Own a Piece of Fashion History


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Limelight Marketplace, that used to be a Disco, that used to be a Church!

I left the beautiful Manhattan Vintage Clothing Show with my sister Toni and our good friend Rich.  We strolled over to 20th Street and 6th Avenue to The Limelight Marketplace. A shopping Mall that resides in the old Limelight Disco that used to be "star studded" (as   Rich would always say) and before that was an Episcopal Church.  This beautiful Gothic Revival Brownstone built in 1844-1845. 
A photo of the inside which later became the dance Floor.

My sister Toni and Rich worked there at the Limelight when it first opened as the new nightclub, way, way back in 1983s.  They got jobs  through a friend of ours, Jimmy.  His boyfriend at the time was the General Manager.  Rich was 19 years old, Toni was 18 and I was 17.  I didn't work there until about 2 years later when I was 19 and even then, I only worked part time on weekends because of my regular day job on East 46th Street at a Hotel Reservation Center.  

The Limelight was one of the clubs where we wore our vintage finds and thought we were glamorous.  Hearing about the old club turning Shopping Mall was Sac Religious. oh my,,,how can that be?  I guess it shouldn't be a shock since Manhattan is very "Disney Like" now and not what it used to be and miss.  Could you imagine how the churchy people felt knowing that this place of prayer would become a Fabulous Disco?  I assume they felt the same way but probably worse....funny,,,isn't it?   

We always had these Matchbooks back then.
What the Limelight Looks Like now as a Shopping Mall.

We had some great times there and saw many celebs and better yet, just the people.  The implants from other states or countries that were mostly super Punk with Huge Mohawks, Transvestites, Drag Queens, old eccentric Manhattan people or the locals that the employees would call ' Bridge and Tunnels".  They could spot them a mile away and didn't like them too much. It was they way they dressed (sneakers or just underdressed) and they felt they were trouble makers (Ironic, since the club was closed because of the owner's troubles).  They were the people that had to travel by Bridge or Tunnel to get into Manhattan.  I guess I was a Tunnel because we lived just on the other side of the Hudson River in Weehawken and the Lincoln Tunnel entrance was about 1000 feet from my front door.  Actually, the tunnel must have ran under our house, but anyway, the point was that everybody was there, it seemed to work and you could be whatever you wanted to be!  
Toni was the manager of the Coat Room and if you think you didn't need a manager, well think again.  It was a big operation for a coat room and she hired most of our friends.  

Rich in the Center with Bruce and Chazz, working the door - 
1984 or 1985 perhaps, not sure.
That is Toni, my older sister (by only 1 year) on the left and that is me on the right behind the counter at the Limelight. The eatery now resides in it's place.  This picture was around 1985.  p.s. I still have that dress in my closet.  

They charged a $1.00 per item.  Party people would check their coats, backpacks, umbrellas, rollerskates,,,you name it.  So, there was staff, money, tickets and many items that all had to be organized.  On a busy night there would be about 12 of use working.  I believe the club would move about 2000 people on a good night.  

A picture of Toni, Hank, Hippo and me at the bar upstairs on a night off.
 I know  this is a bad photo.. Taken about 1986 or 1987
Toni hired Hippo, which I always had a great time with, but working with him was just annoying. I would fight with him because he was always in my way......

Upon arrival, there was a small coat check area to hand over your stuff.  We would then send the items down stairs to through cutout in the floor in the coat check room via a mechanical peg board that would rotate on a track.  You would then place the coat or whatever on the peg.  The others down stairs would take it off the pegs and place the item on a Dry Cleaner's mechanical rack.  Once, Toni slipped down the shaft and some how caught herself on a peg and she was dangling upside down. She had no idea what just happened and didn't know where she was.   Luckily, the peg caught her and she didn't smash her head. 

Rich and Toni Stopping to get a photo in front of the old Entrance that  turned  dinning area...
where you  once couldn't get passed the velvet ropes so easy, especially if you were a "Bridge and Tunnel".
 At the end of the night, the drunken party people would tip very well..we made great tips but it was well deserved.  Some others would loose their ticket and demand their stuff.

