Shelby's Social Diary
Even the wealthiest women in town appreciate a bargain when they see one. This would explain the giddy enthusiasm for shopping that reverberated through the home of Becca Cason Thrash on Wednesday night.
No, she didn't open a store in her mega house. But Becca did invite consignment guru Christo Garkinos of LA's decadestwo in for a presentation. The charming Garinkos and his high-end consignment wares were instant hits with the well-heeled crowd (and we do mean plenty of Louboutins).
Women with enough discretionary income to buy Chanel straight from Paris and order Oscars by the dozen, prowled through racks and racks of high-end pieces that came from some of the toniest closets in Hollywood. And they bought and bought. Hermes, Chanel, Valentino, Naeem Khan — the designer stuff was scooped up like hot popcorn. Bargains, yes. Cheap, no.
The platinum-hued Versace handbag that retails for $4,600 was offered at less than half price for $1,900. An Alexander McQueen, still carrying the original $3,500 price tag, was marked down to $950 and the beaded Oscar de la Renta gown, that probably went for $5,000 originally, was handsomely priced at $1,500. "I feel like I'm a one-eyed hog in a sausage factory," said a jubilant Anita Smith. "Oh my gosh! And you can quote me on that." Off she went, claiming her share of designer shoes and dresses.
It was enough to make a few of our lovelies weep. "I keep seeing dresses that I own that I bought at full price," lamented Karen Stein Pulaski. "That's the story of my life."
Unlike its sister store, the original Decades, where vintage clothing is the hallmark, decadestwo deals in fashion from 1990 forward. Wednesday night and on Thursday for an invitation-only event, the sky-high, trés strappy heels, masterful bejeweled boots, handbags and gowns were au courant. Renea Abbott, for example, had her eye on a smashing Cece Cord crocodile bag in brown, priced at $2,600.
While they shopped, the champagne and Chardonnay flowed as uniformed wait staff passed the bubbly and substantive hors d'oeuvres that even the slim, trim Ericka Bagwell could not resist.
In addition to schmoozing with the ladies and helping them make selections, Garkinos was on a second mission. It's his job not only to sell the clothes but also to find sources for the boutique that moves merchandise in and out at warp speed.
"I hope to sink some more oil wells in Houston," he said, meaning he wants access to a few more ritzy closets. "I have been in everyone's closet. I love going into closets," he cooed.
Garkinos said that he has more than 3,000 consignees and names are not revealed. Clients are known by numbers. He describes his ladies as "a loyal contingency."
His hostess, Becca Cason Thrash, has done business with Decades and decadestwo for a number of years, selling designer threads on consignment and picking up vintage pieces for her wardrobe. She had first dibs on the goods that Garkinos shipped in this week. After all it was her house, and she reserved 19 pieces for herself.
The success of the operation, according to Garkinos, "is about having special pieces that you can't get anywhere else. Pieces that are unique."
Indeed, consider the Hermés swimwear and voluminous, matching cover-ups and the black-leather Moschino jacket studded with silver, a biker wannebee's dream. It looked particularly fetching on Joyce Echols.
Garkinos has only recently taken the show on the road, having schlepped a serious load of merchandise to New York recently. Dallas, Chicago and San Francisco are next on his itinerary. But you need not depend on a personal invitation to shop. Decadestwo items are offered for purchase bi-monthly at HauteLook, a website which hosts private, limited- time sales events.
Also enjoying the spotlight on this night was New York City "It" girl Amanda Brooks, who in addition to schmoozing with the ladies, signed copies of her book, I Love Your Style.
So who was on the shop-til-you-drop invitation list for Wednesday' s soirée? Count Jana Fant, Courtney Hopson, Annie Amante, Yvonne Cormier, Beth Muecke, Elizabeth Petersen, Rosemary Johnson, Kimberly DeLape, Melissa Mithoff, Susan Plank and more— a platoon of glamorous fashionistas.