Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Vintage Glassware

I always take time to admire vintage glassware while shopping around antique malls. I would love to own a mix and match collection filled with pastel milk glass and depression glass plates, saucers and teacups one day, it all looks so dreamy together. I snapped these photos while on a recent road trip through Sacramento, I found the most amazing set of pink glass teacups! This vintage buying trip made it onto my list of Fall favorites among what I'm wearing and reading this season,
see what else I'm loving as the lead stylist at Sweet & Spark.
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Thursday, November 16, 2017

Vintage Shopping in New Orleans

 We spent a lovely long weekend in New Orleans a few weeks ago for a friend's wedding, always a cherished place of ours to re-visit since Patrick went to college there. Whenever we are in town, I make a point to visit one of my favorite vintage boutiques Vintage 329. Chalk full with cases of vintage Chanel jewelry, I spend at least an hour attempting to see everything. Besides their Chanel collection, they have an array of curated sunglasses, posters, vinyl records, books and antique fine jewelry... heaven! After all that window shopping, I usually work up an appetite for something sweet. Right across the street is an adorable pastry shop called Cafe Beignet, not to be confused with Cafe du Monde which is a few blocks away. Nothing like an iced latte and beignet combo to re-fuel for more vintage shopping! Be sure to peek into the other antique shops around the French Quarter, so many hidden gems.

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Thursday, November 9, 2017

Fall Feelings

 For me, Fall means never leaving the house without a vintage silk scarf, and of course vintage jewels! I love pairing gold necklaces and chains with a chic scarf tied around in a choker fashion, double points for double the layering! The brooch I am wearing is also part of our new collection for Fall, lots of critter motifs florals and rhinestones to get you through the season. Shop our one-of-a-kind selection of Vintage Jewelry while it's fresh.

S H O P   T H E   L O O K

Trifari Cluster Heart Charm Necklace // Judy Lee Jet Black Rhinestone Clip On Earrings // Daisy Rhinestone Cluster Brooch // Napier Gold Hinged Bangle // Monet Gold Hinged Bangle // Zara Top // Vintage Givenchy Scarf, similar here // Celine Sunglasses
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Tuesday, October 31, 2017

How to Buy Vintage Silk Scarves

When it comes to collecting vintage accessories, silk scarves come in a close second behind jewelry. I remember starting my vintage scarf collection in high school when I was going through a 1960's phase and could not get enough of Emilio Pucci's colorful prints. I quickly fell down the vintage scarf rabbit hole and began hunting for them at vintage stores, and of course... my Mother's closet. Perfect for tying in my hair, around my neck or even on my handbag, I could never have enough! For my high school graduation, I opted for vintage scarves as grad-gifts instead of the standard monogrammed luggage tag or bath robe. One of my favorites and still most treasured is a powder blue Hermès scarf my Aunt found at an estate sale (shown in the first image), still intact with its original orange box. Today, I have a whole shelf in my closet dedicated to my silk scarf collection, or rather art collection. Straying from jewelry for just a moment,  I thought it would be fun to share some tips for buying vintage designer scarves that I have learned over the years.

W H E R E   T O   L O O K

When we're talking about buying vintage anything, there is always the big debate between online and in stores. I covered a few of the reasons why I love both in my recent blog about buying vintage Chanel. I guess it mostly depends on where you live, and how many re-sale boutiques are in your area. Regardless, online is always a good place to start price comparing! I like to run a search on eBay and Etsy looking for general categories like "Vintage Silk Scarf" or something more specific like "Vintage 90's Chanel Scarf" first. Since it is more difficult to ensure authenticity online when it comes to designer scarves as opposed to handbags, it is best to use a trustworthy online consignment boutique like Vestiaire Collective and The RealReal. Both have a beautiful selection of Chanel, Gucci, Valentino, Dior scarves and more. As for in-person buying, try looking up high end consignment shops in your area, for me Vintage Martini in Dallas always has a
selection of Hermès scarves that I enjoy browsing.