If that happened, they had to fill out a form and give ID and a detailed discription of the 
item.  Sometimes, when people had too much fun, and were whacked out of their minds, they would refuse and get loud and nasty.   They would spit on us, but would miss, try to lunge over the counter or just curse.  The worst had to be when people on their way out would just pewk right there at the exit door....lovely! 

Rich Taking a Peek at the new Dinning area/ Old Entrance with Toni looking on
and me,,ah, I don't know what I was doing.

We weren't afraid at all, since the club had the best security and we had radios.  We would just tell them to come down, and they did.  They would toss these characters right onto 6th Avenue.   Once I got harassed outside of the club by some "Bridge and Tunnel" dudes and Security wasn't around.  The club just closed and I was buying a prezel from the prezel guy.  They wanted to know why I was with my "faggot" friends and not with "Real Men" like them.  Ok, great way to pick up a girl, but these homophobic assholes wouldn't let up.  The situation escalated and long story short, I almost got killed and Rich saved my life that night.   That Story I can save for another post!     

Toni and Rich, checking out the New Limelight Market Place

The best was after they closed at 4AM. We would have our shift drinks around the Chapel Bar, but this was after we had to find the owners of items left behind.  These were usually people that were up in the V.I.P. room.  After we would find the VIP's, we would go to the Chelsea Dinner for Breakfast, or some crazy after hours club.  Then regret it because the sun was out and the birds were chirping while rising out of a dark dungeon like club.  I really felt like a Vampire those mornings...the Sun was the last thing I wanted to see. 

We basically all moved on about 1987-1988 and that is when the Ecstasy and Special K drugs started popping up along with the already popular drug Cocaine.  Which ultimately brought the club owner, Peter Gatien and the club down. I am not saying there weren't drugs while we worked there but I do remember there wasn't a high tolerance of it.  But I guess that all changed after we left. 

How the stain glass loos now from the Cat Walk.

Now, the Limelight is just a fantastic memory where a Shopping Center Resides.  It was a bit strange to see how the entrance was turned into a seating area for the Deli / Pizzeria that used to be the lobby area and paid your $20. and entered the night time playground.  That was 1980s money,,which I thought was way expensive, but, people paid it or they had comp tickets.  
Stained Glass in the stair well up to the Cat Walk.   
This is what the dance floor looks like now  

The courtyard on 20th Street.
We all agreed the restaurant CrossBar was the nicest part and we liked it.  This is at the side entrance on 20th Street.  That area once was the employee entrance where you clocked in and the offices where housed in that area too.  The new restaurant had a nice bar, some exposed brick and best part was the Unisex Bathroom, which we used by the way.  

At least we can rest assured knowing that at the Limelight Marketplace you can still be whatever you wanted to be!  Yeah, in the Unisex Bathroom only.  

Thanks for reading and have a Fab Day!!!!   ~ Gina

Photos (the first four) are Courtesy of the Limelight Facebook page.  The others, are mine, crappy, I know,,,taken with my phone. 

Also, if you are interested a Documentary Film about the former owner, Peter Gatien and the Limelight, Check it out:  Limelight 

and check out the Limelight Market Place's Facebook page. 


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Manhattan Vintage Clothing Show NYC! Nice Stuff,,,Nice People,,,Great Day!

The Manhattan Vintage Clothing Show is a great place to see everything Vintage!  I had the pleasure of scoping out the area with my sister, Toni, one of my best-est Friends, Rich and a great friend of mine, Gilda, I met her in class at NYU.  We both received our certificate in Appraisal Studies in Fine and Decorative Art.
Manhattan Vintage Show has another event coming up Soon! 

When we were kids, me, Rich and  my sister Toni would go to this vintage clothing store/antique shop nearby our house in Guttenberg, NJ .   They had a wide variety of vintage clothing and shoes.  We would buy pants, dresses, Pointy 50's heels, knit tops,,,and everything else you could think of.   At that time (1980s ok, so I am dating myself)  you were able to find all sort of items from the 20s through to the 60s.  I don't remember too much 70s items during that time.  It could have been that they were all still in the closets of people that weren't yet ready to let go of the past.   Their Fabulous 70s Past!  

