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Friday, April 29, 2011

Vintage Stanley Platos/Martin Ross

On a recent day away from shooting, I visited my beautiful partner's bungalow to work on some upcoming plots, plans, and schemes... (And boy do we have some good ones coming your way)!
We're always challenging ourselves to be creative with fashion and reconstruction, but on the odd day off my uniform, (when not going out or shooting on set) is usually a dark pair of flared jeans and something cottony. Like this simple, black tank top.
But even the humblest tank can rock if it's married to a really good jacket. (And good jewelry never hurt either). In any case, I fell in love with this blazer the moment I laid eyes on it.
I found this vintage Stanley Platos/Martin Ross number on Manhattan's Upper East Side at the Housing Works thrift store on 90th and 2nd Avenue. Always a fan of 80's designers, I was particularly excited to come across this little number. With it's vented sides, detachable lapel, and rounded shoulder pads, it was right up my alley.
For those unfamiliar, a little background:

"Stanley Platos – Martin Ross was a 7th Avenue manufacturer of high-end cocktail and evening dresses. Stanley Platos worked for Givenchy and Valentino before starting his own design house in 1982. Clients included Mary Tylor Moore, Linda Evans, and Ethel Kennedy. The dresses were sold in high-end department stores and specialty boutiques. Platos died in 1991 at age 44."
There's something lovely, and poignant about this simple epitaph. A designer of note on 7th Ave who dressed stars, created lovely items for the public, and then suddenly went out of the world, perhaps a bit too soon. Suddenly this jacket is so much more to me than the sum of its parts.
I love coming across these little gems. The history and stories associated with them remind me of why I went to fashion school in the first place. As I sat down to write our weekly SHS to-do list, I mulled over a life that was, and the one I live now. 
Enjoy every moment to the fullest.

With Love,

Noa B

Blazer: Stanley Platos/Martin Ross, via Housing Works, NYC
Tank top: H&M
Necklace: Israel, silver, ceramic and leather, (a gift from a discerning mother)!
Denim: Earnest Sewn, via Housing Works, NYC

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

"Safari Chic" meets "Greased Lighting"

Here at SHS our mission has been to explore the art of fashionable thrifting and vintage hunting. But we also love to mix all things thrift with a few things "new".

Tanya found this blousey, safari shirt at the vintage store, and I fell in love with the retro print the minute she popped it on.
The question was... how do we update this thing...?
The solution? Simple! Some modern, high-waisted pants, of course.
These new American Apparel Riding Pants served not only to update the tunic style drape, but also featured a high waist which is great for tying options...
 We left the length in the back, to create a "coat and tails" effect...
And added these Sam Edelman clogs and some rockin', 80's style hoops to polish it all off. 

So there you have it. A little "Grease" meets Safari chic. Oh, and yes, this top was on the $1 rack. Gotta love it!

Noa B and Tanya D

Shirt: Via Thrift
Earrings: Boutique, Abbot Kinney
Leggings: American Apparel
Clogs: Sam Edelman

Monday, April 25, 2011

Tea Dye & A Girl Party

SHS lovers! Have you heard about clothing exchanges? Tanya has been doing them for years and writing tutorials about them on November Grey.  If you're one of Tanya's nearest and dearest, chances are you have not been able to escape these twice yearly rituals. (Not to mention, she constantly makes everyone dress up for any type of party she's throwing!)

Recently, we hosted one of these babies together at my pad - with a new, Secondhand Star twist, of course!

(How cute is Tanya's baby sister, Leah?)
This adorable crochet tank was a beloved thrift store find of Tanya's that accidentally got stained with dark clothing in the wash.
So we decided that not only would we be trading and exchanging clothing and accessories with our elected and selected fashion elite, but we'd also do some mending, boot scuff shining, and item salvage dying as well!
In the case of this top, since it was already stained with blue, we figured why not even it out? We used a RIT dye bath on the stove top and let it soak for about an hour. This method created a soft, watercolor-y finish, but here are some tips for other dyes. In most cases, there are three methods for at-home dyeing:

1: Bleach baths: to get pesky stains out of white garments or drastically alter something from dark to light. (check out last week's post here.)

2: Tea dyeing: which involves using hot, brewed tea to create sepia tones. This can be done using black teas that have steeped for the better part of an hour. Once the tea bath is dark, you can soak the items in a pot, letting it all boil together on the stove top.

3: Fabric dyeing--on the stove top, the microwave, or the washing machine.

Tips for general dyeing:

To create an all-over, even finish, use a double pack of RIT dye and add the powder to a warm, small sized laundry bath. Let the cycle take its course and don't worry. During the rinse cycle the machine will wash out all the remaining color leaving no stains on its interior.

To create a watercolor or tye-dye finish, (like we did down here) swirl the garment on the stove top to create uneven layers of color.

For smaller items and more intense color, microwave a plastic bowl with double parts dye and single parts water. This is great for dyeing ribbons, accessories, gloves, etc...

A few hours later we went from this... this!
And we LOVE this new twist on classic crochet. The hand dye process turned it a denim hue, which we have yet to see on crochet currently anywhere else, making it a Secondhand Star original piece!

We mixed it up with baggy tweeds, a shiny coat and studded heels.
 We added my signature, huge, silver earrings, bangles, and an antique ring...
 To make it evening casual, for a dinner out.
Do yourselves a favor and clean out your closet, then throw one of these parties of your own. We promise it will be one of the best nights ever.

Go to How to Host a Clothing Exchange for more deets.

