FASHIONDIG’S GOLDEN OLDIES
Byline: Rusty Williamson
DALLAS — Who needs flea markets?
Searching for vintage fashion is just a click away, at FashionDig.com, an e-commerce and community Web site.
The Internet destination, which went live in January, offers cyber-malls devoted to apparel and accessories from the early 1900s through the Seventies and Eighties.
There’s also a photo and video gallery of 20th-century fashion plus an advice column, a chat room, a fashion calendar, a bookstore and a classified section.
Merchandise is grouped by fashion epochs and currently spotlights Victorian, Edwardian and Deco styles from 1900 to 1929; Mod and disco apparel from the Sixties through the Eighties, and a men’s haberdashery.
E-malls and boutiques devoted to 20th-century eveningwear and various styles from the Forties and Fifties are set to open this summer, including the Dress Up Shop, which is now live on the site. Apparel from the Nineties and vintage fragrances may be offered later this year.
“We’re all about 20th-century fashion and style,” explained Janet Pytowski, an owner of FashionDig.com along with Barry Bryant. Bryant also owns a site specializing in retro home furnishings, called GoMod.com.
“The Victorian era is undoubtedly attracting the most attention [from consumers] now, followed by the Sixties and Seventies,” said Pytowski. “And stylists and designers are intrigued by the Eighties.”
Merchandise at FashionDig.com comes from a variety of sources and is grouped by trend or proprietor.
For various fees, private collectors and vintage store owners can open individual online shops or consign goods in the trend-defined vintage malls. They currently include the site’s Mod and Victorian areas, as well as individual boutiques such as Orlando Vintage, based in Winter Haven, Fla., and Ellen Christine Eclectic, which operates two brick-and-mortar stores, in the Chelsea section of Manhattan and Cape May, N.J. There’s also a free classified section called My Closet.
Much of the FashionDig.com merchandise, though, is owned by Pytowski and Bryant, who spend their spare time combing estate sales, auctions and flea markets.
“The interest level in 20th-century fashion is very high,” Pytowski noted. “Vintage is trendy. Because vintage inspirations are all over the runways, consumers are inspired to learn about, or purchase, originals.”
Reflecting the comprehensive research and two years spent planning the site, each shop at FashionDig.com features a compendium of information about the apparel for sale, including a garment’s history and care instructions, as well as designer biographies.
Among the items for sale recently in FashionDig Goes Victorian were a coral silk crepe de chine ballgown, circa 1900, from the House of Drecoll, at $1,095, and a blue silk velvet opera coat from 1920, at $810.
Also featured on the site are a women’s brown wool suit from the Twenties, with styling references to World War I, such as a self-belt jacket and dramatic yoking, at $2,085; a Twenties black silk evening coat embellished with gold bugle beads, at $1,200, and a blue rayon tulle embroidered jacket with lace and soutache trim from 1930, at $360.
For those into something a bit more groovy, the Mod Shop offerings included a pair of Seventies pink and green platform shoes for $85; a Molly Parnis Boutique white, pink and yellow HotPants suit, date unknown, at $82; a Seventies disco jumpsuit with “rabbit ear” collar, and lots of Pucci and Courreges.
The men’s haberdashery, recently opened on FashionDig.com, features items such as a Forties white dinner jacket with airbrushed leopard detail for $165; a 19th-century black silk damask vest for $345, and late Fifties “Rat Pack”-inspired iridescent suit and atomic explosion-print silk tie for $245.