The Vintage Designer Fashion Guide

Rose Marie Reid Swimwear is Timeless April 19 2022

The Beach Dilemma:  I think we can all admit it—sometimes today’s bathing suits are just a little too itsy bitsy and teeny weeny.  It seems as if the history of going to the beach for some relaxation and fun in the sun, sand, and water has gone from one extreme (not a spare inch of skin exposed, heavens no!) to the other (are you allowed to call that clothing?).  But really, what was wrong with the middle?  Swim suits of the 1950s and 1960s were chic, modest, and sexy, all at the same time—and Rose Marie Reid knew how to achieve that finite balance better than anyone.

Not only was Rose Marie a business woman and Mormon missionary, but she was clever.  She made her first bathing suit in 1937, and by 1950 she had patented a swim suit made of a special permeable fabric that allowed for whole body tanning.  No tan lines?  Awesome!

If you were a beach-going woman in the 1940s, 1950s, or 1960s and just ached for a bathing suit in an eye-catching mirrored fabric or Lurex brocaded satin, who would you turn to?  Rose Marie Reid, of course!  Want a bathing suit with some support?  Rose Marie Reid had your back!  Want to wear the same swim suit as a celebrity?  No problem—ever heard of Rose Marie Reid fan Rita Hayworth?

We were lucky enough to stumble upon an amazing example of Rose Marie Reid’s 1950s swimwear pieces, and are proud to offer it to the discerning fashionista who recognizes the true beauty of chic beachwear.  And check out the ad!

Vintage 1993 CHANEL – Chanel Charms and Accessories April 19 2022

Think back to the Chanel collection from 1993. Chanel has been known for many things—chic luxury, classic flap handbags, little black dresses, the two-piece suit.  But in 1993, Chanel was known for its belts. Karl Lagerfeld sent model after model down the runway that year dressed in long layers and short layers, jackets and pantsuits, virtually all with a signature  linked belt slung low on her hips.  There were simple gold link belts, belts with multiple tiers, belts with charms and iconic CC symbols dangling down.

Here at Rice and Beans Vintage, we are fortunate enough to have a classic  belt from the 1993 season, complete with four-leaf clover charms.  Wear it as a  traditional as a belt, or more customized as a necklace.  Plus the beautiful Lea Michelle was just wearing nearly the identical belt on the cover of ELLE!  Who doesn’t need a little more luck in their lives?

1993 CHANEL Icon Charm Belt or Necklace Lea Michele ELLE Cover wearing the Vintage 1993 CHANEL Icon Charm Belt

What is Coco Chanel Known for? April 19 2022

Is there anything more chic and feminine than a little black dress? Or a classic two-piece Chanel suit? And what about those fantastic quilted bags, monogrammed ballet flats, and long gold chain and pearl necklaces? Rice and Beans Vintage is fortunate to have some fantastic and drool-worthy Chanel pieces come its way; but the real question is, what would the world of fashion—especially vintage fashion—be like if Chanel had never ventured beyond the realm of creating hats?

Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel set up her first millinery in 1908 at 21 Rue Cambon in Paris. By the end of World War I, she had started dressmaking—and thank goodness she did! From the very beginning of her career to the time of her death in 1971—and beyond, with the contemporary designs put out by the company—Chanel developed innovative, unique, and ground-breaking designs for the modern woman.

Chanel is credited with creating the popularity of what has come to be termed the “little black dress” (or LBD) starting in the 1920s. Even today, the LBD is a staple of every woman’s wardrobe—how many do you own?

Chanel’s classic two-piece suits were also created in the 1920s, and have since been modified to meet the demands of changing tastes. While she obviously had a never-ending supply of innovation sparking design, Chanel was also intensely aware of the need for clothing to be functional—especially when it came to her suits. Pockets were never fake (Chanel once said that there should never be a button without a buttonhole), and her living models were instructed to bend down, as if getting into a sports car, or step up, as if boarding a bus, to ensure the clothing moved in an easy, comfortable, and appropriate way. A fine metal chain was added to jacket hems to make sure the piece always hung well. Quality materials were used, and new designs and products were introduced. In short, Gabrielle Chanel looked after women. She offered them quality and luxury, and designs to speak to the modern woman. Where would we be if she felt content designing hats, and never took risks?

