August 26, 2009

Up and away

We'll be in CA for a bit. Until we return: shoes!My favorite new summer shoe turned out to be these lime green vintage sandals with a little platform sole. From Blacklist Vintage. Also pictured, Carissa's feet in her Dr. Martens.

Fancies... 9 West mesh elastic and leather heels and more importantly Gerald's (amazing) shoes with added spikes.

My Jeffrey Campbell booties...Worn by Carissa, who took all of these shoe photos.

Tomorrow: off to the airport. Today: tidy up the house and pack.

Enjoy the final weeks of summer, babies! xo.

August 24, 2009

Shirin Guild: Harem-pant OG

I'm in love love love love with these harem pants!
I found them on a deeeeeep discount (90%?!) at gh2 when I took Gerald and Baby C there to show off how even in the heartland you can still get up close and personal with some Margiela, Comme des Garcon, Rick Owen, Stella McCartney, etc. (Seriously, if you don't know about gh2, get on it. There are amazing sales, and you can find out about them if you subscribe to their blOg.)

I was severely uninformed about the designer of these pant, Shirin Guild, but the lovely Maggie at gh2 was nice enough to let me know that she's a well-respected designer who's been making harem pants since long before the "trend" of recent times.
Here's Shirin in the 80s, such a beautiful woman. Her eyes are all cool confidence.
Turns out she was born in Iran, then moved to LA and finally to London after the Revolution of 1978. Supposedly, she couldn't find anything she wanted to wear in stores, so, almost entirely self-taught, she started her own label. She's still based in London, and her independent line is well-renown for incorporating unconventional materials and working in loose, geometric lines with a minimalist aesthetic. Most of her garments are made in England, including these pants. I am instantly an admirer. After buying them I wore them out the same night to go visit the Walker. Can't decide whether to love or loathe this Takashi Murakami wallpaper, but it's fun for a photo.
I like this picture because I'm smiling and not trying to model. But I realize that I have to try for you guys, just so you can see how beautiful these pants really are! So here goes:Yikes! What am I doing? But forget me. Look at that drop crotch in the back. So awesome.

Gave up posing, but wanted to also show you this shirt as a side note. It's American Vintage (a brand I'm also pretty into - so basically I'm wearing all brands popular with 40+ women here) and has turned out to be a great purchase. Total wardrobe staple. It was resale at Buffalo Exchange (CA) a couple years ago and luckily made the cut for the move to MN. Oh and it's actually not a shirt, it's a dress. But you can wear a dress tucked into pants when the crotch is at your shins.

Back to the pants. Here is a detail of the fabric, which has a raised pinstripe weave.
The draping is so beautiful both on the body and on the hanger. I really loved just looking at how they hang on the hanger in the store (I'm so weird!). But look, isn't it great how when hanging it falls together like a skirt with a little tail? And look at those lines!Then you turn it around and the back has this super-long drop crotch that hangs over the little leg holes at the very bottom...So cool... Such wonderful cuts and draping. And the little details warm my heart, like at the ankles...The leg holes are cut with a split on the inside seam which has a right angle cut on one side and slopes away in an arc on the other side.

So these are the things I get really excited about in life. Finding such unique, well-made things that I can keep forever and wear in my 20s and in my 60s, made by designers I can respect.

Ok I hope you were with me on all of that, because these are basically the best thing I've posted on this blog.


August 21, 2009

Finds: Vintage Americana

Aaaand I'm back.

One of the things I love the most about living in Minnesota is the abundance of thrift- and vintage-store goldmines. Coming from California, I never imagined a place where so much great stuff could live under one roof, unpicked by the masses. Here it's not the digging that's the problem, it's the narrowing down. My last couple of trips out have yielded some great American-made vintage finds.

I have a bit of an obsession with jackets. Whenever I go thrifting, rain or shine, January or July, I always end up coming home with at least one jacket.

This nearly unworn wool coat ($12, Savers) was made in the student shop at Hughes, Hatcher, and Suffrin, a postwar-era Detroit retailer. It sports beautiful marbled buttons and a removable full flannel lining.

It fits like a glove, and I love the different textures and the way they interact with each other. I see that plaid in my sleep. (I have a bit of an obsession with plaids, too.)

Next up is this Woolrich Woolen Mills parka in a striking blue hue ($5, Blacklist Vintage sidewalk sale.)

The Woolrich name is synonymous with vintage American quality. I immediately snatched this piece up despite one minor drawback:

As mentioned previously
, I have no problem wearing ladies clothing. At 5'4" and a slim build, most of what I find thrifting makes me look like I'm playing dress up in daddy's closet.

Luckily, gems like this will slip by most guys and into my basket. And it fits my small, girlish figure perfectly. I'm looking forward to wearing this as a pop of color during this white winter. (Did I just say I'm looking forward to winter?)

To salvage what's left of my masculinity, I snagged this vintage hunting jacket by Black Sheep, of Dallas, TX ($1 (!!!) Blacklist.)

It may not be in the best condition, but the thing radiates character. Again, I love the texture interplay between the military-green canvas, the cordouroy collar, and the buffalo plaid lining.

Before the PETA people start firebombing my house, I should note that I'm not a hunter. One thing I like about shopping vintage is that when it's affordable, it allows you to go a little outside your comfort zone and experiment with pieces you wouldn't always buy. I'll play with texture and context by layering this between a larger coat and some button-up shirts underneath. Maybe a bow tie. Or is that over? Anyone care to weigh in?

