Athena Magazine

Fashion, lifestyle, passions

The Cat’s Pajamas December 29, 2008

sophie_classicpajama_apcshfb1282On my drive back from South Carolina, I noticed a new and somewhat alarming trend. Everyone is wearing their pajamas on the road. No, not sweats, which are still a poor excuse for daytime wear—flat out pajama pants, with pajama tops. The pajama-clad-in-public were at rest areas, roadside Starbucks lines, Cracker Barrel restaurants, showing absolutely no sense of shame that the only appropriate accessories for this outfit are a pillow and teddy bear. I won’t go into my rant on the decimation of the tradition of dressing for travel (for me, road travel is such a humiliating process that I need a good outfit to carry me through with some shred of dignity left). But if you have to wear pajamas in public, may they only be the most roadworthy. While shopping down south in a fine ladies store, I discovered that the very, very best come from Pine Cone Hill, which makes bright pjs out of the softest of cottons. Even though it’s a northeast company, I’ve never seen these fabulous pjs up north. Leave it to those Southern women to offer a perfect solution for an awkward trend. Start shopping now for your next road trip.

 

Catwalk Thrift: Style on a Budget 1 October 13, 2008

Catwalk Thrift: Style on a Budget 1

By Louise Sleigh of Catwalk Threads

(Louise is a regular contributor to Athena. She lives in the U.K. and runs a vintage clothing blog called Catwalk Threads and an online vintage shop called Catwalk Creative.)

With news of the dreaded “credit crunch” hitting our economies everywhere, many of us are watching the pennies (or cents). It certainly looks like things are going to be pretty gloomy, economy wise for the next couple of years. That doesn’t mean to say that you have to compromise on style.  No, no, no!  There are many ways to shop for style on a budget—and I don’t mean stuffing your shopping cart with the latest “fast-fashion” items from Primark!  It’s more about empowering yourself and deciding on the look you want to achieve; going out there and adapting your budget buys to your own individual style.

To give you some inspiration, I’ve come up with “Catwalk Thrift” which is going to be a regular event involving me, showing you, my most recent budget buy.  Here’s my first offering; I purchased this coat yesterday from my local charity shop, Minds Matter.  It’s in beautiful condition with no faults or issues.  All it needed was a gentle machine-wash (hand wash cycle) and it’s just like new! It’s made by JEMNI (Australia). I’m so pleased with this find because it’s such a versatile little number; more of a cardigan really but it’s the perfect cover-up for autumn/winter.  Layer it with jeans, t-shirts, polo-necks, or leave it open and team it with a mini-skirt, turtle-neck sweater and tights/boots—whatever! This coat is so bang-on trend—perfect for the Luxury Bohemian look that’s so hot right now.

Dress the coat up or down to achieve a different look each time. See from the photos how a simple change of scarf, belt or teaming with a selection of different styles of jewellery, will dramatically alter the look of this coat.

For another “bang up-to-date” look, team this coat with bright, opaque tights and boots and a large, shiny “it” bag. Be brave!  Clash patterns and textures for a really individual look!

Made from 100% acrylic, this jacket certainly has the appearance of wool. It’s a knitted fabric with a zig-zag, abstract weave in pink, orange, blue and white.   It really is the most eye-catching coat.  It has a reverse collar and fastens with three black buttons down the front. No pockets. Not lined. Hand wash only.

Please contact us to state how much (in pounds sterling £) you think I paid for this coat.  I’ll post the answer on the next installment of Catwalk Thrift. Thanks for dropping by!  See you soon. oxoxo

 

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.