Archives For July 2012

Earlier this summer, I lost my favourite denim jacket. That was a painful loss, man. I cannot stress the importance of a sweet denim jacket in one’s closet. And this particular jacket was a real winner: Parasuco, scored at Goodwill in the USA for a measly 5$, worn to work, school, and sleep (okay, not sleep, but I did wear it here and here). I was half-tempted to spend my summer in mourning, untagging all my Facebook pictures with it because it’s too painful, then eating a small container of ice cream because that’s what TV has taught me to do.

Anyways, upon the realization that my ol’ buddy was never coming back in an epic Homeward-Bound-esque montage, I eventually found the strength to move on with a new love: this thrifted H&M jacket, worn today with a new thrifted dress (in purple! hooray!). Since this is the first time I’m wearing my new jacket on the blog, I intended to publish a posthumous tribute to it’s predecessor. Y’know, talking about all the things I miss about my old jacket, and all the things I like about my new one. Thrifting circle of life, yadda yadda yadda. Well, I started to work on the tribute, and even pulled a few photos together, when I was suddenly struck with a wicked case of deja-vu:

…I’ve done this before.

Not about my jean jacket, per say. But I had written a very similar ode to a jacket, long before I started up this blog.

You see, in the days prior to WordPress’ and Blogger’s dominion over the blogging universe, I had a LiveJournal, and when all my friends on MSN went to sleep, I wrote in it. I had a hazy recollection of writing about a jacket years ago. So, I returned to that ol’ LiveJournal that I had since totally forgotten about, and did some digging for that post. That’s where things get fun. I found the entry alright, only to realize I’m EXACTLY THE SAME AS I WAS SIX YEARS AGO. Except I don’t shop at Old Navy anymore. How funny is that?! It seems as though I was destined to be a blogger, forever fated to personify my favourite items of clothing with proper pronouns. I still have that jacket too!

I seriously debated sharing that actual link with you. Because if you’re as creepy as I am (which I know you are) you’ll spend some time clicking around that old LiveJournal to confirm your suspicions that I am big loser. In fact, I actually tried to log into that old Livejournal account to delete the embarrassing stuff, but guess what? I can’t. I don’t remember my password or the email I used to create it, and after trying a million times, I just gave up. (Today’s lesson: The Internet is forever.)

Needless to say, I found my old blog endlessly more entertaining that a few pictures of my old jean jacket. I spent so much time trying to prove that “I’m soooo snarky and have suuuuch good taste” – it’s hilarious! So, instead of a tribute to my jacket, how about a tribute to my old blog? I’ll even do you a courtesy by sparring you the effort it would take to scroll through pages of drivel, and just point out some of the goodies:

First off, I love that this LiveJournal is like a time capsule of technological developments for 2005 and 2006. Look how excited I am to get a Dell laptop! And here’s where I discover bit torrents! (In case the Government is reading: I don’t download music illegally any more). Oh, this one is a gem, because I call MySpace a successful blockbuster movie. Ah, to live in a B.Z. world again (B.Z. = Before Zuckerberg).

It’s also a time capsule of my pop cultural tastes (and distastes) in the late 2000s. Here’s where I cryptically predict the demise of The OC and Mischa Barton’s career. You’ll notice on that same day, I posted a link to a fanvid about Jim and Pam and their budding romance on the Office (NBC has since blocked that video for copyright violations, so in case the Government is reading: I don’t make fanvids anymore). My greatest discovery, though, is that Kanye West is STEALING LYRICS FROM ME: Read the second last line of this post.

Honestly, you’re more than welcome to click through that journal if you want to. Of course now it all seems a little silly, and a lot dated, but that’s okay. I’ve got nothing to hide. It represents a small little slice of who I was and – as that jacket entry has proven – who I am. Heck, I know all my musings on this blog will some day seem archaic.

While our preferences and references will age and expire, I can take comfort in one thing: The knowledge that a good jean jacket will age a lot better than any blog, provided you don’t lose it.

