Easter has become one of those holidays where some things are open, and some things are not. My usual Sunday thriftstore run was shut down because of the Easter holiday. As such, I had a moment of spontenaity and decided to go to the Institute of Contemporary Art to see the Nick Cave exhibition. I have blogged about my previous Nick Cave experiences: HEARD at Grand Central Station [click here] and Freeport No. 006 Peabody Essex Museum [click here].
Before the Soundsuits he is so well known for, we were treated to some new sculpture…
Then came the Soundsuits (or as I like to think of them, Earth intruders).
I was in first grade. There was a display case in one of the hallways, which was usually decorated in holiday theme. For Easter, a colorful display of all things secular Easter. In the center of this rhapsody in pastels was an enormous Easter basket. (At least enormous to me at the time). The basket was the prize for a raffle that for some reason in my mind I thought I was a shoe-in to win. I walked by the display case, every day. I’d stop, press my hands and face against the case, deciphering the goods in the basket. I remember a plush rabbit, coloring books, and lots of candy.
Raffle day comes. A hand goes into a bag. A name gets pulled out. And it’s not mine. Just like that, my world comes crashing down, and so do my tears. During this fit of sore loserdom, my teacher came to me, and to console me, told me that there would be another basket, and that I would win that one. I was done crying.
In the following weeks I would walk past the display case, looking for my consolation basket. But it never appeared. I learned that sometimes people will promise you things just to shut up. Lesson learned.
I thought I had closure with this experience and moved on. But I was immediately confronted with this memory when the following piece presented itself to me. It turned out to be an interesting Easter.
Upon closer inspection, I realized that my mother used to make the safety and beads baskets that make up most of the upper part of the object.
On closer inspection of this one, I noticed that neon green and black fat sneaker laces from the 1980s was woven throughout the structure. Another unearthed memory for another time.
I usually put looks together for my sister that are a combination of things she buys and things I find on my vintage fashion hunts. This head-to-toe outfit is all me. I thrifted this dress for my sister over a year ago, but she hadn’t found a way to wear it. Let’s face it: it’s a dress that’s hard to wear without looking like you’re on your way to a live studio audience taping of The Brady Bunch or Three’s Company. But the weather’s getting better, and I’m on a trench kick.
Technically it’s not a trench coat dress, but the khaki fabric and some of the design details makes me think of this dress as a trench dress. And so it shall be named: trenchdress. I especially like how the maryjane wedges simultaneously update and compliments the look, and the vintage cosmetics bag used as a clutch takes it up a notch on the sophistication meter for a daytime thing.
- Vintage 1970s khaki “trenchdress”
- Marni navy suede platform wedge maryjanes
- Vintage 1980s Gucci toiletries bag (used as a clutch)
If I Could Turn Back Time While Walking In Memphis Next to Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves, a Half Breed Dark Lady, and Jesse James, then I Believe That I’ve Got You, Babe. Because This is a Woman’s World.
Since I’ve been unemployed, I’ve been cutting down on unnecessary expenses. Music concerts, bar hopping, and magazine subscriptions were the first to go. So when my bestie Juniper Disco invited me to a concert, I jumped at the chance. When I heard it was Cher, I double-jumped.
Don’t get me wrong, though. I never felt like a member of the tribe of Cher. As a child of the 80s, The Sonny and Cher show was way before my time, and her movies were way ahead. Besides, I got stuck watching Spanish-language television for my evening television-watching because my parents commandeered the TV after 7pm. (Except for that half-hour on Saturday nights when I watched The Golden Girls). But I never got to see her in Vegas, and although she’ll probably have other farewell tours, she may not have many left. At least none like the ones she’s been putting on in the last decade.
After a wonderful opening set by Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo, We got Cher. In all her iterations. Like a molting bird with new gay feathers every 10-15 minutes.
There was Half-Breed Cher (I wonder when history will deem this song and its accompanying outfit culturally insensitive)…
…If I Could Turn Back Time Cher (with matching wig)…
…I’ve Got You, Babe Cher (with dueting Sonny Bono onscreen)…
…a WTF version of Believe Cher…
…Roman/Greek Soldier Cher (complete with Trojan Horse)…
…and there was even Burlesque Cher! Two songs worth!
The gran finale was this kind of Virginal Cher, floating over the audience on this Moroccan-style platform. It reminded me of those Virgin Mary Statues with he half-cut tubs in people’s front yards. It was nice.
In true form, her outfits rivaled those of a collection of Black Label Barbie dolls. I learned not long after the concert that Bob Mackie didn’t design these costumes. Which is odd, because I just figured these were costumes from her various other farewell tour that were re-purposed (with yards and yards of nude illusion fabric) for this tour.
