Tuesday, 29 April 2008

The vermuda triangle of vintage

Long story short: there are almost zero vintage/thrift/second hand shops here in Greece. The main reason is the mentality of greek people regarding the issue of clothing that once belonged to someone else. It is considered filthy and unwanted, and suitable only for the really poor. The whole attitude is summoned upon the sentence why would anyone sane ever buy used clothing when they can afford new? I certainly don't agree and I believe things will probably start changing sooner or later.

So until that day comes, and while I am still in my family house for the greek-orthodox Easter holidays, I convinced my mum to show me all the old clothes she had kept, those she wore when she was my age. And a bit smaller than my size, as I found out. She kept them in an unreachable cupboard, in really beautiful old leather suitcases (but that's another story). I found some real treasures in there. Some really nice dresses, two great belts and the tiered skirt you see here. I wanted to photograph them all and show everyone, but almost everything needed a good wash or dry clean and an ironing first, so that didn't work out. So, I confess that the reason I just did just the skirt is because it shows no wrinkles. I paired it with my staples, a simple white vest from H&M and my grandma's vintage green belt. Hey, three generations in one simple outfit!

Sunday, 27 April 2008

Embarassing girlcrush alert

I think many of us in the fashion-blog reading crowd have at one point drooled over liebemarlen's outfits. She is just too sweet for words and I really feel for her when she has to part with those amazing vintage finds in her e-bay store. But business is business, the world is cruel and most importantly, she gives us the chance to own such cuteness ourselves! Until this morning , this was my favorite picture of her: red skirt, blue short-sleeved mini trench, white top with red buttons (how Minnie Mouse of her) and yellow t-bars. Along with those amazing auburn tresses, cuteness personified!
But as a mentioned, this morning I payed a visit to her blog looking for some eye-candy and that is exactly what I found:
The skirt is mere perfection. It is exactly what I want right now! And the way she wears the t-shirt, I think she just gave life to the myriad t-shirts I have dating since junior high that I can't bear to give away, but are too short to wear as are. Instant solution: wear with high-waist cute skirt and tuck in! But, the thank-you's for liebemarlen don't stop here. Both outfits wouldn't look so much put-together (in my humble opinion) without those perfect mustard-yellow t-bar round toe pumps by Jeffrey Campbell. Unfortunately, the only ones left on shoes.com (thank you once again for the link, you really are a person who likes to share, really appreciate that) are size 37. (sigh) Too small.

Interesting mix

My outfit last night. Salmon coloured shirt from Zara, dark green bubble skirt that was once a dress from Bershka, flower-print scarf borrowed from my mum for the evening and my grandma's vintage black belt. My purple shoes, the only expensive part of this outfit, are Chie Mihara. They cost 100 euros reduced from 200. Bargain!

In fact, before writing this post I never thought of checking them out online, but I'm glad I did. Their site is really easy to navigate, simple but pleasant to the eye, and they have some really cute designs, mostly vintage-inspired and a bit chunky one might say, but still utterly modern and beautiful.

They are also designed by a really interesting person. Chie Mihara is a young woman born of Japanese parents in Brasil, who has lived in Japan, New York and Spain. She has worked for Charles Jourdan and Junko Koshino, but most importantly she has internshiped in the orthopedic shoe store Eneslow. Aha! So that's way they're so damn comfortable! Thanks Chie!

Saturday, 26 April 2008

Family ties

My grandmother is now pushing 93. Back in her day, women picked up some yards of fabric, called their seamstress, showed her the selected pattern and in a few days they had their new dress. She also had her own Singer for alterations and minor house projects. She is the one that got me into all this "mess" in the first place. A few days ago, as we were discussing my own brand new sewing machine I asked her whether she had any scraps of fabric for my upcoming quilt project. She said "go to the storage room, open the big trunk and inside there is a bag full of your grandfather's old ties". So I did and I ended up with 130 (!!!) men's ties, several suspenders and two bow-ties.Let me just say "wow".
What will I do with all this stuff? It has sentimental value as well, so I' d like them to reincarnate into something not kitsch, but beautiful and elegant, like my grandfather was back then.
Any ideas?

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

What' s wrong with me?