Vintage Fashion as Props in American Hustle Movies Scenes April 19 2022

American Hustle wins big at the 2014 Golden Globes and we’d like to think we had something to do with it….
Ok so maybe not exactly, but did you know that 17 Vintage Designer pieces from Rice and Beans Vintage were handpicked to be featured in scenes in American Hustle? When I was approached last year to rent pieces of late 1970‘s Vintage Designer clothing for the latest David O. Russell project, I jumped on it and I’m glad I did!

By now I’m sure you have seen or at least heard of the latest film from the highly regarded director David O. Russell, American Hustle. Not only did American Hustle take home three awards at the 2014 Golden Globes but let’s face it, the movie is serious eye candy for vintage designer lovers everywhere. The majority of the vintage clothing worn in American Hustle was by the main characters played by Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Christian Bale, and Jeremy Renner were carefully constructed reproductions of period late 1970’s pieces.

In several scenes including the “Cosmopolitan Magazine Scene” and the “Dry Cleaner Scene” David O. Russel wanted authentic late 70’s Vintage Designer clothing to be part of the set. Check out the Vintage Designer Clothing Below from Rice and Beans Vintage that was used in American Hustle that is still in stock & snatch up one for yourself!

Get a closer look at the top 5 rented looks and vintage fashion props in scenes from movie American Hustle:

  1. Vintage HERMES Silk Sun Hat with Ribbon Trim
  2. Vintage NORMAN NORELL Silk Polka Dot Maxi Dress from 1970
  3. Vintage BONNIE CASHIN Orange Leather Wrap Dress from the 70’s
  4. Exclusive BILL BLASS Velvet and Silk Strapless Gown from the 70’s
  5. Vintage Chanel Blouse in Orchid

Plus Shop ALL The Items Used in American Hustle Here!

Halston - A History April 19 2022

Roy Halston Frowick.  If you don’t know the Halston name, consider yourself warned.  Because once you see his work—so chic!—you’ll be scheming up ways to get your hands on a piece of it.  Although Halston died in 1990, the label is still churning out collections.  While the label’s contemporary clothing is beautiful, his vintage pieces are just as amazing—more so when you realize how revolutionary many of them were.

The Halston label was founded in the 1960s, and the designer quickly set about making a name for himself in the world of fashion.  He utilized simple, elegant silhouettes that emphasized movement, and used fabrics like jersey, suede, and cashmere to reinvent wardrobe staples such as the shirtdress and caftan.  By the time the 1970s rolled around, his clientele was synonymous with pop culture and the world of Studio 54.  In 1974, he unveiled his Tube Dress design, which was a single-cut, single-seam dress.  Look in your closet—you probably have dresses made in the same way; you can thank Halston for that.  In the early 1980s, Halston became the first designer to enter into a partnership with a major retailer (JC Penney) to allow for mass-production of his pieces; as a result, average consumers on a budget could own a piece of designer clothing.

Whenever such luxury comes across our door here at Rice and Beans Vintage, we breathe a little sigh of appreciation, and wonder how we could incorporate that Halston vintage designer piece of into our wardrobe.

Gianni Versace: Facts About the Mansion & the Man April 19 2022

Gianni Versace lived his life like he designed his clothes—in a big way, in a bright way, and in a lavish way.  His home in Miami, Florida (one of many around the world) was Versace in a nutshell.  Called Casa Casuarina, it was built in 1930 and inspired by the family home of Christopher Columbus.  The Versace mansion was purchased in 1992 and made a reported $33 million in improvements—including a pool flanked by a huge mosaic tile medallion with his trademark Medusa head in the center.  Oh, yes & it was lined in 24 karat gold.  Yeah.  Let that sink in for a moment.  Rumor has it the pool was designed in Italy, broken down in pieces, and mailed to the United States where a team of 75 people reassembled it.

The Versace Mansion

Casa Casaurina may have been modeled on the home of an old Italian family and decorated with nods to the past (there were Wedgwood and Italian suites, fine antiques, classically-themed murals on the walls and ceilings), but Gianni Versace eschewed that sense of history in every part of his clothing designs—except his use of the iconic Medusa head.  “I am not interested in the past, except as a road to the future,” he told the New York Times in 1990.  “I want to be a designer for my time.  I love the music, the art, the movies of today.  I want my clothes to express all of this.”

Versace’s clothes were vibrant, loud, and often in-your-face.  His designs were not for the shy and reserved, but worked best on the daring fashionista.  His history started as many other influential designers do—humbly.  His mother (a dressmaker) taught him to sew, and Gianni designed his first dress when he was just nine.  His father wanted him to pursue a career in architecture and surveying—imagine if he had?  The fashion world would have been without an important player—but the architecture world would have been turned upside down.  I’m sure he would have been amazing at it as well!

