See, I won’t be going this year. I know. It stinks.
But! There is always next year. Next year, and vicarious living.
Speaking of things I can’t afford right now–tiniest violin, I know— here are some local artisans selling Burn-appropriate attire and accessories. My favorite. You should feel free–nay! feel encouraged–to treat yourself. Then, tell me all about it.
Seriously, though. There are light-up clothes for christssake. It’s Burning Man-designed.
Then there’s Brash Lady Inc. out of Berkeley who’s got the kind of jewelry that others are always grabbing and groping with lust and covet in their eyes.
Millionaire Kream (again out of Bezerkeley) sells these blinged out sunglasses that are almost too cool to bring to BRC and actually too cool not to bring. What? What do you mean that makes no sense? You make no sense. No, you’re stupid. These glasses are stupid!!
I love the far out fashion of the Burn and may have to dress like an extra from the most-stylized, post-apocalyptic, I-dream-of-Utopia movie never made anyway, because between August 30 and September 6 that’s where I would be if I could.
Other requisite wear includes: Kick-ass boots that are easy to hoof it all over and dance in, FUR, more lighty-up stuff for when the sun goes down, more and omnipresent bandanas for their utility and versitality, whatever the hell crazy ass thing you want.
1. Answer: It’s fucking close to water. (Thanks Heidikins!)
2. Or better yet, send me pictures.
Sasha Tierney is a San Francisco-based jewelry designer who makes gorgeous, covetous one-of-a-kind, repurposed vintage, costume jewelry.
I recently contacted her to tell her how wowed I am by her work, and she was gracious enough to allow me an interview.
Quick Said the Bird: “Repurposed vintage” is a neologism that we’re seeing more and more among fashion blogs and the like. It’s something that appeals to both a green living and a DIY mentality. What appeals to you most about using pre-existing and antique pieces in your work?
Sasha Tierney: Yes, it’s certainly a buzz word these days, and while I’m all about being green and eco-conscious–my husband and I eat mostly local and organic and do what we can in general—for me, repurposing vintage jewelry is just about using what I love. It’s what I’m drawn to. I don’t particularly care for super shiny modern pieces.
QB: Tell me a little about how you got into the jewelry making biz.
ST: My mom is a clothing designer. She started her own business when I was a kid–a local children’s clothing line called Mousefeathers that some of [you] may remember. I really grew up in the fashion business. I was one of their models and spent my afternoons after school watching my mother work: designing fabrics, picking trim, and really putting a cohesive line together.
I’ve always dabbled in creative processes, but I never really found my stride until I turned to jewelry design. I guess I just couldn’t compete with her sense of fashion in terms of clothing. I’ve been doing this for quite some time but I only recently started selling my pieces.
QB: What do you look for when shopping for materials? Do you have an idea in mind when you go in—for example, maybe you’re on a pearl kick–or do you let what you find inspire you?
ST: It’s funny that you should mention pearls: I just love them. There is such a huge range of hue and sheen in them and I seem to want to collect them all these days. But the irony is that I have spent most of my life hating pearls. I always thought they were too traditional and drab for me. I don’t know what suddenly opened my eyes, but now I can’t seem to get enough of them. When I’m designing a piece and can’t figure out what to insert, I grab a pearl and usually it works.
Flea markets have always been one of my favorite places to shop for just about anything, and I’ve always been drawn to colorful, vintage, rhinestone brooches. But how many of those can a person own? Plus, I really don’t wear brooches. I wear a necklace almost everyday but a brooch just never seems as practical. So one of my favorite things about shopping for jewelry supplies is that I get to buy the things that I have always wanted. Making new things is a great justification for buying.
I should add that while I do a lot of my own shopping for materials, I have also received several jewelry donations from friends and clients. These donations are always fun because they usually contain some items that I would never buy myself. But then I’ll find the perfect use for them in a piece. It’s always a pleasant surprise and really does add a new dimension to the work.
QB: Tell me a little about your process.
ST: Sometimes I have something in mind before I start–you know, an image will just come to me and I need to create it–but most of the time, I am just experimenting and I don’t have a goal in mind when I begin. The majority of my necklaces are not only unique from one another in terms of materials used but are also unique in terms of style and design. I don’t have a formula that I follow, and I don’t ever want to have one. I like that my pieces are cohesive [as a collection] while still being different and unique from one another.
QB: Do you have a clientele in mind? Do you cater to a particular kind of women? Do you aim for a certain aesthetic?
ST: [I believe that] my pieces really do appeal to a broad spectrum of women. I make some real statement pieces, which not everyone can wear every day. [But] I also make more understated elegant designs, such as my “Sweet Whimsical Charm Necklace”—it’s the type of piece that you could wear almost every day, just to add a little something to your look.
Plus, I design both long and short necklaces. I think this array of styles is what makes my pieces appeal to so many. Like I said before, there is variety within the cohesion of my designs.