Either way, I’m glad I was able to go. If I had a gay bucket list, this would be a cross-off. Thanks Juniper Disco!!
(concert photos courtesy of www.nydailynews.com)
Entrenched in a Cape
I wasn’t sure if she would like this double-breasted trench/cape I recently thrifted, but I had to buy it. Mostly because I hadn’t seen this kind of design before, and the costume monger in me wants to put her in as many cape-like objects as possible.
But the clincher was when I saw Cyndi Lauper wearing a (higher end, no doubt) version of it at the 2014 Grammy Awards!
(photo from www.ilballodelcervello.com)
I’m not one of those “get the look for less” stylists, and since I thrifted the cape prior to the airing of the 2014 Grammys, I can say with confidence that this was NOT a bite. Besides, I already did my Cyndi Lauper Sinspiration Post [click here] where I style her inspired by one of my favorite singers of all time.
In theory, double-breasted/cape/trench/cargo pockets really sounds like a bad idea design-wise, but I think this is one of the few moments where it works.
- Bebe olive green cape trench (thrifted)
- Uni-Qlo black long-sleeve top
- H&M black wax-coated jeans
- Prada olive green nylon baguette
- Kenneth J. Lane wrapped core chain statement necklace (thrifted)
- Zara suede cream/maroon/black platform booties
- Vintage sterling silver bangles (thrifted) and sterling silver hoop earrings
Creatures Double Featured
A couple weeks ago I got a flyer for a toy show in Lowell, in the Jackson Street Mills. The same mills that hosted a weekly flea market in the mid-1980s we frequented as kids. The same flea market where I got a second hand dragon/monster type toy. So going to this toy event became more of a full-circle moment thing.
The Jackson Street mills in the early 1980s appeared to be abandoned. They were subsequently re-purposed for the administrative offices of the Summer Training Employment Program (STEP). That was summer job home base for my first summer job, “affectionately” known as van crew. That experience warrants its own post in the near future.
Not having been back since the mid 1990s, the mills actually look really nice. The neighborhood has always been sketchy, rife with indigent people, drug addicts and alcoholics. A double take and a WTF occurs when I see Jackson Street equipped with an electronic parking meter system and a trendy food truck.
It was smaller than a comicon or expo, but big enough that I was colored impressed. It was made up of vendors showcasing their vintage and contemporary sci-fi/comic/cartoon/anime treasures. Some of which I still collect: The big Gs (Godzilla, Gamera, Gatchaman/G-Force. Transformers, DC Comics, Star Wars…
In addition to being impressed with the space, I was also impressed with the set up. There were these two display cases in the main hallway full of amazing vintage and contemporary treasures. THIS is how I would display my stuff If I had the space.
There was a screening room where they played some films and vintage Japanese commercials. How these commercials ever convinced kids to buy toys is beyond me. As I walked down the hall I heard a familiar sound. Like a sailor to a siren, I was transfixed when I heard the enchanted Mothra’s Song: Mosura-ya, Mosura…[click here]. It took everything in me to not start singing with the track, and dancing in
what could probably be considered a culturally insensitive, bastardized Kabuki theater way.
Snapping myself back into reality, I carried on. In what was probably the office of the factory president when the mill was in use, a beautifully painted space complete with inset cabinets, wainscoting, and a fire place, proudly displayed a carefully curated collection of the kaiju kind. My faves are always the Marmit vintage and vintage style figures of Godzilla and his homies.
The highlights would have been finding a couple Godzilla and G-Force toys that wouldn’t blow my budget. But then I saw Gary Sohmers, the Hawaiian shirt-clad former appraiser of the Antiques Roadshow [click here for my PART I and PART II Antiques Roadshow adventure]. Gary was one of those appraisers on the show that I not only remembered, but looked forward to watching. His enthusiasm and colorful fashion was always brought when appraising cool vintage toys or pop culture memorabilia. We talked AR for a bit, he told me about his “very cool and very fun” Pop Culture Expo [click here for more info].
As I was leaving his table, I mustered up enough courage to ask for a photo (it was really hot in there so my face is giving heat exhaustion realness) and noticed some costumes from the 2001 Planet of the Apes film. Little did I know I’d find something for my (slow) growing collection of twentieth century pop culture garments. But I did! I can’t wait to set it up with my Marky Mark Wahlberg and Helena Bonham Carter action figures from the movie!!
Unexpected fun day of monster madness, robot revelry, and kaiju kraziness. With a dash of fash(ion).
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One of a series of sweater dresses she owns. You can’t see it here, but it has a deep V in the back, along with this great fishtail-like hem.
- Vintage 1980s floral knit sweater dress
- Rebecca Minkoff bag
- Obsession Rules black and goldtone platform heel booties
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