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

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9780060786670: Alligators, Old Mink and New Money: One Woman's Adventures in Vintage Clothing

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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About the Author:

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.

From Publishers Weekly:

For fashion lovers, flea market fanatics and thrift store junkies, this book is the perfect find. Former fashion model Alison Houtte, with the help of her sister, journalist Melissa Houtte, offers an enthusiastic memoir of her family's obsession with fashion, her early days as a model and her second career as owner of Hooti Couture, a Brooklyn boutique specializing in vintage clothing. Houtte's chatty manner and anecdotal storytelling style give the book a quick pace, as she visits country auctions and estate sales looking for the perfect items for her loyal and eclectic clientele. Throughout, she weaves in shopping tips for amateurs and admits mistakes she's made through the years (like the time she priced a jacket by Bonnie Cashin, best known for dressing Ingrid Bergman, at a mere $150, compared with its true worth of $600). The simple line illustrations throughout are a nice touch, and a "Vintage Shopper's Guide" at the end reflects Houtte's extensive knowledge of the trade. Houtte's emphasis on personal style and emotional ties to clothing make this a book that many women;and men;will enjoy.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Alison Houtte, Melissa Houtte
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