Athena Magazine

Fashion, lifestyle, passions

The Next Big Thing: Luxury Bohemian for Fall ’08/Winter ’09 September 10, 2008

Gucci Style

Gucci Style

As we all know, fashion goes full circle and reinvents

Anna Sui Style

Anna Sui Style

itself in various trends that can be seen right there on the catwalks of London, Paris and Milan and followed vigorously by the fast-fashion boom on our high-streets. This autumn/winter sees a continuation of the Boho look that’s been prevalent for quite a few years now, and made famous by the likes of Sienna Miller and various other celebrities. The “Luxury Bohemian Trend” is a take on this look but with a more ethnic/folksy feel.

Fabrics are luxurious and rich and the colours tend to have a dark base with highlights in red, purple, yellow and pink. Patterns can be found in the shape of hearts, paisley prints, flowers and teardrop shapes. Floaty tunics with bracelet sleeves are teamed with large, statement necklaces, patterned tights, boots and Mary-Jane style shoes which together, makes this a very feminine and easy-to-wear look for all shapes and sizes.

Traditional Sardinian Folk Costume

Traditional Sardinian Folk Costume

Here I’ve shown an example of a folk costume from Sardinia just so you can see how the influence has effected this current trend. There are of course, hundreds and thousands of ethnic costumes to choose from.

Two fashion giants that I think have shown the Luxury Bohemian Trend particularly well are Gucci and Anna Sui. Their runways shows were full of lush fabrics, dropped waists, patterned tights, faux fur gillets and ethnic prints.

Of course, not everyone can afford their designer prices so there’s plenty to choose from on the high street – that’s if you don’t mind wearing clothes that you’ll see on every other girl or women in the land! One of my missions in life (if you didn’t know already!) is to encourage people to look at what’s available in the wonderful world of vintage. Yes of course you can go to any vintage boutique in New York, London or Paris and pay a small fortune for a labelled vintage garment. However, if you’ve got an idea of what you’re looking for, I can think of no better way (well almost none!) of spending your evening or Saturday afternoon, searching for that special item that looks as if it’s been taken straight off the latest runway – and that’s the exciting thing about vintage clothing. You just never know what you’re going to find!

Tribal Drop-Waist Dress from Lionheart Vintage

Tribal Drop-Waist Dress from Lionheart Vintage

A great place to start is Etsy because all your sellers are under one roof, so to speak. The sellers there can only list “genuine” vintage clothing, that being a garment or accessory that’s at least twenty years old. It has been known that some would consider vintage as a garment that’s been worn from just the previous season. However, to anyone connected with Etsy, this is not the case and never will be. True vintage fashion has a history; an essence within it that makes it special – it’s unique and beautiful and you’ll be hard-pushed to find another garment anywhere that’s exactly the same.

The only thing I recommend you have on hand whilst shopping for your vintage clothing are your measurements. So, invest in a tape measure and get your vital statistics written down. Make sure you measure yourself regularly as we can all loose or gain a few pounds without even noticing.

Luxurious Mini Dress from Some Like it Vintage

Luxurious Mini Dress from Some Like it Vintage

Shopping for vintage on-line is one of the easiest and best ways to get hold of your vintage. There’s tons of inspiration to be found on Etsy and I’d like to say a big ‘thank you’ to each seller who has kindly agreed to me using their photographs for this piece. Every item shown here is currently available for sale at the time of writing. You can find the names of each Etsy store or website under pictures and at the bottom of this blog.

Now this is just a small example of what’s available in “vintage land”. I think you’ll agree that these pieces really do well in showing how a new look can be achieved quite easily using vintage clothing. After all, it’s not really “new” at all—it’s just fashion that’s gone full circle and reinvented itself with a modern twist.

What’s to look out for

Anything with a folksy/ethnic feel such as: tassels, fringes, feathers, dropped waists, patterned tights, boots, Mary-Jane’s, large statement necklaces, faux fur gillets, Boho coats with embroidery detail, floaty smock tops; luxurious fabrics: velvet, satin, silk; printed fabrics: paisley, tear drop, hearts, flowers, embroidery, braid, embellished belts.

