Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Trend is Not Being Trendy is Trendy.

So says InStyle magazine. Via an appearance on the Today show, they have brazenly denounced trends as trends and now say the trend is to go against the trend (which, if you follow the logic they apply by showing several celebrities who "go against" the trend, the fashion industry is pushing this as a trend of its own....thereby making being non-trendy trendy!). In other words, you can't win for losing. Anything goes!

InStyle points to starlets like Tilda Swinton, who has long shunned being a victim of the latest fashion craze and opted for her own unique look. Poor Tilda. Now, no matter what she wears, the very effort to dress as an individual will be seen as trendy! No doubt this troubles dear Tilda...

Another fashion rule to be broken, with the approval of the fashion industry, is to wear sparkling "evening" jewelry during the day (raise your hands if you've been doing *that* for years....hello, jewelry box full of shimmering vintage rhinestone brooches!). Seems that rule was bucked long ago, no? Not according to InStyle! As of today, you may now wear your baubles all day long and not be trendy because the fashion world says everyone is doing it so it is, um, not trendy and not trendy is cool! I'm behind the concept of daytime shine, so while I find their logic unnerving, I'll share a fab sparkler I found on etsy and desire muchly from seller GLAMSTONES, appropriately named.....

(ps, red and pink is the new puce and maize).

Lastly, a trend which apparently (determined by the last 20 minutes of Googling) is *actually* a trend yet if you choose to follow that trend, InStyle says you are actually following the trend of not being trendy....chipped nail polish!

Clicking that pic will take you to an article on Huffington Post written in May, lamenting that chipped nails have become trendy. Somehow this jives not at all with InStyles decree today that because it isn't trendy to have chipped nails that by doing so you buck the trend...yet, quick research shows it is indeed trendy to look a mess. Shocking (thanks, Olsens).

I suggest taking that a step further and knocking out a front tooth! That'll show the fashion elite who's trendy by not being trendy because not being trendy is trendy!


UPDATE! Its been pointed out to me by jewelry designer WENDY BRANDES on Twitter (blog at WENDYBRANDES) that the aforementioned segment did have a saving grace, using a jacket by up-and-coming NYC designer FRANCIS NEW YORK! Video, jacket at 2 minute-ey mark. Get the jacket at Bloomingdales while its hot! HERE

Shop on! Ang

Monday, July 27, 2009

I Really Am

And I want that shirt. Designed by Walter Van Beirendonck, its sold out and all gone....clearly an indicator that I'm not the only one sick of easy fashion. Hat tip to Susie Bubble at STYLEBUBBLE for her blog today featuring her sporting a Walter paper dress, reminding me to revisit his site (and covet in vain).

This is not to say I dress edgy or high end couture or anything of the sort. I'm as guilty of easy "fashion" applied to daily wear as the next busy Mom & biz owner. What I am sick of is laziness when it comes to design. Designers taking something of someone else's and calling their own, perhaps changing a seam, adding a button...whatever it may be, they call it design and I call it lazy. A skirt made into a halter dress is not a design, its an alteration. A cape with an unusual closure added to it is still a cape. A shirtwaist dress hemmed up to micro mini length is still a shirtwaist dress. These are not original thoughts, nor do they require the kind of talent and skill a great designer should possess.

After watching the finale of Bravo's "Fashion Show" I kept thinking about Anna McCraney's signature dress, that of the multicolor pleats and folds. Today when I saw the above shirt by Walter and considered how much we see today that is utterly unoriginal and lacks intellectual as well as physical effort, it made me think of that dress again....the originality of the design, the selection of textile, the execution of said design and the intense attention to detail. This is not easy. This is a work of art.


