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Thursday, May 9, 2013

In yesterday’s post, I mentioned that my parents are moving out of my childhood home in New Jersey. They’re clearing out all their old stuff, so I visited last weekend to take a look around. I couldn’t believe some of the things I found! Just last month I was trying to figure out when I’d gone to my first concert, which was Journey at the Brendan Byrne Arena. I thought it might have been May 1983. But, according to the program that I had in a pile of papers all these years, the show was in May 1982, when I was 14. And, because we’re all obsessed with punk this week thanks to the Met Gala, it’s fun to see who was playing at Asbury Park a few weeks after my concert: The Clash!


The only other program I found was this one.


As I feared, all my ’80s concert t-shirts were gone. That idiotic closet-purging rule caused me to chuck all those while I was still in college, but I was praying for a survivor or two. I had such good concert shirts: Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Wham and a whole wardrobe of Duran Duran. Check out the way I layered and belted this one from 1984. Also, that eye makeup!


That’s some major eyeliner.

The only major piece of clothing I found was the black cocktail dress I wore to my 1989 college graduation party. I am pretty sure it was from Hartly Fashions in Westwood, N.J. Here I am wearing it back in the day.


Celebrating my college graduation in 1989.

Naturally, I had to find out if I could still squeeze into it. The answer: barely. I am proud to say that I managed to zip it all the way, with help from the family.


Same dress in 2013. Can’t … breathe ….

It was really only super-tight at the top, so I’m going to see if Jean from Ghost Tailor can let it out. I think this dress would be fabulous with over-the-knee boots, a denim jacket and lots of gold necklaces.

Even before I started looking through my personal memorabilia and reflecting on the punk-themed Met Gala, I was getting inspiration from the ’80s. (That’s why I’ve been adding more and more single earrings to my jewelry line.)  In particular, I’ve been reminiscing  about one of my favorite stores from my high-school days: Trash and Vaudeville. It’s still on St. Mark’s Place and for months, I’ve been telling my designing friend Stacy Lomman — also a Trash and Vaudeville fan from way back — that we have to go back there and take a look around. When Wall Street Journal style columnist Christina Binkley asked her Twitter followers earlier this week what they’d wear to the Met Gala if they could wear any designer, I didn’t waste a moment contemplating couture.


So I’m really excited that today’s New York Times has a story on Trash and Vaudeville by William Van Meter called “The Shop That Punk Built.”  There are some great anecdotes about customers like the Ramones and Tommy Hilfiger, as well as owner Ray Goodman and manager/buyer Jimmy Webb, who is described as a “punk of a certain age.”  I would love to be described that way! But, as I told my family many times, I wasn’t punk; I was New Wave. Big difference. Anyway, I’m glad to see the 38-year-old store getting its due (again). And I still need to go there. I’m not as young as I was, but I have more spending money than I did, so it should be even more fun for me now!

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33 Responses to “Throwback Thursday: Program From ’82, Dress From ’89”

  1. Megan Mae says:

    Well I can say with honesty, good taste doesn’t age! That dress looks great on you.

    I already outgrew my wedding dress.. then again, I was underweight and 18. My boobs finally showed up a couple years later. ;P

    • WendyB says:

      EIGHTEEN!?! Girl, I couldn’t even decide what earrings to wear at 18, let alone get married. I’m impressed!

      The boobs were the main problem with this dress for sure!

  2. Alexis Grace says:

    Look at you— these photos are great! The Duran Duran one is adorable, and I love that you are planning to bring the dress back. So much fun!

  3. Brie says:

    I still have all my band tees from the early 90s..including concert tees. I actually wear them to sleep in. They are getting rather threadbare and one or two has a few small holes in them.

    • WendyB says:

      I think my oldest one is Madonna from 1989. I kept them all from that point on.

      • Brie says:

        My oldest is Siouxsie and the Banshees from 1991. It was the first actual concert tee I bought at a concert.

        Oldest band tee? The Cure from 1990.

  4. mystyle says:

    Hi my dear! The dress look super gorgeous on, I hope Jean can adjust it for you!

    • WendyB says:

      We’ll see! I couldn’t tell if there was any allowance at the seam because it was hidden under the lining …. she’ll have to take a peek.