Here’s some more vintage goodies which fit in perfectly with the luxury Bohemian trend. WARNING: Drooling could occur!

Read more by Louise Sleigh, owner of a vintage clothing site at her blog: Catwalk Creative Weblog .

Peasant Blouse with Tassels from Decades Vintage

Peasant Blouse with Tassels from Decades Vintage

Ethnic Kaftan from La Dolce Vita

Ethnic Kaftan from La Dolce VitaEthnic Kaftan from La Dolce Vita

60s Tan Embroidered Coat from What Would Marilyn Wear?
60s Tan Embroidered Coat from What Would Marilyn Wear?
Rose Cropped Jacket from The Spectrum Vintage

Rose Cropped Jacket from The Spectrum Vintage

Vintage Crochet Cape from La Dolce Vita

Vintage Crochet Cape from La Dolce Vita

Folksy Embroidered Dress from Kitsch-y-Cool-Vintage

Folksy Embroidered Dress from Kitsch-y-Cool-Vintage

60s Coat with Faux Fur Trim from Some Like it Vintage

60s Coat with Faux Fur Trim from Some Like it Vintage

Divine Vintage 30s Shoes from Planet Claire Vintage

Divine Vintage 30s Shoes from Planet Claire Vintage

Credits: Decades Vintage, Lionheart Vintage, Some Like it Vintage, The Spectrum Vintage, Planet Claire Vintage, What Would Marilyn Wear? La Dolce Vita Clothing, Kirtsch-y-Cool Vintage (eBay). Folk costume photograph from www.costumepage.org.

 

These boots are made for …? August 22, 2008

Filed under: Fashionista Files,Now Looky Here — rebmas03 @ 1:58 am
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I’m not sure why I love shoes so much. Maybe it’s because I can’t make them. I can make my clothes, but I cannot make shoes. So they fascinate me.

It all started innocently enough when I was checking out the Chloe site’s Fall ’08 collection. Every model was wearing these forest-green, peep-toed, wrap-up, super-high boots—with pants, skirts, dresses—and they all looked fabulous. I had to have them. But if you know anything about Chloe boots, unless you luck upon them at Century 21, they are a pretty penny indeed. And if they are in season, they won’t be at Century 21.

I reasoned that certainly such a gorgeous boot as this would be all over e-bay. You know, someone gets a hold of them somehow (we won’t say how, let’s just leave it at “falling off the truck…”), and the next thing you know, it’s for sale on e-bay. I don’t know why I would have such an unrealistic expectation. It’s not like I’d had this experience over and over again, especially with a current item featured on a designer’s web site.

But I was born with this peculiar sort of ESP. I have a positively eerie radar for sales and hard-to-find bargains. This is not the case for me with lottery tickets, ailing friends or tragic incidents—only clothing and accessories. I went on over there to e-bay and wouldn’t you know that there was one pair sitting right there in my size at 60% off. I know that you are gasping in disbelief, but it was true. The problem was that the seller had no history. None. This was the only item that she had ever sold. Oh, the agony. Should I take the risk? I mean, this had to be destiny. I wrote to the seller, and she sent back a very sane note that she was a fashion stylist and these had been purchased for a music video shoot. It all seemed so reasonable and perfect. I bit the bullet, made the bid, and three hours after midnight, they were mine. Our fate together was sealed.

The boots actually arrived, much to my surprise, and I suddenly realized that I was the owner of a bargain pair of very expensive, tall, green elf-boots. The heel has got to be at least 5 inches. And while they fit, what will I wear them with? They require a gazelle to be carried off with any sort of dignity, and it’s definitely not office gear. The outfit below shows the boots in black, and it’s fairly reasonable attire. But in reality, that leather wrap is insanely challenging to tie up the leg, unless you have a stylist dressing you. Throw in the green, and suddenly, as shown on the site, purple tights are de riguer. I’m going to put my best effort into it, and if worst comes to worst, I’ll have a pair of really cool boots that I can pull out of the closet and gaze at passionately once in a while. I still love them, even if I’ll never wear them. I mean, look at them. How could you not love them. I’m going to go pick them up from the Russian shoe guy right now.