Finally, I found these great suede bucks ($8, Savers.)

I already own a pair from J. Crew, but these ones fit me better and I love the distressed leather and the red-orange sole.

The condition is ok, but the price was definitely right. And they, too, are American made by the Cole Haan Company.

I can only imagine what these four items would've set me back on eBay, but I found them all in my own backyard for under $30. Recession special! (Bleh. Sorry.)

Rainy day thrifting

Yesterday, during some torrential rain, Mike and I went to Savers (massive thrift store) to do some intensive digging. Didn't find the things I was hoping for, but got some rad clogs, trousers, and a slip.

These clogsare legit.Kind of in love with them. Adorable, no? (Ok I understand if the answer to that really is "no," but I do not care.)
Also picked up these trousersI'm so excited it's almost fall! These are wool/silk and fully lined, but I'm thinking of cutting the liner at the knee so I can wear them rolled up.

Who knows why I'm posting a picture of a basic slip? This is only the second one I own though, and it has a nice lacey hem, so good for layering. My other one is crap material and I cut it super short.
Follow up on those oneandahalf basics, I really do wear them like every day. What I wore:It's this one And I found it pleasing to mix in a cream colored scarf with the dress' attached black one. Got to use my Hunter rain boots and splash in the puddles!

Stay tuned guys, I think Mike's about to make a post!

August 19, 2009

Good ideas

This is great:

Lots of good ideas.

The bubble effect, part 2

The other thing I wanted to tell you about is how pleased I've been with my order from Oneandahalf, the "second" (read: more affordable) line from Nina Nikicio, an Indonesian designer who I have a bit of a girl crush on. Her collections are the perfect mix of masculine tailoring influences and tough, modern feminity rendered in grayscale color palettes with bright, childlike accessories. While not the most avant garde, her work captures the things I really like about certain mid-range design: creativity, playfulness, and an alternative to mass produced wares for reasonable prices.

If you don't already know about Nikicio, check out her collections HeRe. (Lookbooks have to be downloaded.) Her Vol. 2 collection, billed as menswear, is amazing and I would wear the shit out of every single item contained therein.

The Oneandahalf line of course came to my attention earlier this year because of Susie Bubble's post covering the collection. Everything about the post spoke to my interests: grayscale, affordable, transformable, versatile, basics. So I ordered up a handful of pieces since I was in need of, well, basics. This shirtdress was the most expensive piece, for like $39 or $49 (can't remember exactly now), and I haven't worn it so much since it's summer, but I see it working it's way into my fall lineup. I had removed the cuffs to roll up the sleeves:I'm like a small child, easily amused: Wow, zippers are fun!
Ugh, I'm also a terrible "model" so here, let some adorable girls show us the other things I've been wearing from oneandahalf. These items have basically been foundational to me getting dressed this summer.

I've been living in this gray tank dress with droopy arm holes, only I don't wrap my head when I'm wearing it (kinda impractical). I also don't wear tough heels, just thrift store sandals from the 70s.
Also this jersey t-shirt dress with attached scarf, only I'm amused that it barely covers my ass, whereas here it's almost to her knees. I had been a bit concerned about ordering from an asian line as a 5'9" American (?) girl, but it's all good. I just wear some bicycle shorts under it!
This jersey dress. Also not so long on me.
And light gray jersey cardign with pleats at the shoulder, I like you.
Ok this is the same shirt you just saw me in...
I can take the sleeves all the way off if I so desire...
But I only liked taking them halfway off on this day.
See that waist zipper? When it's pants season again I'll be wearig it like this:
Yay for getting yr $$'s worth, right? Thanks again, Sus Bubs.

UPDATE: About two hours after finishing this post I was notified via facebook that the Spring/Summer 2010 preview is up on the Nikicio site if you're interested.

The bubble effect

Susie Bubble is like Oprah when it comes to getting me to buy things. Wait, let's make that, when it comes to making me aware of worthy up-and-coming designers who I can support. A couple bubble posts directly influenced what became summer standards. I like knowing that independent publishing can introduce me to a girl in Brooklyn who tie-dyes stretchy things, who I then email and pay via paypal and later receive a nice package in the mail of a hand dyed pair of bicycle shorts and a photo of outer space that looks like the dyeing.

Tourist shot with the U of MN's Frank Gehry, ha!
Shabd shorts (thanks, susie bubble), j. crew tank, aqua t-shirt, dr. martens sandals (borrowed), lanvin sunglasses (also not mine, so sad)

I love these shorts!

And all because one day I was sitting around my house in my sweats drinking tea and gazing into the internet when I came across THiS post in my Google Reader. They became the perfect staple for my summer-of-bicycle shorts!

These photos were taken while friends were in town, so we played like siblings, borrowing each others stuff. I was pretty jealous of these Lanvin sunglasses that Gerald came up on at the ole' Hillcrest, CA Buffalo Exchange. He looks so. good. in them.
And those shoes are my homegirl Baby C's. They are Dr. Martens, so quite comfy and good for lots of walking.
Why are you two so damn cute? Can you come back to see me again real soon, pease?
I miss your faces and walking around everywhere in Minneapolis with you.