Tuesday, December 22, 2009 Y 4:51 PM
Hey all! Sorry it's been a few days. We got a few inches of snow (hooray!), so I've been busy playing in that... and working on my winter wardrobe! Haha. Today, instead of a long update, or talking more about my "French Dream Closet," I uploaded a playlist of all my current favorites - you guys can download these for free (at least some of you - I think there's a limited number of who can!) by LEFT CLICKING the link, and choosing "save." I put them in a specific order, I tried to make the playlist flow well. Some of them might be new to you, and I'm sure some of them will be old. So here, for your listening pleasure:
Harbor District Vintage Blog Playlist Number One
01. Who Said We're Wack - The Lonely Island
02. Sweet Disposition - The Temper Trap
03. For No One - The Beatles
04. Emily's Theme 3 (Lunch Is Difficult) - Nathan Johnson & China Kent
05.Nobody Knows Me At All - The Weepies
06. Ride (Tiesto Rmx) - Cary Brothers
07. Hero - Regina Spektor
08. My Delerium (Radio Edit) - Ladyhawke
09. Xavia - The Submarines
10. Tik Tok - KE$HA
11. Gimme Sympathy - Metric
12. 11th Dimension - Julian Casablancas
13. Northwestern Girls - Say Hi
Happy snow days to you!
And my happy heart-shaped little hiney print:
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Tuesday, December 15, 2009 Y 4:06 PM
One of my all-time favorite books is Entre Nous: A Woman's Guide to Finding Her Inner French Girl. Debra Ollivier is a fabulous writer who is poetic, descriptive, witty, and so easy to read. If you haven't picked up a copy, I think you should. She wrote another book on the subject of French women entitled What French Women Know, which focuses more specifically on French women in relationships. I have a copy on its way to me as we speak.
Though it is clear from Entre Nous that the je nais se quoi a French woman has does NOT boil down to her wardrobe alone, there is a generous section of the book with wonderful fashion advice. What do French women wear? How can you dress more like a French woman? What IS French fashion? She answers these questions beautifully and even includes a detailed description of a French woman's dream closet. Note some of the GREAT stuff she has to say:
Back to the "Dream Closet." Though some of the items in the dream closet are specific - detailing the brand, or the boutique at which the item was purchased - there is room for individual interpretation. For example, she calls for a classic suit from Cacharel... But Cacharel provides more than one suit. MY perfect Cacharel suit might not be the same as YOUR perfect Cacharel suit. With this knowledge and nothing but time, I started a quest. I am building MY version of the "French Girl Dream Closet." To summarize the closet:
One pair of jeans
Two pairs of pants
Plenty of assorted tees in various cuts & colors
Plenty of black cotton tops
One gorgeous silk blouse
Three pullover sweaters
Five pairs of shoes
Plenty of scarves
Plenty of jewelry
I'm going to share my picks for my dream closet here, piece by piece, and even see if I can find some awesome similar pieces on Etsy to share with you! So without further ado:
"What's In Her Dream Closet: If money were no object, (and avoiding department stores because 'we get lost in them and end up buying what we don't really need') what would the French girl have in her closet?
A classic suit and coat from Ventillo and Cacharel, a typical French brand that's experiencing a sort of rebirth these days."
The suit is from the Fall 2007 RTW line, courtesy of nymag.com; the double breasted coat was found on my-wardrobe.com and is $250. How about a few Etsy counterparts?
Vintage Kasper tuxedo suit by thevintagemistress; gorgeous vintage wool coat by the wooden spool, both at Etsy. :)
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Friday, December 11, 2009 Y 11:53 AM
First of all, I must begin choosing more sensible footwear. I am officially stranded in front of the computer today with the largest boo-boos on my ankles that I've possibly ever had. I can barely hop into the kitchen / bathroom. If shoes are too small, they are TOO SMALL. I need to learn to accept this. Haha.
Okay, last of all, before the REAL blogging can begin: What would I really love from anyone who reads this thing?
I want involvement. I want interaction. I want disagreement. I want advice. I want FEEDBACK. I want questions. More than anything, I want questions. Please, please, please, pour your heart out in questions for me to answer, requests of what you'd like to see me blog about.
Have something you want to say to me personally, or ask me about? Shoot me an email. Visit my profile (the link is also available on my blog page, on the sidebar) and email me! I want to hear from you.
Honestly, the more I get to know my readers / fans / customers as PEOPLE - the more interaction there is - the more likely I am to offer special discounts, etc. That might seem cheap, but it's the simple truth. Any friend who buys from me on Etsy gets a ridiculous friend discount. (There are a few who can vouch for that, haha...) So please, let's get acquainted! Get to know me! Ask me anything. Tell me anything. I can't wait to begin. :)
And again, to close up this post without it being a text-only post... A few photos of the beautiful and inspirational Anouk Aimée, a gorgeous French actress since around the 1950s - she's absolutely exquisite, a prototypical French beauty. To see more of her, I recommend Lola, Otto e Mezzo, or Un homme et une femme. Enjoy!
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Wednesday, December 9, 2009 Y 10:24 PM
So, I promised a part two - and here it is. Why am I blogging, and what will I blog about?
Well, let's not be deceitful. The real reason I was initially inspired to blog was that I read, in an Etsy article, that sellers who blog get something like 55% more traffic to their site. I couldn't really turn my head on that one. I realized it was time for me to bite the bullet and get serious about a blog.
Honestly, Blogger intimidates me. I grew up on Livejournal, and I feel a bit lost on this site. Thankfully, I had some HTML experience from being a former MySpace nerd, and this came in handy with my layout. But I have a hard time figuring out how to read the posts I'm following, etc. I'm sure with time, it will get easier, I will get used to it, and it will be okay.
I have to admit, however, that I used to be a HUGE Livejournal user, I journaled online for ages. And I do miss having that creative outlet. So I really am hoping I can embrace this blog as a place to explore, expand, grow, and express myself. It's only too convenient that it can also be used as a promotional tool for the shop.
I hope I can get closer to my customers or potential customers or fellow Etsians, or WHOEVER reads this... I think a more personal relationship, an understanding of your peers, can only help your shop AND your style. So I really just hope to build connections here - to actually get to know some great people on a personal & professional level.
This will be a place where I explore my inspirations, both vintage and modern. This won't be limited to fashion or style, but will include music, art, movies, books, thoughts, memories, friends. I find inspiration in such a wide variety of places. I will share outfit ideas I like. I will most likely highlight some of my favorite Etsy shops. I will share bits of my life and experiences that will flesh out the skeleton of my store. I might do an occasional free giveaway or contest - I already did one at my Facebook and it went well. I will give tips on how to incorporate vintage into your wardrobe, or tips on whatever I think I have enough knowledge to give tips on. Honestly, I haven't mapped everything out yet - I'm going to let things happen naturally, with the confidence that it will end up okay.
Still to come - part three, What I would love from my readers. <3
And to keep this post from being text-only, here is the inspiration for my blog layout - or, more appropriately, the background image. This was an Elle layout featuring French actress Nora Arnezeder, photographed by Karl Lagerfeld, styled by Christopher Niquet, and revolving around Chanel and French style. I am an admitted Francophile. With all the pink, and roses, and textured fabrics, these photos nearly make my mouth water. Enjoy!
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Friday, December 4, 2009 Y 9:15 PM
Hello there, my name is Kay-Lynn (sometimes lazily typed or written as Kaylynn), and this is my blog.
I run a great little vintage shop at Etsy, called Harbor District Vintage. Here's the general idea:
Go ahead and give it a look, I guess either you'll love it or hate it. I would describe my style, and therefore the pieces I choose for my shop's inventory, as feminine, dramatic, playful, sensual, gaudy, dreamy, girlish, and bold. Those adjectives honestly sum it all up in Kaylynnland. So firstly, about my business:
I have loved "vintage," or more appropriately, "second-hand" clothing for around eight or nine years, I would guess. Well, that was when I first got interested in scouring thrift stores for great finds. It wasn't from the same angle that people today seem to view vintage clothing... I was an aspiring "artsy" type (I still am! Haha) who listened to a lot of the Clash and the Strokes and had an awesome best friend who was a surfer and a painter and had a style all her own. She inspired me to dig a little deeper, dress a little bolder, brighter, wear boys' and mens' clothing, wear ties and fun socks... Yeah, Steph, I'm talking about you, I love you woman. Here she is, by the way... us through the years. We've been best friends for 20 years now, and that's pretty awesome. And she's having a baby soon! Her first! WHOO HOO:
Please excuse the gratuitous best friend collage. Yeah, I'm totally drinking a Heine on my wedding day there. I was so nervous, haha. Weddings are rough. And how about our George & Obama impressions? I think they're spot-on. Well, moving on.