  5. Trash was horrid back in the day — very unethical, going through garbage to find out vendors, sending employees to spy on what you were selling, following around at the boutique shows always promising huge orders if they gave them the exclusive but never came through. They’ve mellowed thankfully. Was in there last summer and found it pretty boring, nothing new, selling newly made punk nostalgia to wannabe kids.Most of their stuff can be found in the mall shop Hot Topic, which I find irritating, but at least kids in the ‘burbs throughout the US can find cool tees and stuff. You used to only find that in NY! XXX PS Of course you can fit that dress, you don’t look like you’ve changed size since you were a kid!

    • The article is filled with lies. They were a vintage store first. MP was the first punk store and when they saw how well they were doing, they copied a year or so later, so around 78. Still assholes I guess. Ah always disliked Ray and Daang anyway because they were so underhanded. Blech! XXX PS sorry, just an old punk still stirring the pot!

      • WendyB says:

        You’ve always got the inside info 🙂

      • I forget things until someone says something or I see something that spurs the memory. There is just so much in my head from that time period — it was a constant assault of the senses — I guess I can’t always sort it out properly!
        I forgot to tell you my oldest tee… the one I *think* is my oldest is my Alice Cooper “Welcome to My Nightmare” tee in tatters, being held together with safety pins of course! He got a kick out of that when I told him I still had it! The next oldest is a Sex Pistols tee, that shouldn’t have held up as well as it has for the amount of abuse it was put through! Gwensday steals it and wears it to school, but I always steal it back! Oh and I have an original CBGB tee (that one is prob a little older than the Sex Pistols one), so thin from wear but still my fav even though I have a newer one. I’m pretty sure those are the oldest. XXX PS just remembered one of my anti-spam words was “witch”… some would say with a capitol “B”!

      • WendyB says:

        Now you’ve reminded me that I have to replace the anti-spam words that got lost in a recent upgrade 🙁
        I’m not sure I have a list of them all and I had some good ones!

      • So we’re square — we’ve reminded each other of stuff! Haha!! XXX

    • WendyB says:

      I love stories like this. Reminds me of stuff I’ve heard about some other retailers including one who went on to become very very big.

  6. Tina says:

    I have my Madonna Blond Ambition t-shirt from 90 and a Robert Plant T-shirt from 1984. All of my other t-shirts are gone! I had Howard Jones, the Cars, the Kinks,….:(

    In Houston, back in the 1980s, there was a seedy mall and in the far corner of the mall was a store called Dream Merchant. It was for punks, new wavers and stoners. It was the most incredible place. Then DM relocated to the Montrose area (hip and predominately gay area) and the allure was gone. It wasn’t the same anymore and t hey went out of business. I also loved Contempo Casuals! (eek..)

  7. Meg says:

    That dress is definitely a keeper! Don’t you just love it when you find stuff from a million years ago and you still fit in them?!! Jeans are my personal nemesis and I recently found a pair from 10 years ago and I managed to fit in them without too much difficulty! Yey! To celebrate, I had some peanut butter cookies and a glass of milk 🙂

  8. Poochie says:

    I was SO not ever punk. I never really got into music much (same now too), but I had some uber-coordinated outfits, especially when I could match my earrings to my shirt – like a hot pink/black dot shirt with hot pink heart earrings with black dots from the Bijoux Tenner mall cart. Or a black shirt with pastel pink paint splatters. The worst was a whole fruit themed outfit including bright yellow jeans, a hot pink cami, and a shirt with fruit all over it, fruit dangle earrings and a bracelet in the same colors.

    I’m so glad I DON’T have a lot of pictures from that time.

  9. Mary Panjari says:

    Still wearing the motor cycle boots I bought from T&V back in 1991. Best ever purchase. I have a black, velvet, strapless confection from the 80s too! It has a huge satin bow in the bum. It was so tight back that I had to remove it in order to pee! How ridic. No way it would fit me now. How do you do it?!

  10. stacy says:

    You’re prettier now than you were back then — if that is even possible! I do love the heavy black liner though.

    Trash & V. was always such a cool place to shop and I liked that it wasn’t so well known. Kind of like a little secret between the cool kids. I hope they get some good business out of this Met Gala, but I hope it doesn’t start to draw in a ton of posers! LOL

  11. Wendy, you look as young now as you did when you graduated from college. How do you do it?

  12. I love love LOVE that picture of you in the Duran Duran shirt! I have one from that tour as well, and I still have it. I am pretty sure we went to some of the same shows. And you look great in that dress as well!

    I was lucky that I kept all of my concert shirts from the 80’s tucked away, and I have actually been wearing them lately. It’s also great that a lot of bands from back then have been touring, so I can catch up!