Travel Wear for a Trip to Australia

k150_28Stiletto_City_heel_iconSZDThere’s nothing like a trip halfway around the world to feel like a true getaway. I recently returned from my honeymoon (see wedding fashion news HERE) in the land down under. We took the very long flight to Sydney, Australia, which we found to be beautiful, clean and safe. There was so much to do, it kept us busy day and night. We got almost a daily eyeful of the stunning views of the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge as we ferried to different areas to explore. We could not have been luckier with the weather, though it was wintertime there, it didn’t get too cold – a refreshing 60 degrees during the day and clear blue skies. I did need to buy a few warm clothes for nighttime when it got down to the 40s and that’s nippy when you’re from LA and out walking around seeing the sights!

OOTD travel wear

We stayed in a hotel right along the appropriately named Darling Harbor, surrounded by sparkling water. We happened to be there the week of the Vivid Festival, a week-long, citywide celebration of arts and lights. We caught some of the light shows along the harbor and went to events for the Clipped Music Festival, the first festival dedicated to the art of music videos. The event took place at the multi-use space, The Works, where cheerful staff members served up coffee and snacks on the main floor. Upstairs was a theater space and lounge where you could see music videos on the big screen. By day, the top-level offices buzz with activity from resident production companies. The location was along Glebe, which is an increasingly trendy area of cafes and shops with a boho feel and an awesome Saturday market.

Clipped Music Video Festival
Clipped Music Festival
The Works in Glebe
The Works in Glebe

I had one main mission on my trip to Australia, and that was to meet a Koala. Unfortunately, I learned that petting or hugging Koalas is now forbidden due to the fact that they can spread some contagious nasties, and it actually really stresses them out. (OK, I guess I’ll just look at them.) But we went out to the Koala Park Sanctuary where you can get really, really close and they are absolutely adorable.

Koala Sanctuary, Sydney Australia

While there, we did get to pet and feed kangaroos, which was just as exciting. The venue has an enclosed kangaroo yard space and you just walk in. The roos will come right up to you looking for a treat (which you can purchase at the entrance.) I was hesitant at first, putting a little bit of the dried grass snack in my hand. But my new friend just nibbled it right out of my palm and licked my fingers. Then looked at me with big brown eyes and funny little buckteeth for more. After I let him eat a bit I got up the nerve to pet him and found, much like my cat, he loved a good chin and neck scratching!

We also visited the famous Taronga Zoo to see even more animals and take in the amazing views from up on the hills that serve as a backdrop for the giraffes (my favorites!) and the cable car ride from the box office to the ferry.

Toronga Zoo

I managed to get in a little shopping while I was there, picking up some souvenirs at the market at The Rocks, some vintage earrings in Newtown (which is the equivalent to LA’s Silver Lake in terms of underground hipster vibe), an awesome  furry black jacket in Chinatown’s Market City, and a fantastic hot pink, long, wool coat for ten bucks at the Glebe Market.

While we were in Chinatown we also stopped for some authentic Chinese cuisine and picked up some sweet buns that were so good I’m still thinking about them!

Sydney Chinatown

Whenever I travel, I always check out the local vintage shops. I didn’t find too much vintage I liked in Sydney, most carried a lot of denim and boots and items from the ’80s and ’90s. One store I liked was Zoo Vintage Emporium in Surry Hills, which had great stuff from earlier eras.

Vintage Zoo, Sydney Australia

On our last night, we went for drinks with some friends we met around town at Frankie’s Pizza By the Slice, a great rock ‘n’ roll dive bar that reminded me of CBGB’s with posters and stickers covering the walls. We took over the intimate basement bar while rock ‘n’ roll karaoke took place in the main room upstairs with people getting up to sing with the house band. It was a great send off from a city we fell in love with.

Melbourne

Our next stop was Melbourne for a short stay with friends. Melbourne is a bustling urban city, packed with people with lots of little “Laneways” off the main streets for shopping and cafes. It made it particularly difficult to find what would turn out to be my favorite vintage store on the trip, RetroStar Clothing, which is off busy Swanston street and up on the third floor of a little arcade of shops. The place was big and full of clothes from the ‘40s to the ‘80s. I was in heaven! I wish I had more time to shop there. I did make out like a bandit in the trendy Fitzroy area and discovered my favorite store in the city, Dangerfield, that had ultra cute, slightly retro alternative styles. They were having a sale and I scored some warm plaid pants, guitar print socks, and boho floppy hat.

Melbourne Shopping

We were not as lucky with the weather on our last couple of days, which was cold and rainy so we headed for indoor entertainment at the museums.

