The Devil-ish Little Things Museum

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Add this to the list of local curiosities not even locals know about. The Devil-ish Little Things Museum is the private collection of Marion Held, a former Hollywood renaissance woman, who has in some way or another made some of your favorite films enjoyable. Her eye for the unusual and macabre is showcased in a refurbished Church in Vancouver Washington, right off the I-5 should you ever find yourself on a road-trip up the west coast.

You enter not quite knowing what to expect. And even knowing what to expect won’t prepare you for what’s inside. You leave assured that whatever you thought you collected is nothing in comparison. Think you collect vintage brooches, pyrex, maybe you have some nice old movie posters? Nope. This is a collection. The rest of us are minimalists.

She has statues and figures galore, jewelry, books, lamps, entire sets of dishes, matchboxes, bottles, vases, and my personal favorite is a little compact puff with a devil head as the handle. Because of course.

I’m sharing the tiniest fraction of what there is to see, and to top it off, she only collects male devils.

“You have to draw the line somewhere”

So yes, after you let it sink in that all this devil treasure exists out there, know that there’s even more to see. Perhaps you could collect she-devils and live in your own little she-devil museum. Paint the walls pink, it’ll be glorious.

The museum is private and available through reservation only. You can see more details here and plan your own Devil-ish little visit.

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cold weather layering

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I received a question recently about layering in a stylish way during the cooler months, to sum it up, how to do it?

I’ve lived in Washington state all my life, and layering is pretty much a standard as soon as you can dress yourself, since the weather here can change at the drop of a hat. My neighbors down in California are experiencing the same challenges lately (thank you global warming) and I admit the last time I was down there in January I actually got really cold in the evening!

Now it’s easy to put a big cozy sweater over some leggings and top it with a down coat, but I think a lot of people, especially those inclined towards vintage style, crave something a bit more. Above is a little illustration I did summing up my must have items for the cooler months, read on if you want more detail on my layering choices!

First of all, set those jeans down, just try a few looks without them, I swear you’ll be warmer. You know what I wear in winter? Skirts. People think I’m crazy, but I’m not a bit chilly in below freezing temperatures. The key is not just the skirt itself, but what’s underneath! I have some wool skirts saved up for winter, it’s often so overlooked as a skirt/dress textile, reserved for outerwear. If they’re full, and you like a full skirt look, add a soft nylon petticoat, I get mine from Doris Designs, they’re wonderful insulators. If you like something a bit sleeker, find a nice nylon or silk slip.

Legwear is another chance to layer, I like a bare leg look without the goosebumps, so I’ve found hosiery at 20 denier or higher is opaque enough to keep the chill away with Oroblu fishnets in “sable” over that. They are worth every penny, the quality is superb, and I don’t shave my legs all season and with these two layers you’d never know, it makes you look like you can handle a lot more cold than you can! I mostly wear boots, either knee, or ankle depending on the temperature, and wear wool socks under those, another added layer of warmth!

Having cold wet feet can definitely bring down your mood, and I don’t think comfort and style need to be separated. For something easy, casual, and classic, try a desert boot, they can be worn when it’s warmer, or if you slip them on in autumn/winter, just add some cozy wool socks. Roll or fold thick mid-calf socks over the top of the boots for a nice little cuffed look, with skirts of pants. If you need something more professional for the office, just slip a pair of ballet flats in your handbag or keep some heels at your desk and change into them once you’ve successfully kept your toes warm outside!

If you like wearing pants (and remember, set down the denim!) then cigarette pants are a classic I wear year round. The Martie style from J.Crew is my go to, they come out with various colors all the time, they’re very comfortable, mid-rise, side zipper, and seasonally they make wool styles as well. If you want a true high waist, Vixen by Micheline Pitt makes the style in various colors, for that bombshell look.

If you’re a bit tired of bulky sweaters, or they just become too hot midday, try instead a short sleeved or three quarter length sweater. Something in a finer knit, and if you’re not allergic, in wool or cashmere, they keep your torso warm, and leave your arms a bit more free and cool for when you’re in a heated building. Underneath for extra warmth, a silk or nylon camisole will do the trick.

Coats and jackets are an obvious choice, but have you considered a car coat? A true car coat comes to about mid-thigh, and has a great deal of warmth, with insulation and a style that looks great open or completely buttoned up. I like that they work well with pants or a slim skirt, and are technically casual, but look really polished. You can find them in fine wools, prints, bold colors or neutrals. A quick etsy search is a great place to start browsing.

Silk! It’s the forgotten insulator. Don’t save the luxury for evening-wear or lingerie, use it to stay warm without the bulk of wool. I have a large square silk scarf in my bag at all times, it comes in handy when it rains, or tied around the neck for warmth, and you can find something you really love in colors that suit your wardrobe.

A wool beret and leather gloves are other classics that add to the warmth, and don’t take up a lot of closet or handbag space! I’ve found acrylic knit gloves pretty pointless, and wool can get a bit bulky, so I stick to leather, lined if it’s very cold. A beret is a wonderful accessory that you can also find in such a variety of colors, and can be perched on the head or pulled down over the ears on breezy days. I get all mine from John Helmer, they carry a variety of colors and I prefer the oversized style.

