Showing posts with label Vintage. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vintage. Show all posts


Decorating with Vintage Louis Vuitton Trunks

We absolutely loved this article from luxury interior design firm Oliver Burns, on decorating with vintage Vuitton. We were delighted when they asked for our input on the piece.

The Vintage Contessa, based out of Houston Texas, sources vintage Louis Vuitton trunks for their clients who use them for fashion and design requirements. “Louis Vuitton trunks offer a piece of furniture that comes with a  beautiful heritage as well as a history behind each piece. The idea that your coffee table may have travelled around the world, seeing great sights along the way, is a wonderful experience to own and share with guests in your home” Donae Cangelosi Chramosta.

If you are searching for a piece of vintage Vuitton luggage to use in your home please contact us. We have a large selection of refurbished trunks available to purchase. 

Scroll down to see images from the article, and visit the full piece on the Oliver Burns blog


Monday Muse: Brigitte Bardot

She is absolutely stunning. Brigitte Bardot seems to have a very specific beauty trait possessed exclusively by French women. She's sexy, she's bold, and she's also got a little bit of a mean streak. Known for her bikinis, and beehive hairstyle, Brigitte Bardot was once the ultimate object of desire. Loved by men all over the world, including Bob Dylan, and the Beatles. In addition to being a ballerina/model/actress/singer, Bardot's face was the model for Marianne, the face of French Liberation. And we have her to thank for starting the trend of ballet flats, and the Bardot neckline (scoop neck). Thanks, BB, for your fearless, fierce, fashion forward trendsetting ways. 



Monday Muse: Elizabeth Taylor

Monday Muse: Elizabeth Taylor

The Taylor-Burton Diamond, first worn at Princess Grace's 40th Birthday Party.

The Krupp Diamond

Elizabeth Taylor: where do I even start? She was talented, beautiful, and crazy. I could go on for pages about her unbelievable personal life, and career, but lets get down to business, her jewelry collection. I would gladly wed and divorce eight times too, if I could guarantee the Elizabeth Taylor Package, which includes Van Cleef aand Arpels, Bulgari, Cartier, Ruser, David Webb, Tiffany and Co, Harry Winston, and quite a few custom pieces as well. Most well known from her collection was her 33 carat square diamond ring from husband Richard Burton, known as the Krupp Diamond. She wore this nearly everyday, especially in her later years. The most impressive piece however was the 68 carat Burton-Taylor Diamond, given to her by Richard Burton. This was the worlds first glimpse at a million dollar diamond and it was given to Taylor at the height of her fame. She and Burton were the most well known couple in the world at the time. After their divorce, however, Taylor auctioned off the diamond and with the proceeds, built a hospital in Botswana. Showing that sometimes, spite for your ex can benefit others. Teach us your ways Elizabeth Taylor!


Vintage at the Brits

Stars wear Vintage Norman Norell at the Brit Awards.

Two artists showed up at the Brits on Wednesday night looking stunning in Vintage Norman Norell, this 1960s fashion designer from Indiana made a name for himself first as a costume designer on Broadway, then branched out to fashion. Norell's lines through his career were truly visionary. He was one of the first designers to produce couture ready to wear clothes, which was unheard of at the time. His death in 1972 put an end to the era, but now and then celebs pay tribute to this fashion pioneer.
Lily Allen in Norell's most popular style, the mermaid sheath dress. Navy sequins heads to toe, Allen looks sexy, but still modest, and with her vibrant locks to contrast, this look is fabulous. And we don't hate that yellow Chanel either!

Singer-songwriter, Sophie Ellis Bextor also rocked a vintage Norell on the red carpet on Wednesday, going for a very classically 1960s ruffle black mini. Paired with black pumps, and a shiny clutch.


Monday Muse

Monday Muse: Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn, she's beautiful, she's stylish, she's quirky. We have her to thank for the little black dress, a staple in every woman's wardrobe. She is an absolute icon, no other women can get credit for starting the longest running trend in fashion history. And, she's wise to boot! It's Audrey who taught us that "happy girls are the prettiest." 


