Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Chattanooga Style At Georgia Tech

Cindy Wang remembers her life before fashion. The Georgia
Tech sophomore was then 14 years old when she discovered
Dior and Chanel runway shows on television. "When I got
back to my closet I was mortified." Following that epiphany,
the self-described tomboy began modeling for her dad's
designer friends in China. The styles were "edgy with an
Asian influence, but tailored for Americans or Europeans."

European travel broadened her fashion sense when she
realized how both the natural and built environments can
influence sartorial choice. "I definitely noticed this in Sweden,
where it gets dark early and people wear lots of solid and dark
colors-wooly, comfy clothes." Parisians appeared "sweet and
polished" amid their romantic architecture.

Today Wang distinguishes herself in a ruffled neckline Ann
Taylor blouse, ruched Zara shorts, patterned tights and shoes
from Betsy Johnson and Banana Republic, respectively.
"It's a soft, feminine look that I can wear day and night," she
explains. That litany of labels needn't be a budget breaker.
Last year she discovered thrifting at places like Salvation Army
and Rag-O-Rama.

Her friend, Tech Junior Heidi Vreeland, grew up with the habit.
"Mom wouldn't buy new things very often, so I inherited her
thrifting ability." Vreeland shops with eye for mixing and
matching, which shows in these shades of grey. The H&M top
was tried first as the inner layer, but looked best outside the
silvery summer dress. Her choices are intuitive: "I know right
away whether something works," and she enjoys discovering
new combinations in her closet. "They might look bad, but they
might surprise you, too."

People do notice these efforts. A Chattanooga fashion blogger
admired her jacket and dress, both from Goodwill. The proprietors
of that city's Collective Clothing shop recruited her to work for
them. "I never pursue, it but I get opportunities for fashion modeling,
perhaps because I'm tall," says she of appearances in a campus show of
sustainable fashions and a Wes Anderson-themed, vintage celebration
at the Chattanooga Choo Choo.

While the ladies met in class and bonded over clothes, worldly
interests have deepened their friendship. Wang studies biology,
Vreeland Japanese and international affairs. They are living and
learning what Coco Chanel noted:
"Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only.
Fashion is in the sky,in the street; fashion has to do with ideas,
the way we live, what is happening."

Monday, August 23, 2010

On Frazier Avenue: DIY

What better way to revisit one of my favorite cities
than this posting, which revisits a favorite theme:
reduce, reuse and recycle? There is more than
enough stuff in our world, enabling such a crafty
ensemble of legging pairs serged into bike shorts, a
thrifted, all-over print tee-turned-dress and
a summery shoulder bag, all of her own making.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Treggings in Little Five Points

Denim trousers crossed with leggings anchor this artful
color banding of a purple wife beater and a whimsical,
cropped tee by Shenanigans. Clear Jellies are the next
best thing to bare feet in this August heat.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

In Virginia-Highland: Cycle Chic

romper: GLAM
boots: Baker
bag: vintage Kenneth Cole
watch: father’s vintage Seiko
jewelry and sunglasses: vintage
bicycle: built up by Loose Nuts Cycles

A chance encounter over vintage bicycles resulted in
shoptalk about a mutual interest in fashion blogging.
Odd how gossip begets gossip. From bikes to looks,
what do idle bloggers have to say for themselves?
“My mom was into yard sales and took me along,”
she told me of her life long interest in thrifting and
bargain shopping. “I remember in fourth or fifth grade,
my friends had an event to bring together and trade
things we didn’t want, girly things and knick knacks.”
Now she shares her finds and tales of Atlanta living with
the followers of LadyFLASHBACK. It’s a fitting name for
someone who draws inspiration from the past while
illuminating the present as both photographer and model.

Monday, August 2, 2010

In Atlanta: Little Five Points

In our encounter, she remarked that 1990's clothing
is now vintage. Yes, an entire generation has come
of age since her enchanting sundress first appeared,
but the love of floral prints endures.
This third world creation speaks to the romance of
far away places in exotic, monochromatic geometry.
Such are the flavors of Atlanta's original bohemia,
Little Five Points.