Tag Archives: Asheville

Lindy Focus 2017 Vendor Report

IMG_6815

Lindy Shopper and Porg wish you a Happy New Year from Lindy Focus!

2017 was a great year at Lindy Focus – the swing dance community has been growing, learning, becoming better versions of ourselves, working toward becoming a more inclusive community, and Lindy Focus embraced that and gave us resources to explore and grow. ¬†Needless to say, I had an amazing week, I’m filled with hope and joy, and hope that our 2018 continues to see new strides in making us an even better community of people being excellent to each other.

Part of this community is our micro-economy here at Lindy Focus, where vendors set up in the two lobby areas of the Crowne Plaza Resort Asheville and dancers can browse and partake in services and products that are either personal in nature or tailored to swing dancers.

Of course there is the Lindy Focus merchandise table, which is always heavily picked-over by the time I arrive on December 27 – the gear is good, I don’t necessarily know what it was, but I got a green sweatshirt with the LF logo on it and that’s about all this green-loving gal needs. ūüėČ

IMG_6745

Add some Savoy Shop sparkle!

Next to the merchandise/check-in is the Savoy Shop, a consignment shop and shoe repair boutique that has become an essential part of the event to people who not only are looking to buy fun apparel for dancing or offload said apparel to make room in their closets, but also a fantastic on-site backup plan for several kinds of catastrophes that can occur when traveling to dance weekends over holidays – lost luggage, broken shoes, forgotten items, forgotten outfits, upgrades to outfits, and I’m sure there are other ways the Savoy Shop has saved people’s sanity over the course of the week. ¬†Men’s and women’s clothing and shoes available, lots of good selections, tailored to our dancing needs!

IMG_6722

Lush blooms by ChatterBlossom

The main lobby is the main vendor area and the first person I laid eyes on when I got to the hotel was Jamie Sturdevant of ChatterBlossom, an Etsy shop specializing in hair flowers and headpieces made from vintage millinery flowers. ¬†Jamie lives near me, so I am spoiled by being able to collaborate with her on a regular basis, but I am excited that people get to see Jamie’s pieces in person because I can not overstate the fact that vintage millinery flowers are superior in both detail of floral design and in color matching to vintage clothing. ¬†Even if you don’t wear vintage, there are an array of blooms to match your modern attire and add a bit of vintage flair.

IMG_6761

For heads, necks, and lapels…

If Jamie didn’t have something for your head, Forties Forward perhaps had just the piece, offering their lovely blooms, as well as feathered and jeweled headpieces, which were great options for people seeking to add a bit of flair and sparkle to their New Year’s Eve attire. ¬†In addition to hair accessories, Forties Forward also had a nice selection of menswear accessories – ties, hats, and some silky boutonniere flowers just in time for that New Year’s Eve lapel!

IMG_6714

Wear the Woopie rainbow…

A Woopie Bow was a new vendor to Lindy Focus, although I have seen these ties at ILHC in a previous year and I was happy to see them back again, as there are often fewer vendors offering menswear items and I’m sure we all like to have options. ¬†Helena Verheyen, a dancer and theater costume designer based in Ghent, Belgium, is the designer and creator of said bow ties and she selects fantastic fabrics from second-hand clothing and sometimes repurposes neckties to make her bows (which is a great idea if you have a damaged necktie, to get some more wear out of it). ¬†Her website offers custom work, as well!

 

img_6723.jpg

GET IN MY CLOSET

It took a couple of tries to even get close to the Saint Savoy table and I felt bad for Austrian dancer Maren Merian, who was being pulled in a thousand directions – I’ll start this off by suggesting that we all proceed like civilized humans, take a minute to be patient when there is clearly a line and a demand and one person working the booth, and be mindful of personal space and allowing people to have time to make a decision about footwear. ¬†Once I did make it near the table, of course the shoes were glorious and, after waiting my turn, Maren was gracious and helpful and I purchased a pair of Saint Savoy’s brand new multicolored blues/greens Grace shoe, a perfect 1930’s style shoe in a shape I haven’t seen anyone else making and I certainly hadn’t seen in person until Lindy Focus. ¬†It was love at first sight, a shoe that you don’t even care if you own anything to go with it, it must be owned, worn, and loved! ¬†They also came in solid dark red and taupe, and I spotted Jo Hoffberg in the brown colourway. ¬†The Edens and the Rivieras were also selling like hot cakes and I’m excited to see what Saint Savoy has up their sleeves next!