We checked out the Martin Scorsese exhibit at The Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI), a really nice facility dedicated to film. The exhibits had clips and behind the scenes info on all of Scorsese’s films and memorabilia including handwritten storyboards and costumes.

Next door at the National Gallery of Victoria, I went to see 200 years of Australian Fashion, a lengthy exhibit tracing fashion trends through the decades. Of course being from the States, I didn’t know many of the designers but it was a treat to discover them.

Melbourne 200 Years of Australian Fashion

And that did it for us in the land down under. Totally worth the 15-hour flight to get there!

What I Wore

I like to travel light when it comes to clothes. (My beauty products usually take up most of the room in my suitcase!) I tend to go with things that can be mixed and matched to create different looks. I also bring a bagful of colorful vintage scarves that can worn in my hair or around my neck to change the look of an outfit. And I leave home a lot of accessories so I can buy more on my trip , which make for fabulous souvenirs! Here I’m wearing some skinny jeans with a cute print, a Ramones tee, a leopard print scarf I picked up at one of the markets and a faux fur jacket I got in Chinatown. I also brought the pink overcoat you see in the above photos, a light sweater, a heavier sweater, a pencil skirt and some other tees and scarves.

OOTD Glebe  

What to Wear: Travel Clothes

For the most part, just bringing layers is a good bet so you can add or remove as needed. The key to layers is to add interest by combining textures and patterns. As long as they are in the same color family, your look will be coordinated. If you’re traveling in winter, I like to bring base layers, which are thin leggings and tops from outdoor wear companies like Patagonia or North Face, so I can throw them on under my outfits when it gets really chilly and they don’t add bulk to me or my suitcase.

Pack a few of your favorite graphic tees like this Wonder Woman tank and a basic black pencil skirt that goes with everything and can be dressed up or down. Bring a light cardigan sweater like this one with a fun print to add texture. Top it with a colorful scarf around your neck or in your hair. Don’t forget comfortable walking shoes like these low-heeled oxfords and a satchel bag big enough to carry all you will need for a day of sightseeing. Make sure it has good closure because some tourist areas can have pickpockets! Click the links to shop* this look!

Travel Look

Thanks Australia, hope to see you again!
Kastle

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Hot Summer Style at the Grand Central Market

k150_28Stiletto_City_heel_iconSZDPeople bustle through packed aisle ways, bright neon lights beckon, and the smells of spices, meats and coffee beans tempt your taste buds. A stroll through downtown LA’S Grand Central Market is not only a cornucopia of new taste sensations but a window into the history of the City of Angels.

Grand Central Market opened in 1917 on the ground floor of the Homer Laughlin Building in what is now considered the historic core of downtown. It was a place for local residents in the Victorian mansions on the hill to go for their groceries in the open air arcade. The market runs through the entire floor and has entrances on both Broadway and Hill Street.

Downtown LA Grand Central Market

When I worked as an editor at the LA Times a few years ago, I often had my lunch in the market, or just passed through it for some eye candy on my way to the charming (now closed) Angel’s Flight Railway to catch a lift to the California Plaza.

Back then the Market had an international feel with an abundance of exotic foods and the ingredients to prepare them. Small business delis, butchers and produce vendors also made up the Market.  Today it feels a little more gentrified with trendy stalls such as Press Brothers Juicery, G&B Coffee and EggSlut, which has a perpetual line wrapped around it. But it’s no less interesting with the variety of choices and plenty of people watching.

Downtown LA Grand Central Market

The grounds also hold events such as movie screenings, live music, book readings, cultural lectures, even drag queen bingo nights!

Just as Los Angeles changes with the ebb and flow of the economy and people coming and going, so does Grand Central Market. Whatever you fancy from Asian fare to German sausage, to just some fresh fruit or a cup of joe can be found here. The Grand Central Market is an LA institution not to be missed for a slice of authentic city history.

What I Wore

During the hot summer months in Southern California, the air feels like a hair dryer and it’s hard to keep your cool. A breezy, light, sundress is the only way to go such as this salmon spaghetti strap number that’s one of my faves. I pulled my hair back with a retro inspired, martini-print scarf and added some vintage coral-colored earrings and cuff bracelet featuring iconic movie starlets.

Summer Style

summer style accessories

What to Wear: Hot Summer Style

When the weather heats up, stay on the bright side with pastel striped, full skirt, sundress. A cheery yellow head scarf keeps hair pulled back on sticky days, pink heeled sandals adds a touch of sweetness while a cuff bracelet grounds the look with a bit of boldness. Click the links to shop* this look.