Vintage GIANNI VERSACE Silk Print Jacket at Rice and Beans Vintage

For all of his inspired designs, awards, and honors, Gianni Versace was tragically shot and killed on the steps of Casa Casaurina after returning from a morning walk by a stranger on a killing spree in July of 1997.  His sister Donatella (who doubled as his muse) took over as designer of the fashion house soon after, but Gianni’s death really begs the question: what if?  What if he was still alive, still designing, and still breaking new ground?

Casa Casaurina—where Versace once entertained the likes of Princess Diana, Richard Avedon, and Madonna—was sold in 2013 for $41.5 million (it had hoped to sell for $125 million)  and will soon re-open as  The Villa By Barton G. a luxury boutique hotel.  Anyone else get the urge to pack their favorite Versace silk jacket and body-con dress and hop on a plane to Miami?  Don’t forget the sunscreen!

Vintage GIANNI VERSACE Aztec Print Velvet Handbag at Rice and Beans Vintage

written by Heather Cox , edited by Sarah Korsiak Cellier

Louis Vuitton: Beyond The Logo April 19 2022

Luggage has developed beyond the days of huge wooden trunks strapped to the back of horse-drawn carriages, carrying everything you would need for a trip beyond your front door.  You may not know it, but we owe a lot of this innovation in part to the one, the only, Louis Vuitton.

LV Label

Today, we take some things for granted.  Locks that can’t be broken or picked easily.  Goods made of fabrics impervious to water.  Stackable boxes.  In the mid-1800s, though, those things were not commonplace—or even in existence at all.  It wasn’t until Louis Vuitton actually designed a rectangular trunk made of canvas (making it lighter, and more water repellent) in 1858 that people realized how much sense it made.  Gone were the domed trunks that made stacking impossible.  In 1886 Louis and his son Georges took traveling without worry one step further—they invented a single lock system with two spring buckles, which made a lock that was deemed unpickable.  Georges even challenged Harry Houdini to make an escape from a locked Vuitton box through a public newspaper.  Okay, Houdini didn’t respond, but we’d like to think it was because he found the challenge too overwhelming.

Vintage Louis Vuitton Trunk Stickers a special order from Rice and Beans Vintage

There is something very romantic and intriguing about a Vintage Louis Vuitton trunk— intercrossing L’s and V’s,  built-in clothes hangers, interior compartments with quilted linings, travel stamps from its journey around the world, the famous unpick able lock.   Want!  Need!  The Vintage Louis Vuitton Trunk is not just for travel anymore either.  I have lots of chic clients who use their LV trunks for coffee tables or take a cute Vintage Louis Vuitton Boîte Falcons Train Case and use it as  a jewelry box in their bedroom!  

Louis Vuitton Boite Falcons Train Case at Rice and Beans Vintage

Luggage aside, Louis Vuitton is among one of the most immediately recognizable fashion brands in the world, with its trademark interlocking initials, quatrefoil designs and signature beige on brown coloring.  The fashion house now sells all sorts of goods, from its popular handbags and wallets to belts, accessories, and clothing.  Have you checked out the latest fall/winter ready to wear collection?  We love the mixed materials, flattering silhouettes and classic handbags.

Shop Vintage Louis Vuitton Now! 

written by Heather Cox & edited by Sarah Korsiak Cellier

Top 4 Reasons To Shop Vintage HERMES April 19 2022

Here are the Top 4 Reasons to Shop Vintage Hermés:

  1. Hermes is  pure luxury.

Two words:  Birkin Bag.  In today’s world, we hate to wait for anything—but somehow adding one’s name to a lengthy waiting list to get your very own Birkin bag is worth the wait.

Some other delicious words:  Kelly bag.  Silk scarf.  Colliar de chien bracelet.  Is it just us, or does the mere sight of that trademark orange box quicken the pulse?

  1.  It’s fashion-forward, but remains true to its roots.

Hermés was opened as an harness shop in 1837 by twenty-six-year-old Thierry Hermés.  The small Paris harness shop catered to European noblemen by creating high-quality harnesses and bridles for hoses-drawn carriages.  (Suddenly that iconic logo makes more sense, doesn’t it?)  Eventually transitioning into leather handbags, the business moved to 24 Rue de Faubourg Saint-Honoré—where the company’s flagship store is still located.  The equestrian theme and tradition of fine leather goods continues to this day with traditional goods and details like riding boots, jodhpurs, horsebit clamps, and the ultimate in leather handbags.