I wasn't trying to be "stylish" back in my teenage years when I got into second-hand clothing. Quite the opposite, I think. I was just going for different. I bought big oversized lime green dress shirts with bold black stripes; I bought kids' Spongebob shirts. (I will always love the Squarepants, regardless of how old I get. It is a love that will never die.) I wore knee-high gym socks (the kinds with the stripes at the top? so cute) and Converse.
Well, anyway, as the years progressed, I grew up... but my love for thrifting, second-hand clothing, eclectic and unique style... that came with me. I grew up in Florida, which I think influenced my style a lot and always will. I was born in Daytona Beach, and when I was 18, 19, everyone was pierced and tattooed, wore skinny jeans, big belt buckles. I absorbed that, the John John Jesse-inspired arm piece I have is one of quite a few tattoos that attest to my being influenced by that period. Then the Japanese street fashion craze came, and I ate it up. I have had my hair every color you could imagine. I have sworn off makeup for months, I have covered myself in it. I have weathered all the tedious comments about how unrecognizable I suddenly was; constantly changing and taking fashion risks. (Aren't those comments fun? Such a blast to reply to...)
I guess it finally hit me, in 2008. I had a series of fairly successful day jobs in sales / marketing / administration / so on, you know, the kinds of jobs where you sit behind a desk and pretend to work really hard all day... Where you are super-creative at the marketing but really SUCK at the paperwork... Anyway, it just wasn't me. I'm just not cut out for the 9-5 life. I started to brainstorm, and the idea of reselling the awesome second-hand finds I come across came to me while on my one year anniversary trip. I ran the idea by my husband, we researched Etsy, we went for it. That was a year ago. An inspired idea that just came upon us, really. I am not, by any means, the most successful Etsy seller there is - but I'm having fun doing this, and it's more fulfilling than any other job I've had.
Harbor District is unique, to me, because it is so much a ONE-WOMAN-OPERATION. Every piece you see was hand-picked by me... altered by me... styled by me... modeled by me... written about by me... measured by me... photographed by me (gotta love the self-timer)... folded by me... shipped by me... Getting the idea? There are some really gorgeous and successful Etsy shops out there, many of which I love - but we aren't in the same league. I am not what they are. I don't have a studio, an expensive camera, a photographer, I can't hire models. I run the shop out of my home. I love every piece from start to finish. There is a part of me in every item I send on its way.
What else makes HDV different? I would say BALANCE. Some shops are all trend, and some shops are all class. I try to be somewhere in the middle. I keep up on trends somewhat... but I also know the value of simplicity and classic style. I think true style lies somewhere between the trends and the safety of what works classically. That middle ground is a good place to be.
And what about ME? I am an enneagram enthusiast. I am a blissfully happy wife. I am a movie ADDICT. I am a writer. I have a dark sense of humor that overshadows my life in a drastic way and permeates my very being. I don't stand for pretention, blandness, or egoism. I am a huge nerd at heart. Or is it dork? Maybe I'm both. I'm a deep romantic. I love Baz Luhrman, Radiohead, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. The Beatles were my first loves (specifically John Lennon). I always fall for lead singers. I fancy myself somewhat of a Bohemian (definitely of the dandy persuasion, though I wish I was more like a beat). I am the opposite of materialistic, and I wallow in a sort of self-imposed poverty for the value of the "artistic suffering" involved. I love red wine and Indian food, and I live for Adult Swim.
I think I'm the kind of girl who actually makes an awesome friend; the kind of girl who is all right to hang out with. And that's refreshing, I think, not to brag on myself - because I don't have a TON of pals or anything - but I am not pretentious. I am real. I love fashion, but I love my sweatpants. I love necklaces, but can't be bothered with earrings. I don't care how bad my shoes hurt my feet, I'm going to wear them anyway. I will turn the radio up way too loud. And I will laugh so loud that everyone will turn around.
I guess it's impossible to do much self-summarizing here, but I gave it a shot. I'm sure as the blog progresses everything will take shape.
Part Two coming soon - Why a Blog? :)
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