Something about thrift shopping is so enthralling, and one of my favorite hobbies. If you’ve never stepped foot into a thrift store— never scoured through endless racks of hopelessly dismal looking clothes—until finally laying your eyes on that perfect one-of-a-kind vintage piece, than you haven’t lived! Okay, maybe I’m one for the dramatics, but seriously I live for finding the perfect vintage pieces that have made their rounds back into trend, or make a great DIY project. For those of you who don’t follow me on Facebook or haven’t seen my audition tape on youtube, I recently went through a lengthy Casting process for a chance to be on the iconic DVF—Diane Von Furstenberg- reality show “House of DVF” competing for the Brand Ambassador title. I didn’t make it to the end, but did get through two rounds of casting including on camera interviews, after submitting my initial audition tape. Even though I didn’t make it to the end, I had so much fun putting together my tape and even enjoyed the interview process. Cause, lets face it, who doesn’t love to spend an hour talking about your passions and aspirations? After my initial interview with casting, I got invited back to the DVF store for a last chance interview before they started filming. I really wanted to find an outfit that represented my style and creativity, while keeping in mind what the DVF brand represents. DVF is all about bright colors, beautiful prints with classic— feminine meets sexy—looks.
While I was scouring through racks one evening after work, I happened to be walking out after a discouraging round through the store, and just as I was leaving spotted this bright blue print hanging in the dress racks. I immediately picked it up intrigued by the bright colors and interesting minimalist flower petal design. The dress was a stretchy material, and I needed to see what this floor length dress looked like on me. Ooooh baby, the first moment it was on me it was instant comfort and an instant vision into the potential this basic slip-over dress could become. The existing neckline was—blah—to say the least, but the colors and unusual print really sold me.
I played around a bit in the dressing room, adjusting the neckline by yanking it with my fingers to mimic a deep-v cut in the front. Instant DVF inspiration came to me, and I knew if I could find a way to alter the dress to this sexified deep-v cut, that I should bring out the beautiful blue hue that had initially attracted my eye with a wrap or bow of some sort, giving a nod to her classic wrap dress—without it actually being a wrap dress. I bought it for a mere $4 and figured if I screwed it up, I was only out a few bucks and could continue my search for the perfect wow outfit for my audition.
For anyone who is great with a sewing machine, than all you really needed to pull this off was; fabric chalk to mark up the V shape, a pair of scissors, pins and your sewing machine, and it would be smooth sailing from there. I’m a newbie when it comes to sewing, so I laid my design in the hands of a trusty seamstress one day before the interview, crossing my fingers in good faith that it would come out how I had imagined it. I had her add a slit up the left side of my leg to open the dress up and add some glamour and sex appeal. I also bought a bright blue taffeta fabric that matched closely with the blue in the dress and had her make a simple belt long enough to tie in a bow, and let the bottom hang down for a dramatic look. I found some great neck candy in the fashion district downtown that pulled out dark and blue jewel tones. I really wanted this look to feel sexy,elegant and modern, with a hint of inspiration from a kimono dress—and I think it was achieved. I am still absolutely in love with how it turned out, and that I could take an item of clothing that most would think out-of-date, and transform it into a piece that was one of a kind and beautiful.
I accessorized by pulling out the other color in the flowers—a light lilac—with my Ann Klein leather bag.I chose a high nude stiletto to create a clean, long leg line that had the chicest fringe details dropping down the back. I loved this look and had so much fun with the process—from shopping to conceptualizing to the final product—and got to share my creation when I met Brittany Hampton—House of DVF’s first Brand Ambassador. Even got to meet the Queen herself, Diane–as she schooled us in her effortless style and beautifully bright blue tones.
If you are any sort of creative type, and love an original design or to make your mark on existing clothing—I challenge you to find something unique in your local thrift store, and create something new and beautiful out of it. After all, fashion can be timeless with just a little bit of creative thinking. Not to mention, you are taking a step into helping create a more eco-friendly world through upcycling!