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A Visit With Catbird (I Have a Permanent Bracelet Now)

6.04.2019



So here's something I wasn't expecting to do this year: I got the chance to visit the Catbird HQ 

You know Catbird - purveyors and designers of the daintiest, slightly magical, poetic jewelry offerings, and re-imaginers of wearables, responsible for the ring stack. 
I first heard about Catbird back in 2009, when I took part in the Weardrobe bloggers' conference (De Lune was 'Faboo' before I could learn about "personal branding"). Kelly Framel, in her most elegant glory, was donning probably 3 or so golden threadbare rings on her fingers, and I had never knew jewelry could be like that. I was so accustomed to fine jewelry being these formidable heirlooms or treasures your mom would suggest you look at while perusing the mall.
Instead what sparkled back at me from across the table, clutching the stem of a wine glass at dinner , were these rings the thickness of several strands of hair. Something clicked - the whisper thin gold was so casually worn and yet so incredibly delicate. It was so captivating for me as a teenager, and it's a story I repeated to the kind and creative ladies who took me on a tour of the offices- now 10 years later from when I first saw the rings

The team at Catbird assembled a group of us blogger-types, and led us on a tour of the office-slash-studio-slash-workshop. there were neatly organized drawers at every turn, full of bits 'n bobs and fully-assembled orders alike. D├ęcor reminded me of what you'd expect a working girl in nyc media would decorate her first apartment with: a mix of eclectic antiques and photos of loved ones; each jewelers' workstation equipped with impressive soldering machines, trays of sparkly stones and wisps of chain. Everywhere I turned there was a reflective surface: from the pools of light from mirrors on walls and tables alike, to the glass cloches protecting pearls and a disco ball hanging in a corner or two; light was everywhere, and in every turn there was something to catch it. 









soon after the tour of the battlestations, I got my permabracelet! I cannot for the life of me settle on a tattoo design, but offer me the chance to wear a sparkly thing forever and I will show you my wrist.
Fun fact about the chain Catbird uses for this: it's a twisted rope chain that stretches comfortably over time while offering a nice sparkle.

I have had my bracelet for ~3 months now and I love it! It was a little snug at first, which the technician consulted with me about- I can attest it stretches to your wrist and the feeling of it is relatively unnoticeable.
 


Wearing two Tomboy rings, a sweet nothing ring, twisted stacker and a 14k Forever Sweet Nothing Bracelet that I can now only remove with scissors.


The Greco Lariat, which I wear on the reg


Thank you to the sweets at Catbird for opening your doors for a visit! It's certainly one for the books, and the 17 year old inside me who was dazzled by a thin wisp of gold doubly thanks the team for consistently creating the stuff of dreamy dreams.


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My Beloved $4 Drugstore Dupe for Nail Glow

5.18.2019






assorted rings and permabracelet by Catbird (12345

I love Brucci- those $4 drugstore nail polishes with a bottle design that hasn't changed in like, 15 years. 

This Brucci Top Coat is a perfect dupe for Dior's Nail Glow (and for 30 bucks cheaper at that!)

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My Favorite Thrift Store Sections Are The Overlooked Ones

5.14.2019

If you take the time to go thrifting, whether it's weekly, bi-weekly, of, if you're a 65 year-old retired schoolteacher or engineer and love *~ThE ThriLl~* of hoarding things you'll eventually restore but never get around to and thus fill your garage (that's not to say people don't do these incredible restorations where they take $10 man cave trash with coffee mug ring stains and return it to its midcentury hardwood glory) you probably have your favorite thrift store locations because you always find something there.

We usually chalk it up to that particular location receiving incredible donations from retired(dead) eccentric heiresses or former thrift store and antique-hoarder hobbyists, and this might just be the case- however, I would like to posit that most of us just know where to look when we go thrifting. We'll hit up the sections of the store that always have something, and honestly that's all style aaaaaaaaand well, life! is really all about: knowing what you want.

