Category Archives: SWEET SHOP SPOTLIGHT

SWEET SHOP SUNDAYS: SISTERS OF THE BLACK MOON

This trifecta of fashionstas never cease to take my breath away. Ladies and gents, I present to you Sisters of the Black Moon – this Sunday’s Sweet Shop.

These ladies have an aesthetic heavily influenced by music and counterculture of the 60s and 70s, with a little Jennifer Herema and a lot of globe trotting thrown in. Each week a new batch of auctions are added to EBay , sending bidders in a frenzy for fringed kimonos, vintage crochet, tapestry bags, Gunne Sax minis and gauze maxis.

If you’ve ever gazed in amazement at a vintage piece but drew a blank when it came to integrating it into your existing wardrobe, fear not: each Sisters item is perfectly styled for inspiration. And yes, those are the (drop dead gorgeous) sisters themselves modeling.

Alecia, Rachel, and Sara are bff’s who originally bonded over common interests, and founded Sisters of the Black Moon in Austin, TX in 2009. Sister Sara has since moved to Sweden to be with the love of her life, but continues to run her share of the venture from there. Great style knows no limits, clearly.

For a double dose of inspiration, the Sisters’ collaborations with Austin photographer Alexandra Valenti are a must see! These stunning editorials are awash in bright colors, yet have a soft feel to them ala Madame Yevonde. Be amazed. Be very, very amazed.

 

SWEET SHOP SUNDAYS: VINTAGE BELLA

VintageBella is Etsy’s answer to a ‘shabby chic’ boutique. And like most shabby chic stores, this Sweet Shop stocks a wide assortment of many treasures.

Custom designed business cards and thank you notes are offered alongside signature dessert flavored lip glosses by Vintage Bella Body. There’s also some vintage sewing patterns, ceramics and glassware, crafting supplies, and the occasional hand stitched item. In a nutshell, whatever strikes their fancy finds it’s place in the shop.

If you draw inspiration from the Georgian era, roses in bloom, and countryside picnics, be sure to check this shop out.

SWEET SHOP SUNDAYS: LENNY MUD

The gal behind LennyMud claims she’s looks 10 years younger than she actually is. Since I’m partial to believing a keen sense of humor keeps you feeling and looking young, so I’ll take her word (and her work) for it. This Sunday’s Sweet Shop is sure to give you a giggle or two.

‘nice ass’

Lenny Mud creations range from paintings to wall plaques to serving trays, but my personal favorites are these mugs! Made from lead free, non-toxic Earthenware clay, these mugs are hand painted in New York by the artist herself. They’re microwave and dishwasher safe, so they’ll bring cheer on a daily basis.

‘perfect for the office’

I’m partial to the Bride of Frankenstein mug myself, but they’re all pretty cute, right? And besides, starting your day off with a smile is always a good idea. Cheers to clever girls who make are and bring laughter to this world.

 

SWEET SHOP SUNDAYS: SHOP SPANISH MOSS

This column was a neglected for a couple weeks due to some buying trips I took, so tonight I’ll attempt to make up for that by presenting you with a triple threat: Shop Spanish Moss, this weeks Sweet Shop.

Vowing to break free from from the 9-5 world, Suzanne Ford Carafano, her brother Chris and husband Vincent launched Spanish Moss Vintage in 2006. What began as a EBay shop catering to rock & roll fashion of the late 1960s – early 1990s has since expanded to a site that not only continues to stock vintage, but sells contemporary clothing which compliments this aesthetic.

 

Vintage kimonos, 60s babydoll dresses, and ‘Almost Famous’ style coats can be purchased alongside slashed up tops from Evil Twin, body con Style Stalker leggings, and crystal rings from Low Luv.

The cherry on top of it all is American Gold, Suzanne’s exclusive line of vintage inspired womens wear. Peek a boo bell bottoms in burnout velvet, fringe hem caftans, and calico floral minis are among her specialties. Each piece is made in the USA, and only high quality materials are used.

Shop Spanish Moss is a well designed site, which is easy to navigate and features gorgeous editorials by Andrew Kuykendall. The matching blog and magazine add plenty of inspiration too. Peruse them and you’ll instantly know this trio not only love, but live for what they do. No wonder they have fans in high places such as Daisy Lowe, Krystal Simpson, Erin Wasson, and Charlotte Kemp Muhl.

SWEET SHOP SUNDAYS: BOUDOIR QUEEN

I’m constantly in awe of Boudoir Queen, this Sunday’s Sweet Shop.

Ever held on to a vintage garment because it was too pretty to toss, but too fragile (or damaged) to wear? Ever wished there were a way around that?

Former model and makeup artist Dawn Younger-Smith did, and with a little resourcefulness and innovation she bore a solution. Scissors, a sewing machine,  and an army of ‘as is’ clothing, fabrics, and jewels from the 1800s-1920s in tow, she did what most vintage collectors considered unthinkable. She ripped ‘em up to start again.

