Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Alligators, Old Mink, and New Money by Allison and Melissa Houette

This was a delight. Utterly un-self-conscious writing, fun, a book that celebrated it's authors' love of vintage clothing while making it clear that it wasn't life or death, just fun and lovely.

Allison Houette claims that she inherited her sense of style from her mother and grandmother, and that their care for and appreciation of clothing led her to love the clothes they carefully saved from earlier eras.

After she left home to try her luck as a model, she found herself in Paris (I know! It does sound as if it would be eye-rollingly nauseating, but it isn't at all- not one bit) and unable to afford new fancy clothes, a mentor taught her how to find hidden gems in flea markets and thrift shops.

After her modeling career slowed down a bit, she opened her own vintage clothing shop in Brooklyn (Seriously, this was a charming book. I usually balk like a stubborn mule when I hear/see anything about Park Slope, etc), called her shop Hooti Couture (after how people mispronounced her French last name in Florida where she grew up) and, well, sells clothes.

It is a mystery how such a slight story made for such a frothy and delicious read, but it really was like having a great latte after finding a fantastic handbag. Really. That might be the only time I ever say anything like that, so you know it's true!

Alligators, Old Mink & New Money: One Woman's Adventures in Vintage Clothing

Quality: 8 Popularity: 8 Overall: 16

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