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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Museum Day: Robert Mapplethorpe at LACMA

k150_28Stiletto_City_heel_iconSZDMy fellow rockers probably know Robert Mapplethorpe through his relationship with musician/poet Patti Smith, and while that may be the musical gateway entry to this masterful photographer, it’s a worthy one. If you read Smith’s book “Just Kids” you’ll get a wonderful and moving insight into the person he was and what inspired him. During his all-too-brief career, Mapplethorpe churned out striking images, experimenting with contrasting and controversial subject matters – from a female body builder on display under beautiful lighting to the boyish Patti Smith herself showing her own toughness and vulnerability. He also photographed the rock and art movers and shakers of the New York’s late ‘60s and ’70s, including such faces as Andy Warhol, Debbie Harry, Iggy Pop, Constance and Candy Darling.

Patti Smith Robert Mapplethorpe
Patti Smith

Robert Mapplethorpe Exhibit LACMA

But Mapplethorpe may best be known for his risqué images of the underground S&M scene, entrusting the community by participating in it and photographing it as he saw it, in highly stylized black and white.

Brian Ridley and Lyle Heeter
Brian Ridley and Lyle Heeter

There is also Mapplethorpe’s softer side, those of flowers and their beautiful colorful lines. With everything he did, he strove for perfection, and in art, that is something hard to achieve. While we may never know if he felt he got there, in the stunning self portraits, he looks pretty perfect to us. Mapplethorpe died of AIDS in 1989 but his work is clearly not forgotten and is currently on display in a double exhibit at The Los Angeles County Museum of Art and at the Getty.

Robert Mapplethorpe Poppy
Poppy
Robert Maplethorpe
Robert Maplethorpe

I went to LACMA on a Saturday afternoon to check it out. The museum came to Wilshire Boulevard in 1965. Now some 50 years later, the grounds have expanded across over 20 acres in the heart of Los Angeles with several buildings featuring art exhibits as well as films and special events in the 600-seat Bing Theater. The open walkways and green space between the buildings are dotted with sculptural displays to wander through, including “Levitated Mass,” a large scale sculpture by Michael Heizer consisting of a 340 ton boulder affixed above a concrete trench pathway. The piece was a real “rock star” when it was transported through the streets of Los Angeles to the museum in 2012. Also on the grounds is the iconic Urban Light exhibit by Chris Burdan, consisting of 202 restored cast iron antique street lamps that create the ultimate photo op.

What I Wore

On this perfect California spring day, I brought out some vintage florals that went nicely with Mapplethorpe’s quest for the perfect petal moment. I paired the 1960s top with a pair of pink, lobe climbing, pink leaf vintage earrings, a pair of capri pants, Mary Jane heels and bright pink vintage-reproduction handbag. I just couldn’t resist the opportunity to pose with the Urban Lights.

Museum Day Look

What To Wear

A day at the museum is a perfect opportunity to show some casual style. Take a cue from Mapplethorpe’s love of juxtaposition by pairing a floral blazer with some tough, zip accented skinny jeans, a fitted white t-shirt and naughty but sweet bow-tie leatherette choker necklace. Click the links to shop* this look.

Museum Day Look

LACMA is located at 5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036

The Robert Mapplethorpe exhibit runs through July 31.

Picture perfect,
Kastle

Photos of Patti Smith, Brian Ridley and Lyle Heeter, Poppy and Robert Mapplethorpe courtesy of LACMA.

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Advanced Style: Ageless Fashion

k150_28Stiletto_City_heel_iconSZDIt all started with an inspiring grandmother. After losing her, photographer Ari Seth Cohen moved to New York, a city she always told he’d do well in, and began shooting older stylish women in an attempt to feel he’s grandmother’s spirit in his life again. Starting a blog Advanced Style, the photos became an internet sensation. These women, in their 60’s, 70s, 80s, even 90s weren’t invisible, grey-haired, frumpy-clothed, withering flowers. They were vibrant, full of color and a fantastical sense of ageless fashion. Their stylish looks as alive as they were, telling the world they were living life to the fullest and looking their best, no matter what anyone thinks.

Valerie, Jean, Debra Rapoport, Diana Gabriel, Carol Markel: Advanced Style
                  Valerie, Jean, Debra Rapoport, Diana Gabriel, Carol Markel: Advanced Style

Then came a book,  and a film showcasing these wonderful, stylish women. Ari started a movement – to see older women for their delightful, fashion-loving selves, all that they’ve accomplished and all they represent as bold, beautiful personalities full of world experiences that serve and an uncontainable force and inspiration to others.

Now he has a second book, “Advanced Style: Older and Wiser,” and I had the pleasure of seeing many of Ari’s women in person at the recent panel discussion at Book Soup – an iconic indie bookstore on the Sunset Strip that serves as a cultural epicenter for authors and those who celebrate a culture of enlightenment through books.

