Summer in California can be magical. The sun is so bright it seems to make everything sparkle. On a Saturday afternoon in Santa Monica, the vintage-loving crowd didn’t really need any help looking bright and cheerful in their retro threads as they gathered for a rare daytime event that included a fashion show from Unique Vintage and entertainment from the Satin Dollz, and wild, swingin’ dance moves from the Hollywood Hotshots.
Taking place poolside at the Shangri-La Hotel, with the sweet sounds of the Dean Mora Band and DJ Dr. Nate playing in the background, the acts rotated from singing numbers, the fashion show and dances. It was never a dull moment and I’m not even counting the great people watching in the fine-dressed crowd. The leader of the Satin Dollz took a moment to thank everyone for coming and marking their 10th anniversary by stating Los Angeles has the country’s best vintage scene. Well I can vouch that it certainly is a lot of fun! And it was a good opportunity to wear my new Voodoo Vixen spectacle-print dress with the cross-strap detail I love! Check out the pix:
For many people, hearing the word bingo brings to mind images of silent septuagenarians hunched over stacks of bingo cards and straining to hear the numbers on their cards get called. It’s a game that’s much more commonly known as an idle, quiet pastime, and having existed since the 1500s, it’s hardly anything anyone would call revolutionary.
A London-born version of the game, however, is set to change this and the way that we view bingo in general. Finding its new home in Los Angeles and New York, the elusive Rebel Bingo* had been an underground show for a while, before finally “coming out of the shadows”.
Calling Rebel Bingo the “Black sheep of the bingo family,” Freddie “Fortune” Sorensen and James “Flames” Gordon accidentally developed the game in a church basement, after chancing upon a bingo set. According to an article on the LA Times: “After the night was over and we would relax with a few drinks, we noticed there was an old bingo kit stored down in the basement, and one night we started fooling around,” says Sorensen, who prefers to go by Fortune. “We didn’t know the rules, so we made it up and gave away silly prizes. It spread through word of mouth and turned into this cult thing.”
How exactly is Rebel Bingo different from “traditional bingo”? Fortune says that the point is to be as different from traditional bingo as possible. More a show than an actual game, Rebel Bingo is standing up against the traditional, established form of bingo – the one that we all imagine as soon as we hear the word. Paul Bradley of the LA Weekly writes, “Fortune’s telling, there’s the bingo 99 percent and the bingo 1 percent, and this rigid order is kept in place by a boring old guard that’s intent on stopping the lively young upstarts represented by Fortune’s ilk who want bingo to be fun, freaky and flirtatious. “We do have pretty hard and fast rules … as every rebel should,” he says. No. 1 is “no old people” — followed by “no boring people.””
It may seem a bit odd that someone should have such strong feelings for bingo, but it’s worth noting that Fortune and his crew hail from the UK, where bingo is quite a big part of their lives. There are TV advertisements for online bingo portals, and the BBC reports that there are now over 350 websites offering online bingo to Brits. Information on Free Bingo Hunter, a website dedicated to cataloguing these bingo portals, shows that they often have events and promotions that play on world events. What is nothing more than an idle pastime for most of the world is a force to be reckoned with in the UK, and Fortune and his friends have sought to subvert the established order of traditional bingo and turn the game into something more in line with the interests of the youth.
Modcloth did it again. Hands-down one of my favorite places on the web to shop for their super cute selection of retro inspired fashion. This week, Modcloth brought their to-die-for inventory to Los Angeles for a weekend pop-up shop. I was one of the lucky few who scored a ticket for the sell-out opening day (they limited entry so there would be room to shop) and from the moment I walked in, I was immersed in Modcloth-land filled with displays of adorable dresses and playful accessories.
The shopping experience was set up so you shopped “looks” on display, pulled cards for each item you wanted to try on. The fitting room had one of each size of each item. You find out what fits and then order it with assistance from their helpful staff and get it shipped with FREE express shipping!
I tried on a killer bad girl top, the prettiest spring dress (part of Modcloth’s original designs) and a netted-top dress I absolutely fell in love with.
**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking through my links.
Attention, wedding belles and gorgeous guests – spring is at our feet and that means wedding season is right around the corner. Whether you are a bride to be or wedding guest, Modcloth’s Wedding Styles Collection has what you need to make the day as stylish as it is lovely.
Explore Modlcloth for beautiful dresses such as these to wear as a guest, which also work for great bridesmaid dresses that can be worn again long after the big day. Click the images and links below to shop:
For the bride herself, I love unconventional wedding dresses, especially when they are far more affordable than extravagant wedding gowns that will just sit in the closet after the event because they’re just not wearable in real life. Why not invest in a dress you can wear again and again, especially on special occasions such as your anniversary? Here are some styles I adore:
The Oscars are always a big night, especially in LA. So I couldn’t turn down a chance to watch all the fashions on the big screen when I was invited to a private viewing party at the Egyptian Theatre.
