In a continuing what’s (hopefully not) becoming a trend, another belated post.
Last weekend, I attended my very first auction, at Sloans & Kenyon Auction House in Chevy Chase, MD. Up for bid were over 600 lots of vintage/couture fashion and jewelry. My mom had already scoped out the pieces earlier in the week, and had a list of items that she wanted to bid on. I dragged myself out of bed and went along for the ride.
Normally, I’m not a huge fan of buying vintage. I know: sacrilege. It has less to do with the age of the items as it does with the fit and condition. I’ve found that many vintage clothes from the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s have silhouettes that don’t work on my short frame and short torso, like high-waisted pants and skirts, swing coats, and shoulder pads. I love how flamboyant and theatrical the older formal wear is, though, like this wool/cashmere coat with fox fur cuffs. I think it was probably from the 1930s, and it sold for only $150. What I would give for an occasion to wear something like this… but unfortunately, my life is not a series of Gatsby parties. It’s Friday night and I’m watching Jersey Shore reruns.
Accessories, however, are another story. I couldn’t get enough of the vintage scarves, especially (obviously) the ones by Hermes. If I’d been serious about buying that day, I probably could have gotten one for a reasonable price, but no matter what, they’re kind of an investment. Definitely on my fashion bucket list, though.
I ended up bidding on a few items, but chickened out once the prices started climbing too high. I like to ruminate over my potential purchases, so it would have helped if I’d had a strategy coming in, instead of seeing the items for the first time at the auction. It was definitely an experience, though, and it was fun and exciting. My mom and I conjectured about who her competition would be on a vintage Chanel boucle sheath dress, and she was on the edge of her seat for literally hours. She ended up winning, though, and snagging a gorgeous pair of unworn Ferragamo riding boots as well. After a couple of tries, I finally won an item: a huge, brand new Moschino silk and wool blend animal print scarf, for the ridiculously low price of $35.
Most of the items sold for much, much less than they were valued. Some pieces were older and slightly degraded, but many were in mint condition, like these Nicholas Kirkwood heels, which I lusted over.
It was a fun way to spend a Saturday afternoon. If you keep an eye out for the fashion auctions on Invaluable.com, an auction house database/listing service, you can peruse the items at Sloans & Kenyon and even bid online the day of the auction.
Happy bidding… And TGIF.