ALLIGATORS, OLD MINK & NEW MONEY
ALISON HOUTTE & MELISSA HOUTTE
Avon Trade, HarperCollins Publishers Inc.
10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022
Self-help and History
Rating: 4 Cups
Alison Houtte is a former fashion model who claims Goodwill as one of her favorite shopping places. Raised by a mother who never threw anything away, Alison’s love of vintage clothing was spawned by the some of the classic pieces found in her mother’s closet. On a visit to her parent’s home and desperate for something to wear to a social engagement, Alison created an enviable dress from a navy blue slip found tucked away in her mother’s drawers. Her creation may have raised her father’s brow, but it stirred a desire in her fashionable friends to have one just like it.
With a career as a high-paid fashion model, mostly in Paris, she graced the covers of several well-known magazines. Alison further honed her ability to be creative, by finding less expensive articles to pair with and showcase the more costly ones, like a stylish forty-something jacket with a new pair of jeans, or a pair of shoes from the fifties with a cotton sun dress. A vintage necklace can add a perfect touch to a Pierre Cardin outfit, and these are the very things Alison sells in her successful vintage clothing store, Hooti Couture, in Brooklyn, New York.
Most people believe that ‘vintage’ is an entire way of dressing, but Alison shows that it is not. It can be, but just a passé piece of jewelry can create an exciting fashion look. Her appreciation for money and the work it took to earn it, keeps her searching for ‘good’ deals and she shares a whole guide in the back of the book for those who want to pick her brain on how to find the best deals and even, where to find them.
Alison and Melissa Houtte’s, Alligators, Old Mink & New Money, also dubbed, One Woman’s Adventures in Vintage Clothing, is a romp through closets, flea markets, estate sales and auctions, and is fun, even for someone who is not clothes-conscious. Alison, the model and her sister, the journalist have created a guide to becoming a “vintage” specialist. Written with humor and rich with family history, you will enjoy the time spent sharing memories, getting up close and personal with the types of people who shop Hooti Couture, and learning something in the process.
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance
Reviewer for Karen Find About New Books