Buy Used
$4.34
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Item qualifies for FREE shipping and Prime! This item is used.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Valuable Vintage: The Insider's Guide to Identifying and Collecting Important Vintage Fashions Paperback – April 23, 2002

9 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Paperback
"Please retry"
$14.13 $0.01

Best Books of the Month
See the Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

The definitive guide to vintage couture and designer-made clothing, including how to recognize the most coveted items and what to pay for them.

Vintage clothing is the hottest trend in collecting, with major auction houses regularly holding well-attended auctions, and women on the cutting edge of fashion flocking to boutiques that specialize in second-hand designer garments. In Valuable Vintage, Elizabeth Mason, owner of The Paper Bag Princess in Los Angeles,a favorite shopping spot for Hollywood?s hottest celebrities and models, presents a comprehensive guide on the subject.

Mason describes the elements of design and style that make it easy to spot the work of specific designers at a glance, identifies the most popular designers in today?s collectible market, and offers informed predictions on trends. She provides great tips on buying, selling, and bartering, as well as expert advice on caring for your treasures. An easy-to-use index covers more than 150 of the most important and collectible designers through the 1990s, and a detailed price guide lists the most recent prices of hundreds of items sold at auction. Whether they?re collecting for fun or profit, all vintage clothing fans will want to have Valuable Vintage at their fingertips.

About the Author

ELIZABETH M. MASON is also the author of The Rag Street Journal. She lives in Los Angeles.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Three Rivers Press; 1 edition (April 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 060980703X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0609807033
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,753,399 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Elizabeth M. Mason,
The Paper Bag Princess

Elizabeth Mason traveled the globe in the late 1980s as a young model, actress, writer, and theatrical producer. Originally from Toronto, Mason now calls Los Angeles her home. While spending many years traveling the world working as a model and actress, she devoted her leisure time pursuing her passion for collecting vintage clothing and in the spring of 1995 opened her first vintage couture boutique, The Paper Bag Princess in West Hollywood, California. This unique Mecca for vintage designer fashion celebrated a client list of Hollywood's who's who, international fashion designers, and fashionestas worldwide, from Julia Roberts to Donatella Versace.

Later that same summer Mason release her first book, The Rag Street Journal a comprehensive guide to the best non-profit thrift shops throughout North America, published by Henry Holt, New York. The Rag Street Journal received tremendous attention from the vintage and fashion worlds alike, and Mason was featured on the Ophra Winfrey Show, as well as numerous other national style network programs. She followed the success of her first book with Valuable Vintage, The Insiders Guide to Pricing and Collecting Important Vintage Fashions, Random House, New York 2002.

That same year in 2002, Mason opened her second boutique in her hometown of Toronto, and after ten tremendously successful years in West Hollywood, she moved her flagship boutique the spring of 2005 to a beautiful new location in Beverly Hills followed by a launch of her own woman's contemporary, eveningwear collection, Elizabeth Mason Couture.

Mason's decision to launch her own couture collection came to her heart after years of working with many of the world's top fashion designers who had come to rely on her discerning eye season after season, for unique design inspiration from her vast vintage collections. The collection was grounded in her client's demands as they requested she create something special for them in their size, but with the glamorous and sexy flair synonymous with her important vintage couture collection.

It is no secret that Mason finds her design inspirations in the gorgeous vintage gowns that she chooses for her numerous celebrity luminaries to wear for their red carpet appearances, as well as from her personal vast archives of significant vintage couture from the late 1930s through the early 1970s.

On October 14th, 2009 Mason launched her couture collection, as well as an exclusive Vintage Couture department in the prestigious designer salon at THE ROOM at The Hudson's Bay Company, Queen Street, Toronto, Canada.

