Fashion Field Trip: Inspiration LA
If you haven’t noticed the A.M. to P.M. chill that has fallen over the bulk of the country lately, then you must be from the Midwest. We may not be experiencing a polar vortex in California, but it’s been pretty damn cold. Layers and socks of varying lengths have been essential to staying at a reasonable temperature. Heading out of town for the weekend was no exception. But what to wear whist visiting vintage clothes?
The outfit for this weekend’s field trip to L.A.’s Inspiration had to be denim-centric, so naturally I went in a jumpsuit direction. For added warmth—and to accommodate for sizing up on a pair of pointy booties (they were on sale—I had no choice) I doubled up on socks. Similarly to Clark Kent, I wore tights under my suit, for insulation purposes, rather than crime fighting. The only fighting I did was against impulse buying multiple scarves I didn’t need, in shades of pink I don’t currently own.
This particular fashion-based field trip was taken in an attempt to balance the scales. Many outtings revolve around clothing and accessories catering to the gender normative, female identifying crowd, so this time I decided to flip the script. Knowing full well that this escapade would be more masculine leaning, I took a backseat while my shopping partner leaned into the spotlight. Being that he has recently decided to embrace his age appropriate hipster-esque Americana loving side, we’ve been exploring a lot of silver and turquoise jewelry options. And raw denim. One can not pair one without the other. It would be like Iris Apfel leaving the house without bracelets, cuffs and bangles. It simply is not done. So, away we went, to the convention of vintage, one-of-a-kind garments and artist stamped silver. Vested and raw denim clad shopping partner in tow.
We arrived before noon to the cavernous convention space. There was a mix of art and goods spread across the room. The first thing to catch my eye was an unpriced mint green handkerchief. It wasn’t immediately obvious as to whether I had just picked up a prop or an item for actual sale. I quickly scanned the area for a human who might answer my question or take my money, but came up empty. I later learned that there were more people selling non-traditionally dyed hankies. I never found out how much any of them cost. Pricing objects for sale was not an extremely popular method. Not for the items we found interesting anyway. I decided it was for the best. My introversion, lined in silver, saving me money. Good looking out, social anxiety.
As my partner sank into a field of unwashed garments, I wandered off on my own. I came upon a booth of mostly vintage designer pieces. I pulled out a button up with a striking pattern and reached for my phone to snap a picture to share with my fellow RenFluencers. I was immediately reprimanded mid act. No photos allowed! However, I was allowed to try on any of the clothing and push it around as forcefully as I liked. I sheepishly continued to browse the dusty Comme des Garçons and Miyakes, marveling at the cuts and the pockets to nowhere. I moved along, phone tucked safely away into my saddle bag. I did take a business card, though I probably won’t follow up with visit, unless I clear out some mental space for all the pictures I’ll need keep in my mind instead of my iCloud. The head space is too precious.
I’ll be honest, at this point I was feeling a little out of my comfort zone. I love menswear—especially vintage—in fact I grew up wearing more of my dad’s polyester and flannel than anything else. But there was something about the show that was making me feel stiff, like a dog being forced to wear a sweater when she would rather just wear her natural fur coat. I was feeling a bit awkward and wasn’t sure how to cope. At the exact moment I was thinking this venue really needed a bar, low and behold, like a lush oasis in the desert, a tiny drink station appeared. The moment my eyes focused well enough to make out the liquor bottles, I felt a wave of relief. A lovely older gent measured out a shot of tequila into my cup, and a whisky for my gentleman, and we dove back onto the floor.
As always, the tequila did not let me down. Without the imagined scrutiny weighing down upon my shiny, pink, faux leather clad shoulders, I was able to finally enjoy myself. The afternoon was spent revisiting some pieces that caught our attention and looking for our souvenirs. My partner had better luck than I, finding a vintage kelly green cardigan, already emblazoned with his own name, if you can believe the luck. My souvenir was the picture I took of him modeling it. The best part being the smile it brought to his face and the fact that no one yelled at me for the impromptu photography.
I am glad we took the trip to Inspiration. The clothing did inspire some new ideas and also new quests for garments we were previously unfamiliar with. You never know what you’ve been missing until you try it on, and realize it costs as much as your half of the rent. Thank goddess for the Internet, and the good people of Etsy for knowing all the right key words to answers our prayers. Until next time...
That trim tho...
Whittley Wildcats for life.
Lucky male modeling his new couture