For our latest installment of Thrift Thursday, we take a major look at accessories. We are also pleased to feature our good friend Emily Litton Chandler of the fabulous, OLIO Collection. Emily, a lover of all things vintage, sells her goodies and offers vintage personal styling services (plus she is helping Ellen reimagine a couple of her vintage necklaces). She was recently featured in a Tribeza Magazine piece about Austin’s Style Makers where she shares such magnificent tidbits as, “I don’t feel dressed without a bold vintage jacket, oversize cocktail rings — as many as I can get on each hand — and massive clip-on earrings.” This is a woman after both of our fashion loving hearts!
One of the easiest ways to define your personal style is with unique accessories. And one of the best places to find unique accessories is vintage markets. For any design, from any era, to fit any budget, thrift and vintage stores are treasure troves of those special details that make each outfit look distinctively yours.
When I first met Emily, I just knew her as Eugenia’s mom – but she was fun and stylish with a quirky and dramatic look that drew me to her. It was one-part Audrey Hepburn a la Breakfast at Tiffany’s – always with a chignon, big sunnies, and dramatic red lip; and one-part boho with colorful caftans, vintage fur and a healthy dose of fringe. I mean, seriously – what’s not to like?! Turns out, she’s a fellow southern gal with a penchant for all things charming and bespoke. This translates to a love of antique furniture, classic old houses and vintage fashion. She’s turned her hobby into a business, hunting for vintage treasures and breathing new life into them at OLIO Collection. We are not sure where she finds all her amazing jewelry, caftans and other wares – nor is she telling – so we must settle for shopping her Instagram at @oliocollection and keeping our eyes peeled for her pop-up parties. Emily is also great at repurposing and reimagining many of her finds, such as belt buckles, into the most amazing necklaces and other accessories.
My best Emily find to date is this perfect “Mad Men/Joan Holloway” 1950’s beaded brocade dress. I feel like a 1957 Barbie in it, so ladylike and Jackie-O. All it needs is a killer hat and a pair of white gloves and I could be the cover of Harper’s Bazaar 60 years ago. I accessorized with new and old – a Gucci inspired multi-strand pearl necklace with bumble bee brooch from our friends at Brit & Belle; then a pair of pearl flower “earbobs” as Emily calls them, and a pair of vintage gold floral brocade bangles, including one that was my mother-in-law’s. Imagine my shock when I found its mate at one of Emily’s parties. Of course, I had to snag it! One for each arm!
All these vintage treasures prompted me to dig out one of my Mom’s old caftans from the 70’s. I distinctly remember her wearing this as a child (and my Dad with the matching boxer shorts, but that’s another story for another day). I remember thinking how glamorous my Mom was when she wore it. It’s no wonder I’ve always had a thing for animal print (see my original post Cheetah is the New Black). I paired it with this coquettish pair of Beverly Feldman suite peep toe pumps with a little mink pompom on the toe. I topped it off with another Brit & Belle treasure, a vintage Chanel button-turned-medallion necklace. The whole feel is Italian Riviera in the golden age of the 60’s, which was very fitting for our Italianate setting at One World Theatre. I was transported to Portofino immediately and felt very Brigitte Bardot in this ensemble.
When I found a similar current maxi wrap dress at Bellezza Salon & Boutique in Lakeway, I knew I had to recreate this look with a more modern twist. This one feels more Rachel Zoe than Bardot, so I paired it with a necklace from her fall Box of Style, a pair of strappy studded suede gladiator sandals by ASH, and one of Emily’s many amazing statement rings, this one worn on my pinky for a little 70s retro flair. Black tassel earrings finish off the look.
These outfits are made up of my personal style trinity – a mix of new/trendy, vintage/thrift and consignment. We have talked about discovering your style formula on this blog before and this is one of my go-to go-to equations, if that makes any sense! Give me a thrifted blazer, a new pair of jeans and a pair of designer shoes bought at a bargain price and I am a happy girl!
For the first outfit, I paired a Topshop basic top with a designer skirt from Spring Frost (another local woman owned business that provides an endless supply of designer gems at a bargain). The vibrant green is not something I have much of in my wardrobe and I knew it would be perfect for pictures at the breathtaking One World Theatre. I bought these dreamy, iridescent Loeffler Randall mules from blog favorite, Moss Designer Consignment (not to mention extra style points when your shoes match the décor). The fur coat and earrings from OLIO Collection provided vintage flair I was looking for.
The second outfit was unplanned but ended up being my favorite, born out of equal part necessity and propriety. I was running late to school pick up and I believe a fur coat is just a bit too extra for an elementary school receiving line. It features the same Topshop sweater, but this time paired with a pair of trendy Zara jeans that reminded me of the 90’s in the best possible ways. I added my favorite Fendi mules and Gucci bag that were both purchased from The Real Real, because while fur might be too extra for picking up my fourth grader, evidently sequins are not. OLIO’s upcycled horse necklace is the most amazing piece in her collection and can make even the most basic outfit look chic. What I noticed that these two outfits had in common? They were both made up of mainly very simple, almost plain pieces that became anything but with the right accessory or two.
The best part about vintage styling is the sustainability of reusing, recycling and reimagining a wonderful piece in so many new ways, but by mixing it in with current pieces as well. They each breathe new life and bring character to the other. And it speaks to one of the tenets of this blog – that one woman’s trash is another’s treasure, and that fashion is art and should be collected and curated. Emily at OLIO Collection is a great steward of this principle and we couldn’t be more excited to work and play dress up with her!
And thank you to One World Theatre for use of their beautiful venue.
Images by Breezy Ritter