The Hermes Family | Shop Now at The Vintage Contessa

Named after the actress, singer and style icon - Jane Birkin.  This is the most coveted bag due to its exclusivity.  Worn mostly by top celebrities, the Birkin can range from 7,000 to over $150,000.  At The Vintage Contessa, we keep many Birkins in stock - to see our current selection visit our website.

Originally called Sac à dépêches, it was later named after Grace Kelly.  The Kelly is a little more formal than the Birkin and worn by just as many celebrities.  View our current selection of Kelly Bags on our website. 

The Hermes Constance was designed back in 1959 and named after the designers daughter.  It has recently made a comeback due to its versatility.  The Constance can be worn long or short and was most notably a favorite of Jackie O.  These days you can see it on the arms of young hollywood starlets. View our current selection on our website.

Designed in 1978 and name after the Head of the Hermes Riding Department, The Evelyne was meant to carry equestrian accessories.  These days it is worn by celebrities as a chic carry-all.  The crossbody style makes it more casual, while the leather keeps it luxurious.  View our collection of Hermes Evelynes on our website.


Favorite Looks for Spring

For the show Mirror Mirror on the Live Well Network, I was asked to pick my favorite looks for spring.  I chose three main looks for this feature - color blocking with brights, how to wear lace and high/low - mixing price points.  
With Rebecca Spera from Mirror Mirror

Wearing a David Peck Top, J.Crew Sequin Skirt and YSL Tributes
( These also happen to be the colors of The Vintage Contessa logo )
This is a wedding dress that I re-fashioned into a skirt, paired with a D&G Tank, Vintage Belt and Cowboy Boots

Here is a peek into my accessories closet. 

For my High End/Low End Look I have on a Les Copains limited edition top and Kirna Zabete for Target faux leather leggings.  I love mixing expensive pieces with basics from Target. 


Chasing Hermès Around St. Germaine

Did you know that Hermès was the first brand to introduce zippers on ladies handbags? Let's all take a minute to thank Hermès for developing a way to keep our valuables secure and safe within our fashionable accessories.

Now that we have established one of the many cool fun facts that surround this luxury brand, let's delve in to the important stuff, a.k.a the handbags themselves.
The famous Birkin bag debuted in 1984 on the arm of Actress Jane Birkin. It became all the rage then and now! This handbag holds the record for the longest waiting list of any luxury accessory. Talk about crazy!

For a handbag with that long of a waiting list I was surprised that I saw so many on my trip to Paris Fashion Week. Take a look at some of the varieties I saw. 

Of course, Hermès doesn't just make luxury handbags. They've perfected the art of luxury accessories, also. 


Chanel: The Brand That Never Goes Out of Style

Chanel. How you tempt me so. Those classic silhouettes and all around gorgeous, handcrafted handbags make me gasp each time I see that mirrored "C" logo.
This high-end couture and ready-wear fashion house began in 1909 by Madame Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel. The iconic quilted bags and "the little black dress" are just a few items that the House of Chanel is known for.

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Coco Chanel's favorite colors, black, white and greys, are used throughout Chanel's line. Lucky for us, these neutral colors never go out of style and can be paired with practically anything. 

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Did you know that the interlocking "C" logo was influenced by the stained glass windows in an Aubazine chapel which featured interlaced curves?

Every bottle of of Chanel No.5, the best selling fragrance in the world and Chanel's most profitable item,  is hand-sealed with baudruchage (a fine membrane), pearl cotton thread and hot wax stamped with the interlocking C's. Talk about premiere product care.

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Coco Chanel used her personal style to influence her designs. Her cropped hair and slim figure became the ideal feminine look of the 1920s and has continued to influence women around the world to this very day.

Follow my Chanel Style Board on Pinterest for more
and check our Chanel pieces for sale on


Sophia Loren | A Style Icon

Although this Roman native holds the record for being the most awarded Italian actress in history, Señora Loren also holds the exclusive title of "Style Icon". Only a handful of women in history have been able to influence generations of fashionistas to embrace and flaunt their exotic features and natural curves like she could.

In fact, she was often quoted saying, "everything you see, I owe to spaghetti," in reference to her voluptuous figure. Hard to believe carbs ever got within 10 feet of this body, right?

Sophia and one of her two boys with whom she had with her husband, Carlo Ponti. 


