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Upper East Side Thrifting

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Spanning 59th to 96th Streets from Central Park to the East River lies the Upper East Side, which has long been the home to some of America's most established and privileged families. Given residents' expensive tastes, it is not surprising that the Upper East Side is one of the best places to go thrift shopping. Within this thrift shop mecca there are so many hidden treasures. And the best part? Many stores give a portion of your proceeds to a good cause.

I recently went on a thrift shop crawl, taking pictures of all the shops I visited and of all of the second-hand gems I found. I've included a list of the places I stopped in, below, so you can go on a similar thrift shop hunt if you are in the neighborhood. But I also encourage you to explore the thrift shops where you live. If you look closely, there really are so many great finds to be uncovered.

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Housing Works Thrift Shop

1 Housing Works Thrift Shop

A view of the storefront.

2 A view of the storefront.

A pair of elegant vintage floral prints.

3 A pair of elegant vintage floral prints.

This set of matching tables would add a contemporary and glamorous touch to a living room.

4 This set of matching tables would add a contemporary and glamorous touch to a living room.

I love the burst of color in this painting.

5 I love the burst of color in this painting.

This reminds me of the long tan suede couch in Coco Chanel's Rue Cambon apartment.

6 This reminds me of the long tan suede couch in Coco Chanel's Rue Cambon apartment.

What a beautiful wooden piece.

7 What a beautiful wooden piece.

Moving on to the Arthritis Foundation Thrift Shop.

8 Moving on to the Arthritis Foundation Thrift Shop.

A view of the storefront.

9 A view of the storefront.

Artistic ashtrays and stylish saucers.

10 Artistic ashtrays and stylish saucers.

What a lively Native American motif.

11 What a lively Native American motif.

Here is the Cancer Care Thrift Shop.

12 Here is the Cancer Care Thrift Shop.

A view of the storefront.

13 A view of the storefront.

Café au lait bowls are one of my favorite things to look for while thrifting.

14 Café au lait bowls are one of my favorite things to look for while thrifting.

A very sleek clock.

15 A very sleek clock.

A gorgeous glass compote with so many great possibilities for flower arrangements.

16 A gorgeous glass compote with so many great possibilities for flower arrangements.

The classic gilded edge is so sophisticated on this pail. It would make the perfect addition to a home bar.

17 The classic gilded edge is so sophisticated on this pail. It would make the perfect addition to a home bar.

I think the simplicity of these spoons makes them really elegant.

18 I think the simplicity of these spoons makes them really elegant.

What an interesting abstract floral pattern.

19 What an interesting abstract floral pattern.

I love the color palette of this rug.

20 I love the color palette of this rug.

This fabric would be perfect in an outdoor setting as a throw or table cloth.

21 This fabric would be perfect in an outdoor setting as a throw or table cloth.

Here we are at the Goodwill Thrift Shop.

22 Here we are at the Goodwill Thrift Shop.

A view of the storefront.

23 A view of the storefront.

This is such a great conversation piece. It would be perfect on a mantelpiece, or even to dress up your office desk.

24 This is such a great conversation piece. It would be perfect on a mantelpiece, or even to dress up your office desk.

The artistry on this plate is magnificent. The mix of cream, gold and blue works so well.

25 The artistry on this plate is magnificent. The mix of cream, gold and blue works so well.

A gilded salt and pepper shaker.

26 A gilded salt and pepper shaker.

These bronze chalices would be great for a party or simply on display.

27 These bronze chalices would be great for a party or simply on display.

An assortment of glass vases and carafes in great condition.

28 An assortment of glass vases and carafes in great condition.

An interesting radish-shaped serving dish.

29 An interesting radish-shaped serving dish.

Up next: the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Thrift Shop.

30 Up next: the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Thrift Shop.

A view of the storefrot.

31 A view of the storefrot.

The patterns on these vintage Pucci pieces are so vivid.

32 The patterns on these vintage Pucci pieces are so vivid.

Fun, bright vintage Ungaro dresses.

33 Fun, bright vintage Ungaro dresses.

These were probably used for a perfume display, as they are very large. I think they would have a great second life as home decorating pieces though. They're so unique.

34 These were probably used for a perfume display, as they are very large. I think they would have a great second life as home decorating pieces though. They're so unique.

This charity shop had a great selection of books.

35 This charity shop had a great selection of books.

The second hand Louis Vuitton luggage was in great shape.