IMG_6758

I don’t know that we’ve had a makeup vendor in the past, outside of someone applying makeup, but dancer Iris Tarou brought us many shades of lip color with LipSense, a product she discovered last year before Lindy Focus and loved it so much she decided to start a business selling it. ¬†There’s nothing better than believing in and loving what you are selling! ¬†Per Iris’ post, LipSense is dance-proof, sweat-proof, kiss-proof, waterproof, and burrito-proof, which is basically what every dancer needs and what sounds like it would be an awesome New Year’s Eve to get your kiss at midnight after a long night of dancing and then go get burritos. ¬†For more information, join the Indelible Look by Iris Facebook group.

We also had massage therapists on-site, which is undoubtedly an essential part of a week-long dance event – Bennie Vo and Erin Hennessy had the perfect setup, a table and chair next to the fireplace for warmth, with the awesome swing music from the music jam in the alcove just a few feet away.

IMG_6752

Charleston kicks for your walls!

Ryan Calloway returned to Lindy Focus with his fantastic jazz music and jazz dancing prints, with a book of samples you could flip through, and then a link to a new service he is using called Redbubble, which streamlined the ordering process a bit, because Ryan didn’t have to be present to take your order and you can see all the options on the website. ¬†In addition to prints, you can also order tee shirts and hoodies with Ryan’s artwork!

IMG_6716

Mary Kay Williams was back offering caricature drawings on-site, on-demand, while you wait. ¬†She had some great samples up, like a dancer/musician/world-famous doctor Dorry Segev in Superman scrubs and Admiral Holdo with her enviable purple fingerwaves. ¬†If you’ve never had a portrait drawn of yourself, Lindy Focus is a great time to add one to your collection!

IMG_6757

Fats Walrus!

Our new visual artist this year is dance instructor Laura Glaess, who had been gradually revealing her line of anthropomorphic jazz musicians on her Facebook artist’s page in the months leading up to Lindy Focus, drawn with a bit of pun and a lot of whimsy. ¬†It was so great to see these in person and see the full lineup of jazz musicians! ¬†She also did the artwork for Brooks Prumo Orchestra‘s debut album which is the perfect segue into the next topic…

IMG_6717

This isn’t even all of it, just what was there when I dropped off the Mint Julep Jazz Band stuff – see how they were adding a second table in front – BANANAS!

…since our local artists also lend their talents to our swing musicians (Ryan Calloway did the artwork for Keenan McKenzie’s new album “Forged in Rhythm“). ¬†The sheer volume of music available for purchase, recorded by musicians in attendance at Lindy Focus, was so large that they had to keep adding tables to hold all the music and merchandise for sale. ¬†It made my heart sing to know that our community can support this much music, much of it recorded and/or composed specifically for dancers and dancing. ¬†I challenge you to learn about these musicians, there’s a list of them here. ¬†Google them, check out their websites, buy their music!

If any of this is incorrect or I have missed something/someone, please let me know and I will edit/add to this post! ¬†It’s hard to keep track of everything going on at Lindy Focus, I’m sure you can agree! ¬†Until next year, love and progress in 2018…

IMG_6715

Woopie Bows in warm tones

IMG_6713

Your Woopie Bow also comes with a how-to diagram

IMG_6718

Edens and Rivieras at your service, from Saint Savoy

IMG_6724

Saint Savoy for men, also with great color options

IMG_6719

The lilies from ChatterBlossom are the size of your face and they are wonderful

IMG_6721

These ChatterBlossom pansies are adorable and sweet (and not the size of your face)

IMG_6744

Lots of real vintage this year at the Savoy Shop, including this wonderful 40’s dress with soutache detailing

IMG_6746

One of several phases of women’s shoes at the Savoy Shop

IMG_6747

Solid men’s shoe offerings at the Savoy Shop

IMG_6748

Anyone know the story on this jacket? ¬†Very interesting…

IMG_6749

Savoy Shop ties to brighten your day

IMG_6750

Just the tip of the iceberg on the Savoy Shop tie clips

IMG_6753

Ryan Calloway’s fabulous prints

IMG_6755

Laura Glaess gives us Lionel Hamster (and Lindy Focus will give us Lionel Hampton as the new bandleader for the 2018 transcription project!)

IMG_6756

Django Rhinohardt is as cool as they come, thanks to Laura Glaess

IMG_6759

Sample the LipSense!

IMG_6760

All the luscious LipSense colors

IMG_6762

Forties Forward gives us flights of fancy!

IMG_6763

Lots of fun blooms at the Forties Forward table, love the polka dots!

IMG_6814

Because because because because because!!!

Advertisements

Lindy Focus 2013 – 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.

Field Trip: Vintage Moon and Hip Replacements, Asheville, NC

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

There is wonderful shopping in downtown Asheville, NC, including three distinct vintage stores. Unfortunately, I only made it to two of them, but I’ll still give a shout out to Ragtime Vintage Clothing from my past experiences with them – a great place to find 1930’s and 40’s ties.

