Friday, October 7, 2011

Vintage Furs and Monograms

Fall is the most beautiful season in NYC but I’m still sorry to see summer go. I’m softening the blow by getting psyched about fall clothes, especially furs! Vintage furs are my favorite, they’re so classic and glamorous. I found these two beauties at one of my favorite thrift haunts this week. The first is a mink fur stole from the ‘50s and the second is a late ‘30s or early ‘40s marmot fur cape. I also love that both have the original owners monograms sewn inside, it just makes them feel that much more special. Look for them in the shop soon!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Dead Horse Bay

I’ve been meaning to post photos of our adventure at Dead Horse Bay which are a little old now (this having occurred on Labor Day) but better late than never. Dead Horse bay is a really strange strip of beach in The Rockaways that is so named because it used to serve as a dumping area for horse carcasses after they were used for manufacturing glue. The area later turned into a landfill of sorts up until the ‘50s. Now the beach is scattered with remains from the old landfill which continue to wash up onto the beach. This may sound gross (and some of it is) but it’s also a fun place to go treasure hunting for vintage glass and ceramic pieces of which there are plenty.

It took us awhile to find the beach since it's sort of off the beaten path but once we did, the grass parted...

...and we began foraging. This was right after Hurricane Irene so there was a lot of plant debris including this huge tree that was uprooted.

We made the mistake of not looking up the tide schedule so we ended up there at high tide. There was still lots to explore, most of the beach looked like this:

Old trash or vintage packaging? You decide...

We left with lots of goodies!

Of course we couldn't drive through The Rockaways without hitting up Rockaway Taco. Fish tacos=highly recommended.

My Loot:

Left: A teeny tiny bottle. Right: A cool old soda bottle.

My favorite find is this old Clorox jug which I think is from the late '40s or early '50s. So much cooler than plastic bleach bottles today, right?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Ice Cream Social

I’ve always wanted to make my own ice cream so when I found out that my new roomie Merav has an ice cream maker, I was beyond excited. Along with our neighbor Janelle, we decided to make good use of the ice cream machine and try a new flavor every week. Here are photos of our creations so far.

Our first ice cream attempt was salted caramel. I love sweet and salty flavor combination and this was really rich and creamy. We finished it off with sprinkles of sea salt.

This honey lavender ice cream was super light with a great floral taste. We tried to make our own sugar cones but they were sort of crumbly.

Guinness milk chocolate ice cream, recipe by David Lebovitz. I'd venture to say this was one of the best ice creams I've eaten. Like ever. We used high quality Scarffen Berger which really sealed the deal. Photo by Merav Lahr.

Blueberry muffin ice cream recipe from Kitchy Kitchen. This is a brown butter ice cream with homemade blueberry jam and streusel swirled in.

Flavors coming up next include sweet corn, apricot and basil, and cookie dough!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Barbizon Lingerie

I am not one for modern lingerie but something about vintage lingerie really tickles my fancy, especially pieces from the ‘20s, ‘30s and ‘40s. Obviously wearing someone’s old panties is a little creepy but tap pants, slips and dressing gowns have such a special feel and they are cut so much more beautifully than cheesy lingerie that you see today.

Vintage lingerie is actually not that easy to come by, I guess like most people today, undergarments were mostly worn and tossed out when they became skeevy. Whenever I see a special piece of lingerie, I make sure to snap it up for the shop and last week I found this slip by Barbizon on a thrifting trip. Not knowing much about the brand, I did some research and found some really interesting tidbits.

Barbizon was established as a brand in 1933 specializing in silk and rayon lingerie, not the cheap-feeling nylon that you see in a lot of lingerie today. What set Barbizon apart though is that instead of sourcing their fabric from outside companies, they made all of it in-house. Each Barbizon fabric was given a playful name like Saucy, Beau Belle and Trubeau as you can see on the slip that I have. Each one also comes with the U.S. patent number on the tag so you can actually see when the fabric was introduced which as a vintage clothing geek I find super interesting.

According to the Vintage Fashion Guild, Barbizon was bought by the Vanity Fair Corporation in 1991 and it sadly doesn’t appear to be produced any more. There are lots of lovely pieces on Etsy, here are a few of my favorites.

A cute cami from Fab Gabs Vintage

A Lovely embroidered bias cut '30s nightgown from Union Made Bride

I really like the flirty print of this babydoll nightgown set from Shop Style Vintage

A beautiful and simple slip from Marie's Vintage

Stunning scalloped edge and embroidered trim bodice on this slip from Empress Jade Vintage

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A New York City-Style 4th of July

For me, the 4th of July has always meant beaches and BBQs so for the past few years that I’ve lived in New York, I always try to get out of town to celebrate the holiday. This year I decided to give New York’s 4th of July festivities a try and it ended up being a great decision. We had a lovely picnic in Central Park complete with pulled chicken sandwiches, potato and green bean salad and three kinds of berry deserts. Then we made our way over to see the fireworks at a friends apartment who has an amazing view of the Hudson River. I hope everyone had a relaxing Independence Day as well!

Pulled chicken sandwiches with spicy slaw, potato and green bean salad.

Cherry hand pies from Bon Appetit. These were seriously delicious.

Peach and blueberry cobler with cornmeal topping from Smitten Kitchen.

Serving up some goold old fashioned apple pie and wearing a maxi from the shop.

