Country Road, Take Me Shopping

My friend Miranda is the young owner of The Yellow Button boutique in Harrisonburg, Virginia, my former college town. I interned with her a few summers ago, so I stopped by this past weekend while passing through to see how she was doing. I was pleasantly surprised to find that she was too swamped with customers to greet me right away. In the two years since opening, The Yellow Button has grown physically (the shop now extends into part of its former storeroom) and in popularity. Miranda carries a high/low mix of bohemian-chic pieces from well-known brands such as Free People, Frye and TOMS, as well as lesser-known brands such as the Korean line Thursday Island. (“They just don’t make larges!” she laughs, telling me about customer’s reactions to the South Korea-manufactured label’s diminutive size run.) On top of her retail prowess, Miranda has an eye for really cute furniture, much of it antique – we discussed the best locations to scout for new pieces and techniques for bringing new life to fun vintage finds. Her morning ritual of poring over design blogs is evident in the impressive refinishing she’s done with a lot of her pieces – something that’ll come in handy when decorating the new house she just purchased for herself! Once the food co-op opens, she says, she’ll be able to walk everywhere. (Yes, there’s a food co-op opening in Harrisonburg! Visit www.friendlycityfoodcoop.com for more information.) Hopefully once Miranda is all settled in, we’ll be able to see how she transforms her new digs! Until then, enjoy the pictures of her store.

Oh, look…a Kankan flyer…

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Girlfriends, Antiques & What I Wore

This weekend I headed back to my parent’s house so I could borrow their car to get to the bi-annual Girlfriends of Greenwood antiques sale. My mission: find a desk. My second mission: avoid buying almost everything else.

An old desk from UVa…only $142! Absolutely loved it – if only I didn’t live in a shoebox!

Faux-bamboo chairs…love me some Chinoiserie…
And then I found jewelry. (The title of my to-be-penned memoir?)
Debra of the store OneZee’s had a great selection of kitschy ’70’s items, a passion we both share with mutual friend Nora of Low Vintage. Debra and I quickly bonded over The Seventeen Book of Etiquette and Entertaining (or: the perfect guide to getting and keeping a man without shaming your friends and family!)

Um, this woman edited Seventeen at some point? And she was named Enid?
Also, there were scones!

I did indeed find a desk, or rather, an old vanity that I’ll be using as a desk. Trés glamorous, no? I won’t be unveiling it on the blog until I’m ready to before-and-after it, though! Plans are a-brewing…

Thanks to all of the ladies for allowing me to take these pictures and being amazing antiques show hostesses! In the course of two days I have somehow managed to misplace every business card I picked up, but if you have questions you can find at least a little more information at greenwoodcountrystore.com and covesvillestoreantiques.com.

UPDATE: I found the cards!
Caroline East at Willow Creek Antiques, 434-244-5860
OneZees at The Covesville Store, 434-295-9496 (email Debra at ONEZEES@embarqmail.com for more info!)

These Boots Were Made For God Knows What

While shooting Low Vintage last week I stumbled across this pair of ferocious boots. I can’t think of anything particularly enlightening to say about them, because if ever a picture were worth one thousand words, this is it. I love the Margiela-meets-Rick Owens style…and they’re just my size! (Although it should be noted that we weren’t sure if they were intended for men or women.) I may have to buy them just to keep around the house as a permanent “installation piece.” I’ll keep you updated!

UPDATE: Actually, they look like vintage cousins of these babies, as seen on STREETFSN.

This Is Charlottesville: The Space Formerly Known As Antics

For my second installment in the “This Is Charlottesville” series (see the first here!) I decided to focus on Low Vintage. In its previous incarnation the store was called Antics, but the recent move into new digs prompted a name change. Low is, “like an antiques mall,” says part-owner Nora Iforgottogetherlastname, in that the four separate vendors each sell their own wares. Unlike the way the store was previously organized, everything is now mixed together in an overflowing smorgasbord of vintage goodness. I love it.

Continue reading…

Stylish Under-armer: The Man Clutch

Ok, so this last photo is definitely not of a man, but it’s so freaking awesome.

My current obsession is the Man Clutch. It’s not always a clutch – as the pictures evidence it’s sometimes just a way of carrying a trimmer bag – but it is always my favorite thing ever for right now. Long-time readers know my bag collection to be an international affair – the Filson briefcase from NYC, the Steve Mono tote I bought at Seibu in Hong Kong, the vintage satchel I picked up at an outdoor market in Basel – and I love that every piece comes with a story. (Although, that being said, my favorite bag right now is a leather tote I picked up at Banana Republic thanks to my generous employee discount.) A clutch feels right for Spring, simply because I imagine a smaller bag you can carry without your arm getting tired is obviously light and easy, and goes better with shorts than a big bag you would hold with a gloved hand. Those clutches at Lanvin are last season now, but you can bet I’ll be keeping my eye out for those digitally-derived impostor python prints on my next trip to NYC in case someone’s consigned one of those babies. While I wait for that to happen, you’ll find me clutching my leather bag from Florence under my arm this spring (in a manner quite similar to picture three, as a matter of fact).

