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Fashion in a Sconset Garden…

Tuesday, July 19, 2011 was a lovely day for a Garden Party.  Lilly & Pucci were present, as was most of Sconset….A grand estate, inventive cocktails, a happening DJ and models galore…all for a good cause.  As you can see from these snaps, a good time was had by all! “Fashion...

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I Dream of Lilly

Posted by admin | Posted in Culture, currentVintage, Fashion, Nantucket, travel, Vintage | Posted on 27-07-2010

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Palm Beach Socialites wearing original Lilly/Slim Aarons-Getty Images

I dream of Lilly.  Particularly the Lilly of the 1960s photos by Slim Aarons. They conjure a life of leisure I will never know—and a mood/attitude/way of life that no longer exists…

“Once upon a time, life was not better. It was different. Once upon a time everything was optimism, because nothing was bad for you.”

If you watch Mad Men, this statement by William Norwich makes perfect sense.  The early 1960s were heady times–innovations in business, fashion, culture and lifestyle were occurring exponentially and the nation embraced modernity with open arms, with no time to consider the consequences.

1964 Lilly/Slim Aarons-Getty images

1964 Lilly/Slim Aarons-Getty images

As simple a garment as the ‘shift’ dress actually reflected a big shift in womens’ attitudes!  No more “foundations”, ie no more girdle.  The easy, casual shape represented a relaxation of dress standards–even among the upper class, who were early to adopt, much as the flappers did in the 1920s.

These simple shapes were executed brilliantly by Lilly Pulitzer, a free-spirited socialite who quickly went from juice-making to dress-making.

The Lilly Story

“The Lilly” label became the first lifestyle brand–the original resort wear for the burgeoning leisure class. Her prolific original fabric and dress designs (not found at Marshall’s) are still cherished today.  Lilly Pulitzer closed her business in 1984.  The presently ubiquitous “Lilly Pulitzer” label and “In the Pink” stores are produced by a new company formed in 1993, after purchasing the name.

Yes, once upon a time, life was different…

Visit our collection of Original Lilly designs for men & Women at currentVintage, 4 Easy St, Nantucket.

Lilly Pulitzer

Lilly Pulitzer

Lilly kiss?

Lilly Pulitzer (right)/Slim Aarons-Getty Imges

April 1968:  Mr and Mrs Donald Lease with their Rolls Royce and two pet dogs outside their home in Palm Beach, Florida. (Slim Aarons/Getty Images)

April 1968: Mr and Mrs Donald Lease with their Rolls Royce and two pet dogs outside their home in Palm Beach, Florida. (Slim Aarons/Getty Images)

Victor Costa: Pre-Disposable Fashion

Posted by admin | Posted in Culture, currentVintage, Fashion, Nantucket, Vintage | Posted on 20-07-2010

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Kelly VCOSTA

Kelly modeling Victor Costa at currentVintage

Born in Texas in 1935, Victor Costa grew up enthralled by the glamour of Hollywood and intent on working in fashion. He sold sketches to Oleg Cassini and Ciel Chapman before joining the Suzy Perette label in 1965, where his photographic memory was dispatched to the Paris runways.  It was during his eight years at Suzy that he became known as “The Copy-Cat King” for his meticulous line for line copies of European couture.  This was back when copy-ing was actually considered a good thing—couture was skillfully replicated for the masses, but in a respectful, high-quality way.  Not just made to look similarly, couture copies were made to endure, and Seventh Ave designers, such as Hattie Carnegie and Norman Norell, were celebrated for their quality imitations.

VCOSTA LBD detail

Victor Costa dress details

_MG_0202_MG_0212Costa went on to form his own label, taking the design secrets he learned and interpreting them into fabulous, wearable pieces that are highly collectible today.  According to Costa, “A woman has to walk into a store, and [a dress] has to speak to her. It has to say ‘buy me’ or ‘try me on.’ It has to have color, it has to have shape, it has to have design secrets built into it that make her body look [outstanding]. You have to do lines that are flattering.”  And they did—the colors!  The fabrics!  The elegance!  The cut!  The pieces are at once distinctive, yet classic.

ABS does Jason Wu

ABS does Jason Wu

The “dress has to say ‘buy me’” philosophy may be shared by today’s reigning “Copy King”, Allen Schwartz of ABS, whose rapid, literal imitations infuriate modern designers.  In fact, “copy-ing” designer fashions is a broiling controversy;  no sooner are the runway shows or red carpet over, stores such as H&M and Zara are rolling out the cheaply-made knock-offs at a fraction of the cost.  Designers such as Diane von Furstenberg and Jason Wu (whose Michelle Obama Inaugural Gown was promptly replicated for prom-wear) have lobbied Congress for copyright protection.  Currently, clothing design, no matter how artistic, is not protected by intellectual property law, as are books, music, etc.  Trademarks are obviously protected (eg the Lacoste croc), but not the designs themselves.  While it may be maddening—and costly—for modern designers to see their works poorly constructed in bad fabric on the Forever 21 rack, there will always be demand.

