Monday, December 5, 2016

West Town Winterfest



"Shop the Blocks" of West Town this December 10th from 12-6 pm with over 20 stores showing off their spirit this holiday shopping season as you follow the Winterfest Shopping Guide through the neighborhood. Participating boutiques and restaurants will feature one of a kind items, special promotions, trunk sales, and other holiday wares. 


Stop by Le Thrift Consignment as we will offer raffle giveaways throughout the day with purchase. Customers can win a pair of tickets to the newly released movie 'Jackie' or a handmade candle from Chicago Candle Factory.

Collect Winterfest bucks as you shop, the more you spend, the more you earn - for every $40 spent at a participating retailer you earn $20 in Winterfest Gift Certificates to be used to ring in the 2017 New Year. 

Hop on the West Town Winterfest guided Jolly Trolley tour and enjoy Winterfest without the walking. The guided tour lasts 3 hours, features all of the shopping blocks and provides a "checked shopping bag" service so you don't have to worry about your gifts while you shop. Receive a $20 Gift Certificate when you purchase a $10 Jolly Trolley ticket. Trolleys depart from the Shapiro Ballroom 1612 W. Chicago Ave. at 12pm and 3pm.

Collect holiday stickers as you shop West Town and enter to win raffle prizes from participating locations in the neighborhood.

West Town Winterfest Holiday Shopping Guides can be picked up at any of the participating locations, or at the Winterfest Headquarters at the Shapiro Ballroom 1612 W. Chicago Ave. 12pm-6pm. There is no wrong way to Shop West Town this holiday season! 


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Monday, November 14, 2016

Designer Profile - Averardo Bessi


Recently, a client came into the store with some amazing vintage dresses. She was a professional organizer and had been assisting a client to clear the clutter from her home. When we saw the dresses, we knew we had something special to offer our clients, with the designs of these dresses very similar to early Emilio Pucci. Who was Bessi? That's when I decided to find out as much as I could about Averardo Bessi. Unfortunately, there is not a lot out of historical information about him. But from what I could ascertain, his dresses were all the rage at Saks 5th Avenue through the 60-70's.

Averardo Bessi was a designer who created his fashion house for men and women in the 1950's after post World War II. The highly sought after vintage label flourished more in the women's fashion world  and his collection for women was first presented in 1968 to American, high-end department stores such as Bonwit Teller, Bloomingdales, Bergdorfs and Saks Fifth Avenue.

At the time he wanted to create a contemporary look for women to enhance their femininity through sleek designs. His silk and wool knits, inspired by traditional Florentine techniques and Italian fine craftsmanship were noticed by women of sophisticated taste. The colorful and bold signature prints became in demand by women and carried a strong fashion statement of the modern woman.

Averardo Bessi had always been immersed into the fashion world and had his vision, “I started at a very early age, working in a fashion atelier. My objective was designing and creating clothing for women, as well as men.”

His designs reflect the trends of the moment often reminiscent of Emilio Pucci and Jacques Leonard with bold prints and sleek designs that flatter the female figure instead of covering it up.
Although we know very little about this designer, his designs from the past are spectacular and timeless as women today still collect and wear his beautiful, crafted clothing. This designers continued popularity has sparked a rebirth of the Bessi label and is currently being produced in Italy, carrying his name and hallmark designs in updated silhouettes. You may find the current line at http://www.averardobessi.it/.

Luckily for our customers, we have these beautiful, vintage dresses for sale online and in our store. Below is a few of the dresses in our collection.

Averardo Bessi 60's Italian Silk Dress, Size 10 - Shop it Now
Averardo Bessi Dress for Saks 5th Avenue, Size 10 - Shop it Now

Averardo Bessi Dress Mod Print Dress, Size 10 - Shop it Now
Averardo Bessi Silk 60's Hostess Dress, Size 8 - Shop it Now
If you would like to see the rest of our dresses shop here or stop by the boutique in Chicago.
Until next time. Ciao for now.
XXOO,
Christine Sanderson – Owner of Le Thrift Consignment



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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Happy Halloween! Great DIY Costumes for the Eternal Procrastinator on a Budget

Always an eternal procrastinator on finding a costume for Halloween, I always expect myself to create a great costume on a small budget. To assist the optimistic procrastinators like me, here are some ideas that I thought I could share that you can create last minute without breaking the bank.

