Gone fishin'... in Burma

Friday, May 25, 2007

I'm off to the land of no Internet, which means no posts for awhile unless I find one of those speakeasy web cafes, but I'm not promising anything. See you soon!

I found this pretty photo of Inle Lake here.

Vintage wall decor

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Mike and I are a little obsessed with the vast selection of vintage prints available from plan59, "the museum (and gift shop) of mid-century illustration." We've got our sights set on ordering a large or grand large print for that big living room wall we've been trying to spruce up, but it's pretty tough to narrow it down to just one. See for yourself.

{Discovered while drooling over Desire to Inspire's fantastic retro archives.}

Desperately Coveted, More than Anything Else Right Now

I am in awe of people with seemingly endless creative talent, which is exactly how I feel about May C., the designer formerly known as tiny red bird (and now known as hellosparrow) who – if you remember -- was behind my fantastic Christmas cards last year. Now, May has teamed up with Kelly at Déjà Vu Vintage to create one-of-a-kind silkscreened vintage pieces. The second I saw them, I gave an excited little squeal and started counting my pennies so I can purchase one asap.

This first collection – with new creations arriving at Déjà Vu about every three weeks – features darling dresses, tops and purses emblazoned with guitars, skulls and guns. I love how May uses the silkscreened images to completely reinvent the pieces – a plain neckline becomes both unexpectedly pretty and very punk when artistically decorated with skulls. I can't wait to get my hands on one (or three) of her designs – stop on in to Déjà Vu or contact Kelly about how to order your own.

A little bit of hot air...

Monday, May 21, 2007

Thanks again to everyone who came out on Friday for the Down with Love screening! I was completely zonked from the jet lag and therefore not overly coherent (and therefore not super chatty), but I hope everyone enjoyed themselves. I know I did! The costumes and set decor in that film are just so fantastic. As promised, I wore one of my most retro outfits -- this new hot air balloon-print vintage dress from my trip to the States. (Plus Payless blue patent flats, just $15!)

Hope to see you next month! Stay tuned for the next date and film...

PS) The full-length pics are thanks to my new camera wireless remote control, which makes these kinds of things so much easier. Expect more soon!

How to Plan Your Very Own Vintage Roadtrip!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

I've received some e-mails expressing interest in Vintage Roadtrip!, my fantastic three-day adventure across the mid-Atlantic area in search of thrifting treasure. How did we put together such a wonderful trip, you ask? Well, we (my fearless thrifting partner Kevin and I) sort of winged it, which resulted in a lot of unexpected vintage booty but also some serious detours through the likes of Chestnut Hill, PA and Frederica, DE. Still, it was such a success, we're already planning for Vintage Roadtrip! Part Two – with a few minor adjustments. Please, learn from our mistakes. Here's a little primer on putting together your own thrifting trip.

1. Plan your route and destinations in advance. It helps if you have a beginning and end point, naturally (in our case, it was Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.). But you'll also want to think about how you're getting from point A to point B. If we'd driven in the straightest line, we'd have ended up on the busy interstate highway for most of the trip and only popping off at exits to hit the thrift stores along the way (I'm pretty sure that wouldn't have been too fun – kind of like Dionne trying to get on and off the freeway in Clueless).

Instead, we decided to add Rehoboth, DE as our in-between stop, which meant that our roadways were less congested and our scenery (farmland and pretty little towns) much more idyllic. I do think one of my favorite parts of the trip was (somewhat inadvertently) driving across the exact center of Delaware, an empty little road surrounded by lush green fields, little white houses and the occasional silo, with blue skies above and the sun setting behind us.

It's also best not to be too ambitions with how much territory you'll be covering each day – you'll need time to rest, thrift and refuel at your local greasy spoon, after all. We covered about 2.5 hours of driving each day, which left us just enough time for lots of Salvation Armys and even a regular nightly drag show. (Yes, really.)

Once you've got a route mapped out, check out The Thrift Shopper, an amazing resource of charity-based thrift stores in the U.S. We looked up the major towns/cities we'd be passing through and got an exhaustive list of what was in the area (even better: it also provides store rankings from other thrift shoppers so we could whittle it down to the top choices in thrift-heavy metropolises, like Philadelphia). Pay close attention to the hours that stores are open – Goodwill tends to stay open late, while the little church shop might close by noon.