C O N D I T I O N

Depending on how much you want to spend, quality and condition can play a big factor in pricing vintage scarves. Know the difference between what 100% silk and synthetic rayon feels like. Silk will feel buttery and luxe, while a synthetic blend can feel slippery and more like plastic. If the design is eye-catching, I never let the silk factor stop me from buying a scarf. What does it matter once it is all tied up around my neck in a chic bow? However, if you are in the mood to splurge on a designer scarf, make sure you know what to look and feel for. Most high end scarves will have a small tag sewn on the corner with the designer's name and 100% silk labeled. In the off-chance that there is no tag, be prepared to make that call on your own. Also, be sure to check each scarf for grease stains or dirty spots, price should reflect any wear and tear.

D E S I G N E R   S C A R V E S

Be prepared to spend anywhere from $150 to $350 when it comes to a luxury silk scarf. Remember, these are pieces of art! Designers back then and today release scarf collections each season in limited runs, making them quite rare, especially after a few decades have passed by. One of the biggest names in luxury silk scarves, Hermès, is known for their horse and carriage motifs... While Emilio Pucci is recognized for their trademarked geometric prints. If you're looking for a scarf that won't break the bank, my favorite vintage label for a cheap thrill is Vera. Known for their colorful floral and geometric prints, Vera became a popular scarf brand in the 1960's. Look to eBay and Etsy for vintage Vera scarves usually priced between $10 to $30.

Happy shopping vintage lovers!
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Thursday, October 19, 2017

Things I'm Loving Right Now

Talking about what I am loving right now over on the Sweet & Spark blog including these vintage flea market tea cups and plates! Snapped these photos at local weekend markets around San Francisco. My favorite spot to hunt for jewels and other collectables is the Alameda  Point Antiques Faire, open on the first Sunday each month. Insider tip: Be sure to get there early to snag gorgeous mid-century furnishings and decor. 
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Friday, October 6, 2017

Vintage Levi's

Levi's are simply the best when it comes to classic vintage denim. I love how they started to re-issue all their popular vintage styles like the 501 original cut off shorts, I had to find all mine on eBay years ago. Right now I am adoring their high rise wedgie fit jeans, very 90's "mom jeans" but I can't help it, they are my go-to pair! I have them in both the light and medium wash since I cannot wear them enough. The best part is that they go perfectly 
with a cute sweater tucked in and vintage jewelry!

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Sunday, October 1, 2017

Life in San Francisco

 With my 1 year anniversary since moving to San Francisco around the corner, I thought it would be a good idea to share what I've been up to on the west coast, also known as the BEST coast! But first, we have to go back a few more years to where it all began... Patrick and I started thinking about making a move from New York City around 2015 and what our life might look like in the Bay City. I was introduced to Jillian from Sweet & Spark through mutual friends, and we immediately hit it off. We both grew up with antique collectors for parents and funny enough, had both ended up with a kindred love for collecting vintage jewelry. With so much to bond over we stayed in touch through social media and blog collaborations until I eventually made the move west in 2016.
I was so happy to have a San Francisco buddy who I had so much in common with! One night, Jillian was over for dinner at my apartment when she happened to mention that her assistant had recently left S&S. At the time, I was attending jewelry school part time and thought it might be a fun learning experience to help out on my days off. It instantly felt like the right fit! A few months passed and I began spending more days working at S&S and taking on more responsibilities at the company. Half way through Summer, we were brainstorming ideas for growing Sweet & Spark and before I knew it we had booked orders for contemporary apparel as well as tickets to the Las Vegas trade shows.

I am proud to call myself the in-house lead stylist at S&S, and even more thrilled to share our new apparel collection with you! Filled with florals, lace and bows... This collection is everything that we love to style our vintage jewelry with. Looking forward to sharing my Sweet & Spark adventures here, including new apparel launching this week (sign up for the newsletter to get first dibs)! You can read more about my new position as well as my 5 Fall Style Tips on the S&S blog. 

