Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Struck Down by the Common Flu...


I have not been here very much, due to coming down with a nasty case of the flu. One would have thought that if you only leave the house in a private limousine and associate with the best people (and no children), you are safe, but non. I urge the subway-riding commoners reading this to get a flu shot immédiatement.

So I have been laying in my bed of pain, eschewing my usual holistic remedies for aspirin, hot water with lemon and cayenne pepper, and Thai kim-chi udon soup. (You didn't think I was going to say chicken soup, did you?)

However, Fashion must go on, and so here are some things listed now at the Bodacious House of Style (link to your right, dahlings).

This sophisticated 50s vintage crepe dress with striped iridescent collar and cuffs, XL:


This lacy plus petite vintage 50s-60s dress, L-XL:


A flouncy 50s slip by Rogers, size M-L:


And finally, this beautiful fiery red print nightgown, 22/24W:

That's enough for now. Do go to my two shops (including Bodaciously Yours Vintage) and have a look. Every penny you spend will alleviate my suffering, mon chers.

Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog (who is annoyingly healthy)

P.S. Many, many thanks to my wonderful readers who swooped down on these beautiful things!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

There Is Such A Thing As Too Much Fashion!


Let me be the first to admit, I am an avid collector of all things beautiful, particularly clothes. And jewels. And bric-a-brac (so often mispronounced by the hoi polloi). In fact, some years I converted two guest bedrooms into large walk-in closets to store my collection.

But recently, returning from a particularly large estate sale, I discovered, to my amaze, that there was nowhere to put any of it! I pulled open the closet doors in front of Bucky, and this was his reaction!

Being a woman of determination and quick thinking, I knew what I had to do. Clean out the clutter, the mess, the detritus of couture past.

And so I am holding a Cancel Out Clutter event--NOT a sale, I'm not an idiot who gives away my precious things. Look for XOC in my listing titles.

Some other wretched souls have, shall we say, stolen the idea from me, so they will also be using XOC. I tried to have it trademarked, but I was not swift enough. Through December 1st, my assistant is going to be here 24 hours a day, photographing, steaming, and listing away, until I can see the floors of the guest bedrooms again.

That ought to make her day when she comes in tomorrow.

Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

Monday, October 22, 2007

WHY Do They Let Idiots Be Famous?


I was trawling the Internet in search of...I don't know, some idle entertainment, perhaps a new fashion blog as yet undiscovered...when I stumbled across an "entertainment news" site.

It was a whole new world to me. People I'd barely heard of--Ashlee Simpson, Marie Osmond, Uncle Cracker (?)--all making complete fools of themselves.

I know any number of famous people. I run into Nicole Richie on a regular basis. She's unavoidable, particularly if there are cameras around. And no sentient being can go a single day without hearing about that awful Britney Spears. I have in my Ebay store a Near Mint Condition Vintage Mickey Mouse Club jacket, size XS:

It's so terribly sad, thinking about the days when Britney was a young innocent girl. Or perhaps she was not. Who is to know what went on in the studio? Apparently Justin Timberlake, the singing parking attendant (cf. my earlier entry) was also on the show.

And then I read about some man named Kid Rock being arrested for assault in an Atlanta waffle house. Apparently this man is a" singer". Oh, yes, his mug shot quite reminds one of Tony Bennett:

How terribly suave, in a white-trash drunken way.

Mon dieu, for the days when celebrities had to DO something to be famous (except for Zsa Zsa Gabor). There was a "slideshow" of celebrities in trouble, and it was all too sordid for words.

I am going to cleanse myself by reading French Vogue.

Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

More Halloween Goodies From The House of Style!


I simply had to have my assistant post pictures of the marvelous things I still have for Halloween. The drag queen costume and the Victorian bride costume have been SOLD, but there are still some wonderful pretties available! (Can you tell I'm in a rather giddy mood? Chris Noth called a while ago! More than that I cannot say.)

