• art,  fashion,  style,  vintage,  writing

    Pucci: Antidepressant in Fabric Form

    At the same time I’ve been nurturing a baby boy, soon to be born in July, I’ve also been nurturing another baby: the manuscript of my novel, GENTLY USED. It’s a multi-generational tale about a vintage clothing store and the stories behind the clothes on the racks and the women who work and shop there.  Doing research for the book was almost as much fun as writing it. Over the last year, I amassed a lot of pictures and information, uncovering more vintage fodder than I could ever include in a single novel. And, of course, I stumbled upon some new obsessions. What I didn’t have room for in the…

  • beauty,  fashion,  style,  vintage

    Vintage Love at the Oscars

    I used to sit through the entire Academy Awards, from the red-carpet arrivals through the last acceptance speech. Then one year I thought, Who am I kidding? I only care about the clothes. Now, I skip the awards show itself and head straight for the press and the post-show fashion wrap-ups. There are usually a few outstanding vintage gowns on the red carpet. This year, Ann Hathaway’s ruby-colored Valentino got a lot of attention, but since it was from 2002, I’m not sure it really qualifies as vintage. She called it “archival.” Whatever it’s called, it’s gorgeous. Marisa Tomei wore true vintage, showing up in 1950’s Charles James couture. She’s…

  • fashion,  holiday,  vintage

    Baby It’s Cold Outside

    I live in Wisconsin, where below zero temperatures for days in a row are not uncommon. Many midwesterners suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD). I have discovered that SAD has an ugly cousin, FAD. FAD stands for Fashion Apathy Disorder. It’s a disease that strikes downtrodden souls during the winter months, encouraging them to just give up on the notion of looking good because no one will see what you’re wearing under that down parka and ski mask anyway. FAD can strike anyone at any time, and is most prevalent during the dark days of January and February. There is no need to be alarmed, though. There are ways to…

  • books,  decor,  fashion,  green living,  vintage,  wine

    How to Host a Swap Party

    I’m blogging today over at Wisconsin Public Television’s Engage Wisconsin website about how to host a swap party. I recently attended such a party at the home of a friend, and it’s a great incentive for cleaning out closets and cabinets. The idea is that each guest brings used items in good condition from her own home and, in return, can “shop” at the party for items that other people brought. I came home from the recent swap party I attended with a vintage 1970s leather jacket, an adorable green tunic from Anthropologie, and an armload of new books to add to my reading list. To learn how to host…

  • art,  beauty,  design,  fashion,  nerdiness,  vintage

    Four Centuries of Fashion

    I’ve been doing a lot of research on vintage fashion for a novel I’m working on. I recently came across a treasure trove of information on the website of the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Perusing the photos of garments from the 1600’s through today is like taking a walk through time–albiet in a corset and sometimes painful shoes, but always looking fantastic. Here are a few of my favorite ensembles from the Met’s archives. All photos are from the Costume Institute’s website.

  • blogging,  design,  fashion,  vintage,  writing

    Vintage Vixen

    I have not been posting as frequently in the last couple of weeks because I’ve been working like a crazed woman on my second novel, Gently Used. The novel tells the story of a fictional vintage clothing store, the women who work and shop there, and the garments that come through the door. It is loads of fun to write, and whenever I get blocked, I do research on vintage fashion, which has led me to some fun discoveries online. A recent search for 1950’s ball gowns led me to the Etsy store of Timeless Vixen, a vintage shop based out of Beverly Hills. The shop carries an impressive range…

  • fashion,  green living,  vintage

    The Thrill of the Hunt

    Vintage stuff seems to be the theme of the week for me. On Tuesday I guest blogged over at StyleManiac about why I love old clothes, and today my weekly article over at Wisconsin Public Television’s Engage Wisconsin site is about the environmental impact of the clothing industry, and how buying items secondhand can help reduce that impact. What I didn’t mention in either of those articles, though, is that another factor underlying my love of vintage things, besides the stories behind them and the recycling aspect, is a more primal notion–the thrill of the hunt. It’s satisfying to find the proverbial diamond in the rough: a pair of unworn…

  • fashion,  green living,  local,  music,  vintage

    Rock Star-Worthy Looks

    Stars put on a great show on Friday night at the Barrymore, complete with multicolored lights, bubbles, and a keyboard kazoo. And guitarist and vocalist Amy Millan wore sequins, just like the last time I saw her. If I were a rock star, I would wear sequins every night. Seeing all of the beautiful young things in the audience in their carefully-selected concert clothes got me thinking about (what else?) fashion. Here are some rock star-worthy looks from three of my favorite style bloggers. I’d be happy to wear any of the following ensembles to a show. What the three looks have in common is that they all involve at…