If you still find yourself very cold but don’t want to look like the kid from A Christmas Story, you can get silk long underwear for underneath your wardrobe, these run very large, so size down.

And there you have it! I hope that was helpful and if you have any style questions feel free to ask!

Paolo Sebastian + Disney

No collection has taken by breath away like this one since Dior Spring 2011. I think I could pick three dresses right off the runway and just live in them the rest of my life. I already get stares when I wear a dress of any kind, might as well just go with it.

You can see more of the Disney inspired Paolo Sebastian s/s 2018 show here. Meanwhile, enjoy my ideal wardrobe. Beginning and ending with my absolute favorites.

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Wilhelm’s Memorial Mausoleum

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On Memorial day there’s a sort of secret place to explore that most locals don’t even know about. Wilhelm’s Memorial Mausoleum has been operating for over a century, and one day a year they invite the public to explore their expansive grounds and pay respect to those who came before, and admire their final resting place. I learned about this place through a friend the year before, and marked my calendar for 365 days in the future, as I just couldn’t miss this opportunity. She told me there are various rooms corresponding with eras, but nothing could really prepare for just how many room there are. Eight floors built into the side of the hill, you would never guess there’s such a thing if you passed the more or less unassuming building above ground.

First of all, she suggested starting backwards in time, and while I didn’t get the chance to do that, I’d agree. Don’t even step into the chapel area, there’s a preview of the older urns and decor, start from contemporary and watch the modern aesthetic flow into the flowery opulence of the Victorian era. Ask an employee, they’ll be happy to point you in the right direction.

I was with family so we took a tour, which starts in the chapel and goes down into the Victorian rooms. I would also recommend going backwards in time because going straight into the Victorian is a lot to handle! Ten minutes into the tour I got lost. Like literally lost in a mausoleum, I strayed a little too long, and bam, not a living soul in sight. So I wandered for the better part of two hours, just me and my camera, and took in the vast expanse of sights rarely seen. There are eight floors, and as much time as I spent, I didn’t even see it all. The views in and out (wetlands and oaks park in the distance) are mesmerizing, and there are so many twists and turns, it’s not like a straight building in a hill, with staircases vertically aligned, it’s a maze of sorts, I would enter a room and end up on the complete opposite end of the property as I’d imagined. So definitely not recommended for little ones that like to wander off.

These photos are part 1 with more coming soon, and feature the older areas of the mausoleum, and be sure to mark your calendars! It’s not to be missed.

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The elusive Wonder Woman merchandise

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Wonder woman opens in a little over a week, and if you’ve had trouble finding merchandise, you’re not the only one. The lack of merchandise driven hype on WBs part is almost embarrassing for them, if it weren’t so frustrating for the rest of us. It’s 2017 guys, this is arguably the biggest movie of the year, and you’re letting antiquated ideas of female superhero/action fans get in the way of making a pretty penny. We want to buy stuff. We want Wonder Woman themed eyeshadow palletes, collaborations with big brands, jewelry that won’t turn our skin green, and shoes in both heel and sneaker form. We want options at all price points, and all forms. For a huge blockbuster opening next week, it’s almost surreal that we have to search and rely on word of mouth that feels like a hidden treasure with each link shared. Have you walked into a major retailer (Target, Wal-Mart, Macy’s, etc) and been greeted with a grand display of clothing, toys, random stuff you didn’t know you needed until you saw it at that moment? Probably not.

Weird right?

Thanks to my ever reliable twitter/Instagram followers, I’ve collected some merchandise for women available right now, or ready for pre-order. They can be a little buried if you don’t know where to look, and a lot has to be ordered online, but most things will arrive in time for the movie for US residents!

Some links to explore: Fye and Wal-Mart have the largest selection of women’s t-shirts, Her Universe has a great selection of non-tee clothing, Alex and Ani have a selection of jewelry, Zulily has quite a bit at a discount, and GAP has a small but stylish collection of activewear.

  Hopefully this will help you find something! And if you have any collections not mentioned here, please send them my way, and I can add them to the post.

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Original artwork tee by Anca Chelaru

Vintage car graveyard

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This summer while visiting my dad in Alaska we were walking along the Knik river (or the Matanuska, I can’t remember exactly), and he says “want to see the car graveyard?”

Why yes. Yes I do.

So we walk along the winding river, around some bends and through thick brush and tall tangled grass, not a trail in sight. And there, holding up the embankment as far as I could see, were vintage cars so tangled and rusted, it’s almost impossible to see that they were once separate objects. The curves and lines were unmistakable of 1940’s and 50’s automobiles, and some cautious climbing and a closer look revealed details still attractive even covered in vines (or maybe more so?).

This was a common practice before environmental awareness swept the population, though the cars were gutted before being deposited. This particular set was held by steel cable, though some were scattered around and engulfed in earth. Often seen in rural communities where residents would fix the erosion issue themselves, rather than wait for an official solution that may resolve too late.

I look forward to next September’s Vogue editorial featuring Karen Elson balancing on this pile of mangled cars in Alexander McQueen.

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