"Vintage Fashion Accessories" A Book With A BRILLIANT Forward!


In the interest of full disclosure, I must confess that I wrote the forward to this simply amazing book.

And while my forward is breathtaking in its wit and conciseness, once you have finished gasping in amaze at my brilliance, you will find that “Vintage Fashion Accessories” by Stacy LoAlbo(Krause Publishers, 2009) actually lives up to the forward. It is a guide on how modern women can add accessories to their existing wardrobe.

Modern clothing accessorized with vintage hat and jewelry

1950s Rendezvous compact with movable hand that indicates daily activities!

The photography alone is breathtaking: real women of all ages (including Ms. LoAlbo and her daughter!) modeling luscious vintage bags, shoes, jewelry and many other pretties along with modern clothing. (My favorite section is on vintage hats–you have never seen such an extensive collection of wonderful chapeaus!)

1950s pink straw hat with velvet ribbon

Stacy LoAlbo writes knowledgeably about her topic–it is not for nothing that she is called “The Vintage Maven”–even about men’s accessories. She owns a vintage store called Incogneeto and sells online as well.

The author

This book is delicious eye candy for the vintage lover and educational for would-be vintage lovers and fashionable men and woman everywhere.

1920s Art Moderne rhinestone and blue stone bracelet

“Vintage Fashion Accessories” is available directly from the publisher, where you can save 34% on the cover price and receive FREE SHIPPING to U.S. addresses when you order direct at Use Coupon Code RV1209 when ordering, to receive your savings.

Here is the link:

Buy it for my forward, and stay for the rest. It is well worth it. And it makes a perfect gift for the stylish women on your list!

Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

1950s cream satin cocktail hat

An Open Letter To Michelle Obama: Recycle! Wear Vintage!


One isn’t quite sure how to word the greeting…should it be “Dahling First Lady”? “Dahling Michelle”? “Darling Wife Of That Staggeringly Handsome President“? Hard decisions, and I have barely started this blog-thing! Somehow I never felt inspired to write to Laura Bush.

We all know how lovely you looked on Inauguration night, in your only-slightly-too-fussy evening gown.

Of course we remember the controversy your official portrait caused, even though you looked sleek and sophisticated in your little black dress. Quietly tasteful is the phrase that comes to mind, Ms. Obama.

The more we get to know you (or at least your public image), the more we see how much you like bare arms, bold colors, daring shapes, a mix of conservative and innovative that few other women could pull off. (Although the blue argyle cardigan with the formal skirt is pushing it a tad, in my opinion.) You have brought J. Crew, Thakoon and Isabel Toledo recognition worldwide.

Ms. Obama, as long as you are playing with your style, why not try vintage clothing?

Vintage offers everything you could want, and then some! Perhaps not in my shops (since virtually all of my stock is plus-sized), but there are countless other sellers out there who could benefit from your support.

Black sleeveless dresses? We’ve got them! Embellished cardigans? We’ve got them! Evening gowns in bold colors? We’ve got them! Interesting belts? We’ve got them! Sheath dresses? We have them and how, to use a colloquialism.

President Obama talks about economic stimulus packages. I can think of none better than you making an appearance in a beautiful vintage dress! You are not only fashionable, Ms. Obama, you are recycling! And of course, hundreds if not thousands of women will rush to follow your example.

For instance, this chartreuse gown by Pauline Trigere, available at Decades in Los Angeles:

Or this adorable sleeveless bright orange dress from Violetville Vintage on (ugh) Ebay:
Speaking of sleeveless, how about this stunner of a gown by designer Bosand in yellow and white? At

And one must toot one’s own horn. At my high-end shop, The Mad Fashionista’s Plus Size Boutique, I have this simply amazing gold/silver/copper brocade gown (forgive me, the model is a bit too small):

My dear First Lady, consider carefully what I am saying. Just one appearance in the right vintage dress, whether it be by Dior or Ceil Chapman, would be a shot in the arm (pardon the pun)to the vintage business!