2. Get thee a GPS. Or at least a map. Kevin and I spent a lot of time saying things like "I feel like [insert street name here] is this way" and just going that way. We were successful about 70 percent of the time, but in retrospect, cosmic vibes are probably not the most efficient way to roadtrip.

3. Veer from the original plan whenever necessary. Friday and especially Saturday mornings are big for yard sales, so if you're traveling on these days, grab a local paper and see what sales might be happening. (Yard sales are totally hit-or-miss but almost always cheaper than thrift stores. Plus, you get to interact with the locals!) And keep your ears open at places like the little old lady-helmed church thrift shops, both for extremely funny conversation but also for tidbits on other stores/sales in the area. Kevin and I made an unexpected afternoon stop at the adorable Milton, DE community yard sale after overhearing several little old ladies discuss it at a nearby thrift store. It turned out to be a goldmine of goodness, including a batch of fantastic vintage purses for 50 cents a pop.

4. Pick a good thrifting partner. I can't stress this enough. Not only was my partner extremely adorable and lots of fun (we spent our hours in the car discussing such important topics as, "Why does Fergie insist on spelling out words in all her songs?"), he is the kind of shopping partner that understands that serious thrifting takes time. Kevin also has an impeccable eye, and scooped up lots of good finds for me before any other shoppers could get their hands on it. (Case in point: At the Goodwill in Dover, DE, he telephoned me from the furniture section to let me know that they had a mini library card catalogue for sale, and watched it like a hawk until I could grab a cart and come claim it).

Probably the most important thing about a successful thrift partner pairing is that you're not looking for the same stuff. Kevin is a boy, so that kept us from competing over clothes (mostly). He's also paring down his worldly possessions at the moment, so was happy to pass most of the cute housewares to me as well. If you're thrifting with someone with similar interests, have a agreement in place beforehand to keep it from getting too competitive – like taking turns claiming items spotted at the same time, or putting all mutually adored items in a pile for distributing one at a time at the end of the trip. Nothing sours a friendship faster than thrifting jealousy.

5. Once in awhile, be sure to step away from the vintage and take some pictures. Because otherwise, when you get home, you will look at your camera and realize that the only photo you have from the wonderful trip is you in the 17th Street McDonalds at 2am, giddy from a greasy food rush:

At least it's a cute one.

In a New York State of Mind

Friday, May 18, 2007

The other blog gets all the attention today. Click on over for some snippets from my New York trip.

A little extra zing

I am still so zonked from the jet lag, but this lemon print by artist Gillian Blease is making me cheerier. (It costs just 60 pounds, unframed! Very tempting.) Via the always adorable Print & Pattern.

Label lover

We can't say we were overly wowed by anything in the new Patrick Robinson for Target line – though to be fair, we only viewed it once in the Brooklyn Target, a.k.a. The Worst Target Ever, and the whole disheveled nature of the place would make anything look bad. (On closer inspection, that tote bag is kinda cute.)

But, we did instantly love the tag. Isn't it swell?

P.S.) We also just stopped into Topshop, and we can't really say we're wowed by the Kate Moss line either. There are plenty of other things in Topshop that we'd much rather have. Like this '60s print top!

Now *that's* friendship

I was over at my friend Holly's last week, admiring her adorable baby boy and her serious six-burner stove, when I complimented her on the cute new Sukie address book that was lying on the kitchen table. And she said, "That? It was just in my pile of mail at work. You want it?"

It probably goes without saying that she didn't need to ask twice. Thanks, Holly!

Rainbow fever

I'm admittedly a sucker for a spectrum of color, and couldn't resist snapping a pic of this simple framed piece that was part of the décor at Pottery Barn. I don't love the frame, but I love the idea – such an easy way to make some cool workspace art.

Back in the Groove

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

This is kind of how I feel at the moment. Jet lag is a drag!