  1. It’s has staying power.

Hermés has been in business for 177 years—enough said.  The company introduced the Kelly bag (then called the sac à courroie pour dame) in the 1930s (but it wasn’t made famous until that famous photograph of Grace Kelly with the bag in 1956).  The silk scarf debuted in 1937, silk neckties in 1949.  A chance encounter with Jane Birkin in 1984 led to the creation of the Birkin bag, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year!  (Side note:  If you’re in the mood to drool, Google the $81,000 red crocodile, gold, and diamond Birkin bag that was made for the bag’s 20th anniversary in 2004.  Want.)  Buying a piece of Hermes whether it is new or vintage is an investment in chic and it will never go out of style.

  1. It’s iconic.

The orange box, the horse-and-carriage logo, the silk scarves and ties, and equestrian detailing, the riding boots, the coveted bags—what more can be said?

Buy your very own piece of history now.  Shop Vintage Hermes!

Hermes Bag at Rice and Beans Vintage

Chanel Goes Shopping! Fall 2014 RTW April 19 2022

I woke up Tuesday morning to find the buzz on Instagram was all about Chanel.  The Fall 2014 Ready to Wear Collection had just finished in Paris and the fashion world was going Coco crazy for Karl.  By know it is clear to most everyone who loves Chanel that Karl Lagerfeld is an artistic genius.  This collection was shown at the Grand Palais in Paris  was no exception.  The Grand Palais had been magically turned into a chic supermarche, the shelves lined with products all labeled with Chanel branding.  The models walked admits the aisles both casually shopping and with the clear intention of strutting their stuff.  I saw several pieces in the collection that are sure to become Vintage Chanel collectibles in 10 years time!  There was the chain & leather wrapped basket handbags, the multi textured boucle & iridescent sneakers, and the revival of the long boucle coat shown here over luxe leggings.  The result was not only a feast for the eyes but original and fresh.  Check out’s video below to see all the looks from the collection. Find your piece of Vintage Chanel History Now at Rice and Beans Vintage!

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J. Mendel – Handcrafted Furs Since The 1800’s April 19 2022

“You don’t really see all this labor of love at the end, but you know, that’s what’s so extraordinary,” Gilles Mendel, head designer for handcrafted fur designer,  J. Mendel recently said in a video spotlight for The New York Times T Magazine.  “The magic is there when you don’t feel it.  The woman who wears it definitely understands it.”

Gilles Mendel learned from the best.  The J. Mendel company was established in 1870 in St. Petersburg, Russia as a boutique specializing in luxurious furs.  The company’s reputation for quality and craftsmanship landed Joseph Mendel a commission by Czar Alexander II to create an ermine cape for his wife.  Soon after, the Mendel family became the official furrier of the Romanov family.

And here’s the thing—with Mendel’s designs, you don’t even have to be the one wearing the pieces to understand the magic.  One can simply look at his furs, his handbags, his wedding dresses, and holy cow—do you feel it?

Jacques Mendel opened the first J. Mendel fur atelier in Paris in 1934, where the company remained until 1981, when Gilles Mendel became head designer and CEO and moved the company to New York City.  The company still has the reputation for outstanding furs and extraordinary craftsmanship, and each piece is made by hand by artisans who take pride in their work.

J. Mendel furs are amazing.  They’re luxe, they’re unique, they make you feel cozy just looking at them.  Materials are mixed, the fur is treated in new and unexpected ways, and we. are. loving. it.  Mendel’s spring 2014 collection includes garments featuring strips of fur interspersed with lace, creating a unique effect and undeniable luxury.  We’re obsessed.

Watch The NYTimes Video Here:  J. Mendel NYTimes: Fashion

Shop Vintage Furs at Rice and Beans Vintage Now! 

(Photo: Gilles Mendel Perfecting a look from the 2010 J. Mendel Collection. Photo credit Afton Almaraz / AP)

The Top 3 Reasons Why to Buy Designer Vintage! April 19 2022

It’s no mystery that I love to buy vintage designer clothing & accessories.  In fact I have loved vintage clothing for nearly as long as I can remember.  Dressing up and collecting little pieces of vintage history is still one of my favorite things to do.   I bought my first piece of vintage clothing when I was 10.  It was a bright red Vintage 50’s Crinoline Skirt exactly like the ones Cyndi Lauper was wearing at the time.  As soon as I saw her “She’s so unusual” album cover I knew I had to have it.   After reading somewhere that she like to buy her Vintage 50’s Crinolines at a small Vintage clothing store in NYC, I convinced my parents to take me there.  I will never forget that day, walking into the store and leaving with that red frilly skirt……oh and I wore it.  My style may have changed over the years but my love of dressing up and wearing vintage clothing has never wavered.   Whether you like period pieces or are a vintage designer fan, you can’t go wrong with a little bit of vintage.   Here are my Top 3 Reasons Why to Buy  Vintage Designer Clothing!

