by Laura E. Alvarez
Oh, how I love mixing thrift store folk textiles, men’s work clothes, Abuelita’s jewelry, Little Tokyo finds, American Apparel factory store bargains, Fred Segal gifts, AND sandals that have been forced into functioning as water shoes. Doesn’t everybody? It’s kind of cool when the Levi shirt you borrowed at the park because you didn’t know it would be cold becomes such a great addition to the whole ensemble.
Thrift Store Folk Textile: I’m pretty sure this is a Mexican dress. I’m pretty sure my mom helped me bargain (I was an embarrassed teenager!) for one just like this in hot pink… or was it fushia… in Baja back in the 80’s. And, I’m pretty sure I love any cotton that looks like it was made on a loom. I LOVE that. I can feel the love while I’m wearing it. And these colors?! They’re SO Greek!
Men’s Work Clothes: You will see a lot of Levi’s in my outfits because of my husband’s influence on my wardrobe. Also, back in the early 80’s I used to take my brother’s old Levi’s when he grew out of them. I would peg them on the sewing machine because I was SO rockabilly in my dress. This gives the outfit a little Californian railroad worker/craftsman warmth. Mmmm.
Abuelita’s Jewelry: Every time I put on one of my mom’s pieces, I feel her love. Nice. This necklace reminds me of beautiful things growing underwater. The beads are glass. It’s SO pretty.
Little Tokyo Find: Okay, these sunglasses are kind of already falling apart, but they still look cool. Any visit to Little Tokyo is just an excuse to go to Cafe Dulce. Oh, Cafe Dulce. I could build an altar to Cafe Dulce… but I digress.
American Apparel Factory Store Bargain: Lucky us to live in L.A. so we can stop at the American Apparel Factory Store on our way to Cafe Dulce – drat, did it again! Just call this the Cafe Dulce Post, already where no one actually goes to Cafe Dulce and there are NO photos of Cafe Dulce. Gosh. Anyway, I found these brilliant blue leggings there for a few dollars and that is why that store is so wonderful. A great place to shop for kids, as well. There’s something for everyone!
Fred Segal Gifts: Bettina Duncan gave me these earrings years ago for Christmas and I think they are just amazing. She has a shop at Fred Segal. She’s so smart. I always feel a little Victorian when I put them on, even though maybe Victorian ladies did not wear earrings.
Forced Into Water Shoes Sandals: Hush Puppies! Colors that go with everything. Found them at DSL Shoes when I needed water shoes to go to a tropical island, but they are not water shoes. Shhh! Don’t tell them. I have walked hip boutique streets in these babies AND walked in a dark and mysterious river, as I boarded my stand up paddle board, for real I have.
Thank you, Evan Hartzell for the nice photographs.