LA has barely had any rain this year, but it decided to start literally the same time as the arrivals. That didn’t dampen my spirits as I threw on a little vintage ‘60s leopard, number, a high ponytail, rhinestone hoop earrings, retro-style stacked pearl bracelet, and some rain booties.
I joined a few friends who turned the theater into a giant living room vibe, bringing their own picnics to munch on. Some dressed cozy in sweaters and others busted out the evening wear – it is the Oscars after all!
I watched the arrivals on the big screen then headed home to watch the full show at home where I could snuggle by the fire, tweet and holler for the winners, and check the fashions on multiple websites.
I’m a big movie watcher, which makes the awards shows fun because I’ve seen most of the nominees. My favorites this year were “The Imitation Game,” Theory of Everything,” “Selma” and “Finding Vivian Maier.” I was happy to see the song from “Selma” win, and Eddie Redmayne and Julianne Moore for best actor/actress. But I was not happy with seeing “Birdman” taking best picture. I really didn’t get that movie at all and didn’t enjoy it. Oh well.
Now for the fashions…I saw lots of nude hues and red dresses. I have to say, I’m over the trend of the super plunging neckline and side boob cleavage – I’m talking to you JLo! I don’t need to see that much of you! Here’s who I think won best dressed:
And I really liked seeing the men show some style this year, working some colored tuxes.
Winter is the perfect times to bust out the plaid. Something about it lends itself to snuggly warmth. From tartan red punk rock to catholic girl school skirts, plaid provides a touch of edge and innocence. Plus, it’s a great texture to layer with. Don’t be afraid to mix your plaids with floral and other prints, the key is always to help the colors play off each other to create an entire look. See example below.
I discovered yet another exciting area of Los Angeles this past weekend as I set out to support Small Business Saturday, or in this case “Caturday,” as Giant Robot and the gallery annex GR2 next door, featured a collection of writers and illustrators who prominently feature cats in their work.
Giant Robot has been a long-standing destination for Japanese toys, comics, books, art prints and novelties on the once desolate Sawtelle Boulevard in West LA. I was surprised to find the area has erupted in the past year as a street full of shops and restaurants. Known as Little Osaka, for catering to local Japanese-American residents and being to the west of (and rivaling) downtown’s Little Tokyo, it was quite the hot spot on this clear Saturday night with locals out in search of unique gifts, some karaoke or a taste for the boba tea, Korean tofu, traditional Japanese ramen or BBQ.
It was the perfect night to show off my first Diane von Furstenberg DVF dress. I finally scored one at a price I could afford on eBay and learned why everyone has talked about her silky jersey fabrics. It just fell so nicely around my body the minute I put it on and I just love the bold print. It made me realize why the brand claims to be for the girl who is “effortless, sexy and on the go.” I was so happy to finally be able to wear one of DVF’s designs after meeting her a couple of weeks ago. [See the report here.]
Inside GR2, authors Mari Naomi, Zoe Ruiz, Yumi Sakugawa and Jen Wang read from their books under a slideshow of some of their illustrations. I have the say Mari Naomi’s reading had me laughing the hardest with her witty writing and animated presence. I was also especially excited about the refreshments served – Hello Kitty Lotte Pies – meow!
After the reading, we strolled the bustling district in search of a good place for dinner and ended up at Hide Sushi for some super fresh and very affordable rolls. I highly recommend the yellowtail roll. Yum!
The best thing about this new lively area of Los Angeles is an opportunity to take a walk before and after dinner, and do some people watching, window shopping – and maybe show off a new DFV dress!
Little Osaka is located just north of the intersection of Sawtelle and Olympic in West Los Angeles.
As fall starts to kick in – the thought of bundling up in big sweaters and coats sounds cozy but don’t forget to have a fabulous dress on underneath! Traditional 1950s-era styles are classic and ever-so-feminine. Full swing and a-line skirts provide an hour-glass silhouette. Add a layer with a crinoline slip underneath for a more extreme spin on the lady-like look.
Check out these pretty dresses from Unique Vintage. Click the image to shop*:
The club scene in the late ‘80s and through the ‘90s in Hollywood was the stuff rock ‘n’ roll history is made of. Clubs from Scream to Cathouse to Pretty Ugly set the stage for bands that became local legends and world famous – Guns N’ Roses to name one you may know. It was a playground for the wild ones, the misfits and weirdos who loved to rock. Punk, goth and glam metal all collided. We were a rock ‘n’ roll movement. We dressed to the hilt, went out every night, all knew each other, rocked to bands until the wee hours and I don’t remember sleeping much!