So what do I usually want when I go thrifting? What is my intent?
I think on this and I hear myself saying: "usually it's just to find something *interesting*, I guess" but what does that even mean?
I suppose *interesting* just refers to those mundane, everyday objects of yore that are in fact well-conceived pieces of design that were likely taken for granted when they were first shoved onto store shelves and then touched by be-manicured housewives in polyester satin headscarves, who, in my mind, were smoking while shopping for canned green beans for some reason.
Okay, so that means household items and accessories from the 50s-70s. This is all a fantasy, but I think you get the idea?

Where I tend to find the kinda stuff I crave from a good thrift shift

1. Kitchenware!



My gOd, do I love a good enamelware bowl! I have a small collection of enamel bowls in different sizes for various kitchen vessel-ing needs. I also have a beautiful marbled robin's egg blue enamel pot. Enamelware is smooth, colorful and easy to separate and mix ingredients with. Sort of a "you can't beat the classics" kind of situation- these things are a delightful, abundant, useful and cheap thing to have a mis-matched collection of.



As for glass stuff, I tend to look for Pyrex or lab-grade glassware for keeping various things in.

Now, if you do happen to find a lab vial or two, please for the love of jeebus do not eat or drink from it unless you're a dumbass like me and occasionally keep your Tylenol in one after vigorously washing it. 


2. Hosiery!

There's always a weird bin or basket of hosiery in thrift stores, tucked alongside sewing pattern envelopes with illustrations of bridget doll lookalikes on 'em. This (as I have shared in my Instagram stories) is not a bin you should overlook, my friends.

I have found Mary Quant m'fkin tights (pictured here) for 25¢. I have found weird patterns and funky colors and puzzling decorations galore- and usually for suuuuuper cheap.
Now, you need to be careful of stale nylons and elastics getting worn out, and make sure to look at the size guide on packages before you throw them in your basket.

3. Bags and Luggage!

I love finding rattan baskets and beaded purses in thrift stores- I think that's a well documented move nowadays with folks filling their Depop shops with dainty little vintage purses made from natural materials from beads to grass weaving and even woven paper (as it was popular in the 90s).
I tend to seek out the 60s beaded bag or the top handle suitcases or rattan picnic baskets. Even as decor, a stack of old picnic baskets look really cool in an unoccupied corner in our apartment


4. Winterwear and Tulle underskirts
I'm not gonna talk about clothes at length, but I will say that knits and coats are the more surefire racks to find something really cool if you're into finding clothes that are designed to be valuable. Why? Think about it: when folks donate things to their local charity shops or thrift joints, they're getting rid of things they can't make money off quickly through resale and just need to make space. Coats and sweaters are, more likely than not, something folks will splurge on for their needs over a t-shirt or rayon dress, and so what they have will probably be relatively nice. Granted, the 90s Express Tricot dresses and Looney Tunes tees are valuable now, and they are thrift go-tos, but you already knew that.


Hell, you probably knew everything I'm bringing up here, but you know what? I could go on, so I did.



Now, go find something yourself something nice <3


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And Then The Sun Set

4.04.2019






Social Work sweater 
Vintage pants
Acne boots (thank you, eBay gods)
Vivienne Westwood x Cambridge Satchel Co bag 

The light in our bedroom is super weird when the sun sets- we have some linen curtains, which tend to shove the light in weird directions on our walls, and the placement of our windows is such that when the sun sets, the warm orange glow hangs out in the middle of the wall.  So if any of youse were wondering why I appear to have a tan in that last photo, that kinda lets you know why. Also, I'm just garbage at editing photos, so we'll just have to wait and see if I can improve...

So let's talk about this sweater: it's by Social Work, a brand founded by two Parsons Grads who aim for production transparency from stitch to send. Assembled overseas in China, their last collection was modeled by the factory workers who make their clothes. I really dig the collection this here piece came outta, built around the 60s-70s hipster shapes a la polyester suits and sweater vests. Pants are cropped with kick flares, collars are starchy, pointy, severe. Give their kickass instagram a peep: https://www.instagram.com/socialwork_studio

If I can wear six different kinds of plaid at once, I will. I threw these two plaids and Vivienne Westwood's famous toothy snake print via tiny satchel together. Perhaps a Bowie moment is what I was going for- who knows, this was back when I still had hair

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@clairegeist


 

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