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vintage

THE LOAFER COUP D’ETAT

SHOE CONFESSIONAL

Like Rosencrantz and Guildenstern….

The sneaker is dead. Like ding-dong dead! WTF?! Who says? I didn’t get the memo! They were a mere “blip” on the fashion coolness monitor for…like…ten seconds. News flash: they have flat-lined. Bummer! So what’s going to distract me from the insanity of the sneaker (hey, look…squirrel)? My feet still need some time to recuperate from the toe cleavage debacle of 2014 that left my digits looking like the bound foot of an Imperial Chinese concubine (thanks, Anna Wintour), so I’m not quite ready to let go of comfort right now. What will the style mavens and influencers bequeath upon us in return for this rash decision?!

THE LOAFER! Ah, yes! Invented by the Norse and made for the farmer. Comfort AND practicality. But this blue collar shoe is taking the couture industry by storm by golly: Gucci, Prada, and the likes are selling out of their versions like they’re going out of style (well…wait a second).  Since it’s a cousin to the brogue (and I have quite the brogue-mance going on with mine), I take the change in stride.

The loafer is back, and the sneaker is in trouble. Hey nah! Hey nah! The loafer is back!

Ugh! Does this mean I have to bury my sneakers in order to love the loafer? Not necessarily! I’m not over the sneaker just yet (still need to get me some Fierce Core Puma’s à la Rhianna and a vintage pair of Jeremy Scott Adidas)! I predict they will have a plot in the back of my closet (next to the gladiators) as I cavort with this new-found obsession.

Since the loafer has similar qualities to the brogue, I decide that I’m all in. They’re slightly masculine but built for the ever-so stylish woman. Hence: mannish. Versatile and comfortable to boot (a pun?). The style is right up my alley because I like to mix masculine and feminine; old and new; punk and classy…you get the point, right?! Well, they have grown on me by now, and I am giddy in love. So there! I said it. I professed my love of the loafer.

So, here are a few versions of the loafer that I’ve come to accept–reluctantly–over the sneaker. All of them are vintage in order to fit within my teacher budget, although I did have to arm wrestle Ye Olde Ceramic Pig for the Chanels.

 Loafer 6 Loafer 4 Loafer 7Loafer 5 Loafer 15 Loafer 16 Loafer 10 Loafer 9  Loafer 8 Loafer 17 Loafer 2 Loafer 14 Loafer 13 Loafer 12  Loafer 11 Loafer close up
 

A TALE OF TWO PRETTIES

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.

TOTP 4 TOTP 9 TOTP 8 TOTP 5

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

TOTP 12 TOTP 15 TOTP 13

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.

TOTP 23 TOTP 1 TOTP 22 TOTP 24

Slides

A HOP, SKIP, AND A JUMPSUIT!

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

THE GOSPELS ACCORDING TO KARL, COCO, CARRIE, AND ALEXIS

The Vintage Gospels

And SHE Said, “LET THERE BE FASHION!” And There Was Fashion

1:1 The Gospel According to Carrie:  I like my money right where I can see it…hanging in my closet.

Buying couture is an investment.  Just like buying art.  Over time, those runway pieces will be a staple in your vintage collection.  You can wear it every once in awhile and pass it down to your daughter or niece.  Carrie Bradshaw complained that she might as well be, “The woman who actually lived in her shoes” because she had procured so many Manolos and Jimmys instead of a retirement plan. These days, one can re-sell their couture online for a pretty reasonable price. Reincarnate to the vintage gods so you can re-stock your closet. There is always someone out there who is still obsessing (like me) over what they didn’t buy years ago. Let your closet be your 401K.

 

1:2 The Gospel According to Coco:  Elegance is refusal.

Refusing to dress like everyone else is the epitome of confidence and individuality. Coco Chanel paved her own road to style with her risky pantsuits. Her eponymous line defied the laws of style. Don’t let one trend or style define you. Mix the funky with the classic and the old with the new. My favorite is a stained pair of boyfriend jeans (literally, your man’s) with a punk t-shirt (Sex Pistols will do), white converse high tops, and a Chanel tweed jacket. The pièce de résistance: a classic pearl necklace. I have my mother’s white and black varieties from Japan. Chanel had a jewelry box full of them. Take risks and refuse to be part of the norm.

 

1:3 The Gospel According to Karl:  Black and white always looks modern, whatever that word means.

The term, “modern” is subjective. You can never go wrong with a classic black and white outfit as Lagerfeld states. But NEVER wear a vintage decade from head to toe (well, there are exceptions), unless you are actually going to a costume party. Let the vintage piece be your conversation. Mix modern with vintage, and you have something unusual. Stick with black and white, and you will always get it right!

 

1:4 The Gospel According to Alexis:  I love that outfit! I’m amazed that it lasted so many seasons!

We all know that Alexis Carrington (played brilliantly by Joan Collins) was one bad-ass bitch, right? Little did she know that the “outfit” would come back in ten to twenty years…with a vengeance. Okay, Alexis, we hear you. But vintage aficionados will shop your discarded items and wear them with pride. We have no shame. The outfit, Alexis, HAS lasted so many seasons. It’s called vintage, babe!

