Head to Vallejo Street in San Francisco—and hope that Susie is in town and her shop is open! Marvel at her vintage jewels. Chanel! Ciner! Yves Saint aurent! And Barovier & Toso and Seguso Venetian glass. Susie Hoimes’ vases and elaborate bowls and urns dazzle in Technicolor dream hues of lollipop pink, zesty lemon and bright orange. Delicious candy!
Since she opened her chic vintage shop, MDVII, in Polk Gulch six years ago, San Francisco antiques dealer Susie Hoimes has attracted a devoted insider following of top California decorators and vintage jewelry connoisseurs.
Arrayed in her tiny and ultra-chic cabinet of curiosities are shelves of vintage Venetian glass, Chinese cloisonné, German porcelain, Venini chandeliers, and French and English furniture, as well as top-secret drawers of designer vintage jewelry from around the world.
Hoimes has become the source among San Francisco, Montecito, and Los Angeles fashion trendsetters for her superb collections of rare and elegant vintage jewelry. Among her recent treasures are early Chanel necklaces and cuff bracelets, Tony Duquette necklaces, Miriam Haskell pearl earrings and necklaces, and Elsa Schiapparelli necklaces.
“My clients love the fine craftsmanship, drama, rarity and character of really fine vintage jewelry,” said Hoimes, originally from London. “The pieces I sell are classic and glamorous, never trendy. California women today wear and mix vintage Chanel or Yves Saint Laurent with their favorite diamonds, just as the Duchess of Windsor wore Kenny Lane jewelry with her precious jewelry.”
Also in the velvet-lined display drawers at MDVII are sixties Christian Dior and Pierre Cardin dazzlers, early Lanvin and YSL pieces, and hard-to-find Coppola y Toppo forties to sixties beaded necklaces and bracelets.
“Everyone is collecting over-the-top Kenneth Kay Lane Egyptian-revival pieces, and they love Boucher, William de Lillo, Goossens, Schreiner, and Hobe,” said Hoimes, who has international sources and is ultra-discreet about her clientele. No name-dropping.
It’s not all costume. Hoimes also sells gorgeous antique Indian handcrafted gold and enamel jewelry in the Kundan style, along with exquisite rare pink conch pearl necklaces and earrings.
“After Hermes showed Indian-inspired fashions and jewelry in Paris, I’m expecting an increased interest in Indian styles,” said Homes. (Susie Homes collections priced at from $200 for a pair of sixties Cartier-style Ciner earrings.)
Hoimes started collecting antique Venetian glass vases and bowls when was growing up in London.
“I love the theatricality and ebullience of Venetian designs,” said Hoimes. “There’s a magical, ethereal quality that is very addictive. I’m mesmerized by the virtuoso techniques of the Venetian glassblowers.”