Pamela Love Loves Vintage

ELISABET DAVIDSDOTTIR/COURTESY OF PAMELA LOVE

ELISABET DAVIDSDOTTIR/COURTESY OF PAMELA LOVE

Finding a great vintage item is like winning the lottery. It’s completely unique and special and has a life and a story behind it.” ~ Pamela Love

New York City jewelry designer Pamela Love says that she wouldn’t have become a designer if it hadn’t been for her early passion for vintage. It started with her grandmother’s vintage jewelry that was passed down to her, and eventually Love became a collector of vintage pieces herself. It’s the special details and the time and craftsmanship of the clothing that make a difference and allow the jewelry to pop. In this interview with Elle Magazine Love talks about working with the Shinola design team and finding the proper neutral palette to accentuate the jewelry and make the perfect statement.  It is refreshing to see jewelry taking center stage: “for me jewelry is so powerful; it’s not disposable, it’s not seasonal – it really becomes part of women’s lives.”

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Why I Love That One-of-a-Kind Look of Vintage

Optimized-P1050876When I found this dress, I knew I had found a treasure. Unlike anything I have seen this season; the subtle nuances, the draping, and the special touches in this Eva Franco dress remind me why I love shopping in consignment stores and vintage shops … for that one-of-a-kind look that you simply can’t find anywhere else! These days, when clothing starts to look like the same thing I see over and over,  I find myself wanting something all my own. I turn to consignment and vintage shopping to give me that unique edge that enables me to express my personal style. And I feel even better, knowing that I am also helping to preserve the planet.

Dress, Eva Franco; Shoes, Talbots. Photos by Abrina Hyatt

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Do I really have to shop for it?

My podcast returns! Photo credit, Patricia Saxton

Photo credit, Patricia Saxton

I really dislike shopping for clothes. Huh? You mean, you write about fashion and you don’t like to shop? Absolutely, don’t. like. to. shop. Department stores make me dizzy, the lights bring out my claustrophobia and I can’t see the clothes clearly after a while. In fact, I have developed an attitude of just get in, get out every time I go to a department store. Online shopping is easier but filled with uncertainty because you aren’t able to touch and feel and see the clothes until they show up at your door, and frankly – half of everything I purchase online has to go back. The most bearable way for me to shop is at consignment or vintage stores because that is less about feeling the anxiety and pressure to find something, and more about discovering new treasures. That is perhaps why I loved Loehmann’s so much; shopping there was more like a treasure-hunt. And there was something so wonderful about the large, dressing rooms filled with women encouraging you and supporting you. Everyone deserves to hear: “Honey, you should really buy that. It looks nice on you!” But sadly, the original Loehmann’s is gone and you know how I feel about the online version of Loehmann’s

No, I love how the right clothes make you feel and love expressing myself through clothes and color and texture, but I do not love to shop for them. And therein lies the problem. In fact, every time I need to buy something, I kind of break out in a sweat, and ask myself, ‘do I really have to shop for it?’

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Lauren Doesn’t Trash Vintage Shopping!

Lauren Singer, outside her favorite vintage shop in NYC: Beacon's Closet

Lauren Singer, outside her favorite vintage shop in NYC: Beacon’s Closet

When I first met and interviewed Lauren Singer, the creative force behind the Zero Waste movement Trash is for Tossers, I knew she was dedicated and committed. I knew she was enterprising. And I knew that Lauren was only 23 years old. What I didn’t know was the depth of her passion: on Wednesday, October 29, Lauren will launch her own clean-home products line, called The Simply Co. I knew that I had to get into her head and find out what makes this young phenom tick! That’s why I spent the best morning with my new friend, Lauren Singer, as we hung out and shopped at her favorite vintage shop in New York City, Beacon’s Closet. It was a wonderful reminder that we are all connected, no matter our age, no matter where we live, or where we are in our lives …

MKG: Lauren, you are only 23 years old! How did you discover such a deep-rooted passion for Zero Waste living? Was there a life-changing moment for you?

Lauren: I am a really sensitive person and I always have been; I am highly aware and my emotions hit me intensely. With all of the different experiences in my life, I am constantly learning and as I do, everything affects me deeply. I can’t not keep growing, and once I learn something, I can’t undo it. I have to keep moving forward.