My partners in crime for this excursion were fellow Lindy Focus dancers Hilary Mercer, Neil Mercer, and Leslie Faircloth. After a delicious lunch at Mayfel’s Restaurant, we headed to Hip Replacements, a vintage inspired boutique that carries vintage clothing, reproductions, and re-designed vintage clothing. The store has a sort of punky, rockabilly feel to it and the clothes go from outlandish to classic. I fell in love with a green coat and a reproduction day dress. Of note for the gents, there was a large rack of sport coats and a decent selection of vests.

We then headed a few doors down to Vintage Moon, which is my favorite of the Asheville vintage stores, as they have a larger selection of older vintage clothing and the walls and shelves are filled with gorgeous vintage items – old hats, shawls, Victrolas, phones, jewels, feathers, gloves….ahhhhh! My velvet addiction kicked in and I drooled over a pale green burnout velvet 1930’s gown and a purple velvet cape, as well as some adorable day dresses and hats. For the gents, tophats and tails abound, as well as some interesting evening wear and footwear. Definitely worth your time to browse in this lovely store.

Here are some photos of the finds of the day:

Love these socks at Hip Replacements - paging Mark Muthersbaugh...

Vests at Hip Replacements

The green coat at Hip Replacements

Window display at Hip Replacements

Chinoiserie at Vintage Moon

Men's hats at Vintage Moon

Purple velvet cape at Vintage Moon

Dinner jacket with zebra detail - classier than it sounds

1940's dress with interesting embroidered detail

White tuxedo with tails and silver sequin trim - it will take a very special person to pull this one off - I wonder where it came from...

Lindy Focus IX Vendors

A Forties Forward hair flower display at the Expo Center, Lindy Focus

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

Lindy Focus continues to amaze me. This intimate regional event has turned into one of the largest Lindy Hop events, if not the largest, in the country. Michael and Jaya Gamble turn out a flawless event every year, with each passing Lindy Focus growing in attendance, quality, attention to detail, and sheer awesomeness. In spite of this year’s severe weather disasters and subsequent travel delays, attendees persevered, going by train, bus, delayed plane, or automobile, from far and wide, determined to make it to this Lindy Hop holiday Mecca or bust.

I was a bit disappointed when I walked into the lobby and saw that Dancestore was not selling their staple dance shoes. This left Lindy Focus with no anchor vendor and dancers without that valuable opportunity to try on dance shoes in person or replace any missing, forgotten, or destroyed shoes at the event. Dancestore, we miss you! Please come back next year!

Forties Forward table at Lindy Focus

My disappointment was quickly dispelled when Forties Forward began setting up a gorgeous display table at one of the dances. Forties Forward is the brainchild of dancers and designers Erica DeBlasio and Michelle Postles, offering vintage inspired hair flowers and pins, jewelry, hats, and handbags. It was all I could do not to hover and snatch up the goodies while they were setting out the hair flowers – just containers upon containers of colorful and beautiful blooms! The prices are great, at $5 or $7 a pop, and I can attest to the quality of the hair flowers, having purchased a white lily hair flower from Erica few years ago. Needless to say, I stocked up on flowers and anticipate clusters of flowers in my hair now that the supplies are plentiful.

Lindy Hop prints on display at Lindy Focus

In the lobby area I noticed that there were some very nicely framed prints of jazz dance and Lindy Hop illustrations and photographs. I didn’t figure out they were on sale until later in the event when I was standing next to them and the vendor, Mike Thibault, introduced himself and began telling me about the prints. Mike has set out to obtain the reproduction rights to these prints and others yet to be obtained and reprinted, researching their origins and the best way to reproduce these works. This is immensely important work in preserving Lindy Hop culture and I commend him for this great endeavor. Mike is currently offering two illustrations (“The Lindy Hop” and “The Big Apple”) and one photograph (“The Breakaway”). He is also working on locating a complete, original illustrated map of Harlem nightclubs from 1932, which I am most excited about purchasing. Best of luck to you, Mike – I’ll be waiting in line, cash in hand, when you find it and get it printed!

That’s all for today…still recovering from last night. Stay tuned for another Lindy Focus post on Asheville’s vintage clothing stores!

Lindy Focus IX

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

This will be my last post before I head home for the holidays, to the land of no internets. After Christmas I’ll be driving to Asheville for Lindy Focus and will hopefully be able to report back on any vendors that may be there. There are rumors of certain things that may happen in the clothing realm, so I’ll wait and see what happens at the event, but I am planning on visiting some of Asheville’s vintage clothing stores, like Hip Replacements and Ragtime Vintage Clothing.

Until then…happy holidays!