1.  Quality

Let’s face it the majority of clothing, shoes, and accessories we purchase today are not made to stand the test of time like fashion was in the past.   Vintage clothing were generally made from natural fabrics such as cotton, silk, and wool which have a tendency to wear well and last longer than synthetics.  The quality of the fabric  and even stitching was made to last and that’s why we still have it today!

Vintage LILLI ANN at Rice and Beans Vintage

2. Price

If you are a Vintage Designer clothing fan like me, you know that buying say a Vintage Chanel bag is much more financially sound than buying a brand new one.  The price difference can be as much as $3000!  The best part is you are still getting the same classic bag and the same if not superior quality of the Chanel bags of today!  The same goes for vintage designer clothing.  You can still get the quality, style, and prestige of owning a Designer piece without the sticker shock.  What’s not to love?

Vintage CHANEL

3.  Be Original and Still On Trend

What I love about wearing vintage is that you can still be fashion forward and modern but not look exactly like everyone else!  Everything comes back around again, so if fringe is in, why not search for a great Vintage piece like our Giorgio Armani Macrame and Silk Fringe Jacket  or a vintage 20’s fringed dress instead of buying something from a big box store that everyone in your office will be wearing too?

GIORGIO ARMANI at Rice and Beans vintage

Are You Ready to Shop?

Unmistakably Gucci: A History April 19 2022

When I think of Italian designers, Gucci is usually the first one to pop into my mind. The name is not only fun to say, but just thinking about it I can smell Italian leather!  Purely putting  a “Made in Italy” sticker on a bag can’t  evoke that type of feeling. There is a reason Gucci has existed for so long and is still synonymous with style and sophistication.   Gucci still gets people excited because Gucci has adapted to the needs of their  clientele.   Regardless of the restrictions of the times,  even while the brand evolved, it always managed to still be unmistakably “Gucci!”

Guccio Gucci

When Guccio Gucci was a young man, he left his native Florence, Italy and headed to London to work at the Savoy Hotel. There he watched the English elite come and go in their finery and, more importantly for the young Gucci, carrying their elegant luggage made in the classic, sophisticated aesthetic of the British nobility. He returned home to Florence where he knew he could find the skilled craftsmen he needed to make his brand a reality. He opened his own leather goods and luggage company in 1921 and the house of Gucci took off within a few years!

His equestrian-inspired bags, trunks, shoes, and belts were especially popular and the fashion forward international travelers who always made it a point to stop by his store. Gucci developed the iconic horsebit emblem to please his horse-riding aristocratic Italian clients. The horsebit remains a lasting symbol of the Gucci brand, and in the 50’s the Gucci trademark green-red-green web stripe would also come from equestrian inspiration—a traditional saddle girth.

Vintage Gucci Lizard Handbag at Rice and Beans VIntage

Gucci’s fashion genius really shone through during hard times in Europe. When trade embargoes during World War II made supplies scarce, he adapted his designs to use what was available to him. This lead to such fashion innovations as the Bamboo Bag, a bag with a handle of polished cane—still a favorite! The scarcity of leather lead Gucci to turn to hemp and canvas materials, which he jazzed up with an interconnecting diamond motif, a precursor to today’s double G printed canvas goodies that would show up in the 60’s.

Guccio Gucci passed away in 1953,  and his sons took over the business.  Regardless of a  very rocky period during the company due to family feuds,  Gucci has remained a classy and sophisticated brand because it has been able to adapt to the needs and attitudes of the times. For example, when the first lady carries your bag, why not call it the Jackie O and make it a piece of history that endures right along with the fashion icon who carried it?  A savvy branding tool that many designers since have used!  Whether you carry a current Gucci bag or Classic Vintage Gucci bag, you know you are getting a special piece that will last a lifetime.   Be sure to checkout our selection of Vintage Gucci Clothing & Handbags at Rice and Beans Vintage and find your forever piece.