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SHOPPING : VINTAGE

Days of Bakelite and Lucite

June 22, 2008|Victoria Namkung | Special to The Times

Chanel. Gucci. Dior. Fendi. No we're not on Rodeo Drive, but a couple of blocks over on Canon Drive, where Jill Garland has opened V Vintage, a jewel box selling vintage costume jewelry and handbags.

The under-the-radar boutique is by appointment, not only because of its small size, but also so that Garland can pay attention to customers who may want to discuss a piece's history, importance or even how to wear it.

The space may be diminutive, but its pale pink walls, white leather chairs and coffee-table books make you feel at home. "My customers love vintage so they seek me out," says Garland, 38. "They know vintage is cool and makes them look different from everybody else."

And now that statement jewelry has taken center stage on the runways, a great vintage piece is even more of a find. Highlights from Garland's collection include a pair of Yves Saint Laurent sterling silver chandelier earrings ($1,200), an eye-catching Nina Ricci coral cabochon bracelet ($425) and a 1967 Christian Dior enamel cuff ($575).

But it's not all high-priced designer items. There's a '60s Lucite rhinestone cocktail ring for $40, a pair of bright Bakelite bangles for $125 and sterling silver drop earrings for $155. The rotating selection also includes '70s-era Gucci logo bags, '60s-era Kenneth Jay Lane necklaces, Judith Leiber bejeweled belts and Miriam Haskell bib necklaces obtained from estate sales, auction houses and individuals.

Garland had worked in graphic and interior design. When she spied a "For Lease" sign across the street from Porto Via, the Canon Drive restaurant she co-owns with husband Peter Garland, her vintage dreams became a reality.

"The best way to wear this stuff is to do it really simple," Garland says. "Wear it with jeans and a T-shirt. Let the piece be the focus."

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V Vintage, 427 Canon Drive, Suite 216, Beverly Hills. (310) 786-8277; vvintage90210.com

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