Category Archives: Kids

Bladerunner Teen D.J.

img_0701img_0705img_0695img_0675 img_0693img_0715

Plastic stars in lantern nights,

The blue and white and neon lights,

Liquid in the flowing pipes,

Mist my eyes the sounds are loud,

Cold the air my hands withstand,

I yearn,

I yearn to be,

I see the signs,

See the signs and dream,

When the music makes my ears,

The sky,

Darker white then the early morning,

Fear to touch,

Touch the ground,

For I might,

Pick up to have found,

A thing a fear of past steps there,

And smile not upon their sight,

For shadowed face and pocket hands,

They keep me safe,

I wish for sand,

Oh I may live to breath the air,

Air of sea that the sun dearly loves,

And find to me that I am to be loved,

Streaking lights and dizzy stars,

On a day there shall be,

A shining star.

-Aristotle Hartzell, 2017

Is he the teen d.j. for the 1984 original or for the 2017 sequel? And what music will he spin? For the original it would surely be this, whereas for the sequel it may be this.

All photos by Evan Hartzell.

Suit jacket by Topman, customized by Aristotle. Wind breaker by Patagonia. Cords by Old Navy. Socks by Uniqlo. Shoes by Fashion.

Advertisements

Viva Italia

I last worked on the following post October 29, 2016. I got busy with other stuff, and then the election happened. I thought about scrapping the whole post, starting over with a different perspective. Honestly, I even thought about never doing another Clothes Story again. But, those feelings were all part of the grieving process, and now I have a renewed belief in the power of sharing our stories. I also have a renewed appreciation for stepping outside of our bubbles and for being in community. Oh, and the exploration of fantasy and illusion in the film, 8 1/2 is something that’s come up repeatedly in this post truth moment in history. So, without further ado…

One early October morning “certain parents” made the mistake of telling their teen that “Ha, ha, ha, the truth is we don’t know what we are doing!” as they dropped him off for an over night camping trip. Don’t do that. Teenagers’ hormones are trouble enough, and they don’t need their parents sharing their  existential crises – or at least displaying such a dark humor about it. They need their parents to make oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and smoothies and tell them everything is going to be okay.

Early Fall of 2016 I waded into a midlife crises – I’m being dramatic, of course – and in such a dramatic state I started to fantasize about remaking the film, 8 1/2.

From a female artist’s point of view.

Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. Back up. Midlife crises? Why now? Maybe because I had come off a summer where I did things I had previously been afraid to do. That always shakes things up, doesn’t it? I had fallen into a tiny acting role on a friend’s movie – an exhilarating experience. I had also started playing shows with k-blamo on which I do vocals. Another exhilarating experience. Oh, that golden chakra. And the turquoise one, for that matter! Fall meant “back to work”. Even though I had taught all summer, the boys going back to school meant it was time to buckle down in the studio. Buckle down? I didn’t want to buckle down. Like Guido in 8 1/2 I wanted to break out of that traffic-trapped car and float up, up, and away. Something had changed within me, and I needed to explore it further.

In Federico Fellini’s 1963 black and white film, 8 1/2, the main character is an artist as well. He is film director, Guido, just off one production and now being hounded to give his vision for his next film – a science fiction piece, no less. Guido starts out at some sort of healing spa, and ends up swimming in a sea of his own memories and dreams. Marcello Mastroianni, at the height of his cool style quotient, plays Guido.

So, here I am. A female artist wandering the west side of Los Angeles that no movie crew is really looking for. No mistress is showing up – unless she is represented by social media distractions. Instead, my co-conspirator is patiently taking filming direction from me by the bus depot. The bus depot matches my skirt.

Big Blue Bus blue.

Big Blue Bus blue.