Now, at the Fabulous Manhattan Vintage Clothing Show, there were plenty of 1970s goodies.  We found some really cool platform Buffalo Sandals that were on display and it brought me back to thinking about Thom McCan  Shoe Stores that were very popular and where you bought your Platforms, Clogs or Earth Shoes.   

I believe this photo is a redo of the original. 

We also found some really beautiful Alligator Platform shoes from the 1940s.   Alligator was used during war time since it wasn't a restricted material.   I was amazed at how many bags and shoes that were available at this show.   They were stunning and all in perfect condition.   

There were plenty of Furs at the show as it is to be very in this winter.   Many furs from the 1940s - 1980s.   I actually came across a beautiful soft beaver coat by Another Man's Treasure.  They are located in Downtown Jersey City on Grove Street.  The owner of the shop was very helpful and nice, plus she had this fabulous "New Look" black dress on that looked to be from the 1950s.   She was just adorable! 

I do have a number of Fur and Faux fur to be uploaded onto my site, Vintage 201 soon and in time for that snippy cold weather!  Better get my ass in gear, because it is now here!  Alright, I made a rhyme. 

Thank you for Reading and have a Super FAB Night!  ~ Gina

p.s. After the Manhattan Vintage Clothing Show, we went to the Limelight Marketplace which once was a Disco (that we worked at) that once was a Church! Well, it is still a church.  A beautiful Brownstone built in the 1800s.   I talk about that in my next Post! Stay tuned......ciao

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Happy Birthday Divine! Today would have be Divine's 66th birthday. Here is a tid bit from John Waters Facebook page where he asks fans to donote funds to the I AM DIVINE Documentary .   They are looking to raise $100k to complete the project. #

Ahhh, my Favorite Drag Queen.  The drums in the JUNGLE JEZEBEL song is so cartoon and so is Divine!  It reminds me of when Bugs Bunny gets stuck on the Island with the Hot Dog and Hamburger guys and they are starving and Divine reminds me of just Divine...  

Have Divine Night and thank you for reading ~ Gina

Divine, John Waters, Glenn Milstead, I am Divine, Trash, Filth, Pink Flamingos, Female Troubles, 1960, 1970s, 1980s, 1950s, vintage clothing, vintage dress, drag Queens, stilettos, cocktail dress, disco, evening gown, glamor, glitter, goddess, heels, hollywood, marilyn monroe, vintage, vintage201.etsy.com, Bouffants, cha cha heels, hairspray, Jungle Jezabel, 


Monday, October 17, 2011

Vintage201: Cool and Groovy 2 peice Paisley Number, a Lovely Maxi Dress by Lilli Diamond and More at Vintage 201 on Etsy.

Vintage201: Cool and Groovy 2 peice Paisely Number, Elephant Pant available at Vintage201 on Etsy....

Vintage late 1960s early 1970s two piece Wide Bottom Paisely Pants set COOL and GROOVEY
Vintage late 1960s early 1970s two piece Wide Bottom Paisely Pants set COOL and GROOVEYVintage late 1960s early 1970s two piece Wide Bottom Paisely Pants set COOL and GROOVEYVintage 201

I LOVE These Elephant Pants...and the paisley is hot too!   

Check it Out!  

Stunning Vintage Designer, Lilli Diamond California Maxi Dress in Coral! 

Vintage Designer Lilli Diamond 1970s Coral Qiana Nylon Evening Gown Sz Med with tag

So Luxurious you'd never suspect it’s practical.  This body hugging Dress is Modern, Elegant and made with Du Pont's Qiana Nylon Fabric which is a filament nylon used for woven and knitted fabrics, created in the1970s.

Vintage Designer Lilli Diamond 1970s Coral Qiana Nylon Evening Gown Sz Med with tag

Hand washable as it states on the tag which is still attached. It appears it has not been worn. Light weight, Flowing, long sleeves and has a High Neck which makes this dress look futuristic. There are wide belt loops but no belt.

You can check out this Lovely Gown and other vintage items at Vintage 201!
Thanks for Reading and have a Fab night! ~ Gin 

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Sex Pot Heels with Metal Tips and 2 great Vintage Hats!

