Tag: Kastle Waserman

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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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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Going Vintage Style at Fair Oaks Pharmacy

k150_28Stiletto_City_heel_iconSZDLocated right along famous Route 66, Fair Oaks Pharmacy is a throwback to decades past when the local soda fountain drugstore was where the community would go for an ice cream, pick up some personal care, maybe little gift, and chat with friends and neighbors. Heck, Hollywood has a history of beautiful starlets being discovered in the local soda shop. So it felt like stepping back in time when I went to meet some gals at this 100-year-old, vintage style, Pasadena institution for a vintage day out.

Fair Oaks Pharmacy Pasadena CA

The place is full of charm from its Tiki-style trim around shelves of retro memorabilia and toys. There’s a full room just for shopping for kitschy knick-knacks. If the giant ice cream sundaes aren’t enough to satisfy your sweet tooth, you can also pick up some can from the wall of candy jars featuring vintage flavors. Need a last minute gift? There’s full selection of bath and body products and greeting cards. You can even pick up a prescription from the health center, which is a full fledge compounding facility.

Fair Oaks Pharmacy Pasadena CA

Why don’t they make ‘em like this anymore? The Fair Oaks Pharmacy is an idyllic cornerstone to a quaint street of little shops that’s perfect for a stroll on a nice day.

What I Wore

It’s only fitting to wear vintage style for such a historic spot. And on this perfect springtime California day, I wore one of my favorite, colorful, sheath dresses. I love that this one has a little belt to give it more shape definition. I paired it with my baby blue vintage reproduction shoes and matching vintage straw purse.

OOTD vintage style dress

What to Wear

With spring in the air, it’s time for vintage style florals. A fitted shift dress can take you from day to night. You can step out to your local ice cream shop, then dance the night away in these retro reproduction microsuede heels. Find a matching vintage purse, like this sweet straw handbag by searching “blue straw purse” on eBay. You’ll be ready for any occasion. Click the links to shop* this look!

floral vintage style look

Fair Oaks Pharmacy is located at 1526 Mission St, South Pasadena, CA 91030

See you at the soda shop!
Kastle

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Circus Style at the California Institute of AbnormalArts

k150_28Stiletto_City_heel_iconSZDStep right up folks, you’ll see things beyond your imagination! On a quiet little strip of Burbank Boulevard in North Hollywood is a nightclub where the atmosphere is just as entertaining as the acts on its stage. California Institute of AbnormalArts (C.I.A.) is where the circus comes to town every night.

Califorina Institute of AbnormalArts

Run by ever-eccentric, purveyor of the unusual, Carl Crew, the venue features a wide array of oddities such as severed heads and mummified clowns to Chinatown-themed lanterns and signage. Part museum and part live music venue, the place also feature sideshow-type events, freak shows, burlesque performances and puppetry acts. The walls are adorned with vintage-style circus murals. Even the box office, where you’ll likely find Crew greeting his guests, is a huge half face, half skeleton head.

Carl Crew Kastle Waserman Califorina Institute of AbnormalArts

I first discovered this venue a few years ago and did on article on it for the LA Times, which you can read here. On a recent night, I was able to catch an unusual billing of the ‘80s goth/glam band Gene Loves Jezebel featuring Michael Aston, along with a sword swallower act.

Gene Loves Jezebel Michael Aston

 

cia sword swallower

Not a place for the faint of heart, it is a place where you’ll find something unique and literally off the beaten track.

What I Wore

Pulling out the biggest hat in my wardrobe, my bright pink pillbox felt fit for a retro ringleader. I paired it with a matching pink purse and black wiggle dress with keyhole detail. Some pink vintage, lobe-climbing, clip-on earrings and silver brooch completed my nightclub look.

OOTD Retro Look

OOTD Retro Look

 

Let Your Freak Flag Fly Circus Style

If you’re feeling ready to witness the wild or bizarre on your nightclub outting, incorporate a little retro circus style in your wardrobe with this fun Under the Big Top print skirt featuring clowns, circus tents and animal acts. Pair it with a cut-out top and scallop-trimmed heels. A shiny, retro handbag puts a big bow on the complete look! Click the links to shop* this look!

Circus Theme Retro Look

 

CIA is located at 11334 Burbank Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91601

It’s the greatest show on earth,
Kastle

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Trip Report: Layered Look for Springtime in Denver

k150_28Stiletto_City_heel_iconSZDSometimes you just have to get out of town to escape the craziness of life. For me, a quick, budget-friendly, road trip up to Denver did the trick. I’ve had this city on my travel wish list and I was eager to experience some real winter weather (which we never get in LA!)

Denver seems to be on everyone’s radar lately, with the legalization of marijuana and lots of neighborhood rejuvenation, particularly in the downtown area, but it’s the beautiful mountain scenery and entrepreneurial spirit that drew me there. Craft beer is big, the art and media scene is booming with lots of creative energy, and big ol’ Google is moving into nearby Boulder.

There’s even a vintage scene for little ol’ me. I found some great vintage shopping along South Broadway, picked up a vintage purse at Night and Day Vintage and a lacy slip at Boss Unlimited. I checked out the punky alt styles at Fashion Nation where I met retro-lovin’ scenester and hairstylist Polly Rockett (be sure to check out her handmade hair flowers!).

