Sunday, 29 March 2015

A quick tour around my wardrobe

A couple of weeks ago, I was invited take part in a new project from photographer Garth Oriander. Titled ‘What Makes Them Tick’ it’s a series of portraits and interviews with advertising creatives with unique interests outside the industry. 

Since the main things I collect are vintage western, Hawaiian and cocktail attire, we chose one example of each to feature in different locations around my home. Like most collections built up over a number of years, each piece also comes with a story which I thought I’d share here.

1. Connie western suit
I once had a boss who was um, a bit difficult. He was always calling meetings and then disappearing, so nobody ever knew what was going on. As a result, I spent a lot of time waiting at my desk with absolutely nothing to do. On one such day, I decided to take a sneaky look at ebay and found this suit by Connie of Denver. It had just been listed with a cheap buy it now, so I pounced on it without even reading the description properly. I am so lucky my boss chose that exact moment to disappear.

2. Pink ruched rhinestone cocktail dress
This dress didn’t really have an interesting story until I happened to wear it to see Marti Brom last year. I was just watching the show, minding my own business when suddenly Marti pointed to me and said, “You! You there in the pink dress! Come here!” And I was like, “Whaaaaat? Am I in trouble or something?” The venue was packed, and people were craning their necks to see what I’d done to make Marti take a break between songs. (I didn’t know either!) So it turns out Marti had spotted my dress and remembered she used to own one just like it, which she’d sold to Stutterinmama, who listed it on etsy, which is where I bought it. Yay, my dress is famous! And since hundreds of people were watching while we worked this out, it’s even more famous now.

3. Surfriders Sportswear rayon sarong dress
I bought this dress within hours of arriving in LA for the first time. It was just sitting there in the first store I went into! I ended up buying a few things from that store, so my first impression of LA was that vintage was cheap, amazing and everywhere. That was a long time ago, but that feeling has never quite left me. I’m still somehow convinced that rayon sarong dresses lurk around every corner in Los Angeles!

Here’s to outfits with a past, and sneaky ebay purchases! If you'd like to read the whole story, it's live now at What Makes Them Tick.

All images copyright Garth Oriander.

Monday, 2 March 2015

LA Vintage weekend 2015

This year, I was lucky enough to be in LA for the biggest weekend of vintage shopping ever! For the first time, LA Vintage Weekend brought together the Vintage Fashion Expo and Inspiration LA under one roof. And with the Rose Bowl market on the same weekend, there was more shopping than I could handle. And I can handle a lot.

The weekend kicked off with Inspiration on Friday afternoon. Now in its seventh year, Inspiration is growing from its mens’ workwear roots to welcome high-end vintage women’s wear as well. It’s still mostly denim, leather, beards and pomade, but hey, I never heard any ladies complain about that.

I went to Inspiration for the first time last year and had no idea what to expect. It’s part clothing fair, part expo, part festival. It’s like a huge party for well-dressed people who love looking at cool stuff. There’s also free drinks on Friday night!

The Sneaky Tiki booth had some amazing Hawaiians
Lewis Leather was looking expensive but impressive
Yes, free drinks!

Every vendor puts a lot of care and attention into their displays, there’s eye candy everywhere. It can actually be hard to shop because you’re too busy looking! The merchandise is generally the best of the best, and the prices reflect that, but there’s a few bargains here and there. A lot of fashion designers come to shop and be inspired... Apparently Ralph Lauren was there to make some purchases, but I didn't see him!

The PF Flyers stand was so beautifully curated. So much to look at!
Vintage knick-knacks everywhere
Hanging out with the ladies

The next day, we were back at the LA Mart for the Vintage Fashion Expo. Having spent all my money at Inspiration the day before, I didn’t buy anything, but the ladies and I had a lot of fun looking. It was also great to see Dita Von Teese, who was wearing a beautiful felt circle skirt by Juli Lynne Charlot.

I know everyone will want to see the weekend haul, so here it is… Two jackets, a rayon blouse and a Hopalong Cassidy sweater.

Want to see more fabulous people at Inspiration? Check out the image gallery on the Inspiration website. You won't be disappointed!