Today was a good day for Surprise Treasures!   I only wanted to run out to The Fun Ghoul Store just up the street from me. I went with my mother, Fran and my 11 year old daughter.  The Fun Ghoul, which sounds like the Italian Curse word, (Funculo or Fungool) is kind of a dirty thing to say to someone. I had the pleasure of hearing my mother say that lovely word just about everyday, but anyway; The Fun Ghoul is a serious costume shop that has been there forever and my daughter needed some accessories to go with her Doctor's outfit for Holloweenie.  Ok, I couldn't help but put the ie at the end of Halloween, call me an adolescent teen, because most of the time, I am.     
The Fun Ghoul Window Display 

After a pleasant trip to the Fun Ghoul, I happened to see a Garage Sale. They didn't have anything good, plus the dude selling the crap was very anti-social....I said hello and he ignored me.  I guess he knows the secret to Garage Sale Sales.  I should have asked him for tips!  After leaving that depressing sale, we saw another.  The second one had 3 women all cheery and nice...and didn't have anything vintage but I picked up a Cloth Shower Curtain that was still in its original packaging for 50 Cents, Yippie!!! 

After leaving that one and just one block from my house, there was yet another Garage Sale.  This one was the best by far...they had some comic books, all sorts of Movies on DVDs and 2 Trim-line Phones.   As I was eyeing up the Trim-lines my mother calls me and shows me this lovely Black hat with a Pink & Red Petals on top!  Of course I snatched it out of my mother's hand to buy.  Then, I asked how much for the Trim-line phones, since I needed a new phone for an extension in my basement office.  They were only 50 Cents each. I bought both just in case one didn't work.  I am happy to report both phones work! 

Bell Atlantic & Radio Shack Trim-line Phones

Looking around I then found another hat which is a purple, wool felt, turban hat from the then famous Department Store Woodward & Lothrop in Washington DC.   Made by Duchess.    

Me wearing this Fabulous 1940's Felt Hat..do I look silly or Pissed off? 

The other Hat my mother picked up is just so beautiful.  It is a 1950's Black Velvet Circlet type with a net veil and velvet Pink, Red and green pedals and a bit of tooling.   I just love this one.  The label is missing but it does have a Union Made label from the United Hatters, Cap, and Millinery Workers International Union.

LOVE this 1950's Circlet Hat with Netting and velvet Petals

And NOW for the Fabulous Shoes that I can not beleive that I found today as a Fluke!   Ok, so they don't really fit me, they are a bit tight, but here they are:

I believe these are early 50' to mid 50s because the toe is round and not pointy but has the Stilletto heel which pointy shoes came out in 1957.  These beauties are made with Black and Salmon Leather and the heels are 4 1/2 with Metal tips.  The Salmon part has Glitter and they also have leather soles.  I just think these are one of the Sexiest shoes ever.  I don't think these photos really do justice...but once they are on my site Vintage 201 you will know what I am talking about. 

Here is another shot of the side and they have an ankle strap too!

I just love these kind of days when you aren't expecting anything and then you find beautiful items and all within a few blocks from my house.....Great Day today and a Great day to rescue these sweet and sexy items from years of solitude!!!!  

Thanks for reading and Have a have a FAB evening! ~ Gina     

Sunday, October 9, 2011

A Beautiful Day at the Church Flea Market in West New York, NJ.

Today was the day that I packed up Vintage201 and took my store to West New York, NJ.   This was a Flea Market at a church that has been part of my family as early as 1934.   It was a super sunny day, which I love and there was not one cloud today.  The only problem was that we were in FULL Sun.   We didn't have any shade and we actually resorted to umbrellas.  A kind Gentleman by the name of Gino gave us a couple.   He was there buying gold.   He sets up shop all around in different locations and buys your unwanted gold or you can host a party.  He is from Princeton, NJ and company is Goldmeltparties.com   Thanks for the Umbrellas and the conversation today, Gino!
Mission Accomplished 

Ok, I didn't make a lot of money, but I also met a nice woman by the name of Yvonne.  She sells items but complains that she takes that money and spends it on other things while she is selling.   She tried on a nice suite ($50)that was brand new with tags and it looked great on her and a new Harvey Bernard ($2) wool winter coat.  I guess she did alright!  She met some people, sold stuff and got some great Bargains 

My Mother (Frances) in Charge !  Go Franny Go!

