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I'm sat in Newark airport right now and my flight to Chicago has been delayed - boo hoo. I'm going to visit my pal for the weekend to enjoy some July 4th celebrations, I really am making the most of my first visit to the States! My last night in New York was super-cool, we made a rock'n'roll pilgrimage to CBGBs and found ouselves in the midst of a crazy psychobilly night.
Thee Merry Widows were the main band and they are the only all female psychobilly band in the United States - these chicks are wild! The lead singer (pictured above) poured beer all over herself, threw the bottle into the crowd and played a theramin with her cleavage. Crazy. I'm afraid I did close my eyes for a mini second tho and pretend Joey Ramone was on stage. Ha ha.
It's the end of my second day, I'm back at the loft and not tired yet so I thought I'd quickly pop another entry up. Ha Ha! I think it's the novelty of having airport connection - look mom no wires. I'm sat in the main room tapping away on my iBook and I look up to find Herbie on the table - I think he's parched.
So, shopping has been number one on the agenda today and if you're new to New York get ready to WALK, everything is so much larger and the cool shops are spread around the city. Don't be thinking you can wear your sky high wedges. My sore feet are still happy feet though as I found some real pretty things. My fave shops were: Lost Shoe on Ludlow Street where I purchased a distressed tee with cute 60s cartoon prints and french slogans; Eye Candy on Lafayette st where I picked up a 1950s 'owl' bag and a pair of 1980s red chequered aviators (pictured below, middle); Hooky and C. Ronson on Mulberry street; What Goes Around Comes Around on West Broadway and Urban Outfitters on Broadway. I went a bit nuts in Urban Outiftters, they carry completely different lines to my local Oxford Street store. I scooped up a good selection of distressed tees, a pair of denim cut offs, a sequin folk skirt, a set of polks dot socks with lace frill trim and a wooden owl medallion necklace. Hoot hoot.
The star find of the day was a tiny workshop/store run by Charles Elkhaim on Mulberry Street. He has been hand crafting kitsch jewellery since the 1950s and has the most extensive and unique line of minature jewelled animal earrings. I purchased a "monkey madness" necklace and "little deer" earring set - see photos above. The detail and quality is superb all the minature animals are vintage and Charles has decorated them with dinky sparkly rhinestones. Sadly, after 18 years in Little Italy the soaring rents are forcing him to close down and he is selling everything including the fixtures and fittings. He has a great attitude tho, this dude has been written about in every magazine, sells to stores all over the world and has a great story about Jade Jagger buying tonnes of his goodies. I also picked up some 1970s badges and stickers, a betty boop earring, some chattering teeth and dancing sneakers. Charles' lovely wife Yvette gave me a vintage "Lisa Frank" box to house all my goodies in. Aww. I might go back tomorrow and have a proper look through his huge collection of bakelite jewellery...
I'm soooo excited/happy/crazy right now! It's my second day in New York and seeing as I'm wide awake at 5am I think jet lag has set in - but I don't care! We're staying in an artist's loft in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Pablo and Veronica are our hosts and they are also organic chefs. Yesterday was busy busy busy - I'm here with my pal Jeanne who is also a jewellery designer and we ran around a bunch of stores showing them her dreamy jewels. We hopped around independants on the Lower East Side and some glam boutiques in Soho. We ended up in a sushi house called Avenue A, with it's glossy black interior and guitar rock jukebox I thought I'd tripped back to the 80s.
We also dropped by the hippest boutique on the planet - Missbehave. Samantha already stocks my jewellery and I was super pleased to see my goodies displayed on a vintage owl and tree stationary rack and in a trophy cabinet - too cute! I did take a photo, but as I'm no David Bailey the picture was too blurry to include. I hope you enjoy the pix I did take (above and below) the interior of the shop is high school heaven - school lockers house sweaters and Samantha sits at teacher's desk infront of a black board with cheeky messages graffittied all over. This chick is seriously inspiring - the clothing and artwork is street but cute, hip but witty with a whole loadda attitude! I love it!
I have lots more planned for my trip which includes:
• Mermaid parade on Coney Island this Saturday (David Johansen from the New York Dolls is gonna be the Mermaid King)
• Renegade Craft Fair on Sunday
• Visiting the fashion departments of Cosmo Girl, Elle Girl, BUST and Nylon next week
• Drop in and meet the gang at Fred Flare on Sunday afternoon
• Show my jewellery to Mini Mini Market in Williamsburg, Brooklyn
• miss my boyfriend every day because he's looking after everything back home - so don't worry if you have placed an order recently it will still be with you super quick*
OK, I gotta sky rocket outta here - there's a boat trip ticket round Staten Island with my name on it!
I've been sorting through old paperwok today and I found a bunch of polaroids from fashion shoots that I styled way back when. I thought you guys might fancy a little peek and a brief history of my whirlwind styling career. I had just moved to London and a friend of a boyfriend knew Kenny Ho who had just started making costumes for a new band called the Spice Girls. He was overwhelmed and needed someone to basically go shopping for him, do a bit of needlework and be on hand during pop video shoots. I didn't have any experience but I was motivated and confident that I could learn fast. It was a total rollercoaster - loadsa fun, so much hard work, emotional and freebies galore!
After 2 exhausting years I wanted a change of scenery and with my fashion/music experience I went to work for Mixmag. I was the fashion assistant for a year and a half and I worked on the street style pages that we photographed in Ibiza and around clubs in the UK. A real dream at the time because I loved dance music (yikes!) and being paid to spend time in Ibiza was a real coup. I was hanging out with assistant photographers, make up artists and hair stylists who wanted to build their portfolios, so I left Mixmag and started "testing" with models to build my portfolio too. My ambition was to work for a more style led publication, but I was sooo skint, as no one gets paid at this stage. Unable to buy big glossy prints of my work, I just collected polaroids of the shoots from the photographers (see above and below). I took them round to show agencies and tried to find work in glossy magazines, but the doors I knocked just wouldn't open.
I really enjoyed myself and it was a challenge to work with so many creative people, but in the end I became disillusioned with the politics of the fashion industry. I had collected piles of vintage clothing from my weekly carboot sale jaunts, so I bought a pitch at Portobello and my market trader years began. I haven't looked back since, but finding these polaroids today pulled a little heart string which said maybe I should have pursued it a little bit further...
Every Fashion Editor is in a frenzy for bohemian jewellery this summer and I kinda like the vintage inspired beaded necklaces on the high street at the moment. I wanted the Lady Luck Rules OK homage to hippy to have a more trippy vibe though and I have spent the last few months sourcing quirky original materials from the 60s/70s for a more authentic, psychedelic feel. Jewellery design was so off the planet back then and finding this kind of "deadstock" is what drives me to do Lady Luck Rules OK. I love this new collection, I hope you do too!