Dress Twins: 1940s - 1950s Dresses

I have some amazingly similar dresses in the shop right now!

This first set is from the same lady, who loved
 sailor collars, plum hues, and stripes. 
Which do you prefer: wool or cotton?
Busts: 36" - 38"
Waists: 27" - 30"

These two are from different lots. 
Full skirt or flat skirt?
Busts: 37" - 38"
Waists: 27" - 28"

These wool wiggle dresses were purchased from the 
same estate: Collar vs. Bow?
Busts: 34" - 36"
Waists: 26" - 27"


Gigliola Curiel Couture

So, what do you know about Gigliola Curiel? I knew very little until I googled this recent find:

Turns out, she was a total rockstar. Curiel designed exclusively for Bergdorf Goodman, New York from 1955 - 1969. Gigliola Curiel was the first Italian fashion designer to have an exclusive contract with Bergdorf Goodman. She was an Italian fashion designer who was promoted by the Milan-based Italian Fashion Center, which was formed in 1948 in order to market Italian couture internationally. In the early 50s, the Italian Fashion Center helped Italian designers compete with French haute couture, with labels such as Ferragamo and Gucci.

This ad is for an early 1950s Curiel dress for Bergdorf Goodman, announcing 
her label to their New York store. It sold (in 1956) for $975.

Having this amazing designer in my shop is a real treat! The dress is in 
amazing condition, circa early 1960s, with metallic gold X's covering 
the dress, and rows of modernist shapes and houses along the bottom


Valentine's Day Sale!

Happy Valentine's day! Here's a coupon code 
and a shop update to help you celebrate!

★ 20% off with coupon code CUPID ★ 

Sale ends Tuesday, 2/14 at midnight!


Tour de Egg & Cheese Sandwiches!

Usually, we're here looking at vintage dresses, mid century decor that James and I have added to our home, or coveting items on Etsy . . . but today, I want to chat a little about this fun food tour we did with my favorite local foodie, Daniel B. I've been following Daniel B. on yelp since we moved to Albany in 2008 (he had also recently moved here), so we had the same sort of "what the heck . . . where can I eat good food in this town?" feeling. James and I wasted a ton of money in first couple of months of our relocation trying places blindly and being disappointed. Now, I pretty much yelp everything. I don't necessarily allow the yelp reviews of an establishment to prohibit me from trying it, but they better equip me for what to expect. That being said, Daniel B. led me to a few places that were "meh, I must have gotten the wrong thing" (repeatedly, in some cases). Generally, he's spot on for what the jessjamesjake crew is looking for, so we were stoked when his blog started running local food tours. They did a couple that we missed (tour de fish fry, tour de soft serve), so our first was his 2011 Tour de Apple Cider Donut. It was so much fun! We have amazing apple orchards here in NY State, so this was a perfect idea. The next tour was to be savory (sweet and savory must alternate). I was trying to think up an affordable, group-friendly tour, where meat was not included/optional, and that was savory . . . Bingo: Egg and Cheese sandies! Daniel B. tweaked the idea to make it more Upstate-centric (it had to be on a hard roll).

First up: Jack's Diner (1st choice of averaged tour ballots, my 4th place)

I was shocked that this sandwich won. I realize I'm biased because I like a well-done egg when it comes to a sandwich, but the other problem with this sandwich was the roll: barely warm, with no toasted edges. What Jack's did do well was the cheese.

Next up: McCarroll's (2nd overall, 1st place for me!)

Yum! I got my well-done, fried egg at McCarroll's, as well as a locally made poppy-seed bun. I'd never been to this place before the tour, but I intend to go back often. It's a little grocery-meets-deli down in Delmar, NY. The prices were really reasonable and the staff was very friendly!

*I have to just skip the 3rd location . . . I understand why it was added to the tour . . . but it was just a yucky disaster. (Stewart's convenient store, Whitehall @ New Scotland, unanimously last place).

4th up: Bella Napoli (4th overall, 2nd for me)
This was solid. Nothing too memorable, except being a little disappointed that the cheese wasn't thoroughly melted. I did think Bella Napoli's hard roll was very good.

Last up: Famous Lunch (3rd overall, 3rd for me)
I wanted Famous Lunch to be my 2nd place because it had such a great vibe, and the guys behind the counter were a lot of fun. Unfortunately, they took the idea of a "toasted bun" a little too far.

Want more results and pictures?
The tour results via FussyLittleBlog.
The tour results via AllOverAlbany.


From the Teaspoon To the City!

"It is not true that what is useful is beautiful. It is what is beautiful that is useful. Beauty can improve people's way of life and thinking."
- Anna Castelli Ferrieri

Agreed! Though you may have seen our Ferrieri modules on Etsy's Get The Look: Vintage Decorwe still consider this one of our most exciting newest additions! We stumbled on a set of these amazing space-age Anna Ferrieri containers awhile back and since then have been carefully cleaning them and sliding the tiny curved doors back and forth in amazement. The design is wonderfully simple and functional as you can see from the dismantled pieces. Each unit consists of a sliding door and a circular container. They stack directly on top of each other, each one functioning as the top of the next and the finished slide for the door. The only other piece is a topper. Unfortunately we are missing one topper, so our quest continues. But so far, we've put a houseplant in one, stretching out its leaves from the small round doorway. Another has small hand painted clocks. James and I each have our own for our keys, wallets, hats, etc. They keep everything so organized!

Here's a bit more on Anna Ferrieri's fascinating career and innovative design...

Anna Castelli Ferrieri is the embodiment of the Italian creative philosophy that advocates designing "from the teaspoon to the city."

Trained at the famed Milan Polytechnic Institute as an architect, Castelli Ferrieri worked in the office of the postwar rationalist Franco Albini, who became a role model for her. Castelli Ferrieri started designing for Kartell in 1966, after being chosen as the architect for their headquarters. Famous for its critical role in the introduction of plastic as an acceptable material into the consumer market, Kartell was founded by Anna's husband-to-be, Guilio Castelli. Castelli Ferrieri became intrinsically linked to the company both as a designer as well as its Design Director, instrumental in bringing such innovative designers to Kartell as Joe Colombo, Marco Zanuso with Richard Sapper and Achille Castiglioni.

Anna Castelli Ferrieri
Photo Courtesy of http://www.woont.com
In her own designs for Kartell, Castelli Ferrieri exploited new materials through innovative forms. For her "4970/84" container elements, Castelli Ferrieri treated the design as a mini architectural exercise, with units that are stackable and interchangeable based on the needs of the new lifestyle of the 1960s. For her beautiful and useful designs, Anna Castelli Ferrieri has won numerous design awards, including the prestigious Compasso d'Oro, but the fact that most of her pieces are still in production bespeak the highest praise.

They brightened up quite a bit - we had to use a magic eraser for the most stubborn scuffs, but most everything else lifted with a little Meyer's All Purpose Cleaner. After hosing them off, letting them air dry, and then assembling them, this is what they look like:

Mantel, part 2

Castelli Kartell Cubby

Currently, ours frame our fireplace:
Our Fireplace!

Here's a few more we'd like to get our hands on.

Photo courtesy of www.museedelaville.agglo-sqy.fr

Photo courtesy of www.architonic.com


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