Best for vintage: Hester Street Fair
Mon Jul 12 2010
Treasures and Pleasures at the Hester Street Fair
1. Designer deals
George Yzquierdo curates a selection of vintage jewelry that spans 150 years at Treasures and Pleasures (212-750-1929, tpleasures.com), his booth where gems are grouped by color, time period and theme. Recent finds include enamel Chanel double-C earrings from the early ’90s ($300), when they were made in France, a tribal-mask--reproduction necklace ($175), and cheaper items like interestingly shaped vintage keys (each $3) and tons of beaded bracelets and necklaces. Yzquierdo says he caters to everyone from “serious collectors to the kids who come in and need something flashy to accessorize their H&M dresses.”
2. Dress up
Hairy Mary’s Vintage (hairymarysvintage.com) features both vintage and upcycled garments, including an impressive array of dresses and some serious ’70s disco threads (think neon-pink gingham maxi dresses). Women’s vintage sundresses ($45--$125) share one wall with men’s shirts and jackets ($20--$25), while vibrant frocks crafted by co-owner Sharon Broit from vintage materials sit opposite and run between $45 and $85. Hairy Mary’s also hawks a serious collection of classic, patinated Coach bags in cross-body styles for only $35 to $95—prices so good they’ve been known to beat the employee discount of the Coach workers who frequent the shop.
3. Add that one-of-a-kind find
Charming couple Pamela Moore and Ignacio Quiles stock their eclectic shop, QP and Monty (qpandmonty.com), with high-quality accessories, one-of-a-kind clothing and old-time housewares (peacock-feather place mats!) that they collect on their many road trips. Classic ladies’ fascinators and hats with netting are $20 to $25, a five-piece set of milk-glass tumblers with a pitcher recently went for $45, and a custom blazer from costume designer Dean Bright costs $60.
4. Bitchin’ jewelry fashioned from NYC dirt
Not only does Sayo Granich-Lee make all of her silver, copper and brass jewelry by hand, but she also knows how to make the most of her surroundings: One of her lines features amusing jewelry with “stones” crafted from crystallized NYC dirt, labeled according to the street from which it comes ($40--$80). Surprisingly beautiful and delicate, the rough-and-tumble faux gems share space with other quirky finds from her Saru Star brand (917-804-1069, sarustar.com), like studded knuckle-duster rings made out of repurposed vinyl flooring ($50).
5. Stock your Americana coffers
Quirky bits of Americana overflow from Suzanna and Donald Kaplan’s American Collectables booth (917-603-0679), which showcases rare finds like a tabletop glass butter churn from the early 1900s (for the hipster epicure in your life, $100), gorgeous candy-colored glass ice-cream dishes (four for $12), old letterpress stamps and keys (each $1) and sheets of uncut baseball cards (132 cards for $20). It’s only a small portion of their massive back stock, which they’re happy to look through if you want something specific; they can also track down pretty much anything from around the country.
6. Decorate the apartment
Alexandra Abuza’s delightfully rustic display looks like it was transported from a Martha Stewart photo spread—a reflection of her good taste and gardener’s eye. She carries stylish decor and housewares from antiquing trips upstate, such as clear glass Mason jars ($5 each; rarer blue jars are $25 for 3), a midcentury metal-and-enamel desk ($75), as well as larger, specialty furniture that goes up to $600. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, make sure to ask what else she’s got in stock (207-664-8010).
7. Buy a dress to help rebuild Haiti
Brooklyn-based Haitian brothers Lionel and Constant Bernard returned home for a visit in January, arriving barely a day before the earthquake hit. Their village was destroyed, but they escaped with their lives, and have transformed their vintage accessories business, Nenenn155 (Nenenn155.com), into an outlet for cotton dresses ($75) and leather sandals ($25) crafted by Haitian artisans they got in touch with before returning to New York. Their handmade items are beautifully constructed sans electricity, and proceeds go toward rebuilding Haiti. Plus, the boys have still got a solid collection of classic Ferragamo leather bags and boots ($20--$200).
8. Get new old specs
Maxwell Stainback keeps his sources for stellar dead-stock eyewear a secret, so stopping by his Extinct Optics stand (extinctoptics.com) is your only chance to nab 1988 Gucci shades ($300) and Yves Saint Laurent cat’s-eye sunglasses ($180) in their original packaging. Near-sighted style mavens can stock up on rare finds like all-wooden frames made in Italy ($100), as well as tons of European-made tortoise and plastic styles from the ’50s and ’60s ($45--$65), which come without lenses so you can fill them with your prescription of choice.
9. Get an education in costume jewelry
The classic costume baubles that fill the cases at Adrienne Lorber’s Dealer’s Choice Jewelry (dealerschoicejewelry.com) are beautiful, but the real gem here is Lorber’s encyclopedic knowledge of the brands and history behind her pieces. She’ll school you in how to spot the difference between quality and cheap stones (better ones are set in prongs as opposed to simply glued), and the history of specific high-end jewelers who began designing costume pieces during World War I and II metal shortages. Recent sightings from her pre-1970s-focused stock include a Givenchy heart charm necklace ($250), a sparkly sunburst pin ($200), and entire table of $5 and $10 rings, necklaces and bracelets.
10. Benefit from stylists’ surplus stuff
On the last weekend of every month, Hester Street presents the not-to-be missed Summer Stylist Tent, where city stylists, editors and industry folks are invited to unload extra goods they’ve been gifted or have used in shoots. The event is brand-new, so until word gets out to the fierce fashionista fiends, you can shop for insanely good contemporary-designer deals in peace (we scored a Chloe trench for $25!). Prices range from $1 to $200, but most hover under the $50 mark (Zara dresses and cute linen and leather boots were both just $10). What’s more, the designer duds are well organized on racks, and there’s even an airy tented dressing room.
Postflea: The Hester Street Fair is a re-creation of a bustling market that took place in the same location a hundred years ago. Get more New York history at the nearby Tenement Museum (97 Orchard St between Broome and Delancey Sts; 212-431-0233, tenement.org; $15--$20), where you can visit real city tenements much like the ones original Hester Street shoppers and vendors would have inhabited.
GO THERE NOW!
Hester Street Fair, Hester St at Essex St (hesterstreetfair.com). April--December (rain or shine). Sat, Sun 10am--6pm.
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