12 October 2010
Exploring NYC: The Manhattan Vintage Clothing Show
I'm not above buying used clothes. Some of my favorite acquisitions have come from thrift stores and consignment shops not to mention the mother lode of Ivy that is the midtown Episcopal church.
Last weekend I paid my $2o and hit the Manhattan Vintage Clothing Show in Chelsea. I still think like a 10 year old. I get an idea in my head of what a place, an event or a person will look like and I'm always surprised when it doesn't come out the way I thought. I suppose I should be surprised if it ever did.
I'm thinking this place is gonna be crammed with double breasted suits from the '30s, WWII khaki trousers, '60s era Gant and Sero button downs and maybe a Savile Row suit or smoking jacket or two. Hidden from the masses but uncovered by my Clint Eastwood squint. And all for a song-- plus a modest profit for the vendor. This is New York City after all.
Yep, this is New York City. And the vendors certainly appreciated that.
My first clue the fantasy wasn't on track was the vendor selling a Louis Vuitton trunk for $10,000. His pitch? It makes a great coffee table. "$10,000 for a coffee table?" I ask. "It's an investment!" He tells me. I move on not knowing he's one of the few vendors who'll acknowledge my presence much less move from their cramped booth while they eat their lunches, bitch about no one buying or continue to adjust their goods in manic bursts of coffee fueled Simon Doonan imitations.
$300 for two yards of batik fabric ("it's coming back"). $80 for a Spec 4's Class A uniform jacket from the '70s (usually found, though why one would ever go looking is beyond me, for $10). A plethora of '80s Herme's ties strangely priced at $60. No matter who the vendor. A Brooks Brothers button down with a hole worn through the collar for $32.
Overpriced. Unfriendly. Tight quarters. Even I knew that about New York when I was 10.