Summer Style

Grand Central Market is located at 317 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90013

Hot, hot, hot,
Kastle

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Lady in Red at Casa Vega

k150_28Stiletto_City_heel_iconSZDIn the dim lighting that picks up the rosy hue of red leather booths, red tablecloths, and brick walls, everyone looks a little bit more attractive as they sit down for some traditional Mexican fare at Casa Vega. It also provides a discreetly private atmosphere for the many celebrities who frequent this restaurant that has been serving the stars and the locals since 1956. Arched doorways of traditional Spanish architecture usher you into rooms lined with Mexican paintings and tables overflowing with sizzling plates of food. The bar near the front is bustling serving a large variety of jumbo-sized signature drinks, which goes down great with hearty serving of hand-chopped guacamole and chips or a full-on plate of enchiladas.

Casa Vega

Casa Vega has been a family-run fixture on the corner of movie studio adjacent Sherman Oaks, which might be why one of their first customers was actress Jane Fonda. George Clooney was known to bring his dates there, and celebrities continue to stream into the relaxed supper club setting. It was also the perfect place to meet a gal pal for cocktails and girl talk like I did the other night.

Casa Vega

What I Wore

When I think of Casa Vega, I always think of the red glow of the interior and the restaurant’s logo, so a red vintage dress was in order for the night. This sharkskin dress is one of my favorites because of the deep red hue streaked with black, and the sheen of the fabric. I always like to give it a touch of rock ‘n’ roll with a studded black leather belt, a gun metal silver vintage reproduction purse, and some spiky stilettos. I let my hair go wild after a dose of steam rollers, and did a simple sideswept pinup do.

OOTD red dress look

What To Wear

Be the lady in red with this charming, short sleeve, wiggle dress paired with a matching red handbag and deceptively sexy white mary jane stilettos. Click the links to shop* this look!

red dress look

Casa Vega is located at 13301 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423

Adios!
Kastle

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Summer Looks on the Pier with the Psychedelic Furs

k150_28Stiletto_City_heel_iconSZDSummertime calls for spending time on the beach. While this city girl doesn’t go frolic in the sand too often, despite my close proximity to the coast, I did feel the need to put on a cool summer look and go for a concert on the Santa Monica Pier when I heard the Psychedelic Furs were playing.

The Santa Monica Pier opened in 1909 and has had various incarnations following the Great Depression and multiple natural disasters. It was rebuilt into the grand amusement park of today in the 1980s. The attractions include a Ferris wheel, the original carousel hippodrome from the 1920s, an aquarium as well as shops, restaurants, and bars. People can be found fishing from the west end of the pier, and the walkway is often lined with performance artists hoping for their big break, or at least some tips.

SM Pier 4

The Pier has always been a great stage for entertainment and Twilight Concerts began a few years ago as a way to see some big name acts on the gorgeous coastal setting. For my show, it was an extremely hot summer day in LA, but down by the beach, it was comfortably in the 70’s. The parking situation around the Pier is a bit crazy so we parked a few blocks down, where the lots were cheaper, and took a lovely 20-minute walk on the boardwalk along the water to get to the Pier (we Uber’d back after dark.)

SM Pier

Getting to the concert area was a bit of a challenge when we were directed to walk all the way up to Ocean Avenue to enter the Pier under the main sign on Colorado and Ocean. But we made it and were ready for some “Love My Way” from the Furs. The stage is large and well lit and it’s easy to see without standing up close and getting smashed in the crowd. Large, multicolor, pastel art installation balloons flew in the sky giving a festive touch. The sun was just going down providing the perfect golden glow over all of the amusement park rides spinning and zooming in the distance behind us.

Psychedelic Furs on Santa Monica Pier 2016

Just as it got dark, the Psychedelic Furs came out and did an amazing show! This band was my first concert in my teens and has been a longtime favorite of mine, so it brought back special memories. Singer Richard Butler was as joyful and energetic as ever as he sang, jumped, pranced and did his signature undulating moves to every lyric. He seemed genuinely happy to be there. And that feeling was felt throughout the crowd, who weren’t rowdy as I feared they might be, but just fully into the music. It was a thoroughly delightful night under the stars!

Here’s a little flashback to some of the Furs biggest hits



What I Wore

Though it was a casual evening on the beach, I still wanted to look stylish for the concert so I pulled out a little ‘80s inspiration, which always makes me think of the pinstripes and flowing scarves that a lot of my favorite bands wore. I slipped into some pinstripe shorts, a black tank top, and topped the look with a pop of an ombre “Pretty in Pink” long scarf. My new floral print Dr. Martens boots completed the look and made it comfy to walk along the boardwalk. Since the beach air was bound to put my hair in a tangled mess, I pulled it up in an oversized bun with double pincurls, and put on some artsy, big, silver swirl earrings.