Friday, June 17, 2011

A Bevy of Silk Blouses

A few days ago I went to check out this lot of vintage clothing in Brooklyn. It was at the home of a man who owned a moving company, someone's mother had passed away and they had hired him to clean out the house. This woman, bless her soul, must have been a hoarder because she had a TON of clothes and this man had the good sense to save the clothes and find good homes for them. As I was digging through the bags of pieces, I found one labeled "100% silk" which I naturally gravitated towards and inside were all of these lovely silk blouses (ok so the white one is actually silky polyester) in different prints and colors. I personally love blouses like this, they're lightweight, pretty and the kind of top that you can just throw on with jeans and run out the door in. I restrained myself from buying the whole bag of blouses since I wasn't sure how much demand there was but maybe I should have--do you guys like tops like this? They will all be available in the shop soon!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Grilled PIzza 101

In the summer, grilling is one of my favorite ways to cook food and living in New York without any private outdoor space, it is something that I rarely get to do. I’ve been dying to try to make a grilled pizza so when I was visiting my folks in Maine for Memorial Day, I decided to give it a try. It’s actually very simple and quick to make. Here’s a peek at the process.

Start off with some pizza dough. You can make your own but this was store-bought whole wheat dough. After rolling it out, stretch it out over a hot grill.

After the bottom has some nice grill marks on it and the top is bubbling, use a pair of to take it off the grill.

The toppings you use are up to you but you should keep them pretty light since the dough cooks fast, not leaving much time for the cheese to melt on top. We used some oven-roasted tomatoes, baby arugula and grated fresh mozzarella cheese.

Once you have your toppings on, slide the pizza back onto the grill and cover it up for a few minutes so that the cheese can melt and the toppings can meld together.

Slice and serve! I drizzled mine with a little truffle oil since I’m thoroughly addicted to it and I would drizzle it on just about everything if it didn’t cost $20 a bottle. The slight char on the dough gives this pizza a great summer feeling and it’s really the perfect light summer meal.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Vintage Wedding Dresses for the Offbeat Bride

When I’m not running La Poubelle Vintage, I work as a freelance fashion writer and I just finished up a story for Time Out New York magazine about the best wedding dress shops in the city. Being 25, single, and with no real desire to get married in the near future, wedding dresses have never been of particular interest to me, but while researching this story, I learned a lot. For one, I noticed how generally boring wedding dresses can be. Save for a few amazing shops that I visited (like Lovely and Gabriella) that carry some really beautiful and non-traditional dresses, a lot of what you find in stores these days are your typical strapless, princess cut gowns that are so staid feeling to me. Personally, I love the idea of finding something totally unexpected for the big day, be it short, on the casual side or a color other than white. Here are some dresses that I found on Etsy that would be great for the eclectic bride. If you're looking for more wedding inspiration, the blog Style Me Pretty has some really beautiful photography and wedding ideas.

For the Flapper Bride

My chin literally dropped to the floor when I came across this ‘20s Art Deco cotton lace gown. With finger waves and red lipstick this dress would be amazing.

For An English Garden-Style Wedding
This ‘50s allover lace dress screams English garden wedding with lots of tea roses and finger sandwiches. Plus the orange belt adds a cute pop of color!

For a Country Bride
A barn wedding complete with mason jars chandeliers and line dancing and would be a perfect match for this casual Edwardian eyelet dress. Pair it with cowboy boots and some turquoise jewelry for a real country touch.

For an Evening Wedding
I could see this ‘60s number being worn (without the matching top) for an evening reception filled with LOTS of dancing and Champagne! I also love that it’s a pale pink instead of the traditional white.

For An Elegant Affair
Just because you’re having a more traditional wedding, doesn’t mean that you have to wear a bland wedding dress. This stunning ‘30s chiffon gown would look beautiful walking down the isle of any church around.

For the Beachy Bride
Couldn’t you just see this stunning ‘30s printed dress worn by a bride on the beach with flowing hair and bare feet?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Memorial Day Weekend

Even when you work for yourself—or perhaps even more so when you work for yourself—you find yourself massively in need of a break. There was no particular reason but last week I had a serious itch to take a break from the city and from work. Memorial Day proved to be the perfect excuse to go back to Maine (where I’m from) and spend some quality time with the rents and away from the internet. I did a lot of thrifting for the shop, some antique store browsing and plenty of alfresco dining and drinking and it felt GREAT. Here are some of my highlights!

I had been craving a lobster roll all week! This beauty was from The Portland Lobster Co. Enjoyed with a Peak Organic beer and eaten on the restaurants waterside patio, summer perfection.

We took a day trip to a town called Hallowell which is known for it's good restaurants and antique stores. I got these earrings at a vintage jewelry shop, I saw them in the window and fell in love! They are from the '20s, faceted glass and the original screw backs were replaced with hooks so they are much more wearbable. I can't wait to pair them with a slinky dress for a night out!

I got a kick out of this record that I found at the antiques mall. Glamour stretcher to organ bizarrely awesome!

Here are some goodies that I wished I had picked up at one of the antique shops:

I'm crazy for this color combo!

How great are these bottles for atop a bar?

I really want to start a collection of vintage bar glasses and champagne bowls are at the top of my list.

A Boston terrier doorstop! If this baby wasn't $95 it would have been making the trip back to New York...

This is one of my favorite meals when I come home: grilled lobster with a spicy herb butter

We went to a great little restaurant in Hallowell called Slates and it was fantastic! Nothing fancy but lots of local and organic ingredients
I enjoyed a oversized mimosa with fresh mango and orange puree.

This looks like a pile of mush but it was a really interesting combo: A slab of polenta topped with mashed squash and sweet potatoes, grilled onions, pepperjack cheese, a poached egg and kiwi salsa. Yowza!

My parents are looking into buying a lakeside house and we went to check one out. This little guy was hanging out in the back yard, he must have been someones pet because he let me walk right up and touch him!

A delicious pizza that we made, more on that later!

The Portland waterfront

My dad is great at making cocktails! He concocted this martini with Absolut Mango, triple sec, fresh lime juice and a mango slice. Sweet and refreshing at the same time.

I hope everyone had as fabulous and relaxing a Memorial Day weekend as I did!