And of course, you and your staggeringly handsome husband are welcome to visit my posh Central Park West digs at any time. Or here, at my fabulous (featured in Architectural Digest) oceanfront mansion.

Yours in impeccable style,
Elisa & Bucky The Wonderdog*

*His behavior will be perfect, as long as you don’t bring Bo.

Elie Wiesel Has Far Too Much Attitude!


Sunday night I attended a wonderful seance, even if it was in the Bronx. There was my dear dead friend Lana Turner, lovely as always, tonight in a white crepe gown trimmed with black (I think it was black…the dead tend to be a tad monochromatic). She brought along the FABULOUS Clark Gable! In the afterlife, he doesn’t need to wear false teeth. Oh, they don’t make them like that anymore. “Frankly, my dear, you have really big tits,” he said, gazing into my eyes. At least I believe it was my eyes. I nearly SWOONED.

(Here is a picture of my dear friends Lana and Clark in their first film together, “Honky Tonk”.)

But then, who should turn up but Elie Wiesel. The fellow was in a state of high dudgeon, because I had compared the anorexic Fashion Week models to Auschwitz survivors. “The Holocaust is nothing to make cheap jokes about, Miss!” he snapped. “My wife and I started a foundation, I’ll have you know! I have devoted my life to the truth!”

I merely stared back at his spirit languidly. “Oh dear, oh dear, Elie dahling, if you can’t make jokes about the Holocaust, what can you make jokes about? I have devoted my life to fashion. Really, Elie, I’m far too superficial for such a deep thinker–and a good-looking man–as you to worry about.”

Well, my dears, the man just melted. Intellectuals love to be told they’re sexy. Oh, yes, the Nobel Prize is nice, but they think girls really only date them for their awards. Elie gave me a big smile. “Perhaps I was a bit harsh,” he said. But then, I had the most ghastly surprise. I unthinkingly laid my hand on his lapel. And Elie was ALIVE! He was a GUEST, not a GHOST!

I let out a shriek. Lana and Clark promptly disappeared, and our hostess switched the lights on. Accusing eyes were upon me all around the room.

“I’ll let myself out,” I said quickly, and strode out the front door, grabbing my Mr. John wool cloche hat (so chic with its multicolored rhinestone pin!).

How could I know Elie Wiesel was still alive? After all, nobody knew about Noam Chomsky. I was so distraught that I stumbled out into the rain, and ended up in a cemetery!

The rest of the story? You’ll have to find out on (ugh) Ebay.

Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

When Vintage Sellers Think They Are Rachel Zoe…


Being the fashion and style arbiter that I am, I am constantly asked to “blog” about events, people, books, and websites. For some it is a pleasure to oblige. For others, one wonders if they have read this blog in any depth. Have I ever been anything but plus-size positive? No. Have I ever pretended to be a naive young jeune femme? No.

So imagine my extreme displeasure when I was asked to “blog” about a new vintage clothes selling website, which shall remain nameless. I went to the “About Us” page. And I found out far too much. An excerpt:

Expect to see vintage fashion that is wearable and yet truly amazing. No freak vintage here. We love the 70’s –although we are not old enough to really remember them.

It is always a pleasure to see beautiful things sold by people with no sense of history whatsoever. Your faithful correspondent sells clothes from the 1950s, but I do not make it a selling point that I was not born yet. At least as far as I know (cf one of my earlier entries…do a search for “Mama”).

We live by some simple image rules:
If you are larger than a size 2, black is your friend. Black can be your enemy if it is your entire wardrobe.

The first part of that statement alone should get them banned from selling clothing to any woman, ever, anywhere.

Do they think those Hollywood actresses with wasting diseases look good?

Unique vintage does not mean freak vintage. Some things are just better off left in the past. The secret with wearing vintage is that no one should be able to tell it is vintage. If it screams vintage then it is freak vintage.

