Well, it's Wednesday! We've got three more days until the weekend, and aren't I pleased as punch it's rolling along the way it is so far. I told you I didn't find a LOT of stuff this weekend, but all the things I did find, I was really pleased with, right? Here's the thing, second to my 70's paintings, that I found myself thrilled to pieces about:
Hel-LO black fox-fur trimmed cardigan. I was at a Michael Taylor sale in East Nashville where I was grandly greeted by one of the ladies who runs the sale (I can't help but love to be recognized at these things, as I'm there every weekend). "Everything's seventy-five percent off, and the clothes, unless they're marked, are five for a dollar!" she crowed happily, and I'm like, "Well...let's get to work!" I didn't find anything I liked in the bedrooms of a cramped ranch style house in the Rosebank neigborhood, but in the hall closet, next to some overstuffed nineties' leather overcoats, was this fancy dress cardigan. Black fox fur...let me think about that for a second....no, just kidding, I didn't even hesitate to start carrying it around the sale and bought it without trying it on after I came up empty handed on the rest of the house.
While the sleeves, in keeping with the eighties' probable provenance of the piece, are a little puffier and the overall cut less sleek and tailored than I usually like, there is NO ARGUING WITH AN ACTUAL FUR PIECE and in all black, to boot. When I checked the label, wasn't I pleased to see an old, familiar name as the designer?
Lilli Ann was a line of in many cases fabulously whimsical, in all cases very high quality, womenswear founded by Adloph Schuman in the 1930's, who named the company after his wife Lillian. If you're a vintage-loving veteran or habitué of Etsy and Ebay listings to drool your heart out over, you, too, have probably suffered at the three figure price tags and glorious eleganza of Lilli Ann's forties', fifties', and sixties' coats and dresses (see here, here, and here for some examples I'm dying over). Lilli Ann outfits weren't cheap when they came out back-in-the-day, and haven't seemed to devalue a penny since. While this sweater hails from the last days of the Lilli Ann line, probably around the time Schuman passed in 1985, there's no arguing with the drama of the huge, luxe fur collar. As my aesthetic turns ever inward into a kind of thirties'/forties' European vibe, this cardigan falls well within the style parameters of effortlessly elegant. Throw this on over anything and it turns into an evening look. Three cheers for Lilli Ann!
Best part of this story, though? Those tags above and the price tag from the store were still on the cardigan itself! So I not only know how exactly what kind of fur the collar is made from, but also how much someone originally paid for it. Ahem:
Four HUNDRED and fifty dollars? USD or some devalued foreign currency I'm not taking into account? At any rate, the MT sale's $30 tag was much more reasonable, but with the 75% sale running? I ended up paying SEVEN DOLLARS AND FIFTY CENTS. Thank you, Jesus...thank you, estate sales...for making my million dollar movie dreams come true one at a time through the magic of bargain-basement-pricing.
This is actually the third piece of Lilli Ann in my closet, as I keep a sharp eye out at thrift stores and the like for names I'm familiar with. It pays to train the eye! I got a Lilli Ann car coat in off-white mohair for $10 at the flea market a few months ago (it's in winter storage or I would model it for you...looks a lot like lovely Emma's coat she also got at the flea market in this post, except sans buttons-- I'm telling you, the fairgrounds are lousy with bargains!), and found this sharp lapel'd, sharp shouldered jacket when I wasn't even looking for anything at the East Nashville Goodwill.
Matthew needed a simple black blazer for a keyboard gig he was playing about a year ago-- while he has no end of suit jackets and even two or three tuxedo jackets from my non-stop buying of vintage menswear (what am I supposed to do, the man is EXACTLY the right size for Mad Men men's clothes), there was somehow a black-blazer-sized-hole in his wardrobe. Seriously, this was one trip of 500 in which I was honest to goodness not looking for anything for myself-- no housewares, no dresses, just blazers. It was early last summer, so the outwear sections in general were limited, but what to my wondering eyes should appear as I thumbed through the racks but a Lilli Ann sixties' jacket with adorable striped lining? $7.99. Fifty cents more than the fox fur piece of the future, but dang. STILL.
|Forgive the clashing soutache-braid dress I was wearing this morning--|
these photos were last minute before I hopped in the car for work!
This just goes to show, though, that if you know what you're looking for and YOU ARE ALWAYS LOOKING, it's entirely possible to beat the shell-game of a lot of things you want but can't afford on Ebay and Etsy. While I look at those sites a lot for inspiration these days, I'd be relatively wary/chary/leery of ordering something for a $100, lest I find it in a pile of clothes at the flea market next weekend for $5. Now, if the vintage force field could just send me a few more of these Lilli Ann's at rock bottom prices, I would be very grateful. Just saying!
Sorry to dash--I was going to gab on about other Lilli Ann's I've seen online, but I have to get back to work! How about you? Did you find anything fabulous out at the sales this weekend? Do you have any Lilli Ann pieces in your wardrobe? What is it about certain vintage items that draws you to them? Let us discuss!
That's all for today, but listen...off in the distance...I could swear I hear the weekend train, chugging its way into the station. :) Have a great Wednesday, and I'll talk to you tomorrow. Til then!