Like Guido, the film director character in 8 1/2, I avoid my artistic project’s completion (in this case, a graphic novel that is so long it makes me want to cry) by wandering the city in a beautiful outfit and revisiting my entire life’s story. I even start my journey in my own spa – my childhood bathtub full of healing salts where I end up talking to my mother as if I was ten again, and to the moon outside the window – a window that is no longer there. Fellini talks to his dead parents in a sunny graveyard, suddenly dressed as a priest. Dream sequences, heavy symbols, Jungian imagery that 8 1/2 is known for? Check. Like Fellini, I need a note attached to the camera reminding me that this is a comedy – that life is a comedy. Eventually, Guido contemplates the idea of the “ideal woman” in an actress he wants to cast. I contemplate who I strive to be, as my own “ideal woman”.

How did I get to deciding that a piece of Italian cinema so illustrated my crises? The seed was planted with a wander into an Italian menswear shop. One thing led to another, and through a series of cappuccinos, a visit from Tuscan friends, and on-the-street filming, I ended up at 8 1/2.

Brioni

I like portals, and the Brioni store in Beverly Hills is a portal to the elegant, gorgeous Italian bespoke shops of the 1940’s and 50’s. The Artist and I wandered into this epicenter of fine fabrics and spectacular stylings of fine men’s tailoring one lovely Fall afternoon.

It was the red velvet that beckoned us initially. What is it about velvet suits that grabs us? It’s decadent, luxurious, and oh, so soft. It conjures up falcons, estates, and silver goblets. Three out of four people in my immediate family love velvet suits. My husband even contemplated a velvet suit for our wedding in 1993. One of my favorite moments from a trip to Florence, Italy in 1997 was taking a photo of a business man in a blue velvet suit, standing in a plaza chatting with his friends at lunch time. Casual. No big deal. I performed with a band in a velvet jumpsuit around the same time. Now, The Artist wears a similar, red velvet jacket to the one in the top photo. Velvet is back.

Once inside the store, the atmosphere was all mirrors, gold, and black. I felt like I was inside an Italian race car with bouquets of roses everywhere. We were greeted by Sheila, who because of our enthusiasm (and probably our outfits!) treated us like we were museum goers, and she was the knowledgeable docent.

Clothing can be art to me, especially when they are so well made. Once Sheila told me about the attention and work that went into each suit, handmade in Italy, we bonded about the scene in Valentino, the Last Emperor that shows the handful of seamstresses making one of his incredible dresses. I love that scene – the intricate craftiness of it all. I grew up starting Saturday afternoons at the fabric store with my mom and then going home, each of us with a project at hand, cutting and sewing at the machine. Now, The Artist is pretty skilled himself, manipulating suit jackets with silver thread, vintage buttons, and yes, even adding Rushmore patches like you see on his jacket above.

If the Fall was the filming of my 8 1/2, then Brioni was a trip to the wardrobe department.

Caffe 8 and Half

If there’s catering on this movie set, then for me it would be  Caffe 8 1/2 in Santa Monica which I started getting into this past Fall as well. It’s kind of hidden, but oh so good. EVERYTHING is good here. I kind of went overboard on the sugar last time (Two words: Nutella. Pie.), but I do not dissuade you from completely giving in to the whole experience. Any cafe that has a Fellini theme and a Marcello Mastroianni photo mural wins me over easy. Next time I am trying a panini, for sure. Getting ideas from Yelp at the moment where the reviews are all glowing.img_1318

img_1305

img_1308

img_1326

Wait, are these photos of my OUTFIT at Caffe 8 and a Half? Why, yes they are.

The owner, Gaetano makes your visit to Caffé 8 1/2 even more special.

The owner, Gaetano makes your visit to Caffé 8 1/2 even more special.