Last winter, I featured an outfit that reminded me very much of one of my favourite pop artists, Roy Lichtenstein. In that entry, I hinted that wouldn’t be the last time I pay homage to an artist in dress. Today is the fulfillment of that promise. Although, I didn’t stray too far in my point of reference – I just moved from one pop artist to another. This shirt  came home from the thrift store because it reminded me of the oft-imitated Andy Warhol. In particular, it brought to mind his Flowers series – especially the 1964 original:

Andy Warhol | Flowers, 1964

My university art prof wouldn’t be surprised to see Andy make an appearance on the blog, my relationship with Andy is a long one. I somehow managed to write (or paint) him into nearly every major modern art project I’ve done over the past decade. It started with a grade 10 painting of a repeated shrieking baby in garish greens. It ended with a tragic tribute to a bald Britney Spears in the midst of her 2008 breakdown for my senior Modern Art final:

I’m honest enough with myself to realize that an obsession with Andy Warhol is an art student cliche these days. Now more than ever, edgy millennials pin, share, post and hang Warhol without a second thought. He’s become dangerously familiar. His work has ascended to the same level of pop-cultural awareness as, say, a Campbell’s soup can in the 60s (that just got really meta…). However, that doesn’t take away the potency of his legacy, nor does it diminish the genuine influence he’s had on my own aesthetic and worldview. In many ways, it just affirms he was a prophet as much as an artist.

Andy Warhol | Flowers, 1970

So what is it about Andy’s work that will forever continue to hold sway over arty college students? My own experience with primary art education will likely ring true for many for you, and maybe shed some light on the Warhol phenomena. It went a little like this: You meet the Mona Lisa in grade 3, Michelangelo in grade 5, and if you’re lucky, Monet in Grade 6. Then you repeat that for a few more years. Don’t get me wrong – there is much to be gained from the pages of art history, but after years of art education that seemed to begin and end with the Renaissance, the discovery of Warhol was a welcomed shock to my apathetic teenaged brain. Instead of frescoes, oils, and chiaroscuro, Andy gives us silk-screened canvases set ablaze with hot pinks, neon yellows, and primary reds. Rather than Venus and St. Paul, he gives us Elvis and Marilyn. The day I encountered Andy, I found myself staring down a host of new possibilities, because he made me realize that art is anything.

As someone who still watches too much TV and may indulge in a celebrity blog now and again, Warhol gave me validation that pop culture is worth exploring – it’s a subject every bit as valid for artistic exploration as a landscape or still life. There is so much to be learned from it.

I think, too, part of Warhol’s draw is his deceptive simplicity: deceptive in that he didn’t set out to create art for trendy 20-somethings. He set out creating dark and murky mirrors for an overly-consumerized society. College kids might share a Warhol quote because it says something snappy and it’s set in Helvetica, but Andy’s always been toying will all of us: There is so much more behind the canvas. Take the Flowers my shirt is referencing:

“What is incredible about the best of the flower paintings (especially the large ones) is that they present a distillation of much of the strength of Warhol’s art–the flash of beauty that suddenly becomes tragic under the viewer’s gaze. The garish and brilliantly colored flowers always gravitate toward the surrounding blackness and finally end up in a sea of morbidity. No matter how much one wishes these flowers to remain beautiful they perish under one’s gaze, as if haunted by death.” (J. Coplans, “Andy Warhol: The Art”, Andy Warhol, exh. cat., Pasadena Art Museum, 1970, p.52).

Whoa. That got a little heavy, didn’t it? But that right there sums up my attraction to Warhol’s work – it subverts the superficial with, well, the superficial. We could all  spend a lifetime striving to do something as poignant, and never quite get there.

You’re not going to find any attempts at poignancy here today – just a funky t-shirt and a few words on a artist I love. I’m thankful for Andy Warhol. I’m thankful for his Flowers. I’m thankful for this thrifted shirt that prompted one more Warholian reflection. And, finally, I’m thankful for these stretchy gray pants that mark the official end to my dry spell in thrifting pants. OK, that’s not entirely related, but it needed to be said. Poignancy aside, I know Andy would appreciate a good pair of trousers.

Thrifters, Assemble!

July 6, 2012 — 10 Comments

Hey Air Buddies! I just finished a late-night-frantic-packing-fest for a few days of roughing it the wilderness. Okay, by “roughing it” I mean setting up a brand new tent in a campground with running water and lots of junk food. But I have standards, okay?

Since I’ll be MIA for the next few days, I think this is the perfect occasion to share some more entries from my thrift contest a few weeks ago. I really enjoyed sifting though all the entries, and now you can enjoy a few of them in my stead. We’ve got cardigans, night shirts, Coach belts, leather minis, and more. Plus, a handful of these participants have blogs of their own that you should probably follow ASAP. And that’s all the homework I’m assigning today. Have a fantastic weekend!

