Friday, March 20, 2015

The Family Jewels Vintage Clothing

"There are places I remember
All my life though some have changed
Some forever not for better
Some have gone and some remain"

-The Beatles, In My Life

There are places that capture our hearts and imaginations, that mark a place in our memories so strong that they remain forever. Whether they are just a vibrant flicker of thought or a surreal experiance triggered by sound and scent, they become a part of our lives and through these waking dreams, a part of our souls. There is one such place in Manhattan that calls to my subconscious desires to be surrounded by fantastic vintage, The Family Jewels Vintage Clothing

To speak of it as a memory is to really define what these experiences in treasure hunting delights shall become. Sometime in April this year, the Family Jewels will close its Chelsea location with future plans to relocate to the East Village. There will still remain a online Etsy shop with the same great quality and variety as the store.

The store is currently offering 20% - 40% off of its clothing, jewelry, accessories and select mannequins and furnishing. You should definitely get to 23rd street for the sale and to see the vintage wonder that will make for some of the best vintage shopping memories you will ever obtain. 

I wanted to photograph the shop in part to share it with you all and also to document this location before its doors will be forever changed, to something better, to something new, to something with the same heart, but in a new home. It is truly a special place. 

The building was originally a pool hall with sky lighting above. The owners of the building decided one day to cover up the sky lights. The pool hall tenants were not pleased with the loss of light and pursued the landlord in court. The tenants won and gained ownership of the property. When the Family Jewels Vintage Clothing moved into the location, the area was full of flea markets, sewing shops and the garment industry, nestled within a bohemian fashion community. The area is much changed now with large electronic stores surrounding the area. When I asked what possibilities the shop may have for other locations and venues, I found that the owner Lillyan Peditto has a passion for pure vintage and the past century's spirit of New York City. She could only ever feel at home in vintage roots, in the East Village, and I have to agree. While I will be sad that this location will be gone, I look forward to its rebirth in a location fit to its nature, body and soul. 

Good bye, until we meet again.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Vintage Wedding Dresses

A few weeks ago I was back in Colorado working on a project shot on instant and 120mm film. I had been waiting for the film to develop to share the pictures. 

Fashion week is just finished in Paris and wedding season is right around the corner. With my wedding anniversary in late February and my parent's anniversary in early March, I thought it would be the perfect time to celebrate by photographing my mother's and grandmother's wedding dresses. 

My parents were married in the early 80s, but I love how a bit of the 70s vibe carries over into the 80s. Her dress had the sleeves of my dreams, sheer with volume tapering to the wrist. It reminds me of 1930s Hollywood. 

I think my mother and I look really similar and we are about the same age in the pictures. The first image is my mother and the ones after are me. 

Photography Laura Okita 

The next photograph is my grandmother and grandfather on my mother's side. They were married in the late 1940s. I think my grandmother is one of the most beautiful brides I have ever seen. 


The last set of vintage photographs below are my great-grandparents. I would love to meet them and to see these very Edwardian dresses in person. 

Friday, March 13, 2015

Powder Room Magazine March Issue

Happy to announce that the self-portrait editorial I did for The Powder Room Magazine March Issue is now out. I shot it on instant film staying true to the spirit of the 80s/90s theme, and wanted to share some more of the images that were not featured in the print edition. There are so many great artists, models and photographers in this month's issue with both digital and print copies available

I usually only do the 20s - 70s, but it was a lot of fun to dive into the 80s and 90s, especially when doing makeup, even though I am still a bit reluctant to admit that the 90s are vintage. The 70s have been a dominating trend on the runway the past few seasons, but we also saw a lot of the 90s this past month, especially in Milan and Paris. So get your hairspray, hardware and shoulder pads warmed up because they're coming back. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Heart of Winter

I could start to sound like a broken record. Its snowing here in New York City, almost everyday it is snowing. While it has given me a lot of time to work on inside projects, magazine submissions, dress designs and video tutorials, I would still prefer dryer weekends. I took the pictures for this post thinking that I had a small window of time before the snow would hit yet again, but as soon as I got into position, the snow started falling. It is seemingly the very heart of winter. 

Photography: Laura Okita

Me testing and setting up while holding an umbrella through gusts of icy snow and wind. I had to put my camera in a zip-lock baggy!

Finally, with frost bitten fingers and snowy eyelashes, I gave up and decided to shoot inside.