Kelly VCOSTA Romantica

Kelly in Victor Costa at cV

RK VCOSTA

Rosie in Victor Costa at cV

Victor Costa closed his company in 1995, but still designs bridal and evening wear today.  Fortunately, his prolific works of the 1960s-80s have longevity similar to their couture inspiration.  They are expertly constructed and flattering, as promised.  Look for the vintage Victor Costa label(s)—they are Pre-disposable fashion.

Rosie in Victor Costa at currentVintage

Rosie in Victor Costa at currentVintage

2009 BORDEAUX FUTURES ALERT!

Posted by admin | Posted in currentVintage, Events, Nantucket, Wine | Posted on 13-07-2010

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Bordeaux Rack

Bordeaux Rack

BORDEAUX 2009.

There has been huge Buzz and tremendous press since last August, but we’ve all been wondering, Is all the hype true?  Now, the jury is out and the news is good—Yes;  2009 is a banner vintage.  It’s too early to tell if it’s a vintage of a lifetime, but the comparisons to great years such as 2005 and 1947 mean that the wines will be excellent and beyond.  The good news is that the 2009 Bordeaux will be of higher quality at every price point;  the bad news is, the prices will be high!  If you are a Bordeaux aficionado–or just like a good Cab or Merlot–it is of particular importance this year to lock in ‘Premier Tranche’ or ‘first slice’ pricing—because prices will only go up from there! 

currentVintage is pleased to offer Bordeaux Futures for the spectacular 2009 vintage of each region.  These are very attractive pre-arrival prices that we are able to provide through Direct Import.  Bordeaux wines typically go up in value at least 25 percent and sometimes double in price between en primeur and bottle releases.  Let’s talk now about getting your order in at substantial savings over future shelf price.

Here are a few of our available wines.  Come by currentVintage at 4 Easy St on Nantucket or E-mail currentVintage@currentVintage.com for a Vintage Report and full price list.  Delivery is available in NY, NJ, CT, RI, MA plus most of New England.

Château de Chambrun 2009 – Lalande-de-Pomerol

Wine Spectator: (90-93 Points) Wine Advocate (Robert Parker): (90-92 Points)

“Fabulous aromas of crushed berry and blackberry, with hints of mineral and dark chocolate. Full-bodied, with soft, silky tannins and a clean, fresh finish. The is the third year of Silvio Denz’s ownership of the estate, and it gets better and better. 90 percent Merlot and 10 percent Cabernet Franc.” (James Suckling, Web Only – 2010)

$37/bottle

Château Figeac 2009 – St.-Émilion 1er Grand Cru Classé

Wine Spectator: (97-100 Points)

“Really fabulous on the nose, with sweet milk chocolate, flowers, currant and plum. Full-bodied, with incredible length. The tannins are so silky, but they are warm and cuddly. You just want to hug it. Powerful but so attractive. The blend is one third each of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon.” (James Suckling, Web Only – 2010)

$310/bottle

Château Pontet Canet 2009 – Pauillac Cru Classé

Wine Advocate (Robert Parker): (97-100 Points), Wine Spectator: (95-98 Points)

“It’s no surprise that proprietor Alfred Tesseron has produced a possibly perfect 2009. He’s been on a roll since 1994, and no other producer has done more work in the vineyard than Tesseron, who has moved to 100% bio-dynamic farming, reduced yields drastically, and instituted a draconian selection process. This vineyard, which sits on the high plateau of Pauillac adjacent to Mouton Rothschild, has produced a 2009 of extraordinary intensity and purity. It is outrageously concentrated, with silky tannin (the sweetest I have ever tasted in a Pontet-Canet as well as the highest measured), an opaque purple color, and copious notes of graphite, cassis, licorice, and subtle smoke and forest floor. Full-bodied and unctuously textured with striking purity and definition, it is a wine of colossal weight as well as elegance (in itself a poster boy for this paradox in 2009). This brilliant Pauillac requires a decade of cellaring despite its voluptuous texture. It should evolve for 50-75 years. (Tasted four times.)” (Robert Parker, Wine Advocate # 188, April 2010)

$245/bottle

Château Pape Clément 2009 – Grand Cru Classé de Graves, Pessac Leognan

Wine Advocate (Robert Parker): (95-97+ Points), Wine Spectator: (94-97 Points)

“A blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, and 5% Cabernet Franc, the 2009 Pape Clement is not as dense or provocative as the 2005, but it is a worthy competitor. Tighter and more muscular than the 2005, the 2009 reveals an opaque purple color along with notes of graphite, blueberries, and blackberries, stunning richness, a full-bodied mouthfeel, and tremendous length and intensity. Some patience will be required, and I do not believe this effort will achieve the near perfection of the 2005, but it is another winner in this extraordinary vintage. Yields were 43 hectoliters per hectare, and the wine finished around 13.5% alcohol. (Tasted four times.)