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Wednesday, September 27, 2017

How to Clean Vintage Jewelry

We thought it would be helpful to share our favorite tips for cleaning those flea market jewelry finds that need some love. Keeping our vintage jewelry looking fresh is the first step we take before listing any new styles on our shop. We've seen it all... from missing stones, beat up jump rings and dirty surfaces. Continue reading for a roundup of 
cleaning do's and don'ts when it comes to vintage jewels.

O N E

To clean all metal styles use warm water, dish soap and a toothbrush. Windex can also be used in place of soap! Lightly scrub the surface to remove any dirt that may have built up over the years. Make sure to let completely air dry to avoid any rusting. For pearl and rhinestone styles, simply use a dry toothbrush to sweep away any dust or dirt. It is important not to wet these more delicate styles as water might get trapped and change the appearance of stones.


T W O

After jewelry has been washed and cleaned, it is a good idea to shine it up with a polishing cloth. Most vintage jewelry is gold plated or sterling silver, but even brass can be polished. For that extra fresh feeling, we love to use the sunshine polishing cloth! Wrap the polishing cloth around a piece of jewelry or chain to softly buff the surface 
which will bring out that bright finish.


T H R E E

The next step is to ensure durability by checking each jump ring and clasp. Pay special attention to jump rings that are not fully closed, we tighten up loose jump rings using a pair of chain nose pliers. For anything that needs to be replaced, our go-to recourse is Rio Grande for a wide assortment of jump rings and closures.


F O U R

We inspect each piece of jewelry for loose or missing stones. For replacements, we keep a small batch of pearls and rhinestones in various sizes and colors. If there's not a bead or craft store near you, Etsy can be a great resource for jewelry bits. Try searching for "loose rhinestones" or "loose pearls" to start off. Carefully use a single drop of super glue to secure stones back into place, make sure to put down a paper towel for spills. Then let dry!

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Sunday, September 10, 2017

Fresh Picks for Fall

Our curated selection of vintage jewels has officially been restocked for Fall!

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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Vintage Earrings

Brightly colored rhinestones, pearl clusters and floral motifs... Take your pick from our curated selection of vintage earrings! Our favorite way to wear this style is dressed up with a sweet cocktail dress or paired with a chic white button down shirt and jeans for a more casual look. Don't forget to browse our 50% Off Sale too!

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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Butterfly Brooches

As I mentioned in my post about Collecting Vintage Brooches, I love to pair similar motifs together. When I found these two butterfly brooches, I knew they would make an adorable couple! You can start your collection today with these butterfly brooches available in our vintage jewelry shop along with these leaf drop earrings by vintage designer Napier!

S H O P   T H E   L O O K

Napier Vintage Leaf Earrings // Vintage Rhinestone Butterfly Brooch // Napier Vintage Butterfly Brooch // Vintage Emilio Pucci Scarf // Vintage Jacket // Zara Top // Gucci Cat Eye Sunglasses 
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Wednesday, July 5, 2017

How to Buy Vintage Chanel

Buying designer vintage can be overwhelming, especially when you don't know what to look for. After years of buying vintage collectables for myself, I wanted to spill my best kept consignment secrets. In this new segment I'll be sharing where to find the best deals online and in stores, as well as how to spot an authentic piece. Let's start things off with my favorite designer, past and present; Chanel. Many vintage shoppers are already familiar with online consignment boutiques like Vestiaire Collective and The RealReal. These can be great resources to start off your search, and both sites feature Chanel collections. I've personally never shopped with either website, but I do believe their prices are pretty fair.

