We’re all familiar with the popular wedding poem, “Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue.” A good friend of mine recently became engaged, so as the ritual planning of the impending nuptials commences, I’ve been thinking a lot about this saying and how powerfully it relates to vintage fashion. “Something Old” refers to our connectivity to and appreciation for the past; “Something New” to optimism and hope; “Something Borrowed” to the sharing of good fortune and another nod to the past; and “Something Blue” is a reference to olden times when women actually wore blue — as in blue wedding dresses. The other day, after lunch at my favorite West Village haunt, I happened upon a little hidden gem of a store called Geminola. I had read about it a while ago when it opened and made a note to drop in, but since I don’t usually think of the West Village as a hotbed for vintage treasures, I must admit I had forgotten about it until now.
Geminola is a true original in a sea of chainstore conformity. Everything in the store is handmade by British designer Lorraine Kirk. She only uses pre-1950s vintage fabrics (something old) to create the most magical and feminine frocks (something new). Each piece is one-of-a-kind and maintains a strong reference to the past. In fact, I had visions of Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette and the cream puff-colored dresses, wigs, and décor (perhaps the something borrowed). Each delightful little jewel is created from mountains of tulle, the finest lace, and candy-colored, floral prints. Ribbon and flowers adorn each dress, adding sometimes subtle and sometimes show-stopping embellishment. Most of the pieces are under $1,000, and many are even under $500, making this perhaps the most affordable custom design in New York.
If frilly, girly, over-the-top fashion is not your style, Geminola also has some of most inspired vintage accessories and items for the home. Special finds include a must-have leopard print handbag or brilliant gemstone necklaces, and the hand-dyed bedding and Victorian lace curtains will add coquettish glamour to any New York space.
Now, you’re probably thinking I forgot about the “Something Blue” part of the poem, but I was just saving the best for last. A wedding or any occasion is about joy and celebration, so if you are the type to buck tradition, a Geminola gown in any hue will only enhance the jubilance. If you ask Lorraine nicely, I’m sure she might even customize an extravagant “gem” to suit your every whim.