All Barbie's Fault

Martha Sleeper – Silent Film Actress to Fashion Designer

Posted by Bella Coeur on

Martha Sleeper – Silent Film Actress to Fashion Designer

Maybe I said this before when I was researching a Nelly Don dress, one of the most enjoyable parts of selling vintage clothing – for me – is research and learning.  It seems selfish not to pass along information when I find it. Including a lot of historical detail  in a description can be overwhelming for some, so I’m passing some knowledge along here! I purchased several pieces of clothing from the estate of a woman whose family owned a high end clothing boutique from about the 1940s through the 1960s or 70s.  Almost every item was either tailor made,...

Read more →

Pop Beads Who Knew They Could Be So Elegant

Posted by Bella Coeur on

Pop Beads Who Knew They Could Be So Elegant

Who doesn’t just love pop beads?  If you’re old enough, you either wore them as contemporary fashion or maybe you played with your mother’s.  All the different colors to arrange in a zillion different ways! 

My friends at the Jewelry Ring recently were discussing vintage plastic pop beads that look like faceted crystal called Crystelle Poppits and it carried me off to do some research. 

I’ve had a few of these necklaces in my shop and never knew that they were made by Richelieu in the early 1960s.  Apparently only the earrings were signed – I had no idea there were matching earrings!  The necklaces came with hangtags, which of course, are almost always missing.

Read more →

History of Castlecraft and Hillcraft Jewelry

Posted by Bella Coeur on

History of Castlecraft and Hillcraft Jewelry

Hillcraft and Castlecraft costume jewelry has an interesting history and it also has a unique feature in its design.

The jewelry is very high quality costume jewelry.  As previously mentioned, gold filled wire was used as well as high quality Czech glass stones, beads, and Swarovski crystals.

Hillcraft and Castlecraft jewelry were never sold in stores.  The jewelry was sold either through clubs or as fund raisers.  Hillcraft was also sold at the Covered Bridge Festival in Rockville, Indana.

Read more →

Women With Bad Attitudes

Posted by Bella Coeur on

Women With Bad Attitudes

I have a Wall of Fame.  Or maybe it’s the Wall of Infamy.  Here at the shop, the wall behind the counter is covered with hats, purses, bodices … and Women with Bad Attitudes. How it came to be was purely accidental.  I had come across a modern decorative tile that depicted a Victorian woman giving the proverbial “look that could kill” with the inscription, “Everyone’s entitled to a hissy-fit now and then” and it just seemed to address my … shall we say, state of  mind … at the time.  I hung the tile on the wall behind the...

Read more →

Care and Storage of Antique Clothing & Textiles

Posted by Bella Coeur on

Care and Storage of Antique Clothing & Textiles

One of the questions  I get asked most is .. how to care and store precious antique clothing and textiles.

First, let’s define what an antique textile is. The generally accepted definition of “antique” is any item that is over 100 years old. That makes all Victorian and Edwardian clothing antique. Clothing from the 1920s is quickly becoming antique, as well. But it just makes good common sense to include any fragile textile or garment that is collectible and/or meant to be kept over time in this definition.

Read more →