Which brings us back to Brioni because…

On the Brioni website we see some red carpet photos of people wearing their suits, and one of them is of Chiara Mastroianni (French-Italian actress and singer) who is the daughter of Marcello Mastroianni (AND Catherine Deneuve… but that’s a whole other post. Wait, I already did that one). I don’t usually get stars in my eyes, but I swoon for the European art house cinema stars of my youth – my youth of seeing the films back in college, I mean. Marcello actually wears Brioni in this film. His look created a desire for a lighter suit, a more modern, on the go presence that reached all the way across the Atlantic.

original-marcello-mastroianni-bodycopy-jpg-e15419b0

Oh. My. Goodness.

Under a Tuscan Sun

Lastly, there was Tuscany. I had one of those rare, sleepy afternoons this Fall where I curled up with a blanket and a self-indulgent movie. The “airplane” movie was something I found on Netflix called Under the Tuscan Sun. I’m not even going to talk about this movie in the same post as I mention Fellini – but, then again there is a whole character in this film who is obsessed with her past relationship with the great director. She even acts out a scene from one of his movies. Didn’t see that coming. I just wanted an escapist hour and a half, and I am back on set! Besides the always charismatic Diane Lane, the film’s other star is the location of Cortona in the Tuscan province of Arezzo.

Now, here’s the crazy thing. Next thing you know, in the last days of October we were so happy to hook up with our friends visiting from Italy. He was originally one of our good British friends from our year in Leeds, UK. She was the wonderful Italian woman he met while camping in Spain, and lucky us, they brought along their six year old daughter who taught me a bit of Italian. And where do they live? In that same Tuscan province of Arezzo! A highlight of the visit was the little girl trying her first skateboard on the Venice boardwalk. They brought with them a bit of child like curiosity from the village which I so needed.

ending-scene-8-12

Italy was everywhere, and it was guiding me through a Fall of transitions. I entered through a suit shop, took to the streets making a handful of haiku like music videos in support of a new EP, and was infused with fresh energy by our Italian visitors. The summer had already been a gateway to embracing my love of performance, as my partner and I performed music and spoken word at a couple of Los Angeles events (with plans for more!). Like Guido in 8 1/2, I realized a film crew was in fact following me. In this case, the crew turned out to be the world that constantly encourages me to produce, that promises to eat up whatever I make. So, I ordered a new business card… and splattered them all with hot pink acrylic. The circus-like ending to 8 1/2? Maybe that’s what 2017 needs. The artists, the dreamers, the lovers, the activated… dancing in the new year across what looks like a barren landscape, still hoping to make the world sing.

Miyazaki Moment

img_0948 img_0934 img_0940img_0955 img_0932img_0929

Who loves Miyazaki?? I do!!

I’m trying to remember the first time I saw a Hayao Miyazaki film. I know my boys were pretty young – at tops 5 and 8 years old – based on my memory of where we lived while we watched them. I’m pretty sure we rented a DVD (or VHS, even??) from Vidiots, and that once we watched one, we had to watch EVERY Miyazaki movie that was available at that moment. Well, not Princess Mononoke… yet. A little graphic, that one.

Previous to our discovery of Miyazaki, we had explored everything Disney. The older boy liked to pause Bambi and draw from the stills. We also loved everything Japanese. Japan’s influence was there from the beginning for me because my dad had been stationed in Japan after WWII. My husband and I had both grown up collecting Japanese stickers (how I loved Hello Kitty!) and watching Speed Racer. As parents we had made sure our boys were exposed to everything from the wonders of eel sushi in Little Tokyo to Giant Robot on Sawtelle.

Back to Miyazaki… We started with Panda! Go, Panda! (screenplay by Miyazaki), The Cat Returns (executive producer), and Porco Rosso (director and story). Next, I think we got into Kiki’s Delivery Service (director, producer, writer) and Castle in the Sky (writer and director). We didn’t have access to any more films that we knew of until years later with the American releases of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (my favorite film, period!), and Howl’s Moving Castle.

One of Howl's incarnations with Sophie, as her curse wears off.

One of Howl’s incarnations with Sophie, as her curse wears off.

