Preston Smythe Beck finds beauty in vintage styles: Fashion Flash

November 3, 2013

Preston Smythe Beck, 53, Novelty
 
Owner, Past Meets Present
 
I'm going to knock you down for that coat.
 
It has a nice sort of a swing shape. Obviously, since it's old, it's real leopard. It's quite warm.
 
It's real leopard?
 
I realize [fur] is not appreciated by everyone, but this was done well before we knew better.
 
So one could argue it's very green -- it's like recycling.
 
Well, it is actually, but not everybody sees it that way.
 
Where do you find your vintage goods?
 
I do a lot of estate sales and yard sales. The beauty of the vintage is, if you pick quality pieces -- and you can really spend hours and hours sorting through a lot of garbage -- when you find the great pieces, you know what? Trend or no trend, it really doesn't matter because they've already withstood the test of time and their style is classic. I mean, this is a classic fedora -- it will never go out of style.
 
That hat looks so cute on you!
Why don't women wear hats anymore?
 
I think they're starting to. It certainly seems the trend. Last season and this season, you see a lot more retro -- '40s dresses, coats, brooches, chunky necklaces.
 
It reminds me of the last scene on the airport tarmac in "Casablanca."
 
Yeah, yeah! And it's comfortable, which is rare. I guess women back then, their heads must've been really tiny, because when you get to the older hats, they're too small and my head's not that large! We all know that they wore the corsets and they didn't breathe; their whole body frame was more petite the further you go back -- but I didn't realize that about heads! But it must be true because I've found some GREAT hats that I tried so hard to pull down and they don't go.
 
Scott (grinning at his wife): You have a big head.
 
This hat, I love. This is probably a '40s hat. Very, very well made. It's wool. I love hats -- I wear them, I don't just collect 'em, right, Scotty? (She directs this comment to Scott, her husband of 30 years, who has kindly driven her through inclement weather to the shoot.)
 
Scott (wearily from the wings): It's true.
 

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​Preston Beck, owner of PAST MEETS PRESENT, focuses on a creative marriage of the old with the new... be it jewelry, clothing or gifts.

 

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