Denver vintage on South Broadway

A hipster Goodwill store, which was super clean and organized, came to the rescue when we were surprised by an incoming snowstorm. I scored a snow-protecting winter coat and brand new waterproof snow boots on the cheap because this LA girl didn’t have warm enough clothes! After running my new-to-me coat through a dry cleaner, it kept me toasty warm while hurling snowballs at my man!

snowball Fight

SoBro, as they call it, is bustling at night with youthful energy and plenty of bars and restaurants. But it was the rockabilly hangs that I was interested in. We had dinner at Gary Lee’s Motor Club and Grub, crazy ice cream flavors at Sweet Action, popped our heads in for some live music at the Skylark Lounge and had cocktails and donut holes at Adrift Tiki Bar.

We explored other areas around town including strolling Larimer Square and 16th Street Mall, which is magical at night with sparkle lights and horse drawn carriages, One of my favorite stops was Union Station, a beautiful, historical train station, lovingly preserved, which felt ultra elegant, safe and clean, with lots of shops and cafes. That’s how travel should be everywhere!

Denver Union Station

I had pure food joy when we stopped for dinner at Ted’s Montana Grill, a restaurant owned by Ted Turner, where I tried bison meat for the first time. What a pleasant surprise! It’s a very light meat, a little sweet, low fat and ultra healthy. Not only that, it was cooked perfect medium rare. I’m a fan.

Bison Burger at Ted's Montana Grill Denver

I also discovered the wonder of Voodoo Donuts, I spotted a girl carrying a box of them and immediately hit Google until I tracked it down and had me a giant sugar rush with a “McMinnville Donut” (raised yeast shell filled with Bavarian cream, topped with maple frosting and a set of eyes and mustache.) I had heard about this crazy donut shop when it opened in Portland and was excited to find one on our trip – it’s worth waiting the ever present long lines to get that fix!

Voodoo Donuts Denver

What I Wore

For someone who lives in a warm climate, I’m always a little puzzled on how to look cute and sleek while bundling up. While the clothes I brought on my trip didn’t quite make the cut when Colorado’s temperatures dropped suddenly, they served me as best they could. I paired a mod striped black sweater, over a t-shirt and some skinny black jeans over thin base layer leggings, and pointy ankle boots. My e-tip gloves let me use my phone while keeping my hands warm, and a cute, cherry-print scarf kept my hair in check and added a festive pop of springtime color to counter all the black.

Layered Look

Wearing a Layered Look

In Denver, the snowiest month of the year is March. So while everyone else is celebrating the arrival of springtime, Denverites can find themselves digging out of a blizzard, followed by very mild days. So what’s a girl to wear? A layered look! And just because it’s still cold at the turn of spring doesn’t mean you can’t bust out some colorful florals, like this botanical print full skirt. Pair the bold floral with another bold print of a striped sweater with sweet bow tie to create a strong yet playful look. You can always take the sweater off to reveal a statement-making t-shirt such as this book lover’s tee (Denver is home to many bookstores!) And don’t leave home without a jacket to stay warm when the temperature suddenly drops. This storm-ready trench coat in bright red does the trick and adds to the overall look rather than just being practical for warmth. Click the links to shop* this look!

Layered Look

So even if spring throws you a surprise cold front, you’ll be ready.

Layer on,
Kastle

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Tag: Kastle Waserman

Country Western Style at the Saddle Ranch Chop House

k150_28Stiletto_City_heel_iconSZDThe Sunset Strip may be known as the home of rock ‘n’ roll debauchery, bands breaking into the big time, and fine dining between party stops, but one place that stands out among the pack  – the country western stylings of the Saddle Ranch Chop House.

Just its presence on the Strip promises you’ll be in for a unique experience, looking like a larger-than-life honky tonk with feather boa-draped saloon dollies out to greet you on the balcony. Step inside the action and you’ll be seated around a mechanical bull ring where brave patrons take a wild ride for all to see.

Saddle Ranch Chop House Sunset Strip

We took a seat in a booth and longingly eyed the bigger-than-your-head cotton candy desserts served at other tables. But cocktails were more my speed to quench my sweet tooth so I ordered up one of their signature drinks – a Spike Honey Lemonade with honey whiskey (Mmmm!) peach schnapps, raspberry liqueur and lemonade with a splash of soda.

Saddle Ranch Chop House Sunset Strip

The wait staff seem to specialize in down-home hospitality as they came around to greet us, as well as other staff members offering up some memorabilia for sale. I was told the place makes a mean steak so I ordered up a slow roasted Tri-Tip and oh my, they weren’t lyin’! That was one juicy, tasty steak, cooked just right!

Saddle Ranch Chop House Sunset Strip

We were quite entertained with all the wannabe cowboys testing their luck on the mechanical bull and with the entire scene in general. While this place may be a favorite for the tourist crowd, it’s also fun for locals to experience a little something different on the Los Angeles landscape. Yeeehaw!

What I Wore

For a night at of country western stylin’ I wore my vintage-inspired square dancers T-shirt from Atomic Swag with a simple, black, pencil skirt. My trusty, old black cowboy boots adorned with a concho boot strap came out to play, and a red bandana head scarf completed the look.

Country Western Style

Going Country Western Style
To go for retro country western style for the night, you can always grab one of the great T’s from Atomic Swag and pair it with some jeans. Or go more pinup with a cute bandana print dress, topped with a sweet hat with bandana hatband. Don’t forget your cowboys boots partner! Click the links to shop* this look!

Country Western Style

So head out for a night on the Strip, a good steak, and ride ’em cowboy!

The Saddle Ranch Chop House is located at 8371 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069

Boy howdy!
Kastle

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