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Look of the Week


HER STORY, Look of the Week

Ava’s Closet…

I stumbled upon Ava and her closet about a month ago. It was pure fate, my friends! I had taken a trip along the Monterey coast with my friend, Tamara, to escape my summer woes of watching the sand trickle down the hourglass until school was back in session (see post: Going Coastal). We both like to eat good food, indulge in the local spirits, and scour through antique stores. Tamara seeks out jewelry and I suss out the clothes. It’s in our veins. It’s how we roll.

We spent the last lazy Sunday of our mini-vaycay nursing two cups of coffee and scouring the Craigslist ads. We needed an estate sale fix, or the day was going to get ugly. We figured we were in the land of luxury, so why not see what Craigslist had to offer in the area. Our veins pulsed with excitement as we zeroed in on an ad with two simple, yet captive words: “vintage” and “Chanel”! Holy shit! The gods answered our prayers–we sprang into action!

An hour later, we walked into heaven! Chanel, Tiffany, and Dior…oh my!

Ava is a two-cuff kind of girl! Now, if you’re thinking what I’m thinking, “two cuffs are way more badass than just the one. No explanation needed, right?” But to hear Ava tell me why, kicked up my fashion world a notch. So I indulged her with my serious cuff inquisition. She replied matter-of-factly, “When you have two cuffs, Marisa, it’s like (holds her wrists in front of her face to form an X) it’s like…uh…hello…Wonder Woman! Duh!”

I knew at that very moment I was going to like Ava! Deep in my heart and soul exists a feeling that one cuff just doesn’t cut it. It’s not enough arm accessory to create a story or evoke conversation! Two cuffs are definitive! They make a clear statement! It’s, “I am woman, hear me roar!” And who wouldn’t want to transmit that to their style repertoire?!

The story behind Ava’s cuffs is unique and tell-tale. She used to own a pair of Guiseppe Zanotti shoes that were a staple in her wardrobe. She was attached to these babies. And, man, can I relate to that. To know Giuseppe Zanotti is to know you are getting two things: 1) a masterfully-crafted shoe and 2) plenty of high-end bling. Ava’s Guiseppes had two blinged-out phylum chordatas bestowed upon the straps–two fish-heads that were pieces of artwork to behold. So when the shoes went belly up, her mom took matters in to her own hands. She made a pair of cuffs out of the bejeweled bling and surprised Ava with them. Sex-in-the-city-worthy. Carrie couture for sure (although, Patricia Field has nothing on these)! Having been born and raised in New York City, herself, Ava’s mom knew exactly what she was doing! If only the cuffs could speak of their former spiritual life, they might say: “in our past life, we were a shoe!”

Ava’s fashion obsession came about by watching Bewitched when she was younger. To her, Samantha Evans’ style was polished and perfected. It encapsulated the girl-about-town. Endora was the bejeweled and beguiling mother who, even though she was older, showcased the funkier and more mysterious side of the 60s.  Both styles were appreciated by Ava, so it’s befitting that her favorite decade is none other than the 1960s. Her runner up decade would be the 1930s. Ava loves the bias-cut dresses and body-draping jewelry that was the antithesis of the decade that preceded it.

Ava grew up wanting more than what the mall stores, Contempo Casuals and Judy’s, had to offer (girl, I get you). She wanted to go where no other girl would go to find clothes–thrift stores and estate sales. The U.S.S Enterprise of the fashion world, it’s no wonder her friends called her a heat-seeking fashion missile. You could throw her in a room full of Goodwill rags, and she would unearth the one hidden treasure or gem that no one else recognized to be just that. Ah, a girl after my own heart!

So what is it that goads Ava’s heart? The same ol’, same ol’ Birken-Bag-toting-studded-Louboutin-clad celebrity. They are a dime a dozen. Nothing has changed in the aesthetic of Los Angeles style for years. Some designers keep putting out the same celebrity shit (cough, Hervé Léger). As long as the Kardashians are buying, everyone else is following suit. She doesn’t want to wear what the Kardashians are wearing (thank god)! Give Ava a Hermés Kelly Bag and some Roger Viviers to compliment her vintage dress, and she’s good to go.