Noa B. and Tanya D.

Shoes: NYLA
Bag: Le Sak
Bangles: Swap Party
Crochet top: Swap Party
Earrings: Olvera Street, downtown LA
Jacket: Diane Von Furstenburg
Ring: Vintage, Israel 1960's

Friday, April 22, 2011

Glamorously Gold

It's been cool and mild in LA, but last week the sun just poured out and we hit a record, nearly 90 degrees! It seemed like the perfect time to pull out this micro-mini we recently found via thrift for, (you guessed it) a dollar!
There's something really beautiful about taking a shimmery, sexy bottom and pairing it with something a little rough.

This button down shirt had a thin, muslin-meets-linen finish to the fabric. It looked so pretty next to what we'd normally deem a "night out" skirt that we wanted to pair it up for a casual, but sexy daytime look.
The mini has a shimmery, gold thread finish, so we added gold bangles and a vintage purse, that just popped in the afternoon light.

We were en route to a shop Tanya discovered that always carries great jewelry, right on Abbot Kinney, when she decided to grab this gorgeous little purse that had hand sewn golden bead appliques!
It was just the right fit to contain a new pair of earrings or a little bracelet, should we stumble across something magical! (And a good shopping rule to keep from overspending is to take a tiny purse. Whatever fits in it, you can buy!)
That's all you need with a monochromatic look sometimes--one spot of print or color in your accessory...
And you're gorgeous!

Now, off to shop for some bling!

Noa B and Tanya D

Shirt: Vintage $1
Bagles: Vintage
Purse: Vintage
Skirt: Erin Featherston for Target - found thrift $1

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Bleached Jeans--our new "must have"!

Hello Secondhand Stars! Here's the results for our home-made, bleached washed jeans. We took these dull blues to extravagant hues!

Tanya grabbed a signature, striped tee and denim jacket along with an ombre, silk scarf we found for a buck!
I threw on this soft, cotton sweatshirt inherited from a clothing swap, some gold jewelry and vintage bracelets for a casual finish.
Navy, orange and white, nautical heels completed my day look. They were perfect for the shorter, clam-digger pant length.
Tanya threw on some platform heels to accentuate her skinny jeans cut...
Altogether, we couldn't be more pleased with our results. A few bucks and a couple quarts of bleach and we each had a new staple for our closets!

Noa B. and Tanya D.

On Noa:

Sweatshirt: Express via clothing swap
Jeans: 1$ thrift
Shoes: Hego's UK
Necklace: Via swap
Bracelets: Thrift
Gold dipped feather earrings: Tiffany Kunz

On Tanya:

Jeans: Thrift
Bracelet: Thift
Scarf: Thirft
Denim Jacket: Vintage Calvin Klein via thrift
Heels: Steve Madden
Striped Tee-H&M

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Thrifted Jeans ~ Boring Blue to Spring Hue!

When I found (yet another) pair of perfectly fitting jeans via thrift recently, I couldn't pass them up. Because let's get serious here for a moment, perfectly fitted jeans - no brainer, right? Always a must. Not to mention they were $5.00 on the 30% off rack. (I mean, I'm no math whiz, but that's CHEAP.)
But there was something very boring about the wash. Sure, I could still wear them, and definitely would... but I thought, why not brighten them up a bit for spring?

I was really inspired when I saw these ASOS Iggy Bleach Wash Skinny Jeans, which are currently sold out.

I told Noa I was planning on bleaching them up, and she got inspired and decided to join me with a thrift pair of her own!

Enter: bleach.
 We each began with a full quart.
And we let them soak...
 ...And soak. Mostly Clorox and bit of water for good measure.
 It took a few hours...
 But eventually the bleach wash took effect and the colors began to mutate!
(One note: you have to watch the mixure carefully or it can eat right through your jeans!)
Still, this is already a pretty wicked looking result, and it's not even done! At this point, you can take the jeans out of the dye bath when the outlines still remain, which looks really cool.

FYI: (We don't recommend doing this if your denim is older and more delicate because when you hit the white finish, the bleach can actually eat holes into your jeans. However, if the denim is thick it should withstand the bath. Just watch for tell-tale brown marks. If you see a brown spot, remove the denim from the bleach bath immediately and throw it in the washing machine. This will prevent any eating away of the fabric).
Check back in tomorrow to see how we rocked the results! And don't forget to immediately wash your jeans in a regular machine cycle to remove any lingering bleach. (I throw my white towels and dishrags in with them and give it a good swirl!)

Tanya D & Noa B

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Vintage Polka Dots!

Sometimes the perfect little dress doesn't need much...
That's what we thought when Tanya unearthed this amazing, polka dot number. It's so pretty and the details are so cool that ultimately it didn't need a lot of accessorizing.
Still, at first we thought, "cocktail dress for a spring day!" And we played around with girlish heels, strings of  beads, and colorful scarves...
But in the end, even though we love to accessorize, this dress didn't need it! I mean, look at it! It's so fabulous on it's own.
So we grabbed Tanya's favorite motorcycle boots (that finally came home from a two month hiatus in her little sister's closet).
And Tanya did her signature, roll down, cuffs-out finish on them. Plus we threw in some glamorously red-pink, matte lipstick. (Try it with lip balm and a lipliner only for a velvet-matte finish).
In the end, we realized that a little bit of necessary roughness was all this swingy little number needed to be perfect!

Noa B & Tanya D

Dress: Vintage circa 1950's 
Gotta Have It Vintage store, Venice Beach, CA