Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tartan & Tipples, a Retro Plaidurday Celebration

click to enlarge

For the very first time, I'm taking my blog offline, in a way. I'm inviting you all to celebrate Plaidurday with me this Friday at The Dressing Room Bar & Boutique. Please wear your favorite vintage or vintage-inspired plaid for discounts on cocktails! If things get really good, we might move a table or two for some dancing.

For more information (and to invite your friends!), check out the Facebook event. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Retrofit: In Which I Mix Prints

As much as I love color, I don't always feel super confident when mixing them. I've been known to text friends the odd photo of a color combination I'm not sure about, and they almost tell me it's OK. So maybe it's more a matter of trusting my gut.

That's what I did weekend before last when I went to a gorgeous brunch event at Sonny's Soda Shoppe at the Mondrian Soho hotel. The rooftop space is inspired by a 1950s Italian beach club. I am 100% here for that. The weather was perfect at the view was incredible.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Monday Man Candy: Who Should It Be?

tarting last year, I've been sharing photos and awestruck, slightly inappropriate commentary about the heartthrobs of yesteryear on a somewhat weekly basis. The moody rebels like Brando and Dean; the clean-cut gents like Gene Kelly or Cary Grant, It's been a treat writing these, but now, I confess, I'm a bit stuck. Of all the matinee idols and swoon-worthy superstars, there must be someone I'm missing!

So, it's up to you. Who would you like to see for next week's Monday Man Candy?

Friday, September 19, 2014

The New Book "Women in Clothes" & Vintage Collectors

A couple weeks ago, my friend was kind enough to send me the link to this NPR segment on the new book "Women in Clothes". The brick, weighing in at 515 pages, is a collection of essays and images about, well, women and their clothes. The authors asked subjects to fill out questionnaires about their clothes to understand why garments are more than just things that protect us from the elements.

Plenty of people don't believe clothes are actually that important, or ashamed that they do find them important. Writes Jacki Lyden for NPR, "Fashion critic Kennedy Fraser once wrote in The New Yorker that the act of donning a garment can seem almost furtive or trivial, something beneath debate or intellectual content." That's so true and that idea is a little sexist. I believe I read on the amazing blog Threadbared a couple years ago that it's problematic for fashion to be written off as frivolous and empty when it's largely the province of women; it's like saying women and their interests are just not important.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Monday Man Candy: Ricardo Montalban

It's late--so late it's almost no longer Monday--but please enjoy this latest edition of Monday Man Candy anyway. I think this one is especially delicious. Ladies and gentlemen, Ricardo Montalban. Ay dios mio, que rico este hombre.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Cardigan Clips, a (Sweater) Girl's Best Friend

This post first appeared on the Vintage Bulletin

Today was muggy and uncomfortable but earlier this week I felt fall sneaking up on me. I can't say that I'm thrilled.

I don't love cold weather but I do love sweaters. And not only do I love sweaters, I love sweater clips. Also called cardigan clips and sweater guards, they're both handy and stylish. Some are pretty simple:

available on Etsy
Some get crazy-fancy.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Monday Man Candy: Gene Kelly

Hope your sweet tooth is ready because it's time for another Monday Man Candy! After basking in the strong, continental beauty of Omar Sharif, I'd like to turn our attention to the boyish charm of Gene Kelly.

Gene was no twee matinee idol, mind you. An athlete from a young age, he went out of his way to bring virility to dance on screen. He was just 5'7" but every inch of his body was muscle working hard under tight sweatshirts like the one above. I think Gene is one of the few Classic Hollywood men I prefer dressed down.

Singin' in the Rain and right into our hearts.
Not that he looks bad in a suit!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Fun with Modcloth at #FashionTruth

Wednesday, I rushed out of work to catch Modcloth in Soho for their #FashionTruth Casting Call for All. It was an amazing little pop-up in honor of Fashion Week where fans got to have candy, talk to staff, and have their photo taken for a chance to be featured on the site and get some gift cards.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

I Wrote This Thing on Race and Rockabilly and People Got Upset

If you don't follow my blog's page on Facebook, you may have missed that the week before last, I posted a link to a piece I'd written originally for The Frisky about the experience of often being the only black person at rockabilly events here in New York. I didn't think anyone would ultimately care, really, but I felt I had a story to tell so I did. I was completely shocked by the outcome. My essay was picked up by xo Jane, a friend of a friend passed it on, several friends on Facebook shared it, and there it was.

I got a lot of really positive feedback, from friends, friends of friends on Facebook and in the comments. Generally, I do my best not to read the comments on things that I write outside this blog, but I broke my own rule. It was so nice to hear from others who shared a similar experience, like the commenter who she knew what I meant because she's almost always the only Asian woman in the mosh pit. People tweeted me about it; it all felt good. But, as with nearly everything on the Internet, some people found a way to be outraged.

My intention wasn't to play martyr, nor to bash the scene. I thought I went out of my way to make it clear that wasn't what I was doing:
Rockabilly is thought of as being a white thing. With Elvis as its biggest star, it’s already ripe with issues for some black people. I know I and other people of color I’ve talked to, were raised with the myth that Elvis publicly said black people were only good for buying his records and shining his shoes. Research showed me he never actually said that but in a way it doesn’t really matter. The damage is done. He’s a reminder of the way whites have long appropriated black culture. Add to that the fact that many fans of the music and the scene use the Confederate flag in their outfits and it’s easy to come away with the message “you don’t belong here.” By no means is rockabilly music or the scene inherently racist, and from what I’ve seen, on the West Coast the scene is heavily Latino. Still, it bears noting a white person once asked me, “But why do you like rockabilly? It’s not really a black thing.” (You can read the whole thing here)