The Mexican artist Frida Kahlo is a fun and colorful option and you can create pretty inexpensively. Find a floral embellished or embroidered top, brightly colored wrap or scarf to use as wrap on your hair and accent with faux flowers. Pair with a full colorful full skirt. Accent the ensemble with lots of colorful beads. To complete the looks, braid your hair up into buns, take eyeliner and create her signature unibrow and finish with bright lipstick.

Orange is the New Black is a super-hit phenom in our pop culture and the ease of putting this costume together is for the best of procrastinators. Find an orange jumpsuit or two piece uniform pantsuit. Wear a long sleeve white t-shirt underneath and pair with black tie up canvas shoes. Get iron on letters and numbers to create an inmate number on the back.

Be inspired by the garden by having a garden gnome get-up. Buy a blue shirt, a red santa hat and go to your nearest fabric store and find shaggy white, piece of fabric big enough to create a beard. Cut the fabric into a shape of a beard.
Create an opening for the mouth, then fasten a string or band to both sides to hold in place like a mask. Take the left over fabric and paste onto the front of the hat to make shaggy eyebrows.

I had a friend came up with a long time ago with a very clever last minute DIY costume and definitely for someone who is budget conscious. Be a deviled egg. Find a white t-shirt paint a large yellow oval on it. Add devil horns to your head and costume is complete.


Everyone loves the American icon Rosie the Riveter from World War II. For all those vintage girls, a super easy, inexpensive costume. Just add retro red scarf and tie over the hair. Wear a cropped fitted denim shirt and tie in front and dark jeans.

Do you want to be comfortable and not cold during Halloween? Try being a kid in footie pajamas with pick tails and teddy bear. An easy costume you can pass-out in if you have had too much to drink after a night of partying.

For those conversations that you want to avoid at a party try being a mime. This budget buster costume is a simple black and white striped shirt, black pants and beret. Paint on white face with black details. Wear black gloves and let your hands do the talking.

If you are a Breakfast at Tiffany's fan, try being Holy Golightly aka Audrey Hepburn. Wear a black, long, vintage dress. Accent with a sparkly necklace, tiara, fake cigarette holder and black long gloves. Whip up wicked cat eye and add long gloves. All you need is a strong martini in hand and you complete her look.


Want to drink like a goddess all night? Try being a Greek Goddess! Make a head
wreath out of faux flowers, leaves and grapes that you can purchase from the Dollar Store. Wear a white bodysuit or white tank and skirt. Create your gown by taking a white sheet or curtain and tie it around your body (DIY tutorial here). Cinch the center with a gold belt and finish with gold sandals.

For the minimalist, try being a stick figure. Dress all in white, take black duct tape, stick to front of outfit as stick figure. Draw a smiley face on paper plate in thick black marker. Cut out eyes. Take rope or band and tape it to back of plate so it becomes a mask.

In love with furry critters, those of the feline variety? Try being a crazy cat lady.
All you need is your slippers and a big fluffy robe. Attach stuffed animal cats staples all over your robe. Add large hair rollers to your hair and glasses to your costumer for full effect.

So my friends, there is no excuse to get out there and have some fun this Halloween no matter how much you are a procrastinator or have a tight budget. Besides, the DIY costumes I see are always the best.

What is your favorite DIY costume? Please share with are fashion loving procrastinators like me.

Have a happy and safe Halloween everyone!

XXOO,
Christine Sanderson
- Le Thrift Consignment


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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Tips to Help Clean and Restore Your Designer Handbags

We all love our designer or vintage handbags, but over time they start to show signs of aging. Through the years of owning Le Thrift Consignment, I have learned some valuable tips through my consignors and customers to help achieve the best outcome for cleaning and restoring your handbags.

Before trying any of these products or tips, please test them on a small, unnoticeable part of the bag. If the color changes, lightens or lifts, refrain from continuing.

Magic Erasers 
The Mr. Clean Magic Eraser  is a great cleaning product and is perfect for Vachetta (Louis Vuitton) or light colored leather on your designer bag. I would not suggest using it on a darker colored bag, as I have not tried it yet with a darker leather. The Magic Eraser gently lifts any dirts or oils from the leather. I do advise that you are gentle with applying your magic eraser on the bag. Use warm water in a bowl, dip the magic eraser in the water, wring it out so that it is damp. Gently blot the magic eraser on the leather. Do not rub too hard as it will lift the finish on the bag and ruin the texture of the leather. Please note: I have tested this technique with generic brand magic erasers and they fall apart quicker.