I would like to thank My Mother Fran for her super Senior Energized help.  I guess she loves doing projects now that her children are grown and doesn't have to think about anybody but herself.   She was totally into it and taking Charge!

Also, my lovely baby sister (that isn't a baby anymore) Helped out greatly today too and glad she was there so we can both roll our eyes while our mother was playing Sargent.   

The Set up with my Lovely sister Roxie in the background.
Thanks to my friends Rich and Bob for stopping by and for Mark for helping us load the items that we didn't sell back into my old Blazer.....that car always amazes me...I can stuff that thing and it takes me where I need to go.  So, thank you old car for being there for me after all these years.   

The Goods

A big Thank you goes out to my Aunt Donna for giving me a heads up about the Flea Market today and for donating  the Fee for the space.   

Thank you for reading and Have a FAB Evening! Gina 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Selling at a Church Flea Market for the first time....October 9, 2011 West New York, New Jersey

My Aunt Donna is a parishioner at Our Lady of Libera Church, in West New York, NJ.  My family (on both sides) have long ties to this church.  My grandmother & grandfather were married in 1934 there, my older sister, Toni and me were both baptized there by Father Fanelli (later became Monsignor) in the 60s.  Father Fanelli even married me the first time (I am remarried as of 2009, I guess the first marriage was cursed from the get go) in 1990 when I was 6 months pregnant. Yes, I walked down the isle with a white puffy wedding gown. Then, my baby (now 21) was Baptized there when she was just a month old.  We even had the party there in the church hall.
Our Lady of Libera Church in WNY, NJ

How does that Happen you may ask?  I don't really know, my mother (divorced) arranged the ceremony and the baptismal. I guess church politics...my Aunt Carol had a lot of pull there too.  Seems sort of scandalous, right?  Nobody said anything to me.  I guess you could call it Catholic Lite.  My family has never been strict religious people.  It was 1990 after all.  Madonna was vogue-ing and the initials of  LGBT was in use for disusing Homosexual issues.

In the Mid 80s, my mother, sister Roxie, my Aunt Carol, Uncle Pete and their son, Steve along with many family friends all participated in their annual Variety Dinner and Show called the "Calender Party".  As young adults, I would go with my sister Toni and  gather up our gay pals and attend the show every year.  We all just LOVED It!  We saw it as campy and a bit scary but loved seeing my uncle in Drag!   Actually, Uncle Pete was in many skits and we renamed the event, "The Uncle Pete Show".  There were Seniors (my mother and aunt were the Hot Chicks in their mid 40s) in leotards kicking up their heels like Radio City Rockettes!  Ok, maybe not just like the Rockettes, but they tried....and they were serious about it!  
Me with my New and Improved Husband Jim
July  2010 at Il Villaggio 
Father Fanelli fueled the show each year with his love of Broadway and they would do all sorts of pieces of his favorite shows.  

My mother would practice the time step in our kitchen with her slippers on while cooking dinner and then running out to practice.  We would laugh at the sound of her feet on the floor...swish, swish....actually,,,that swish, swish sound would start getting on our nerves.  They practice each night for weeks before the first curtain went up. 

This was no joke when renting the costumes.  They were all rented from a professional  shop in Manhattan that catered to Broadway shows.  

The dinner consisted of roast beef with gravy, string beans almondine and little roasted potatoes from a can.  We actually loved the roasted potatoes. The older women would serve it up nice and hot on Styrofoam plates.  Oh and of course, yummy local Italian bread and butter.  They even had a cash bar where you can get a cocktail in a clear plastic cup!  This was all for about $15 bucks!  Not bad, right?

But everything has changed which is just the way life is.  After Father Fanelli became a Monsignor, they named the street behind the church after him then he was transferred to another in Jersey City; which, turned out to have the best Feast ever with great food, entertainment and even gambling behind the the church.  But, the new priest that came in cancelled out the "Calender Party"forever....the Parishioners were not happy about that and now only memories and video clips remain of the old show. 