QB: What inspires you?
ST: I think that Anthropologie has really broadened the market of women’s fashion and accessories. Their success in bringing what used to be on the fringe into every day fashion is really inspiring. I credit them with a lot of the success of repurposing vintage both in clothing and accessories.
Also, Etsy is a fantastic marketplace. It’s really inspiring that someone with a passion for creation can so easily get their products out there to the world.
ST: I’ll be selling at the Alameda Flea Market this coming weekend, Sunday June 6th at Booth C7, near the entrance. I’ve got a bunch of brand new pieces that haven’t been posted online yet. I sell through word of mouth locally as well and use my Etsy site and my Facebook fan page for an online presence. I’m hoping to place my jewelry in a few local stores in the near future.
Note: Sasha will be closing her Etsy store on Sunday, as she’s taking these pieces to the Alameda Flea Market. So if there’s anything you have to have, do it now. Or swing by the flea market to see what else she brings to the table (har!). And of course she’ll continue to stock the Etsy store, so it pays to keep checking back.
Also, in conjunction with the Oakland Art Murmur–which is awesome and if you’ve never been, well, what the hell?!? it happens every month and it’s obscenely BARTable and RAD and, really, if you say you’ve never been because it’s in Oakland I’m going to slap you–
But if you’re not moved to hang East Bay, if you must or would like to or want to be in the city on Friday night, Cameron and Jessica would be pleased as pie to see you all at 575 Sutter St.
If you haven’t noticed, I like promoting my friends. So tell me if you’re throwing/hosting/debuting/playing/showing at some whatever event [here in the Bay] and I’ll totally talk it up. That’s how I roll.
Based out of Oakland, Huzzah!Vintage offers an impressively diverse (and adorable!) selection of vintage dresses, hats, blouses, accessories, and housewares for “everything from your 80s themed prom to your 50s style cocktail party.” Oh, and lots of retro 1960s mod too! For some crazy reason, everything is super affordable too. Love it.
THIS JUST IN: Gina has been sweet enough to offer all my readers 10% off their first purchase from HuzzahVintage.com with the code QSB10 now through June 15, 2010. So you’ve got no excuse not to pick up something pretty.
Here, I’ve pulled my five favorite pieces from her current etsy line-up of fab and rad pieces. It was nearly impossible to choose only five, but–somehow–I did. I highly recommend checking out the complete Huzzah! collection, because my top 5 don’t necessarily include your own Must Purchase Now and Make Mine pieces, you know?
1. This first one is by far my favorite. I think it’s incredible. The batik-style fabric is accented with heavy, shimmering Carolina blue paint and is fully lined in dark blue polyester. Click here for the listing, and a more in-depth description along with exact measurements (a must-have for buying online).
2. How rad are these 1970s Corning glass tumblers? Can’t you just picture yourself with your lover, tangled up on a bearskin rug, in front of a fire, drinking hot toddies from these babies? Just me? Ah well then.
4. Yes, yes, yes! There is nothing I love more than a bag that goes with everything but still manages to NOT be boring. (Okay, there are a lot of things I love more than that, but, still.) Every woman needs a cool black clutch.This one is real leather, fully lined, and in excellent condition.
5. Last but not least, this black lacy number is described as a large, but I actually think it would look awesome all boxy and oversized on someone tiny. But this 1960s piece with scalloped edging and feminine darting might just be one of those things that looks swell and swinging hip on everyone. Click here for more details.
Collage is certainly the only visual art in which I participate.1 (Well, that and maybe Getting Dressed. After all, I do try to throw a little artistry into that daily grind.)
And that is definitely one strong appeal for the art form: its accessibility in regard to participation (if not appreciation). It is, by definition, cutting and pasting. And unlike with painting, sculpture, et al., collage is an easy(ish) visual art for anyone creative. You don’t really need a good hand if you have a good eye.2
Really though, ease is not the point. I am constantly and consistently compelled by art and fashion that incorporates collage because there is something so exemplary of the Zeitgeist about collage. It’s so indicative of Our Times. (It’s also, I think, a really strong metaphor for identity, but that’s a whole other conversation.)
After all, mes amis, this is the Information Age. We are context laden, lousy with allusions and inspirations. And Collages as a species (and with the capital C) seem to be manifestations of this awareness. The images and text used in a single piece can come from anywhere and are almost necessarily anachronistic. They absolutely, by necessity come from multiple sources.
As a concept collages are very Of the Now, is what I mean.
Other Players in the Zeitgeist that are similarly reference-heavy include:
Vampire Weekend (who I want to be annoyed by but instead, lately, I can’t stop listening to them).
The whole idea of Steam Punk anything.
“That’s so meta.”
So what does this have to do with fashion?
