Imagine a full skirt, a tight bodice, a heavy zipper made of real metal... expertly placed darts and tiny stitches evenly nipped by hand. It's rare to find this level of care and expertise in a modern made garment. There's something undeniably more refined about a quality vintage dress that has stood the test of time. This is what I adore about fine vintage clothing. You put on a classic skirt, dress, or blouse from another era and it's like you're walking around with a secret. A secret history of a bygone frame of mind, a distant way of life.
I've always been a sucker for everything old-timey. This may have something to do with the fact that I was largely raised by the kind and capable hands of my maternal grandmother, Lesley Mary Smith Alexander Gibson, or Tutu (Hawaiian for grandmother) as everyone calls her. From my early childhood up until I left for college at 17, I had the pleasure of living under one roof with both my Mom and her Mom. My brother lovingly referred to our household as, "the estrogen cult."
Tutu and Grandpa Ben at the premier of a Star is Born, 1954
At our house there was always a play to recite lines for, a petticoat that needed hemming, a garden to weed, a ballet to choreograph, song to be sung, a loaf of bread to bake. Throughout these creative and domestic pursuits, was an underlying reverence for days of yore. Born in 1920, Tutu has seen firsthand the jazz age, the great depression, World War II, the moon landing, Woodstock, the invention of the internet, and so on. She's lived each decade with an unmistakable personal style and grace that has made her quite famous, at least on her island home of Maui, and certainly in my eyes.
Tutu and Grandpa Ben as Acme Beer sponsors,"Watch and Win" 1950
Which brings me to my point, I believe that Tutu may be the muse behind my personal fascination with vintage fashions and décor! Its the intricate lace on the tiny whale-bone corset she kept stashed in her boudoir, the Alfred Shaheen textiles she sold at Palani, her fabric store in Kihei the late 1970's, the mink stole she wore to the Oscars with her movie star husband (true story), the wool tartans she brought back from trips to Scotland, and the vintage Tahitian bridal muumuu she wore to my own wedding. These garments, these fabrics, textures and prints were the blueprint that guided and shaped my own sense of personal style, my own dreams and pursuits, and ultimately the purpose behind this site, my passion project... Beccalani.
Les, Ben and the Kids - Keawakapu Beach, Maui HI, 1961
I am here to present something that I've literally been day-dreaming about for years in the making, an online storefront for my personal collection of vintage clothing, housewares, art and décor. Here in my own little corner of the internet I plan to cook up (literally and figuratively) a healthy diet of daily creativity, inspiration, and of course nostalgia.
Much like my grandmother, I too have an entrepreneurial spirit inside. I desire to share these items from my personal wares, so that their essence and goodwill may be passed along to light up the lives of others. Or like my husband Clay told me the other day, "you have a wish to go to market."
So here I give you Beccalani; one part boutique, one part art gallery, and a veritable cornucopia of recipes, stories, and goods-- made by heart, picked by hand!
I hope you find a little something that strikes your fancy.