Monday, August 30, 2010

Xtabay: 9 Years Of Vintage Glamour In Portland

Xtabay celebrates nine years this month!

Xtabay in November 2001, featuring dismembered mannikins.
Xtabay during the bleak days of 2006....

Xtabay shortly after the rebirth in 2008.
Xtabay mascot Gabe on the "new" love seat in the dressing area.
Xtabay today, proving things really do get better with age!

Xtabay will be celebrating 9 long years in business this Saturday, September 4th. We will be having a fabulous storewide sale and be giving away free gifts, champagne and cupcakes. Thank you everyone for your love and support over the past 9 years...even in our darkest hours. We love you!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Pretty, Prettay....Pret-tayyy...

Precious early 60's party dress.
Beautiful Bride in Xtabay gown.
Powder pink 1950's party dress.
So dreamy!
Meaghan models the lilac dream by Nadine.
Pretty bow in back!
Xtabay Wedding Dress, Click on picture for full view!

Click on picture for full view!
1950's red cocktail dress in Xtabay window.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Bridal Blush....

Let's face it, brides are not always the easiest customers. Expectations can be rather high and sometimes finding the perfect gown can take....YEARS. And even's still not the PERFECT gown.

Not so with this young lady. She and a couple of friends breezed in, picked a couple dresses off the rack, and after a couple naw's and so-so's, she slipped on this little number. Not your traditional white wedding gown, but a scrumptious blushing lace dress with a matching bolero from the 1950's.  That's when the magic started....first the dress...then the gloves...then the perfectly matching veiled hat with a curling feather....and then VOILA! She had her wedding dress. Her girlfriends eyes teared up, the iphone camera's clicked and then they were off to celebrate with a glass of wine across the street at Broder.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Joanne's Top Ten

Those of you who frequent Xtabay have no doubt been charmed by the English beauty behind the counter named Joanne. Joanne is a brilliant embroidery artist who creates fantastical work under the name Chromium Dumb Belle. Joanne has a style that is all her own. I look forward to coming into work to see what she's wearing. I asked her to pick out her ten favorite things in the store at the moment, here is what she came up with....

1. Exquisitely beaded cobalt blue 1940's crepe evening gown.
2. 1960's Henry Water's Shoes of Consequence silver slippers with rosebuds.
3. Amazing 1940's pin-striped gabardine jacket with pink lucite buttons....
and ducktail back.
4. 1980's B. Michael navy straw circle hat, she has since added this to her personal collection!
5. 1980's silk lame evening suit by John Young, complete with gold braid belt. "It's the good-bad lame..."
6. Cinderella's tiny carriage charm that lives in the gilded showcase.
7. One of my personal favorites as well....1940's silky jersey floral gown with sequined peony print. Sorry but this beauty sold this afternoon....
8. 1930's straw perching top hat with silk ribbon and floral dreamy!
9. Amazing 1970's sterling silver artist made shell necklace, that happened to belong to the same woman who owned the cobalt blue beauty...
10. Okay...she cheated, she couldn't decide between these pairs of shoes, all of which are beautiful, cheap and unfortunately not her size.
Thanks Joanne for sharing:)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Early Influences...And The Original Lady Gaga.

I've had a thing for lime green for a long time now. I always wondered why I was so inexplicably drawn to the color. Particularly lime green and white prints from the late 60's early 70's. Lime green mixed with navy is even more delectable--- it's not really so much my style, but when shopping for Xtabay I always feel a kinship to the combination. So while going through some old family slides it finally dawned on me what it was.... It's my grandma! Isn't it always about our grandmother's?  Let me introduce you to the  original Lady Gaga...
I deemed my grandmother "Gaga" when I was two. The name stuck and to this day the whole family still calls her that. She is turning 90 this year and still lives in the house where she was born in Bristol, Rhode Island.  I don't know why it has taken me so long to realize that it was the time I spent with her that has been driving my obsession with vintage clothing, and the magic pull that lime green seems to have on my heart. ( Here she is pictured in a chic palm tree print jersey dress--that's me with my binky).
Here's a dress Gaga would approve of....1970's silk day dress by Pauline Trigere. Available now at Xtabay.
Going to visit Gaga was the thing I looked forward to the most. My family would usually go for a couple weeks in the summer. The days would go something like this: wake up and have portuguese pancakes for breakfast, walk to the foot if the street for a swim in the bay, maybe drive "down country"to Tiverton, come home and have lunch---Gaga always had saltines and a bitter unsweetened chocolate milkshake. She would read the paper and I would work on my drawings. If I was lucky we would go up in the attic and rifle through the old storage bins and cedar chests. This was my favorite thing of all.  There were all sorts of treasures up there, dolls and jewelry, mink name it. Even a really creepy picture of Jesus where his eyes would open and close. By 5 o'clock it was time to come downstairs and get ready for "quiet hour". "Quiet hour" was the time when all the adults would sit on the patio and have gin & tonics and I would sip cranberry juice with a lime.  Then maybe cohog pie for dinner followed by Newport Cremery's coffee ice cream, then an evening walk and to bed. My idea of a perfect day, and probably the happiest time in my life.  (Here we are on the chintz davenport, I'm drawing and she's critiquing--by the way, I have a soft spot for floral chintz as well...).
Gaga wore lots of Lilly Pulitzer, the epitome of east coast summer wear.... I love finding Lilly's for the store, even though they don't really seem like that much of a Portland thing...
Here she is wearing the most amazing vintage Diane Von Furstenberg dress EVER! Oh how I wish she kept it! She really loved a good wrap dress....
...and so do I! This 70's cotton polka dot wrap dress by Georgia Bullock would be right up her alley.
This is my dresser, in my messy room, with the big lime green Kate Spade bag that contained my great big new lime green Kate Spade purse (totally Gaga) and next to it is the dress Gaga wore to my mother's wedding. It's the quintessential Gaga dress, lime and navy with a bold floral print, purchased in 1972 at Peck and Peck department store in Providence, Rhode Island. It was full length but I had it hemmed into a mini so that it would suit me better.  It's my inspiration piece.
So my mystery has been solved, every time I stumble upon a bold lime green print, it brings me back to my summer's with Gaga. Cozying up next to her on the chintz davenport, resting my head on her palm tree printed shoulder.