In response to the latest recommendation by the CDC and recently reiterated by Governor Baker that everyone in the U.S. should wear a home-made face covering in public settings, I sewed a few masks for my family and friends.
Since posting pictures on Social Media, I have received many requests from people asking to purchase masks for themselves and their families.
So I am currently sewing masks for you to purchase to help protect your family and stop the spread of Coronavirus.
For every ten masks purchased, I will donate one to local Rhode Island & Massachusetts Home Health Care Aides working on the Front Lines protecting those Aging in Place.
CLICK HERE to learn more. And please, please, please...stay safe & be well.
Who's tuning in to the 92nd Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciencesthis evening? I found this vintage album a few years ago featuring ten of American film's most iconic songs, each one nominated for an Academy Award. "The Theme from Peyton Place", "An Affair to Remember" (my favorite!), and Frank Sinatra's "All The Way" are just a few of the great songs on it. Enjoy!
Last Thursday evening I was thrilled to be the guest of Christine Francis (Founder of Carmen & Ginger Vintage) and Rosana Ortiz, Founder and CEO of Styleweek NE, for the opening night of the SWNE 17th Season: S/S 2020.
Founded in 2009, STYLEWEEK Northeast (SWNE) is New England’s premier fashion week held in Providence, RI. It's one of the only regional fashion weeks that has been visited by the CFDA from NYC. The venue is dedicated to the growth of designers as artists and, since it's inception, has showcased over 192 designers from all over the U.S. STYLEWEEK also works with elementary schools, high schools and universities to expose young talent through the “SEED Student Design Challenge”, which is dedicated to the advancement of emerging student designers and their businesses. The SEED Challenge has had participants from FIT, Parsons, Mass Art and SFD Boston. (Source: STYLEWEEKNE.COM)
I was fortunate to attend the night of the SEED Student Design Challenge. The participants, from Mass Art in Boston, were Brick Chapman, Chuxin “Teresa” Shi, Shirley Inocente, Hanfu Xiao, Edna Chery, Matthew Knight & Jacqueline Mones. The panel of judges selected Brick Chapman's entry for the win - Congratulations, Brick!
After a brief intermission, the runway show continued, featuring designers Jeena Ercolini, Tatyana Ayriyan and Mikayla Frick. Most of my favorite designs were by Tatyana Ayriyan; probably because her work had a very vintage 1930's / 1940's vibe to it. The quality of her work was exquisite.
It was such a fun and inspiring night out on the town. Brendan Kirby and Ashley Erling of The Rhode Show emceed the event (he's adorable!) and it was so refreshing to be out and have everyone around you dressed to impress. (You never know who's going to be in the crowd, right?) I opted for a strapless floral dress I found in the back of my closet with my favorite 80's vintage Giorgio Sant'Angelo black blazer and a pair of cute but practical heels as I had no idea how far I'd have to walk. There was a small bar with plenty of top-shelf cocktail options and plenty of standing cocktail tables and various mini-parlor vignettes with gorgeous vintage seating provided by Uniquely Chic Vintage.
So do yourself a favor and follow STYLEWEEK NE on their Social Media channels to see more fabulous photos from the event and for updates about their next venue. Here's a few hashtags to help you find more highlights from the show:
#swneseason17 #season17 #swnesept2019 #rifashionweek
#fashionweek #styleweekne #styleweeknewengland
Thank you, Christine and Rosana for the invite,
I can't wait for the next one!
If you know anything about vintage clothing it's that, for the most part, true vintage clothing runs on the super-small side. Sourcing a vintage dress that would fit a modern size 12 + is pretty much a modern-day miracle. The lack of larger sized authentic vintage clothing has actually created a niche for retailers who focus on reproduction vintage: Unique Vintage, ModCloth, and Hell Bunny to name a few. Some sellers, like BERRIEZ, focus on more modern vintage from the late 80's and 90's, when the plus-size market was finally, after decades of being ignored, embraced by designers & retail giants.