Here are two Do It Yourself (or DIY) skirts, for those who care to soil their hands dying, ripping or otherwise carrying on. The waists are elastic, adjustable, and very large:


This is yet another Dead Bride (they always seek me out at this time of year!). Extrêmement glamour! The top and train are trimmed in marabou.


Do take a look, and see what else catches your fancy. I have to run...Chris is waiting!

Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

Monday, October 15, 2007

Fall In New York, and A New Venue!


Fall is here in New York at last! We have been sweltering in the unseasonable heat. But yesterday was cool, crisp, and sunny. A perfect time to attend the Tribute To New York celebration at P.J. Clarkes down in Battery Park. I’m still not positive what the whole thing was about, something to do with Italy and design.

We had to wear rosettes made of bright red ribbons with white circles that said “Tribute to New York” in the center. Fortunately your ever-chic correspondent was wearing a black Armani suit with a red silk blouse and a red Coach bag, so it matched. But the rosettes made us resemble members of an over aged high school glee club.

Other fabulously rich citizens munched on mini-hamburgers and risotto, which looked exactly like creamed corn. (Of course, the women would not touch the risotto and threw away the mini-hamburger buns, making them look even more carnivorous than they already did. Which is saying something.) And there was a great deal of cheap champagne being swilled down, naturellement, but not by moi.

My escort and I then strolled down to Culturefest, which should have been called White Tents With Brochures Fest. We “took a powder” as my dear dead friend Lana Turner would say, and went uptown for a decent meal.

The latest news on my end is that I have opened another venue! It is an elegant boutique for the finer things that I would not bother to sell on (ugh) Ebay.

Have no fear, my Ebay shop, Elisa’s Bodacious House of Style, is still my flagship store. But do take a look around Bodaciously Yours Vintage, at Specialist Auctions. It is not geared so exclusively to the full-figured female. Because, alas, as I have lamented in this blog-thing, there was no one in the 1930s sewing plus-sized Chanel knock-offs.

However, you will find such beauties as this Near Mint Vintage 1930s heavy cotton brocade gown in blue and white, with white silk satin collar and cuffs, size Medium:

And this ultra-Mod Vintage 60s Asian golden silk brocade jacket and dress set, with heavy gold soutache embroidery and large gold frog closures on the jacket. Tres Emma Peel in ‘The Avengers’, n’cest pas?


There is also fine jewelry and more. The link is to your right. Specialist Auctions is based in the United Kingdom, and they are ever so delightful to deal with. In fact, my friend Viviene of Born Too Late Vintage (recently profiled here) sells there, so take a look at her store as well!

Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

Monday, October 08, 2007

Halloween Comes To The House of Style!


Of course I have costumes for the discerning buyer! None of that rubber mask foolishness for yours truly, but a number of items that will make you look dazzling on that special night (unless you want splash fake blood on yourself and make yourself up as a zombie, it's your choice once the garment leaves my hands).

Two are up for auction and end in two days. After which they will go into my store, Elisa's Bodacious House of Style, at a much higher price.

The first was given to me in a church graveyard downtown by a beautiful young bride (you can read more about it in the description), a lovely Victorian-style 70s wedding dress with black and gray sheer lace and an enormous train! It is a size Small, but one cannot pick and choose one's ghosts!

The next is a size Medium. It was a dull white 80s prom dress but my assistant dyed it a shimmering silver (it was supposed to be black but the dunce can't do anything right, and it does look awfully pretty).

Recently listed is an actual drag queen costume--if Ginger Rogers were six foot five and a man, she would love this dress! Size 3X Tall.

Soon to be listed is another 80s prom dress, in black, size XXL:

And please do check my store over the next week for more wonderful Halloween items to come! Including DIY wedding skirts in very plus sizes for those of you who like to soil their hands to do with as you wish.

Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Ebay In Person...Or Was It?


