The Grand Rapids-based Etsy shop LoveCharles has a philosophy when it comes to its hand-selected, classic vintage clothing from the 1930s to 1980s. “It’s important for people to realize vintage can be easily incorporated into a modern wardrobe and not look like a costume,” said Lily Greig, the owner, photographer and curator. Mixing decades like a pro, Greig keeps in mind how pieces will transition into the contemporary woman’s closet and features staple pieces such as pencil skirts, blouses, pants and “a good balance of special party dresses and plenty of separates that you could build an entire wardrobe out of vintage.” Even accessories are covered with shoes, hats and purses. At a young age, Greig fell in love with the construction details, fabric and how “everything was just made better back in the day.” Ask her who’s doing vintage clothing well and she name-drops Minty Keen and Lost & Found in Grand Rapids. Sure, there’s the recycling aspect too, but at the end of the day it’s the floral chiffon dress from the '20s that makes LoveCharles the real deal. Follow (happily) along at lovecharlesvintage.blogspot.com.
The Grand Rapids Film Festival takes its first foray into fashion with a fashion showcase featuring costume designer Bernadine Vida of 8 Mile, Semi-Pro and The Wannabes fame, as well as her work with Nickelodeon installing "Dora the Explorer and Friends" on Norwegian Cruise Lines and the currently in-theaters, award-winning film The Citizen. The main focus here is the artistic arena of fashion design as it relates to the film industry. “It’s a broadening of the perspective — it’s not just filmmakers. There’s a full costume industry with lots of jobs for fashion designers,” says Executive Director Jen Shaneberger. Both Vida and the Kendall College of Art and Design’s fashion department collaborate for a semester-long journey designing character-themed pieces from a selected film. The Fashion for Film showcase is an exhibition of these pieces along with Vida’s personal creations all with a Grease theme. View work from students and Vida followed by film shorts. It’s a night of style, creativity, drinks, fashion conversation, networking and hobnobbing. “Film is a wonderful way to insert ideas of fashion. It’s purposeful, once you think about film that way—that something was picked out and hand-selected for an image a character needs to project.” The Fashion for Film showcase is held April 10 from 7 to 9 p.m. at The Pyramid Scheme. Tickets are $10 and students receive a free film pass with ticket purchase.
If you follow the website and blog Sidewalk Ready, it’s getting a makeover. Collaboration with Thinkbox Creative has created a brand-new site with fresh design and re-branding upgrades. Another big perk is the debut of Sidewalk Ready Men. According to Grant Floering, the face of Sidewalk Ready Men, you can expect the same aesthetic for photos, style content and series such as Friday Favorites. Less personal, the men’s version focuses strictly on style with an eye for things that look nice or make a good composition. “I’ve done some modeling in the past,” Floering said. “I might have a post where I get a bunch of my friends together. It’s not just focused on me, but more on my friend group as well.” His personal style can be described as an everyday dressy casual—easily worn in any situation. “I could wear most anything I have for meetings or dates out to dinner.” Hopefuls can learn how to put their own spin on current trends and receive input from other men featured in posts. “It would be neat to even feature girls and show what they like to see.” See for yourself at sidewalkreadymen.com.
Mod Bettie is new in town and she’s of the vintage variety. She’s looking to make friends and have fun being a girl with her pin-up boutique offering a retro/Hollywood style photography experience complete with authentic hair and makeup from the '20s through '50s. The goal here is to celebrate women, empower their sexy self-confidence and liberate their inner Bettie. “Mod Bettie is sort of a vintage experience for the modern woman. Bettie Page was the first pin-up—it’s where the name comes from,” said Elise Hibbard, who, along with Jennifer Deming, are the Founding Betties and co-photographers who look at old-school sketches of women for inspiration to help decide what kind of Bettie you want to be. It’s all about being comfortable and sexy, and props can be anything from a heart-shaped chair to '50s dresses, lingerie, suitcases and swimsuits. A private experience of intimate shooting with wardrobe, relaxation and primping are the secret ingredients to make a Mod Bettie come to life. Keeping it real to the era, images can be printed on playing cards or calendars. “That’s how pin-ups got their start—creating a calendar for men or sending images overseas so men had something to look forward to when they came home.” Digital images are offered as well and bachelorette parties are in the works. Push the envelope and get as sexy as you want and leave with some girl time, a great story and tons of confidence. This is for the woman that loves playing dress up and getting pampered. Don’t be shy—head to modbettie.com and check them out on Facebook, too.