E B A Y   I S   Y O U R   F R I E N D

I prefer to use eBay as my main source for designer consignment. I know it can sound scary for those not familiar with the platform, but it is actually where high end vintage retailers find the majority of their Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Hermès inventory. I always look for sellers who ship from Japan, which is a little tip I picked up from shop owners at consignment boutiques like What Goes Around Comes Around and Paris Stations in Manhattan. Japan is probably the best kept vintage secret right now, boasting numerous shops filled with handbags, jewelry and clothing... all in pristine condition. Selling online is just now becoming a popular concept in Japanese culture, inlcuding eBay. This is opening up a whole new market for vintage lovers around the world (I'm already planning my dream trip to Tokyo)! Take the classic vintage Chanel 2.55 Quilted Bag for example... It would normally retail in the states for around $4500, but you can find the exact same handbag in better condition and for half the price on eBay from a Japanese seller. The same goes for jewelry...



J E W E L R Y

Now for my favorite part, the jewels! Most of my vintage Chanel jewelry collection comes from the Manhattan vintage boutique; What Goes Around Comes Around. I mentioned WGACA and a few other shops in my New York City Vintage Shopping Guide. When I was a jewelry designer at Marc Jacobs, our Soho office was right around the corner from WGACA and I would always find an excuse to pop in for "research" on my lunch break. They have a long glass case, front and center at the entrance, dripping with golden Chanel brooches, charm bracelets, long pendants and everything else you could imagine. Insider tip: If you're planning on buying more than one item, they are usually willing to negotiate.

O N E

Most of the pieces I come across are from the 1980's or the 1990's. Gold and bold was big during these decades, and Chanel embraced this aesthetic whole heartedly. Vintage jewelry and handbag hardware is 24k gold plated, which raises the value on vintage items since the brand discontinued gold plating a few years ago.

T W O

In addition to their high plating standards, each piece of jewelry should be stamped with "Made in France" as well as the collection's season and year. While everything should be stamped, not everything has a jumbo CC logo on the front.

T H R E E

Be sure to look out for other classic Chanel motifs like the No. 5 perfume bottle, the Camélia flower, the quilted purse, the clover or the straw hat. And in general I never look twice at something that shows signs of tarnishing. Minor scuffs and scratches are to be expected.


 C L O T H I N G

I usually come across reasonably priced vintage Chanel clothing at one of my favorite Manhattan vintage destinations; the Chelsea Flea Market, only open on the weekends. Be sure to arrive early for the best finds. And right across the street is another must see; the Showplace Antique and Design Center, filled with multiple floors of vintage furniture and fashion vendors. You'll find Chanel gems tucked away inside a few of the fashion booths. Since clothing is difficult to judge the fit through photos, I usually prefer to shop those infamous tweed jackets in person.

O N E

I always check the label, which should have the collection's season and year indicated. The buttons should have the CC logo incorporated into the design, in some cases the backside of the buttons can be stamped.

T W O

When looking at a tweed jacket, I always check to make sure there is a small chain fastened towards the bottom of the inside jacket hem. This small detail is still used throughout Chanel's tweed jacket styles to weigh them down for a clean fit.

T H R E E

Whenever I am traveling to a new city, I always look up local re-sale shops. Most high end luxury consignment shops will always have a small rack dedicated to Chanel tweed jackets.


H A N D B A G S

Most of my vintage Chanel handbag collection comes from various estate sales and consignment shops like Vintage Martini, usually a matter of being in the right place at the right time. I also picked up my pink cosmetic Chanel bag (shown in the first image) at What Goes Around Comes Around for a special birthday splurge a few years ago. But knowing what I do now about eBay, I will probably search there first for future buys! 

O N E

Similar to Chanel jewelry and clothing, all handbags should be stamped with the collection's season and year. You can find this on a little sticker inside the bag, usually located by the corner. Remember, vintage Chanel handbag hardware is 24k gold plated, so watch out for signs of tarnishing. 

T W O

The most common types of leather used are lambskin and caviar. Lambskin is smooth while caviar has a pebbled texture. Keep in mind that black Chanel handbags will be more affordable. Anything in color was unique to the collection's season which can make a handbag rare and more expensive. 

T H R E E

Another detail to check is the stitching that makes up the signature quilting pattern. The stitching should line up and meet where the flap folds over in front of the bag. Most handbag styles also have a small pocket on the back side, stitching should line up here as well. 

I've shared my shop directory below listing each place I have either purchased or come across vintage Chanel...

Dallas, Texas // Vintage Martini
Dallas, Texas // Luxury Garage Sale
Dallas, Texas // Clothes Circuit
Austin, Texas // Feathers Boutique
Manhattan, New York // What Goes Around Comes Around
Manhattan, New York // Showplace Antique and Design Center
Manhattan, New York // Chelsea Flea Market
Manhattan, New York // Paris Stations
Manhattan, New York // Resurrection
Los Angeles, California // The Paper Bag Princess
Los Angeles, California // The Way We Wore

Happy shopping vintage lovers!
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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Vintage Bracelets

Golden chains, rhinestones and pearls... Take your pick from our curated selection of vintage bracelets! 
Our favorite way to wear this style is stacked in groups of threes, or coupled with a classic watch. Whatever your stylistic preference is... just remember, it's all in the wrist!

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Friday, June 23, 2017

How to Start a Brooch Collection

For years I have been buying up brooches just about every time I pass through a vintage shop. Whether it's something specific that I am looking for, or something that catches my eye... Brooches represent a decorative piece of art that are fun to collect and admire. I am sharing my favorite categories of brooches that I always keep an eye out for...

F L O W E R S

Florals are a very popular motif throughout vintage jewelry, and this is no exception for the brooch style! You can find giant daisies and feminine bouquets designed in various materials like metal, enamel and rhinestones. My favorite way to wear this style is to find a few different round florals and create a unique bouquet by clustering them together on a jacket lapel.

R H I N E S T O N E S

Rhinestone clusters were the first style of brooch I began to collect in high school. A classic style that adds a bit of sparkle to any outfit, the rhinestone cluster should be a staple in everyone's brooch collection. My favorite two ways to wear this style is dressed down pinned on a denim jacket, or dressed up pinned on the shoulder of a cocktail dress.

M O T I F S

Everyone has something they love to collect, and brooches lend themselves to fun and kitschy motifs. A few of the brooch motifs that I collect are: bows, crowns, insects, cats and poodles. There's something for everyone! My favorite way to wear this style is by grouping the small collections together, like a cluster of insects on a jacket lapel.


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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Double Drop Earrings

There is something so iconic about the 1960's and bauble drop earrings. Twiggy and other popular models were photographed wearing this statement earring style throughout the mod decade. Styled with a mini dress for a retro throwback or with an elegant cocktail dress for a more modern look, the double drop earring style still makes for a fun party statement.   

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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Why You Need More Vintage Clip On Earrings

Wanting to add more vintage jewels to your collection but hate the idea of clip on earrings? You're not alone! I've grown to love the clip on earring style over the years, especially since my ear lobes are on the smaller side. Pierced statement earrings have always been way too heavy for me. If you are used to buying pierced earrings, there's a few things you should know before diving into the vintage costume jewelry world...

O N E

Most earrings made between the 1920's and the 1960's feature a screw back or clip on mechanism. In fact, pierced earrings did not become popular until the 1970's. This makes styles with a post back extremely rare to come across in the vintage jewelry market. I always keep my eye out for a good pair of vintage pierced earrings for this reason alone!

T W O

The clip on style was especially popular during the 1980's when anything bold and gold was in style. Most of the oversized silhouettes from this decade would be far to heavy for pierced ears. Chanel is no exception to the rule, most of their vintage gold plated earrings from the 1980's to the 1990's are clip ons as well.

T H R E E

Another popular vintage earring style was the ear climber, known for their curved crescent moon silhouette. Ear climbers became a fashionable statement during the 1960's, mostly fabricated with rhinestones, lucite and plastic florals. Clip ons allow this style to wrap up the outside of the ear starting at the lobe.

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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

White & Gold

Saying hello to that Summer weather with white, denim and gold...

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