My deepest apologies, once again, for letting life get in the way of this blog-thing. As you know, in my last entry, I was reflecting upon Karma after my (ugh) Ebay account was hacked. And then I received the invitation to Ebay In Person. It was in the last week of September.

It was at a tres’ luxurious hotel on the East Side in midtown Manhattan. As we walked in we were handed little notebooks with Ebay on the front and pens that said Ebay. Inside the large conference room was a large buffet, set with food and drink that my seller’s fees were paying for. Of course I wore a stunning 50s blue and black brocade dress and carried Bucky with me. The various Ebay personnel wore name badges and fixed smiles as they greeted us. I nodded politely, ate some expensive hors-deouvres, and mingled as best I could. It seemed that most of the attendees were buyers, and a few part-time sellers. Waiters bearing more expensive nibbles circulated among the crowd. I speared some sweet and sour chicken for Bucky, and a small beef burrito for myself.

An avuncular bearded type who called himself Griff was the subject of much adulation—apparently he has a radio show on Ebay. He bore a remarkable resemblance to that fellow who used to do the oatmeal commercials, what was his name—Wilfred something-or-other. Apparently he wanted us to call him “Uncle Griff.” I suppressed a sneer. I’ve never understood the need that some people have to be thought of as Uncle This or Grandma That…don’t they have their own relatives to annoy?

After what seemed an endless cocktail party without cocktails, we were all seated at round tables for the Question and Answer session with the various Ebay staff members. Their clothes—black shirts with “Ebay” on them and pants—made both the men and women look oddly like male Mormons.

“Uncle Griff” was in charge of the Q&A, running through the crowd to hand off the microphone to various audience members. “Spotters” around the room selected who would ask a question. I managed to give the spotter near me a seductive look and indicated that I wanted to ask a question. When other audience members posed their questions, the only description that applies is that they were given word for word the same canned answers that we received in emails, but now earnestly delivered in person.

(It crossed my mind that Ebay might actually be a cult..)

When it was my turn, I stood up holding Bucky, which really got the cameras going. I smiled as if unsalted butter wouldn’t melt in my mouth, praised Paypal’s Resolution Center, thanked them for moving Reproductions in Vintage, and then asked:

“Earlier this week hundreds of Ebay accounts were hacked. Their names, IDs, and credit card info were on the Trust and Safety Board. When I went to look, the board had been taken down. My ID, which I treasure, which is integral to my good name, had been hacked. When I called the credit card company, they said the initial charges were coming through Ebay. What do you intend to do about this, may one ask?"

The gentleman in charge of Trust and Safety looked gravely at me. He replied that most of their action was being taken on the security side on prevention, that it was hard to keep ahead of the scammers. However, “we’re leading the industry in that area.” Oh? As far as one could discern, the only institution that had fewer leaks than Ebay was the government.

The endless Q&A went on. Some of the answers seemed to be outright lies, if only from anecdotal experience, and the rest was personably impersonal. I lost interest, and took Bucky and self for a short stroll. When I returned, it was almost over.

I sat back down in my chair, we applauded dutifully, and the Ebay employees stepped off the podium. The gentleman in charge of Trust And Safety pulled up a chair next to me.

In a voice that suggested that he was speaking to a small, idiotic child, he asked me to describe the whole experience in great detail. So I did. The gentleman took notes.

He gave me an enormous smile and said, “Elisa, there are people out there who want to make Ebay look bad. This didn’t come from Ebay.”

I did not correct his familiarity in using my first name, but retorted: “The charges came from Ebay. That’s what the credit card company told me.”

“No, they didn’t. They came from somewhere else.”

“That’s not what the credit card company said. The charges were from Ebay.”

No, Elisa, they did not. You did everything right, changing your passwords and canceling your card. That was good thinking on your part, Elisa! We’re going to be issuing a press release about it in a few days.”

To be honest, I was afraid he was going to pat my knee, and then I was going to have to tell Bucky to attack him. However, with a reassuring nod, he closed his notepad and moved on to another poor soul.

