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En Gypsy Couture 015: My Vintage Life

Blood and Pudding was started on a vintage typewriter.  The sound of tap, clack echoed throughout the house until my parents finally got a word processor, thus helping with the night disturbances.  I get nostalgic  for the writers who produced pages upon pages on their trusty machines, sometimes with only bourbon and cigarettes for company. 

A few nights ago Bella and I watched snippets of Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, where he sat at his typewriter, (it was 2005) listening to Candle in the Wind on repeat.  With a sly smile, he banged out a few sentences, every once in a while taking a drink of Wild Turkey on the rocks. We set the computer on repeat and listened to the same song while discussing upcoming photo shoots and sliding our hands over grainy black and whites of Marilyn Monroe.  Sometimes you have to hit rewind in order to fast forward.  We agreed, that both of us had been born in the wrong time.  And so the night ended in a blur of conversations about the "American Dream", photographs, and art.

This morning I woke up to the sound of rain pouring.  It was going to be a slow day. I could feel it in my bones.  I made coffee, sliced up bread and slathered it with butter in jam.  I remembered France and instantly wanted to pore over every Jacque Prevert poem there was.  And yet, I headed back into the bedroom and put paint to paper.  I have deadlines you know.

Bella awoke a few hours later and the sounds of Frida could be heard from her room.  Frida Kahlo, my favorite painter in existence.  I couldn't help but poke my head in a few times and then run back to my bedroom where I could both paint and touch the pages of her journal.  And then I was torn, between Spanish and French, my two greatest loves, and by being torn, I have never mastered either.  But something was stirring again, that need, to paint, write, create, entertain, and live. 

What inspires me most is the past.  I love vintage culture.  My friend Gabby did an interview with Queens of Vintage, a site I love more than glitter (that's a lot).  In it she said:

I am a devotee of vintage for its history – I love the fact that every item has a story, a past that isn’t just born in a factory shipped to a shop! I feel the same about couture- there is always a tale to tell and it seems more personal. Nothing beats the feeling of a dress that feels like it was made to fit your body, especially if it was actually made for another in the Thirties, Forties and beyond!

I couldn't agree more, and this plays into my life in so many ways.  Although, I am always moving forward, I am inspired by the past.  My book was inspired by the past on many different levels as well as my art.  Blood and Pudding started on a typewriter, typewritten pages cut and glued gently into leather bound journal.  These were same journals that I wrote goals to travel to Europe and live as much as I could, like the "Beats" did.  I always wanted to be Kerouac.  We took polaroids, and had mini recorders on us at all times.  

Tonight I pulled out the typewriter and clacked out a few words in between running to the closet and pulling out my new vintage dress.  I bought it just the other day.  The moment I saw it, I knew it was mine, that it would fit me, and whoever owned it before, had my essence.  Sometimes you can just feel it.

Vintage Dress: $30 Goodwill


En Gypsy Couture 013: last Days of Summer

The summer started with magic and mayhem, trips to Coney Island, veve paintings, tarot, Battleship Cove, Blood and Pudding's release, road trips, and interviews.  It also brought many wonderful guests into my home.  Lonesome Liz spent a few days in the caravan, and both Kim Boekbinder and Gabby Young were in town at the same time.  I also switched gears when my new housemate Miss Bella Berlin moved in.  The bohemian household just got better.  A few days ago Bella and I put out the lights in the backyard and glittered up the ground.  We were having a party to say goodbye to summer, welcome the full moon, and bring together some of the most brilliant people we knew. We thought the best way to do this was to put out the holiday decorations, christmas lights, glitter snowflakes, and skulls, and bohemian candle lanterns.  That's how we roll.

Me right after Kim Boekbinder's show at Rockwood Music Hall.  I had just gotten home and was quite pleased with the outfit.

Jacket: Forever 21

Vintage Beatles shirt: My collection

Skirt: Beacons Closet

Shoes: Chinese Laundry

The Christmas lights dance in the moonlight.

As do the glitter snowflakes of summer.  Because no backyard is complete without them.

The Tibetan flags blowing in the night breeze.

And no summer evening should be without paper peacocks.

I hope you all enjoyed your summer.

x to the o,



Crosses Palm With Silver 07: Spin the vinyl & serve up the vintage

Starla & Sherene
spin the vinyl & serve up the vintage
Saturday January 9, 2010.

Please join us for a special Saturday afternoon 
fashion boutique at:
299 w. 12th Street
Between 8th avenue and Hudson.
Pour over vintage couture and
please your senses with satin, velvet, sequins and silk
while indulging in homemade chocolate truffles & Moroccan mint tea.
*with every purchase, you'll receive a complimentary express Tarot reading.


En Gypsy Couture 01: La Gitana

Our caravan is our family, and the world is our family. - Gypsy Proverb