Archive for October, 2012

sartorial risks and white guilt

Monday, October 8th, 2012

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80s Navajo blanket/suede fringed jacket: thrifted for $5
90s dark brown velvet babydoll dress: thrifted for $4
vintage Dooney and Bourke purse: thrifted for $10
my grandmother’s rosary worn as a necklace
2 rings: one pearl ring by Laurel’s Bench, the other from a booth at Renegade Craft Fair a couple years ago
tights: Macy’s
vintage Salvatore Ferragamo flats: ebay

When I saw this jacket at the thrift store I grabbed it and bought it without even trying it on.  It was like I knew from just a glimpse that it would be awesome.  At the time I don’t think I was aware of how many associations and thoughts would come from this one item of clothing.  Let me unpack some of those here.

When I wear this jacket I think of my grandparents.  My grandfather was an expert horseman and the blanket of the jacket is not unlike the saddle blanket he would use on his horse.  I’m also wearing a rosary that was my grandmother’s.  The beads are a beautiful iridescent gemstone of some kind.  I added a clasp on it so I could wear it, which is, of course, so rebellious of me as a girl who was raised Catholic.  We were always told to never wear a rosary.  It’s sacrilegious to the max!

When I wear this jacket I feel like I’m a bad-ass New Mexico biker chick.

When I wear this jacket I feel bold and confident because it is so unlike much of what I wear normally.  It’s a bit of a sartorial risk for me and I like the way that makes me feel.

When I wear this jacket I feel white guilt.  Seriously.  You don’t think I’m aware of the socio-political/historical-racial implications of wearing this especially on a day like Columbus Day?  YIKES!  It’s a real dilemma.  I genuinely love the look and feel of this jacket, but is that because of the appropriation of Native American culture that has been packaged and commodified and sold to me through the online fashion landscape as a current trend?  Am I by wearing this influencing and/or aiding that kind of culture where white girls wear Native American headdresses?  Am I justified by saying this is vintage, second-hand and not some modern store-bought appropriation of indigenous culture (echoing the argument of wearing vintage fur)?  How can I wear this jacket and not think of the tragic history of Native Americans?  I’m wearing a Navajo blanket jacket.  Smallpox blankets were given to Native Americans by white men.  Genocide.  History.  Fashion.  It’s definitely a lot to think about.  Can an item of clothing be racist?  We saw it just recently in Dolce & Gabbana’s Spring 2013 collection (see coverage on Jezebel, Huffington Post).

It’s a lot to think about.  And sure, you could say it’s good that I’m at least aware and thinking of what it means to wear a jacket like this, but I’m still wearing it, and I guess as I long as I wear it I’ll be truly conflicted.

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10 Halloween Costume Ideas for the Vintage Loving Gal

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

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Can’t think of what you’ll be for Halloween this year?  Well check out this guest post I did for The Glamorous Housewife10 Halloween Costume Ideas for the Vintage Loving Gal.  I compiled a bunch of ideas for costumes that you can make from out of your very own closet!

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F@#K YOU Saturn!

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

I have some very exciting life news.  If you didn’t know, I’ve been unemployed for some time.  It’s been a trying couple of years, but going through that hardship seems fine now since if I had a job I wouldn’t have heard about my dream position!  That’s right, I landed a dream job.  I can’t really tell you exactly what it is, but I can say it’s working in an industry I feel passionate about and I’m completely stoked.  I’ll be getting paid to do a lot of what I already love to do.  Plus, I’ll be relocating back to San Francisco.  (Any SF Bay Area peeps, keep an eye out for cheap rooms for rent for me, please!)  My horrible Saturn Return seems to be coming to an end!  I should throw a F U Saturn Return party.

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I made my first meme!

So in the amount of time since I got the job and actually started the job (my first day hasn’t started yet), I’ve been able to relax and delve into projects I’ve been wanting to do for some time including making this brooch display.

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I had the frame waiting for some time.   I just stapled on some black velvet (snipped from a dress I found at a thrift store for $1) to the cardboard frame backing, stuffed some polyfill in there, stapled it up, and hung it.  Now I got a pretty place to store my brooches.  They were taking up space in my jewelry box, especially with a recent inheritance of some of my grandmother’s pins, plus I like being able to look at them.

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Last night I did my nails while watching the Colbert Report on Hulu, and Gold Rush on Netflix (don’t ask me why I got sucked into watching that reality show, yikes).  It was the first time I tried painting my nails all fun and crazy with toothpicks.  They definitely came out messy, but here’s my attempt at Halloween nails:

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Yep, super messy, but it’s my first try.  One of those nails is supposed to be a pumpkin, another a spider web, ha ha!   Oh well, I tried.  I’m pretty happy with the way my bats and spiders came out, so I’ll maybe just go for that next time.

AND, last but not least I’ve been adding more and more items to my etsy shop, knowing I may not have as much time to list what’s still in my stock once I start working, making the move, etc.   Here’s a look at what I’ve listed:

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1970s princess wrap hooded trench

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1970s white gauzy embroidered maxi dress

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1950s blue wiggle dress with unique collar

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1970s embroidered tunic dress

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Vintage Louis Vuitton Key Case Wallet

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Vintage Men’s Christian Dior driving gloves

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vintage I. Magnin NOS pajamas

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Vintage 50s pajama set

AND I even listed some rings I made out of vintage casino poker chips. What do you think?

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Fleur de Lis poker chip ring

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Bulldog poker chip ring

I also have a DIY coat I’ve been dying to share with you, but that’ll have to wait until I take some proper outfit photos.  Surely this has been enough of a pic overload.  If you want to support me and my moving costs, consider a purchase from my etsy shop.  As a celebration of my new life path I’m having a 10% off sale with the coupon code:  FUSATURN

As always, thanks for reading!

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my DIY Comme Des Garcons blanket trench

Monday, October 15th, 2012

It’s 2012 but I’ve still been heavily obsessing over the Comme des Garcons Fall 2009 collection.  Specifically the blanket trench:

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Luckily it’s a completely DIY-able design.  I got some inspiration photos here, and saw that Elizabeth of White Lightning made one for herself.  I went thrifting in search of a trench and a blanket.   I found a good fitting trench, but a wool blanket was actually hard for me to find.  I found this reversible cape/poncho thing in the blanket section and thought it would be good since most of the work was done for me.

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And here’s the outcome:

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What I didn’t realize with the cape is that the silhouette wouldn’t be the same as the Comme des Garcons coat, and there are definitely some imperfections, but for not being an experienced sewer I was super duper pleased and proud of myself with this and I’ve pretty much worn it non-stop since I made it.  I love it!  Doing a DIY like this has really opened my eyes to what’s possible to make yourself.  Now I feel I can go into thrift stores and keep my eyes open for things I can re-work and re-imagine.  Are there any past collections from designers that you are ceaselessly obsessing over?

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