You may think the runway is the birthplace of the season's hottest styles, but truth is, everything old is new again, says contributor Christy Ferer.
The styles your mother wore, the duds your grandma stepped out in, now they're back. Lillyan PeDitto, owner of Family Jewels, a vintage clothing store in Manhattan, puts it this way: "'50s looks one season and '60s looks another."
Her inventory includes all the cover looks of fashion eras gone by. And you won't believe who her best customers are.
"Many, many people. We've had Prada; we've had Michael Kors," she says, "We had, oh my gosh, Ralph Lauren, Burberry, I can't even remember, so many."
So many super famous designers, or their trusty assistants, sneak in and shop the racks of the past for today's inspiration.
PeDitto notes, "Everything in here is a one of a kind. The designers are fascinated with the quality, the details - handmade buttonholes. They'll use a detail or two or a whole concept maybe, but they'll change it a little bit. They'll tweak it a little."
Twisting and tweaking the original details, like adding little buttonholes and little piping on the pocket of a vintage jacket.
Maybe that's why so many of PeDitto's vintage pieces look so familiar. One of the '40s tweed suits was reinvented and is all over runways right now. The chiffon goddess dress Jackie O made famous in the '60s, was recreated for J.Lo for the red carpet this year.
Remember that little black 1950s dress that Audrey Hepburn wore in "Breakfast at Tiffany's"? Or the pencil skirts that have been hanging in the back of your closet? They have sketched their way back into this fall's designer collections.
PeDitto says, "When a designer realizes a woman looks beautiful in something, they borrow it again. It's simple."
The following are the outfits featured on The Early Show:
Tweed Suit '40s/'50s
- Outfit: Versatile black and white knit tweed suit; it harkens back to the '40s, but with all the newest details: Acrylic/wool/polyester; lined; peplum jacket with shaped shoulders and flap pockets. Skirt hem has a slight flare and black lacey trim.
- Accessories: Rich kidskin suede T-strap pumps with rounded toe in black. Mock crocodile snap top framed clutch, satin-lined with inside pocket and black sheer stockings.
Where to Buy: Newport News; www.newport-news.com
Prices: Jacket ($49); Skirt ($29); Tank ($19); Shoes ($39); Clutch ($24)
Little Black Dress 50s
- Outfit: Anne Klein black sheath dress, the epitome of 50s chic.
- Accessories: "Out on a Prim" Aerosoles rounded toe pumps in black patent leather with suede and leather accents with sheer black tights.
Where to Buy: Bloomingdales (clothes); Aerosoles (shoes)
Prices: Shoe / Aerosoles / "Out on a Prim" ($59); Dress ($225)
- Outfit: Bright blue turtleneck and matching striped-detail mini skirt, by Anne Klein. It is a great example of the '60s mod influence that modern designers are revisiting. The bright colors, the length of the skirt and the accessories are what make this mod.
- Accessories: Cream suede boot with wooden heel, by Kenneth Cole with matching fishnet stockings (alt. stocking / opaque). Plus, blue buckle bag by Liz Claiborne.
Where to Buy: Macy's
Prices: Sweater ($250); Skirt ($275); Suede Boot ($225); Bag / Liz Claiborne ($64); Coat / Nine West ($360) or Dana Buchman ($395).
The Godess Dress '30s up thru '60s
- Outfit: This Badgley Mischka evening gown is a modern remake of the goddess dresses of the '60s and '70s. The flow cut and pastel purple coloring with braided satin detail are directly lifted from the past and meant to make you look like a Venus.
- Accessories: Jimmy Choo metallic strap stiletto sandal.
Where to Buy: Saks Fifth Avenue
Prices: Dress / ($2,600); Jimmy Choo ($460)
- Outfit: Cut-up, off the shoulder JET sweatshirt and faded Seven jeans.
- Accessories: gold metallic Jean-Michel Cazabat short boots and oversized hoop earrings.
Where to Buy: Saks Fifth Avenue
Prices: Sweatshirt ($54.50); Jeans ($158); boots available at Bergdorfs ($800)