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fashion

design therapy: carnaby crush

design therapyTaylor P.Comment

This week we're crushing on op art, bright colors, florals, and playful lines. Ever since I can remember I gravitated towards mod fashions in a big way. The summer mood for me lately is bringing back memories of running around the streets of Chicago sifting through racks upon racks of vintage dresses sidewalk sales and ogling space age furniture. Secretly, though, I wish I could find a time machine and go back to Carnaby Street in its heyday. Would you wear some of these outlandish fashions, too? There's a reason why some late sixties fashions are still so timeless today and not in the least dated. Do you know what it is? Ferocity, Designers like Mary Quant broke the mold but ultimately it came down to the confidence of the wearer. Some of these fashions are absolutely fierce and there are so many lessons we can learn from the successes and failures of previous generations. 

This show-stopping op art dress with vibrant colors is AMAZING. ( is )

This show-stopping op art dress with vibrant colors is AMAZING. (is)

Super relevant simple style with high contrast.  (is )

Super relevant simple style with high contrast. (is)

The late 60's-early 70's had such iconic style when it came to shoes. We love these over-the-top statement flats. ( is )

The late 60's-early 70's had such iconic style when it came to shoes. We love these over-the-top statement flats. (is)

Minimalist vs. Maximalist ( is )

Minimalist vs. Maximalist (is)

Floral prints for DAYS...( is )

Floral prints for DAYS...(is)

Carnaby Street style in a nutshell. ( i  s )

Carnaby Street style in a nutshell. (is)

A more modern take on vintage fashion but everything they have is pretty amazing. ( is )

A more modern take on vintage fashion but everything they have is pretty amazing. (is)

Classic, simple lines but killer style. ( is ) 

Classic, simple lines but killer style. (is

Pretty much anything Colleen Corby wore was amazing. ( is )

Pretty much anything Colleen Corby wore was amazing. (is)

Sunnies in every shape. ( is )

Sunnies in every shape. (is)

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s t a t u t e s of i n s p i r a t i o n : the flower children

Taylor A.Comment

✚ ✚ s t a t u t e s   of    i n s p i r a t i o n ✚ ✚

"the flower children"

Those pillows! (

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Love knows no bounds. (

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Have you ever wished for a boatload of flowers? It could happen to you. (

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Power couple. (

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Funny face(s). (

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Cup heaven. (

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A beautiful collection of cacti. (

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Installation art at its finest. (

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This would be excellent on a white wall. We love Liz Clements! (

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The pinholes look like tiny stars in the light.

Amy Friend

is a genius!

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baby love: faces + spaces

Maddie C.Comment

Hi, all! Today we're pairing up some lovely fashion with some gorgeous rooms, for your reading pleasure. Whether paired for dress or play, kids need a comfortable and creative environment to thrive. What are some must-haves for your kids' rooms? 

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 (via

the boo and the boy

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🐼♥️,

Maddie

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baby love: dress up

Maddie C.Comment

When I was a kid, every day was Halloween. I was a hodgepodge of fashion from many eras with some handmade hand-me-downs to boot. These days, children's fashion has become far more advanced-- it is childlike yet sophisticated, simple yet complex, and strikingly modern yet classic. For this week's "baby love," I chose to pay homage to the new form of "dress up."

🐼♥️,

Maddie

every day was halloween. (

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life in the pursuit of fashion: evolution of street style

Taylor A.Comment

statutes of inspiration

Street Style has been around for a long, long time, but the photograph itself has had a relatively short lifespan thus far. The evolution of street style is absolutely incredible and when you look at it visually, it is amazing how many styles came full-circle since the dawning of the 1900's. Today we're saluting the models and amateurs alike that bravely took their style to the streets:

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) early 1900's

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 early 1900's

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) 1920's

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) 1930's

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) 1940's

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) 1940's-50's

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) early 1950's

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) 1950's

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) 1950's

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) 1960's

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) 1960's-early 70's

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) late 1960's-early 70's

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) 1970's

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) 1970's

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) 1980's

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) 1990's

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) n o w

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) n o w

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) n o w

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e) n o w

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) n o w

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life in the pursuit of fashion: 1960's Japan

