Vintage-a-palooza

Pretty in Pink // Handmade one of a kind Picnic Dress

1970’s Purple Ruffle Dress

Royal Purple

Parisian Wrap Skirt // One of a Kind

 

Beautiful 1970’s Peplum Dress

and more in the shop

 

 

I Want Boots!

Some bitchin’ boots, yo.

The vintage scene, as I am sure you know, has really quadrupled in the past eight or so years. One of my regrets in life is not buying it up before it’s price tag become like antique furniture. I went to college in upstate NY and am from Pennsylvania AND often went on family vacations either up north in New Hampshire or Maine or down South in South Carolina or Tennessee. Why in the hell did I not buy it up? Stock up? Shit. I’ve been a vintage whore since I was probably 14 and used to adore California for the same loves– vintage cars, vintage furniture, and good old-fashioned vintage frocks!

Man, I used to daydream about moving to Cali and driving my 1965 Mustang Fastback to and fro furniture shops, fillling my 1930’s bungalow with treasures. I used to fill my last college house with some really fantastic vintage finds as well. I wish I still had some pictures. Actually, let me dig:

a-ha! Found some, thanks Facebook!

A vintage find that inspired a painting

My Last Apartment in Upstate NY's Living Room

Feigned Discomfort at a College Party in Vintage Pinks & Earrings

The Only Time I've Lived Alone: My Sitting Room With Vintage Finds

A Crazy Outfit, But Probably Cost $10

My College Bedroom, Somewhat Homeless-Looking, But Hey! It Was College!

Over-the-top, yet Vintage

Anyway, I miss the days of finding really stellar stuff for super cheap.  Nowadays, trying to find some sweet vintage boots online becomes a search for a bargain over the ones we really want. I always seem to find exactly the pair and then see that they are $148.00 Yikes. I totally understand why vintage is worth a lot and I am glad that people respect and care for old threads and shoes, yet sometimes people take advantage. On Etsy, I spent about 30 minutes this morning looking for a nice pair of vintage size 10 boots in any shape that strikes my fancy. I found over 30 pages worth and a lot of these boots were questionably vintage, in terrible shape, or waaay too overpriced ($115.00 for boots without a brand and without clear pics???) Yikes.  Anyway, yeah, I miss the days of being the weirdo amongst weirdo friends who wore vintage when everybody else shopped at Abercrombie in college.  BUT! It’s also amazing that people do now value vintage and antiques so much. Let’s use the quality items we’ve got already here on earth instead of producing IKEA IKEA IKEA and other junk that is constantly filling our landfills. UGH nothing pains me more than shit production than seeing beautiful, slightly bruised antiques in the trash. LET’S USE WHAT WE’VE GOT AND RESPECT IT!

Hitting Multiple Birds

I haven’t had a day off in THREE WEEKS, but that isn’t stopping me.  I have eleven orders to make tonight and I have a big audition on Saturday, so I am making myself something sweet and new to wear.  I often start with an idea and then see where my fabric and sewing takes me, so I am starting with this idea:

A rough idea

Forgive the horrible drawing.  It’s going to have a Peter Pan collar (my fav), a peplum, high waist and sleevelessness.

I’ll post the finished product. Wish me luck.

xo Desira

Dressing Up!


Glamour of the 50’s, A Lost Art

Last night, my friend Chiara and I gushed over how much we like clothes on our way home from a dinner party.  She and I both agreed that playing dress-up as a grown woman is one of our favorite things, yet it’s also hard to pull off sometimes.  She has several vintage Chanel suits that she would love to don with her vintage white gloves, (so popular in the 50’s and a necessity for any woman going to Manhattan for the day from Brooklyn, like her mother did), but she can’t quite bring herself to do it.  Perhaps it’s the somewhat extinct convention of dressing up for going out everyday that is no longer exactly embraced on say, the Manhattan-bound F train from Brooklyn.  With ample stares from her fellow travelers, I could imagine Chiara appearing to be a fish out of water in the seas of black peacoats from Macy’s and denim jeans.

I know that there are scores of brave men, women, and children who do go beyond the vernacular and have a really wonderful style (the Sartorialist has proven this), but it’s still, tough.

The Sartorialist Captures Some Grace

I am one of those people who tends to have lost her filter as to what looks normal versus kinda nutty, but even still, I would love to go bigger and more over-the-top when it comes to dressing.  I had an ex-boyfriend who once claimed that he was embarrassed by the way I dressed and that I was just doing it “for attention”.  This marked the end of my feelings for him because he obviously didn’t get me.  I don’t dress up for attention, I dress up because I freaking love clothes! I love costumes and color relationships and sculptural clothing and fantastic details and incredible fabrics and costumes and period clothing and architecture and “putting together a look”.  Like Chiara, I wish the times when all women took extreme pride in the way they dressed, when fashion wasn’t just for movie stars and the cultural elite, the art fringes or off-kilter subcultures were still here. Everyone participated.  People in 1940’s Upper East Side  might not mirror those of say, 1940’s Wisconsin stock car racers, but they all sure as hell avoided wearing pajamas to the mall (happens in my hometown in PA).

Wisconsin Stock Car Racers

Things fit better, clothing wasn’t manufactured for quick sale and even quicker disposal.  Clothing was often handmade, careworn, cherished, and flaunted.

Seriously.
We Love You, Lucy, All Dolled Up

Even on television shows like, I Love Lucy, the characters were always dressed, even when cleaning at home.  Culture has changed and I shouldn’t bash it, but leaving a cocktail dress for a fancy event instead of just cocktails, well that’s no fun.  I have SO MANY dresses and outfits in my clothing arsenal, but I can’t seem to find too many occasions to flaunt them. My roommate has spent thousands of dollars on beautiful independent designer pieces that she views as art, but they decorate her closet complete with original tags.  She never finds a reason to actually wear them and resorts to jeans and tshirts every day. What a shame! I always implore her to go for it and swathe herself in her beautiful things, but she feels too shy, they aren’t what everybody else wears. She should bite the bullet and showcase these wonderful and just slightly unconventional wares. I think she should. I think I should. I think we all should.

Happy Monday!

Here are some belts to bring you back to the days of corsets and fitted waists:

Belts on Etsy! Click for link.

The Lives We Lead

In recent months, I have taken a break from my clothing designing days to try and refocus on what it is that I want… out of life.

I ADORE clothing and costume and I ADORE film, acting, theater.  In the last two years, I have immersed myself in doing small roles on the screen and most most recently on the stage, having been accepted in the LA-based, newly minted New York branch of the 68 Cent Crew Theatre Company.  Holy run-on sentence.

In the six years that I was designing ready-to-wear collections and individual pieces for sale on Etsy.com and in shops, I felt burdened and stifled by the need to sell, sell, sell.  I am a fine artist by trade and as most could tell, I lingered towards the art side of the the border between everyday wearable and costume.  I even sometimes felt the need to compromise my designs because they had to sell.  I also loved staging weird film-like photoshoots and strange and eerie or even dreamy photos for my collections, which doesn’t always go over well with everyone.

I love creating painterly whimsical outfits and if anyone actually knows me, they know I also love wearing such things.  I have an arsenal of costume-y pieces and weird stuff in my home.  In fact, my entire home and studio is full of the artful, as opposed to, let’s say, the subtle.  As I have gotten older, I have decided that I want to merge my two loves and not have to downplay my artistic side to be pragmatic or realistic, I should push it to it’s limits.  I have been able to do so with designing costumes for Brooklyn-based bands in the last three years and for limitless projects I do for myself.  Even still, I want to go bigger and better.

With that said, I am so excited to announce that I have just been brought onto costume design a feature film called Yaatra, which is beginning filming next week here in New York.  It’s an Indian fairy tale and I am so excited to be able to create a stylistic, whimsical scheme and color palette or the actors. The inspiration for the clothing in this film are fairytales from France and the U.K. from the early 20th century to the late.  This project also presents a real challenge for me as a Westerner, seeing as I am designing with an Eastern storyline and Eastern actors.  I am hoping that this project allows for my creative clothing-related endeavors to take off full throttle.

Happy Thursday.

xo Desira

I LOVE FILM, ITALY, TILDA, & CLOTHES

I saw I AM LOVE last week and it was incredible.  At times, the plot was slow-paced and pregnant with impending drama, yet overall it was gorgeously shot, retro in set design, with stylized timelessness and visuals, and was all-together immensely beautiful.  I loved the relationships that Tilda Swinton’s character had with each of her family members and then with her lover.

I LOVED the colorblocked emsembles of Fendi and Jil Sander’s costume design (especially the tangerine cigarette pants ahhh!!!)

The ending was probably the best ending I have ever seen.  

In the last three minutes, the suspenseful music screeched and undulated begging for action from the main character. As she decided what her fate would be…. does she leave her family for love, or does she carry out her duties as a mother and wife , the music grew louder and more robust screaming, “give me your answer!!”, as if nature was taking the room.

I love I Am Love