Thursday, July 31, 2008

Naming contest!!! We need your help!!!!

Nora and....??????????? ???????????

What a dilemma!

Here we have a lovely new circa 1950 hat model but alas, when we refer to her we are at a loss for a name!!

We are extending a request for some new suggestions, since she will certainly continue to be part of our lives ( and yours!) and we can't continue to refer to her in photographs as "Helen and....???)

Give us some ideas in the "comments" section and we will credit you should we flip over your name suggestion!

As you can see, we continue to mend and check-in our large Canadian 20's and 30's film, just in time to start a new 20's and 30's gangster flick next week!

Should you have caught all the "Mad Men" promos on morning TV shows, you would have seen our clothes, too!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Helen’s cousins came to visit the loft midday—all the way from Brussels, Belgium! They walked all the way here from Jackson Heights, Queens (which is a pretty long way) and are off to sightsee a bit more for the rest of the day. Helen kept telling them that if they wanted to walk for 2 hours and explore NY they could choose better than to stroll the car repair shops and shopping centers dotting Northern Boulevard!!! We’re still cleaning up the racks for “Amelia” and writing up the principal wardrobe for their final scenes shooting in South Africa. One of our former favorite repair-estresses, Marietta, will come in next week to help restore/alter the men’s suits back to their original sizes. I would consider Marietta one of the costume gods. Let me explain—she’s always a sight to see, with her brightly colored (and often themed) outfit ensembles, her rolling luggage case that houses all of her essential sewing supplies (I have never seen so much detail in a thread collection), and her exTREME knowledge and genuine enthusiasm for crafts and anything costume-related. It’s as if she fell from the sky. She is in a word, awesome. We’re also cleaning and re-organizing a bit—Helen brought in a new Kenmore sewing machine (that works wonderfully), a vintage 1940’s coffee table w. yellow/pimento green paint, and a male torso frame w. black velvet arms, so come and check out our new colorful additions. Coolness has rested over New York for the past couple of days with some heavy rain but milder sun with a sense of relief (which means a lot as we near August—the hottest month of the summer - yipes). It gives us and the clothes a reprieve for the oncoming weekend.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Nora bringing out her inner diva, resting on the chaise
Allison and Masha, washing up after a big lunch!

Another heat wave passing through New York, ay ay ay! Masha’s assortment of chocolate melted into a smooth spread at lunch, and we were all due for a revival with the latest “spritz-ing” with the water bottle.

I (Allison) just got back from Berlin, Germany, where I was working with the Martha Graham Dance Company for 2 weeks. I was able to do a large amount of second-hand shopping with the help of my awesome wardrobe assistant who pointed out a bunch of the local spots that still seem relatively undiscovered by most Berliners. I uncovered a lot of affordable vintage pumps at one spot (for 15 euro plus a beer in the bag!) and some other knick-knacks. Most of their second-hand stores are not very organized, unlike a lot of thrift shops here in the States, where cups and saucers are allotted a space, along with clothes, books, shoes, etc. But I found the ones in Berlin to be almost like a treasure cave where disorganization made sense, and I think this idea of “second-hand chaos” proves a lot more rewarding when you uncover something of individual value. (I also want to do a plug for my wardrobe assistant in Berlin—check out her book-binding art at

The rest of the staff is also taking some time to explore outside of Uffner Vintage. Masha is off to Russia soon, to explore her sculpture/welding projects with her dad, as well as find more personal inspiration for her individual designs, and maybe even find some Russian vodka (quite probable). Helen was away in Nantucket for July 4th and will be taking a small vacation with her mom in August (mother/daughter trip), and Nora is going away to Michigan for two weeks at the end of August.

Other business news: Yesterday, we got a lot of donations from a past production at BAM: a nice selection of clothes and shoes from early periods and in quite good condition, I might add. We’re still checking in returns from “Amelia.” Uffner Vintage continues pumping on, pumping on until the heat wave passes us by.....we just ordered tall glasses of lemonade and iced tea to take a break with!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

EEEK!! Movie wardrobe returning!

masha, nora and amanda relaxing

amanda, nora and masha working

Wouldn't you know that on one of the hottest days of the summer we received 4 immense cartons 1920's and 1930's returned from Canada from the film "Amelia"...according to the shipping tag, 956 pounds of clothes!

We started out with Masha, Nora and Amanda sitting on top of the cartons (they needed a ladder!) to scope out the birdseye view of the place! Once we got over our initial dazed looks (!!!) at the bulk we had to tackle and check in, we started working.

We recently shipped more items for this film to South Africa, where they will continue shooting other scenes - cross your fingers that we don't get a shipment of hats back from Africa from which might emerge a huge, live insect that lands on Helen's arm - that happened when she was unpacking the rented hats from "Out of Africa" many years ago and she still shudders to this day, thinking about it!

"Amelia" is about Amelia Earhart, a big mega-picture starring Hillary Swank. The costume designer is the extraordinarily gifted Kasia Maimone, who we worked with on "Capote."

Friday, July 11, 2008

Hi from Helen

Allison & Masha

Nikoo, Allison, Helen & Nora

Allison and Nora started this blog recently and I thought I would put my 2 cents in (smile)!!

A little about our company:

Aside from our commercial work, another major part of HUVC’s business is renting clothes and accessories as prototype inspiration (for copying) to fashion designers, including Polo-Ralph Lauren, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs and Anthropologie.

Clothes range from evening gowns to separates.

Accessories include shoes, hats, purses, costume jewelry, walking sticks, parasols, fans, watches, eyeglasses, cufflinks, ties, gloves, scarves, luggage and shawls.

The company has been cited for 4 Emmy Award citations for the costumes for “Lonesome Dove”, “A Woman of Independent Means”, “The Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All” and “The Inheritance” and has been featured in the New York Times, Premiere Magazine, Paris-Match, DNR, New York Post, Chelsea Now, Metro-NY and several TV shows.

I was on History Channel demonstrating the history of men’s ties, was interviewed on some long-ago TV newsmagazine show whose name I can no longer remember (senior moment!) and have guest-lectured on clothing history and also taught at Parsons School of Design.

Recent movies include:

. The Assassination of Jesse James

. August Rush

. There Will be Blood

. The Great Debaters

. Indiana Jones

. Leatherheads

and soon to be released:

. Brothers Bloom

. Revolutionary Road

. Synecdoche, NY

. Bolden

. The Changeling

. Cadillac Records

We are all getting used to our new space in Long Island City after years in Manhattan and are enjoying it here - only bemoaning the fact the LIC is getting so "hot" it will become another hip, crowded Manhattan!


Thursday, July 3, 2008


I've been taking photos of our space for our website-in-production:

In the back, shoes and jackets
Layers of clothing! Front, items for sale and early Menswear behind
One of our dress forms with a costume

We will be closed tomorrow for the 4th, but hope to post more regularly in the future!