Metal Polish
To brighten up metal hardware, use a metal polish cream. I would suggest
Flitz Polish or Blue Magic Polish Cream. Find an old toothbrush and dampen it. Apply a sparing amount of polish to the toothbrush and then in a careful circular motion rub the polish on it. Be careful not to get the polish on the leather. Use a clean, damp rag and gently wipe the polish off. You may need to repeat these steps a few times to get the grime or scratches off the hardware.

Leather Conditioner
Leather conditioner is a great way to keep canvas, leather and even exotic skins supple when restoring a handbag. Make sure you wipe with the grain of leather or skin. Apply the
conditioner lightly, a little goes a long way. Some products that I would recommend are Leather Honey, Cadillac Leather Conditioner or Chamberlain's Leather Milk

Use a clean soft rag when applying the leather conditioner and gently rub in a soft, circular motion. If it is an exotic skin such as snake, rub in the direction of the skin, not against it. Use the conditioner sparingly as if you use too much, it will leave residue that will attract dust over time. Allow time for the leather conditioner to sink into the leather or skin and dry. Do not use any hand lotions after cleaning and carrying the bag. The oils of the lotion will immediately soak into the leather you just cleaned. Leather conditioner can also be used with canvas bags to keep the material moisturized.

If you have used the Magic Eraser beforehand, I would recommend that you use a leather conditioner after cleaning to protect the leather. Be sure that the cleaned leather is completely dry before applying the leather conditioner.

Baby Wipes
What is gentle enough for baby is also good for your handbag. These are
great to wipe or clean fabric, leather or vinyl interiors. Apply the baby wipe to the interior and lightly rub. Repeat a few times to get most of the grime out.


Rubbing Alcohol 
For stubborn stains on interior fabrics, try using rubbing alcohol. Use a damp,
clean sponge and literally apply rubbing alcohol to sponge. Dab alcohol on to lining and repeat steps until the stain starts to lift. Make sure to rinse the sponge with clean, warm water as the stain starts to lift. If you can pull the lining out of the bag, this is better as it prevents the leather or canvas from being touched. For more stubborn stains you can try soaking the affected part in the alcohol. Carefully rinse the cleaned area with water after the stain has been removed.


Stuffing the Bag


Make sure when you are not using your bag to stuff it to keep its shape. This prevents the handbag from getting warped or loose its shape. I usually use old, clean, soft t-shirts that I don't wear anymore. Any acid free, colorless or white tissue paper also works very well. Do not use newspaper as it may transfer the ink to your lining.


Duster Bags
Ladies, the last advice I would like to share with you is to use the dust bags that come with your handbag when storing them. They protect the bag from fading and dust. If you don't have a dust bag you can purchase one second hand on Ebay or buy a new one on Amazon. I prefer the fabric ones over the plastic ones as they allow the materials on the bag to breathe and protects them from UV light. 

I hope that this information on this blog helps you with restoring or maintaining your designer or vintage handbag. If you have any questions feel free to email me at christines@lethrift.com.

Ciao for now!
xxoo
Christine Sanderson
LeThriftConsignment.com
Owner - Le Thrift Consignment

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Monday, October 3, 2016

Restoring Vintage Canvas Designer Handbags

Recently, a vintage, Gucci cross-body handbag came into the store on consignment. I was so excited to have it in the store as I am a big fan of the vintage designer bags. They are made so well and the craftsmanship rivals the designer handbags that are made today.

There is nothing better than a perfectly restored designer, vintage bag. However,  this bag and many of the canvas bags often come with stains or discoloration that comes with use and age. The great news about this is that most bags like this can be easily restored to their natural glamour and inexpensively.

With this handbag I used an old toothbrush, a few soft fabric rags and Oxy
Clean Laundry Stain Remover Spray. You can buy cleaner this online or any large retailer like Target or Walmart. Before starting, I would suggest finding a small area to test, to make sure that it works well with the canvas before applying it to the bag. Especially if the bag has something sticky to it. Take a lightly wet rag, then spray the Oxy Cleaner on to a concentrated area. Slightly rub the test area in a circular motion to see if the spray reacts well to the canvas.

