See those images up there? The ones on the banner? It just hit me that I desperately need to acknowledge them. First of all, they are collaged together from several photo shoots I styled for the amazing photographer Courtenay Nearburg.

Some of the work I did with her in (my favorite place) Joshua Tree, looks like this...







(see the Tootsie glasses?? Zomg!)

Being that she is my all-time favorite photographer to collaborate with, I am lucky to count her as a real friend now. She is talented and warm and funny... Inspiring!

Inspiration is a funny thing, because you can be filled with the desire to replicate your inspirations as opposed to incorporating them into who you are already. If you haven't noticed, I have a slight obsession with the concept of being true to yourself. I want what I (and you!) say and do to be authentic, from the heart. I want what I wear to be authentically me and to reflect my personality and my tastes. They say you can't judge a book by its cover but, in the fashion sense, I call BS (appropriately abbreviated for you, mom!) I think when you get dressed, you're putting the book jacket on and giving people a taste of what's inside...a synopsis that hopefully says you're well written and compelling! When I walk into Borders I carefully avoid any novels with a high heel and a champagne glass drawn jovially on the cover, because, well, I am not into chick lit (I get it, you love handbags and you're charmingly hapless!) Not to say that you can't find amazing things behind a shoddy cover choice...but let's operate under a generalization for a few minutes, k?

I think it's important to find inspiration from your life and from your loves. Fashion magazines are wonderful, by all means, and I buy them at a rate that undermines the eco-friendly concept of this blog...


But fashion magazines represent an industry that thrives on fantasy and the unattainable. I look at editorials like art! The luxurious fabrics, the hand-stitching, the magic of lighting, the wondrous freak-show stable of high-fashion models! I think the fashion industry is inspiring on a creative level, and for a lot of girls I know it is more than that. But I live a pretty low key life and my priorities don't fit into the pages of Vogue Italia. I find true, clear inspiration mostly in music, favorite books, the city I live in, and in my family and my friends. I love the explosion of the "street style" scene, kicked into gear by the sartorialist, face hunter, and the like. I love that magazines are now including pictures of looks they found walking down the street to get coffee. I think it is the best thing to happen to fashion since... (honestly sits and stares for five minutes drawing a blank) since women in the workforce or something...something cool.

My top five real-life inspirations right now...

1. My friends, the Aguilar sisters, Lindsey and Sarah

I would raid their myspace pages for better photos but neither of them has one (cough*freaks*cough), and so they can thank me for the public display of that photo later. I've never met two girls who are as sweet, as fun, as hilarious, and as well dressed as those two. I never cease to be amazed. Truly inspirational for their abilities to combine vintage with designer and to hit on current fashion trends without being obvious and without dressing like anyone else. They both retain individual aesthetics; Lindsey is more modern and has a gift for combining separates that gives me a fever, while Sarah is a true romantic and makes maxi-length gunne sax dresses look as easy as gym shorts. Lindsey is also responsible for inspiring me to buy flat sandals...which is a true testament to her style, because I had always thought, EW SANDALS, you know?

2. My husband David Clucas!

Awwwww, I know right? Without getting into the complications of marriage itself, there is something to be said for having someone around every day who thinks you're gorgeous. I am inspired by how amazing he thinks I am. I must be doing something right. Before I beat you on the face any harder with mushiness and epic cliches, he actually inspires me on a more grounded level. He lets me in on amazing music, books, movies, and places. He gives me honest opinions when we go shopping. He has made me more realistic about fashion by giving me the heads up when I try something a little too out there. He inspired me to give up the sack dress for the sake of my lovely curved figure. I can tell by the look on his face if I am killin it or not. In the end, he is a real honest-to-God confirmation that all the dressing up and fussing with my hair doesn't go to waste...I am making an impact where it counts!

Now before I get called out, I am not saying that a girl should get dressed for a man, or that a man's approval is the ultimate gauge of your looks or anything of the sort. Get dressed for yourself, and if someone appreciates it all the better, whether it is your mom or your boyfriend or your best friend...or the guy who works in the gas station where you buy your red bull. More power to you!

The photo of my husband is from our wedding. Take a look at more of the highlights if you want! But I warn you, that dress was NOT secondhand. ;)

3. Burt Sugarman's Midnight Special.
Midnight Special - 1975

I don't even know where to start with this. My husband and I own five or six DVDs of this aaaaahhhhmazing 1970's alternative to "American Bandstand". I am going to go ahead and assert that this is ESSENTIAL viewing for any vintage lover, music lover, or person of good taste in general. The performances are, for the most part, stellar. Fleetwood Mac performing Rhiannon is... breathtaking, honestly. So is Stevie's hair and face and outfit and...being. Heart give off a kind of rock goddess sex appeal I can only dream of faking one day. I can't find a lot of the great female performances on youtube (conspiracy!!!), but I can assure you that you need to have this show in your life. LaBelle will blow your head off with their space-age stage costumes. Linda Ronstadt makes God's gift look easy. Not too mention Blondie, T.Rex, Aerosmith, The BeeGees!!! Maybe you can explain to me what is going on with Robin's pants and why Barry wrote the song in a key lower than he can many questions. Oh, and did I mention a little thing I like to call Bowie? The point is if you love old clothes and old music, this is it. I regularly drag my computer into the bathroom and watch "Midnight Special" while I get ready. They look like they had fun in front of the mirror and behind the mic.