OOTD Summer Look

OOTD Summer Look

 

What to Wear: Summer Look

Don’t reduce your summer look to frumpy, shorts and beat up tee shirts, style it with these cute polka dot shorts, a crisp, cool white tank, and a pretty, light floral scarf. Since it may cool down in the evening hours, bring a big tote to carry a sweater and your beach essentials such as this too-sweet-for-words, pink bow backpack. Keep your feet cool and comfy in some pink oxford flats and complete the look with silver floral disk earrings that play off the design in the shorts and scarf. Click the links to shop* this look!

summer look

summer lookThe Santa Monica Pier is located at 200 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Twilight Concerts run through September.

Heaven,
Kastle

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Cocktails, Evening Looks and City Lights

k150_28

Stiletto_City_heel_iconSZDPerched high above downtown Burbank, the city lights look full of promise and adventure, capturing a city in motion. Cars whiz past on the freeway, leaving red trails of light like so many veins through the cityscape. The Crystal View Lounge in Burbank’s Holiday Inn hotel seems to be a best-kept secret limited to hotel guests and perhaps some locals looking for an escape from the fast pace of the big, ol’ LA. It’s the perfect place to put on a vintage-inspired evening look and go enjoy a cocktail and some good conversation with an old friend.

Crystal View Lounge, Burbank Holiday Inn

Seemingly lost in time, the place looks a little untouched since the golden era of hotel lounges in the 1970’s. A grand piano sits unoccupied in the corner. There’s empty space near the entryway that looks like a missed opportunity for a crooner to take the stage or a disco ball to be hoisted for dancing. But actually, it’s pretty perfect as it is, as a place to come for a drink with friends, a business associate or a romantic date. The music is played at low volume for easy conversation, and the bartender is friendly and makes sure you are taken care of.

Crystal View Lounge, Burbank Holiday Inn

It’s not exactly a spot for people watching as the only patrons on the night we went were a couple of hotel guests looking for something to do on a quiet night. The Crystal View Lounge is more about escaping the crowds, than creating them. It’s a little hideaway with magnificent floor-to-ceiling panoramic views that remind you that you’re never too far from the action.

Crystal View Lounge, Burbank Holiday Inn

On a side note, when we left at closing time, I stopped in the ladies room and though it was empty, I swear I felt the presence of a ghost standing behind me at the sink! It got me a little spooked, so I asked the bartender if there had ever been any sightings. He said, “Um, yes, there have been a couple.” Wow! An extra bonus to look for when you go there!

What I Wore

Cocktail time is the perfect time for vintage separates. I paired a fun, ‘60s floral top — that I usually wear more casually with capri pants — with a pencil skirt to dress it up. It also gave me a chance to show off some of my happily acquired matching blue accessories including my vintage straw-weave handbag, new button clip-on earrings and vintage reproduction shoes.

Evening Look

vintage Earrings

What to Wear: Evening Look for Cocktails

Going out for cocktails at a local bar usually falls somewhere between casual and dressy. A good evening look for cocktail hour look can run more conservative if it’s with coworkers, to sultry if it’s with a date, to just cute and trendy if with friends. This look should work for a friends’ night out. Pair a casual, vintage-inspired, floral-print top with a sweet Peter Pan collar detail, with a swooshy, fishtail pencil skirt. Add a little sex appeal with some strappy, stiletto, red sandals. Going matchy-watchy with your colors makes the look more fun, so don’t hesitate to go with all red accessories such as this red, long-strap purse and find some matching vintage earrings by just searching for the color and style you want on eBay. These fun, shell-shaped, Bakelite clips-on’s complement the pattern and colors in the blouse perfectly. Click the links to shop* this look!

Evening Look for Cocktails

The Crystal View Lounge is located on the top floor of the Holiday Inn Burbank, 150 E. Angeleno Ave, 18th Fl, Downtown Burbank, CA 91502

Living for big city lights,
Kastle

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A Casual Look for Serious Flower Shopping

k150_28Stiletto_City_heel_iconSZDFlowers, flowers, everywhere. That’s what it’s like to visit the LA Flower Mart in Downtown LA, where you can get wholesale flowers by the bulk for yourself, an event, or even just a bouquet for a special someone. It’s there perfect place to don a casual look and shop for all the pretties. You’ll wonder why you ever paid the excessive prices to go to a florist!

la flower mart

I had a special event I needed flower centerpieces for. After a florist had quoted me hundreds of dollars, I decided to do them myself. I used Pinterest to narrow down the look I wanted a – boho wildflower look. I watched a few YouTube videos to learn some basics of flower arranging and what type of flowers you need.

