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Clothes Heaven

Aug 20, 2017

We thank our friend Peggy Sue Davis as she was the impetus behind our featuring of Clothes Heaven this week, a 30-year-old staple of Old Pasadena and the source for timeless high fashion and haute couture.

We were heading back to our car after strolling Old Pasadena’s various alleyways, encountering the silly, fun, colorful, thoughtful, intriguing art of a new event called BoldPas. A site in a window front caught our eye and we paused to process the colors and shapes: an oversized purse covered with small scallop shells emerging from which is a bright turquoise geometric 60s sandal. Also in this window collage—sprinkled with a loose garland of faux Julia gerber daisies—was a tan woven purse, a turquoise, blue, and green sleeveless dress with backwards tossed scarf and forward hanging necklaces, and a white Chanel cap.

We took a step back, eyes roaming to assess our location. Ah yes, this is Clothes Heaven. And, in we walked.

 

 

Immediately one is greeted by a chaise upon which an arranged outfit is reclining (complete with handbag and jewelry). Above the chaise display is a grand crystal chandelier that hangs next to a full size gold frame, inside of which hangs a lovely full length garnet gown. All of this hangs below the silver air vent pipe. It’s a playful still life, a whimsical juxtaposition.

 

 

Scanning left to right at eye level, our senses are instantly intrigued and slightly overwhelmed. Clothes Heaven is chock-a-block full: straight racks of clothes and spiral racks of clothes, stacks of purses on tops of racks and lining shelves, boots and shoes lining shelves and along the floor, hats that hang and hats that sit. And, we mustn’t forget to mention the jewelry displays with gold, gold, and more gold. In Clothes Heaven, there’s a lot to see and to process. Take a breath, shoppers, and dive right in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our first impression: the materials are divine. The designs, the stitching, the colors, the textures—it’s as though we’re viewing treasured art; we’re in awe, and we savor, relish, revel in all that we see, and touch.

Secondly, the designers: Helmut Lang, Eileen Fisher, Givenchy, Alexander McQueen, Kokun, Gucci, Pravda, Ralph Lauren, Missoni, Eskander, and, naturally, Chanel. Lots of Chanel.

 

 

 

The lovely, welcoming, and hospitable Larayne gives us a tour of the shop, all the way from the back room that contains jackets and tops at half price, as well as the “$29 Department”, to pointing out the fabulous collection from “Client #151”. Larayne draws our attention to a dress and short matching jacket that just so happens, if you’d look right this way, to match this superb evening clutch. Oh, and did we forget to mention, the shoes are fabulous—fabulous!—with more outstanding craftsmanship to adore.

(Please understand, we are not a natural shopper. Our closet is more Katherine Hepburn than Iris Apfel, but materials, stitching, and details can capture our attention and thrill our senses for hours upon hours.)

Larayne tells us how Chanel used to include information labels that share details about a garment, the primary detail listed under “collection”. From what is written, such as “93A”, one knows the garment was part of Chanel’s 1993 collection. Alas, Larayne tells us, sometime in the early 2000s, Karl Lagerfeld announced that his designs were indeed timeless, and as such would no longer bear these particular labels.

 

 

 

 

 

Need some help? Larayne and her team are happy to help you find a particular item, something for a particular event, create an ensemble, or even help you find your style and do a wardrobe overhaul. (Even we, the opposite of a fashionista, would welcome that opportunity.)

 

 

 

 

Though this is a resale shop, please don’t think thrift store. With name brands such as those mentioned, a crop Chanel jacket with an abstract design in pink, orange, and yellow can remove $325 from your coffers. But when this item might cost $1,300 new, then parting with a few benjamins is more than worth it for those who delight in taking ownership of fashion treasure.

 

Clothes Heaven, 111 E. Union St., Pasadena 91103. Hours: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Ph: 1.626.440.0929. ClothesHeaven.com.

 

 

 

 

 




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