Trashy Diva Dots Are Back!

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

Here's the Louise top...now, am I feeling sporty or dressy today... ;)

Here’s the Louise top…now, am I feeling sporty or dressy today… ;)

I’m delighted to report that Trashy Diva’s peppy blue and white polka dots have returned, both in familiar and new incarnations to enhance the adorableness of your wardrobe. I had almost given up hope that TD would give me more rayon prints in 40′s silhouettes, but I don’t know why I ever doubted. Check out their website for the full collection, featuring some of their classic dress designs, but my favorites from the new items are the separates – seriously, an adorable blouse with a peplum to pair with either a swishy skirt or high waisted shorts? YSPLS!

About these ads

Fab Gabs Shoe Influx

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

Etsy vintage seller Fab Gabs recently posted a number of amazing vintage shoes in a range of sizes. Check out her Etsy page for the full story, but here are my faves:

The only time I've ever wished for a larger foot - woven 50's heels, size 8/8.5

The only time I’ve ever wished for a larger foot – woven 50′s heels, size 8/8.5

Stars!  1940's slingbacks, 7.5N

Stars! 1940′s slingbacks, 7.5N

1930's burgundy heels, size 8AA

1930′s burgundy heels, size 8AA

1930's t-straps, size 4.5 - I know you tiny feet girls are out there and you want something more than a Mary Jane!  There's another pair of satin wedding shoes in this size from the 30's...

1930′s t-straps, size 4.5 – I know you tiny feet girls are out there and you want something more than a Mary Jane! There’s another pair of satin wedding shoes in this size from the 30′s…

Richard’s Fabulous Finds – Vintage Men’s Clothing and Accessories

1940's suit and expertly paired accessories

1940′s double breasted suit and expertly paired accessories

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

I ran across Richard’s Fabulous Finds on the OcTieBer group on Facebook – he had posted a few suits of interest, so I bit. Clicking through to his Etsy page, I was struck by the presentation – everything looked cool, wearable, and pulled together. On closer inspection, it wasn’t just the goods, it was the presentation. A model (perhaps Richard himself?) had on most of the suits, and each suit was fully presented, with shirt, necktie, pocket square, possibly a boutonniere, so that the suit wasn’t JUST a suit, you could see it as an ensemble. I know a lot of men struggle with color and pairings and Richard has done the work for you, at least for starters. Here’s what I’m loving from his Etsy shop:

Tweedy hat

Tweedy hat

Three piece plaid suit - 70's, but nobody has to know... ;)

Three piece plaid suit – 70′s, but nobody has to know… ;)

Vintage yin-yang pocket square

Vintage yin-yang pocket square

Belt-back blazer

Belt-back blazer

Re-Mix Deco Heels on eBay

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

A deal! Not a super steal, but if Re-Mix’s Deco heel has been on your wishlist and you wear a size 9, you are in luck – there’s a pair in black/brown combo, new in box, on eBay for $100 starting bid. These shoes retail for $194, so this is a great price, almost 50% off! Happy bidding…

$T2eC16h,!ykE9s7tyfS2BRMYTGv(t!~~60_57

Pedag Heel Grips

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

51cwY3uiHmL._SX425_

A few months ago, I started looking for a solution to the blisters I get from shoes when I dance – not every shoe, but some of my faves that I didn’t want to get rid of because I would start the night just fine, then end the night with blisters without even realizing it until I took my shoes off. I have a bit of a narrow heel, so it tends to slide out of shoes. I’ve also been buying more European shoes lately, and the are not always offered in half sizes (37.5 here), so I end up with a slightly larger shoe to make sure it fits (38). However I looked at it – slightly larger shoes, stretched over the course of a dance, or rubbing blisters for whatever reason – I had a problem.

After some digging online, I came across the Pedag heel grips on Amazon.com – stick-on suede leather heel grips with a padded ridge to grip your heel. The number of reviews numbered over 200 and were overwhelmingly positive and detailed. I would recommend reading the reviews to see if your particular foot and/or shoe might benefit – I have Haglund’s deformity and the more I read, the more I realized that this was the product that would keep those shoes from rubbing once and for all.

And, thankfully, I was right – it doesn’t work for every problem shoe, but it has worked for all the dance shoes I have tried and a few pairs of non-dancing pumps. It provided just the right amount of space-filler to prevent the friction and I can control the placement to avoid or assist my Haglund’s bump. The suede works well as a gripping material and I have not had trouble with the adhesive not sticking to the shoes. No more blisters, yay!