I could go on FOREVER about my favorite Miyazaki characters, but this Clothes Story is about Howl from Howl’s Moving Castle who I wear so proudly on my shirt above. I’ve read on the internets that many a young girl has fallen in love with the Howl of the novel, Howl’s Moving Castle, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was true about the movie character. I love this writer’s read of the movie’s metaphors, especially of seeing the moving castle as representing Howl, himself with it’s many faces, baggage, and stealing away to undisclosed locations. I have a similar character in the graphic novel I am working on. Who doesn’t love a complex, dark, love interest who hides his heart behind a shallow-seeming front? They are irresistible – especially when he is a ridiculously handsome wizard with at least three different names, secretly doing good deeds and secretly falling in love with his 90 year old cleaning lady! (Ooh! Another similarity to my project!) I love Howl because he illustrates that our higher self is always within reach, and sometimes it is witnessing another’s acts of love – in this case, Sophie’s –  to move us toward embracing that higher self.

Oh, and Morrissey, “A Heart’s a Heavy Burden” NEEDS to be the title of your next album. Hello, Morrissey? Can you hear me??

T shirt by Hot Topic. Jeans by Joe’s. Similar earrings on Etsy, here and here. Brooch is vintage. Mine are from Ansel Adams Gallery in Yosemite. Denim trench is  vintage. Similar, here.

Photos by Evan Hartzell.

 

How to Be Weird

david-bowie-blue-jean

It’s strange when someone I don’t know personally passes away, and my first reaction is “No. I need them to be in this world.” The way I react to different deaths fascinates me. With my two grandmas I was sad, but I didn’t cry – they were both so “grande”.* An older, influential artist I met once in college? Cried for a whole day. Didn’t expect that. With my cat, I cried for a week. My mom? Epic, of course with layers of emotion. So, people I’ve never met, but were influential on my life? Usually, I react with, “Aw. Really? Aw, that’s so sad. Wow.” I accept it and move on pretty quickly. I was surprised with how I reacted with Bowie. Impossible, I thought. Why? I think I got a clue within the first 24 hours of the news.

I completely underestimated the effect of David Bowie on my childhood. I know I am not the only one having this thought process in the last few weeks. As a preteen, 1979-84, I went from disco to The Go Go’s, Blondie, Rockabilly, and Big Band. It was my friends who bought Bowie records, and we rocked out to them in their bedrooms. These were “Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)”, “Let’s Dance”, and “Tonight”. I was in the awkward glaring light of those 11-15 year old years, but what made it more complex… I was weird.

Merriam-Webster dictionary mentions “soothsayer” as a definition for weird. Soothsayer? You mean “a person who predicts the future by magical, intuitive, or more rational means”? So Bowie. Cambridge uses the word “unexpected” when describing weird. I like that one, too. From Oxford, I picked out “supernatural”… of course. And then when you go to Oxford’s more archaic definition (Scottish, really), we find “a person’s destiny”. Now we’re talking!

IMG_8054

Blurry photo of me drawing around five years old dressed as a… clown?

What were the first signs of weirdness? Oh, it’s hard to tell because like my friend, Maureen, I liked to talk to rocks as well when I was six years old, but that is usually thought of as… being a child. At about that age my parents asked me if I wanted to go to a “special school”. Because I talked to rocks? I don’t think so, but I remember I thought it was because I was really, really good at drawing swans. Seriously. I remember wondering why I had been chosen for such a privilege? To be taken away from all of my friends, my brother, and my mom who worked at my school? Must have been the swans. It had to be. No more neighborhood school. No more friends. And I actually wanted to go? That’s just weird.

Maybe I was a soothsayer! Because at the new school some of my really good friends had come as well. Also, at the new school we had more field trips, emergent curriculum, painting, music, projects, and Shakespeare. It was radical. And taking the bus was an Adventure.

