The Fitting Room Chronicles: Channeling Elvira, Mistress of the Dark

When I was growing up, I thought Elvira was the coolest undead broad around. She was wickedly funny, had a Ronnie Spector beehive for days, and let’s be real, the woman has a seriously banging body.

What’s not to love about this sinfully seductive ghoul?

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Several years ago, I had the ah-mazing opportunity to interview Cassandra Peterson, the woman behind the iconic pinup. Everything about it was kept top secret, and rightfully so. As you can imagine, there would be some mass hysteria among her growing fans if anyone knew her of her whereabouts. However, Cassandra was one of the most sweetest women I’ve ever had the pleasure to spend an evening with. We spoke about her encounters with Elvis Presley, Tom Jones, and the memoir that I kept begging her to write and publish.

It was truly one of my favorite interviews of all time.

The ageless Cassandra Peterson
The ageless Cassandra Peterson

So when I found this slinky black dress during one of my thrifting adventures, I fell in love. I mean, just look at it. I could easily be a macabre mistress. All I needed was the hair (which I could easily achieve if I wake up and don’t brush my hair/slather on coconut oil/empty out my hairspray), and pat on some Manic Panic Virgin White Powder from my teenage goth years.

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For about $12 bucks I believe, this dress was as va-va-voom as it could possibly get. And would you believe it was from the very modern Madonna for Macy’s collection? I wasn’t going to take it home with me, because really, when will I ever have a moment to wear this? But friends thought I was crazy for leaving this behind. I went to the thrift shop the following day and sure enough, it was still on the hanger, waiting for me.

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I have yet to rock it, but with Halloween approaching, it could be my own take on the Elvira costume. And the lady herself sells plenty of accessories to make your Halloween devilishly delightful. The sleeves aren’t certainly the same as the real thing, but let’s just say the other assets work. And with Elvira’s fabulous hair, people will get the picture.

How will you be daring this Halloween?

Finding Glamour in Maine: Part 3

Check out Finding Glamour in Maine Part 1 and Part 2.

If there’s one thing everyone goes to see at York Beach is the Nubble Lighthouse. It’s a big thing here and not visiting this monument is as sinful as not having any lobster rolls.

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According to its official website:

In colonial days mariner traffic was important to the commerce of the area. Knowing that Maine’s rocky coast was very dangerous to those mariners and their livelihood, the Citizens petitioned the United States Government for a lighthouse.

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In 1874 President Rutherford B. Hayes appropriated the sum of $15,000 to build a lighthouse on this “Nub” of land. On July 1, 1879 construction was completed on what, at the time, was known as the Knubble Lighthouse with a 4th order light began to protect our men and women on the sea. The men and women serving in the Lighthouse Service were the first guardians who provided great care for the light and its surrounding buildings.

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My initial reaction? It’s smaller than what I thought it would be.

Photo by Jordan Race
Photo by Jordan Race

Hey, what did you expect? I’m surrounded by skyscrapers in NYC, so I’m not sure what I was expecting. And being surrounded by rocks and water was a little too “Scare Tactics” for me. What if I somehow slipped, fell, and landed in the ocean, never to be found? My mother said I’ve always had a vivid imagination.

Trying not to fall to my death. Photo by Jordan Race
Trying not to fall to my death.
Photo by Jordan Race

For my visit to the quaint, picturesque Nubble Lighthouse, I wore a watercolor painting-inspired silk dress that I purchased during one of my thrifting adventures. It was quite fitting, don’t you think?

Photo by Jordan Race
Photo by Jordan Race

For a similar look:

And did I talk about the lobster rolls? They’re everywhere, including right by the Nubble Lighthouse. I definitely wasn’t complaining.

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And ice cream. It was also everywhere. Like this vanilla soft serve cone dipped in chocolate fudge. Oh baby.

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Oh, and let’s not forget minty mojitos and beers by the beach. The mojito was mine, of course.