Oh, but if it screams “Better quality than the current cheap H & M knockoff!” it is socially acceptable?

Mon dieu! I never thought I would see the day when vintage clothing was used to suppress originality and one’s personal sense of style, rather than enhance it.

Stay true to yourself, but try something new once a season. I think I look best as a blonde, but I change the shade every season. This spring I really branched out and added bangs. XXX and I think you do either bangs or botox once you are in your mid-thirties.

Of course, one might actually look like a human being if one let those terrible wrinkles and folds get a hold of you. Your faithful correspondent is fortunate enough to have a beautifully creamy complexion, but even so I have no desire to have needles stuck in my face, neck and other places to hide the fact that I have lived.

This, mon cher readers, is the website equivalent to one of those shallow little boutiques where the rail-thin saleswomen fold their arms when a potential customer enters and look in the other direction. It is a dark day when a website can make women fell bad about themselves without the need for face-to-face contact.


Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

Too Exhausted To Rail At My Assistant…


Night and day I have been toiling on my show, “Diary of A Mad Fashionista,” sacrificing everything in its wake…Fashion Week, timely posts on Project Runway, calls from various handsome males missing my favors…

Even selling my beauteous vintage. I ORDERED my idiotic assistant to list new vintage items on my site on Specialist Auctions, Bodaciously Yours Vintage. But the lowlife chose to use my being so preoccupied to start playing something called World of Warcraft.

However, I caught her in the act and confiscated her headset. She’s in withdrawal now, shaking and drooling. Fortunately, I was able to lock her in the office bathroom so she would not drool on anything valuable. I’ll have the maid look in on her when the moans stop being so loud.

But I digress. I shall be parading on stage in a series of fabulous outfits, in all my robust glory, and I promise all of you out there a good time!

Note to the handsome males: especially after the show.

Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

Pretties To Buy Tomorrow at My LIVE Appearance!


As you know from the entry below, I shall be appearing LIVE tomorrow night, Thursday, January 17th, at the Broadway Comedy Club as part of The Three Tomatoes Comedy Event!

What you don’t know is that I will be offering some gorgeous things for sale! And my latest personal assistant, a very competent young woman, will be helping out (you don’t think I’d go onstage without having my things protected, do you? There will also be a bodyguard, but he will be extremely inconspicuous. Unless you try to snatch something off of my table. Then things could become…um…just a tad unpleasant.)

Here is a just a small sampling to tempt you, so remember to bring cash and your checkbook!

Vintage 60s mink hat:

Vintage micromosaic bracelet:

Vintage gold fabric purse with novelty close:

Antique Mother of Pearl cameo pendant:

Vintage Corocraft brooch:

A cornucopia of scarves, some New With Tags, by Burberry, Vera, Echo, and others, including this thick, luscious silk velvet double-sided shawl!

And oh, so much more! My assistant is laboring even as we speak to get everything in TOP condition! And I’m going to get my hair done…that is exhausting, dahlings!

See you tomorrow!

Elisa (sans Bucky the Wonderdog, I’m afraid, they have rules)

Claire McCardell – An Interview With Her Brother!!


No, I am not so fortunate as to have the interview here (damn!). However, my dear friend Viviene, who sells over at Specialist Auctions rather than (ugh) Ebay, has landed a coup! An interview with CLAIRE McCARDELL’s surviving brother, Robert, who is a spry and articulate 94 years old. I urge you to scoot over there RIGHT NOW to read this fascinating document. It shows the private Claire that so few knew about.

For those of you plebians who do not know who Claire McCardell is, a quick lesson: she was a revolutionary fashion designer of the 1940s and 1950s. She pioneered elegant, easy-to-wear clothing for the modern woman. She was also her own best model, as this Vogue photograph from 1945 attests. Her dress is described as “merely two huge triangles that tie at the neck, front and back.”

So follow the link on the right to Viviene’s blog, “Always Playing Dress-Up,” and have a most enjoyable read!

Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog