Blasts from the Past

Incorporating pieces from the past into a contemporary wardrobe breathes new life into any closet

Madeline Ewles Shopping 0 Comments

Colette d’Orsay kitten heels, $248 from J.Crew in Palm Desert.
Photo courtesy of J. Crew/Palm Desert


Greater Palm Springs is home to a variety of vintage and secondhand shops that offer stunning apparel and accessories from days gone by. Sifting through racks of designer (and not-so-designer) duds in search of something special is exhilarating, especially when a rare piece reveals itself, ready to be rediscovered. Here, three fabulous vintage finds — each with a story to tell — set the stage for revamping everyday looks with eye-catching pieces of history.


Vintage Find: The Denim Jacket

Photo courtesy of FLIP Consignments

This Rick Rogers denim jacket is one in a collection of 24 uniquely embellished pieces, ranging in price from $500 to $4,500. FLIP Consignments, La Quinta. 760-564-5566.

Elaborately patterned and colorfully beaded, this one-of-a-kind denim jacket was designed in the early ’70s by Rick Rogers. In 1973, Levi Strauss & Company sponsored a contest for the best decorated denims. Out of 10,000 entries, this beauty was one of 75 winners chosen for an exhibition at the New York Museum of Contemporary Crafts (now the Museum of Art and Design), after which it toured museums around the world.

he jacket also appears in the book American Denim: A New Folk Art. To showcase this lively layering piece, keep accessories modest with a solid-color coordinating purse and gold hoops. For a dash of sophistication, style it with a flared or straight skirt and low-heeled sandals.


photo courtesy of panache optical gallery

Joan sunglasses, $425. Panache Optical Gallery, Palm Springs.


photo courtesy of American Denim: A New Folk Art

The Denim Jacket also appears in American Denim: A New Folk Art.


photo courtesy of roberto coin

The Perfect Hoop, 18-karat yellow gold, $720. Roberto Coin, Palm Desert.



Vintage Find: The Western Blazer

photo courtesy of corradi of california

Corradi of California Gene Autry jacket, $300. Wonderama, Palm Springs. 760-864-8600.


As authentically cowboy as they come, this 1970s Western-inspired blazer was custom made in the 1970s for Gene Autry by his dear friend and tailor, Alfredo Corradi. Recognized as Corradi of California, his carefully crafted menswear was donned by other celebrities, including John Wayne, Bob Hope, Desi Arnaz, and Duke Ellington.

Featuring fine details such as slip stitching, a paisley silk lining and a custom label, this jacket boasts a versatility that takes it from casual campfire conversations to more formal occasions. On cool desert evenings, slip it on over a crisp white shirt with tan pants or jeans. Honor the jacket’s country roots by stepping into a pair of hand-tooled cowboy boots.



photo courtesy of banana republic

Men’s classic fit, non-iron shirt, $79.50. Banana Republic, Palm Desert.


photo courtesy of rnt

Slim Moto denim by RNT 23, $189. Wil Stiles, Palm Springs.


photo courtesy of hamilton x-wind watch

Hamilton X-Wind watch, $1,595. Saks Fifth Avenue, Palm Desert.



Vintage Find: The Fur Cape

photo courtesy of pauline Trigère

Pauline Trigère karakul cape, priced at $1,500, is part of a four-piece collection. The Fine Art of Design, Palm Desert. 760-565-7388..



The French-born American fashion designer Pauline Trigère constructed this striking karakul (Persian lamb) pelt cape in the 1960s. Trigère was best known for her simple yet elegant silhouettes and her innovative designs, particularly in outerwear. This cape, amongst other garments, was given to current Palm Desert resident Rosalee Calvert, who regularly modeled Trigère’s designs. “It’s a big number — you have to be strong to wear it,” says Calvert, alluding to the cape’s heft. Whether worn over a dress or pants, the piece is perfect for outdoor cocktail parties or getaways to cooler climates. Accessorize with statement jewelry, add a bright handbag for a pop of color, then finish with a pair with heels for height. The cape’s dramatic length requires it!


photo courtesy of capucines

Capucines MM handbag $5,600. Louis Vuitton, Palm Desert.

photo courtesy of kate spade

“Think Links” linear earrings, $198. Kate Spade, Palm Desert.






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