Hello World!

My name is Karen Antonowicz, and I’ve procrastinated long enough!  It’s time to start my adventure in blogging.  Why am I starting this blog, you might ask?  My husband, Mike and I opened an antiques and collectibles store, called Nostalgia, a little over 2 years ago.  The store is on the east side of Providence, RI and contains three floors of diverse merchandise.  This location housed the This & That Shoppe for 30 years and, although we kept the same business model, the store looks quite different now.374

Although much of  my work life is spent enjoying our store, my true purpose for starting this blog involves my passion for all things vintage, especially fashion.  I received a Masters Degree in Historic Costume & Textiles from the University of RI, then proceeded to teach at the college level for 13 years.  However, I’ve discovered that what I enjoy most is presenting fashion era lectures to audiences at our store, at


Our Mad Men themed wedding in June, 2012

libraries, senior centers, historical societies, schools, and other venues.  These presentations revolve around television shows in some instances (Downton Abbey Fashions, for example) or on a particular time period, such as The Gilded Age.  I use a slide show, video clips, and extant clothing & accessories, whenever possible.  I found that my audiences show up, because they truly are interested in the period, the fashion, etc.  Unfortunately, this often was not the case when teaching undergraduate students at the college level.  These presentations make my heart sing, not to be too corny about it!


FullSizeRender (2)

Fashions of Downton Abbey presented at Nostalgia

Finally, I must mention that I have a great deal of fun helping others with styling, particularly mixing vintage with newer items.  I am an accredited Style Coach with the International Association of Style Coaches, and I love to assist in coaxing out a client’s authentic style!  Thus, in addition to my Fashion Era posts, I occasionally will include posts about vintage style in dress and in life.



I welcome readers to my new blog, Spirits of Fashion, and I hope you’ll enjoy reading as much as I’ll enjoy writing.  So long for now, dear readers!


3 thoughts on “SPIRITS OF FASHION

  1. Good Afternoon Karen,
    I am with the North Attleboro Historical Society which has a monthly speakers program and I am the coordinator. Somebody, somewhere, suggested I contact you about speaking to us; thus, this email.
    Your profile at RISD says that you have studied vintage clothing. I think I remember that the person who recommended you noted that you have studied the fashions of Downton Abbey.
    Do you speak to other groups? If so, if things can be coordinated, this society would be more than pleased to have you speak to us, either on Downton Abbey or a topic of your choice.
    If so, I have a date in May, or more dates in the fall of ’16 and the spring of ’17, and what might your fee be?
    North Attleboro is about 10 miles north of Providence. You might have been to Wrentham Outlets at some point. If so, you probably passed our meeting location.
    Thank you for considering this invitation.

    Jim Hale


    1. Hi Jim,

      Thanks so much for contacting me. Yes,I have a Masters degree in Hisoric Costume & Textiles from URI. I taught full time at the college level for 13 years, and I have been conducting fashion era presentations, such as The Fashions of Downton Abbey since 2012. I would be happy to speak at the N. Attleboro Historical Society. Please feel free to call or email me for
      further discussion. My current presentation fee is $195, but I offer a fee of $150 for first-time presentations. Hope this works for you, and I look forward to hearing from you!
      Karen Antonowicz


    2. Hi Jim,

      I hope that I am not too late in writing back to you. I just saw your message today, as I have not been active lately on WordPress (I have been busy with the store and with presentations, fortunately!!). I hope that you still are interested in having me present a fashion era, such as “Fashions of Downton Abbey.” I also cover many other periods, such as “Cocktail Culture: The Mad Men Era” and “Newport Fashions of the Gilded Age.” Please let me know if you’d like more information. My general email: vintage_apparel@yahoo.com. I can send you a flyer with a list of my presentations, if you’d like. Thanks for your interest, and I hope to hear from you soon.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s