Give Ava a copy of Vogue, and that’s another story!

Ava used to be a loyal subscriber to Vogue for as long as she can remember. She received all editions (French, British, German, etc.). When Anna Wintour decided to grace Kim Kardashian on the cover, Ava cancelled her subscription. What has become of the fashion world, when you put Kim on the cover? Is it about style? Or is it about celebrity, money, and the number of Twitter followers you garner? When money and social media dictates who is on the cover of magazines, the gig is up. Game over (cue the Pac-Man ending)!

Well, you might have guessed that Ava grew up in the greater Los Angeles area–Orange County to be exact. A sort of the stomping ground for stylists. But she came about her career quite by accident. Some of her friends had been modeling and asked for help with wardrobe. She lent her own unique clothes for their cause, of course. She began curating pieces for photo shoots, and it escalated into a full-time job as word got out. She ended up meeting her husband in her home town. He had been there for business. They embarked on a long-distance relationship for two years before getting married and settling down in Carmel, near the college where he works. They live in a quaint cottage near the beach where she has commenced a new journey.

Ava has retired her successful styling career for now. She has been promoted to the best job ever: mom and personal stylist to her son, Jack! She decided to open her closet to other vintage-minded fashionistas (like me) who will wear and appreciate some of her pieces as she has done in her life. She wants to focus on the practicality of motherhood (so, out with the over-the-knee YSLs and ostrich-feathered tunics) and cater to the needs of her son. No need for sympathy here, as she has spent many quality years with her wardrobe and has amazing memories to boot. Don’t get me wrong, we will never see Ava wearing “mom jeans” or “mom sweatshirts” anytime soon. No way. She is the epitome of a stunning and stylish mom. If I would hazard to guess, Ava will be ushering in a new generation of kick-ass moms as soon as Jack is old enough to walk! Mark my words, my friends!

If you are interested in anything from Ava’s amazing closet, please contact me. I will put you in touch with her! Please don’t miss out! She has some gems that are unlike anything I’ve seen in boutiques or online! One can only imagine!

Ava with bangs Ava with earrings


Look of the Week

That’s a-MUSE-ing!

Meet the new muses, Carsyn and Jessie! Like Calliope to Homer and Clio to Herodotus, these two sartorial sirens have been inspiring me for awhile.

Carsyn is H-I-L-A-R-I-O-U-S! There’s no doubt about it! She used to sashay up to my desk, Liza Minnelli style, and ask poignant questions about history. It would transpire something like this: “Miss Hare (kick-ball-change), how come (shimmie-sashay) President Lincoln (twirl-and-counter-twirl) said four-score and seven (high-kick) instead of eighty-seven (ta-da-with-jazz-hands)?” Always mesmerized by her positive energy and elicit goofiness, I would unabashedly answer back, Gene Kelly style: “Well, Carsyn (shuffle-step-chug), President Lincoln (heel-toe-flap-ball-change) wanted to give the audience (bombershay) a sense of time elapse (cramp-roll) in a manner that was eloquent (shuffle-ball-change) with a pinch of Je Ne Sais Quoi (ta-da-with-jazz-hands)!”

Carsyn was a student in my history classes for all three years of middle school. She was so confident in her pre-pubescent skin! She graduated from middle school just this past spring. Every day I looked forward to those dance moves. They got better and more elevated as she moved up the class ranks. By the 8th grade she was busting out moves à la Chorus Line while quoting excerpts from A Letter From Birmingham Jail. I let kids be themselves in the classroom. Why not?! If doing the “can-can” or “lindy hop” helps you learn or expend energy, then in the fine words of Captain Jean-Luc Picard: make it so!

Now that Carsyn has flown the coop to high school, I’m wondering who will take her place. She has a special place in my heart, this one. She encouraged me to start this blog–even coming up with my logo idea! She is super creative, smart, determined, and has a great head on her shoulders. She is a loyal to her friends and a natural leader to her peers. Lookout world, here she comes!

Carsyn’s friend, Jessie, has come up the elementary ranks with her. They’ve known each other since pre-school. I’ve had the pleasure to work with Jessie in ancient, medieval, and U.S. history. Whether we were spelunking in the Lascaux Cave; riding down the Nile river in our felucca; learning to pour ceremonial tea as a Samurai warrior; or launching water balloons on the Gettysburg battlefield amidst enemy lines, we were inspired to learn from each other. Yes, a teacher does learn a lot from her students in the time she spends with them. In my case, I get to spend three years with my students! Plus, there’s a class field trip we take in each grade to further our bonding. Yosemite in 6th for five days; Catalina Island for 7th for five days; and the East Coast in 8th for eight days.

I love to tell everyone that Jessie’s middle name is Rhiannon. She might kill me for saying that but anyone worth their salt in music knows where the name originates–Fleetwood Mac (Rhiannon rings like a bell through the night, and wouldn’t you love to love her). I hope she appreciates that later on in life because that name is everything!

Jessie makes math and history look “easy like Sunday morning.” She is the Queen-of-Kibosh and the Undertaker-of-Overkill.  No one can take a dozen selfies and squeak by unnoticed in Jessie’s world. It’s refreshing to know that a teenager knows the limits on selfies. If it were up to her, she would start a selfies-anonymous group. Sure, she would have her hands full. But she’s like Superman and a silver bullet: she’ll stop it before it takes innocent lives. Just say NO, man! Must. Not. Take. One. More. Selfie! Go, Jessie!

I thoroughly enjoyed my day hanging out with these two. I got schooled on make-up (as always); got caught up on the latest Jimmy Fallon lip-sync battles; learned the reason why Kat Von D ended her friendship with Jeffree Star (duh!); philosophized the brilliance of marabou feathered soccer slides and anything with pom poms; and questioned whether a grown-up should take sides in the Taylor Swift vs. Kim Kardashian Twitter debacle. Yeah. I’m too old for that shit! I’ll place my wagers in the upcoming presidential election!

One last salient topic we harangued about: body image. There is an excess amount of pressure to look a certain way in our society–especially since the advent of social media. Teenage girls are under the gun to buy into many of these perceptions about their bodies. Some healthy. Some not. I gained a little insight into their world about what it means to have a positive body image. The struggle is real–whether the individual girl experiences it or someone in their circle of friends. It gave me an idea to start a series called, “Body Talks”. To have a monthly round table discussion on body image with a variety of young girls and women, who can discuss their feelings and ideas openly in a safe environment. So stay tuned!

Photos #1-6

On Carsyn (left): Topshop pompom shorts and blouse; Risaroxx vintage wrap shirt (as jacket); vintage huarache shoes. On Jessie (right): Risaroxx Vintage 60s babydoll dress; Adidas sport slides.

Photos #7-20

On Carsyn: vintage Ana Sui button up blouse; black and white mini skirt w/ top; Risaroxx vintage metallic platforms. On Jessie: vintage Kate Spade ascot blouse; Risaroxx vintage denim skirt and crop top; Tory Burch flats.



Look of the Week

Coachella Cray-Cray…

Another festival season flew by like Randle McMurphy flew over the cuckoos nest. If I see another romper-clad; fringe-duster; rose crown; gladiator-sporting gypsy, with Starbucks in hand–I’m going to stab myself in the eye with a stiletto!

Don’t get me wrong, I loved the festival getup when it first came out to commemorate Coachella. It was fresh, young, hip, and it definitely reminded me of the Woodstock days–the Godfather of all festivals. You can’t go wrong with a little fringe here and there. In fact, I possessed several fringed dusters that I wore the hell out of with my Doc Marten boots back in the day. It’s what a bitch needed to take down dudes in the mosh pit. We’re talkin’ the early days when Red Hot Chili Peppers, Beastie Boys, and Iggy and the Stooges headlined Coachella. I would crawl on my friend’s back and hook my arms around her neck. She swung me around like a rag doll–my fringe flying–my boots making contact with kneecaps. It was some serious shit. We’d stumble out of the pit with bruises and bloody noses, and we called it good times! We took our festival celebrations seriously!

