To go with my blog post on Space 24 Twenty’s recent popup – I made a vlog as well! It’s pretty short, but I wanted to give you a little tour of the back yard space. I cannot express how grateful I am to be here where we are open, executing best practices, and still have a functioning economy full of creatives and small businesses. Enjoy xx
In the recent IGTV show Are You Michelle From Skins? hosted by actress April Pearson, who got her big break as Michelle in Skins she goes into the raves and rants of breaking into the business, post-Skins job market as an actor characterized as “Tony’s girlfriend”, glazing over her female lead status. She interviews fellow stars of Skins and many other younger UK actors going through their trials and tribulations of being a young adult in show business.
Though many early Skins episodes may not hold up in today’s #MeToo era, the writers were able to attempt delicate social subjects of gender and identity politics in the latter season’s new cohort. But would it suffice? While the show had its moments, some character arcs seemed forced, superfluous, and rushed as the show came to a close leaving many viewers with quizzical looks. There were some aspects of this generation that I loved, but the total curveballs they wrote in made it ultimately less believable.
So join me for one more examination in this character analysis of mixed emotions and a wardrobe aesthetics as we unpack the wins and losses of the third and final generation of Skins.
The off-putting thing about this generation is that they immediately began with the Mean Girls angle when introducing the core females. Though it’s not without a twist that Francesca “Franky” Fitzgerald would be the gender bending character that would ultimately dismantle this classic, albeit toxic arc of characters. The ring leader is Mini, obviously blonde and generally pretty, with sweet freckles that barely peak through. Freya Mavor’s portrayal of Mini’s overt bitchiness and equally fearful innocence was made for her. Her style is bold and yes, a little over the top for grade school, or at least in my small town it would be. She mixes notes of the 80s by layering an assortment of biker shorts of all kinds of patterns and materials: lace, metallic, and brights all for a “peekaboo” look over tunic fashion tops and boyfriend blazers. I especially like the knee-high nylons she wears with heeled lace-up booties. Sort of an 80s glam meets Victorian high society.
One of my favorite characters in the series is Liv. Executed spectacularly by thrift enthusiast Laya Lewis, Liv’s character is a spontaneous modern-day socialite, always leading the way to the next party. Instead of being just one of the sidekicks to Mini, the various characters she meets along the way inevitably shape her personality and develop her character: Alex the gay DJ/magician becomes her roommate and ultimately morphs her into a vintage-loving teenage homemaker, who still attends school. Though her ability to mask her deep-rooted troubles with family and *spoiler alert* the death of Grace at the beginning of Season 2 allows her to slow down and take care of those around her. In the beginning, she is clad in flowy summertime layers, which always confused me since Bristol and Britain, in general, are gloomy. Again, heavily clad in jewelry: bangles, necklaces, and door knocker earrings Lily Allen would approve of. Very early Madonna and very maximalist. My favorite outfit of hers was a mid-length sweater dress that looked like it was made a patchwork throw blanket.
After months of hush hush quarantining, vintage hunters emerge from isolation to build their inventory and prepare for holiday shopping. With online platforms like Etsy, Depop, and Instagram’s Shop feature paving the way to digitally reach customers, it’s nothing like making that personal connection to shop owners and observing garments up close IRL. Thankfully Austin has still remained relatively open enough for retailers and small businesses to host a few seasonal pop-up markets.
Last weekend I went to my first popup since the lockdown was lifted in and around Austin. The UT campus neighborhood “The Drag” hosts various budget-friendly shops and restaurants, catering to its mostly collegiate crowd all along Guadalupe Street. Though are you really in a university neighborhood if there isn’t an Urban Outfitters? Urban’s Spaces concept highlights flagship stores in Brooklyn, Los Angeles, and Austin as hosts to local businesses in retail, dining, and artists in a collaborative architecture made for popup events or workshops. Austin’s 24 Twenty space is mostly outdoors allowing for fresh air shopping, which is recommended as we walk among an invisible virus.
Sandwiched between the UO’s men’s store and the multi-level woman’s/homewares store is Korean fried chicken purveyor, Left Wing at the entrance to the space. Keep walking through the awning where colorful, spinning building blocks make up an interactive art piece leading you out to the spacious backyard. Bananarchy, a local food truck serving up various sweet frozen banana delights is situated among socially distanced vintage tents. “There’s always money in the banana stand.” Arrested Development, anyone? You can also get your caffeine fix next door at Lucky Lab Coffee Co. with their seasonal menu and Austin pride merchandise.
I talked to several of the vendors and got a general consensus that the pandemic made them work extra hard to keep business afloat and the creative instinct burning bright. For the few, slinging vintage is a side hustle, but for many its a full time business. We’re fortunate to be in a place where the local community and small businesses invited (safely) mobile vendors in vintage, home goods, and the handmade sort to set up shop in small collective flea markets. UO’s Yard Sale also hosted a food and clothing drive that benefitted Caritas of Austin, a prominent homeless resource center.
A smattering of vintage t-shirts, acid wash denim, band tees, handmade masks, patches and pins are a collectors heaven. Some sellers even showcased hand painted clothing items as a wearable one-of-a-kind art piece. One of my favorite pieces I saw is this Campbell’s Tomato Soup tee from Lamp Light Vintage a local expert on that sweet feeling of single-stitch band tees. And who doesn’t love a bin of deals to hunt through?
“Rehoming vintage clothes and goods”LGBTQ+ Austin based seller, Jello Mom Vintage
Many other small businesses around Austin have become comfortable with hosting popup markets, especially approaching this holiday season. Check out Facebook and Do512 for more information on Austin event dates and schedules and keep an eye out for more markets and exhibitions from Space 24 Twenty by checking out their Instagram.
Support more local sellers online by surfing their own photo feeds and Instagram shops. Many curators are offering their items on Depop and other online thrift apps. Some even offer shopping experiences by appointment for a more socially distanced and personalized styling engagement. See you next time!
~The Wayback Closet