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Later in the evening, Jordan and I decided to have a date night at cozy Mimmo’s Italian Restaurant. It’s your town mom and pop eatery where locals go to satisfy their pasta cravings along with bottles of wine from home (it’s BYOB). Mimmo himself walks to every table to greet his guests. The portions are ridiculously HUGE. Bring your appetite. My pasta was drenched in white wine sauce and the shrimp was merely a handful. But, I ate it happily. Jordan’s lasagna was saucy and loaded on the cheese. He cleaned his plate, too.

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For the evening, I decided to channel Josephine Baker in my own way, spit curl and all.

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I wore a silk fuchsia dress, also from the same thrifting adventure from Manhattan.

Photo by Jordan Race
Photo by Jordan Race

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Photo by Jordan Race
Photo by Jordan Race

For a similar look:

I felt like a 1920s silent screen star!

Photo by Jordan Race
Photo by Jordan Race
Photo by Jordan Race
Photo by Jordan Race

The Fitting Room Chronicles: Channeling Stevie Nicks

I will never be Stevie Nicks. No one could be Stevie Nicks except Stevie Nicks herself. She is a blonde witchy love goddess who must be worshipped and adored. This fellow Stephanie isn’t worthy.

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I had an amazing opportunity to check out a Stevie Nicks photo exhibition in SoHo, and to say that I was inspired would be an understatement. These are what you call SELFIES. Bow down.

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There are many ways to pay tribute to this iconic artist with your wardrobe. A bohemian white lace dress, loads of fringe, a crimson velvet gown with ruffled sleeves, wide-legged pants – anything that a spellbinding 1970s singer would wear really.

But in my case, I decided to go with bat sleeves.

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I’m not usually a fan of velvet, as everything tends to stick and the fuzzy texture drives me insane, but I felt like an enchantress in this simple black body-hugging velvet dress with sheer bat sleeves. I was compelled to twirl, cast spells, and sing “Edge of Seventeen,” one of my favorite songs since childhood.

But  you know what else we could use for a Stevie Nicks party? A crimson 1970s silk dress with a cape.

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Stevie also happens to be a fan of red hot dresses too.

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With the cool, crisp fall season upon us, and Halloween around the corner, now is the time to sprinkle some Stevie Nicks magic to your wardrobe. Who wouldn’t want to dress up like a legend, and feel warm with all of those layers?

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Links a la Mode

Photo courtesy of Independent Fashion Bloggers
Photo courtesy of Independent Fashion Bloggers 

Links à la Mode, October 22

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Whisky and The Plaza

I’m not a whisky drinker. I prefer a glass to unwind after a busy day, a gin cocktail for a casual night out, or tequila when, in the words of Prince, “it was Saturday night, I guess that makes it all right.”

But most of the time, a bottle of sparkling Perrier will do.

Cheers
Cheers

So when I was invited to the The Macallan Rare Cask event at The Academy Mansion on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, I figured why not? How many chances will I really attempt to try some Scotch at a proper tasting in a ultra posh venue? Perhaps it might inspire me to write a story. Writers can never get enough inspiration.

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One of my besties Francis isn’t much a whisky drinker either, so it was wonderfully refreshing to embark on this tasting journey with someone who was as curious as I.

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The Academy Mansion was a glorious castle made fit for a Park Avenue princess, the guests were immaculately dressed in their finest evening couture, and the Macallan whisky was smooth-as-silk, but with a powerful punch. In short, it was another fabulous night.

It was time to continue.

We then decided to spend some time at The Plaza, one of my favorite places in the world. Just telling you about this hotel’s rich history could easily transform this blog into a book, but if you’re a fan of all things vintage, you must make your way to The Plaza pronto. Expect to hear more of this place soon.

Photo by Francis Rodriguez
Photo by Francis Rodriguez
Photo by Francis Rodriguez
Photo by Francis Rodriguez

For the evening, I wore this glorious butterfly dress by vintage-inspired online clothing retailer ModCloth.com. It’s one of my most favorite places to shop, and it should be yours, too!

Photo by Francis Rodriguez
Photo by Francis Rodriguez
Photo by Francis Rodriguez
Photo by Francis Rodriguez

Sadly, this dress is no longer available on ModCloth.com, but I did find some similar, equally amazing picks, just for you:

See you soon at The Plaza!