Then festival wear got it’s own season for crikes sake. Year after year, we saw the same thing hit the grassy fields in Indio, CA: fringe, fringe, and more fringe. It was a fucking fringe fest. Then the trend spilled over into the regular spring and summer seasons. What was once purveyed by Free People and vintage stores only, was now available to every girl in the world via Forever 21 and Target. When Target came out with it’s own boho festival line, I knew I had to take drastic measures. That’s when I ditched my beloved festival wear at the local Crossroads Trading Company and ran straight for the hills. The fork was stuck in me. I was done. I then called a family emergency meeting with my sister and put the kibosh on all festival wear.

If festival season is all about wearing styles that are comfortable, cool, and music-friendly, I’d like to see something change for next season. Even though I liked what Kendall Jenner wore this year, it was predictable (the Dylanlex necklace was stunning, though).

I LOVED the dress that Natalie Joos sported (she danced so hard, her dress fell apart). It appeared to be an antique Victorian dress that was shortened. Maybe? Maybe not, but it was refreshing to see her wear vintage, nonetheless!

Well, as we head in to America’s biggest festival day of all–the 4th of July–may we all find our inner festival chicness. Something that is cool, comfortable, firework-friendly, patriotic, and definitely UNIQUE! Let’s try to leave the fringe at home, or at least save them for the shoes!

All items pictured will be available on site soon! Yes, they can be worn to a festival!

First outfit:

On Carsyn (left): Risaroxx Vintage Red, white, blue shirt; Risaroxx vintage Krizia white denim skirt; shoes Zara. On Niky (right): Chloe lace inset blouse; Risaroxx Vintage tennis skirt; slides Sam Edelman.

Second outfit:

On Carsyn: Risaroxx Vintage Diane Freis blouse; Risaroxx vintage tennis skirt; J Crew slides. On Niky: Rena Lange ruffle sleeve blouse; Risaroxx Vintage fruit skirt; slides Sam Edelman.



Look of the Week

Trippy Trumps Kitschy…

The two pretties are back to invade my closet. They’re here for another vintage fix. They say they want something different this time. I’m too lazy to tackle the ugly maze that is my warehouse. It’s too big a chore to go on an unscheduled visit. I have to prepare myself way in advance for these things. So I open my closet.

I’m thinking atomic space age, but nothing of that nature is stored in my closet at the moment. Instead of space age, which would fit their description of different, I settle on psychedelic and hippie. My closet runneth over with 70s chiffon and ethnic gauzy jumpsuits because I’m obsessed with Talitha Getty and Stevie Nicks. The sirens will have to settle for trippy instead of kitschy.

To get myself in the mood, I appropriately cue This Mortal Coil’s Song To the Siren on my iTunes playlist. As Elizabeth Fraser’s (of Cocteau Twins) voice reverberates up my spine and lodges a Gibraltar size lump in the back of my throat, thoughts of my recent loss fill my head. My mind ponders the lyrics as Fraser leads me to what could be inevitable despair, but the two pretties bust open my door and prance inanely around the room to the songstress’ doleful wail. Ah, the innocence of youth! I don’t have time to despair! Fuck it!

Grace and Emily have never heard of the Cocteau Twins. They’ve never heard of Sinead O’Connor. They’ve never heard of My Bloody Valentine, Lush, Pixies, or Yo La Tengo either. They’re Beliebers, so time for a lesson on music. They’re into my clothes, so why not baptize them into my music.

Music lecture 101 over, the girls don the vintage attire I’ve curated for them. We change the music to fit the fashion mood. Enter 60s and 70s French pop. I cue the playlist and out belts Serge Gainsbourg with, MelodySince I am in love with this man’s voice, I determine that I am, indeed, in love with the man himself. It’s hard not to be. Hello, Jane Birkin–style goddess of the 60s and 70s!

I’m obsessed with the French’s approach to pop music. It’s all about their colorful and hypnotic language. Duh! You can say anything in French and it’s a done deal. Hook, line, and sinker. Listen to Johnny Hallyday’s, Hey Joe (yes–French Hendrix), and you’ll see what I mean! Très bien–it’s genius!