Well, several things I think. One, fashion in general, and Getting Dressed specifically, can be thought of in similar terms as collage art: the layering of disparate elements, the assumed diversity of source materials, the varied references, all different one from the other, or evocatively similar.
Think about this: In only the last ten years, major and minor lines have explicitly referenced looks from the last 200 years. To say nothing of more subtle or oblique references. To say nothing of influences that come from art or film (or whathaveyou).
What this all means–the mishmash of prints and patterns and pieces, the amalgamation of cues and clues to any number of historical periods, physical locations, political movements, and/or specific peoples–is that our wardrobes are similarly chock-full of content, context, and connotations.
It also means that, despite the fact that it sometimes seems there isn’t a creative idea left in the universe (the movie based off the musical based off the TV show named after the song, the endless stream of remakes), we have nothing but abundance to inspire us and no boundaries to hedge in how we play them off of each other. Regardless of the mediums in which we work.
Par exemple, I turned the big, North-facing wall of my small Bordeaux apartment into a collage/mural. It had to be ripped (and I do mean ripped) down before I moved out of that apartment (and kicked the “ex” from my expat life).
I go to this Visionary Collage party every new year (early January) where everyone brings old magazines (and so on) and scissors and creates a piece about what they want for the coming 12 months. It’s awesome.
vintage Levi Strauss canvas work pants from the nineteen-teens. Seriously. I purchased them at last spring’s Vintage Clothing Expo. The vendors had acquired them from an estate sale, and these Most Favored of Trousers came with two photographs dated 1921 that showed the original owner chilling serenely by an untouched creek wearing my new pants. They put me back, if memory serves, $75, which seems like a steal considering that they’ve already held up well for nearly or more than 100 years. Legit. Their color is much more green in real life.
a red, v-neck cardigan worn backwards, acquired last week from a street-side free pile. People throw away the best stuff. Yes, I washed it.
black leather bondage heels from Nine West, purchased probably two years ago. I love these shoes. I spent almost $100 on them–which I never do, I very rarely spend that much on anything, though I know that’s not that much for shoes–but I had had had to have them.
black leather, studded belt, borrowed from Hannah. Tee hee, thanks Hannah! (I’m house- and cat-sitting for Hannah Banana right now so this borrowing-of-belts is news to her*wink*.)
Coincidentally, Hannah B also hand-made that rad, red necklace. Hannha, hannah, hannah.
“I am a woman who enjoys herself very much; sometimes I lose, sometimes I win.”–Mata Hari
Here are a few interrelated images to provide additional inspiration for your quickly encroaching week. I will attempt to make “Inspiration Sunday” a weekly thing. Which leads into… What else would you guys like to see from me? What should I be writing about that I haven’t yet?
I appreciate everyone who reads and want to keep y’all interested. Send me your thoughts, ideas, and so on in the comments section please.
My own inspiration for this post? Bodies, butterflies, and wanderlust.
I’ve been working lately on getting my body strong again, walking and wondering thru town, enjoying the beauty of spring in the Bay. The monarchs are rolling through town. I’ve seen three perfect specimens in Berkeley in as many days.
Who else has spotted the colorful fluttering of warm weather butterflies around town?
I’ve also been thinking a lot lately about travel and camping. “Camping,” specifically, keeps coming up in conversation so this may be a good cue that I need to get out of dodge for a few days and put some dirt under my feet.
The Bug Under Glass studio is located in San Francisco and here you can find beautiful specimens, butterflies and beetles, in amazing color and richly detailed. The Bug Under Glass studio offers museum quality specimens and museum quality frames and framing practices. Furthermore, this is a Green Certified business and all of the insects are farm raised, not wild caught, from forest conservation programs around the world. Biologist Kevin Clarke will also gladly work with customers for tailored home displays or one-of-a-kind gifts. I love how unique and well-crafted his displays are. These go beyond your typical bug-in-a-box presentations. This one is my favorite. Y’all already know how I have a thing for beetles.
I’m a little bit obsessed with The Utilitarian Franchise. Based in San Francisco, they make compelling and strangely beautiful screen printed pillows and canvases that feature animal-human hybrids and more traditional nature imagery. I love the Professor Tucan and Lion Baby pillows, but I think this Jellyfish in Armor is my favorite. I love the one I featured above as well. Honestly, again, I’m kind of obsessed with their stuff. I’d buy out the whole stock if such a thing were doable.
Okay, so Selflesh isn’t actually a Bay Area artist. I just realized this. Somehow, because I love her stuff obviously, her etsy shop was put in the list of my (Bay Area) favorites. But, whatever, I do what I want. Maine-based artist Shannon Rankin makes fine art, embellished, and limited edition prints. A lot of her collage work includes maps, which I love; I love maps. Images of the body (hands, heads, anatomical hearts) and images of birds are also big themes in her work. Again: love, love, love. So what if she lives in Maine? One of my best friends is from Maine.