TIP: First, pick a color palette of two to four colors. I went with jewel tones of yellow, purple, pink and orange – then look for one or two large focal flowers, some textured flowers, and some filler greens.

LA Flower Mart - Boho Wildflower Centerpiece
Photo by Giorgio Litt Photography

Since I’d never been to the Flower Mart before, a friend took me for an introductory orientation. I brought some print-outs of the Pinterest photos with arrangements I liked and looked for similar buds.

The LA Flower Mart is a lively place, full of vendors carrying every type of flower imaginable, just keep in mind everything is seasonal, and the inventory can change on a weekly basis. So it’s best to go as close to the event date as possible to see what’s fresh. You can preorder flowers with certain vendors and pick them up the day of the event, but I found that to be an unnecessary step. Instead, I just found a couple of vendors that had the majority of what I wanted and wrote down their names and locations. I also scoped out where to buy buckets to load up my purchases and rent a trolley to cart them around the market and to the car. Be sure to plan your visit for early in the morning to get the best picks and most vendors close up shop around noon.

LA Flower Mart

LA Flower Mart Flowers

Since my event was on a Sunday when the market is closed, my plan was to return the day before and keep the flowers overnight in a cool place, then mke the arrangements at the venue before the event. As for vases, you can get some at the craft supply stores across the street. I got mine at the Dollar Tree, for you guessed, one dollar each! They worked perfectly – three tall, thin vases in my color palette colors on each table made for a full centerpiece.

I spent about 150 dollars on flowers and 25 dollars on vases to make eight large centerpieces, which is big savings compared to hiring a florist.  And it was fun picking out all the flowers. Some friends helped me put the centerpieces together, and I could not have been happier with how they turned out.

LA Flower Mart - Boho Wildflower Centerpieces

What I Wore

For a day at the Flower Mart, wear a casual look that you don’t mind getting a little wet or dirty. You’re going to be pulling big bundles of flowers out of buckets of water and carrying your load to your car wrapped in newspaper, which can unleash its ink on your clothes. I opted for some festive red and white polka dot skinny jeans, a graphic t-shirt and flat shoes so I could do lots of walking to scout out my flowers.

Stylish Casual Look

What to Wear: Casual Look

Just because you’re going casual, doesn’t mean sloppy. You can still make it cool and chic. A pair of floral-print skinny jeans will you put in a flower-shopping mood. Rock it up with a classic rock band t-shirt like this one with The Who. I always like to add a pretty statement necklace to dress up a casual look, and this one with flowers will continue the theme of your mission. Throw on some stylish flats with a pop of soft blue and you’re good to go! Click the links to shop* this look!

Stylish Casual Look

The LA Flower Market is located at 754 Wall St, Los Angeles, CA 90014

Here’s to flower power,
Kastle

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Rocker Reunion at The Viper Room

k150_28Stiletto_City_heel_iconSZDLos Angeles in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s was one rowdy place after dark. The Sunset Strip and multiple underground clubs such as Scream, Lingerie, and Cathouse were filled with rockers and bands with big hair, black, skinny jeans, studded belts and cowboy boots playing a collision of glam, punk, goth and rock ‘n’ roll. There to cover it all was one local paper by the name of LA Rock Review (1988-92). Born out of a love of music and the exploding local music scene, editor Kelly Q. put together a collection of writers and photographers who reveled in going out every night and chronicling what was happening on stages all over Hollywood as well as the many parties in between. I was lucky enough to have been one of those writers and have fond memories of being young and free and with people who felt the same way as me about music and dressing the part, it was a lifestyle – and still is!

LA Rock Review, Los Angeles Music Fanzine

Recently Kelly Q. re-emerged after being away in Texas for several years and decided to have a reunion. The timing seemed right. GNR reunited, and people are hungry for rock ‘n’ roll again. So she booked a gig at the Viper Room on the Strip and called on the bands and her staff to reunite for one very special night.

And they came, in droves, to pack the house to see Motorcycle Boy, Funhouse, Knucklehead, The Hangmen and Inger Lorre with the Nymphs.

The Hangmen
The Hangmen
Motorcycle Boy
Motorcycle Boy
Knucklehead
Knucklehead
The Nymphs with Inger Lorre
The Nymphs with Inger Lorre

I was so excited to see my old teammates, writers Denise, Jenell (who flew in from Seattle) and Erin and photographers AJ (who flew in from New Zealand) and Janet. Plus, lots of scenesters including members of Male Order Brides, Human Drama, Black Cherry, Street Walking Cheetahs, Dragbeat, Len Fagan of the Coconut Teaser club, and former A&R man Desi Benjamin.

