Thursday, April 16, 2009

St. Vincent de Paul in Green Bay

I’ve wandered far and wide, searched high and low, and dug myself so deep into musky smelling piles of clothing and purses that I’ve come out on the other side. And yet a thrift store from my hometown remains my Mecca, the epitome of thrift store shopping.

Firstly, it is the size of a Wal-mart. The clothing section alone is the same size as the 27th St. Value Village (one of my other favorite thrift stores). It is staffed by friendly old people and the bulk of its customer base is families. Green Bay does have its share of hipster teen-agers and (thanks to UWGB’s great environmental science program) thrift loving hippies; however, there are fewer thrift junkies than in Milwaukee. Green Bay has the second largest population in Wisconsin (if you’re from Madison and want to argue that fact, please take comfort in knowing that even if Green Bay has more people, you have more cool people). So there’s no shortage of donors.

In Green Bay the shortage of culture and arts leaves the citizens to amuse themselves with materialism. They are more concerned with owning new stuff than collecting quirky old stuff. And when that new stuff becomes quirky old stuff, it ends up at one of its many wonderful thrift stores.

And for someone like me, it is a virtual gold mine of old lady stuff. St. Vincent de Paul has an entire bin dedicated to aprons (almost all of them vintage). In other thrift stores you might find a rack of men’s ties. Here there is a refrigerator box full of them. Some places might have a shelf of craft supplies. Here there is an entire section, occupying a large corner of the store. And everything is dirt cheap, like it ought to be. It’s a dreamland of kitsch, a gorgeous messy landscape of precious crap.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Post-Apocolyptic Steam Punk Shaman from the Wilderness!

I have decided to hit the ground running.

Revolution is Sexy had a growth spurt! From student film and photographic exhibit, to gallery, shop, and blog. Not to mention Myspace....

The first step in giving Revolution is Sexy a digital body and online personality is to create images. I have been gorging myself on videos of John Galliano's runway shows, and so I have decided to spend the next several months focusing on fashion photography. But the real eureka moment came after my boyfriend tried to force a wide blue filligree bangle onto his manly wrist, I got the concept for my next series.

I want to replicate old National Geographic portraits of exotic natives, where they sit stoic in a chair in front of the camera, completely bedecked in their most exotic costumes. But mixed with grass skirts, feathers, and face paints I want to add huge bangle bracelets, long dangling rhinestone earrings, and the most gaudy costume jewelry I can find. Think Tina Turner (or Mel Gibson, depending who you are) in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome mixed with a rummage sale. Like post-apocolyptic steam punk shaman from the wilderness.

I think this is a way for me to do something interesting with the merchandise, so I can feel like I am being productive as well as having fun and playing dress up. Of course I will still need to do some straightforward shots to make sure the merch gets sold. But I built a light box so I am not worried!

The merchandise I want to start with is: vintage earrings, vintage dresses, vintage fabric, suspenders, clip-on ties, and perhaps some other accessories. After I get the hang of selling on etsy, I plan to add more hand made items like my famous button bracelets and some two dimensional paper art.

Now that I've gotten started, it will be interested to see how the next few weeks go. If it's stressful, at least it will be "fun stress".