Taylor A.Comment

maiko. (

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When most of us think of "vintage" Japan, the image of a geisha usually comes to mind. I don't know if I watched "My Geisha" one too many times (

Shirley Maclaine is my spirit animal

) or what, but I always picture 1950's-70's Japan as this sort of technicolor burst of postcards of shrines and local attractions. I think of airlines, Godzilla, and probably most of the stereotypical tourist traps you would think of. But the Japanese culture is incredibly fascinating, and the lovingly kitschy quality is not lost on me. I'm very fond of Metabolist architecture, of mod fashion (they did it better, honestly), and just the genuine spirit that seemed to be in the air during the time after the war. I've always held a fascination and the deepest respect for the culture and people. Both have proved to be a great inspiration throughout my life and continue to see new life in various projects and designs I work on.  So, to fully disclose my full admiration of that nostalgia, here is a top ten list of why 60's

Japan Modern

was the best time ever for fashion design:

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    1. They Had the Ultimate Camera Fashion

                            I can't even begin to describe to you how amazing and fun the cameras were created during this time. Not only did they have all sorts of neat gadgets, but they were colorful, usually made of plastic or a similar material, and worked as the perfect (effortless) fashion statement. Instant cool points just for rocking that powder blue Minolta. 

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2. They Made Minimalism Colorful + Chic

While we Americans were rocking paisley sheaths, they were inventing minimalism in a new and colorful way.

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3. They Totally Knew Their Pattern-to-Solid Ratio

Even with patterns, they managed to make everything look flawless and feminine.

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4. They Made These Incredibly Popular 

Does this even need an explanation? These suitcases RULED and still do today.

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5. Even Into the Late 60's, They Still Broke the Mold

Even when emphasis shifted to patterns, they still made awesome clothing and played around with different structures and textures.

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6. They Styled the World's Cutest Uniforms (and still do)

AIRLINES. When I think of 1960's stewardesses, their signature minimal mod style comes to mind. They paved the way for all other stylish industry uniforms, in my opinion. 

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7. They Made Everything Kawaii

I'm pretty sure they even invented kittens. Everything they produced had some level of cute yet proper. 

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8. They Made Us Want to Wear Knee Socks

I never was a huge fan of knee socks and mary janes. When I saw pictures like this, however, I wanted like twenty pairs of them. 

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9. They Had the Best Sewing Patterns EVER

Hands down, the most beautiful shift dresses I have ever seen. Come to think of it, they invented so many neat fabrics during that time, too. 

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10. Even Their Toys Were Better Than Ours

I'm almost thirty and I still want these. 

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Pinterest Roundup: stripes

Maddie C.Comment

I don't know about the rest of you, but I can never own enough things with stripes. Dresses, blouses, skirts, pillows, shoes, notebooks, pencils, etc....get my drift? Fashion was greatly transformed by stripes, and it is my personal belief that we have Coco Chanel to thank for it. 

But stripes are wonderful, and clean-looking, and they can be used in so many different ways. They make us happy by reminding us that everything is linear on some level or another, and there's of course the nostalgia of maritime style.  

So, hey! Let's take a gander at the wonderful world of stripes. 

How could we not love Jean Seberg in stripes? (

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Even in nature, stripes have always been your friend. (

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Daphne van den Heuvel knows what's up. (

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You can wear them with solids for instant magical superpowers. (

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Because sometimes stripes are just darling... (

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And sometimes they're daring... (

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And sometimes you can wear stripes on stripes and it doesn't look like you're on drugs.. (

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And when all else fails, you can eat your ice cream with stripes.