36 The second hand Louis Vuitton luggage was in great shape.

There's something so whimsical about tea-cups stacked this way. I love the mixture of colors and patterns.

37 There's something so whimsical about tea-cups stacked this way. I love the mixture of colors and patterns.

The butterfly detail on these egg cups is perfect for summer.

38 The butterfly detail on these egg cups is perfect for summer.

Popular in the 18th-century these finger vases are like five bud vases in one. What a simple way to make the most of a few stems.

39 Popular in the 18th-century these finger vases are like five bud vases in one. What a simple way to make the most of a few stems.

I love the angular shape of these lucite ice buckets.

40 I love the angular shape of these lucite ice buckets.

This is a Russian samovar. It is traditionally used to heat and serve tea, but I think it looks great even when it's not being used.

41 This is a Russian samovar. It is traditionally used to heat and serve tea, but I think it looks great even when it's not being used.

The contrasting thick and thin gold lines makes for a sophisticated pattern.

42 The contrasting thick and thin gold lines makes for a sophisticated pattern.

What remarkable details!

43 What remarkable details!

I wonder where this piece came from...

44 I wonder where this piece came from...

These Middle Eastern trays would make great wall art.

45 These Middle Eastern trays would make great wall art.

Classic striped covers for outdoor furniture.

46 Classic striped covers for outdoor furniture.

This is a great retro print, and I like the frame it comes in as well.

47 This is a great retro print, and I like the frame it comes in as well.

This console has great storage options, with many drawers and exposed shelves.

48 This console has great storage options, with many drawers and exposed shelves.

Our last stop is Unique Boutique.

49 Our last stop is Unique Boutique.

A view of the storefront.

50 A view of the storefront.

Unique Boutique has these great lighting fixtures inside. They're very industrial, but they don't overwhelm the space.

51 Unique Boutique has these great lighting fixtures inside. They're very industrial, but they don't overwhelm the space.

The aqua color of these glass vases gives off the most amazing filter of light.

52 The aqua color of these glass vases gives off the most amazing filter of light.

These crystal knife rests are quite luxurious.

53 These crystal knife rests are quite luxurious.

An earthenware ceramic tea set in a beautiful ruby hue.

54 An earthenware ceramic tea set in a beautiful ruby hue.

A fun dog portrait at an amazing price.

55 A fun dog portrait at an amazing price.

Upper East Side Thrift Stores

Housing Works Thrift Shop | 202 E 77th St. New York, NY 10021 | (212) 772-8461

Cancer Care Thrift Shop | 1480 3rd Ave. New York, NY 10028 | (212)879-9868

Goodwill | 1704 2nd Ave. New York, NY 10128 | (212)831-1830

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Thrift Shop | 1440 3rd Ave. New York, NY 10028 | (212) 535-1250

Unique Boutique | 1674 3rd Ave. New York, NY 10128 | (212) 427-0077

Arthritis Foundation Thrift Shop | 1430 3rd Ave. New York, NY 10028 | (212) 772-8816

Council Thrift Shop | 246 East 84th St. New York, NY 10028 | (212) 439-8373

Book Friday: Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty

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As many of you may know, The Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art has put together a tribute exhibit to the extraordinary designer Alexander McQueen. This weekend marks the end of the truly amazing show. I want to encourage anyone able to do so to brave the lines and crowds at the MET and visit the exhibition. You will not be disappointed.

Alexander McQueen, the fashion mogul who tragically took his life last year, was an incredible talent and asset to the entire world of design. Although his outlook on life was often dark, his dedication to fashion allowed him to produce cutting-edge, brilliant apparel for women.

Below is a gallery of images taken from the “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty” book available at the MET. For those of you unable to view McQueen's creations in person, this book provides a proper window into the artist's life and career. Page after page beautifully illustrates the striking fashions on view at the MET, and the preface (by Chief Curator of the exhibit Andrew Bolton) is insightful and revealing.  I hope you are able to grasp the sensationalism of McQueen’s designs from this selection of photos from "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty."

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McQueen took much inspiration for his clothing from nature. This photograph, which looks like the bark of a tree, is appropriate as the opener of the book.

1 McQueen took much inspiration for his clothing from nature. This photograph, which looks like the bark of a tree, is appropriate as the opener of the book."Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty," The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

McQueen in his design studio in London.

2 McQueen in his design studio in London."Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty," The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The black outfit, when paired with a hat, resembles the traditional toro outfit. The red patterned dress has a similar Spanish flare.

3 The black outfit, when paired with a hat, resembles the traditional toro outfit. The red patterned dress has a similar Spanish flare. "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty," The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

A piece that reveals McQueen's innovations with fabric cutting and construction. The jacket demonstrates his impeccable tailoring, a skill that continued to develop during McQueen's tenure as creative director for Givenchy.

4 A piece that reveals McQueen's innovations with fabric cutting and construction. The jacket demonstrates his impeccable tailoring, a skill that continued to develop during McQueen's tenure as creative director for Givenchy. "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty," The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The exotic world, and specifically Japan, had a real impact on McQueen's designs.

5 The exotic world, and specifically Japan, had a real impact on McQueen's designs. "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty," The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

I love comparing the front and back of this kimono-esque dress. Its shape very fashion-forward.

6 I love comparing the front and back of this kimono-esque dress. Its shape very fashion-forward. "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty," The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

This design is from McQueen's Romantic Gothic collection was inspired by Tim Burton.

7 This design is from McQueen's Romantic Gothic collection was inspired by Tim Burton. "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty," The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

An other-wordly gown–both dark and angelic at the same time.

8 An other-wordly gown–both dark and angelic at the same time. "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty," The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

I stared at this dress and jacket for a long time at the exhibit. Made from gilded duck feathers and layers of tulle, it is truly stunning.

9 I stared at this dress and jacket for a long time at the exhibit. Made from gilded duck feathers and layers of tulle, it is truly stunning. "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty," The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Here is a close-up of the duck feather jacket.

10 Here is a close-up of the duck feather jacket. "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty," The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

McQueen's Scottish heritage inspired an entire collection of work. When asked about the traditional garments, he said,

11 McQueen's Scottish heritage inspired an entire collection of work. When asked about the traditional garments, he said, "Every piece is unique and has emotional content. I want to create pieces that can be handed down, like an heirloom." "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty," The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

This dress reminds me of an old Hollywood glamour.

12 This dress reminds me of an old Hollywood glamour. "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty," The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

While working, McQueen liked to recall the styles and personas of great women of the past–Catherine the Great and Marie Antoinette, for example. This dress embodies the power and elegance of those iconic figures.

13 While working, McQueen liked to recall the styles and personas of great women of the past–Catherine the Great and Marie Antoinette, for example. This dress embodies the power and elegance of those iconic figures. "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty," The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

McQueen's combination of materials and attention to textures is so unique.

14 McQueen's combination of materials and attention to textures is so unique. "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty," The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The collection is called

15 The collection is called "Romantic Nationalism," and is full of rich reds and Victorian fashions. "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty," The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

This satin cape is phenomenal, so luxurious and powerful.

16 This satin cape is phenomenal, so luxurious and powerful. "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty," The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

A close-up of the cape, so that you can see the material and detailing.

17 A close-up of the cape, so that you can see the material and detailing. "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty," The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Another extraordinary cape, this one is from the

18 Another extraordinary cape, this one is from the "Romantic Gothic" collection. "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty," The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

McQueen's collection

19 McQueen's collection "Romantic Exoticism" incorporates a wide range of sense stimuli: colors and textures taken from the natural world and global cultures. "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty," The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The body of the dress is made from seashells.

20 The body of the dress is made from seashells. "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty," The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

A gown made entirely of pheasant feathers for the

21 A gown made entirely of pheasant feathers for the "Romantic Naturalism" collection. "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty," The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

This bright-daisy print has pop-art implications.

22 This bright-daisy print has pop-art implications. "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty," The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

McQueen pairs the daisy print with a feathered train, lending the gown a more serious and elegant style.

23 McQueen pairs the daisy print with a feathered train, lending the gown a more serious and elegant style. "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty," The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

This dress is known to many as the

24 This dress is known to many as the "shipwreck" dress. "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty," The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Real antlers were used to poke through the lace embroidery of the piece.

25 Real antlers were used to poke through the lace embroidery of the piece. "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty," The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

This skirt design is made from wood. It reminds me of a birds tail.

26 This skirt design is made from wood. It reminds me of a birds tail. "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty," The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

McQueen was able to conjure up the most beautiful designs out of the most organic, unconventional materials.

