Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Gibson Shoes

America Duchess astorias


So after sending off that last post I was settling down to read one of my favorite fashion history blogs, American Duchess. I am obsessed with clothing. I love modern fashion but I also really dig historical fashion. I have been obsessed since I was a little kid with what folks wore throughout history and what folks wore throughout the world. I love costume and playing dress-up. I adore vintage. I prefer living in modern times but would love to dress up in the past. If I could afford the clothes or knew how to sew, I would be game for attending living history events or re-enactments just so I could dress up. So it should come as no surprise that many of the clothing blogs I read are historical fashion or historical costumers blogs. This is like crack to me. Seriously, I could spend hours drooling over 19th century bustle gowns and 18th century Polonaise. I have spent the last few years trying to learn historical hairstyles. These blogs are usually done by women who sew thier own historical clothes ( I hate using the word costume. it makes me think of cheap nylon halloween costumes when what these ladies make is actual garments that can be worn).

American Duchess Shoe Buckles

 First, I really enjoy looking at the things they make and as someone who deosn't sew yet, I am seriously in awe of the talent involved.

American Duchess Gibsons

 Second, I have to take my hat off to these seamstresses. In addition to all the physical work of making the garments, they spend mucho hours on research because 95% of the time they are striving for historical accuracy. They not only research the actual style of the item but what materials were used in that era, what colors would have been worn, what type of trim to use, how the garment would of been fastened back in the day. They frequently design thier own patterns.

American Duchess Kensingtons

Third, I have learned so much about clothing history from reading these blogs.

American Duchess Pemberly

Fouth, I have found a lot of really tight hair tutorials on thier blogs.

American Duchess Pompadours

And last, if I ever do learn to sew and want to make some of this stuff, I will learn a lot about construction and problem solving from following the posts. Many times the start to finish is shown for the stuff they make.

American duchess Tavistock

So I got hooked on American Duchess' blog because in addition to making beautiful garments was that she also has her own company designing and selling historically accurate footwear. My friends will tell you that I am a shoe fanatic. So it goes without saying if I am obsessed with historical fashion that has to include shoes. I haven't had the spare cash to buy a pair, I just click over to her online shoe store and drool. But from what I hear, not only are the shoes beautiful they are easy to walk in, very comfy, and easy to dance in. She designs her shoes with dancing in mind. I also like the fact that the shoes are all dyeable. If you buy a pair, you can dye or paint them to match your dress. I have seen on other folks blogs how they have customized thier American Duchess shoes. The Duchess herself has some tutorials on her blog on coloring your shoes.

American Duchess 23 skidoo
In addition to the shoes, she sells shoe buckles (her 18th century shoes can be customized by changing the buckles), decorative shoe clips, 18th century style clocked stockings, a button hook for fastening tiny boot buttons, and even shoe painting supplies.

American Duchess Button Hook
Even though I don't actually own any 18th, 19th, or early 20th century clothing I would rock all these shoes with skinny jeans or a pencil skirt. I can see myself wearing some black skinny capris with a peplum top and a pair of American Duchess Pompadours.

American Duchess stockings
American Duchess is getting to release thier newest shoe, The Gibson Edwardians. They come in black, ivory, and tan and like all her shoes, you can custom paint these. They have a low french "Louis" heel and are made with fine calf leather . They are taking pre-orders now. To celebrate the launch of the newest shoe American Duchess is holding a giveaway for a free pair of Gibsons. To enter the giveaway or learn more about these gorgeous shoes click here.......


The Invisible Woman

Well, it's been awhile. I never meant to be gone so long. I started my blog with the intention of posting regularly. Maybe not daily, but at least once a week. When I was at Women Of The World poetry slam last March I had a whole slew of posts lined up. I meant to finish my haircare series. I meant to finish sharing about the trip. But I got very busy. And a little lazy. In a nutshell, here has been my last year.

In addition to working 5 days a week at the salon, if you read the last post you also know I am a poet and spoken word artist. In addition to writing, competing in slams, and performing at open mics, I am an active member of the committe that handles poetry slam in my city. We had an opportunity pop up when I got home from WOWps (women of the world poetry slam) to join forces with 3 other cities in the Bay Area to create and send a joint team to that summers National Poetry Slam. Usually each city sends it's own team and we hadn't planned on sending one in 2012, for a whole slew of reasons. But this was a great opportunity. It required a lot of work though. And a lot of it last minute. San Jose had to host a semifinals and before that, a last chance compettion. And we only had 2 weeks to get the first show together, 2 weeks after that to get our semi finals done, and then help out with the Bay Area finals. In addition, I was approached by one of the poets competing who asked me to be her coach. It was an amzing experience, I learned how to put together a slam, and the woman I coached took first place in the semis. But it left no time in April for this blog.

In May, we had one more show and the slam finals, which meant more coaching time for me. Plus, there were many hours spent promoting these shows, which meant going to a lot of shows, practicing my poems for the shows. I had also been approached by a friend's daughter about teaching aweekly poetry workshop at the youth center she hangs out at. Which involved putting together a program, running it by the head of the center, backround checks and finger printing. The actual workshops didn't get off the ground til Sept but there was a lot of prep work involved. So blog ignored in May.

We spent most of our (my husband and I) free time in June getting the house ready for my stepkids visit in July. I have the awesomest steppies. They were bringing a friend with them and I realized that our apartment looked like crap. It hadn't been properly cleaned in months (due to a shoulder injury), we had way too much clutter (lookin like an episode of hoarders, and the walls were so overdue for paint. We only succeeded in painting the bathroom (purple w/lt purple ceiling and door. god bless landladies who give artistic freedom in exchange for never having to do ish). Which turned into practically a remodel. We cleaned every square inch of this place and went through every closet, drawer, cabinet trying to downsize our junk pile. Did you know I had 50 mannequin heads in 3 cartons? Neither did I, haha. It made sense while I was teaching, but since I no longer did education for Redken I just didn't need so many. I kept 12, donated the rest. Gave away enough bags of clothing to dress a small army. Even after the purge we had enough junk to require getting a storage unit so the kids could actually walk in the spare bedroom. So, no blogging for June.

July, kids visit. Too busy having a great time to blog.

So pretty much every month after that something came up. I lost 40 pounds since the kids left. I was at my heaviest ever weight when they were here. Had to endure the embarrassment of having to get off a ride because the rides safety harness couldn't be buckled over my tummy. I swore that by next summer I would be able to go on all the rides with my kids. But that's another story for another post. I still have about 50 to go but I'm feeling a lot healthier. I will say what I have lost so far has given me a big shot of confidence, enough to brave Halloween in a pretty sexy costume.
 What better choice for a vintage loving hairstylist than a 1940s cigarette girl.
I have a better pic of the victory rolls somwhere.
So, enough excuses. I want to really get back into the blogging thing. I have tons of topics for hair articles. A few ideas for non hair beauty related posts. Some clothing/fashion related posts. And over the course of time, share with you all some of the blogs that inspire me. I was asked last year about doing hair tutorials. I don't really have the equipment or video editing skills to make my own, but would love from time to time to share some other folks amazing hair tutorials. And hair stuff, lots of hair stuff.