4. Chan Marshall aka Cat Power
She is real-life inspiration because her throaty crooning has been soundtracking my life for seven years. Inspired and inspiring. It's OK to be off kilter. It's OK to ignore expectations. It's OK to forget the words to your own songs. It's OK to ask for help. It's OK to back out when you don't want to go. It's OK not to care what everyone else wants. It is also OK to hang out with Karl Lagerfeld.

5. Dani-Lacey Baker

If she were only the female voice of the awesome L.A. band Walkie Talkie she'd deserve a place on the list. If she were just one of the most naturally beautiful women I had ever met in my life (seriously, she has a face for paintings) she'd be on the list.If she were just a random hippie-country-gypsy woman I walked past on the street I'd probably take her photo, stalker style. But she is my dear friend and she is definitely inspiring. Her house is like a museum of cool rock gypsy paraphenalia. She can bellydance, and practice reiki, and see ghosts! Not to mention this photo taken on her wedding day,

(that is her husband Jim there on the top left!)

Her life as a musician, her hot rocker husband, her kindness, her vintage dresses and bouffant red hair (mine changed to red soon after meeting her, I have to point out) all makes me want to try harder to experience life...and dress the part!

So the list goes on and on! I am blessed to have family, friends, and life behind me that inspires me to be the best possible version of myself. As often as possible. I will confess that today I didn't leave my house and I rocked adidas shorts and a tank top...and the dreaded flip flops. Shameful but true. And it may sound elitist of me but I want you to know that I don't leave my house in leisure wear. As a matter of fact, I hate leisure wear. I hate anything that has the PINK logo on it. I hate polar fleece. I hate those dance pants with the huge legs. And you know what? JUICY COUTURE IS NOT A FASHION DESIGNER. Gah, gives me the heebie jeebies. You can't disguise the fact that you were too lazy to get dressed today by writing arbitrary words across your butt and boobs. You aren't fooling anyone.

Anyhow, this entry may be 300 words too long already but I am on a roll and I have outfits to share!!

Last night we went to see the Black Keys (!!!!) and it was an amazing show. I am not going to review music here so....

What I wore.


( For the record, I didn't wear those shoes!)

dress-Immoni Vintage, Long Beach, CA
shoes- Steven

This is a go-to dress. Meaning it fits me well and it is versatile so I can wear it anywhere. My advice...have some go-to dresses in your closet. :)

I gave it the fall/winter treatment for fun today because I couldn't go two weeks without wearing it, much less several months!

October 2008. Maybe so!
(I'm rethinking the shoes as I perhaps?)
scarf- thrifted
shoes-vintage AND thrifted!

November 2008, I hope so!

leather jacket-vintage,Buffalo Exchange, Austin, TX
scarf- H&M
boots- Walmart...yes, Walmart.

YAY! It is getting closer and closer to the season of scarves and boots and tights and NOT SUMMER. God Bless America.

Before I take off I have a question for you guys who have blogs. How do I make it interactive? I have been on Livejournal too long and I am spoiled. I honestly want to respond to each and every comment that is left and...I can't! Am I just supposed to address everyone in a separate comment? Is there blogger etiquette here? Teach me.

Oh and,

Next Time!
My guide to finding and winning the good stuff on ebay.

The last pieces I bought new, before the year of living thriftily began.

See ya!


bonjouritsjinah said...

As far as I can tell on blogger, you can't directly respond to comments. It's really annoying. I just try to comment on people's blogs that comment on mine to acknowledge that I read theirs. If there is some burning question, I just leave a comment in the original post and hope they come back to read it.

golightlyy said...

yes, I love Fleetwood Mac and Heart!
Thanks for sharing about this amazing show!

Kim Grant said...

The Aguilar Sisters...or as I've heard you call them and I've now adopted, "Pretty Party"! They are fashion-amazing.

Wow! What a wedding photo of Dani and Jim, craziness!

Barely Girl said...

Hey, you're so sweet, that I had to say, I miss you!!!! ok, this is embarrassing, but I was googling myself, and that's how I found your blog! dork. I had a reason, it was to find some published writing so I can apply for a damn freelance writing gig, yada yada yada...

How are things in Austin? I love reading this, cause I can hear your voice totally while I'm reading it. So funny. I started a blog, about two weeks ago, and I'm scared of it! But I think I'm going to talk about you now. Only seems fair.

Mike and I bought a vintage trailer and we're leaving on a cross country humdinger road trip to Taos next week for 6 weeks! So frickin stoked...we'll be out there restoring the thing for awhile, but I'll be blogging, so won't you please come by and be my only reader? hahaha I promise I'll include pretty pictures!

Hope to talk to you soon...