Lindy Focus 2014 – Vendor Report

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

Al and Leon, as illustrated by Ryan Calloway

Al and Leon, as illustrated by Ryan Calloway

I’ve waited long enough to post, but I have largely been in denial about Lindy Focus ending – watching the myriad videos posted daily and attending in my local dances with the tidal wave of positive energy remaining and commiserating about the days that we don’t get to dance now that Lindy Focus is over. I’m still on LF sleep schedule, which means I have started this blog post at 2:15 a.m., as if in anticipation of a 3:00 a.m. DJ shift. But I must move on, and I’ve got to get these vendors posted if I’m going to remember anything about them – on with the post!

I’ll start off with this year’s Lindy Focus feature artist, Ryan Calloway, who not only had fabulous jazz dance and jazz music prints available for purchase, but whose artwork was also featured in a limited edition Lindy Focus tee shirt. I particularly love his style and the way in which he depicts the movement in his prints – a feast for the eyes on the walls of any Lindy Hopper home.

A custom bridal piece by Creations by Crawford

A custom bridal piece by Creations by Crawford

Next, we have what I believe to be my most frequent topic on Lindy Shopper, which would be Miss Sharon Crawford and her Creations by Crawford – her prolific event attendance as a vendor is unparalleled in the Southeast and her custom creations a work of art inspired by each wearer who contracts for her creative services. She works during the entire event, often so that a purchaser can wear their custom pieces to the dance THAT NIGHT. Her women’s pieces are stellar, but I think she really shines with menswear and her use of feathers to create custom lapel pieces.

Sharon also vended jewelry pieces from Plain Jane, a local to Asheville designer, and shared a table with Zoe Lechucita, who was also making custom hair pieces during the event, with accents of sequins and jewels.

Glitter taps...so close, yet so far away...

Glitter taps…so close, yet so far away…

The Lindy Focus consignment shop was in full swing, with everything from madras plaid pants to beaded gowns to glitter tap shoes. I was dying for a pair of the glitter tap shoes, but the sizes were just out of reach. I made a little money consigning a few things, which is great, and I overheard several people on New Year’s Eve saying that they had purchased their dress at the consignment shop. What a great idea to recycle dancer clothing and, as far as I know, this is unique to Lindy Focus.

A Forties Forward display!

A Forties Forward display!

Forties Forward, another consistent southeast swing event vendor, was set up with their glorious blooms and has also added some feathered pieces to the lineup. Bejeweled centers decked the blossoms, as well as the feathers – the overall feeling from the booth was opulence. Right on, ladies!

Nestled in the consignment shop I saw a small display for JitterButtons, featuring a selection of 8 buttons with clever, swing dance-related designs and slogans, such as “Friends Don’t Let Friends Clap on One” and an anti-pretzel sign. You can purchase one of their stock buttons from their website and you can also order custom buttons for your own event, as well!

Seriously...about the clapping...

Seriously…about the clapping…

Last, but certainly not least, Nicole Lenzen dazzled us with another fashion show during one of the camp meetings, highlighting her new collection and using instructors to expertly show off the movement of her garments. I’m sad that I didn’t get a chance to look at the garments more closely due to schedule constraints, but I am sure, after speaking with her last year, that the fabrics are of excellent quality and texture, and there were some repeat details that I loved, such as the lovely belt on the Mariposa dress (now in more colors!). Take a look at the entire fashion show and collection on the Lindy Focus YouTube channel:

A selection of Ryan Calloway's jazz prints

A selection of Ryan Calloway’s jazz prints

Plain Jane's baubles

Plain Jane’s baubles

Zoe hard at work on a feathered piece.

Zoe hard at work on a feathered piece.

Sharon shows off a custom hair piece.

Sharon shows off a custom hair piece.

An array of men's footwear at the Lindy Focus consignment shop.

An array of men’s footwear at the Lindy Focus consignment shop.

The consignment shop comprised most of the vendor area square footage.

The consignment shop comprised most of the vendor area square footage.

All the feathers!  This lovely piece is by Forties Forward.

All the feathers! This lovely piece is by Forties Forward.

Nicole Lenzen's display served as a teaser for the fashion show earlier in the week.

Nicole Lenzen’s display served as a teaser for the fashion show earlier in the week.

