Crafty Australians

The curatorial, the curious and the cute come together in an amazing collection of art and functionality on East 62nd Street. Tender Buttons is a button shop that since the early sixties has become a champion of making beautiful little things out of everyday need. The name comes from a work by Gertrude Stein, and the combined talents of the two women who developed the business – one an editor and the other an antiques restorer, have given the shop an imagination that has taken on a life of it’s own. This is place for stories and for memories, and the fact that you can also buy actual buttons is a bonus.

The very elegant and adorned Ms Stoj has been assisting in buttons and tours at the shop for nearly 30 years, and kindly walked me through the walled collections of unique buttons, many of which were not for sale. Handmade antique sets, one of a kind, and reproductions of vintage buttons were in original packaging or housed in wooden frames. There were buttons for military uniforms, nursery rhymes, blazers, coats and everyday attire – at least they were the everyday before the buttons were added. Ladies bring their new designer outfits fresh from Bergdorfs to have them customized, and of course the famous and infamous are regular visitors. Muppet buttons the precise shade of Kermit green were one successful purchase, not to mention the playing card buttons for Jack Nicholson’s jacket when he played the Joker in Batman.

Australians are regular customers and always welcome. Who would have thought our highest mountain would still be making friends for us after all these years? But Polish Ms Stoj was proud to talk about Mount Kosciuszko and to share her theory of the frequent visits of southern sisters – ‘because they are crafty people that spread the word!’ With millions of treasures to enjoy, making a stop at the 62nd street button shop adds only a few steps to visiting other collections on the Museum Mile, but will have you looking much better for the adventure of it…

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This entry was posted in art & inspiration, Fun, Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Crafty Australians

  1. Sandy Dee says:

    Hi Gabrielle, love this post about the amazing button shop! I’ll have to make do with the Glenferrie Rd Malvern shop of the same name but how I wish I could poke around here. Thanks for the vicarious pleasure and I enjoy your spots on Rod Quinn’s overnight program.

  2. Fen says:

    Oh what a fabulous collection. My Mum always had a big container full of buttons. I spent many hours as a child sifting through them all, it was wonderful.

  3. Lorraine O'Sullivan says:

    I’ll be visiting in October. My gorgeous Granddaughter will be the ‘best buttoned’ child in Au. Thank you for posting.

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