MKG: I love when you say, “you can have strong ethics, live a sustainable life, be Zero Waste, and not sacrifice style. One of my favorite things ever is that when people meet me, they expect me to LOOK like I lived in the woods for 23 years!” That is brilliant, Lauren! How do you marry Zero Waste with style, and living in NYC?

Lauren: I am me first; Zero Waste second. I have always loved fashion and being stylish. Continue reading

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‘Just say no to fast fashion and other waste,’ says activist Lauren Singer

Lauren Singer

Lauren Singer

Lauren Singer is on a mission to eliminate as much waste as possible from her life. This is admirable in and of itself, but as you read this interview, remember one thing: Lauren is only 23 years old. Here is my interview with Lauren …

MKG: Lauren, you are so young to have such a lofty and serious mission. How and why did this become your purpose?

LaurenThank you! Before I became Zero Waste, I was an activist against the fossil fuel industry and particularly vocal against hydraulic fracturing, aka fracking, the process of extracting natural gas from shale formations that requires the use of millions of gallons of water, sand, and a mix of hazardous chemicals that are carcinogenic, endocrine disrupting, and all around polluting to the environment. For me, saving the planet meant yelling at big oil. In fact, there was a time when I truly wasn’t even thinking about my trash, or my own ecological footprint in a holistic way. I had believed that studying environmental science, caring a lot about the earth, and talking about how much I disliked the fossil fuel industry was enough. However, in my years of protesting, I had forgotten one crucial aspect of activism that is hugely influential: my power as a consumerContinue reading

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Quotes from fashion’s Tim Gunn

Tim Gunn

Tim Gunn  – Photo Credit: 303 Magazine

Style consultant and Project Runway mentor Tim Gunn is funny. Funny and honest and elegant and incredibly knowledgeable. As well as a terrific yarn-spinner and storyteller. Last winter when I heard him speak at an event I was touched to see that he is the same in person as he is on television – nothing hidden. It was refreshing. So it makes sense that his book, Tim Gunn’s Fashion Bible, is like him: honest and informative. I recommend the book if you are interested in knowing more about the history and origins of clothing as well as getting helpful information on how to modernize and wear clothes today. Tim Gunn loves words: I share some of his inspiring excerpts from the book …

You should never shop anywhere that doesn’t seem to have your interests at heart or that makes you feel bad. Shopping is always at least in part about gathering information. Salespeople should help you learn about yourself and what you like. It should not be an exercise in frustration or demoralization. Go someplace with knowledgeable salespeople.” Continue reading

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Shopping Day

Alexandra at 10:00 am - Her shopping day begins ...

Alexandra at 10:00 am – Her shopping day begins …

Costume designer, Alexandra, went shopping today. Her goal? Find accessories and costumes for the short film for which she is designing: Karaoke King. As a costume designer Alexandra is a storyteller and interestingly, she likes shopping for the characters but not necessarily for herself. She tells stories through costumes and accessories, never overlooking any detail. Sometimes the story is pretty, sometimes gritty and dark … and today? This story is about a former successful rocker who finds himself in a slump and singing karaoke. The clothing and the mood must be glam rock.

Because Alexandra lives and works in New York, the entire city becomes her shopping closet and she must be able to seek out the gems within the neighborhoods and the vintage shops of note; places like Goodwill in Harlem, where she can find a suit for $15, or the treasures in downtown Manhattan or Brooklyn. The turnaround time for this shopping excursion is quick; shopping today, filming over the weekend. Here is how it works: Continue reading

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Alexandra: Storyteller

Alexandra on-set

Alexandra on-set of the movie The Left Bank Bookseller, a film by Lisa Reznik

Being a costume designer is like going on a treasure hunt!” ~ Alexandra

Alexandra has my favorite job in the whole world and if I were starting out on my career path, I would want to do what she is doing: be a costume designer. She tells stories with clothes; sometimes the stories are pretty, sometimes gritty, but they are always about life and the way we live. We sat down today and talked about her adventurous life and her beautiful sense of curiosity ...

Tell me … what is it really like to be a costume designer?

Being a costume designer is different from being in fashion. It is telling stories about people, but it’s not all pretty and beautiful and high fashion stories. Sometimes you have to dress a homeless person or look at the darker side of life. Costume design can be overlooked but it is an essential part of the overall storytelling process and it is the little details that make the process successful. Continue reading

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