IMG_8051

That’s me on the left side of the group, “observing” from outside the track. First day of school in home made alphabet jumpsuit. Little did they know what they were in for…

But still, my little ten year old self thought the new school wasn’t weird enough. The weird department was clearly lacking at this otherwise fine establishment, and my efforts to improve it landed me in the principal’s office with my new best friend.

IMG_8050

Clockwise from left: Samantha, Cori, and I. Yes, I’m wearing a Shaun Cassidy t shirt. And, yes we are creating some kind of singing ritual around french fries. I mean, our teacher took us on a field trip to CARL’S JR. We HAD to mess with it.

My new best friend, Cori was one of those Bowie kids. She had all kinds of music playing at her house that I wasn’t hearing anywhere else. They had relatives in Europe, so they had ACCESS. Her slightly older brother was basically Ziggy Stardust’s little brother. Cori wore tuxedos to school. I wore jumpsuits my mom made me with the alphabet all over it. For us, a fun playdate was reading some random play aloud to each other.

So, one day we decided that we would offer lessons on how to be weird. The lessons were free, and would be conveniently located in the girls’ restroom during lunch recess, right next to the sinks. I recall there was a nice big mirror there. We were bright sparks of color in a whited out restroom. It looked like we were filming “Life on Mars”.

The lessons (which were really just the early days of performance art education) were going well until one day we were discovered by the authorities. Someone who spotted in us the signs of a weird revolution must have told. I don’t blame them. This special school was inside of a TRACT. Who can blame those local kids for being scared? We were bussed in from outside the tract. What was the administration thinking?

40's pattern

1940’s pattern.

Fast forward to the world of surf punks and skaters in middle school…  I continued my exploration of weird. I decided I was born in the wrong decade so I started dressing like it was the 1940’s. This was when I started designing and making my own clothes as well as picking up treasures at yard sales. I also started learning about the darker side of American history, reading about slavery, Native Americans and listening to my cousins’ stories in Mexico about missing journalists and what our government was doing in Latin America. Around this time, I remember singing Bowie’s “Ashes to Ashes” over the bar b q at a family get together which of course, concerned my relatives.

IMG_8055

My blue eye shadow matches my AMAZING 1940’s blue velvet dress I found for graduation at the swap meet. You just. Can’t. See. It. Under my robe. I realize these years were before camera phones, so there were no fun outfit photos. Waah.

“Let’s Dance” marked the beginning of high school, and I wanted to dance… if only with the English boy who had the locker above me and dressed up like Bowie in “Blue Jeans” for Halloween. Yeah, even the metallic makeup. Meanwhile, I was only scaring my friends and others. For me, everyday was Halloween. A memorable outfit was my dad’s red 60’s hawaiian shirt tucked into my mom’s long, pleated, electric blue, wool skirt. African elephant necklace and black combat boots completed the look. For some reason I was very comfortable making every day an art performance… but I had encouragement.

Looking back on those formative years, I could say that was when I really needed Bowie. He was my first “Teacher of Weirdness” that I needed in homogeneous Orange County. He taught me to do the unexpected, to express myself through music, art and style with abandon. To not only dress up to clean the house, but make songs about it… choreographed of course. He taught me to stay in touch with what we come into this world as – “real humans”. Because we’re born as real humans. We’re born as artists. Capable of talking to rocks and traveling to Mars.

Jump almost thirty years ahead, and I am riding in the car early on a Monday morning staring at the news on my phone. Next to me is an artist driving the car that also inspires me every day since I fell in love with him when we were 18. Behind me are two incredible teenage artists who are my sons. For one of them – the song-writing one at the moment, “Ziggy Stardust” is one of his favorite albums. We’ve always made music. We’ve always made art. We’ve always been the best kind of weird – together. And whenever I had those moments as an adult when I thought, “Oh, my goodness. Who do I think I am? What am I doing?” Bowie was one of those people I would think of. I would think, “But… Bowie.” Always looking for encouragement, he was the example to me of acceptance of oneself, calling the bluff of artistic boundaries, and risking the approval of others for the sake of the possibility of discovering something new. So, I needed him in this world, and that was why.

