Thursday, April 21, 2011

Guest Blogger Brytton Bjorngaard: 1970s Barbie RV is the Vehicle of Imagination

I'm delighted to bring another guest blogger to ThrippieGalore! I know Brytton Bjorngaard as a graphic design guru and Spokane style maven. She was also my wingwoman when I was shopping for a wedding dress. I knew her eye for design and her sense of my bridal vibe would help me stay within the bounds of good taste (not that I ever veer, dear reader). Enjoy her thrifting montage (and fine photos).

Brytton on Brytton:
I'm an art professor by day, an obsessive compulsive graphic designer by night, and a thrifter all the time. I recently relocated to the Inland Northwest after residing in the Midwest, although my love of travel has found me living in Oregon, Spain and Italy. My lifelong goal is to photograph (and thrift of course!) on all continents. I collect sands from my travels and store them in jars so I can revisit those beaches anytime with a touch of the sand. I of course bought those jars at a thrift store.

Brytton on thrifting:

Some of my earliest childhood memories are of thrifting… some are of the beach, but that is a story for another blog.

I remember digging through bins of toys and trying on clothes for dress up. I hoped each one would take me to fanciful lands. Thrifting and the treasures that it procured, such as a 1970’s Barbie RV or an ethnic patterned wrap skirt, jump-started my creativity as a child. I created exciting places for Barbie to explore in her camper and I cast many a spell as a gypsy with that wrap skirt tied around my shoulders. Over the years, the Barbie RV was cast aside, but not surprisingly I grew taller and the cape actually worked as the skirt it was intended to be. My love of clothes may have started as costumes, but today it is as fashion.

To me there is nothing more rewarding than purchasing a pair of Cole Haan shoes for $5 (original retail value $135) or Ralph Lauren sailor dress slacks with gold buttons for 99¢ cents (original retail value $225).  I am a self-professed clothes… hmmm, trying to stay classy, but when the phrase fits... whore. It is a modern interpretation on the phrase clothes horse, but different in that while I am obsessed with shopping and acquiring items of clothing, I do not spend the money that is associated with the horse version.

To claim to have just one favorite thrift clothing purchase feels like cheating on the hundreds of other pieces that I own. To say that 80% of my wardrobe is built from thrift is not an overstatement. The pieces that stand out however are not the ones on which I saved the most money, not the ones by the best designers, nor the ones I wear ever week, but rather the pieces that are bright, funky, and out of my normal range of black.

A recent favorite purchase was a Vera vintage dress for an upcoming wedding. Not Vera Wang, not Vera Bradley, but Vera Neumann.  Vera and her husband started a silk screening business in the 1940’s that expanded into collections of scarves, clothing, even dinnerware for Mikasa that continued until the early 1990’s. Her designs are known for bright colors, bold graphics, floral patterns and progressive approach to fabric cuts and my dress is no exception.

The flowers showcased on the front (and back) of the dress make me feel like I am wearing a painting. The beauty of this dress will raise my single girl spirits at the wedding it was purchased for. What is equally as thrilling as the dress are the shoes and purse that will accompany it on the wedding adventure, all found thrifting of course. 

The wedding will be fantastic, for many different reasons such as getting to see friends, dancing, and cake, but also because of my dress. When I find clothing I love thrifting, it intrinsically has more meaning, is more individualistic, and is less tied to the trends of shopping in a regular store. I can guarantee I will be the only one wearing my dress at the wedding and it will make me feel beautiful.

1 comment:

  1. I completely agree. Special items found thrifting mean more and it's a more exciting find. You will be the only one with that dress on and it is beautiful!