May 8, 2014
12:51 PMStyle & Shopping
Designer Fashions at Consignment Prices a Hot Trend in Connecticut
Arnold Gold/New Haven Register
Brinna Jones models vintage and modern clothes at Consign & Design Shoreline. Here she wears a vintage 1940s jacket with jeans.
Designer labels offered at consignment shop prices is a burgeoning style trend across Connecticut, and the media is taking note. Scroll down for stories about a new shop in Litchfield and a New Haven-based enterprise hosting a fashion “workshop” at Consign & Design Shoreline in Branford at 6:30 p.m. on May 12.
As an intro, we reached back a bit and found the piece on our 2012 Best of Connecticut winner for "consignment shop: clothing," Designer Label Consignments in Westport. Here's what we had to say about that great shop:
Westport, (203) 255-9099
“Anyone who says money can’t buy happiness doesn’t know where to shop.” So says Mary O’Toole, owner of DLC (Designer Label Consignments). She prides herself on being “very picky” and accepts only items in impeccable condition—with names like Gucci, Tory Burch and Prada, as well as midrange names like Theory and J. Crew, and lots of designer jeans. Best of all, O’Toole won’t hesitate to let you know when something just doesn’t work on you. What really sets DLC apart is the menswear section. It’s often said that you can’t sell men’s clothes on consignment because guys wear their clothes into the ground. But O’Toole has found some who don’t, who are apparently partial to Zegna, Hickey Freeman and Armani.
Now for the new stories:
Wear Vintage Fashion With Flair at Workshop at Consign & Design Shoreline
You can look like a pin-up girl, instant va-va-va-voom. That is if you can squeeze into a vintage cotton swimsuit worn by a bathing beauty from the ’50s, with a cantilevered built-in bra. Some 20-somethings are going for the old Hollywood movie star look now.
Or, add some bling to that basic black work jacket with a constellation of half a dozen sparkly rhinestone brooches that look like they came from mom’s old jewelry box.
The gals at Fashionista Vintage & Variety in New Haven, Todd Lyon and Nancy Shea are going to show you how to jazz up your wardrobe with choice vintage pieces and accessories at a fashion “workshop” at Consign & Design Shoreline in Branford at 6:30 p.m. on May 12. Admission is free, but registration is requested, call 203-433-4653.
Here, you will see everything from “fit and flare” frocks from the ’50s, (think wasp-waisted Grace Kelly in “Rear Window”), to black leather, hand-tooled cowboy boots from the ’80s (the store has “oodles” of vintage cowboy boots from many decades). Shea’s got on a pair today that look like something Roseanne Cash would wear.
The workshop takes place in Consign & Design’s loft-like space where the guests can sit on comfy couches while models show the clothes and Shea and Lyon demonstrate the art of wearing vintage garb. Refreshments will be served. But, be prepared for a nostalgia trip.
“It’s like a European salon.” Lyon says of the store, as she piles a heap of goodies on a sofa. We see colors (a splashy ’60s pop art print sheath — a mod little number inspired by Mary Travers of Peter, Paul & Mary, who actually worked at the clothing shop it came from) and wondrous fabrics (shiny, gold quilted satin that looks like a luxurious blanket, only it’s a cocktail dress with a sexy sleeveless bodice and a great big skirt).
At the workshop it gets even better. Shea and Lyon will “pluck someone from the group and give them a quickie makeover” right on the spot.
They will also cover the do’s and don’ts of hat wearing (wear man-styled brimmed hats — it’s chic on women — not the “flower pots” of Mamie Eisenhower, advises Lyon, who demonstrates with a topper over her tousled silvery hair); the art of scarf-tying; four items you should never buy new; and how to rock grandma’s brooches.
Fashionista, officially in business since 2010, started in Shea’s funky apartment, actually a storefront that they outfitted with clothing racks once a month (no kidding). Lyon is a writer and a former restaurant writer for the New Haven Register, while Shea had been working in environmental planning for 30 years. About 10 years ago, the two friends realized they just had too many clothes between them, when over a glass (or two) of wine they decided to host a vintage clothing tag sale. It became so successful they took short-term rentals in the area until they landed at 93 Whitney Ave. in New Haven.
High-End Fashion Offered in Litchfield
A new consignment shop has opened, offering “couture clothing” for women, men and teens as well as jewelry and antiques.
It was a long time coming, according to Jessica DeLuca, the business owner, whose eye for quality merchandise was fine-tuned over the years. But, she said, the premises of choice remained unavailable, until recently.
Litchfield Topshelf Consignment is located at 495C Bantam Road (Route 202), in the space previously occupied by Rachel’s Quality Consignment and next door to the established eatery Patty’s Restaurant.
“I’ve wanted to do this for a long time but only wanted this location,” Ms. DeLuca said. “When I found out this spot opened, it was time for me to have a shop. My heart was kind of set on this space.”
“I’ve been collecting things for many years, but I’m not the hoarding type,” she said. “I really like fashion and dressing other people.”
Ms. DeLuca opened her doors two weeks ago as she began stocking the newly refurbished space, and as of this week Litchfield Topshelf has regular hours of operation.
“We repainted and put in mirrors so the space gets a lot of light, and there are new dressing rooms,” she noted.
Merchandise is already coming and going, Ms. DeLuca was happy to report.
“I have been collecting for years and have had quite a few consigners coming in,” she said. “I’m always picking up things at great prices, and I like to offer a good deal.”
She carries items by Chanel, Burberry, Louis Vuitton, Coach and other top brands.