Guest Blogger: Emily Strong

Defining Looks

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Can clothes make you feel powerful?

 

Whether we realize it or not, we always select our clothes with an agenda. Whether it's as simple as a desire to look professional or to blend in with the crowd, we all understand on a basic level what we want to project to the world and how to use clothes to do that. For a long time I selected clothes primarily to look pretty, or failing that, to not be seen at all. Those style choices felt safe, because my clothes didn't have a strong perspective. When your clothes have something to say, you are telling the world that you do, too.

 

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When I tried on this outfit from Gladiola Girls, it was obvious each individual piece had something to say. The Spanish-made, vintage red boots from Gladiola's Vintage room directly evoke Victorian footwear. The geometric jewelry by Lexington artist Tara Werner is both 70s-inspired and almost futuristically abstract. These items were selected to complement one of my favorite pieces from my own closet, an embroidered leather jacket by Romeo + Juliet Couture, and the effect when put together is striking. The flowers on the jeans echoing the flowers on the jacket. The mixture of tough leather and denim with the delicate blouse trimmed in eyelash lace by FRNCH. The delicate items becoming bold and powerful by association.

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What does it mean to call back to the past? Can that alone be a powerful thing?

 

While these pieces reference different eras, they all echo defining looks from those eras. They stand out from the crowd together.

Style is aspirational, always aiming for an ideal of how you want to be seen and the person that you want to be. The selection of clothes at Gladiola Girls surprise me with what they have to say and inspire me to continue defining my own style.

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Guest Blogger: Elspeth Suber

Rompin' in Charleston

What makes a garment work? Is it the color? The fabric? The shape? The texture? Maybe it's a combination of the elements. This romper's crisp, double-breasted top is reminiscent of the businesslike, structured nature of menswear, while the modest yet flattering shorts keep it feminine. Not only do the juxtapositions of professional and casual, masculine and feminine, combine to create a great garment, but the juxtaposition of modern styling and a vintage base also combine to perfect this little black piece.

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The magic of a vintage garment like this one is that its age gives it the ability to connect with each of its wearers on a different level. This piece may remind you of an old photograph of your eclectic aunt, while it transports me to a scene in my favorite movie. Each wearer can interpret this garment in her own way. I'm so glad that i have the privilege of speculating how the previous owners of this romper worked the juxtapositions of masculine and feminine, businesslike and casual into their personal styles. I’m always in favor of art that transports my mind to the stylish decades of the past, especially the 1970s. That's why I love vintage fashion.

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To see more interpretations of vintage clothing, check out these blogs:

Thank you to Gladiola Girls for sponsoring this post. Thank you to my uncle for taking these photos in the Charleston heat.