So, now years later, 20 something years later, my Aunt Donna who still attends church there on Sundays, called to see if I was interested in selling at their Flea Market which will take place Rain or Shine in the same auditorium as where the Calender Party took place, year after year.   

I have decided to pack up my collection and set up shop!  I have never sold at  Flea Market before and I have been planning on trying it.  I will take the plunge and report back on how it went. I am glad this opportunity has come my way, (Thanks, Aunt Donna) since, this is my first Flea, I am glad to try it out in a place that feels comfortable to me.  With all the memories of all the people and good times, I am looking forward to being there once again.      

If you are local...come and see our table...thanks for reading and have a fab day!  Gina 

October 9, 2011  - 6am - 3pm 
Our Lady of Libera Church,West New York, NJ

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Sneak Peak! 1940s Satin Silk Wedding Gown and Satin Rayon Lingerie! oh so Much Satin!

As I was cruising along in this huge home during an Estate Sale, where people where just hoisting all the Vintage Treasures right out the door...I came across this beautiful Silk Satin Wedding Gown with Milk Glass Beading around the kneckline.  Attached to this lovely piece of Fashion History, was a Barbizon Rayon Satin Slip and a Lady Duff Negligee and Bloomers set.    

Here is a close up of the Milk Glass Beading.  In the background there is a 1960s Aqua Blue Taffeta Gown peeking though trying to get attention.  Perfect for a Maid of Honor.

The back of the Wedding Gown Showing the Long Train and Satin Buttons going all down the back.

Perfect for a Maid of Honor.

               1940s Lady Duff Nighty and Bloomers.

Here are some other Fab Finds that will be posted soon! 

1960s Evening Bag in Silver Foil and Lavender Satin interior by Mardane USA.

1950s Costume Jewelry Designer Boucher - Baguette & Round Rhinestones - Fur Clip.

Vintage Enamel and Rhinestone Screw Back Earrings.
All these lovely Items and more will be posted soon to Vintage201 on Etsy.com ... 
Thank you for reading and have a Fab Day!  Gina 

Friday, July 22, 2011

Just listed: Vintage Designer Malcolm Starr Cocktail Dress, Hot 1950s Shoes & a 70s Navy Blue Clutch

Baby, it is HOT outside and I am not just talking about the Heat!  I finally loaded up my Online Vintage shop Vintage 201 with some very spectacular Finds.....

First up:  Stunning Vintage Designer, Malcolm Starr for B. Altman & Co . Fifth Avenue, NYC - Made in Hong Kong British Crown Colony.

This Cocktail dress has it all! This Dress is Mod, Elegant and made Very Well with it's Rhinestones, Beads, Sequins that are bountiful at the top and wraps around to the back. The dress is made of a silver brocade and has a geometric design of Circles and Squares.
Lined in a linen like material. Hidden pockets at the hip. Constructed very well and is medium weight with Short Sleeves and in excellent condition except for a light stain on the top of the shoulder. Please see last photo.

Next up are these 2 FABulous 1950s maybe early 1960s Stilleto Pumps..Both are size 7 AAA - Check these beauties out!
Studded, these Black Satin Sexy Pumps have a 4 " inch heel to give you a statuesque look ! The Crystals are throughout the shoe in 2 different sizes...they sparkle just a bit to be noticed but very low key glitz... Pointy tipped toe and Sexy...by Mijji Fiddle -Last- perfect for a Casual or Evening out!

These Black Beauties have a 3 3/4 " inch heel, Pony Hair all around except the heel, Sole and insole which is all Leather.....they have been worn but are in Excellent Condition.

The Insole in Gold Leather has some cracks and the leather on the Right Heel, inside has separated but can be touched up with black shoe polish...see the last photo. 

Also a scuff in the back of both heels can use some black shoe polish as well...

Beautiful Navy Blue Envelope Leather Clutch made in Italy for Bloomingdale appears to have never been used. It is Perfecto! Excellent Condition.

The front has a Geometric overlay design in leather including the inside flap but the purse itself inside is a black vinyl material. This purse also has a metal zip pocket inside as well. Snap Goldtone Closure.

 This bag reminds of something Farrah would have owned..

Hope you enjoy these luscious items....have a Super Hot and FAB day....and thanks for reading! Gina