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I’m Louise. Blogger. Wife. Designer of TruLu Couture Veils + Accessories.  If you’d like to know more, check out my bio.

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Friday
Aug122011

It's Dior, Baby.

Last time I went to see my parents, my mom and I went out and about in their little Southern horse town. Main Street, USA, has a strip of small stores of mostly over-priced goods and services for the equestrian tourists who visit the area. It’s cute and it’s fun though and my mom and I hit up the antique mall to dig around for TruLu Couture goodies.

We had wandered the whole store (it’s pretty big, lots of little consignment vignette-based interior boutiques) and followed the 25% off signs to a small room on the upper level, accessed by a low-ceilinged, tight staircase. I found a hat that I wanted. It was totally overpriced at $79. I left it there and we went back to our shopping.

The problem is that I couldn’t stop thinking about that damn hat. Why? Because it was vintage Christian Dior. DIOR! The hat was in such a state of disrepair that I could not justify $79 for it, nor 25% off $79. Still, I couldn’t stop thinking about the damn hat. So when I saw my parents this week, I asked my mom to go back to the shop with me to see about negotiating a better price.

Imagine our dismay when we couldn’t find the hat. Boo. I did some more digging and saw some hat boxes further back on a shelf, nearly inaccessible because of all the shit piled on the floor.

The first box was this odd purple chenille number. Pass. The second box held this baby:

Hat3

Hat4

I found out (after a little help from Google) that William Silverman was a hat designer in the late 1950’s. The green Russian tulle is in pretty good condition and the flowers are pristine. Definitely will take this apart and make it into something else! I got this for about $18 (25% off $25) and I thought it was a good deal.

We found the original hat I was looking for too! It was just hiding. Check it out!
Hat5

Hat6

Hat7

It’s in pretty bad shape. The leaves and smaller flowers have been attacked by silk eating moths, but the larger flowers have been spared. It’s stained. Clearly repairs were attempted, shown by the large stitch taken right through the label. But it’s DIOR!

Then I found yet another hat amongst the pile of boxes:

Hat1

Hat2

Another Dior hat! Score. This one is in better shape than the other, but still needs a little tender loving care. I don’t think the flowers are silk, but I could be wrong. The center little puff balls are pale blue and I think they are wool felt. We’ll see after I start with the clean-up process.

The coolest thing was that I got all three hats for $85! It was sort of funny though because I started doing the negotiations in my head on the way to cash wrap, focusing in on value of the item, the state of disrepair, the store’s mark-up and my mom was sort of chattering away to me the whole time. I told her I needed to negotiate alone and I realized that I needed that in my job too. I’d send out any other staff members so I could focus on my deal. I probably could have low-balled the lady and gotten another $5 to $10 off the price, but what I paid was pretty fair.

So excited about the hats!

This quick little trip home made me realize something: I’m not as alone as I sometimes feel in this endeavor. While I was there, my dad showed me photos of vintage goodies from local shop that I might be interested in. He just stopped in because he wanted to help me find vintage stuff. There was a bag with some vintage crocheted trim and a scrap of vintage eyelet fabric that my mom gave me. It‘s stuff that a lady from her sewing circle brought to her for me. Why? Because my mom told all her little old Southern sewing circle ladies to bring her vintage stuff they didn’t want. The Candyman got me a really expensive dress form for my birthday. My parents gave me one of their laptops so I could get out of the house to work on occasion (or at least out of the corner of spare bedroom). There are blog friends who have purchased and promoted TruLu Couture for me. My cousin sent me AWESOME goodies from Lina G’s for my birthday that can be made into glorious lovelies (these, I think I’ll keep for ME!).

So while I may be working by myself, I am certainly not doing this alone. For this I am so grateful, but clearly forgetful of in times of distress or when I’m simply overwhelmed.

Thanks to everyone for all your support! I am one lucky girl. I mean, with all that AND Dior? Come on!

Happy Weekend.

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Reader Comments (4)

Antique stores make me feel sad, seeing all those beautuful old things that were once part of people's lives, and are no more. So it makes me happy that you are recycling these lovely old hats into beautiful items for today's brides.

August 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMom

Oh! I want to see more of that blue Dior hat. What fabulous finds. Somewhere, I have a hand-crocheted white dress from the 1920s/1930s (visible metal zipper on the outside seam, hem hits just above ankle length), and I have no idea what to do with it.

I bought it in a vintage shop in the mid-1980s, but the threads are so brittle, it can't be worn anymore. Every time I tried to wear it, threads around the waist would break and we would have to repair it. Luckily, my mom, aunt and I all know how to crochet so we could repair it, but I stopped wearing it for fear of destroying it completely. That dress really belongs in a museum somewhere, no?

August 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

Great post! I love seeing where the inspiration comes from and the green side of me just loves that you are reusing instead of using all new pieces!

August 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSharon

You were right! Exceptional finds. Great post!

August 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLineage Bridal

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