It's been a week since my last post and boy, what a hectic week!
Worked on my final thesis for architecture school, made a road trip from Volos to Athens, participated in two graffiti events, picked my boyfriend from the airport returning from NY (me? jealous? no!) and took a plane to my hometown for the greek orthodox Easter holidays. And yes, shopping. Lots of it, but in a weird way. Weird because in two days I bought four (4) pair of shoes. Let me explain.
I never thought of myself as a shoe person. You know, when celebrities and famous fashionistas get asked what their obsession is roughly 90% percent of them respond "shoes". With a fake guilty voice, of course. I never managed to relate. Just clothes always did it for me. Since high school I had - in chronological order - a trousers obsession, a skirt obsession, a trousers obsession again, a coat obsession and for the last two or three years, a lingering dress obsession. And now I find myself going around Zara juggling two pairs of platforms and a pair of gladiator sandals all at once for me to try on. And no clothes hangers. Well, even if it feels weird for me , it is a happy fact that I did buy four fabulous pair of shoes. I' d love to share my joy with you via photos, but right now I am in the island of Samos in the Aegean Sea and only one of my new finds managed the trip.
Red wedges from Zara:

The rest will be photographed and posted upon my return in a week. Until then, expect photos of nice vintage stuff I hope to get from gradma!

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

The kind lady, the quilt and the stylist.

I am happy to announce (to no one in particular) that I am now a proud owner of a Husqvarna sewing machine and today I had my second lesson on how to use it without bringing it to pieces. The lady in the small, family-owned shop I bought her from (I like thinking my machine is a she) was very kind and helpful. As a skilled ex-seamstress (these days she likes to stitch) is giving me *free* lessons on how to use it properly! Hurray for kind people who share knowledge!
I also picked two of my favorite glossies on my way home, US Vogue and UK Marie Claire. As I was indulging in some serious after-dinner page flipping on the sofa, I fell upon this fashion spread in Marie Claire.
Titled "Hippie Days", several of the photos had a delicious quilt as a background. I been searching numerous blogs, flickr groups and vintage shops for quilt inspiration and it was a nice surprise that Marie Claire has offered me some eye candy as well.
Note that the photo description says "cotton patchwork throw, stylist's own". As in "good luck finding your own, sucker".

Monday, 14 April 2008

Yellow fever

Two posts ago I was whining about not being able to find the yellow Wonders flats in the town I live.
Well, I never read The Alchemist, but the universe really works in weird ways. I found these yellow babies in another shoe store. They were on sale because they were leftovers from last year. Yup!

Sunday, 13 April 2008

Hate that!

When I come across talents such as Laura Laine it makes me feel so inadequate, it pisses me right off! I mean, how can I possibly see such talent and perfection and then sit down and do my own thing? Why bother to create something, when it is almost certain that someone else out there has beat you to it? And done a far better job as well. As a creative person, that is a question that puzzles me quite often. More on my artistic insecurities later on...

For now, please enjoy more of the this true creative genius, in the form of fashion illustrations commissioned for Zara.

Thursday, 10 April 2008

First post

Ok, first things first. The disclaimer: I'm by no means an expert in fashion. Or in architecture for that part. However, I do have a personal opinion and a mighty strong one, as I have been told before. I also have been told that maybe I should sometimes keep that opinion to myself, but I haven't really been able to master that either. So, now that we have all this covered, lets get to the serious stuff.
I have been coveting these babies from Wonders since I first saw them in the March issue of Lucky magazine. I think yellow can look really edgy, despite it being such an obvious spring/summer colour. And since I bought my brown mid-heeled Wonders boots on this year's winter sales (great quality leather and 60% off) I must say I became a Wonders convert. Their shoes aren't cheap but they are sooo comfortable! Like the other comfy shoes go-to spanish label Camper, they give good quality with quirky design, but their shoes are less chunky and more grown-up.
So, since they appeared in fore mentioned glossy, I have been stalking the store that stocks them here in Volos like a madwoman. In my third visit there I was sadly informed that all the summer designs by Wonders had already arrived and my yellow shoes weren't among the chosen ones. The sorrow. Staring at the shop window pointlessly, trying to forget and move on I saw those:
Ladies, I present you the "Laura" by Camper. At €125 they sure aren't cheap, but they're worth it. I instantly fell in love with the combination of utilitarian design with a wooden wedge toped with the most perfect shade of grey leather. All this perfection topped with the fact that they are so damned comfortable that I truly believe won't let them off my feet the whole summer make me a truly happy architect!