On Grace: Risaroxx Vintage psychedelic jumpsuit late 60s; Slippers: Risaroxx Vintage late 60s worn as mules or slides. On Emily: Risaroxx Vintage Phool jumpsuit 70s; Platforms: Lanvin (sold a kidney for these).

Song Siren 24   
         Song Siren 31 Song Siren 30 Song Siren 32 Song Siren 33 Song Siren 18 Song Siren 17 Song Siren 16 Song Siren 23 Song Siren 36 Song Siren 21 Song Siren 28 Song Siren 27 Song Siren 26 Song Siren 25

On Grace: Risaroxx Vintage Young Edwardian dress 60s/70s; Sneakers: Vans Old Skool. On Emily: Risaroxx Vintage psychedelic dress 60s/70s (tailored short); Sneakers: Vans Old Skool.

Song Siren 11 Song Siren 12 Song Siren 6 Song Siren 5 Song Siren 7  Song Siren 2Song Siren 13 Song Siren 14 Song Siren 4 Song Siren 3

 Song Siren 10 Song Siren 1 Song Siren 8

I know my advice is to never align oneself to one trend or style era (VG 1:3), but I’m obsessed with all things 60s and 70s. If it looks like something Talitha Getty, Stevie Nicks, Bianca Jagger, or Anita Pallenberg would have worn, I’m all over it!

In the end, wear whatever makes you feel good in the moment! To thine own self be true!



Look of the Week

A Modenista’s Two Basic Needs: Caffeine and Couture….

Major Dickinson and I have been having an illustrious affair for over 25 years. I discovered him on the street corner of Vine and Walnut in Berkeley while I was vintage clothes shopping. He was dark, rich, and smelled aromatically divine. I’ve come to the conclusion that I cannot live without him, but I’m pretty sure he can function without me. No matter, I’m still loyal. It takes Major Dick, as I like to call him, to get me up out of bed and my creative juices flowing. In fact, I concocted this entire post whilst consuming Major Dick on my way to work.

Hallelujah to Peet’s Coffee for breeding my love, Major Dickinson. A big shout-out to the Ethiopians for starting this wonderful thing called coffee. And let’s not forget the Columbians for putting Folgers on every shelf in middle America, including my parents’! I am shlump toast without it.

I used to travel 30 minutes out of my way to hit Peet’s before work. Los Gatos was the only Peet’s Coffee joint in the South Bay Area, so one can imagine how important it was to my daily life. In fact, the first twin tower in New York City was hit when I was on my way to Peet’s that morning. The second was hit when I reached my destination. I shared my thoughts and feelings, first and foremost, with my Peet’s comrades as the events unfolded and our emotions further bonded us beyond our weird coffee obsession.

My love affair with Major Dick led me to the dress pictured in this post! There was a small hole-in-the-wall store a few paces down from Peet’s Coffee in Berkeley. A Nan Kemper-ish woman, with two calico cats living in the store, used to sit elegantly in her tapestry chair, smoking a cigar and sipping Major Dick. Ah, the smell of cat piss and coffee in the morning. As much as I love Major Dick, I love a good Cuban as well. There is something about the aroma, grainy texture, and sweet taste a Cohiba leaves in one’s mouth–it’s a bizarre guilty pleasure.

I would try to engage this woman in conversation as she clenched her Cuban and perused the paper. She would ignore me and grunt every once in awhile. After visiting her store a dozen times, I would take those grunts as positive sign that she approved of my taste. Letting me walk away with a purchase was another story. Her store was a treasure trove of beautiful and awe-inspiring things. A virtual wasteland of her past, I imagined these things held the sultry secrets to her life. It’s no wonder she didn’t want to let go. I completely understand now where she was coming from, as I will inevitably be that woman one day. She let me walk away with one divine purchase: a chiffon dress with gold flowers weaved into the fabric. It reminds me of Oscar De La Renta (a man clearly worth writing about as his retrospective is storming the museums all over the world).

