Category Archives: Designers

Big Trashy Diva Sale

One of my faves, the Sweetie Dress, is on sale in several prints

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

Rayon print dresses for under $100 – need I say more? Check out the sale page for some great deals!

GOOOOOOOOOOO!

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Field Trip: Hunting for Vintage in Iowa City, Iowa

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

Death by milkshake - the chocolate bourbon pecan pie shake

This past weekend, I attended the Hawkeye Swing Festival in Iowa City, Iowa. As far as dance events go, the University of Iowa has an ideal setup to run a weekend of dances and workshops, with a student union that has both a giant ballroom with a stage and an attached student-run hotel, where the event attendees can stay. Everything you need is within walking distance of the venue/hotel – shops, restaurants, bars, fro-yo, pie shakes…mmmmm, pie shakes. Ahem. Needless to say, I had a fantastic time dancing, meeting new people, and listening to some sweet music over the weekend provided by the all-star bands headed up by Bria Skonberg, Solomon Douglas, Chase Garrett, and those Seattle darlings, The Careless Lovers.

But what about the vintage? While Iowa City did not turn out to be the vintage Mecca I had hoped, it was certainly a lesson in vintage hunting, which is that vintage can be found just about anywhere, you just have to look for it. I photographed just about every swing-era item I could find, and some 1950’s dresses – my partner in crime, Beccy Aldrich, and I had a fun time scouring these stores and I am proud of our efforts. What is waiting to be unearthed in your corner of the world?

Waiting outside for a table because all the people waiting for shakes took up the waiting area inside

Our first stop, after sleeping in, was for brunch at the Hamburg Inn No. 2, which was recommended to my by Andy Nishida (foodie, dancer, alum). On the outside and inside it looks benign, a typical local, greasy spoon, but then you look closer at the menu and see tons of good eats, then there’s a chalkboard listing 20 different delicious pies, THEN you see in the menu that any pie on that delicious list can become a shake! The line at Hamburg Inn No. 2 was not to dine in, it was full of college students waiting for their shakes. And rightly so, it’s a fantastic way to have two desserts in one and, with it only available in size large, is an ample meal replacement. Beccy, my husband Lucian Cobb, and I split a chocolate bourbon pecan pie milkshake and it was divine.

We sent Lucian to the hotel for a nap and headed to our first stop, the White Rabbit, a wonderful little eclectic boutique with a selection of gifts, handcrafted items, and new and vintage clothing. In the back of the store were a few racks of vintage clothing and Beccy and I each found wonderful plaid 1950’s dresses (both of which were too small for our respective waists, meh). That was the extent of danceable vintage, so we ventured out to locate the next shop…

…which was a consignment shop called Revival. As far as consignment shops go, Revival is very hip and was packed with shoppers. They carry consignment and new clothing, as well as a couple of racks of vintage clothing, new and old accessories, gifts, and some other lovelies, knick knacks, and a cake plate of cupcakes for sale. Beccy found the only pre-1960’s item, which was a cheerful yellow 1950’s dress, which also ended up being tiny. They had some fantastic sunglasses, reminiscent of 1930’s sunglasses, and a lovely umbrella, but little else that would interest Lindy Shopper. Onward!

Our next stop was Ragstock, which I was warned is a chain store and we were not likely to find anything early 20th century here. They were right, however, Ragstock had a huge selection of generic Keds in every color and the sales clerk gave us a great tip on another place to try, so we ventured…

…to Artifacts, which was an antique store with some vintage clothing and a lot of cool other stuff. If I had larger luggage I would have come home with two Art Deco era cake carriers. This is the only store where we found swing era garments, one gorgeous 1930’s velvet suit/dress and a faille late 30’s/early 40’s dress in crimson with rhinestones. Deflated that the red dress was too small, I consoled myself with cheap bakelite bangles, which I purchased at a fraction of the cost of bakelite at other vintage/antique stores. They even had a collection of bakelite scottie dog pencil sharpeners which were, oddly, more expensive than the bangles. Rare? I have no idea, but the bangles were more useful to me anyway.

And that, my friends, is a wrap! Thanks so much to Beccy for being a wonderful companion for the afternoon’s adventures and to Joe Smith and the rest of the Hawkeye Swing Festival organizers for putting together such a wonderful event!

Love the color on this plaid dress at White Rabbit

The adorable plaid dress Beccy found at White Rabbit

Cheeky ties - Victrola tie for the DJs and cat-with-laser-beam-eyes tie for...?

The cheerful yellow dress Beccy discovered at Revival

LOVE these sunglasses at Revival

A rainbow wall of faux Keds at Ragstock

Gorgeous 1930's velvet dress/suit, but so fragile - at Artifacts

Gorgeous red faille dress at Artifacts *sigh*

Hi, bakelite!

Adorable bakelite scottie dog pencil sharpeners at Artifacts

Bernie Dexter Clothing

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

If you’ve been to just about any website that sells rockabilly clothing, you’ve probably seen Bernie Dexter, a lovely model who looks like Bettie Page reincarnated and makes every dress she models look flawless. I was trolling Mod Cloth the other day (who isn’t? every day? 😉 ) and happened upon a wonderful green and white dress with a distinctly 1940’s shape, which happened to be designed by Bernie Dexter. Until then I hadn’t put a face with a name, but I was delighted to discover that Ms. Dexter has a whole line of 1940’s and 1950’s-inspired clothing, in addition to her illustrious modeling career. Unfortunately, you can’t order her clothing directly from her website, but through a number of other online and brick-and-mortar retailers (including stores based in the USA, Germany, Australia, France, Canada, England, and Austria) you can piece together the wonderful garments from her collection. Here are my favorites:

Wizard of Awesome dress available on ModCloth.com - poppies, anyone?

