Skip to main content
The sidesaddle skirt

I've been thinking about the whole notion of "living authentically" lately. But not in a "to-thine-own-self-be-true" kind of way, which would be the wise direction. No. More of a hat-goes-with-the-shoes-which-goes-with-the-house-which-goes-with-the-sidesaddle kind of way.
After 20 years of living in Florida, I finally looked around and decided that, as a matter of fact, I don't give a shit about palm trees. I don't look good in Lilly Pulitzer. Or Patagonia. Or pants with little golf clubs embroidered all over them. I get seasick. I freckle. I just don't dig sand.
So I bought this farm in Kentucky last year.
And immediately started to think about style, of course.
Because of course there is "People of Wal-Mart," which, while jaw-droppingly hilarious, makes you think of that time you were fixing a toilet and you were just going to run down to Wal-Mart for this little, stupid but necessary emergency part, (and that, of course, was exactly the moment that your ex-boyfriend showed up at Wal-Mart and there you are: in a pair of fat-jeans cut-offs and wet toilet paper hanging onto the back of your rubber boots).  He was also embarrassed to be caught at Wal-Mart, embarrassed that his girlfriend saw the kinds of girls he used to date, and there was that silent agreement to forget the whole thing and pretend you were never there, but still. You can laugh all you want at "People of Walmart," but somewhere deep, deep down, know that you could be one of them.
You know you could.
So, I started the retail business (online and shows)--Hippik--with all the very groovy, horsey things that I love: custom-made sidesaddle habits with corsets hats, gloves, whips, boots, vintagey clothing and things, art, antiques, products for horse and rider. People have been saying it's Steampunk, but there's not much steam. Or time machines. Or underground cities. I was never much of a Jules Verne fan. It's more of an "Ag-punk" look: horses and carriages and falcons and peculiar, rare breeds of animals--more Dr. Doolittle than Phileas Fogg.
But it's hard to wear a corset in Florida.

And I think I could very well be the eccentric lady who drives a horse and carriage to her strange little shop in Shelbyville, Kentucky.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Change Your Tone!!

I know I have a "unique voice."
But I can count on one hand how many people I know who can stand listening to their own voice. (That is not saying there aren't those guys who seem to love talking just to hear the sound of their own voice; but if you literally played it back to them--they'd cringe and crawl under the sofa.)
When I was in the 3rd grade, I was chosen to be in some experimental speech/voice therapy at our school. They tried for many weeks to raise the pitch of my voice by having me go up and down the do-re-mi scales until I hit one that they thought sounded pleasing. I had a deep, true contralto voice somewhere a few notes below "do." With the sort of rasping, old-chain-smoker undertones of a freckled Billie Holiday. The experimenters settled on "fa." For 20 minutes three times a week, I got to leave Ms. Foster's third grade classroom and go to the convent living room where I would sing "do-re-mi-fa" and say and sing eve…

The Lost Designer of the 80's

Claude Barthelemy seems to have been one of those if-you-needed-to-ask-you-didn't-need-to-know designers. In the '80's, he was listed as a young, hot couturier alongside go-the-distance blue chips like Karl Lagerfeld and Lanvin with his oversized sweaters, minis, leggings and fur-trimmed stoles. Exclusive stores carried his soft-edged jackets to shoppers in the know.

And then what happened? His pleated skirts, intarsia sweaters, and naughty, zippered wool catsuits still fetch high prices in vintage world and any dealer with his elegantly simple, Gallic tag on her racks raises a flutter in second-hand seekers. He designed for Barbie, for heaven's sake! But the designer himself, who seems to have cut a meteoric swath across the runways and then...?

So what's the story with this wasp-waisted pleated skirt? I wondered what else this woman could have dropped off on her Goodwill drive-by--a Chanel original? A couture Pucci? Surely someone this linked in wouldn't just h…

5 "Thrift Store Find" DIY Craft Projects They Keep Showing, for Things You Haven't Been Able to Find at Thriftstores Since 1987.

Me love Pinterest.
I know it's all a big, fantastic lie, but like every other pretty magazine catering to our fantasies before it, it makes us feel like we can achieve the same, heavily worked-over, fantastically styled, filtered, and photo-shopped perfection in our own lives. And sometimes that's enough.

But as a professional builder of ridiculous, up-cycled things, and a veteran thrifter (I can show you the scars!), some of these Pinterest DIY are just a parade of despair, false promises and dashed hopes. There's no call for that.


1. Vintage Suitcase Crafts:

Not only is this type of vintage suitcase VERY rare at your garden variety thrift store, follow this link to see how much rather highly involved work went into it.


2. Stuff made with old "thrift store" silverware.


Here's what you'd hope to find:












Here's what you're most likely to find: Oh, this stainless steel crap will bend alright--most of it already has the scars of the church community cen…