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I tried on the black lace shell. Sleeveless and hip skimming, it fit as if it were designed for me and was like nothing I’d owned. The label said made in Austria for Bonwit Teller. I didn’t need the top. I had a closet full of items I’d wanted more than needed. When I’d wandered into Stella Dallas, a vintage store on Thompson St., one August day 20 years ago, I’d hoped to enter another world, far from my then-current worries. I imagined a chic woman wearing the top with a trim skirt to lunch or for cocktails. [read full article]

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