It’s been a whirlwind fall (and early winter!) but I’ve finally gathered together all the photos from my fall lookbook that I featured on Instagram. I found some truly amazing pieces that reaffirm once again the endless creative possibility at the thriftstore. Happy Thrifting!
There’s nothing like finding that perfect vintage dress that also happens to be genuinely old. Most thrifters now qualify anything pre-1995 as “vintage” but dresses from pre-1960’s have a particular magic about them. Maybe it’s the survival through the decades or the myriad of bodies that have filled up its shape, but these vintage clothes always seem to have a soul. There’s something about their age that makes them feel both ghostly and archival. It’s not an exaggeration to call them living history.
I first started thrifting when I was 15 years old. I was a punk kid who loved Vogue and hated the automatons in my high school, all of which shopped at the same 4 stores in the tiny complex we called a “mall” in Northern British Columbia. I no longer remember why I even set foot in our local Value Village (might have been Riot Grrrl or might have been my fledgling anti-consumerism) but I started going regularly. And I thrifted everything: vintage boy’s vests, “old man” checkered pants, plastic earrings, colorful wrap skirts and jackets in carpet patterns with sparkly (and itchy) stitching. I found Hello Kitty pillow cases and plastic children’s lunchboxes with old 80’s super-heroes decals, half peeled off and faded. Nothing remains of those early days but a vintage navy wool vest with a chain link pattern and an unbinding love for the hunt.
When it comes to floral patterns, I’m mercurial in my tastes. I hate everything dainty, delicate or otherwise feminine but sometimes the right colors will lead me to break my self-imposed rules. I love and hate rose patterns with equal measure. I’d never carry a floral bag but love a bold floral pant. I’ve never been able to sort out why one pattern is loved and the other abhorred like the plague. And every time I think I’ve found my rule, I buy another floral print that breaks it.
A friend recently told me that after a spate of thrifting in her early twenties, she’d long given it up. Sick of ill-fitting clothing and the “thrifted” look, she skips the thriftstore because the risks are big, the pay-outs small and the time, who has the time to spend three hours at Savers and walk out with nothing? It’s ultimately just easier to go Ann Taylor and buy the pieces you know will fit well and be in style. Her frustration and disappointment in her adult thrifting experiences immediately inspired me to write a “Thrifting in Your 30’s” guide. In short, it’s a guide to teach you what I know about thrifting and how to use thrifting to supplement your “adult” wardrobe.
But if it’s too consuming and risky, why thrift then?
So excited to finally have all the fall looks in one place! I thrifted this fall with an eye out for 70’s inspired looks and it was an absolute goldmine. I found gorgeous colored suede and leathers, fringe and plaid. It was so easy to find on-point and trendy pieces that I hope this lookbook inspires you to take a tour around the thriftstore before you pop into your local H&M and blow too many dollars on factory produced goods (don’t worry, I buy them too. But thrifting is so much more fun).
I’ll be posting a winter lookbook after the new year, which is right around the time when we are all dying for fashion inspiration, especially in Minneapolis, where it is so cold that fashion seems like utopian dream from the past. But I promise it doesn’t have to be! I’m going to use every last once of styling and thrifting talents I’ve honed to bring you the very best options for thrifted sub-zero fashions. In fact, I’m taking it on as a dare. In the meantime, stay tuned for a thrifting guide in your 30’s!
Perhaps it was the unseasonably warm weather or the giddy rush of a revamped and wildly successful Minnesota Fashion week, but Envision’s Fall 2015 showcase was nothing short of spectacular. If the Spring 2015 show offered impeccably tailored but more restrained clothing, the fall collections were as impudent and playful as they were boundary-breaking. Whether it was the giant black balloons held aloft by melancholic girls dressed in funeral dresses (Cliché) or the blasting industrial soundtracks pushing the inaugural menswear collections boldly down the runway, Envision felt big. To those accustomed to the avant-garde spectacles of McQueen shows past, Envision was perhaps a tame offering. But in a city like Minneapolis, whose collective fashion taste tends toward the conservative (as much due to our weather as it might be due to our Midwestern tastes), it takes serious guts to send out a man’s camel coat with a horse mane stitched to the back or a floor length gown held up by a stiff Elizabethan bumroll (yes, that’s the correct term).
With eight collections, Envision had the proverbial something-for-everyone, from trendy fall plaids and 70’s flared wool trousers to Rick Owens-esque leather pants and graphic printed sweaters. With a plethora of fall fashion events still to come (and a good chunk of time before we have to drag out the parkas), there’s no reason not to shop local. And there’s now even less reason to think that Minneapolis doesn’t stack up against the design legacies of our bigger coastal cities. We do stack up. And we know it. But if you don’t know it, you’ll find my review below and links to the designers themselves. Enjoy!
Ubiquitous Minnesotan fabric though it may be, plaid is the sartorial version of reassurance and comfort. In contrast to the bulky and thick fabrics we associate with “dad” plaids, Jenny Carle delivered two perfect “lumberjack chic” plaid jackets for fall: a structured evening piece and a beautiful daytime cardigan-style layered over a black turtleneck. Paired with fringed ankle boots and sheer black stockings, each of Carle’s plaids balanced the heavy with the light, the trendy with the classic. In keeping with the culottes trend from spring, Carle also offered a fantastic transitional look—knee length black culottes under a boldly printed tunic topped with a long camel vest. Easy, minimal, autumnal. Like collections before, Carle’s collection showcased her eye for fantastic fabrics with a careful design hand. Inspired by the natural color of stone formations, ACG presented a series of beautifully dyed pieces, as much reminiscent of rust and stone as it was of blood or wine stains. Paired with a green coat made from found fabric (vintage wool throw), it left me wanting a whole collection in found fabric.