Ladybug Vintage owner Stuart Mesires creates one-of-a-kind looks by pairing her vintage jewelry with modern clothing. Last Thursday night she did just that at L.K. Bennett (one of Kate Middleton’s favorite stores) at 900 N. Michigan Avenue. Mesires gave a lecture on how to accomplish unique looks from your own wardrobe and recommended that the way to make your wardrobe FUN and more interesting is to personalize an outfit and make it YOURS by taking a common dress and pairing it with gorgeous vintage jewelry.
The first outfit of the evening was the L.K.Bennett “Davina” dress, which is the stores #1 best seller. The dress comes in five different colors every season. Mesires paired the Davina dress in red with two pieces from the 1960s: a Whiting & Davis gold cuff and an intricate necklace by Les Bernard.
Secondly, Mesires told the fashionistas at the event that the KEY to wearing vintage brooches is to try what she refers to as “brooch grouping.” An easy way to get started is by adding three different brooches to the L.K. Bennett “Hope” jacket and matching skirt (second outfit). The brooches should have two to three similar elements, such as same base metal, same color rhinestones and/or same subject matter. Brooch grouping makes an outfit appear more interesting, adds more impact, and more of a WOW factor!”
The three brooches on the gray suit are an unsigned elephant from the late 1960s, a floral brooch by Nina Ricci from the late 1970s (Ricci created high end costume jewelry which was triple plated to appear shinier) and an unsigned snowflake from the 1950s.
Mesires’ collection of vintage jewelry contains some of the most extraordinary pieces including items from “turn of the century” innovators Whiting & Davis. Whiting & Davis revolutionized mesh-making in the early 1912 by inventing the first automatic mesh machine. The machine was used not only to make jewelry but to also make mesh safety gloves for the Armour meat cutters, yes fashion and industrial usage fused. In the 1970s, model Elsa Peretti along with Tiffany & Co. visited Whiting & Davis to experiment with the mesh machine. Looking to add some pizzazz to that little black dress – the Whiting & Davis golden snake cuff and evening bag will set you apart from the crowd at your next event or party.
Mesires keeps herself busy by giving lectures on vintage fashion, collecting vintage jewelry AND vintage clothing. Last Friday, she hosted a trunk show at Julie Watson Style’s shop on the 5th floor at 900 N. Michigan. Besides displaying her jewelry she also showcased a bright and cheerful rack of vintage Vested Gentress and Lily Pulitzer dresses. Her clients who are members of the English Speaking Union attended and tried on dresses which are perfect for an upcoming Palm Beach themed party to be held on New Year’s Eve.
Stuart Mesires owns the trademark, name and rights to Vested Gentress, clothing designer from the 1960s. She is planning to relaunch this vintage line of whimsical dresses. I can hardly wait!
– Cindy Burns
Photos: Second City Style
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