So I left this woman to her cigar and coffee and wandered out onto Vine street to discover more about what the day had to offer. Thank you, Major Dick, for leading me to this store…and to this dress! What would I do without you?!

The chiffon dress was purchased at the above mentioned store many years ago. I think the cigar lady has since passed because the shop no longer exists. Where her treasures went? I don’t know. Hopefully not into the abyss.

Dress: Risaroxx Vintage maxi dress; shoes: Risaroxx Vintage brocade bow slides; T-shirt is my own.

Lady Doth Protest 12 will work for coffee 3 will work for coffee 11 will work for coffee 10 will work for coffee 9 will work for coffee 6 will work for coffee 8


Look of the Week

A Song To The Sartorial Sirens….

They are the best of friends and never the worst of friends. My niece, Grace (left), and small faction of her elite geek squad, BFF…Emily (right), looking ever so fan-tab-u-lous! Ushering in a new generation of vintage enthusiasts, they are a far cry from Dickens’ Victorian England. They embody the future of the vintage fashion industry with their fresh and fun perspective on life. And life is one big festival right now!

Grace is my favorite person in the whole world! She is an old soul and wise beyond her years. She will inherit my vintage collection one day when I can’t walk in high heels and flats are out of season. I started her young when she was in diapers. She used to pull hats out of my closet and pose in the mirror with her buddy, Elmo, dangling by her side. One day she came swaggering out of my room with a marabou jacket hanging to her ankles and bangles piled high on her chubby arms. She sucked fervently on her binky before uncorking…..and with a quixotic expression…claimed, “Dis look good on Gacey!” I knew from that moment on, my empire was in good hands.Displaying FullSizeRender.jpg

Most of these looks were curated from my own private collection. When I travel, I suss out the vintage clothing boutiques and local flea markets. My go to place for vintage online is Etsy! It’s my home away from home. I think I have part-ownership in this site by now!

On Grace: Risaroxx Vintage 70s embroidered silk maxi dress; Adidas self-designed sneakers. On Emily: Risaroxx Vintage 60s silk dress; Converse sneakers.


On Grace: Risaroxx Vintage 70s black and white chiffon dress. On Emily: Risaroxx Vintage embellished Malcolm Starr dress.


On Grace: Risaroxx Vintage disco-era slinky jersey dress with marabou trim (So Grace Jones!); Sam Edelman slides. On Emily: Risaroxx Vintage 70s ethnic beaded maxi dress. Risaroxx Vintage jewel-encrusted Oscar De La Renta slides.




Look of the Week

Taking The Streets In The Ubiquitous Jumpsuit…

Ahhh, the jumpsuit! Not quite a pair of pants, not quite a shirt. Convenient and cute. One has to be careful with vintage jumpsuits, though. Two words: camel toe. Ouch! Not a good look for the fashionistas, right? We don’t have the feathered hair and perky bra-less tits to take our attention away from the cavernous split in our crotch. Gawd knows why we put up with it years ago. Doctors must have had the market cornered on yeast infections! Let’s not forget about the lack of “breathable” natural fiber underwear available during the jumpsuit heyday. What we put up with for fashion! And don’t get me started on men’s ultra tight high-waisted denim that forced them to do “the side penis part”. Look at Gregg Rolie on Journey’s Infinity album, and you’ll see what I mean. But, I digress.

Remember the denim jumpsuit made famous by J.Lo in the late 90s? It was stylish, unique, and had that vintage flair. I was smitten. It had my name written all over it. If my ass could look as good as J.Lo’s, then I was all in.

Excited for a test drive, I sauntered into a local boutique to try on the “sleeveless” variety. Thinking that camel toe was a thing of the past, I eagerly thrust my torso and arms into the right holes. I stood up straight, and KABLAM! Camel toe! The Moses of all jumpsuits had parted my red sea (yes, I am a true redhead)! Ugh! My lips be damned to purgatory if I didn’t get this thing off me! I couldn’t reach the armholes because it was too tight, and I had no “sleeve” fabric to pull on. I panicked. I tried to use the force of gravity to shimmy out of it. I jumped up and down and shook my body like I was the queen of the Harlem shake.

