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Las Vegas
Where the fashionistas shop for fab vintage clothes

From the March 26, 2001 Issue of New York

Blackjack addicts and all-you-can-eat-buffet lovers flock to Las Vegas for the obvious reasons. A lesser-known incentive for making the trip is the vintage-clothes shopping -- and we're not talking old showgirl headgear. Pro shoppers Cynthia Rowley and Ilene Rosenzweig, co-authors of Swell: A Girl's Guide to the Good Life, go there to score everything from crocheted halter tops that Cher would die for to yellow leather car coats. A cab to Charleston Boulevard and its cluster of vintage boutiques is about a $15 ride from the Strip. (In true Swell-girl style, they suggest "duking" the driver so he'll wait for you while you shop.) Buffalo Exchange is a buy-sell-and-trade operation with new and old items like fifties dresses, Western gear, even vintage furs. Retro Vintage Couture stocks thirties to eighties labels like Courreges, Pucci, and Gucci, and fifties Lilianne fitted jackets. (The costume crew for The Mexican were patrons.) Valentino's Zootsuit Connection specializes in men's get-ups from the thirties and forties. Savers, a thrift department store, has four Vegas locations. To show off your outfits, Rowley and Rosenzweig recommend dinner at Picasso in the Bellagio, followed by a drink at Peppermills Lounge. For vintage -- i.e., real fifties, not retro-accommodations, the La Concha motel next door, with its blowsy bleached blonde behind the bar, feels straight out of a David Lynch movie, but if that's too funky for you, there's always the Bellagio, isn't there?

Retro Vintage Couture, 702-877-8989; Buffalo Exchange, 702-791-3960; Savers, 702-474-4773; Valentino's Zootsuit Connection, 702-383-9555; Picasso at the Bellagio, 702-693-7223; La Concha, 702-735-1255 (rooms are $48 Sunday to Thursday, $68 on weekends); Peppermills, 702-735-7635; Bellagio, 888-987-3456 (rooms start at $159).

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