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🐼♥️,

Maddie

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Vintage Shopping 101

Taylor A.1 Comment
For the past eighteen years, I have loved and collected vintage. My mother, sister, and I used to drive up to larger cities, hit thrift stores and estate sales, and even some antique/vintage stores in the middle-of-nowhere. It started with a love for seventies furniture and mid-century (the tackier the better), which lead into wearing go-go boots and 60’s mini-dresses during my formative junior high years (much to the chagrin of my fellow classmates.) What I didn’t find, my talented mother would make us, usually off of vintage patterns. I remember going to our local Goodwill and finding Fifties patterns for vintage aprons, or finding amazing space age lamps for mere dollars at Amvets. If you are anything like me, you like the challenge and adventure of hitting a round of thrift stores and rummage sales with your girlfriends, trying on a variety of really tacky clothes (that your ladies graciously talk you out of purchasing, thank god), and maybe finding those one or two unusual items that really brighten up your day. After selling vintage for the past ten years, I can testify that the hardest thing about it is parting with items you “discovered” and then realizing years later that you wish you would have kept them!
Although times have changed and due to sites such as etsy and Ebay, vintage is somewhat scarce in some places. Here are some tips to make the most out of your thrifting experience:
ONE:  Definitely hit up church rummage sales or little hole-in-the-wall thrift stores. Often they could care less about older clothes so when they get donated they get placed on the costume rack or relatively cheaply priced. Rummage sales at churches or community centers are great because usually they are estate items and of better quality than many of the things you will find in thrift stores (plus people tend to price rummage stuff dirt cheap because they don’t want to have to move it or store it.) Estate sales can be gold mines for vintage, but you have to get there EARLY usually because people tend to snatch up anything of value within the first fifteen minutes of a sale. A key rule is that the older the neighborhood, the more likely that you will find fine vintage floating around                                                    
TWO: If you are of smaller frame, check the thrift store’s  section for girls because sometimes they will place mod mini-dresses there thinking they are a child’s dress! One of our local thrift stores here prices their children’s clothing at 79 cents a piece and I have found so many cute dresses that way!
THREE: If it has stains or holes, make sure it is a fabric that can be laundered. Not all vintage fabrics can be laundered, and there is nothing more disheartening than realizing that the oriental silk twenties dress you got for a steal with the gash in it is falling apart and cannot be repaired, even by the most experienced seamstress. Also, keep in mind that if it is discolored, it is very difficult to re-dye the material unless it was made of cotton. There are polyester dyes out now, but often they can deteriorate the vintage fabric because the chemical compounds don’t mesh well with older fabrics. And keep in mind that not everything that says “dry clean only” can be dry cleaned if it is vintage.  If you can’t live with its current condition, and can’t make a pattern off of it or use parts of it for your own design, DON’T BUY IT. But don't give up hope yet! Familiarize yourself with Fashion-Era's guide to cleaning vintage textiles. A professor of mine when I was in fashion school swore by this site-- I could spend days perusing all the information on there and you probably will, too.
FOUR: Learn to identify the sensual aspects of vintage fabrics. Up until the 1980’s, the majority of fabrics had specific textures or scents that dated them very easily. As synthetic materials became all the rage, very intricate or textured materials became less common. Acrylic (used primarily in knits) is an excellent example of that. There are also some fabrics to shy away from. For example, many coats were made of a synthetic polyester knit blend during the 50’s and 60’s that likes to shed pieces of polymer all over everything (almost like dust—yuck!)
FIVE: If you’re on the shorter side, 1970’s maxi dresses CAN be shortened and make really cute additions to your wardrobe. You can shorten the hem, sleeves, and add some really cute accents (like bows, collars, or buttons.)  Never hemmed a dress before? I’ll show you how this week with a really easy tutorial!
SIX:Network, people!! Get to know your local people that work the stores or sales. They usually tend to be very interesting, nice people and very informative about things you might be looking for. I have made several lasting friendships with merchants over the years and every once in a while some may even save some stuff for you or call you up if something comes in that you might be interested in. If it is very obvious that you love vintage and are a generally nice person, people WILL help you out. 
