Wednesday, November 30, 2011
The Legendary East West Musical Instruments Company
Apparently, I've been holding on to a rather exquisite piece of leather goods for many years now. During my college days I acquired a particularly badass looking leather vest that I lovingly referred to as 'Chachi' (after Scott Baio's usually sleeveless character on Happy Days). I was a good bit thinner in those days, so Chachi and I were able to spend lots of quality time together barhopping, bowling, and generally getting up to no good.
But as the years have passed, my waistline has gradually expanded, and Chachi has been relegated to the lonely purgatory of the Closet In The Spare Room. Even though I knew it was doubtful I would ever be able to zip it up again, I had a hard time thinking about parting with it. Then earlier this year I started my own vintage shop, SadieBess, and I thought Chachi might make a nice addition to my inventory, and probably bring in lots of views, especially if I labelled it 'Steampunk' ;) So I began researching the name on the label to try to place a value on it. It was only then that I realized I had been sitting on a veritable vintage holy grail.
I was fortunate enough to speak with East West fanatic Romulus von Stezelberger, owner of South Paradiso Leather, who was kind enough to tell me that the name of this design is Eucalyptus, and that East West never made vests, that this was, in fact, a jacket that someone had removed the sleeves from at one point. Sad face!
Even without sleeves, I still think this is an incredibly wearable piece of leather. It's fitted silhouette is extremely flattering, and the organically shaped appliques are truly beautiful. I did not feel comfortable placing a fixed value on it due to the sleeve issue, so I've decided to place it up for bid on Ebay. Check out the auction here.