Thanks for bearing with me all week – it was a fantastic whirlwind of adorable babies and adorable apartments, lots of laughter and my friend's beautiful wedding, which required such important responsibilities of me as Fixing the Bride's Train During the Ceremony for Optimal Photo-Taking and Holding Up the Bride's Enormous Petticoats so She Could go to the Bathroom. I was just happy to be of service, really. After a short recovery – and one last trip to the thrift store with my mom and brother, natch – I boarded a plane back to Singapore and returned early yesterday morning. I'm excited to be back! For starters, there's the vintage-licious screening of Down With Love on Friday night. And I've got loads to unpack and share with you this week as well.

But first: I'm a little bit behind on this, but I wanted to share this week's retro-tastic raffle prize for the screening. One lucky audience member will be going home with this trio of vintage accessories, scored during various parts of my trip:
+Silver box clutch purse. A classic! Goes with *everything*.
+Long, bright vintage-print scarf, perfect for tying around heads or necks or waists.
+Daisy-style enamel pin. The pefect retro touch to a plain lapel or a basic bag.

And that's not all! You'll also receive a $30 gift certificate to the fabulous Déjà Vu Vintage, a store that we know well and love even more. Thanks, Kelly!

There are still seats left for the screening, so let me know if you'd like to come and have a chance at winning this little vintage bonanza. Hope to see you there!

You Like Us. You Really Like Us!

I very nearly forgot to mention that Fashion is Spinach was proud to be featured last week in a round-up of recommended Singapore fashion blogs in the Straits Times' Urban fashion section, which was kind of a huge thrill because you know how we love Urban. Most of these were already on our must read list, and they're definitely all worth checking out. Here's the full list, in case you missed it:
Runway City
Fashion Nation
The Clothes Project
Vogue Factory

This poster above was slapped up all around Brooklyn. Still not sure exactly what it is for, but aren't the graphics great?

Desperately Coveted, New York Edition: Part 1

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

I'll leave you today with a glimpse of my first coveted item from the New York trip: I absolutely loved these Cynthia Vincent heels, spotted at fantastic Brooklyn boutique Sir yesterday. (To be honest, I could have happily walked out with about half the store.) But these sandals in particular caught my eye -- they were the perfect combination of subtle metallic, polished wood and luxe leather, with a fantastic conical heel. All together now: droooool.

New York, New York

Hey! I've been having so much fun this past week that I totally forgot to blog. There was the phenomenal success of Vintage Roadtrip! (it was so great, I've decided it must always have an exclamation point), and cheesesteaks, and sunshine, and so many thrift stores. (I'll show off some of my loot soon.) And now there is the great city of New York, which -- though I often profess deep love for other cities, namely Tokyo and Paris -- really is my most favorite city in the entire world. So far there has been shopping and eating and catching up with old friends in the Brooklyn area, my old stomping grounds. Today there will be the massive Anthropologie flagship in Rockefeller Center and the MOMA. There is, unfortunately, not a lot of access to the internet. Bear with me -- I promise I am accumulating all kinds of fantastic fashion recommendations, and will be back in just a few days time.

Just a reminder: There are still seats available for the vintage-inspired film screening next Friday! I've scored several fantastic sixties dresses during this trip; one of them is certain to make an appearance at the show.

And also: I found this photo of the New York skyline over here. Isn't it great?

Today's Mass Transit Read: Awards Edition

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Last night was the Ellies, the annual industry awards for the best U.S. magazines. Among the winners was writer Vanessa Grigoriadis, who scooped up best profile writing for her feature on Karl Lagerfeld in New York magazine last spring. Which is totally what I'll be reading with my Cheerios this morning; thought you might like to too.

Set Your Tivos!

Did anyone catch the premiere of Helmut by June on Monday night? (It's a documentary of the late legendary fashion photog Helmut Newton – dubbed the "King of Kink" for his edgy, provocative images – as shot by his wife, June.) I missed the debut, mainly because I could not find anyone who had Cinemax. Additional screenings will start airing May 17, and I wanted to give you all a head's up, mostly because it might take a few weeks to locate someone with Cinemax. Seriously.

Some Singapore stuff…

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

For those of you who are interested, we have heard on pretty good authority that the white shirts will appear at the Gap on May 10.

And, in other Singapore fashion news, you might enjoy this glowing recap of Singapore fashion week from the managing editor of the great online fashion magazine Papierdoll. There's a definite PR-y element to the piece, but they give some shout-outs to some standout designers who seem to be worth a closer look.

That's all I have for today. I've been busy!