A dress, coat and gown worn to Lyndon B. Johnson’s presidential inaugural address and ball 50 are among hundreds of vintage fashion treasures that will be auctioned on Thursday, Jan. 15 at J. Levine Auction & Appraisal during the high-end auction house’s debut vintage clothing “Icons of Style” specialty auction in partnership with Plumb Line Designs, a fashion and arts marketing consultation firm.
The timeless and stylish auction coincides with the 50th Anniversary of LBJ’s inauguration, which falls on Jan. 20, and also features iconic handbags, stylish and unique designer garments and dazzling costume jewelry and accessories.
The auction also features an iconic costume worn by actress Lauren Bacall in the 1953 film, “How to Marry a Millionaire,” starring Bacall, Betty Grable and Marilyn Monroe.
A portion of the sale proceeds will be donated toward a scholarship fund to benefit fashion students at Mesa Community College’s Fashion Merchandising and Design program.
The public can preview items on Wednesday, Jan. 14 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and again starting at 9 a.m. on Thursday before the auction begins at 11 a.m.
J. Levine is located at 10345 N. Scottsdale Road, in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Josh Levine, auctioneer and owner of J. Levine Auction & Appraisal, credits Sherry Sklar, a fashion specialist and MCC adjunct professor, with spearheading the auction logistics.
“Sherry is quite knowledgeable and we are grateful to her for bringing such a unique auction to J. Levine. She is also turning this into an educational project for some of her students.”
Ms. Sklar said the auction will appeal to vintage collectors, fashion enthusiasts and anyone interested in personal style.
“Vintage fashion doesn’t have to be an indecipherable or an unachievable addition to your wardrobe. Sometimes incorporating a unique upcycled item to your existing style palette can give your look just the right amount of dash to make an individual fashion statement,” she said.
Ms. Sklar offers tips in considering vintage items:
* Look for pieces that are in good condition, without moth holes, stains or overly worn seams. If you plan to wear your vintage garment, you want pieces that still have strength and integrity and can stand up to activity and dry cleaning.
* Look for identifiable fashion labels from manufacturing houses or designers, if you mean to build a serious collection. Often vintage garments lack labels as they were commonly removed.
* Use a tape measure: Vintage clothing sizes rarely coincide with contemporary wear. Choose garments from your existing closet that fit, and bring these measurements with you along with a tape measure when examining vintage items for potential fit.
* Look for construction clues as signs of quality: boned bodices, hand sewing, flat lining, bound buttonholes, handset zippers, covered buttons, piped seams, bias-bound edges, bound seam allowances, silk linings. These are signs of quality finishes and materials.
The “Icons of Style” auction is J. Levine’s first vintage fashion auction in a series of specialty auctions planned each month for the next year. Upcoming auctions include fine art, Native American art, sports memorabilia, photography and print, musical instruments and more.
Auctions are subject to a 15 percent Buyers Premium (20 percent for Internet and phone bidders). For information, visit www.jlevines.com or call 480-496-2212.
The Scottsdale Independent is available for free every Wednesday.