The audience was filing out into the unseasonably hot September night, and that's when I saw her. If only because she was wearing a garment completely unsuited to the weather.

A vintage cheetah coat with otter collar and CUFFS!

"Stop that woman!" I cried, but it was too late. She had slipped out of the double doors and into the night.

A few days later, I received a follow-up email, informing me that Ebay is one of the safest sites on the Internet. Hmmmmph.

Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

Monday, October 01, 2007

Karma Strikes...In The Form of Ebay!


As faithful readers of this blog-thing know, my dear dead friend Lana Turner came to me to warn me that something called “Karma” was about to strike. And strike it did!

The morning after Lana’s visitation, I breakfasted, washed, dressed in a new wisp of chiffon and went into my office without a care in the world. I fully intended to write about my lovely evening at Te Casan, a simply marvelous shoe store, for a book signing event.

There I found my new assistant cowering in front of the computer. Her face was as white as a sheet of copy paper.

“What is it now?” I demanded.

“I—I—don’t know how to tell you,” she responded, flinching. “But your Ebay account—somebody hacked it! I knew these weren’t phony emails, so I checked your account, and someone has hacked into it!”

MOVE!” I said, and pushed her out of the way so that I could sit at the computer. It was but the work of the moment to pull up my email, and see notices that said “Verification of new account with Ebay--credit card on file”. And indeed, they had originated from my (ugh) Ebay account. My heart in my throat, I called the credit card that was attached to the account.

The credit card representative looked into my record, and oui, several small charges had come through Ebay (these are small amounts debited from your card to set up new IDs)! Not only that, the hacker had gone on to max out my credit card in less than 24 hours! And my credit limit is higher than the national debt!

As I sat, gasping with shock, the representative read me the details and I discovered the worst part of it all.

The fiend had used my credit card to buy…vintage.

And not just any vintage! A cheetah coat with collar and cuffs made from otter by Christian Dior from 1967! Two Fortuny gowns! A Jean Louis original evening gown from the 1950s. Mountains of Adrian from his retail line! A dress on sale from Liza Minelli’s collection! A Paul Poiret tea gown! A Claire McCardell “popover” dress in wool! Vintage Oscar de la Renta!

Whoever it was knew my taste, and knew exactly what I had been looking at recently, and where.

(Save for the Liza Minelli dress. Donnez-moi une coupure.)

A wail of anguish broke from my throat, and I fell back in my chair, sobbing. The credit card company had not thought to contact me because I am wont to buy high end vintage for my personal collection on a regular basis. The company could not refund such an enormous loss, only a small part of it. That didn’t matter, it’s only money, but the vintage


Suddenly, I heard Lana’s voice in my head: "...as we used to say, what goes around, comes around. And oh, boy, do you have it coming around!"

She was right. Not only was it time to cancel my credit card and change all of my passwords, it was time to start treating the help better. It went against my basic nature, but there it was.

I looked over at my assistant, who had backed up against the wall so hard it looked like she would disappear into the flowered wallpaper. Although it choked me to say it, I said:

“It’s not your fault, my dear, so put it out of your mind. It is my problem and I have to solve it by myself. Please sit down on the divan, you look like you’re going to faint.”

“You’re—you’re not going to scream at me? Throw anything at me? Push me over?” There was disbelief in her tone.

I forced a smile. “No, there won't be any of that any more. I’ve had a warning…somewhat like Marley’s ghost, only shapelier. Why don’t you take the rest of the day off? It will take me forever to straighten out this mess.”

After my assistant had left, I pondered what Lana had told me. It had indeed come to pass…it was the Jean Louis that hurt the most.

And, in all candor, my assistant was wearing a hideous ersatz 1970s chartreuse print dress from Strawberry, and I was deeply grateful that I did not have to look at it for the rest of the day.

But even worse was to come…at “Ebay In Person”.

Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog