Check out March's Portland Style Council interview with Christine Blystone of Flapper Girl Creations
How long have you been collecting vintage clothing for?
It's been over eleven years now.
What got you into vintage clothing?
A few months before my brother's wedding in late 1996, my soon-to-be-sister-in-law took me shopping for a new formal outfit. During our shopping excursion, she introduced me to both Big Bang vintage stores that used to be in downtown Portland. I was instantly hooked.
What are your favorite eras of clothing? What do you like about
clothing from these eras?
I love the fashions of the roaring twenties. I don't have the body type to wear those fashions, but I really adore looking at photos and fashion sketches from that era, and I have a slight obsession with flapper culture. I just love how everything was so elegant, yet rebellious at the same time. I don't think any other era has captured that quite like the late 1920s. I love all of it: the hats, the dresses, the shoes, the coats. It's all lovely.
I also really like the fashions of the 1950s. So much of it was sleek and classy. Most of the fashions flatter my body type, so if I find a 50s fashion in my size, I know I'll look sharp in it. I love all the cocktail dresses, fun ladies spectacles, and dress shoes.I have a large collection of bejeweled ladies glasses from the 50s and 60s. I've put my eye prescription in a few of my favorites.
For some reason, mod polyester dresses from the 60s/70s really catch my fancy too, and I end up wearing these types of dresses a lot.
Who are some of your favorite vintage designers?
I actually love anything non-label. Most of my vintage clothing items (besides shoes and glasses, of course) are handmade. There's just something very special and personal to non-label clothing.
Who are some of your favorite modern designers?
I love Luella, Leanimal, and Pinup Couture. Those are the few that have caught my attention enough to follow. Honestly, I don't pay much attention to specific designers. Most of my wardrobe comes from thrift stores, garage sales, the Target clearance racks (if you look hard enough, they have some great dresses at Target from time to time), or I make it myself. If I want to splurge, I will go to Naked City herein Portland and pick out a lovely dress.
What would be your ultimate vintage find?
I want to find a black mink pelt scarf! I don't buy any new furs, but I would love a vintage mink. Only in black. I think this stems from my fascination with vintage taxidermy animals. I actually found a black mink pelt scarf at Stars Antique Mall in Sellwood once, and I am still kicking myself for not buying it.
I would also like to find a vintage plaid wool coat with faux fur trims (collar, inside the hood, around the wrists). I actually saw one that made me gasp in delight in the window of Lady Luck on 28th and Burnside the other night as I was driving by, but I bet it probably costs upwards of $200, which I just can't afford.
Where do you do the majority of your vintage shopping- garage, estate
and rummage sales, thrift stores, vintage stores, online vintage
stores or eBay?
I am a bargain hunter to the core, so I do most of my vintage shopping at estate and rummage sales and thrift stores. Back in 2003, I found some great deals on vintage clothes on eBay from time to time, but hunting on eBay just takes too much time, plus I don't like how you can't try it on before you purchase it.
Is vintage clothing popular in the city that you live in?
I live in Portland, and it is really popular. We have so many vintage resale shops here!
Who are some of your favorite style icons?
I love Louise Brooks and Marlene Dietrich.
What are your favorite vintage movies, music and television programs?
I have Marlene Dietrich's Lille Marlene album on vinyl and I absolutely adore it. I also like old Tex-Mex music from the 1930s. I grew up listening to my mom's oldies station, and love all the hits from the 50s. From there, my vintage tastes in music become more modern and hit all over the board in the 60s and 70s. I love old soul, rock, and folk.
Do you collect any other types of collectibles or antiques?
God, yes. I have a large collection of ladies vintage hats, as well as the funky, bejeweled ladies spectacles of the 50s and 60s I mentioned earlier.
I also have a vast collection of vintage aprons and full & half slips from all eras. I wear my full-bodied slips to bed year-round. They are so comfy, sexy, and well-made. My half slips find their way under my skirts on nearly a daily basis.I guess all of this still counts as fashion, huh? On to the other goodies...
I collect vintage cameras and photographs, pulp novels, old nun dolls and white Virgin Mary statues.I collect anything with vintage pinups on it. I collect records. I love cute vintage deer figurines (think of those cute red flocked Christmas deer with big, cartoonish eyes, and you get the general picture of the style of vintage deer I collect).I collect 1960s children's books illustrated by Mary Chalmers. I love old paintings of schooners. I love vintage radios, though they are too expensive for me to collect. I have one that was my grandmother's that my father generously gave to me a few years ago. Most recently, I started collecting vintage fabrics, with which I plan on using to make a bunch of clutch handbags I plan on selling in my Etsy shop.
Something that I'd really like to start collecting is vintage PlayBoy magazines. If I could collect old Victorian houses, I would!
*Thanks to Christine for participating in our Portland Style Council interview!
You too could be featured on Lulu's Vintage Style Council!
Just email me- lulusvintage (at) yahoo.com a photo of yourself wearing vintage (it can be a modern outfit accented with vintage accessories or a complete vintage ensemble) and answer my interview questions
This post was originally published on March 10, 2008.