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Just a Wedding In June....1930

In years of collecting and dealing in vintage clothing, I had never come across a collection of pieces so well kept and poignant as the one I was recently asked to sell. What follows is the complete bridal trousseau stored for 79 years, from a wedding on June 20, 1930. The beautiful silk dress, with the original pattern it was made from, and silk ribbon headpiece adorned with wax flowers. The stunning silk peignoir for the honeymoon, also with the original pattern it was made from. A fantastic silk jersey step-in chemise with whittled waist and full legs and silk stockings worn beneath the wedding dress. White silk gloves. But beyond the wearable pieces and patterns, there is more. The invitation (making it fantastically easy to date the pieces!). A newspaper article with recipe suggestions for the June bride. Ribbons and bows, napkins and a gorgeous tablecloth all used at the reception. And to top it off...a paper bag of rice.

As I shot the pieces that not only make up a superb vintage collection of wedding epehemera, but as a whole created a magical day in one woman's life 70 some years ago, a song came on the radio that made me take pause and revisit the invitation for the date. Amazingly....June.

The entire trousseau will be available soon on my site on the bridal page. My hope is that it finds a new life with another young bride, to be worn again and celebrated for its beauty....then cherished as a source of happy memories for years to come. It is truly an amazing thing to see all of these pieces still together after all these years!


Friday, July 24, 2009

Lovely Emily

Did a shoot yesterday to pull together some vintage crossing decades as well as mixing it with modern, inviting my friend and lovely local model (and artist!) Emily Svec to be my muse. Some highlights, the rest on the website on the HOW TO WEAR VINTAGE page.

Victorian with skinny jeans, 70s with Edwardian, modern denim with 40s New Look suit jacket, 70s Gunne Sax with 60s Audrey hat...all it takes is a bit of imagination and fashion sense to bring some vintage into a mall-bought wardrobe!


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Life Without Earrings

Funny. Was obsessing over 80s earrings today. Remembering wearing them, seeing the triumphant yet slightly frightening return to the runway of long forgotten 80s trends like Hammer Pants, acid washed denim and massive shoulder pads....mulling and missing big, BIG 80s earrings. And so thought I'd take a look around at the 80s earrings on etsy. Meanwhile Twittering (follow me! ANGATDOROTHEAS), I caught a post by the lovely ELIZABETH TAYLOR that stated simply "Life without earrings is empty!". No doubt then life with earrings from the 80s is full to overflowing.

All available on etsy, pics are clicky. Go shop!


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Not Fade Away

The path I walked yesterday was of cracked and sunbaked Iowa soil. Worn by the feet of thousands of visitors from all over the world it cuts a ten foot wide swath between two soybean fields, marked on the right as you approach by an ancient barbed wire fence and on the left by a farmer's tiny orange flags. It is not visible from a paved road but discovered by driving winding gravel roads and marked only with a sculpture of a giant pair of black glasses. No parking lot, no driveways. Visitors simply pull gently to the side of the gravel and park in the tall weeds at the edge of deep ditches and trudge to the opening between the fields.

It is not clear who owns the land the path is worn into....perhaps the state, perhaps an honest and kind farmer with an appreciation for history. The path is dotted with the trampled remains of volunteer plants, rocks and weeds. The soil is hot as it dries from the previous night's rain, dry on the surface but soft to the step. As it nears its destination, the standing water from the night before cuts into the dry soil making it impassable, yet die hard fans have left a trail of tamped down weeds just to the side that comes out just behind the memorial.Three people walk ahead of my daughter and I, two more coming behind. The walk is only a quarter of a mile but feels like eternity...not knowing what to expect to see, not knowing how it would make me feel. A large shimmering dragonfly hovers near and darts away, delighting my little girl while the crazy part of my mind contemplated the ease with which the insect maneuvered against the stark contrast of the doomed flight of that airplane that smashed to the ground up ahead 50 years ago.

The path in the weeds takes a turn and empties out into the field on the right, putting us on the wrong side of the fence. The fence, however, has been anchored down to allow passage with minimal threat of barbed wire injury. The trio who had been there several minutes was silent, as were my daughter and I...coming around the memorial to see what homage to the artists their fans had erected at the place of their tragic demise.