HOW TO GUCCI-FY YOUR WARDROBE

The Vintage Version

Gaga For Gucci: A Fashionista’s Guide to the Vintage Version…

Carrie Bradshaw famously quipped, “I like to see my money right where I can see it…hanging in my closet” (see vintage gospels). Well, get ready to make a deposit to your closet! Investing in any piece from Gucci’s spring/summer 2016 line is a win-win for any seasoned mode-nista.

Every time the spring and fall fashion shows hit the runway, I shift into high obsessive gear. I spend hours upon hours trawling the internet for the vintage couture counterparts. I started using Ebay once upon a time, but I didn’t like the anxiety that came with the territory. Losing a bid to some two-bit “joey” just didn’t sit well with me. I was losing sleep over this shitty system. Who thought of this? It doesn’t work for fashion neurotics like me (I sound like Veruca Salt..daddy I want it now)! Then a friend told me about Etsy. The fashion gods answered my prayers. This site strictly supports new artists and vintage aficionados alike. It’s instant gratification with one click of a button. Easy to buy. Easy to sell. No bidding. No bull.

Here are my top must haves and their vintage “fraternal” doppelgangers.

First Pic: Risaroxx Vintage Moschino embroidered suit.

Gucci Embroidered Etsy

Second Pic: Risaroxx Vintage chiffon striped maxi dress.

 Gucci Red Chiffon Etsy

Third Pic: Risaroxx Vintage blue midi-dress with Van Gogh tie.

Gucci Blue Etsy

 Gucci-fy 13 Gucci-fy 2 Gucci-fy 4 Gucci-fy 10 Gucci-fy 7 Gucci-fy 3 Gucci-fy 5  Gucci-fy 15Gucci-fy 11  Guccify 100  Guccify 64 Guccify 60 (1) Guccify 67 Guccify 68 Guccify 75  Guccify 76 Guccify 72 Guccify 45 Guccify 49 Guccify 53 Guccify 54 Guccify 52 Guccify 50 Guccify 42 Guccify 41 Guccify 40

VIVIENNE! VOUS ÊTES GÉNIAUX!

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 1stdibs.com. 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

THE BOOTS THAT LAUNCHED A THOUSAND QUIPS!

About Blog

These Boots Were Made For Balkin’….

In all their vintage glory and grandeur, these Tony Lamas garnered a lot of attention in my valley girl world. Not everyone appreciated them at first, but I was never one to mire in the mundane. I wanted to kick up my fashionable world a notch. Up a notch, I did! I knew it was a risk, but I didn’t care how others perceived me. If I learned anything from my idols, David Bowie and Vivienne Westwood, one’s persona was everything.

Clothing was a way to express myself as an individual. It was a way to define myself as anything, but normal. As expected…the neon-clad, acid wash in-crowd gave me the once over and commenced with their Zappa quips: “Like, oh my god! As if!” And get ready for it…”gag me with a spoon!” Bring it on, bitches! These skeptics were not ready for my badass boots!

In due time, I won my peers over with my quirky style and no-nonsense approach to vintage clothing. I was voted best dressed my senior year. Quite frankly, I was shocked. I didn’t think my style was for everyone, especially those who took notice.  Who the hell was I kidding? I was up against the Bloomingdales bred homecoming queen and her Contempo Casuals court. But alas, the votes spoke the truth. I had style. Go figure!

For all intents and purposes, my bags were packed and ready to go to the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York City right after high school. I had grand plans of studying the art of fashion in the city that never sleeps. I dreamed of stealing away most nights with my imaginary musician boyfriend at CBGB, hopefully catching a glimpse of Debra Harry, Patti Smith or Iggy Pop. If I was truly lucky–witnessing David Bowie ordering the ushe at the Smelly (aka Carnegie) Deli in mid-town Manhattan. A girl can dream, right?

Well, my mom had other plans for her 17 year old dreamer: a four year stint at a UC college. One closer to home. One they could realistically afford. One that was, according to her, grounded in “reality” (what?). They wanted a well-rounded education for me. An education that was not steeped in just the fashion world. Well, la-dee-fucking-da!

So off to the agricultural collegiate capital I went: University of California at Davis (go Aggies)! Don’t ask me why! I think my mom bribed me somehow. I didn’t go happily, but I found my creative niche regardless. I discovered they had an admirable art and design program, nonetheless.

I studied English, design, and art at UC Davis. I learned about the importance of color and print from Wayne Thiebaud, how to sculpt a multitude of mediums (including trash) from Lucy Puls, how to design and execute a centerpiece shrine out of pretzels and Cheez-Its from Dolph Gotelli, how to regurgitate Beowulf and other Norse texts without frustration (ugh!) from Marijane Osborn, and how to operate and control a John Deere tractor without maiming any jackrabbits from “insert-hick-name-here”.  I came out with a BA in English, a double minor in design and history, and a BS in…well…procrastination! Much to my parent’s chagrin, I followed the 7 year plan. But at the very least, one can say, I received a well-rounded education! My college experience gave me grit. It’s where my creative roots took hold, and I mastered my black belt in sarcasm and wit.

I went on to become a middle school history teacher (curve ball, right?), yet I am still able to maintain my sense of style and divine right to wear what makes me feel good in the workplace and community.

So here are the boots that started it all….

Hat and Boots Hat and Boots 5  Hat and Boots 4  Hat and Boots 3 Boots Psychedelic Boots 2 Psychedelic Boots 3  Psychedelic Boots 5 Psychedelic Boots 6 Psychedelic Boots and Star