Photo by Francis Rodriguez
Photo by Francis Rodriguez

Going Italian (In Greenpoint)

Manhattan girls don’t like to leave the island. We just don’t. From food to shopping, there’s really no reason to visit the other boroughs.

But Brooklyn knows what’s up.

Roses of Greenpoint.
Roses of Greenpoint.

I don’t need to tell you how Brooklyn (at least some parts of it) are the playgrounds of hipsters, or how everything cool is somehow made in the BK. And if you watch HBO, chances are you know about one particular show where its setting happens to be Brooklyn.

But I really don’t go to Brooklyn unless I absolutely have to. And when I found out about this massive warehouse where you can find tons of vintage pieces for affordable prices, you know I was making the trip down under.

I know, I know.
I know, I know.

For my visit to Greenpoint, specifically Dusty Rose Vintage, I wore this sheer 1970s label-less dress I thrifted many moons ago in (yes) Manhattan.

Photo by Jordan Race.
Photo by Jordan Race.

I paired it with a (more modern) sparkling matching floral cardigan from Topshop that I also thrifted. The pearls are also vintage, and I kept the lipstick more natural looking, all thanks to Milani’s Color Statement Moisture Matte Lipstick in Naked ($5.99). I felt like I was in the streets of Italy. But I wasn’t. I swear.

Photo by Jordan Race
Photo by Jordan Race

For a similar look (all Etsy.com):

Photo by Jordan Race
Photo by Jordan Race

I adore Dusty Rose Vintage in Greenpoint. It’s a true shopping haven for thrifters who relish on the hunt. Make sure you reserve some hours just to go through bins and bins of clothes from various eras. There’s even a “Goth Witch Noir” bin(!).

Photo by Jordan Race
Photo by Jordan Race

Jordan was trying to find a leather jacket, but he wasn’t as lucky. Perhaps we’re due for another visit sooner than later!

Jordan was attempting to find a leather jacket.
Jordan was attempting to find a leather jacket.

I wish I could tell you NOT to visit Dusty Rose Vintage, only so I can have this whole place to myself. But seriously, this place is the bee’s knees. Every thrifter should make a visit to Mecca. So make your way to Greenpoint and shop until you drop!

Fin.
Fin.

The Fitting Room Chronicles: Channeling Louise Brooks

When many think of flappers from the “Roaring ’20s,” images like these come to mind:

Joan Crawford
Joan Crawford
Colleen Moore
Colleen Moore
Clara Bow
Clara Bow
Barbara Stanwyck
Barbara Stanwyck

And of course, there are 1920 fashion guides, like this one, to help:

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But one overlooked garment from the famous era is the kimono. And really, what’s not to love about this comfortable, silky loungewear that instantly adds glamour to your home? The kimono was also big during this era as it was looser, easy to wear, and functional. The 1996 book, “The Kimono Inspiration: Art and Art-To-Wear in America” gives a lot of wonderful insight about the traditional Japanese piece and its impact in the United States over the years.

One silent screen star who made the kimono one of her signature looks was Louise Brooks. Apparently, it was her thing, along with a carefully cut bob.

Kimono-101

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During one of my thrifting adventures, I found this bold red kimono. While it’s more on the wiggle side, eliminating that loose comfort one would expect from a more traditional kimono, I felt ready for my close-up.

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Loungewear? Pul-eeze. This baby was meant to be worn out. I will need to work on my tip-toe walking, as modern steps won’t do in this gown, but that’s just another workout that comes with fashion.

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It sure beats those usual flapper getups that every Gatsby-obsessed dame goes head over heels for. And don’t get me wrong, I adore those waist-drop dresses too, but sometimes you just have to stand out. And who wouldn’t want to learn a thing or two from the “Kansas Cleopatra?”

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I can’t wait to rock this dress for a special occasion. Hopefully all those gin cocktails from past dinners and soirees haven’t caught up to me yet. How tragic would it be if my big ol’ butt couldn’t squeeze into this again?!