Friday, May 11, 2012

Chantal's Costumes

As the second Jacquidon and Chantal Carroll "Snoop/Sleuth Sisters" mystery opens, we find Our Intrepid Heroines being dropped off on the corner of Madison and 45th at the venerable Roosevelt Hotel. Jacquidon is a finalist in the national Tree-Trimming contest, and the finals are to be held at Rockefeller Center right before Christmas. The sisters haven't been to New York, let alone at Christmas, so they're fairly psyched--and gobsmacked. When the dead body falls on Jacquidon, things get even worse. . . . Chantal (as was established in the first book in the series, NICE WORK (IF YOU CAN GET IT) is an avid costumer and costume-player, ex-SCA and current convention-goer. She's in full Vintage MOD SIXTIES mode as this journey begins, and (to Jacks' chagrin) has brought no less than two suitcases stuffed full of mostly vintage or vintage-look A-line shifts, Twiggy Mondrian dresses, cat's eye sunglasses, Pucci scarves (and suitable reproductions), and so forth. "Didn't you bring anything NORMAL?" she agonizes as her sister unpacks. But the costumes do come in very handy later, when they don't want to be recognized. I love vintage and vintage-look MOD stuff myself. Confession: maybe I wore some of it when I was around five and six years old. The 1965-66 school year (first grade for old people) saw an entering class dressed in white vinyl go-go boots ("These Boots are Made for Walkin'") and swingin' shifts that barely covered the essential "I See France" area. We couldn't bend over to pick up a pencil. I developed a strategic "hold on to the hem of the dress and squat kind of sideways" method so all the boys didn't yell, "She's wearing THURSDAY and this is FRIDAY!" However . . . the look is back, and I'm old enough to wear it again. . . . yay? These are the kinds of dresses I've scored on eBay and from estate sales. They remind me of things my mother, grandmother, cousins, and aunts wore Back In The Day. My grandmother sewed many of my dresses back then, and I had a green dress almost exactly like this one, but in a size 6X, of course. I wore it with my GO-GO BOOTS and my Enid Collins wood purse! (That was a Texas thing, I think. Wish I still had mine.)
Bell sleeves! (Those were really big through the 1970s, my teen years!)
My grandmother could do anything you wanted to wear, with or without a pattern.
Enid Collins "Owl and Pussycat" purse
The interior.
My only problem is . . . how do you get the stink out of the old fabric? I've washed and dry cleaned and STILL have a remaining odor of Kools/Camels/Luckies plus some stinky perfume. Febreze only added the smell of Febreze under it all. Anyone have any ideas? (Other than "throw it out or take it to a dressmaker to be copied" and "why don't you shop at Macy's like everyone else?!")

1 comment:

  1. Conjecture at my house came up with this suggestion. Check your phone book and call and AMWAY dealer. We used to sell the product and it was known for removing all kinds of impervious stains. Perhaps there is a product for smell as well. "won't hurt. Might help." good luck with your project.