Lindy Focus – Fashion Trailblazer

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

Still recovering and playing catch up from Lindy Focus…and still unpacking…but there are more vendor reports to be had! Until then, I’ll leave you with this superlative I picked up – thanks to everyone who voted! :D

2014-01-01 05.17.25

Sparkles Done Right at Lindy Focus

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

Adding to the dance and music bliss at Lindy Focus is the particular attention I see many people giving to their ensembles for the evening dances, even more so in years past. While most people save their sparkles for New Year’s Eve, I’m seeing the sparkles come out even earlier this year. I’d like to give a shout out to Anna Bryant and Caitlin Farthing not only for making the finals in the intermediate jack and jill, but also for selecting really stellar competition dresses that were vibrantly colored, swishy in the skirt, and sparkled in a way that drew attention without getting in the way of dancing (as beads and sequins are not so kind to leaders’ hands). Check out Caitlin at 3:28 in the video below, with a sequined collar, and Anna at 4:08 with a rhinestone (?) detail on the front of her dress. The video does not capture how much these two were twinkling in the lights! If I had been a better reporter, I would have gotten a photo of them together, but there’s like 1,000 people here so it’s hard to find everyone. :)

Lindy Focus 2013!

lindy_focus_2013_banner_2

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

Just a quick note amidst the amazing chaos to tell you that exciting things are going on at Lindy Focus – there’s going to be another wonderful Nicole Lenzen fashion show, the LF tee shirts are selling out as of the first official day of camp, the consignment shop goes up today for dancers to consign their dance duds (plus glitter tap shoes!), and the myriad vendors that round out our little micro-economy here at the happiest place on earth. Reports soon!

Slide & Swing

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

000Xtx-blanco-310x310

This tip came to me via a Twitter conversation with @RebeccaBrightly and @jonandcris about dance shoes, where @jonandcris noted that he “spent all last weekend at Paris Swing Workshop wearing @slideandswing & feet/legs/knees not sore at all.” A few clicks later and I was exploring Slide & Swing, a Barcelona-based shoe-maker/retail shop/online store, selling vintage-inspired shoes with a modern twist for dancers and muggles alike.

mix1

The shoes are available in men’s and women’s sizes, focusing on three classic styles – an oxford, a saddle shoe, and a wingtip. What makes these shoes a modern update are the clean lines and the available colors and color combinations. The clean lines are essentially created by the absence of broguing and the smooth, clean look of the leather. The colors update the look even further, with gray as their baseline (in lieu of black) and vivid, distinct colors/combinations like a royal blue and white saddle shoe for women and an oxford in canary yellow for men.

I’d also like to note that these are great flats options for women (which always seem to be in short supply), with construction that will keep these on your feet and some nice color options that are different from our usual standbys. With all leather construction and their fresh take on the classics, Slide and Swing dance shoes look like a viable option for dancers seeking shoe options that are created with dancers in mind.

Lindy Shopper’s Favorite Shoes

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

The most common questions I field in person and online are about dance shoes – this is our one essential piece of “equipment” or “gear” (since street shoes are only occasionally made in a way that they can be an option), so it stands to reason that shoes would be the primary topic of discussion about what we put on our bodies when we dance. I’ve written about swing shoes before for Atomic Ballroom, but that was over 3 years ago, so it’s probably time for an update. Instead of doing another overview, I’m going to write about my favorite dance shoes of the moment – my go-to shoes for a variety of situations and ones that I would recommend to others. I’m also going to photograph them so you can see how much they are loved.

#1 – The weekly dance: Re-Mix Balboa

This is my main shoe right now – gold goes with almost everything and these are so nice and broken in that I just can’t pass them over. They are my most flexible pair and, with a low heel, are ideal to transition back and forth from Balboa to Lindy Hop/Charleston. The addition of a gel pad at the ball of my foot has combated any discomfort for lack of shoe padding. They are starting to look pretty bad because of so many people stepping on the toes, but a gold Sharpie is helping to keep up appearances.

2013-12-18 21.09.21

*

#2 – The dance where I wear a vintage dress: Nina Gilkenson‘s 1940′s Red Cross Mesh and Leather Oxfords/Dancestore.com Mesh Oxford

I bought these shoes years ago at Lindy Focus from Nina’s mom, Laurie Gilkenson, who was cleaning out some of Nina’s vast vintage shoe collection. I was told that they were the model for Dancestore.com’s mesh oxford, which explains also why I love that shoe so much, as well (but the original is still my fave). The leather on these shoes is so broken in, the sole is the perfect consistency, and the mesh keeps things cool and flexible. They are very worn and the polish has come off the heel and I don’t care. This is another wonderful 2 inch heel that’s great for a dance where you have to do everything – it’s a bit thicker than the Re-mix Balboa heel, so if I’m stepping into uncharted dance territory, I’ll opt for the thicker heel. This is also me advocating for wearing vintage shoes for dancing – they don’t have to be in pristine cosmetic condition. If the shoe is still solid structurally and fits, wear it!

2013-12-18 21.11.31

*

#3 – The dance where there is no Balboa: Aris Allen Mary Jane wedge

I am sad that these are no longer in production (except in brown), but this is my lazy comfort shoe – I am so used to wearing heels when I dance that the wedge is as low as I usually like to go, but I do appreciate the groundedness of full contact with the floor. Stability is key here. If I wore these for long, they would rub and leave blisters on my heels, so I added some Pedag leather heel grips, which solved the problem.

2013-12-18 21.10.24

*

#4 – Practicing solo jazz OR Lindy Focus Day 4 late night: Keds

When I am working on solo jazz movement or routines, I want to start out not worrying about my personal balance or lines or anything other than focusing on basic movement and learning. I do have personal balance issues and, when I don’t have another person to help with that, I tend to want to be in flats. I also have my limits with heels and anything longer than a regular dance weekend just makes my feet want to give up. I would probably wear Keds more often, but my heels slip out of them and I have to wear thick socks with them to keep them on, so vanity and convenience can sometimes override my dance shoe selection.

2013-12-18 21.12.26

Portland Rhythm Shakers Costume

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

996960_560471154045125_235263387_n

I’ve written about costuming for team performance before, and I’ll reiterate that it’s no small task. Everyone has different body types, comfort levels, colors that work with their hair, etc. To add to the difficulty, perhaps a theme is integrated, and then we have this vintage dance form that we have adopted and it’s hard to find those more accurately vintage-inspired duds to compliment the music. Those who are successful in costuming a team have achieved a great feat, indeed.

I was delighted to see my friend Hannah MacKenzie-Margulies tagged on Facebook wearing an adorable vintage-inspired dance costume, along with the three other ladies – Rachael Ries, Mallory Teresina Freed, and Leah Bazzano – that make up the Portland Rhythm Shakers, a Portland-based 1920′s and 30′s dance troupe. The costume has everything I would want for a vintage chorus girl – a puff sleeve, an asymmetrical neckline (for enhanced visual effect in quadruplicate), a short and sassy skirt (to draw attention to footwork and legwork, plus twirl), and sparkles ALL OVER IT. Very Busby Berkeley and a nod to Killer Diller.

The costumes are from a dance costume company, Art Stone, which reminds me that not all of our clothing sources will come from streetwear – their jazz and tap costume catalog looked very promising, a great jumping off point for ideas for a routine. This costume is also a good jumping off point for the Portland Rhythm Shakers – they could use this costume for a lot of different routines, mixing in different head pieces, shoes and shoe accents, pin an applique to the shoulder, add a trim to the skirt, etc. to create different visual effects and themes using the same base costume.

Check out the costumes and the Portland Rhythm Shakers in action, they recently performed a routine to Glenn Crytzer‘s “Harlem Mad” at the Crystal Ballroom in Portland, Oregon:

Green Satin 1940′s Holiday Dress

$_57-1

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

I’m still in holiday dress mode – would love to own something like this 1940′s green satin dress, maybe with the skirt a bit wider for dancing. The shape, color, and fabric are so lovely here, but the kicker is the draping in the back – this is definitely a NYE-worthy dress… *drools*

$_57-2

Aris Allen Cap Toes – $3.99 on eBay

$_58

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

The deals on gently used dance shoes just keep rolling in – this time, a pair of black Aris Allen cap to oxfords, size 10, for $3.99. Courtesy of a swing dance dropout:

“I purchased these shoes to wear at the “big dance” we attended after taking dance lessons. They were never worn for practice and when I wore them at the dance I wore street shoes until inside. They are in perfect condition. I got a new girl friend and so I don’t have to dance any more!! Shoe trees shown in the picture are not included.”

One person’s trash is another person’s treasure? ;) Bless his heart…

Aris Allen Red Velvet Oxfords – $5.99 on eBay

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

$_57

Another pair of dance shoes priced to move! Aris Allen Red Velvet Oxfords, size 7.5, starting bid $5.99. The shipping is a little steep at $18.35 *ahem* for Expedited mail, but perhaps you could convince the seller to ship at a lower/slower rate. I just sent Lindy Dandy a box of goodies to Kabul and it didn’t cost half that…anyway, bid away and don’t forget to message the seller about the shipping and perhaps some more details about the condition of the shoes.