The Girls of LA Rock Review
The Girls of LA Rock Review
Kastle Waserman with photographer AJ Hunter
With photographer AJ Hunter

It’s been many years, and we had lots of catching up to do! The place rocked like it did “back in the day.” And I got to get up on stage with Kelly and introduce one of my favorite local bands of all time, Motorcycle Boy.

Kastle Waserman, Kelly Q. on stage at the Viper Room

The Viper Room was called the Central back then. It gained fame when actor Johnny Depp took over as co-owner in 1993 and changed the name of the venue. Actor River Phoenix died of a drug overdose there the same year. It’s always been known as a stage for the up and comers and a place to see big names in an intimate setting. It’s not unusual to spot celebrities in the crowd who enjoy the anonymity of hiding in the venue’s dark circular booths along the perimeter. And you might also see a familiar face working there. Behind the bar these days are veteran Hollywood musicians, Tommy Black of Scott Weiland’s band and Jamie Scrap of Blackboard Jungle. I’ll have another!

What I Wore

Such a special night called from some sparkle, so my silver wiggle dress hit just the right mark of rocker pinup. Back in the day, dressing rocker sleaze was pretty typical, but now it was time to chic it up and add the sophistication that comes with being older (and yes, wiser!) I rocked it up with some silver hoop earrings with spikes and spiky-toed black stilettos.

Rocker Pinup Look

rocker pinup accessories

 

What To Wear: Rocker Pinup Look

For a night out to rock out, give yourself some sexy rocker pinup style. A polka dot, curve-hugging, wiggle dress in lime green is sure to get some attention. Add some rocked-up accessories such as a ring choker necklace and strappy, spike heels and you’ll be empowered to go right to the front of the stage for all your favorite bands! Click the links to shop* this look.

Rocker Pinup Look

 

The Viper Room is located at 8852 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069

 

Queen rocker,
Kastle

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Vintage Shopping at Paper Moon Vintage

k150_28Stiletto_City_heel_iconSZDVintage clothes have been a trend for so long they are clearly here to stay. There are those who wear them occasionally for an eclectic touch and those who consider vintage wear a lifestyle. No matter how you craft your look, good vintage shopping means going to a store that understands how to curate quality inventory and assist its customers in finding just the right piece. One store that’s a must for vintage lovers in Los Angeles is Paper Moon Vintage. Founded by vintage lifestylist Nicole Loretta, you can expect to find retro garb for women and men that’s been lovingly selected and in good shape from eras specifically within the 1900s-1950s

Vintage Shopping Paper Moon Vintage Los Angeles

Just wander the many racks filled with gorgeous fabrics, amazing cuts and you’ll see how Loretta’s eye for unique and beautiful pieces has put together a store that’s a pleasure to shop in. Loretta has been a longtime fixture on LA vintage scene and can always be seen in a fabulous outfit herself. She’s also known as a photographer, capturing event photos of patrons on her handmade moon props everywhere from the Cicada Club to private weddings with her Paper Moon Vintage photo booth business.

Nicole Loretta and Nathan Marsak Paper Moon Vintage Los Angeles
Nicole Loretta and Nathan Marsak Paper Moon Vintage LA

In keeping with the moon theme, Paper Moon Vintage also hosts full moon parties every month on the full moon (obviously!) They offer 25% off everything in the store and stay open until 9 p.m. with cocktails and snacks starting at 6 p.m. You can also have your photo taken on the custom-made moon backdrops by Nicole. Don’t miss out on the fun – and deals! Follow their Facebook page for event announcements.

Vintage Shopping Paper Moon Vintage Los Angeles

What I Wore

For a recent full moon party, I went noir-themed in a black vintage dress with pops of gold in my purse and shell shaped necklace with drop-bead, paired with leopard-print Mary Jane heels. And as always, you’ll find me in the shoe section!

Vintage Shopping

What to Wear for A Shopping Day

When vintage shopping, you’ll want to express your vintage loving style. It makes it easy for the store owners to get a read on what you might like and can make recommendations. Also, keep in mind items that are easy to take on and off so you can try things on.

BONUS TIP: I personally hate side zips on vintage tops and dresses because I have to pull them over my head risking getting makeup on them and wrecking my hair. One solution, however, if you find a side zip vintage item you want to try on – bring a clean t-shirt with you. Put it on over your head, so it covers your face (you can peek out through the neck or armhole to see and breathe.) This will help prevent you from getting makeup on the item you’re trying on and will usually keep your retro hairdo somewhat in place.

