Normally, we have not been all cracked up about Zarah Crawford's turns as the Thursday Styles' Critical Shopper. Frankly, we wish they would just assign one person to the column so it could acquire a consistent personality. Today, however, Zarah was inspired to visit the Memorial Sloane-Kettering Cancer Center Thrift Shop, and in the process has exposed the Upper East Side charity store as possibly one of the best resources for vintage couture. She portrays it as a charmingly genteel and patrician place to pick up a vintage Scaasi or Chanel for a song, which should annoy those resolute downtowners who have been supplying their vintage needs at somewhat pricier venues like NoLiTa's Resurrection. But let's get to the important news. The late socialite Nan Kempner, the subject of a recent show at the Metropolitan Museum's Costume Institute, actually bequeathed her entire wardrobe to Sloane-Kettering, who will be selling the bequest through the Thrift Store. Geoffrey Beene did the same thing with his personal archives, so vintage collectors of the tall and willowy variety (think runway-model sized) should stay alert for an upcoming treasure trove event. Although we would think the charity's interests would be better served by selling Mrs. Kempner's celebrated wardrobe of Yves Saint Laurent Haute Couture at auction, we weren't consulted on the decision, and, hey, who are we to stand in the way of a good bargain?
Critical Shopper: After Lunching, The Ladies Go Shopping by Zarah Crawford (NYTimes)
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center Thrift Shop 1440 Third Avenue (between 81st and 82nd Streets)
UPDATE: If you aren't reading the comments, you will have missed that the charming Zarah Crawford has personally contacted us to let us know that the best of Nan Kempner's wardrobe will in fact be auctioned off at Christie's (meaning we can probably expect another exhibition of her wardrobe) but the rest will be sold through the thrift shop. Believe us, even the lesser pieces of her wardrobe are worth looking out for, especially the accessories. Say what you will about her, the woman had a flawless eye.