P.S. The vlog that “Seibu in Hong Kong” links to I filmed almost a year ago right after I got back from Hong Kong and it is…tragic. But fast forward a bit and you’ll see the Steve Mono bag in ALL THREE DIMENSIONS! You know, two-dimensionally.

P.P.S. Speaking of men’s style, this guy has as many pairs of shoes lying around his house as I do!

Images via Nam & Tommy Ton.

Three…Extremes

Any readers familiar with the Asian horror film the post title is from? Maybe fans of Rodarte? Or anyone who looked up their references for that collection

Well, regardless, there’s nothing horrifying about these three pairs of shoes and the only thing they have in common with The Grudge is that I love Sarah Michelle Gellar. But thats not how things in common works, so…check ’em out!

All three were purchased from Antics/Low Vintage here in Charlottesville, ironically on Valentine’s day (what can I say? I love myself! And I know my shoe size.)

The top pair is a monk strap boot by Stetson (the hat maker made shoes?) and in the middle we’ve got a nameless pair o’ penny loafers. The bottom pair are green Doc Martens from the 80’s and while they’re a bit chunky and could be seen as “oogly,” I like to think the bright color makes them more of a seasonal reference to Prada than anything else. All are in great condition (especially the boots…it’s like they’ve never been worn!) and I love them.

Blue Velvet

Sorry it’s been such a long time since my last update, I think the way I’m subconsciously looking at blogging right now is that this blog is my Jekyll blog and this blog is my Hyde blog. Two sides to every coin, I guess, and I’ve been updating my other coin side more frequently, so to speak…

This is the blue velvet blazer I bought back in Paris at Espace Kiliwatch! I had the arms taken in so they’d be a bit more flattering. The hat was my grandfather’s, and I got a compliment on it today!

There will be more photos coming soon, I swear! This blog isn’t going to die, it’s just sputtering a little for the moment :/

This Haus is Not a Home. It’s a Bookstore.

This is a bookshop called Domus Haus. I spent a few hours there yesterday, poring over design books (my fave is Turning Pages: editorial design for print media. w00t fanboy luv.) I also found my new favorite magazine at Domus, Apartamento, a worthy successor to my dearly departed Domino. The interior editorials are down-to-earth, and the photos are more inviting/flavorful than the stand-offish pages of, say, Elle Decor (barf). Apartamento = Domino – girlishness + The Selby x hipsteryness. It looks and feels like something Gert Jonkers and Jop Van Bennekom would endorse. In the stacks I also found Self-Service (plus back issues) and Purple, although I can’t afford either right now {do I want to?}(someone can – Purple’s Lindsay Lohan covered-issue was there when I first stopped in, and this time it was gone! I wonder if she’s a selling point in Switzerland?)

Tomorrow morning at 8am I head off to Geneva. Then Saturday I’m in Lausanne and some other French speaking towns. Fun! but also DIE. 8am = too early – morning person x agony. No posts for at least three days! Ahh! And I won’t have my computer?? END OF THE WORLD. This sums up how I feel about that (be sure to read the caption at the bottom for the full effect).

A Day Out in Bern, Switzerland

Bern means bear in German. Bern actually does have some bears too; they’re kept in a wide-open (but closed off) space by the river. I of course had to take a picture of the Chinese lantern in the market because every time I see anything Chinese now it’s like, “Hey, y’all! I was jist there!”

The bread shaped like a little man? He looks like this guy from Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas. And the guy in a black cloak on the ground? How much does he look like Yuababa’s twin sister in Spirited Away right before she transforms into a bird? (sorry, couldn’t find an image link for the uninitiated).

While walking around the market I found that ring, which looks really cool and was pretty old – guess how much it was? 300 Swiss francs (at this exchange rate, over 300 USD). Yikes.

Oh and yes, that statue is eating small children. If you want to know what these different places are, just let me know 🙂

Peace Out, Z-Town

1) I’ve never read those Dragon Tattoo Girl books, but that hard-looking chick with the red hair? That’s what I imagine a girl with a dragon tattoo looks like.
2) Switzerland has its own Subway mascot named, “SubWayne,” and he is definitely smoking a doobie in their advertisements.
3) They sell Magic cards in vending machines here. Sexy.
4) Hahaha, there is a chain of gyms here called, “Athleticum.” Yeah.
5) No worries, dad! I didn’t buy anything at either of the stores featured, I just make sure to visit stores when I’m in an area because I’m obsessed with design and retail. The first pics are from The Apartment Store. There’s a lot of A.P.C there, for interested parties, and they also have Aesop products. The second batch of store shots are from Making Things, Zürich’s answer to the Opening Ceremony/Colette store model. They had a lot of knits and rugged-outdoorsy-inspired pieces that cost more than a lumberjack makes in a year. There’s also a Salvation Army across the street.
6) And that’s an Alaïa. At Trois Pommes. Switzerland’s chain of high-end boutiques. Go to thems if you like touchin’ fancy things. And then awkwardly deflecting questions of, “What were you looking for?” and “Would you like to try that on?”