If the test is successful, amply spray the Oxy Clean to the rag and slowly, in a circular motion start working on the stain. Do not rub too hard, as you are restoring the bag and don't want to wear off the design on the canvas. Also, be careful to keep the Oxy Clean away from any leather trim on the bag. 


The vintage Gucci Cross-body handbag that came in with discoloration from aging.
Once the Oxy Clean is on the area, let it sit for a few minutes. Take a wet toothbrush and again in a circular motion brush the canvas. A used toothbrush or soft bristle toothbrush would work best. At this point the stains or discoloration should be lifting from the canvas.  You may need to repeat these steps if the stain is really set in.

Immediately after this step take another rag, wet it with slightly warm water and wipe off the Oxy Clean. Make sure it is fully cleaned off, thoroughly hand dry it and you will see the results. It should look like new again.

This hack does not work with all stains or discoloration, but in my experience of restoring and cleaning bags, it has worked with most.


Although not perfect, you can see a dramatic improvement of the canvas after cleaning.

Although, I have use this method yet, I have heard baby wipes work well for this type of project as well. I will post another blog after I have tried baby wipes and if it is effective.

This Gucci 1970's cross-body is now available for sale at www.LeThriftConsignment.com.

I hope that this information helps with restoring your designer canvas bag. Email me at christines@lethrift.com if you have questions about your handbag. I love to talk shop with our customers and clients!

Ciao for now,
XXOO,
Christine Sanderson
LethriftConsignment.com
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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

West Town Artwalk - Meet Chicago Artist Layne Jackson

Le Thrift Consignment is excited to be a part of West Town Art Walk and Food Truck Social this weekend. The Artwalk will take place this Friday, November 30th from 5 to 10 pm and Saturday, October 1st  from 12 to 6 pm in the West Town Neighborhood. We will be hosting the amazingly talented, Layne Jackson with her latest works of art at the boutique.

Having been a long fascinated with Layne's work, I wanted to share with you more about the artist that is living and working in the Ukranian Village neighborhood of Chicago.

For the West Town Art Walk 2016, the artist is exhibiting large scale paintings.
What childhood influences do you think shaped the way to you becoming an artist? How did you find your calling as an artist?

One of my childhood friends' father was a well known race car painter. He seemed to have a good life and got to sit in his studio with all of that color around.  I would venture in and always loved the smell of the turpentine and oil paint

What type of style would best describe your work?

Narrative

What type of work are you currently working on?

After twenty years of large images focused on figures in interiors and exterior
environments, and working and teaching in public studios, a move last year back to my 

 New Botanical Nature Drawings + Paintings - http://www.laynejackson.com/walking-libraries

private studio is yielding new work that is small and exploratory, painting the natural world around me, called Walking Libraries. 

Who are your favorite creative people? 

Paula Rego (painter), Martuis (botanical painter), Mary Lou Williams (pianist/composer), Werner Herzog (director)

What is your favorite Chicago place to go? 

I love Millennium Park and go every chance I have. Love to hear music in the Pavilion and the new Maggie Daley park is terrific. The Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art is a rare and amazing museum, and their very strong support base makes thei shows powerful and diverse. A treasure! And I will take a cocktail at Mott Street any day

What is your favorite part of being an artist in Chicago?

Chicago is an great place to work in the arts--an abundance of research and opportunities and a strong coalition of talented and professional people. There is strong support and a wealth of ideas for collaboration.

Prints at Special Art Walk Prices - http://www.laynejackson.com/buy-prints/
What are your plans with your artwork for the future?

The new direction is exciting and am pursuing ideas that have been in sketchbooks and my head for many years. Currently am planning a series of Walking Libraries that identify different areas, printable as books, and enlarged in scale for public art work.

What piece of advice can you offer to budding artists that would help them grow?

 Only you have your voice and there should be nothing that stops you. Work on something everyday. It's not original to me, but I will say 'Be Yourself, Everything else is Taken'.

Where can people find your work online? (Ex: Instagram handle, blog, web site)

INSTAGRAM

WEBSITE

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Friday, September 23, 2016

Free Sunnies this Weekend!


Come visit our store and see our fall new arrivals. Spend $100 and receive a free pair of Mercury Fashion Sunglasses. 

These stylish sunnies were a huge hit for us this summer and we have new styles for fall. Accessorize and find ah-mazing, one-of-a kind designer and vintage to complete your fall look!


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