27 McQueen was able to conjure up the most beautiful designs out of the most organic, unconventional materials. "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty," The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Over the course of his career, McQueen designed all kinds of curiosities. His inspiration from the natural world is visible in these pieces.

28 Over the course of his career, McQueen designed all kinds of curiosities. His inspiration from the natural world is visible in these pieces. "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty," The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

A final shot of the artist himself.

29 A final shot of the artist himself. "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty," The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Regarding McQueen, Charles Isherwood for The New York Times said, “his daring, sometimes outlandish creations gave women a chance to play with new personas, escape into more daring, more debauched, more exotic roles.”

What many revere most about Alexander McQueen is his precise tailoring. A strong foundation in the traditions of sewing and textiles enabled the designer to later push the style envelope, to create the stunning clothes he is best remembered by.

Others marvel at McQueen's runway-shows, performances which often included installation art and references to pop culture and history. One of his shows, called It's Only a Game, enacted a game of chess inspired by the Harry Potter series.

Personally, I am in awe of McQueen’s visions. For me, his fashion demonstrates a passion and fervor for all things inspirational—whether the beautiful, the ugly, the historical, and even the supernatural. He embodies a creativity and drive that we in the design field strive for everyday.

Here is a wonderful quote, in the words of McQueen himself, that I find uplifting: “What you see in the work is the person itself. And my heart is in my work.”

Hopefully you find McQueen's legacy and fashions as remarkable as I do.

Book Friday: Scarves

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For some inexplicable reason, Western woman have largely stopped wearing the classic silk scarf.

And it's a shame because scarves used to hold such an important place in fashion.

In "Scarves" a new book out from Thames & Hudson, Nicky Albrechtsen and Fola Solanke give a visual history of the accessory. With over 257 illustrations, the book shows the many different creative interpretations of the scarf, from art to advertising campaigns.

From a design point of view, these scarves prove that art can be evident in what you put on your head as much as what you choose to hang above your mantle.

The range of  color and pattern are inspirational for simply framing as wall art or inspiring  a wallpaper design. Like the scarves' patterns themselves, the possibilities are endless.

Perhaps this book will ignite a scarf trend that revitalizes an age-old closet staple.

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Jean Patou, silk, 1960s.
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1 Jean Patou, silk, 1960s. ("Scarves", Thames & Hudson)

Balenciaga, silk, 1980s.
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2 Balenciaga, silk, 1980s. ("Scarves", Thames & Hudson)

Tannus Jeefe (signed with the pseudonym 'Peg Thomas') for unknown manufacturer, silk, 1950s. 
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3 Tannus Jeefe (signed with the pseudonym 'Peg Thomas') for unknown manufacturer, silk, 1950s. ("Scarves", Thames & Hudson)

Yves Saint Laurent, silk, 1980s.
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4 Yves Saint Laurent, silk, 1980s. ("Scarves", Thames & Hudson)

'L'Automne

5 'L'Automne", Yves Saint Laurent, silk, 1970s. ("Scarves", Thames & Hudson)

'BOAC VC10', advertising new long-haul routes to Africa, unknown British manufacturer, silk, 1960s.
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6 'BOAC VC10', advertising new long-haul routes to Africa, unknown British manufacturer, silk, 1960s. ("Scarves", Thames & Hudson)

Emilio Pucci, silk chiffon, 1980s. 
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7 Emilio Pucci, silk chiffon, 1980s. ("Scarves", Thames & Hudson)

'New York', unknown American manufacturer, rayon, 1960s.
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8 'New York', unknown American manufacturer, rayon, 1960s. ("Scarves", Thames & Hudson)

'21 Club', unknown American manufacturer, silk, 1960s. 
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9 '21 Club', unknown American manufacturer, silk, 1960s. ("Scarves", Thames & Hudson)

Genviève M. for 'Rémy Martin', silk, 1970s. 
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10 Genviève M. for 'Rémy Martin', silk, 1970s. ("Scarves", Thames & Hudson)

Unknown American manufacturer, silk, 1950s. 
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11 Unknown American manufacturer, silk, 1950s. ("Scarves", Thames & Hudson)

Unknown British manufacturer, silk, 1950s. 
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12 Unknown British manufacturer, silk, 1950s. ("Scarves", Thames & Hudson)

Unknown British manufacturer, rayon, 1950s. 
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13 Unknown British manufacturer, rayon, 1950s. ("Scarves", Thames & Hudson)