To my surprise, I wandering into INA Chelsea and quickly found myself lost in a book. A plethora of consigned fashion books are currently lining the shelves in Chelsea, the clothing featured on the glossed pages appearing within the racks, side by side.
First, I picked up a book written by Patrick Mauries called Jewelry by Chanel, featuring jewelry by Gabrielle Chanel, known for experimenting with lacquered wood and rococo mirrors. She is quoted in saying, her jewelry should be appreciated “with innocence, with naivety, like enjoying an apple tree in blossom along the road as we speed by in a car.”
Then I thumbed through Walking Dreams: Salvatore Ferragamo (1898 – 1960), distributed by D.A.P., discussing the cork wedge made from Italian wine stoppers and the stiletto heel, both invented by Ferragamo.
As a survey of fabrics, The New Textiles: Trends and Tradition by Chloe Colchester, follows the new technological advances of "intelligent fabrics", such as I found in the intelligent designs of Hermes penguin patterns and burlesque ladies decorating Dolce and Gabbana mens' ties.
Missonologlia: The World of Missoni, edited by Isa Tutino, restaged for my imagination an early runway show of the Missoni house. In 1967, the sheerness of lamé fabrics revealed itself under runway spotlights, causing a sensation and cementing Missoni's position as an expert design house. The enigmatic geometric zig-zag was everywhere to be found in INA Chelsea.
The last book I happened upon, Wild: Fashion Untamed by Andrew Bolton, documented a past exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The timeline of feathers and plumage traced, this book contains photographs from the Renaissance to hip-hop: bird-like adornment has not only been used for warmth, but as feminized decoration.
From top: Vintage Chanel ivory silk suit from the 1980s, lined in fluorescent green sequins; Giuseppe Zanotti beaded patchwork kitten heel; Dolce & Gabbana silk mens' tie with lady collage and Hermes silk mens' tie with kaleidoscopic penguins; Missoni multi-colored woven button-down sweater; Kirna Zabete plumage ankle strap heel.