Saturday, February 5, 2011

A Trip to the Antiques Garage

You know that I love to go to a flea market on a Saturday afternoon. It's fun to look around and offers inspiration. I'm happy when I come home empty-handed actually because honestly I don't need more things. But I'm also happy to discover something wonderful.
Recently I visited the Antiques Garage on 25th Street between Sixth Avenue and Seventh Avenue which offers two floors of vendors in a large space which is used as a parking garage during the week. "Antiques" though is a stretch – it's really a flea market of vintage dealers.
I picked up two discoveries. The first was this metal industrial box in the foreground. It's the perfect size for holding all the tv remote controls, and sits on our metal table which I also found at the Antiques Garage. The box was $8.

At a booth of vintage clothes I saw this colorful wool challis scarf. "It's Perry Ellis," the vendor said. Bingo.

When I first moved to New York I had a temporary job working for Mr. Perry Ellis – I was his chauffeur. Perry then made the most beautiful clothes. He had many talented designers working for him including Isaac Mizrahi and Richard Haines. Liz Kurtzman designed the signature, collectable scarves. I still have handsome scarves that I bought back then.
When I became a freelance writer I interviewed Liz Kurtzman for a publication called Scarves International which was sold in bookstores and department stores. Liz said to me, "Scarves are like little paintings. When you design one, you don't have to worry about shape or fit. Ultimately the goal is to make a beautiful thing that will be perfect on its own." This scarf looks like a Gustav Klimt painting. There are so many gorgeous colors in it – red, orange, green, blue, brown. Liz Kurtzman told me, "Color was very important to Perry. For Perry, if the color was right, it was a good thing."

I think Liz Kurtzman married a movie producer and moved to L.A. Well, I had to have the scarf. It was marked at $25 but I got it for $20. I told the vendor, Susan Bergin, I worked for Perry, and we fell into a conversation. She said she was from Philadelphia and comes up to the Antiques Garage every weekend. As a former criminal defense lawyer, she was much happier selling vintage clothes.
Here I am wearing my purchase. This scarf looks very English Bloomsbury, but it would also be at home in a street-side cafe in the Marais, no?

This scarf makes me happy.


Jane Kilpatrick Schott said...

Thanks Bart for the wonderful trip down memory lane. I am delighted to know that there are still finds on 26th Street. How many wonderful hours spent looking through other people's junk have I spent?

Yes, the scarf is perfection!

Ella said...

That scarf is adorable and I'm glad you found it, it suits you perfect.

Sherman said...

The scarf is beautiful! That's a great find!

Kathy said...

That scarf was made for you!
Perry Ellis hailed from Portsmouth, Virginia.....right around the corner from me. His mother played bridge with mine. He left us too early....wonderful post....k

helen tilston said...

Stunning scarf - love it
Now that is a find!

Bart Boehlert said...

Many thanks for the comments here, most appreciated!
Kathy, your mother played bridge with Perry Ellis's mother, that is amazing, and I love knowing it. I read in last month's Vanity Fair about Perry's daughter Tyler Ellis and I was so surprised to see a grown-up person! I loved Perry, as many did.

Reggie Darling said...

Terrific find and beautifully tied. I can't seem to wear one without looking like Thurston Howell. Reggie

Bart Boehlert said...

Thanks Reggie. My sister noted the same thing, I don't know, just tied it on!

Pigtown*Design said...

you look wonderful in that scarf! both finds are great. i love the antiques garage and when i come up to NYC on weekends, I try and visit.