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!

Trashy Diva

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

First things first – there’s nothing trashy about Trashy Diva. This New Orleans-based outfit carries classy goods for ladies, from shoes to clothes to accessories. I know I already mentioned Trashy Diva in my blog entry for Atomic Ballroom, but I want to shout it from the hills how amazing their dresses are now that I own one!

One of my favorite concepts is for retailers to take vintage patterns and make them into current clothing (this will definitely be a recurrent theme on This solves two problems:

1) My need to look like a vintage doll at swing dances; and

2) My need for durable, danceable clothing that doesn’t inhibit movement and won’t disintegrate if I sweat in it.

My mother, who grew up sewing her own clothes with the clean lines of 1960’s clothing, has made me a few dresses from vintage patterns, but after seeing her worry about messing them up and fretting over the tucks and gathering (they came out beautifully, Mom!), I have been able to give her a bit of a break, thanks to retailers and dressmakers like Trashy Diva. I should also mention that finding suitable fabric to make these clothes is very difficult, if not impossible in North Carolina. That Trashy Diva is able to find such wonderful fabrics for these dresses is truly amazing to someone who doesn’t live near Mood or some other purveyor of fine fabrics.

The fit on these dresses is impeccable. I know my measurements and Trashy Diva delivered to my doorstep a comfortable dress that required no alteration. I purchased one of their rayon dresses and the pattern on the fabric and texture were spot on. My only complaint is that the garment must be dry cleaned, which may not be required for some of their other fabrics.

The Trashy Diva website mimics the real life Trashy Diva store, which I have heard (but not actually witnessed – one day!) are actually three stores in New Orleans, one carrying dresses, one with lingerie, and another with shoes, accessories, etc. You should take your time and explore this website, as there are wonderful surprises at every click.

Unfortunately, the website is set up to where I can’t link you to individual items, but here are some of my favorites, if you’d like a scavenger hunt: