Shopping Under the Influence

There are two things l love in this world: pretty clothes and bangin’ parties. Any combo of the two will completely convince me that while shopping and drinking is a dangerous combo wallet-wise, it’s also a very clever way to promote a space, as proven by the Vintage 69 Housewarming Party.

My roomie Adam and I start getting ready like we would for any party: getting dressed up, changing eight times each, and sipping some bourbon while we fluff our hair. Already it’s more exciting than a regular vintage outing, which, for me, is generally a happenstance occasion when I am wandering aimlessly around the neighborhood. We discuss what would be the best time to get there, and the possible consequences of our equally dire financial situations, just like we’d do before any other party.

We get there pretty early and already the place is full of fashionable revelers snapping photos of each other. It really does feel like a house party: there’s beer, crackers and cheese, and a DJ to set the scene. The abundance of gorgeous and unique items is great for the party atmosphere, since there are conversation pieces everywhere. For example, one new friend explains the purchase of a doll’s head toilet paper cover, which was currently being used as a beer cozy, as “the sort of thing you’d only buy under the influence.”

Continue reading

Book Review: Influence

When I heard last year that the Olsen twins would be releasing a book chronicling their fashion influences, my mind immediately flashed towards the Paris Hilton-penned Confessions of an Heiress – after all, it seemed like another set of tabloid darlings were trying to add “author” to their resumés. But, to their credit, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s coffee table book, Influence, is not another collection of gaudy images depicting Chihuahuas in pink tutus. True, neither one of the Olsen twins is a particularly innovative writer, but the content of the book is mostly made up with of the words of others, composed largely of in-depth interviews with a total of twenty fashion designers, models, photographers, artists and editors.

What Mary-Kate and Ashley lack in writing skill, they more than make up for with their eye for talent and knack for asking intelligent interview questions that other publications seem to gloss over. Granted, the artists they talk to are interesting enough on their own, including the likes of Karl Lagerfeld, Terry Richardson and Peter Beard, but the interviews cut to the core of their work, focusing on the entire span of each career from their origins to the struggles faced along the way. They are accompanied by richly detailed visuals, including a 1976 Newsweek cover featuring Diane Von Furstenburg and a letter Diana Vreeland wrote to journalist Bob Colacello concerning a magazine article about Josephine Baker.

Continue reading