Reinventing Old Fashions

Courtesy Verdura

Designers reinvent the past, proving that true style never goes out of fashion.


1939: Jeweler Fulco di Verdura takes mismatched stones from his friend Coco Chanel’s jewelry box and puts them on matching enamel cuffs, which she wears two at a time.

Now: The 70th-anniversary, limited-edition Fulco cuff is almost an exact replica of the original, though it has improved with age. It’s now made with enamel over gold (the earlier ones were done in silver) and sized for a modern—read non–Coco Chanel size—wrist. $65,000; 212-758-3388


1971: She’s not the only one to carry the hobo-shaped shoulder bag, but Mrs. Onassis wears her canvas GG-print style with signature green and red stripes so often—and so well—that it becomes known as the Jackie.

Now: The Jackie bag is back—and, at 19 inches, bigger than before. There is also a side tassel with bamboo details, but classicists can relax—it’s removable. Guccissima New Jackie bag with bamboo and tassel details, $3,250; 800-456-7663

Roger Vivier

1953: Queen Elizabeth II ascends the throne of England wearing a diadem handed down to her by Queen Victoria and a pair of gilded leather court shoes designed by Roger Vivier.

Now: Vivier’s A Princess to Be a Queen collection takes the fleur-de-lis motif used to decorate Her Majesty’s Imperial State Crown and applies it to red and black satin flats and stilettos. Evening sandal with paillette sequins, $1,995; 212-861-5371


1924: In a small workshop in Valenza, Italy, Enrico Grassi Damiani begins to set Art Deco–inspired designs with pavé diamonds. He soon becomes the jeweler to Italian divas and famiglias.

Now: For its 85th anniversary, the company brought back its Gomitolo collection. The colors on the intertwining bands represent different Italian cities: Portofino is pink sapphires; Rome, garnet and amethyst; and Milan, here, white and brown diamonds. $15,690; 866-326-4264


1968: The first Yves Saint Laurent safari jacket is made one year after the designer’s groundbreaking Africa collection. “It is more of a tunic,” writes Le Figaro, “than an outfit for hot countries.”

Now: The safari jacket, along with the Le Smoking tuxedo blazer, is a YSL icon. For the more gently priced Edition 24 line—sold throughout the year in YSL boutiques—designer Stefano Pilati updated the safari jacket into a gabardine dress, shown here. $1,630; 212-980-2970

The Printed Word

A Dose of Shoptimism: “You are what you buy, you are what you don’t buy—enough, already! [The shopping critics I call] Buy Scolds fire without aiming. Sure, we make countless Buys deserving of scorn—impulsive, compulsive, irrational, just plain stupid and wasteful. But we also make good Buys that deserve to be celebrated. Memo to those Buy Scolds: It isn’t that we buy, it’s what we buy that matters.” —From Lee Eisenberg’s Shoptimism: Why the American Consumer Will Keep on Buying No Matter What (November 3, Free Press, $26)