During it all, one scenester among us saw the calling to make clothes that embodied the energy we all felt and how we wanted to represent. Drew Bernstein founded the fashion line Lip Service in the late ‘80s with the simple desire to make cool stuff for cool people.
Tops made of fishnet, black leggings with white dagger silkscreened patterns, sexy vinyl dresses, bondage pants and those “Stretch F*ckin’ Jeans” that every band member soon came to wear. He clothes were all over the clubs and soon all over MTV and all over the world. He would later go on to start the Kill City fashion line and rebranded his fashion empire under the name The Original Cult.
Last week we got the news that Drew Bernstein, at age 51, had passed away, by his own hand. The ripple of grief could be felt deep in our hearts as word spread across the web, on Facebook, and in publications including the LA Weekly and LA Times. One of us had fallen. I think we all found it hard to believe. Though many of us have left the club scene and gone on to start families, get “real jobs” and for lack of a better term, “grown up,” inside we still feel, wild, cool and invincible. So it’s unimaginable when one of us leaves us, and particularly difficult to grasp when it was his own choice.
So it was only fitting to have one last rockin’ night in Drew’s honor. A night was quickly organized by scenester and former Lip Service employee, Jeffrey Damnit and a slew of bands jumped on board. The night turned into less of a memorial but more of a celebration of Drew, the music that inspired him, and a reunion of friends who hadn’t seen each other in 10, (gasp) even 20 years!
Up on stage, the bands rocked hard as ever with some of that familiar, dirty rock ‘n’ roll Hollywood is known for. On the bill was Vylette, Johnny Indovina, Jason Charles Miller of Godhead, The Atoms, The Street Walkin’ Cheetah All Stars, Junkyard, Casper and the Bad Spirits and GNR tribute band, Hollywood Roses. Between sets, DJs Lina Lecaro and Michael Stewart spun a great mix of glam, rock and punk.
And as we all walked through the crowd, scanning faces with a “I remember you” look until the names registered in our memory and giving full-body bear hugs part in comfort for our loss and in joy of reunion, I swear for one second I thought I saw Drew in the crowd, bouncing through, giving pats on the back and hugs with his energetic swagger like he always did.
At one point during the night, Drew’s brother Reed took the stage and thanked everyone for coming. He, along with many bands on stage, spoke of how we are all family. We’ve all shared in some amazing times in the clubs together, times other people could only dream they could have been a part of. But just as life gives us good times, it will gives us bad and we have to look out for each other. Suicide has been a popular point of discussion in the media recently with the passing of Robin Williams but Drew’s death really brought it home for many of us. The moral of the night, if you think someone is in trouble, reach out to them.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Drew back in 2002 about his fashion line and I thought I would share a few quotes on his design evolution:
“I came to LA from San Francisco and I was jobless. My friend at Ape Leather asked me if I wanted to try selling belts around the Bay Area. I didn’t know what I was doing. I just took some catalogs and went marching down Haight Street. I ended up selling about $800 worth of belts in one day. That was the most money I’d ever made. Turned out I was a pretty good salesmen!”
“I used to make T-shirts for my band but I wanted to try doing leggings with a print silkscreened on them. My friend asked me what I would put on them. I had a little dagger necklace on and I just said, ‘Oh, something like this.’” I had them made and sold a batch to Retail Slut on Melrose. The next day they were sold out!”
“I had a box of old and damaged clothes and I told Izzy [Guns N’ Roses] he could have anything he wanted. He grabs this jacket that had “WAR” silkscreened all over it and he says, “WAR, W. Axl Rose! I’m gonna get this for Axl!’ So Axl starts wearing it and next thing you know the cash registers are ringing! It went international!”
“In the punk days, everyone wore tight black jeans. The materials then didn’t have stretch in them so you’d alter them so they were tapered and pegged. After doing the leggings, everyone wanted stretch jeans because they were seeing it in England but I couldn’t find the stretch material. People kept bugging me for them and I finally found the fabric and I was like, ‘here’s your stretch, f*ckin’ jeans!’ So that’s what I called them, ‘Stretch F*ckin’ Jeans!’”
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The season of BBQs, vacations, and outdoor festivities is upon us, and stylish women’s clothing site, ModCloth, wants you to share your summer memories with them! Include the hashtag #ModSummer when you’re posting your adventures and you could be featured on one of their social networks. Join in the ModCloth community and find some outfit inspiration in their Style Gallery. Get ready for the best summer ever!
Need some inspiration for summer style? Here’s a sampling of ModCloth’s cute hot-weather fashions. Click the photo to shop*: