Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Ever since I was a teenager I have had a passion for all things vintage. My girlfriends and I would scour thrift stores, antique malls, garage sales and the like searching for that special piece that NO ONE ELSE WOULD HAVE. While everyone else was trying to look alike, we were desperately trying to look different.  
We drudged around in a grunge-fueled haze (see yesterday's post!) of printed and pastel polyester shirts, vintage tweed jackets, that were so stiff from age, they could stand on their own, and went on a never-ending quest for the "widest-leg pants."  Finding your size was like a gift from God, and the endless Minnesota weather and short days provided the perfect sullen backdrop for all of our fashion rebellion and Cobain-style, old man sweaters. Before Juno was a glint in eye...there we were.
Vintage is on trend at the moment and there are tons of beautifully curated outlets like Etsy, Modcloth, and Room Service (here in Austin), to find and purchase vintage goods. I think a response to vintage aesthetic is more than just timeless design, it an emotional response to colors, shapes and textures that evoke a sense of history. 
There is a mysterious dreamy element when you look at a typewriter that you know someone, long dead, sat at for hours and pecking away. Who were they? What did they write?  People seem to be seeking vintage lately and I think it says something about today's youth (for all of their other faults) that they see a value in something OLD. Everything in their world has a shelf life of 5 minutes (until the next app comes out) but there is something really special about an item that has depth and history. 

To really pull off vintage eclectic style, without looking like you are auditioning for Mad Men (Don Draper, I heart you) you have to have be a skilled curator and a fierce editor, both in decor and fashion. Sometimes things work together unexpectedly, sometimes they don't. Its trial and error. 

I will just use any pathetic excuse to look at Don Draper. 

Anyway, now that I'm older wiser, and slightly less sullen, I am still obsessed with vintage. I have always been attracted to that special aesthetic fusion of vintage items and more modern pieces, a'la Anthropologie or Restoration Hardware. And I love having that beautiful, unique piece that no one has. 

modern shapes with vintage images...Anthropologie
I have a pretty respectable collection of vintage clothing pieces, jewelry, purses, and home decor (More on THAT later!)and I love to incorporate vintage elements into my jewelry designs. Some pieces I buy, and end up wearing as they are. Others I disassemble and modernize with colorful elements and embellishments. And of course there is the added bonus, being the utter cheap-ass that I am, of finding them at thrift stores. A few examples of vintage pieces I have reworked and sold: 
vintage key necklace

leaves from a vintage brooch

Vintage Metal piece with "now" colors

Assemblage Vintage Necklace with Fiber baubles

One of my all-time faves

vintage beaded clutch "One Man's Trash'd"

metal filigree from a vintage junk necklace

A few favorites from my own collection (all under $10): 

Art Deco earrings picked up at thrift stores
Black sequins, black patent leather, gold lame', beaded silver, and needlepoint. Oh my. 

Vintage 80s

my faaaave necklace that I wear all the time! 

a pile of metal chunkies

For channeling Jackie O...Flea market find $2. 

Two pieces I picked up for my wedding in '09. I wore the one on the right...

Look at that pale Minnesota skin! ha! 
A few vintage elements I plan to work into upcoming One Man's Trash pieces (Stay tuned!!):

Here's to all objects that get better with age, outlive trends and make life more beautiful. I love you, vintage.