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Vintage Vibes & Retro Reflections

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1950s pink chantilly lace swing dress, Gloria Swanson label, $55 at Pintucks and online at babylonmall.com
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1960s mod print long silk dress, $45 at Pintucks and online at babylonmall.com
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1970s butterfly sleeve dress, stencil design on scarf front, $34.95 at pintuckstyle.etsy.com
Ignore the schoolroom definition of the three Rs as "readin', 'ritin' and 'rithmetic." Instead, explore the excellent examples displayed in the Pasadena shop called Pintucks, with its attention-getting motto: "recycle/restyle/reuse." It brings women's wardrobes smartly into the present with distinctive vintage style.


Owner, Jennifer Orsini, explains, "Pintucks is merchandised like a fashion shop with clothing arranged by type, season and color for easy shopping." She adds, "Our environment plays up a 'French boutique' motif with dark antiques, armoires and accessories to create a comfortable and inviting 'living room' concept. The shop was designed by my daughter, Andrea, who is a television production designer, so she brought a strong theme concept to the small shop interior."

This vintage emporium is divided into two rooms: the first built around black and white interior design accessories; the second a mid-century modern theme which Orsini says is emphasized by "Fiestaware colored walls, light maple and teak furnishings, along with modern home accessories. A black and white checkered floor helps connect both rooms and create a traffic flow."

Presently in transition, the shop's exterior is being painted a new color. Striped window curtains and planters will be in the front of the store to give an impression "such as you might see on a back street in Paris."

Merchandise is very feminine in concept, offering wearable sizes in styles that appeal to modern customers. Orsini defines vintage merchandise as 20 years or older. She reports that retro fashions are also in stock "if they hang well with our vintage pieces."

The term "retro" was first used in France in the early 1970s as an abbreviation of the term 'retrograde' ('retro') - to look back to past styles and fashions in a nostalgic way. Pintucks helps a customer complete any vintage or retro outfit with all types of fashion accessories such as handbags, gloves, jewelry and hats unlike what's found in "big box" retail stores.


This establishment also includes a craft studio where vintage patterns and fabrics are featured to meet the growing interest in sewing. Also available are wearable ethnic garments such as kimonos and huipils. Guatemalan fabrics and Indonesian batiks may be seen by appointment as the shop's private stock includes serious antique items, designer labels and ethnic garments. On-premise sewing is confined to mending and alterations, not production of original apparel. But home-sewing enthusiasts appreciate vintage fabrics for textiles, designs and original qualities.

This holiday season selected menswear items are available: neckties, cufflinks and tie clasps as well as a small selection of shirts and jackets. Cocktail glasses and tableware - great for gifting - also tempt shoppers.

Orsini maintains a blog exploring special vintage items online at www.pintuckstyle.com and sells shop inventory at BabylonMall.com and Etsy.com.

Orsini studied art and theatre, earned her MA degree and worked as a costumer while building her historical and ethnic costume and textile collection. She teaches fashion design full-time at Pasadena City College, recently wrote a thesis on California's fashion industry from 1930 -1980, seeks estate sales for fashions and says, "With the help of another costumer and my daughter I manage the shop in my 'free time'."

Often that means 15-hour workdays as this energetic entrepreneur also finds time to research online to price new styles or special labels and to email customers monthly sales offers and newsletters. "I always keep within those guidelines," she points out, adding, "I'm never the highest price and often in the lower price brackets, as the point is to sell the vintage, not hoard it."

Pintucks is located at 2390 East Foothill Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91107. For hours and information call (626) 844-3742 or email pintuckstyle@gmail.com.









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