But here is the crazy thing. With my mom, the moment I found out she passed away, I felt her rise up like a super hero. I was so proud of her. I was so beyond impressed. Within a few hours, I felt the same thing with Bowie. I didn’t even know him, so how do you explain that? I could try, but I’d rather embrace the mystery. Mysteries can be so beautiful. Especially when they are made of stardust and metallic makeup.

 

 

*While the Spanish word, “grande” can mean big or great, it also can mean old – but it’s a big, great kind of old… of course.

London, Waiting for the Night Bus.

IMG_4400

IMG_4402.JPG

unnamed-1
IMG_4410.JPG

 photos by Laura E. Alvarez
Lucky. Lucky, I tell you.

The quest for the coat had spanned thirteen months (at least I think that is when we started watching Sherlock), and several continents (via Ebay). I had little hope of finding it, to be quite honest. Little hope. First of all, it needed to be wool, but not too heavy. This is Los Angeles after all. Second of all, it needed to fit a lean, but not short 13 year old. “Ha!” you laugh, “It could never be done.” And lastly, it had to have attitude. “Oh, no. Now that’s really, really, really asking too, too much.” Yes, it is. I agree… but the Artist, he persisted in his quest. He entered giant Good Wills, and not-nice-smelling Salvation Armies, he withstood Ebay after Ebay disappointment across the Atlantic and back, he fingered impossibly large coats everywhere, and scoffed at sad cotton coats I tried to persuade him to be happy with. He even considered moving to a colder climate where he might have more of a chance to come across said coat.

It was on one of those searching days that we ended up at a National Council of Jewish Women Thrift Shop. The moment we walked in, the Artist expressed that he felt aligned with this establishment. On top of the love we felt, the expert curation, the aesthetically pleasing gray walls, and organization by color, the prices were wonderful. But still, after a time the expansiveness of the store made our eyes grow tired. Our arms could not pull another coat off a rack. Ready to abandon the site, suddenly, it appeared… the perfect coat… and, one hundred percent finest Merino wool, no less. Here, I ask the Artist some questions about his purchase.

Clothes Stories:  Can you tell me what drove you to embark on a search for such a coat? What are you inspired by?

The Artist:  I was inspired by the BBC show, Sherlock, and the coat Sherlock Holmes wears in the show. It represents him.

CS:  What are you capable of while wearing this coat?

The Artist: I am capable of being very warm… obviously. Look at it. I’m in L.A. for goodness sake.  I am capable of trying to act like Sherlock Holmes, trying to do the Matrix, being very serious, being a wizard, being an OP wizard, and uh, being a time lord.

CS:  What do these photographs evoke for you?

The Artist: It makes me feel like the person in the picture is waiting for something like the Night Bus or perhaps the Tardis to take him away on an adventure. Also, it makes me feel like the pocket watch is magic. I mean it’s got all that bloody writing on it. It must be special. Also, it makes it feel like the character is very serious when he needs to be. He’s an OP wizard.

CS:  Does this outfit have any special powers?

The Artist: Ah, yes, yes. Um, uh, let’s see. It’s bullet proof. It’s spell proof, too just in case I get hit by any of them. It makes my invisibility spells more powerful when I magic them at myself. The cane is like a light saber. It blocks spells and can perform spells. The pocket watch can tell me the time in any time zone I want it to tell me, and also I can store my powers in it and become mortal if I want to. When I throw my top hat it can cut unfriendly demon’s heads off. The top of it flattens and the brim lets out blades, so I can throw it like a frisbee.

CS:  What is your favorite detail of this outfit?

The Artist: I like the pocket watch because it has that amazing Gallifreyan writing on it, and also because it lights up in the dark when you need to tell the time. And also because the photograph of it is my favorite shot in this post. I really like it.

