amusing museum

On a lovely day this past summer, Kate “Copy Editing is My Life” Schweishelm, photographer Alyssa K. Faoro and I piled into a car and drove to Cambridge, Ontario, to talk to Jonathan Walford and Kenn Norman about their dream of opening a fashion museum. (Pulling a Museum Out of a Hatbox, WORN Issue 9).

Alyssa and I were there for pictures – the fun part – but work came first. While Kate interviewed, we waited…

- g.

Crushing on liebemarlene

interview by Kate Schweishelm
Rhiannon Leifheit is the owner of liebemarlene, an online vintage shop she runs out of her home near Atlanta. In less than three years, the store – named after one of Rhiannon’s favourite movie stars, Marlene Dietrich – has become one of the most popular destinations on eBay for fashionable vintage. The store’s companion blog,, has also cultivated its own set of fans, who flock to the site for its impeccable photo sets and Rhiannon’s charming and self-deprecating posts. Here, Rhiannon talks to WORN about the world of buying and selling vintage online.

You often talk about how you weren’t really interested in fashion growing up – what turned you around?
All during high school I was a complete bookworm and was actually against fashion! I just didn’t get it. I think that old movies turned me around… at the time I was into all the Audrey Hepburn films and movies from the 50s, so it was only natural for me to get into vintage fashion.

How did you get your start selling online? A lot of vintage sellers seem to get into it because they are already addicted to the vintage hunt anyway – was this the case for you?
Definitely – I found that I was going to thrift stores so often that I was finding lots more vintage than I needed, and sometimes was finding things that weren’t necessarily my size or style, but that were so pretty that it was hard to leave them behind. So I slowly started to sell on Etsy, and then moved on to eBay.

Not that long ago you moved to the South from the Midwest. I hear that the South is a great place to find vintage – have you found that to be true? Did your shop influence your decision to move there?
Well, I knew I wanted to move away from the Midwest, and I figured that the South would be one of the better areas in the States for finding vintage. So far, it’s been great. I found some great things when I lived in rural Illinois, but I’ve probably had better luck in the South, especially since I’ve moved to the Atlanta area, which is just filled with huge thrift stores and some really good estate sales.

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Kate Wornette

I’m Kate, another of the new legion of interns. I’ll be working on the editorial side, where my love of writing and intensive research –- along with near-OCD tendencies when it comes to copy editing –- may be put to good use.

I guess I come at fashion from two perspectives, one highly formalized and cerebral and the other totally intuitive and indulgent. My background leans toward the academic; I have a degree in Cultural Studies from McGill in Montreal, where I actually wrote my honours thesis on the makeover show, What Not to Wear. I also just finished a master’s degree at Ryerson in my hometown, Toronto, where I did work on a project researching the intersection of feminism and fashion.

In contrast, you could say my own personal love of style was entirely self-taught, beginning in junior high with regular trips after class to my very own mecca, Goodwill’s Buy the Pound, where you could actually buy a pound of clothes for a dollar. Pawing through racks and bins of material has since become my full-blown addiction, such that I even ended up opening an online business several years ago just to support my habit. More than anything else, my own inspiration comes from these secondhand stores and the freedom of experimentation that inexpensive clothes provide. I like my fashion to be a challenge, I like it to be an adventure and a conquest, and that’s just what these old stores satisfy for me.

The opportunity to work for Worn practically fell into my lap just days after I defended my thesis; I take that as a sign of fate and good things to come and am so pleased to be the latest addition to team Worn!

Current Inspirations…

Fashion Era
An old standby, this is an amazingly comprehensive resource on the history of fashion, with lots of explanations and pictures for inspiration

Bits and Bobbins
Tricia Royal is the creator of wardrobe_remix over at Flickr, which I love but also find a little overwhelming at times. My favourite feature of her own site is the concise weekly roundup she does of the best remixes of the week.

Square America
Have I mentioned yet how much I love ephemera, “vernacular” photography, snapshots, etceteras? Square America is not a fashion site per se, but its archives are filled with wonderful candid shots of real people, from which I personally derive way more inspiration than the runway.

I have a fantasy that I am going to become an expert seamstress and create clothes out of some of the fabulous textile remnants I come across in various places. Outi, who calls herself a “trashionista” for her use of recycled materials, runs one of a handful of sites I visit to torture myself with inspiration for sewing projects I can’t reproduce on my own (yet).

Liebemarlene Vintage
eBay and etsy vintage sellers are somewhat surprisingly another of my biggest sources of inspiration. Many of them have blogs essentially to promote their stores, but Rhiannon’s is one of the few that can stand on its own merits. Plus, she’s incredibly down-to-earth and unpretentious — always a big plus.