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My absolute favorite thrifted find has to be the striped vintage sleep shirt I found almost two years ago at a local Salvation Army. I knew the sleep shirt was going to need some work, but for $4 I just couldn’t pass it up! This was actually the first dress I had ever attempted to make over, but I saw so much potential in the chambray stripe and the gorgeous paneling on the front that I knew I had to do my best. After completely removing the sleeves, dramatically taking in the sides, hemming a couple inches off the length and creating ties at the waist, I had the dress of my dreams! It wasn’t name brand, it was better, it was mine. I think that’s what makes this dress my favorite thrift store find: the fact that it isn’t like any other dress in any other thrift store. I had taken an old vintage night shirt that probably no one would have ever worn again and remade it into a custom fitting, totally updated and totally trendy dress. Now, I am definitely addicted to “re-fashioning” vintage and thrifted finds, but my favorite will always be the first one! I hope you like my dress as much as I do! I included a “before and after” picture so you have an idea of what the dress looked like… well, before and after, duh haha!

Kristi | Alligator Toe

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My favourite thrifted find is a red scarf with large white polka dots. It’s nothing large but I absolutely love it because it represents a few things for me. I moved to France last September and my boyfriend and I were out on one of my first night’s here and found this cute little thrift store/bar. My eyes immediately gravitated towards this scarf and it was only 5 Euro! I had to snatch it on my mission to start looking a little more French chic. Now I use that scarf around my neck, around my head and even for background on recipes for my blog!! So versatile!

-Laura | Yummy Laura

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As an avid thrifter it was hard to narrow it down! Here’s one of my best thrifted finds: A cream silk skirt ($3.49 plus 25% off) with a Chevron zig-zag type design on the front (it even has pockets!). The leather bag pictured is one of my favorite thrifted finds ever, it’s in great condition and so versatile ($5.99 plus 25% off). The belt I’m wearing is also a thrifted Coach belt that I found in the kids section. I found all of these items at a thrift store in the Bronx. It’s my favorite thrift store ever because the workers mark up the brands like Gap and Ann Taylor, but leave the (real) good stuff dirt cheap! I got a DVF shirt for $3 and an authentic Coach for $3.49 (it was all leather and had no “C’s” on the front, so no one knew it was a Coach).

-Lindsey | Girl From Scratch

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My best and favorite thrifted find is my pink dress. I found it at my favorite Goodwill in Gahanna, Ohio for $5.99. Before this year, I never thrifted clothing, only home goods and décor. I’m glad I finally got wise to the unique items you can find for amazing prices! Since I started thrifting clothing, I’ve added lots of skirts to my closet, but the pink dress is the first and only dress I’ve ever thrifted.

I love this dress because it’s fun! It feels so girly! I always have to fight the urge to twirl around in circles like a five year old. I also love it because its lack of a tag makes me think it’s homemade. I have no sewing machine and zero sewing skills, but hope to change all that in the near future. I can’t wait to create something as great as this dress! Maybe by then I’ll be ready to pass this one along for the next lucky lady to enjoy…

Jess | J’s Style

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So, here’s the story. I am totally a cardigan collector. I have every color of the rainbow and then some. I have stripes and polka dots. Leopard and long. Cropped and cashmere. This little cardigan was found at an estate sale in a heap of clothes in a closet. There were some small stains on it, but after a few rounds of soaking in oxyclean, she came out good as knew. I love the floral rose design on the front. My mother’s maiden name is Rose, so I am always attracted to items with roses (from dishes to dresses to needlepoints). This sweater pretty much will go with anything, and it’s my go-to sweater when I have a fancier dress on. It’s comfortable, it’s vintage, and I think it cost me $3. I wore it to a Mad-Men-Themed party last year along with a faux fur wrap. 🙂 I received a lot of compliments on both the wrap and the cardigan.

-Amanada | Salvaged Strawberry

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Today I am sharing with you one of my favorite thrifted outfits. I have so many loves, that it was hard to pick one. I picked my leather skirt (which I cut off) and a knitted tank. I love this look because it has different textures and lots of sex appeal 😉 If you want more information on the outfit, here is the link: http://www.mythriftychic.com/2012/05/little-leather-mini.html or you can ask me.

– Tori | My Thrifty Chic