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.