Saturday 29th February 2020
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Posts Tagged ‘Etsy’

Going deep with Vera

jane Fonda

Jane Fonda in a Vera beach towel

As a younger woman, my mother was quite big on collecting: antique scrimshaw objets and tortoiseshell jewelry she’d picked up on annual buying trips to London* cluttered her dressing area, as did enamel deco pendants, chatelaines, and big stacks of bakelite bracelets. And in an upstairs closet was what I’ve come to believe was her most brilliant collection of all: shopping bags from stores in every city she visited throughout of the 60s and 70s (check out the amazing archival shopping bag blog Bagatelle for a sense of why it kills me that Mom offloaded them all before I had any sense of their genius).

I didn’t inherit Mom’s collecting gene—I lack both the sentimental streak and laser-like focus that seems so central to that mindset—but I do have an abiding affection for textiles and good graphic design, which is why I sometimes find myself trolling Etsy’s selection of vintage items by Vera Neumann, collecting for pretend.

tie your scarf

Vera Neumann invented the signature scarf, and went on to design hundreds and possibly thousands of them. She was trained as an artist, and believed her pieces were in their way all small  works of art, reasonably priced and accessible to many.  This is the cover of a mini-booklet that probably came bound in with a fashion magazine back in the 1960s, and I love it unreasonably.

cotton vera

Because Vera scarves were priced for the people, you can still find many of them online, in vintage stores and at fleas, for very decent prices.  I’ve been looking for cotton scarves for Cancer Friend—she started chemo this week and has no interest in a wig—and this seems like it could be good for some laughs.

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lucky fish

The print on this (alas, no longer available) vintage apron is classic Vera.

vera dress

As is this rather astonishing dress, complete its trademark Vera ladybugs.

vera tea towel

Look how she out-Scandinavians the Scandinavians with this tea towel.

vera book

Vera the book—I’m not sure I can’t.



*She owned a wonderful boutique for many years, and yes, that explains a lot. 

Posted on May 31st, 2013 12 Comments

Cheap and chic of the week: melamine plates

kissing rabits

For years I coveted this fun Hermes china with an animals of the jungle pattern, because it seemed like an ultimate indulgence to acquire such playful china from such a serious luxury house. But only the sturdiest dinnerware survives my cloddish grasp, and I always knew better to indulge (even during the pixie-dusted couple of years when a benevolent publicist extended me a  30% discount at Hermes—a time during which many friends received excellent gifts in little orange boxes). Still, my affection for dishes with just a little bit to say endures, which is probably why I’ve developed an outsize affection for melamine plates. They wouldn’t break if you threw them against a wall, and there are so many cute ones. Plus, they’re cheap enough that you can buy a ton and not worry if you use them only some of the time. Because these kissing rabbits might be fun for dining on  burgers and cole slaw at a Memorial Day picnic, but possibly not so much come January and brisket time.


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Who else wants to turn the entire backyard into a Moroccan-themed wonderland to match this rather fabulous purple plate?

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The Mad Platters shop on Etsy is melamine plate central, and if I were hard up for hostess gifts this season, it’s exactly where I’d go. This bird looks so stern that he cracks me up a little.

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There is something quite pink lemonade and birthday cale about this option, from West Elm.


Posted on May 24th, 2013 11 Comments

Oh, the adorability

So I’m kind of going nuts for this bag line Sidney and Sons that I discovered just yesterday. Isn’t this one lovely? In a utilitarian-but-also-quite-sophisticated way? I like it in the hunter green as well.


Also: how chic is this canvas tote? And did I mention everything is under $175?

Posted on September 27th, 2012 3 Comments

Don’t change a hair for me, Etsy

Seriously, my moss ring goes with everything.

Posted on August 9th, 2012 7 Comments