I ripped the garment from crotch to crack. Shit! What do I do? The score: jumpsuit….one….me….zero. I tried to get the hook in the dressing room to latch on to the back neckline. I figured the geometric shape and the force of my pull would bring it right down. Rip! Another point for the jumpsuit. Feeling defeated, I poked my flushed face out of the dressing room, and I’ll be goddamned if the saleswoman didn’t say, “Are you stuck?” Suh-weet mother of Gawd, this has happened to someone else. WTF? Why didn’t she warn me?

Needless to say, I went home sans J.Lo’s jumpsuit. I had lost two pounds and my dignity. Who loses to a fucking jumpsuit?

On me: Risaroxx Vintage jumpsuit; sneakers: Adidas; Risaroxx Vintage Mary Frances cassette purse.

New Jumpsuit 1 New Jumpuit 2

Hip Hop Jumpsuit 9 Hip Hop Jumpsuit 12
Hip Hop Jumpsuit 17
Hip Hop Jumpsuit 5 Hip Hop Jumpsuit 15
Hip Hop Jumpsuit 6 Hip Hop Jumpsuit 7

Hip Hop Jumpsuit 13

Hip Hop Jumpsuit Star Pendant Hip Hop Jumpsuit Purse


Look of the Week

Throwing The Gaunlet Down at the Fashion World….

Punk rock empresario and London Sex Shop goddess, Dame Vivienne Westwood has long been a hero of mine. The famous “Anarchy in the U.K.” shirt (among other things) will forever be ingrained in my pre-pubescent brain. When my mom took my siblings and me to London in the late 70s, I was twelve going on thirteen and had long been suffering from too much disco in my life. I couldn’t stomach the sequins and polyester anymore. I needed a new fashion fix. Enter punk rock.

Vivienne started her career by throwing the proverbial middle finger to the peace and love culture with her provocative style and fuck you sensibility. Unbeknownst to me, she had been doing this for years. What was a pre-pubescent teen to do in this kind of predicament? Jump the fuck in, of course! Goodbye Studio 54.

Not surprisingly, my imperturbable mom forbade me to walk into the Kings Road shop, now appropriately named Seditionaries. And she had good reason: a t-shirt with an image of two mens’ non-flaccid wankers reaching out like God and Adam’s erect fingers on the Sistine Chapel dazzled the storefront window. It lured me in like a fat kid to the cake buffet. This was not the impression my mom wanted her twelve year old daughter to take away from her London vacation. But this was all part of my plan to have the world instruct me in all matters pertaining to my sex education. A baptism of fire, if you will. Mick Jagger, Iggy Pop, Ziggy Stardust and my dad’s not-so-secret stash of Penthouse magazines were all part of the village that taught me a thing or two about voyeurism and sex. So, I wasn’t shocked, I was intrigued.

Westwood, with her colorful partner, Malcolm McClaren, had thrown the gauntlet down to the fashion industry yet again. This time, disco was bitch-slapped with their wittingly and politically charged creations of ripped and stained tee shirts.  Worn by punk rock pariahs and scorned by the established few, they cornered the market on confrontation and defiance.

This spoke volumes to my middle-class American upbringing. Coincidentally, while we were visiting, the establishment-backed BBC had refused any airplay time to McClaren’s band, The Sex Pistols. Their insubordinate antics were too risky for the conservative kind. This just added fuel to the fire of their counter-culture following.

By the end of my London vacation, the peak of punk rock reached it’s climax; my undying admiration for Westwood as my goddess and guru took a leap of faith; and the beginning of my two year courtship with provocation took hold! Sorry Mom, but you had no chance!

For a mere $38,000 (and I do mean mere because it’s a steal in my opinion), you can own a part of fashion history. Dame Vivienne’s, Sex Shop Venus Shirt, is being offered on It’s a genius piece of iconic art.

Fashion is art! And art always appreciates! So this, my friends, is priceless!

Vivienne 3 Vivienne 1 Vivienne 4 Vivienne 5 Vivienne Buttons Vivienne Toe Shoes