Over the years, highlights from my Church Mouse purchases included a black satin Chanel belt with a bow in the back and a gold chain hanging off the buckle in the front, a few long jersey Halston dresses, brown lizard Gucci loafers with a fringe under the horse bit detail, a brown wool Courreges suit from the 60's, and stunning canary yellow Miss Dior feather "chubby." I can't tell you how exhilarating the feeling was walking in there each time, knowing the nearly guaranteed treasures that lay ahead to be discovered. It was too good too be true, and of course it didn't last.
Sometime in the late 90's I was in there towards the end of the August, when my summer savings were running low, and I came across a dead chic Balenciaga leopard jacket for $200. I wanted it so badly. But after a day of reflection I decided it was too expensive. Soon after I recognized my insanity (not that it wasn't too expensive for my budget, because it was, but that I had to find a way to have it anyway). I manically did chores around my dad's house to earn extra money and went back a few weeks later to get the jacket. It was gone.
Almost a year later when I was working as an intern for Patrick Demarchelier, Stephanie Seymour arrived on set one day, and the minute she came on set my heart sank and my eyes widened. She was wearing the Balenciaga jacket from The Church Mouse. I knew then that the Church Mouse wasn't my secret any more, but I still visit there every single time I go to Palm Beach hoping to find a treasure. Sometimes I do.
My nostalgia for The Church Mouse got a boost a few years ago when my Dad sent me some of my grandmother Beatrice's fashion illustrations to include in "I Love Your Style." Tucked into the pile of her drawings was a hand-drawn logo for the Church Mouse and an invitation to its opening in 1970, with the same logo printed on the front. I was delighted to discover that she had played such a meaningful role in its debut.