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

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Harper Collins, Nov 22, 2005 - Antiques & Collectibles - 243 pages
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Attention shopaholics: here is a book for fashionistas everywhere who view their grandmothers as fashion icons, who know crocodile is the real arm candy, and who never hesitate to throw a little catwalk into their step

Alligators, Old Mink and New Money is a celebration of the clothes that capture our memories and imaginations; that leave their indelible stamp on each of our lives. Narrated by Alison Houtte, a former fashion model who runs the beloved Brooklyn, New York, boutique Hooti Couture -- a shop that Ginia Bellafante of the New York Times has toasted as a premier spot for vintage finds -- this book is not only the story of one woman's life in fashion, but also a vintage-shopper's guide that helps readers embrace the idea of seeking out fashion finds from past decades to accent their current wardrobe.

Marrying two of women's favorite pastimes -- shopping and reading -- Alison Houtte uses the merchandise she has bought, worn, or sold as a prism through which she examines everything from the labels we wear to the labels we put on our surroundings. Whether talking about her grandmother's navy blue slip or a creamy white forties alligator purse, Houtte knows that every article of vintage clothing has a story behind it. She uses these items as a springboard to explore such universal topics as relationships, self-image, the bond between mothers and daughters, and that elusive thing called style.

Whether you're a flea market veteran who savors the thrill of the hunt or a couture shopper with a Vogue budget, or are simply drawn to the de rigueur world of vintage, Alligators, Old Mink and New Money offers a shopping adventure -- through auctions, estate sales, flea markets, and clothing racks all over the world -- to be savored, and inspired by!


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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - satyridae - LibraryThing

This was a fun book! Houtte has a vintage shop in Brooklyn, and it sounds like a delightful place to shop. Her mission is clear, her anecdotes for the most part are clever, and her tone is friendly ... Read full review


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About the author (2005)

Alison Houtte is the owner of Hooti Couture, a vintage clothing and accessories boutique in Brooklyn, New York. Before opening her own business, she worked for more than ten years as a fashion model in Paris and New York, and has appeared in both French and American Vogue, Elle, Cosmopolitan and French Marie Claire. Her Brooklyn home is filled with assorted vintage furnishings and clothing.

Melissa Houtte is an award-winning journalist whose career as a writer and editor has spanned newspapers, magazines, books, and the internet. She is the coauthor of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Healthiness and lives in San Francisco, California. Her favorite West Coast vintage haunts include the Salvation Army and the Rose Bowl Flea Market in Pasadena.

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