Saturday, November 25, 2006

Today's Specialist Auctions interview is with Chris of Alley Cats Vintage. Chris is based in Virginia.

Viviene: I've noticed you have a lot of beautiful Fred Perlberg evening gowns. Why Fred Perlberg?

Chris: Fred Perlberg was a moderately priced design house starting in the early 1940's. I especially love his heavy satin gowns which were designed for bridesmaid’s gowns with the gauntlets and wide brim open crown hats. His gowns can be spotted s in many newsreels from the WWII era big band dances. The 1940s was a time when not much flesh was displayed and shoulders were more often covered than not. Later in the early 1950's Fred’s gowns became strapless and therefore sexy.

Viviene: If you had to pick a favorite era what would your favorite vintage clothing era be?

Chris: 1940's to early 1950's.

Viviene: Where did you learn all the knowledge you have about vintage clothing?

Chris: I’ve always loved "old" clothes, even as a child. I remember my Mother’s suits and coats from the 1950's (wish I still had them). I’ve been a fashion watcher all my life although not so much a fashion dresser.

Viviene: When was the first time you bought a vintage treasure and what was it?

Chris: When I was 15 years old I bought a box of depression glassware at an estate sale. I took it home as a gift to my Mother. She said ‘why did you bring this old junk home?’ I realized at that time my mother was from a generation who always had to make due with the old and she loved new things because it meant better times.

Viviene: If you could purchase any piece of vintage treasure what would it be?

Chris: Pairpoint, Bradley & Hubbard or Handel Reverse Painted Table Lamp.

Viviene: What makes a vintage piece a treasure? Is it the name, the age, the condition or a combination of all three? Is it sometimes just that a person wants it because of a memory from childhood?

Chris: Childhood memories play a small part but does not increase value, may run the bid up somewhat. Condition is everything and rarity defines the value.

Viviene: Chris' Specialist Auctions store, Alley Cats Vintage can be found at:

Here are a few of Chris' treasures:

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Dingmans Ferry, Pennsylvania, United States
We are the owners of Mod Mary's Vintage on Etsy.