By the way, I’m told that there is a class for making shoes at the MAKE Workshop, so maybe that will be my next step, no pun intended. Or the shoe design sequence at FIT. You just may find me there with my cobbler tools.

 

No shoe for you! August 20, 2008

Filed under: Fashionista Files,Now Looky Here — rebmas03 @ 3:58 am
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I wonder if I’m the only person in the world who heard about the 65% off 65% sale at Bloomingdale’s at my favorite literary mall, Walt Whitman in Huntington Station, Long Island. Because I swear, I was the only person shopping there. It was like my own personal sale at my own personal mall. I guess my competition had tanning booth conflicts. And of course, nowhere did I do more damage than the shoe department. I’m not normally so rash, but who can resist those sort of prices. We’re talking Stuart Weitzman, Tori Burch, Michael Kors, Cole Haan….

Naturally, being freshly endowed with a bevy of designer shoes and newly graduated from my previous Nine West wardrobe, I needed to give my shoes the proper start for treading the rough Manhattan sidewalks. As every good shoe owner knows, taps are a must.

Normally, I would just go to the Russian guy over in the Clark Street station. He’s cheap and doesn’t give me any problems. But I don’t really trust him with the new cache. Shoes do have a way of disappearing at his hole-in-the-wall shop, and I just can’t risk that with this once-in-a-lifetime loot. So I load up my newly acquired treasure and head to the very high-maintenance and much more expensive shoe guy on Montague Street. This shoe guy is very, very discriminating. First off, cash up front. And it’s not cheap. That’s if he’ll even accept you. One gets the feeling that at any point, if he takes a sudden dislike to you and your shoes, it’s gonna turn out like the soup guy on Seinfeld. “No Shoe For You!” But I also know that if he accepts my shoes, they will get only the best care. It’s kind of like getting your kid into a good New York City private school.

Tonight, such rejection wasn’t even an option, for the expensive shoe guy also keeps summer hours and closes promptly. I was five minutes too late, burdened as I was with two full Bloomingdale’s Brown Bags, plus a box of ankle booties tucked under one arm. No shoe for me.

I realized with anguish that I would not only have to hike two long blocks to the cheap shoe guy, who may not even be open, but that I would also have to trust him with my new shoes. By the time I arrived, it was almost seven, but he was still open, barely. He’s no diva, but I could see that he was not happy to see me arrive with my 10 pairs. He looked my first pair, a delicately pointed black Stuart Weitzman pump, with complete disdain. “How much this shoe?” he asked. “$300,” I said. His eyes widened. “Well, I mean originally,” I amended, fearing that my shoes would disappear into the black market, “I paid $50.”

He looked at the other nine pairs lined up and his eyes narrowed. “You European?” “No, not at all!” (I am about as far from a European as it’s possible to get—I’m Midwestern.) “Why?” I ask. “They buy, come here, buy lots of shoes.” “No, I just found a very good sale, but don’t tell my husband.” That last directive completely confused him. Did the cheap shoe guy have a wife? Did he care how many shoes she bought?

From there we moved onto the treatment for each shoe. Now the expensive shoe guy doesn’t get involved, unless it’s a matter of shoe-repair principle (at which point, get ready to burn some cash).  But this guy had opinions. He wanted me to resole every shoe, insisting that the original, unprotected sole would wear down and I would also slip-slide dangerously around town. “I only wear these shoes once a month, at most,” I said. “I don’t need new soles.” But he would not back down, intuiting, no doubt, that I would sooner give in than have to carry these shoes back home. Finally we compromised on him resoling four pairs at $17/pair, adding taps to five at $6/pair and rejecting two entirely. And he insisted that I come back the next day, as he didn’t have room for all my shoes. I agreed and even had to pay in advance. So my question is, if my cheap shoe guy is turning diva and expensive on me, what does that mean for the high-maintenance shoe guy? It’s as if the whole shoe-repair world has gone out of balance, like when the frogs run out of gnats to eat and the whole eco-system upends.

As I packed up my rejected shoes to leave, the cheap shoe guy pulled out a plastic-wrapped bracelet from under the counter. “You like jewelry?,” he asked with a black-market leer.

Now I really do wonder if I’ll ever see my shoes again.