Landscape dress available at UniqueVintage.com

High waisted pencil skirt, available at UniqueVintage.com

Oh, the gingham! There's a dress, a romper, and a bikini in this fabric, available at UniqueVintage.com

Sweetheart neckline dress, available at UniqueVintage.com

Sailor shorts, available at bearflagrepublic.com

Target GO! International Designer Collective for Spring 2011

Alice Temperley dress, $34.99

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

I have followed Target’s GO! Designer series over the years, intrigued at the concept of bringing high end designer goods to the masses. While obviously there are some compromises in fabric choice and construction, overall the series has been welcomed with open arms by me and countless others who show up at Target on the day a new designer’s collection is released. This latest collection, to be released online and in stores this Sunday, March 13, 2011, is not tied to one designer, but is a celebration of many of the designers, featuring popular dresses from the individual collections. The collective also marks 5 years of designer collaborations with Target.

This sort of thing is brilliant for the fashion conscious dancer, who needs to save as much money as possible to go to as many events as possible. Also, the fabric choices, while not high end, are much more practical for dancers, so you can feel OK about getting the dresses sweaty and then throwing them in the washing machine.

Here are some of my favorites, but no links, as the collection isn’t out until Sunday:

Tucker dress, $34.99

Tracy Feith dress, $39.99

Richard Chai dress, $39.99

Erin Fetherston chiffon dress, $39.99

Thakoon dress, $39.99

Zac Posen dress, $39.99

Proenza Schouler dress, $39.99

Luella Bartley dres, $39.99

Libertine crepe dress, $42.99

Libertine dress, $29.99 - I used to have this in off-white - it's the perfect combo of cotton sundress and flapper, with a slight drop waist, but enough room in the hips that it's not confining

Tucker for Target

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

Unlike the highly anticipated Zac Posen collection for Target, I had never heard of Tucker by Gaby Basora, so I was not planning on showing up at Target at 8:00 a.m. the day the collection debuted to get first dibs on the goods. However, after I saw an ad in VOGUE for the Tucker collection featuring an Art Deco print dress paired with a wide brim hat and flapper stockings, I changed my mind and set my alarm for 7:40 a.m. this morning to go check it out.

Target was blissfully empty at 8:00 this morning and I had a fantastic time rummaging through this fall collection that has a little something for everyone and some great pieces for work, fun, dancing, and evening. Some of my favorites from the collection are a burnout velvet dress, an orange polka dot blouse, an orange herringbone skirt, a sparkly boucle cocktail dress, several floral dresses, and a pair of herringbone shorts. The fabrics are obviously not the designer’s usual silks, but the fabrics chosen for the collection didn’t feel or look cheap, they draped well, and are much more washable and wearable from this dancer’s practical perspective.

The clothing from the collection is shown in “looks,” but I was more inspired looking at Tucker’s official web site. The intro video was delightful eye candy, with vintage-inspired looks featuring Tucker’s fall collection with vintage jewelry, hairstyles that ranged from Gibson Girl to Marie Antoinette, crocheted gloves, flapper headbands, red lips, hair flowers, and dessert. 🙂

Here are some potentially dance-worthy pieces:

I bought this whole look, work appropriate and danceable - the fit was fantastic

I'm wishing this burnout velvet dress had fit me better...or, better yet, that the collection had a 1920's-inspired dress in this fabric

Black boucle dress

This dress looks painfully short on the Target model, but was not terribly short and would be comfortable for dancing

These shorts are awesome - I'd pair them with suspenders and a newsboy cap or a girly blouse

Zac Posen for Target

I have been in love with Zac Posen‘s clothing since Natalie Portman wore his Empire Dress to the Star Wars Episode I premiere (Pictured here – I still love this dress!). I have followed his work over the years, but lack a movie star budget, so I have admired his work from afar…until today.

Target‘s GO! Designer series has done an excellent job of bringing edgy, creative, and up-and-coming designers to the masses. In the past I’ve picked up a few things to wear to dances from this clothing line at Target, including a black Anna Sui flapper dress, an off-white Libertine 20’s-inspired slip dress, and a blouse and vest by Alice Temperley.

I went to Target this morning to check out the collection, which was surprisingly not picked over yet. The collection was youthful, colorful, and a bit more luxurious and detailed than some previous GO! collections I have seen. I’ll add that Zac Posen knows how to make a lady look good and, where the fit in previous collections has been sub-par, everything I tried on from this collection had an excellent fit. Here are some of my favorite looks from the collection that have swing dance potential:

This dress is adorable and, unfortunately, was not at my local Target. Check out the twirl of the skirt on the model!

These tuxedo pants were well-tailored. Matching jacket optional.

The model doesn't do this retro-inspired bathing suit justice - add curves to make this gold swimwear a vintage piece.

This dress fit like a dream, but after yesterday's shopping trip to Winston-Salem, it could not come home with me. The photo does not do this dress justice, it is more vibrant in color and has gold threads running throughout. Wear this at the next Swing and Soul and you'll look gorgeous, like one of the Supremes.

This skirt was not at my Target location, but given the flirtiness of skirts present in the collection, I'd say this has definite swing potential.

This tiger print dress flows beautifully and, upon closer inspection, has details that you would normally not see in clothing sold at Target.