Friday, June 29, 2012

Reuse AND Recyle

Just a quick post:  I like  Not only do they have lots of handy products like purse-size shopping bags, reusable lunch sacks and the like, but many of the products are made from recycled plastic.  And the prices are good.  And they have a simple website and speedy service.  S'all good.  I buy a couple of their lunch bags every school year.  These are only $6.97 each now on sale:

It is really much earlier than I want to be thinking about back to school, but I thought you should know about their summer sale.  See coupon code below.

That's all.  Stay cool!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

More Seersucker

My friend Bethany is a breath of fresh air.  She's enormously creative, a free spirit, and naturally hospitable.  The Seersucker Social is a perfect day for her to shine, and I'm so grateful she took me along for the ride, so to speak (For more on the event see my previous post or go to  Beforehand, we had a great time at Value Village poring over seersucker possibilities.  Bethany got a fetching lime green suit, which she made even better with a petticoat from Polly Sue's Vintage Shop ( and her own wonderful accessories and wedding shoes.   Here she is enjoying the gorgeous day among the ample froof that is Hillwood Mansion. 

 And here is Bethany's friend, Jared with his daughter.  
Two things that are sure to make me smile: spiffy men and little girls in sundresses.
The whole day was a lighthearted romp.  It was a hoot to see everyone's take on the theme.  My favorite was the woman who turned a crocheted daisy baby blanket into a strapless belted mini.  I think there was double-sided tape involved.  Once again someone raved about the vintage store, Treasury (, so I know a visit is in my future.

The day is a great day for sustainable fashion and for creativity.  It's basically a vintage event, with most people evoking a Jazz Age sensibility.  I  took a different tack so I could sport a Saint Chic organic cotton seersucker suit that I have loved since I saw it at CarbonDC over a year ago.  ( )

The pants fit like a dream, and the cropped jacket I got is reversible.  I wore them with an American Apparel  organic cotton tank top: 

and this excellent harness made from upcycled bike inner tubes. ( )  

The Seer sucker Social is a cycling event after all.

As I did for my Artomatic installation, I made it a personal challenge to be completely sustainably decked out.  The shoes were from Value Village, and the bracelets and clutch second-hand and gifts (thanks Lisa, Laurette and Martha)

Oh! I also wore some white recycled glass earrings from YB Green (  

I got mine at the EcoArt&Design pop-up expo (, but I think Yasmin Bowers also sells her things at Ginger Root Design on U Street.  ( )  Here I am together with my lovely pal, Erin.

She wears a hat well.  I'm not looking very vintage, but I had fun improvising with the theme.   By the way!  Brandon  Bloch's video about last year's Seersucker Social is utterly delightful.  It gives a great sense of what a lighthearted day it is.  So well done!  Check it out at

'hope to see you next year!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Bill Cunningham of Beijing

I'm in Beijing.  I have seen a lot of wonderful clothes.  From the Chinese designers in the Beijing editions of Vogue and Harpers to the stunning silk updates of classic Chinese silhouettes in the 798 art district.  Today I had lunch with two very sophisticated international women who were wearing gorgeous outfits.  Here's Xu Ting in Etro  ( )

and Miao Lu in a lovely crimped silk dress. 

I am particularly taken by the street fashion, however.  Bless the Chinese;  they started the ball rolling by randomly asking my husband to pose for photos with them in front of the Forbidden City.  This let me know that anyone who caught my fancy was fair game as well.  I could thoroughly enjoy a life as the Bill Cunningham of Beijing.  (If you have not seen the documentary about this NYTimes street fashion photographer, I highly recommend it.  The clothing in this free-wheeling Asian capital is far more whimsical and daring than in DC.  Start with the parasol, for example.  I think it takes some feminine chutzpah to carry a parasol.  And women here carry them ruffled, spangled and otherwise thoroughly embellished.  This modern day Jackie O carried an understated one especially well.

This outfit may have been my favorite, but it's hard to choose.  Please feel free to weigh in.
The orange ruched blouse, fluffy leopard skirt, blue tights and mustard shoes seemed an inspired combo.

As did this one on the right with the pink cropped top over striped dress over jeans shorts with tights and turquoise platforms.  She must get her love of clothing from her Mom.  I'll bet that Mao jacket never quite suited her.

This woman, from one of the southern minorities, was wearing a lovely and modest green dress with a raw silk striped apron. Really one can hardly notice the clothes for her smile.

The young woman in the pink capri suit with the touristy hat was utterly adorable.

and speaking of cute.

The prize for the best-dressed man goes to this gentleman from a foreign delegation.  I was unable to ask where he was from, as speaking Chinese entirely pushed the French out of my head.  If you can tell from the fabric, please help.

When I was teaching in China in the 80's one of my students, after seeing my slides of DC, asked, "Why are all the buildings white?"  Surely we do not have quite the Chinese love of bold color and pattern mixing.  I must say I have been influenced by the Chinese, though.  Below is the upcycled peacock cheong sam/qi pao I made for an Oscar party:

But I was also influenced by the Icelandic/Macedonian singer/designer team of Bjork and
Marjan Pejoski:

It's a mad, mad, mad, mad world no?  Katy Kincade signing off from Beijing.