Sunday, April 14, 2013

Personally, Me. Pt. I: Prairie Tiff

For those of you who know me personally or have a relationship with my store, you know that I am a multi-faceted person.  In many ways, but here we will just leave it to the fashion.
My entire life I have always been the more "eccentrically" dressed one, or the one re-inventing themselves through their personal style.  The one with the crazy hair or the completely weird but awesome outfit from Goodwill.  I started doing flea markets with my dad at age 4, SERIOUSLY collecting vintage at 16, sewing and altering my own clothes in middle school and was always looking for ways to express myself that was different than the other kids with what I was wearing.  
For some, it might be self-indulgent, and I suppose it always will be a little, but for me---for me it was more than that.  It was who I was.
Personal style to me, is extremely important.  It is a way to express who you are without ever having to open your mouth.  Giving at first glance, or impression the other person some snippet of who you are---or occasionally, who you are pretending to be.  Fashion is theatre in a lot of ways.  
Some say clothes make the man, but I believe the man makes the clothes.
Not everyone can pull it off, and it is up to us to make the call on what we are comfortable in--
-after all, isn't that what it's all about?

Working on a Sunday means you guys actually get a blog post from me that isn't just product based, or something about a brand we are carrying.  I get so busy, that for me, this blog most of the time has gone from something I started to log my fashion obsessions long before I had the store (now check out my pinterest for that) to something to showcase what is new or happening with the shop.  I promise I will try to be better, it's just...well---
I work.

But I realize that more people look at this blog and perhaps want a little more than what is in the shop.  
I will try to provide.

On a fluke yesterday [Saturday] I decided to start archiving my vintage collection and getting things out of my apartment that were strictly research or styling based in order to free up some space so I could actually remember what I own. [this has turned into a major project BTW] Somethings will sit for years in a suitcase completely forgotten because I have so much.  I am piecing together a new photo shoot and working into a new season, which for me, is always fun because I get to get creative.  
Every season is a little different for me, of course with basics that will never change because they are just a part of me, and that is that.  But I definitely always strive to be different, innovative, and new in ways of course, because I always draw from days gone by.  Some of my favorite periods for dressing are the Victorian & Edwardian eras and the 1940's and 50's.  I like elements of the 60's gypsy bohemian moments a lot and always carry those with me, because at the heart & root I am a total bohemian.  I get that from my mama.  
Of course though, since I work so much---the main drag of the week just working from home or getting dirty in the shop, does NOT warrant my best---I have a uniform most of the time.  But if I am doing anything that requires 'stepping out' TRUST I got that kid.
In another post I will start showing you some of my collection, but I started to shoot it and I don't have the good camera here, and frankly I would have to steam everything and I am not doing that right now. So another time on that, but I would love to show you the first ME of Spring & Summer.

I am from Kentucky.
[in case you didn't know]
Growing up, [until I was about 9] I lived in the country.  I rarely wore shoes, and was finally forced by my parents to start wearing shirts once Kindergarten started [this was met with FIRM protests of confusion for Eddie didn't have to wear a shirt and I didn't know why I had to].  I sold Lemonade [or versions of it] to save money so I could go roller skating.  My best friend had a pig, AND a hot tub.
I was the ill-est tree climber, caterpillar farmer, watermelon patch growin', june bug collector, soy bean farm trespassin' country kid who had a bad habit of spitting & was scared to death of the garage [my pappaw built it and it was MASSIVE AND CREEPY].  

This is where Prairie Tiff has been derived.

Now, since I am turning 30 next month but apparently look 19 (according to this girl last night---but I think I look more like 25 AT LEAST.  C'mon guys) I am not into rocking the full on Prairie look that was popular in the 70's when Little House on the Prairie was the shit.  I think when you are a certain age, it can just be a little weird.  Also I am not into wearing synthetic fabrics (I outgrew that at about 24-ISH) or weird bows, layered ruffles, bad floral prints, cheap lace, or high collars so that leaves my Prairie looks to the Turn of the Century, and things that feel inherently country. I still have trouble with the high neck thing since most of these TOC styles have it---but I have managed to find plenty---it just took a while.  And I also don't want to do any style so much that it's super obvious & overkill, I just do it enough that it gets the point across but is still modern and a little edgy.  

I love Eduardian pieces.  In fact, I wear a victorian or eduardian blouse pretty much all summer long.  They are perfect because they are always cropped (and I only wear high waisted stuff-so perfect with anything.  Skirt, jeans, cut-offs. ) I have a nice collection of various blouses from the era. But this year I am taking it to the next level with full on lawn dresses.
That's right.
You heard me.
Wearing this much white in the city should be interesting.
Finding ones with low necks [that are affordable] has been challenging, I have only managed to find one that is perfect.

The key for me with this look, is to bring in enough other elements so it doesn't get too homely--and I certainly don't want to look like a farm hand.
But I am tossing around the idea of fully rocking some aprons.
So elements, like this straw hat, or these leather and canvas boots with the dress and something non-prairie like a jean jacket and lots of bracelets.  I also am going to be mixing elements of PRAIRIE Tiff with WESTERN Tiff.  
A natural transition of course.  

I'm also taking it even further by rocking lots of slips as dresses [and NOT in the 90's grunge - combat boots Courtney Love way].
Think gorgeous, incredible 1930's slips with pretty sandals and feminine cropped sweaters, cardigans or pale jackets.
Lots of silk head scarves which will also make numerous appearances on GYPSY Tiff.
My favorite scarf company is Echo, and I have a truly beautiful collection of their vintage pieces.

 So, holler at PRAIRIE Tiff.  She should be arriving late April once the weather is a little warmer.

Also it is really fun referring to yourself in the third person.  Especially when you are doing a lot of talking about yourself.