Friday, January 31, 2014

Vintage Black Glamour

There is something about images of old Black  Hollywood that bring fire to my soul. When I am looking for inspiration, I head over to Vintage Black Glamour on Tumblr to view stunning images of African Americans in the glamorous hayday of yesteryear.  Whether it's a rare portrait of Zora Neale Hurston, a shot of  1970s singing group The Three Degrees, or an image of  Sammy Davis Jr during the Rat Pack era, every image defines glamour, pride and nostalgia. Vintage Black Glamour is launching a book Spring 2014 and I can't wait to drool over every well edited page.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Vintage In Hollywood

Amy Adams in American Hustle 

You're probably living under a rock if you haven't heard all the buzz surrounding the film "American Hustle." With an ensemble cast of dynamic actors, it has won a slew of awards and nominations including SAG, Golden Globes and  the Oscars. Based on a true story, American Hustle  takes place in the late 1970s and 1980s a favorite time period here at Vintage Shaun. It is the fashions of that time period  and the costumes that Amy Adams' character wears that are scene stealing. With plunging neck lines, curve hugging jerseys  and bold gilded fabrics, Amy's American Hustle wardrobe plays a strong role in this film, so much it has influenced contemporary fashion.

Michael Wilkinson, the costume designer for American Hustle does an awesome job of storytelling through clothes. His greatest accomplishment on screen is making all the actors merge into their characters and the time line. Getting back to the  standout style of Amy Adams' character, with her  stunning array of wrap dresses sans bra. Along with the signature wraps, it's also  Wilkinson's  usage  of leather, gold and fur that also shows of an era where there was no shame of decadence and excess and political correctness was decades in the making.

Come March 2 we'll see if Wilkinson will be capture that gold statue and here at Vintage Shaun, we'll start looking for American Hustle inspired clothing for our collection. For now, salivate over the stills and get inspired by the poshness of American Hustle.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Happy Birthday Michelle Obama

Here at Vintage Shaun we love Michelle Obama and since she is turning fifty today, we wanted to just dedicate this post to one of the most fashionable women of this era. The First Lady has incorporated a number of different styles into her wardrobe including affordable fashion J. Crew, H+M, to an appreciation for vintage as she wore a vintage Norman Norell in 2010 and also vintage jewelry from Carole Tanenbaum.  Mrs. Obama has an intellectual take on fashion and we appreciate her for that. Thank you FLOTUS for loving vintage clothes and Happy Birthday.

FLOTUS wearing vintage Norman Norell

FLOTUS wearing Carole Tanenbaum brooch 

Monday, January 13, 2014

The Grandma In The Bronx

 My great great grandmother Alma was a seamstress. She was my maternal grandfather's grandmother and she lived to be almost one hundred. She was from South Carolina, she wore a wig and she was broad with a high pitched voice.  When I was seven, my grandparents and my uncle went to her apartment in the Bronx to clean it up as she was now  in a nursing home unable to care for herself.  Her apartment was dark, tenement like and like a lot of older women from the South, she had amassed a lot of stuff.  Out of everything in her apartment,  I remember laying my eyes on  a myriad of fabric and sewing supplies. After cleaning up, we brought the fabric  back to Brooklyn and I was allowed to play with some of it, as this was the late 1980s pre-Internet. I was  fascinated with the brocades and silks all attempting to create outfits for my dolls and possibly myself. I remember wrapping one of the fabrics around my head and channeling my inner Norma Desmond. It was my attempt at my own project runway, one of the earlier  projects that would feed the inner fashion beast I would later grow up to become.

 Fast forward twenty  years  and I can't sew. I may possibly be able to dart a hem if there is an emergency but that is me at the advanced stage. I have taken a few courses in college as well as after graduating where I dropped out. My mom bought me a sewing machine, my aunt bought me fabric and present day, a girl can't sew for her life. Both my grandmother and mother were excited for me to taking a class. Waxing philosophically on how   I would be able to make my own clothes, my mom reached when she said I would finally create that clothing line she's always dreamed for me. Even my dad was excited, the engineer that he is, I would be creating something with my hands.   When I took sewing the first time, my grandmother looked over my supplies list and told me not to buy any pinking sheers, she was going to give me Grandma Alma's. "These are very expensive, don't loose them." was her warning, and my grandfather possibly one of the most inquisitive men in the world, decided to inspect them and tell me not only about his mother and grandmother but also his great grandmother, a Black Seminole whom he described as having hair like a horse and a nose larger and sharper than his.  I failed miserably in the class, I lacked confidence, skill and precision but the one thing I remember is it linked my family, my passion, my memory and another hand me down came to me full circle from that visit in the Bronx.

My mom says love nothing more than man, meaning don't place your heart into material things but now with the passing of my older family members. Sometime, I wish there was some more history, a few more things to hear a few more stories. However, that's not the cycle of life, it would be better to start your own memories, collect your own things, pass them own and tell your own stories.Who would have known that day in the Bronx would fuel my career choice.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Wearing Nothing New

The strong notes  of vintage clothing has definitely been it's sustainability, true green shopping.  While trolling the internet, I came upon this inspiring talk at the TED conference by outfit obsessed, thrift store and obvious vintage loving thought provoker Jessi Arrington. In a world of fast fashion, inhumane clothing factory conditions and pollution, Jessi's platform of forward thinking fashion and conscious shopping will make everyone only buy vintage just for the fun it brings out in us all. Check out the video below and see how easy you will fall into the premise of Wearing Nothing New.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Why January Is The Best Month To Buy Vintage

Vintage collectors are always on the hunt, there is no vacation for collectors as  we use every trip to a new place as a way to  scour something. With saying, there are times when I am in overdrive, hitting all of my favorite spots in one day, using weekend excursions as ways to do "research" in complete and utter beast mode. Then there are times that I lay low or grow bored with my usual connects, maybe picking up one piece here or there  but not falling in love with a piece but January has to be the most wonderful time of the year for vintage clothing.

Think about it, people clean out their closets and donate to their local thrifts stores for that end of the year  tax deduction.  Gracious Family members who have received ugly hand-me downs or gifts they would rather donate than wear out of obligation have descended upon your thrift stores with gusto. Cleaning out closets during winter break, massive personal wardrobe  purges, estate sales etc. these is a surge in all of those during the last month of the year making for us vintage curators to marvel in treasures that don't happen in May or June.

As this is the first Monday this January, let's kick off the year with a vintage r thrift store drive buy and feast your eyes on a nice vintage piece for the New Year.