Stained panels of silk were tossed, while their pristine counterparts were salvaged. Trims of Czech glass, rhinestones, and lace were scrapped from moth eaten dresses. Similar approaches were taken to head wear and accessories. And from these ashes came a rebirth. Dawn’s Boudoir Queen label was born.

This menagerie of antique wearables refashioned to create new wearables is Boudoir Queen’s signature aesthetic. Coats made from hand embroidered piano shawls, slip dresses with 20s silk flower appliques, cuff bracelets with Victorian lace, and flapper style headache bands with lavish ostrich plumes are among the handmade, one of a kind pieces you’ll find in this shop.

With a style so unique, it’s no surprise Boudoir Queen has been featured in several music videos, and counts Imogen Heap, the Veronicas, Emmy Lou Harris and Karen Elson as loyal clients. Boudoir Queen continues to influence many other designers, while always remaining at the forefront of upcycled fashion.

Based in Austin, TX, infamous on Etsy, and armed with an adorable website which plays Marlene Dietrich songs, Boudoir Queen’s sphere of influence continues to grow. In addition to the Boudoir Queen label,  the site now stocks vintage clothes in their original unaltered states, home decor, and antique textiles. I can’t wait to see what Dawn comes up with next.

SWEET SHOP SUNDAYS: SHOP BARDO

What this hidden gem on Etsy lacks in quantity it makes up for in quality. Ladies and gents, make yourselves familiar with ShopBardo, this weeks Sweet Shop.

Vintage designer labels. Antique bird feather earrings. Masonic belt buckles and fine leather jackets. These ladies like their vintage rare and exquisite, just as they are.

Here’s a brief interview I did with Summer Harrison, one half of this dynamic duo:

ShopBardo are: Summer Harrison (an accessories designer who studied at Otis) and Sophia Casanova (a professional model).

We started our Etsy shop because: We want to make the world more dreamy.

My favorite of our items is: The Vintage 1970s Alex & Lee fantasy surrealism necklace. A Rare, one-of-a-kind ‘passementerie’ (French or Italian for ‘passing of the cord’) necklace by California artists Alex & Lee, signed “Alex & Lee, Love and Peace.”

I love vintage clothes because: They’re fun! Clothing had soul then….the fabrics, construction, everything was better quality. So much of what is out there today as far as new clothing goes is made in China. Now wearing a piece of vintage clothing is a luxury, and it’s rare that someone else would be out in the same thing as you.

We don’t care about designer labels so much, but we are deeply knowledgeable about them as they can be a great reference for finding what you like. The fashion industry is fast paced, and vintage clothing is art meant to be worn, not hoarded by collectors. It’s important to mix old & new clothing.

My best vintage scores have been: An Ossie Clark snakeskin jacket, the vintage 70s Fiorucci snakeskin & metallic platform heels someone just purchased from our Etsy page for their Shoe Museum in Moscow (we still have a similar pair left!), and all of the beautiful Masonic hardware we have in shop from the late 1800′s; they’d be great for a jewelry or hardware designers reference of gorgeous new finishes.

My dream is to one day own: Everything ALAIA.

My fashion muses are: The spirits that we talk to, Strawberry Switchblade, and Kate Moss. She likes a lot of good vintage British boutique clothing.

When I’m not working or shopping, I’m: looking for the magick.

A true connoisseur, I tell ya. Haute hippies and disco dollies take note; ShopBardo won’t stay undiscovered long.

SWEET SHOP SUNDAYS: WHIRLING TURBAN

Former Hollywood costume designer Katherine Robinson fell so deeply in love with Bali while vacationing there that she relocated asap. From a studio in paradise, Katherine and her small staff are the forces behind Whirling Turban, this weeks Sweet Shop.

Kamehameha. Gladys Williams. Alfred Shaheen. If you’re a vintage collector, chances are you’re familiar with these labels, and the high prices they often fetch. Combining universally flattering cuts with couture like construction and eye catching prints, their output is among the highly coveted,  and are scarce finds nowadays. Such iconic designs have inspired many labels since, but too often these vintage ‘reproductions’ are pale imitators.

So what’s a gal to do when she hasn’t found her vintage dream dress? Buy from Whirling Turban instead. Or better yet, have Whirling Turban custom make a dress to her precise measurements! Armed with a variety of cuts and fabrics to chose from, they aim to indulge your cravings for classic glamor.

Pinup girls love their ability to replicate ‘the little details’ which make all the difference in vintage. But those who prefer a less literal translation will find Whirling Turban just as wearable. A variation in accessories will transform these beauties from silver screen sirens to street chic trendsetters. Pair the romper with over the knee socks and chunky heels, the Chinese Bombshell dress with large chandelier earrings and Louboutin heels, and the Peek a Boo dress with a cropped denim jacket and your mom’s ethnic jewelry – circa ’69 trip to Cairo. Universally flattering, I tell ya.

In an age where ‘fast fashion’ is an excuse for poor quality, it’s refreshing to see a company go against the grain(line).

xoxo, SJ