This cute pink, 1950s-style, peasant top has an elastic neckline (no buttons or zips to mess with!) Match it with a breezy flared skirt (you could even try on pencil skirts and pants underneath without having to take it off!) Wear some shoes that are easy to kick off to try clothes on – no buckles or ties – such as these sling-back sandals with pretty gold trim that plays off the pattern in the skirt. Just slip the back strap down and they’re off! Don’t forget to bring your shopping money in a cute bag, such at this retro telephone purse. Click the links to shop* this look!

Vintage Shopping Look

Paper Moon Vintage is located at 4516 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027

Happy shopping!
Kastle

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Appetite for Rocker Looks and Books

k150_28Stiletto_City_heel_iconSZDThere are times in rock music in which the bands, the city and the people collided to create a movement that will go down as the greatest in history.  The glam metal movement and rocker look in Los Angeles in the late ‘80s was one of those times. Guns N’ Roses was clearly the defining band of that era, rising bigger than them all, and one woman was there from the beginning. Vicky Hamilton let the band crash in her apartment, got them showcases and helped launch a career that made them one of the most famous and infamous bands of all time. And thank goodness she’s now written a book to give us all a backstage pass as to how it all went down.

High in the Hollywood Hills at a limited seat reading at the Alchemy Castle, Vicky read to promote the aptly named “Appetite For Dysfunction,” and joked that the release of her book just happened to coincide with the band’s much buzzed about reunion for a recent string of shows.  What luck! It seems everyone wants to hear about GNR again, and rightfully so. I can recall seeing the band in its very early days at shows on the Sunset Strip, and clubs Scream and Cathouse, and the fierce energy they displayed was unquestionable – with a style that mixed the rock sense of Aerosmith and the Stones with the punk ferocity of the Sex Pistols.

Vicky Hamilton Appetite for Dysfunction
Vicky Hamilton

But it wasn’t all roses, as was clear in the passage Vicky read of the early days of them crashed out in her apartment after yet another raging party. Steven Adler was trying to help Vicky clear out beer bottles and Axl was sacked out on the couch. When Axl got fed up from the clinking bottles being thrown in trash bags, he began punching Steven, giving him a lovely bruised face for a showcase that night. We’d heard the rumors that hanging with GNR was no cake walk, but now Vicky verifies it along with an insider’s perspective of what I was like to be a women working her way up in the male-dominated music industry of the late ‘80s, as if wrangling Axl wasn’t hard enough!

Vicky Hamilton Appetite for Dysfunction

Vicky also relayed some classic rock ‘n’ roll stories of tales along the Sunset Strip working with Motley Crue and a makeout session with AC/DC’s Bon Scott. She also thanked her publisher, iconic LA scenester, author and Punk Hostage Press founder Iris Berry, who also read a passage from one of her books.

Iris Berry - Punk Hostage Press
Iris Berry – Punk Hostage Press

Before and after the readings, a collection of Vicky’s current fave bands entertained the crowd including, Diana Meyer, 222, The Place, and Frankie And The Honeybees. Vicky always could spot a talent. What a great and rockin’ night all around!

What I Wore

While my rocker look isn’t quite as extreme and my hair isn’t quite as big as it was during the days GNR ruled the Sunset Strip, I still like a rocker chic look for stepping out on the town. I paired a cherry red, fitted t-shirt with a vegan leather mini skirt with silver side zips. A studded suede purse carried my essentials and my leather, knee high boots were made for a night of club hopping!

Rocker Look

What to Wear

Headed to check out some new star bands on the Strip? Slip into a rocker look that won’t let you down with a cosmic-print mini skirt paired with a sexy off-the-shoulder top. Draw some inspiration from the late ‘80s with a vegan, leather-studded, concho belt and big boots. A fringe, shoulder strap purse holds just enough to get you through the night!

Rocker Look

 

The Sunset Strip in Los Angeles is located between Doheny Road and N. Crescent Heights Blvd. 

Vicky Hamilton’s “Appetite for Dysfuntion” is available on Amazon.com

Rock on!
Kastle

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Wedding Season: Putting Together a Vintage Inspired Wedding Dress Look

k150_28Stiletto_City_heel_iconSZDThat moment when the love of your life pulls out a ring and you say “yes” can mark the beginning of the monumental journey known as “Wedding Dress Shopping.”

Putting together your wedding dress look can be one of the most joyful and daunting experiences in life. So many pretty dresses, so much money! For my recent wedding, it took me a while to figure out what style I wanted. Like most brides, I went straight for the big, frothy traditional dresses and tried on a few, but soon found there was a lot of cookie-cutter styling going on – all the lace, beading, the sash belt with little rhinestone appliqué. Those were all fine and good, but they weren’t really me.

