Lulu's Vintage

The Style Council! EllynAnne Geisel, Author of The Kitchen Linens Book, The Apron Book, and Apronisms

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This month's vintage lover is EllynAnne Geisel of Pueblo, Colorado. EllynAnne is the author of Apronisms, The Apron Book, and next Tuesday's giveaway: The Kitchen Linens Book- don't forget to click here to leave a comment for you chance to win a copy!

EllynAnne will be on tour with her book from April 20-May 2. Here is a list of dates and locations:

Monday, April 20th Seattle, WA; Tuesday, April 21st Lake Forest, WA; Friday, April 24th San Francisco, CA; Saturday, April 25th Dallas, TX; Monday, April 27th Coral Gables, FL; Tuesday, April 28th Concord, NC; Wednesday, April 29th Greensboro, NC; Friday, May 1 Denver, CO; Saturday, May 2nd Littleton, CO. For more info on tour dates and locations click here 

-How long have you been collecting vintage textiles?

Only for the past nine years have I decidedly and purposefully collected textiles. With cloth, there's an instant visual, and in my case, a visceral connection...or not. There are colors, for instance, that I am absolutely not attracted to.

-What got you into vintage textiles?

I grew up in a household where my mother had one tablecloth and napkin set, and that was reserved for holiday dining. I loved that cloth- washed over and over, the drape was melodic, like a soft waterfall. With so little personal history of cloth as more than just for a special occasion, I was quite surprised that the discovery of a cache of vintage textiles that had belonged to my mother-in-law would bring me such joy and awaken this need to have lots of textiles in my life! I love vintage fabric in all forms. From aprons to household linens, to me, each is a celebration of the artistry and industry of women.

-What are your favorite eras of textiles?

I use vintage fabric within my apron designs, and so purchased table coverings, toweling and curtain panels in order to get the most yardage for my buck. But I was always setting aside certain purchases, especially from the thirties, forties and fifties, not so much for design as the colors. The hues were different back then...softly intense but not overbearing, and agreeable to juxtapositioning. When we recently repainted our home, the palette I selected was straight from my fabric collection!

-What is your ultimate vintage find?

Without hesitation, my ultimate find is the 1945 Butterick transfer pattern. Of such significance, I wrote about this on my blog, Apron Memories Even two years after the fact, I'm emotional over this pattern. Not only how I discovered it, but there's such gaiety to the dancing mommy, daddy and baby plates, cups and saucers, etc.- which to me, is symbolic of war replaced with hope.

-Where do you do the majority of your vintage shopping- garage, estate and rummage sales, thrift stores, vintage stores, online vintage stores of eBay?

My finds are always in person- the thrill of the hunt, so to speak. I tend to favor antique malls because of the diversity of the individual shops, and the number of vendors.

-Who are some of your favorite style icons?

I live in New York City for a few years, and as a poor art student, spent great chunks of time roaming the expensive stores like the oh so chic Henri Bendels and the village shops for fashion inspiration. One of my favorites, though, was a little storefront named Betsy Bunky Nini. It held a grand mixture of second-hand (wasn't called vintage then!) and one-of-a kind creations. Unbeknownst was Betsy was Betsy Johnson. I have an original Betsy Johnson, which has been carefully stored for many years. This past September, I presented it as a birthday present to my eldest son's special sweetie. It was time the dress was worn again. So, in answer to the original question: Betsy Johnson.

-Do you collect any other types of collectibles or antiques?

Oh, yes! Eye glass frames, bow ties, Archie comics, early readers and the Dick and Jane primers, children's wooden toys, barware, Viewfinders and reels, metal workman lunch pails, etiquette books, cookbooks and magazines, all of the 1900-1950's. I surround myself with these items, along with my aprons and fabrics- they are my inspiration.

Thanks to EllynAnne for answering our Style Council interview questions!

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 15, 2009.