CS:  If this coat belonged in a particular city, which city would it live in?

The Artist: Ah, let me think. Ah, somewhere in England. Yes, London.

Look out for two more posts about the two other coats purchased by the Artist on that same day at the NCJW Thrift Shop.
Coat by Calvin Klein, belt by Levi’s, pocket watch by Dr. Who, cane & top hat – EBay.

Sharing is Caring

 

IMG_4902.PNG

IMG_4721.JPGsharing

 

IMG_4736.JPG

IMG_4746.JPG

sharing is caringIMG_4750.JPG

Other people’s closets. As soon as I was tall enough to reach those clothes off the hangers, I was benefitting from OPC’s in my own house growing up. No closet was safe. One particular outfit in the mid 80’s involved my own new wave short boots, my mom’s mid calf electric blue wool pleated skirt, my dad’s homemade sixties’ deep red Hawaiian shirt tucked in. A wooden animal African necklace topped it. Where are those pictures? How I love camera phones. But yes, even my brother let me borrow from his closet. I would brood over 1950’s photos of my mom in her presence and exclaim, “Why isn’t THIS dress still in your closet? Why?” See, I wanted to borrow things that weren’t even there any more. A common good dream that I have is about other people’s closets. Yes, it’s true. I can wake up so happy because I have had one. Trying on clothes in some amazing closet… but, of course in my dream, I get to keep everything.

And the tradition continues… I borrowed a couple of jackets from my younger son so many times that now they just stayed with my stuff. The truth is, we fought over them in the thrift store and he “won”. I think the same is going to happen the other way around with the brown corduroy jacket above.

And now, I feel like making a list.  My favorite ways to acquire clothes are the following:

1.  Gifts. Especially gifts that were bought in other country’s outdoor markets. Countries that have cobblestone streets. And especially gifts that I asked for telepathically about two days before. For example, I’m walking along and suddenly realize I NEED a jumpsuit, and then one is handed to me straight from Paris two days later. The scarf pictured above also came from someone else’s trip to Italy, and I NEEDED it.

2. Other people’s closets. Of course. My favorite OPC story is relative to the boots above. I have three pairs of boots that came to me at once. I get asked about a couple of them all the time, and I love saying, “These came from Holly’s sister’s jet setter friend’s closet in San Francisco.” I love saying that. And you know I think about boots ALL the time, so that was super telepathic.

3. Thrift stores. Why, oh why are clothes better at a thrift store than at a regular store? Is it just the price or the eco friendliness of it? It can’t be. Well, at a regular store you run the risk of getting what everyone else is getting right now. Thrift store items are called “finds” for a reason. They are unique and secret. Then, we have the vintage aspect. I rest my case.

4.  Homemade. I walk around dreaming about clothes I would wear if I had time to design and make them. One time, for my birthday I asked for childcare when the kids were little so I could just make myself a skirt and matching bag. It’s really fun! Also, there is a lot of love in it, you get to go to the FABRIC STORE, and it’s really fun. I know I said that twice.

5.  Sales.  Crazy sales. Sale on top of one day only half off sale at some store like Patagonia at the Santa Cruz outlet sale. Betsy Johnson way out in the desert special trip sale. Paris streets in August sale when no one else is there for competition sale. Oh, spontaneous day trip to Santa Barbara boot store closing down sale. The best are surprise sale at the cash register of just what you always wanted sale.

And on top of everything, look how eco-friendly this whole Clothes Story is. Think before consuming or throwing something away. There is no “away”, anyway. How about if you re-gifted something wonderful you got from someone else’s closet, that they got on sale, and that you just customized with some exquisite homemade touches.  That would be a real Clothes Story with chapters and everything.

On Laura: Moda dress& leggings, Italian scarf & boots, jacket by Salt and Pepper. On the boy: Homemade cape (fabric from Joanne’s Fabrics), jacket by Salt and Pepper

Photos of Laura by Aristotle.