Valerie Von Sobel, Advanced Style
Valerie Von Sobel, Advanced Style

I stood in the audience as the ladies in the book entered the store and took a seat in the front. The tiny space allotted for readings forced them to step carefully through chairs squeezed between bookshelves, but also gave us a chance to check out their awe-inspiring beauty and amazing outfits. (Book Soup, you really need to a bigger space for these events!)

Colleen Heidermann, Advanced Style
Colleen Heidermann, Advanced Style

We learned a little about each lady and their lives. There’s Colleen, age 75, a stunning beauty who stays active by jogging 5 miles a day. Joy, age 77, a cancer survivor who has dedicated her life to the helping the developmentally disabled through her fashion-focused charity Helpers. Pearl, age 61, who was once married to the bass player in the Clash, performs in her own alternative band, has a handbag line, and uses music to feed her spirit.

Pearl Harbour, Advanced Style
Pearl Harbour, Advanced Style

Every lady shared a bit of their extraordinary life, not as a star, but as a message that everyone has their own story that is worth sharing. It was funny to hear how many had worn uniforms in school and relished the freedom they now have to express themselves and most were inspired by their mother’s fashion sense.

They all displayed their unique sense of style and urged their audience, hungry for their wisdom, to be yourself, go forth and never let age be hindrance.

I couldn’t help but approach some of these ladies to sign a copy of the book I bought for my mother, who has been my own fashion inspiration. And I have to give a heartfelt thank you especially to Joy, who upon learning my mother was in the hospital, wrote a loving note to her that brought tears to my eyes. Her kindness will never be forgotten.

With Joy Venturini Bianchi, Advanced Style
With Joy Venturini Bianchi, Advanced Style

What a wonderful bunch of ladies! There are few times in life that we want to feel older instead of younger, but these ladies make it look so good I wish I too was “Advanced” so I could join their pack and hang with them all day!

What I Wore

I couldn’t go see a bunch of stylish ladies without a bringing some color to the party myself. So I put on my bright, vintage, ‘60s shift dress and go-go-style leather boots, paired with a swirly multi-colored bakelite bracelet and ‘60s-style clutch by V’s Bellos Tesoros, that I won by vying for it in an Instagram contest.

OOTD 1960s vintage style

What to Wear

If books are an inspiration to you like they are to me, show how much you love them by letting some bookworm style and ageless fashion sense shine through with this adorable bookshelf skirt topped with a ruffle-collar, vintage-inspired top. A snappy pair of wedge-heeled shoes will keep you comfy while browsing through bookstores and you can pay for your new reading finds by reaching into a book-shaped handbag. Click the links to shop* this look!

Book Lovers Style

 

Book Soup is located at 8818 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069

Be sure to check out:

Advanced Style

Advanced Style: Older and Wiser

Advanced Style: The Film

Photos from the book courtesy of Advanced Style

Go forth and conquer – in style,
Kastle

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Horsing Around at Santa Anita Park

k150_28Stiletto_City_heel_iconSZDEvery year the Kentucky Derby brings a party of horse lovers, hats and mint juleps for the most exciting two minutes in sports and to see some of the fastest horses run for the roses. While not everyone can get to the Churchill Downs to see the famous horse race in person, we in Southern California have our own horseracing venue, the gorgeous, historic Santa Anita Park.

Me and my gang of vintage-loving friends converged on the Park on Derby Day to enjoy a day at the races in what’s been called the “World’s Most Beautiful Race Track.” Opened in the 1930’s with the majestic palm tree dotted San Gabriel Mountains in the backdrop of the racetrack, the Streamline Modern architecture of the venue and a luxurious interior, it embraces everyone in old school elegance and California charm.

Santa Anita Park

Santa Anita Park

Santa Anita Park

Santa Anita Park

Santa Anita Park

A day at the races is nothing short of exciting. From checking out the horses coming down the paddock, to placing bets, to seeing the horses storm out of the gate and the thunderous sounds of their run past the stands, it’s the thrill of it all that makes the day special. And we got to watch the Kentucky Derby itself on the big screen. It was almost like being there!

What I Wore

Hats are a must on Derby Day, and not just any hat, the bigger the better. And while there was a hat contest at the Park that gave the prize to the most garishly-decorated hat, my group went more for vintage class. I pulled out my favorite ‘50s-era dress hat, paired with a green sharkskin vintage shift dress, a faux fur-collared short jacket and sparkly vintage rhinestone starburst brooch.

SantaAnita_k5

What to Wear to the Races

Horse-themed clothing is always a fun choice when going to the tracks. This horse print dress does the trick. Add some sparkle with a lucky horse brooch and ground the look with some authentic riding boots. Don’t forget a big, statement-making hat! Click the links to shop* this look!

Derby Day Look

 

Congratulations to Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist and runner-up Exaggerator (winner of our own Santa Anita Derby in April!) We’ll see you at the Preakness!

Santa Anita Park is located at 285 W Huntington Dr, Arcadia, CA 91007

 

And they’re off!
Kastle

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