage woman could wear to an interview is a blog entry on its own; I wouldn't want to falsely advertise on the one hand, but on the other, I always wonder if I'm taken seriously enough when I wear vintage. Future post brewing.)




On the way to brunch, we walked past a wall of graffiti, and actually loved the juxtaposition of old and new it provided.  I was kind of at the end of my ability to pose for photos, though, so uh, most of the ones I took might belong in a "bloopers from photo shoots" reel.


Back in Baltimore I got these really fantastic veils, one of which you can see here.  I'm not sold on the way it photographs--it has a clustered, textured detail throughout that I think looks a little odd in photos--but thought I'd post it regardless.



I really love how elegant I feel in this suit--what garment makes you feel like a million bucks?  Or a piece you love that just won't photograph?

Photos courtesy of Tristan Nash.

14 comments :

  1. The embroidery in this is just stellar. Great find!!!
    Those one-of-a-kind pieces really separate vintage clothing from dime-a-dozen modern stuff made in factories.

    <3 dani
    www.shopdisowned.com
    http://blog.shopdisowned.com

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    1. No kidding, it's so disappointing trying to shop for modern clothing. Though I will say, if modern clothing was as high-quality as my vintage stuff, I would never be able to afford it. But that's a whole other conversation!
      Thanks for the comment and compliment!

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  2. Oh my goodness gracious me. Now that is a suit! The embroidery is stunning, and it fits as if it were made for you! With the white shirt it has a sort of tux-ish vibe, too, which is neat.

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    1. You know, I didn't realize that-- it's probably part of why I like it! And you just made me realize it would look AWESOME with my 30s waistcoat! Thanks for the compliments!

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  3. Wow! That is a show stopper for sure! I love it! I know that feeling you mentioned of having to point out flaws. I had to do that with a suit once myself. It's rough business.

    As for something that makes me feel like a million bucks, I love 40s formal gowns. I have few, but, man...I feel like a movie star.

    xoxo
    -Janey

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    1. Ooh, formal gowns... I definitely don't have many, or maybe any, actually. What a great piece to have!

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  4. Wow, what a find! I wish I could just wander into a flea market in Melbourne and find something this amazing.. ha!

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    1. Hahah, well I can assure you, this is the first find like this I've gotten. Although I will say, you can find things like this somewhat readily in the U.S., you just need a budget to match champagne tastes!

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  5. this suit is so adorable. the details of the jacket are just perfection ...

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    1. Thank you! It's so awesome they stayed intact over the years.

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  6. It's beautiful and it really suits you (no pun intended!). That is such a great label. Maybe the address of the shop was 10 Main Street.

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    1. It really is a gorgeous label, and that is an excellent idea-- definitely gives me somewhere to start researching!

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