Combine that with the fact that few today know how to thread a needle, never mind use a sewing machine. I was in Junior High when "Home-Ec" was taken out of the curriculum "for lack of interest". Without giving away my age, that was c.1979. Thankfully, my grandmother was an amazing seamstress (that's her and my grandfather in the picture below a year before they wed) and did her best to teach me how to make simple alterations and repairs to clothing to both accommodate my changing form and extend life due to wear and tear. She was born in 1914 and lived through some of the leanest days of American history, so nothing was thrown away. Ever. It was repaired, repurposed, given to a friend or neighbor once no-one in the family could make use of it, and last but not least, went into the rag pile where it would be used for cleaning, polishing, and sometimes wiping down a new-born calf in the dairy barn. Like I said: no waste. Ever.
I have to admit that, at times, this miserly outlook was a bit embarrassing. I practically grew up on the farm, I knew the hard work and diligence it took to run a dairy in a dying farming economy. I knew that, even though our family owned a lot of land and a lot of livestock, the stress of staying afloat outweighed what appeared to others as a very successful family business. But I was coming of age in the 1980's, an era of crazy indulgence and excess. More was MORE. New was BETTER. Excess was COOL. Waste was EXPECTED. I can't tell you how many times during my waitress years I would find expensive bottles of champagne practically full after a lavish party of four moved onto their next party. (Thus, my exquisite taste for fine champagne.) I was fighting an inner battle between the standards and ideals I was raised by with the modern world of luxurious excess that seemed so inviting. I'm certain my grandmother sensed it. It wasn't until after she passed and I inherited her vintage clothing and jewelry that I realized she, too, had felt trapped between two worlds. She fell in love with a tall, quiet Swedish man who was a dairy farmer. I'm certain she knew that didn't translate to a life full of elegant parties, dinner and dancing to live orchestras and extravagant shopping sprees in the best fashion houses. But she had a wardrobe that would have said otherwise. Thus began my love affair with vintage clothing.
It didn't take long for me to regain my senses. In 1988 I sent a letter to the editor of Elle Magazine, outraged over the placement of an Hermès ad followed by a story about the homeless in their March issue; it was published. I suddenly had clarity of mind about issues that a decade of excess had attempted to cloud. My foundation held and my adulthood became grounded in the ethics and standards of my childhood training. I reconnected with my grandmother on an even deeper level; one of the greatest gifts I've ever been given.
Years later, my aunt sent me my grandmother's sewing machine. I set it up and just stared at it for a long time. So many memories. So much I didn't know. I felt polarized by my lack of know-how and the potential I knew it held. I dreamed of my grandmother that night. I could smell her Elizabeth Arden 8-Hour Cream, feel her arthritic hands in mine, hear her contagious laugh. I didn't want it to end. But the next day, I threaded that machine and started practicing on scrap pieces of fabric. And slowly, I relearned how to do the things my grandmother had taught me so many years before. I mended, darned, hemmed, let out seams and took them in. And finally, on one brave day, I altered the waistband on a skirt from one of her vintage suits and wore it later that summer.
As we approach 2020, there's a lot of talk in the industry about "slow fashion" (vs. "fast fashion"), "circular fashion" and "sustainable fashion" - all the tenets of my grandmother's generation coming back full circle. It's like going home again. What's old is new again. Or, can be "like new" again, with a little bit of TLC. Repurpose with a purpose.
Visit this page for a Tutorial on a Vintage Skirt Waistband Alteration that was inspired by my grandmother's suit project.
#slowfashion #circularfashion #sustainablefashion #recommerce #repurpose #sewing #homeeconomics #retail #shopping #clothing #vintageclothing #1980s #secondhand #family #values #ethics #legacy #tribute #fashionblogger
So get the kids (and husband) to bed early, pour yourself an adult beverage and be an eye witness to what may just be vintage history in the making. . . at the least I'll make you laugh!