Italian Luxury

When I think of Italy, I think of Heaven. Some of my favorite designers are Italian. Some of my favorite food is Italian. Some of my favorite people are Italian. You could say I'm partial to all things Italian, but who wouldn't be? Italy is luxurious!

From the cliffs of Capri to the runways of Milano to the ruins of Rome, this boot shaped country is pure bliss. 

Gucci Factory - Florence, Italy  - Image from Bag Snob

Flowers from an Italian Vendor 

Ciao Bella!


Vintage Gucci: The Museo, The Cafe and Tom Ford

The Gucci Museo, Cafe and Store is fashionablely designed and absolutely inviting. This amazing lunch spot in a communal setting lined with vintage fashion design books, was an oasis from the almost 100 degree weather in Florence. It was all I could do not to buy a stack to add to my ever growing collection at home. However, with the weight of the books, I would have to enjoy them only for the moment.

But lets get back to basics, after a 4 plus hour drive from Forte dei Marmi, with at least an hour and a half looking for a parking space tall enough for our huge rented van, the first item that touched my senses was A/C blowing air at a level we have come to expect with the heat of a Texas summer day.  In only a matter of time my thirst was quenched with a cold glass of Aqua Frizzante. Only then could I allow my other senses to kick in and notice the moderne sleek luxe setting, beginning and ending with the classic GG branding each placemats, napkins and sugars of all things. 

The portions were small but the style was large and the ambience paid dividends. We shopped the collection of handbags while the guys watched over Bella as she drew on an artists pad with markers loaned to her in a Gucci encrusted box.

My cousin Carol and I found a gem of a space with Gucci handbags designed and sold exclusively for the Gucci Museo Boutique. The assortment was small but the designs were amazing. And I love to know when I make a purchase of that caliber, I wont walk into a room and see 2 or 3 other women carrying the exact same bag.

The fun had only begun, and we had yet to embark upon the museum tour. The museum opened one year ago in honor of Gucci's 90th Anniversary.

I have to say I was most inspired by the train cases. We have collected and sold several and I hope one day to find another and keep it for my own personal collection now that I know the history, they seem more important to me. And I had no idea Gucci designed a car.  How hot to drive a Cadillac Seville made in 1979. They made it in 3 colors. Wouldn't a car be the ultimate vintage accessory?

My all time favorite style icons, Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly vintage photos lined the stairwell between each of the floors of the museum. Their timeless look and longstanding love of the interlocking G's were showcased prominently. Ironically, my brain was already thinking Gucci from the inception of our trip.

Coincidentally, my overseas flight faetured a documentary: Designer DNA -Tom Ford for Gucci, showing his collections and focusing on his signature look- Sex. And as a fellow Texan, you have to love that this amazingly sexy and talented artist is a Texan too. 

After studying architecture at Parsons, Ford began his career Cathy Hardwick, then under the direction of Mark Jacobs at Perry Ellis.  In 1990 he joined the Gucci group as chief of Ready to Wear, bringing them out of near bankruptcy. In 1994 he took the helm as Creative Director at Gucci. In 2004 he abruptly left after issues with contract negotiations. 

He also directed the reins at YSL while with Gucci, taking inspiration from the YSL Vintage archives throughout his career, reinterpreting the YSL Le Smoking in the form of a velvet jacket for an everyday collection piece. 

In 2005 Ford opened his own men's luxury line and branched out to women's wear in 2010. His styles are still affecting the way women dress today. Ford recommends the woman always shows a part of the body. One part of your clothing should be worn tightly. If the top is tight, the bottom can be loose and vice versa. But the body's movement should be seen. 

He also embraces the difference a high heel makes in a way a women moves. He says, its hard not to be sexy in a high heel.  He knows how to give women confidence through a sense of sensuality. 

The women in Italy embrace this philosophy without even knowing it. Their style is timeless, and their heels are high. Cobblestone streets don't stop them. I still remember the style of the woman who checked us in at our hotel in Venice, in July of 2005 on our honeymoon: Black fitted suit, black t shirt, Gucci belt and killer heels. Her look is so simple, yet so stylish and most importantly: timeless.