Hot Styles
Karen Parr-Moody

This summer reminds me of that song by the B-52s, "Love Shack," with its line "Wearin' next to nothing 'cause it's hot as an oven." And one walk around GasLamp Antiques and Decorating Mall makes one realize that the dealers have hot styles on their minds, too.

Summer has a way of bringing on a desire for lively color and lighthearted style. Its time to push open those windows and let the sunshine in! And one way to do that is to bring in some kitschy flamingos, naturally. The set of 8 flamingo glasses in the photo, right, is perfect for serving up mojitos on the front porch ($38.50; Booth B-2007). If you think flamingos were just some random act of the 1950s, think again: They were actually served up specifically for the design world sometime in 1957 by a young designer named Don Featherstone, who created them for a manufacturer of "plastics for the lawn" called Union Products. Featherstone was tasked with transforming the firm's existing flamingo, which was two-dimensional, into a figure of three-dimensional beauty. He did so and the rest was history; people have loved or hated the plastic lawn flamingo ever since. Personally, I say that when it comes to a lawn flamingo, put out a flock. My husband, conversely, disagrees. Since some residential developments have actually banned flamingo ornaments, he may have a point.

I had some family members who recently dealt with an issue of wet sub-flooring in their home. Some carpenters did a renovation and told them to save some of the wood by simply drying it out instead of replacing it. How did they do it? Not with new fans; they tried this method and said the air output was too low. So they got a big, old vintage fan that dated to the middle of the last century. Problem solved. Because anyone who sat in front of one of these on a hot summer day knows that there is nothing that compares to an old fashioned fan. These two vintage fans from General Electric, in the photo at right, are great table fans, to be used on a porch to great advantage (photo, left; $95; Booth B-303).

Want to stay cool while looking cool? Visit Aunt Enid's Attic, owned by GasLamp dealer Carol Williams, who deals in all manner of high fashion from the past. That is where one can find a plethora of fabulous fedoras, such as this Dobbs Fifth Avenue New York in a cream colored straw (photo, right; size 7 5/8; $65; Booth B-110). Such Panama hats actually originated from Ecuador; they got the moniker because, like many South American goods from the 19th and early 20th century, they were transported through the Isthmus of Panama on their way to America. The maker of this hat, Dobbs, is a company that is in the same league as Stetson and Cavanaugh as one of the top manufacturers of Panama hats.


The swimsuit in the photo, left, is a 1960s Jantzen style from Parlour, the booth curated by vintage virtuoso Aria Cavaliere ($40; Booth B-220). She says, "I adore this swimsuit because I am a sucker for a great psychedelic print! I also really love the functionality of the boy short cut. This suit will definitely turn heads whether in Ibiza or in your backyard!" I have to agree. And if you don't want to wear the suit, hang it on the wall! It fits into the genre of swimsuits that are frame-worthy; creative decorators are framing them as wall art for every area of the house, from the dining room to the powder room.









Victorians were great fans of hygiene and cleanliness, and like the natives of Holland, they believed that the raw wicker was far more sanitary for furniture, collecting less dust than its upholstered counterparts. So it was during the Victorian era that chairs, such as the one in the photo at right, came to be designed in a creative and stylish fashion ($185; Booth B-103). And today, they are still a stylish way to stay cool during the summer.

The dog days of summer won't have as much bite or bark if one can revel in the fun items of decor that are inspired by the season. So sit back with a mojito in a flamingo glass and sip away in style!

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