A couple of weeks ago I had the great pleasure of taking part in an event at Thairapy Salon in Montrose. The salon recently moved in to a great new space and used their new square footage to host a "A Little Retro Thairapy" in support of Bread of Life, a Houston non-profit working to feed the more than 80,000 families who go hungry in Houston on a daily basis. Hunger, especially childhood hunger, is an issue that I care deeply about, so I was so happy to participate in something that was both fun and very worthwhile.
The idea was to
The gorgeous Beth DeLozier, left, in a Beatniks top, necklace and purse (her own skirt). Maria, one of the owners of Heights Beatniks, in a dress from the shop. Maria and Diana set up a mini-shop at the party with some of their most fabulous vintage items.
This little white bag will be great for spring/summer weddings and parties, or even a nice date night with my husband. The great thing about these vintage bags is they never go "out."
And then this navy, faux snake skin purse reminded me of my old schools days of thrift/vintage shopping. Snake skin is the trend right now. You don't have to be a slave to fashion to know it. You can't get a catalog in the mail or walk through the mall without seeing it. Sure, this bag from the 80s isn't real snakeskin or even very high quality, but from a few feet back (and with the strap off, used as a clutch) it is as cute as what's on the shelf at Nordstrom right now. And I paid less than $20 for it. Me for the win!
I was giddy as I dumped my finds in to the back of my car. Little did I know, my best purchases of the day were yet to come. I had about an hour until school pick up for my youngest, so walked down to Carter & Cooley for my favorite Dr Brown's Diet Cream Soda. I swear, C&C is the only place you can get these for miles.
As I headed to the deli, I passed by Replay on 19th. I had actually never been in to Replay before. Outside, they always have mannequins dressed in colorful 70s frocks and a small rack of brightly patterned dresses. I guess I kind of thought that is what they specialized in and there is nothing wrong with that, it's just not my style. This day, though, I had time to kill and a vintage buying bug, so I popped in.
Like Retropolis, Replay is packed with racks full of clothing. The store, however, is well organized and bright. The store is, I believe, owned and operated by a couple, so rather than items grouped by vendor, the store is sectioned so you'll find hats together, bags together, jewelry together. I was greeted and offered help as I browsed the racks. I wasn't pulling out much. I made it to the very back (housewares), tried on some hats. Nothing was jumping out at me, until... Toward the back corner of the store, sticking out from the end of a very crowded rack, I found it. This beautiful vintage Bill Blass coat.
I put it on. Perfect fit. I walked around, catching myself in a couple of mirrors, thinking about the things in my closet I could wear it with. The gentleman working (perhaps the owner?) told me someone else had just been in 3 days before and did the same thing- put the coat on and walked around. "She loved it, she said," he told me. "She said she would be back to get it on Thursday and we told her if she even left just $10 down, we would hold it for her." She said, no, it was ok. She'd be back on Thursday. It was Tuesday. I bought it. Sorry!
Bill Blass was an influential American designer, especially known for sportswear. His career began in the mid 1940s and lasted until he was diagnosed with cancer in 1999. Blass died in 2002.
Well, hello there. The lining of the coat is what my friend Jila calls "a secret smile." It's my own little bit of whimsy when I open the coat to put it on. And when was the last time anyone got a coat at Neiman's for $50?
But here is the real joy from my day of vintage shopping. On top of a clothes rack in the middle of the store was this Samsonite train case. I love it. LOVE IT. I didn't even hesitate on this. I pulled it down and had them hold it behind the counter. These are not exceptionally rare, but this one does have the original Lucite tray, which is harder to find. It's also in PERFECT condition. It just seemed special to me and I wanted it. Period.
It's hard to describe why I think this is so special or why I am drawn to items like this one. It's not like clothes where I can say "I got this trend for cheap" or "I can wear this all the time." I don't even know what I'll do with it. I hesitate to put make up in it because it will probably get dirty and stained inside if I do. Maybe jewelry? Maybe I'll just leave it on the shelf in my closet and admire it? Either way, happiness is mine!
After my total win with these two items, Replay has a new customer for life. I was so excited about my finds, I popped in next door at The Lift to chat with Rhonda and show her what I bought. If you've never met Rhonda, go in to her store. She is a ray of sunshine. Always. I could have brought in a hairball and she would have complimented me on it, but her almost equal enthusiasm for my train case allowed me to bask in the happiness of buying it just that much longer. Rhonda also made a comment that I have been meaning to investigate. As I was showing her the case, Price is Right style, she mentioned having seen one like this in the back room at Harold's before they closed. If it had been used as a display at Harold's, that would explain how it managed to stay in such good shape and also have the tray. I wonder if Replay (wisely) grabbed this during the liquidation? If so, that would justify my love for this little piece of luggage even more, as it would be a part of Heights history in my possession. I'll let you know what I find out!