Historically one of the oldest vineyards in Bordeaux (having once been owned by Pope Clement, who gets more credit for what he did in Chateauneuf du Pape than in Graves), this 700-year old Pessac vineyard has turned out another profound wine under the administration of proprietor Bernard Magrez.” (Robert Parker, Wine Advocate # 188, April 2010)

$175/bottle

MAUVAIS GARÇON Bordeaux

Wine Spectator: (90-93 Points)

Intense coffee bean, toasted bread and concentrated ripe fruit. Full-bodied, with soft and velvety tannins and a medium finish. A juicy wine in a flashy style. This is now called Mauvais Garçon, which means “bad boy” in French. James Suckling

$22/bottle

Lulu Love

Posted by admin | Posted in Culture, currentVintage, Events, Fashion, Food, Nantucket, travel, Vintage | Posted on 06-07-2010

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Lulu & Elisabeth (with an S) at currentVintage on Nantucket

Lulu & Elisabeth (with an S) wearing Vintage Lilly at currentVintage on Nantucket

Lulu in FOOD TO FLOWERS wearing Vintage Lilly from currentVintage!

Lulu in FOOD TO FLOWERS wearing Vintage Lilly from currentVintage!

How wonderful it was to take the collective magic carpet ride that is Lulu & Co.  I am speaking both specifically about the super fun book signing we hosted featuring Lulu’s new book, FOOD to FLOWERS, at currentVintage, and what it’s like to be around the Powers girls, in general.  Wherever Lulu goes, there is a flurry of  energy, ideas and yes, magic.  Her particular combo of culinary chemistry and personal charisma has taken her from apprentice in the kitchen of Sarah Leah Chase on Nantucket to titillating the tastebuds of Madonna, Will & Jada Pinkett Smith, Arianna Huffington and Bill Clinton in LA.  In addition to great talent and entertaining savvy, Lulu has excellent taste and style, as evidenced by her preference for vintage clothing and the fabulous pieces that she has collected from currentVintage.

Lulu in Allure Magazine wearing currentVintage

Lulu in Allure Magazine wearing currentVintage

“If a dinner party is like a relationship, then a cocktail party is like a fling–all the fun and none of the commitment.”–Lulu Powers in  Food to Flowers

The book is a lovely lesson in simple but thoughtful and chic entertaining–who couldn’t use a lesson in that?–beautifully photographed by Lulu’s husband, Stephen Danelian.  Below are a couple of the simply delightful recipes included in Food to Flowers.  To purchase the book, visit currentVintage (for a signed copy), your local bookstore or http://www.lulupowers.com

press-5EDAMAME BRUSCHETTA

Edamame:
2½ cups, plus ½ cup shelled edamame, at room temperature
1 cup fresh mint leaves
½ cup fresh parsley leaves
salt and pepper
½ cup olive oil

In food processor, blend 2½ cups edamame, mint, parsley, salt and pepper to taste until smooth. Add oil and remaining ½ cup edamame, and blend until mixture is slightly chunky.

To Serve:
2 packages rice crackers, about 30 crackers
4 strips bacon, cooked until crispy and broken into small pieces
½ cup finely grated Gruyère cheese

Place dollop of edamame mixture on rice crackers. Top with bacon and garnish with Gruyère.

MILLION DOLLAR BARSEI_Lulu_Powers_Million_Bars

“Taste just one of these treats and you’ll understand the name. My mom’s English friend, Mrs. Kennedy, introduced the Powers clan to Million-Dollar Bars. She wouldn’t part with the recipe, so my sister Sarah and I came up with one ourselves. The problem is that you can’t eat just one.”–Lulu

1½ cups all-purpose flour

½ cup sugar

¾ pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter

(1 stick at room temperature & 2 sticks chilled and cut into pieces)

½ cup packed brown sugar

Two 14-ounce cans unsweetened condensed milk

¼ cup heavy cream

12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

Makes 35 bars

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F.

2. Sift the flour into the bowl of a food processor. Add the sugar and the chilled butter and pulse until the mixture resembles crumbs.

3. Press the mixture into a 9 x 13-inch pan sprayed lightly with nonstick cooking spray and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until light golden. Let cool in the pan.

4. In a medium saucepan, melt the brown sugar and the remaining stick of butter. Add the condensed milk and stir constantly over medium-high heat until the mixture thickens slightly and becomes light golden in color, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the caramel from the heat and pour evenly over the cooled cookie mixture. Let cool slightly.

5. In the meantime, melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pot of simmering water and gradually whisk in the heavy cream until smooth.

6. Pour the melted chocolate mixture over the caramel and spread it evenly with a small offset spatula or by tapping the bottom of the pan on a hard surface.

7. Cool the bars in the refrigerator until set and cut into squares. If the chocolate hardens, let the bars stand for at least 1 hour at room temperature before cutting. They will keep for 1 week on the counter and 2 weeks in the freezer.