SEVEN: If you are going to resell an item, don’t announce it loudly to the point that other folks can hear you. It’s not illegal, but it IS in poor taste to say things in a store to the effect of, “Wow! I could buy this for $1 and make $50 off of it!” If you do that enough, folks WON’T help you out, but they WILL mark up their stuff that they thought was just an “old hat.” Likewise, a personal rule of mine is that unless it is way overpriced to begin with, don’t try to negotiate prices with people unless they specifically have a sign saying that they will take offers.  After running businesses for a number of years, I can tell you that it is extremely rude to do this unless it is absolutely necessary. Especially when people run a boutique or antique store, they don’t like feeling like they are an auction site or craigslist.  It always leaves a bad taste in my mouth when someone asks me for a discount on an item that I have already priced very reasonably or way below its value. I have had people try to negotiate buying decent-quality costume jewelry for a nickel when I had it posted at 50 cents at yard sales before. And there is no end to the people on etsy that will literally want to get something for nothing. There’s nothing wrong with trying to get a bargain, but make sure to be fair with your resellers, too. 
EIGHT: Keep in mind that vintage sizes are often WAAAAY different than modern sizes, and many pieces of vintage clothing were not marked with sizes at all. My suggestion for this is to grab a flexible tape measure at your local fabric store and have a friend write down your measurements for you. Then make sure to keep the tape measure and your measurements handy on your next adventure and if there is no dressing room, refer to the old trusty measuring tape method. 
NINE: If the shoes don’t fit, DON’T wear them! Save yourself a lot of grief (and cash) by not buying things that cannot be altered. Leather can be stretched sometimes, but you will generally get no more than half a size up at the most, if you're lucky. Another cardinal rule is that if it can’t fit over your head comfortably or has so many parts that it would take Houdini to get in or out of it, don’t BUY it. Beyond the obvious fashion faux pas, if you buy these items they will likely sit in your closet for a couple years before you donate them again or try in vain to sell them.
TEN:  Bring a camera (or a phone with photo-documenting capabilities) along for the ride. When I am out, I almost always see things that remind me of friends or family members and shoot them photos and prices in case they are interested. It also may be fun to blog these in your spare time. One of my favorite blogs is Yard Sale Bloodbath, for instance. I have found some of the weirdest stuff at thrift stores before that I wish I would have gotten a snapshot of!
ELEVEN:  Don’t be afraid to cover new territory. If you have the money, search outside your city or take a day trip somewhere new. Make a list of places you want to visit and their store hours, MapQuest them, and hit the road. The Salvation Army uptown may have the most boring 80’s power suits ever, but hit the small one on Midtown and it might be a vintage Mecca! And don’t be afraid to ask around for what you are looking for. People might go, “Oh, my mom has one of those! Let me call her real fast. She just has it sitting in her den collecting dust!
TWELVE:  Although you may usually be a lone wolf, don’t shy away from inviting your friends to come along for your adventures. There can be nothing more fun than getting up early, picking up some friends, grabbing coffee, and hitting the road for a day full of adventures and surprises.
THIRTEEN: If you are looking to resell or for something specific, post a want ad on Craigslist or Freecycle. People are always looking to get rid of stuff or trade out. Just make sure to bring a friend and meet in a public place to do the trade to ward off the potential crazies (they ARE out there, sadly.) Often, most folks are really nice and you may even make new friends that have similar interests!
FOURTEEN:  Thrifting is so beneficial to your wallet! And if you DON’T follow the trends too much and make your own way, you will not be limited to being disappointed if you can’t find certain items. Many thrift stores put stuff out in groups (such as a bunch of 70’s platform shoes or a bunch of vintage floral dresses) and it isn’t always based on what is popular. If you are looking to combine vintage with other items in your wardrobe, photo pools like Wardrobe Remix or sites like Lookbook are great sources for inspiration and can show you a variety of ways to combine colors or textures to produce a signature look.
FIFTEEN: Lastly, although no one wants to have Buyer’s Remorse, likewise don’t skimp on a vintage purchase if it is something you REALLY REALLY want. Impulse buying is one thing and should be avoided at all cost, but also don’t look a gift horse (or as my friend Janice says, “The Vintage Gods”) in the mouth, either. If it is a couple dollars more than you want to pay, but it is imperative that you have it, don’t wait. I can’t count how many times I have seen something I loved and said, “If it is here next time or on sale, I will purchase it” only for it to be gone within minutes. Months later, I usually still wanted it really bad, and ended up paying top dollar for it in a store or online. If you like it, it is generally certain that at least five or six other people locally do, too, so try to be the first to snatch it up!  Thrifting is competitive, and that is part of the fun. Hope everyone has a great start to the week and finds this post useful! I have school starting again in a couple days, and I am actually semi-excited about that! 
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