I’d like to introduce you to Dixie Laite (née Feldman), my mentor and all-around cool lady.
By day, Dixie works as the Senior Editorial Director for TeenNick. By night and weekend, she lives an amazing, eclectic life with her husband, two dogs and four parrots. She collects vintage art for her Midtown Manhattan apartment, which she calls Anything Gauche—she’s been featured on Apartment Therapy like four times.
When she’s not inspiring people with her style, wisdom and career advice, she writes about developing your personal brand in her “15 Minutes of Dame” column for diybusinessassociation.com, and she freelances for publications like CNN.com—be on the lookout for for an upcoming interview with Penny Marshall about her book My Mother Was Nuts.
Over the weekend, Dixie and her husband Raffles (aka Jeff Laite, pictured above) invited me to tour The Antiques Garage Flea Market (112 West 25th Street, New York), one of the best places to find antiques and vintage collectibles, fashion and furniture in New York. As a regular shopper and sometimes vendor of The Garage, the Laites know just about all of the 100-plus vendors. Here’s what we found…
We started our three-hour journey at the stall of a woman named Janet West, who specializes in handmade folk art. On this particular day in mid-September, her collection included several one-of-a-kind Jesus and Mary paraphernalia…
^ Sex on a stick: Dixie immediately spotted this handmade toy at Janet’s stall.
^ Dixie has a keen eye for vintage costume jewelry.
^ I forgot to mention that one of Dixie’s talents includes playing the accordion. And while we’re on the topic of talent, she hasn’t always worked as an editorialist. She’s previously worked as an elementary schoolteacher, bodybuilder and motivational speaker. “I tried to become a cop, but they wouldn’t take me,” she says.
^ Could you use a really huge anatomy poster?
Dixie gave me a quick lesson on how to identify fakes vs. the real thing. This Gucci satchel is the real deal.
^ Chas Addams, The Addams Family creator, used to live in Dixie and Raffles’ apartment building in Manhattan.
^ Dixie collects vintage rock shirts.
^ This is Hymie, a super-sweet Garage vendor who hooked her up with a steal of a price for these gorgeous earrings:
^ Garage vendor Robert specializes in found photography, like these prom-goers in the ’60s.
^ This is Ziggy (aka Zygryd Dabrowski), a Garage vendor who sells secondhand and vintage clothing. He also specializes in fine art (old masters through contemporary) and vintage photography, and he created a small collection of silkscreened “Respect” clothing based on his tattoo:
^ One of the best vendors for designer fashion is Nomad Vintage by Katie McDonnell.
^ Like the looks of this guy? To bring him home, get in touch with Garage vendors Andy and Diana Onyshkewych of Brookfield Auction, who drive to this New York flea market from Brookfield, Connecticut.
^ Dixie added this snake bracelet-ring to her bling collection.
^ Do you like Storage Wars? If so, keep your eye out for Mike Reffie, a vintage expert and Garage vendor who’s getting his own collector’s show in 2013.
Dixie and Jeff are very fond of Miss Eve Moore, a longtime vintage collector and Garage vendor. If you’re looking for designer labels at very affordable prices, go see Miss Eve. (Raffles took this photo in 2011.)
^ Raffles got THE BEST DEAL on this vintage Givenchy suit from Miss Eve.
Follow Dixie Laire on Twitter @damestyle.
Want to read more about Dixie and Raffles? You’ll love their romantic story in their New York Times Vows piece.