Wedding Dress Look

Plus, I just couldn’t wrap my head around spending thousands of dollars for a dress I would only wear for a few hours. I knew I wanted a vintage inspired wedding dress look and I loved the simple elegance of Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy’s wedding look. One day, while looking at one of my favorite vintage reproduction sites, Unique Vintage, I saw a dress that encompassed both, and at a price that was completely reasonable.

Wedding Dress Look

I ordered the 1930s-inspired Ellington Deco Bias Cut Gown and to my amazement, the luxurious, curve hugging, gently lined, satin cut fit perfect. It had a modest train and the only alteration needed was to shorten the hem a tad in the front. This was THE dress. It reminded me of something a jazzy chanteuse would wear during the between-the-wars era. Plus, it was comfortable and felt like me.

To add a bit of drama, I bought a chapel-length veil with blusher veil for extra oomph from Bells Veils on Etsy. The separate elbow-length blusher was perfect for the reception meal after the ceremony and photos so I wouldn’t get tangled in the long veil all day.

Wedding Dress Veil

vintage inspired wedding dress look

Now the shoes were a bit of a hunt. I knew I wanted a vintage meets Cinderella look. Since the dress was simple, the shoes could have a lot of detail. I opted for lace shoes since there wasn’t any lace on my dress or veil. I searched Pinterest for hours and finally found the shoes I wanted but not a link to where to buy them. One day I took a chance and punched “ivory lace shoes” in Amazon, and behold, my dreams shoes appeared, the exact ones I saw on Pinterest!

wedding shoes

Next up, I searched Ebay for some vintage-style jewelry and found earrings with aged pearl and bronze detail and then found a bracelet with vintage-look pearls and bronze accents that matched, which went perfect with my ivory dress and veil.

Vintage wedding jewelry

My reception dress look was the perfect opportunity to go for a retro, swing, tea dress style, which I debated wearing for my wedding dress before deciding I wanted a long dress rather than short for the actual moment. But the reception party was perfect for a short dress. The brocade material was gorgeous and had the perfect vintage feel.  I added fullness to the retro hourglass shape with a fluffy petticoat and the big circle skirt provided a great wow factor on the spins of our first dance!

Don’t forget your nails on your big day as everyone will want to look at the beautiful new ring on your hand! I highly recommend a gel manicure that will take you through all the preparations to the parties without a chip! As for my ring, my man did me right, surprising me with a vintage 1920’s era engagement ring and we had the band custom-made in a vintage style with similar cut diamonds. I love it!

wedding rings

What I Wore

Here is my full vintage inspired wedding dress look and reception tea dress in all their glory. Wedding dress is from Unique Vintage, shoes from Amazon, jewelry from Ebay and veil from Etsy. Reception dress is from Heart of Haute, petticoat and dance shoes from Amazon. Special thanks to my photographers Gina and Giorgio for capturing these images because I was so excited and nervous at our wedding events that I didn’t take any photos of my own (which rarely happens!)

Vintage inspired wedding dress look

wedding dress back

 

Vintage inspired wedding tea dress

How to Get a Vintage Inspired Wedding Dress Look

If you want to go for a vintage inspired wedding dress look, you’re pretty much guaranteed to have built-in elegance and a unique style for your special day.

Plus, vintage reproduction shops are usually much more affordable than getting something from a bridal salon. Try Googling “vintage reproduction clothing” online and just put “white dress” in their search box and see what comes up. Many also feature special wedding dress sections on their homepage during peak wedding season from spring to mid summer.

Make sure your dress suits the style of your ceremony, the bigger the ceremony, probably the more dramatic dress you’ll want. We had an intimate ceremony so my dress felt just right for the size of the room. And keep your personality in mind, such as classic, clean lines, billowing princess style or blinged out. For me, it was all about having a very simple and sleek silhouette. Don’t be afraid to try variations of the “white dress,” and look at everything from ivory to champagne or even your favorite color that isn’t white at all!

Here’s a gorgeous example from Unique Vintage of a 1930s reproduction dress with illusion neckline and golden, hand-worked, filigree detail.  The circle drape hemline with train is breathtaking and you’ll want a short birdcage or elbow length veil as not to hide it. With so much detail on the dress you’ll want to keep the shoes simple but you can add some complementary sparkle such as these gilded gold heels. Don’t forget the accessories with some deco inspired hairpins and bracelet. Click the links to shop* this look!

Wedding Dress Look

wedding look accessories

Just remember to make your dress and your ceremony  your own. You don’t have to follow the rules and expectations – or spend a fortune to make your dream day a beautiful one. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go live my happily ever after!

Wedding Dress, Accessories and Ceremony photos by Gina Schild Photography
Reception Dress photo by Giorgio Litt Photography
Ring photo by me
Flowers by Haute Flowers

I do!
Kastle

 

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