One simple sculpture. A silver guitar and three silver records engraved with the names of those lost to the world 50 years ago where we stood. And with it simple tokens of love from legions of fans who had walked that same path....business cards, wine bottles, tee shirts, shoes, notes, lyrics, flowers, coins. Humble and heart felt. The sense of loss was palpable, radiating both from the other group of people standing there and from the objects at our feet....the only sound the wind in the weeds and the chirp of crickets, as if to remind us who had been lost there so long ago.

As the trio of twenty-somethings left one of them stopped to place a gentle hand on the silver records. The couple that had been coming up behind us, also in their 20s, arrived behind the memorial. My daughter and I moved aside to let them closer....no words exchanged. Simple silence, quiet reverence and an unspoken bond between music lovers in the prescence of something powerful and heartbreaking. Fifty years later, fans young and old make the trek through mud and weeds to quietly honor the three young men lost in that spot....to feel the loss there, to feel a part of it.

We left the couple to their grief and headed back through the tall weeds, grateful for those before us who had created the dry path. As is always the way, the path back to familiar ground seemed much shorter than it did as we headed in. My daughter stopped to pick up a rock and asked if it had been there the day the plane crashed...I told it very likely had, and that it should be something she should save as a reminder of our visit there. Thinking about that I wondered how many millions of fans had come away with a small rock of their own from that field, how it was possible that this tiny piece of land in Northern Iowa had perhaps been carried piece by piece to all corners of the globe.

And in light of recent events I considered the simplicity of it all. A small memorial erected in a field, maintained by Iowa farmers....no huge glitzy markers, no souvenier stand, no attempts at capitalizing on this tragedy. Even into town, in Clear Lake, the Surf Ballroom still operates to this day with only a simple marker out front and some memorabilia on the walls.

I only cried once, listening to the 50s channel on the way home, when they played Buddy Holly's posthumous hit, "True Love Ways". I cried for the loss of those 3 men....the flamboyant & charming Big Bopper, the little 18 year old boy just barely into what would have been a remarkable musical career, Ritchie Valens...and the incredible talent that was Buddy Holly. I cried for the world's loss, my loss, my daughter's loss....my parent's loss. I cried that things have changed so dramatically that we can no longer show that kind of quiet respect to an artist or celebrity who passes that I saw out there in that field, that cynicism and capitalism now reign.

I cried for the loss of years of music left unplayed, guitars left silent, records blank and stages empty. I cried for the day the music died.

Winter Dance Party Site

Surf Ballroom

Buddy Holly Site

Ritchie Valens Site

Big Bopper Site

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Charlie Brown Called

He wants his dress back.

60s dress with mega-huge ric-rac trim, clearly Schultz inspired. If not, should have been.

Available on the website (pics are linky) tomorrow, which will be July 3.


Lulu Still Loves Me!

The voting is over for Lulu's Top 10 Vintage Websites, and while I didn't make the reader's picks top 10 (hellloooo....where were my voters? For this I will pout all day), I did make Lulu's top 10 personal faves again this year. Yay! Thanks Lulu!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Dear Feathers.....

I love you. I've always loved feathers....from gaudy 70s maribou trim on Zsa Zsa-esque loungewear to funky bright spikes of feathers on hats worn tilted to the front to feather prints on slinky jersey nylon. The love is strong. Yesterday I got a call to a house where the owner was gearing up to sell off most of the contents, said house appearing nearly frozen in time circa '67-'72. Yes, that included the clothing (more on that later! 70s leather ankle boots! Crazy textured bell shaped maxis!).

But this feather-flower centerpiece caught my eye and insisted it come home with me...and is right comfy on the teakwood folding tray table with weathered frame featuring a tattered pic of Ann Margaret....

Inspiration for future SUGARLIDS? Quite so.

Tucked into a corner in the basement was this charmer, a ceramic deer while appearing diminuitive in this snap, actually stands about 24" tall and now resides on the fireplace mantle....

If I don't end up back at that house today with a big truck and a big stack of cash, I may perish.


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