Mason is also a certified appraiser, and is considered to be one the world most knowledgeable authorities in vintage and contemporary clothing, antique textiles and accoutrements and works extensively as an expert witness at trial. She lectures frequently on the subject of vintage fashion at NYU and UCLA, as well as various other fashion organizations and women's entrepreneurial group across North America, and has appeared on the Today's Show with Katie Curic to discuss vintage fashions at the 2006 Oscar Awards, as well as a special on vintage clothing collecting with Jane Pauly. She is presently hosts an exciting new podcast site, WWW.Amusebouches.com where she investigates and reviews all the latest trends and happening in the vintage couture industry worldwide.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 23, 2002
Format: Paperback
_Valuable Vintage_ is primarily a price guide listing sale prices from a handful of prominent auction houses and the author's vintage boutique. The author's definition of "valuable vintage" is couture and high-end designer garments dating from the 1920s into the 1990s. This is not an ID guide, because the items are not illustrated, except for a few photos in the center of the book that don't seem to be of any garments listed. The price guide is organized alphabetically by designer. Brief bios of design houses are given after the price guide, but don't entirely match up. For example, even though Ralph Lauren and Perry Ellis are mentioned in the bios, no prices are given for any of their garments, so presumably those are not selling at high-end auction houses. So much for my making a fortune off those 1980s designer clothes I never gave to Goodwill!
Much of the 66 pages of prose that precedes the price guide is devoted to asserting that vintage couture and high-end designer garments are worth very high prices, because they are worn by celebrities and pictured in the media. Readers are told that the most "realistic" prices come from auctions. (My experience is that auction prices are higher than other venues because competition, the need to make snap decisions, and the feeling of a one-time chance causes many buyers to bid high and later, feel they overpaid.) Almost the sole reasons given for acquiring this type of vintage clothing are that it's trendy and can sometimes be resold at a profit.
Although this book seems to be aimed mostly at aspiring and beginning vintage clothing dealers, very little solid information is given outside the price listing.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Amy Liz on January 14, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book has it all (or has nothing, depending on how you look at it): Unhelpful "advice" on how to find and sell vintage clothing, a price guide for clothing that isn't even illustrated in the book (come on... Pucci made a million of those now famous "mod" dresses... a vague description isn't going to cut it!), pictures of only HER clothing with no estimated value next to them, and an overall arrogant tone throughout the entire book. She basically states in so many words that you will fail in this business unless you can open up a posh boutique in L.A. (like her) and cater to the Hollywood elite. There is a nice short biography section on various designers, but that's not the point of this book, now is it? This book is nothing more than a 350+ page advertisement for her own store's clothing. She shouldn't include retail sales (from her store and a couple of others) in her price guide. Some values go back as far as the early nineties, that's too far back, and she also includes Christie's Oscar Dress Auction, which was a media-hyped charity auction from the late nineties. It's not a reliable source for pricing. I give this book two thumbs down, WAY down.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 4, 2002
Format: Paperback
... and if you like price guides, then you'll like the book. Honestly, I was expecting something with a little more "Meat" to it. The lack of illustrations and meaningful information is a real minus.
But I guess my real problem with the book is that the title seemed to change from the time it was first posted here on Amazon almost a year ago, until it was published and released last week. The word IDENTIFYING has been changed to PRICING. Well, there is a big difference in the two actions. I thought that this book would help me sort through all the different labels, brands and designers of the past 50 years. Instead, I get short descriptions of clothing that has sold at auction and at Ms. Mason's store.
Know what would have been really useful? Photos of all the different labels of each designer, with the "good" ones identified. Or how about distinctive design details that could help identify a label-less garment?
I was also puzzled by the clothing chosen for the few photos. Of the 12 garments shown, 3 had been "redesigned" for sale especially in the author's store.
The most useful part of the book, and the reason I'm not returning it, is the biographical glossary. It gives short bios of many of the highend designers, and these are quite useful. Even so, I've found what I think to be 2 errors in the listings, and I've just begun to read through them.
So, vintage fans, we still do not have a good identification guide. Buy the book for the glossary, but if you are an online auction seller, don't read the price guide or you'll choke at the prices!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 8, 2002
Format: Paperback
This rag trader is merely airing her laundry. Mason has compiled auction results --and they're not all that recent (none from this new century)-- slipped in some high-handed advice from a "seasoned professional" and called it a guide. If you are interested in old price lists, then this is your book. If you want comprehensive advice for caring for, buying and selling vintage clothing, then try another. Particularly unattractive is Mason's tendency to condescend to her reader. Perhaps she is less arrogant when removing stains from other people's clothing. Then again, maybe not. She is tenuous in describing her cleaning techniques; as though she has never tried some of them herself. Save your money. You'll get a better idea of prices by ordering catalogues from current auctions.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again