Space 24 Twenty Hosts Austin Locals at Popup Vintage Yard Sale

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. 

Local vendor Low Vision Vintage set up outside Urban Outfitters Space 24 Twenty’s backyard.

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

Teenage Tropes: Bristol’s Thrifty Fashions in Skins, Generation Two.

What became a phenomenal success from its first season, UK’s Skins continued with its core cast as they became seniors in college for season two. With such explosive popularity among young adults, Skins continued the saga with a new cohort of high schoolers as they introduced season three and four with an all-new cast. To viewers, it’s bittersweet to say farewell to the original cast, but creators Bryan Eisley and Jamie Britton crafted the story of Skins to follow authentic teen experiences through an all teenaged cast. Thus, we have Tony’s younger sister Effy (played by Kaya Scodelario), a bit more grown-up than her silent Season One appearances, as the core member of this next erratic group of friends. The way wardrobe styling relates to each character gives the viewer an introspection to their psyche, their lifestyle, socio-economic status, and their personality. I’ve never been so struck by a television show’s wardrobe decisions; it’s worth examining as we’re watching new shows that may have taken a note or two from Skins.

Pandora “Panda” Moon

My Caboodles pencil case burst open and out came Pandora. OKAY, first of all… who decided her last name is “Moon”? How ethereal. Pandora’s first appearance in Skins was in season two during which Effy’s transitioning into a new private school under a self-declared vow of silence. In short, Pandora is the bubbly counterpart to Effy’s brooding, tortured soul. The two unlikely pair become best of friends.

Effy’s not into donuts. she’s into pills.

Pandora on Effy

In her own words she’s “useless”, but as the series carries on we learn that she is not only a force of joy and innocence but a loyal friend. Her style went from being in a stuffy private school uniform with her wild pigtails to an extravagant array of mixed prints, layers, patterned socks, chunky necklaces and, the cherry on top: a funky barrette in her hair. Pandora is a lovable character; check out some of her best moments in the series.

Manic-grunge-dream girl: Elizabeth “Effy” Stonem

Once famously stated by Lydia Deetz: “My whole life is a darkroom. One.. big… dark… room.” It appears as the series progresses devious Elizabeth “Effy” Stonem transitions from stirring the pot to falling in love, to eventually locking herself up in a manic malaise of collaging… a telltale sign of amphetamine abuse. She does however control her own narrative by wearing grunge in the most millennial way. What does that mean? Grunge has always been more than a music style since audiophiles transcended their playlists into social identification. The grunge exterior is hard but also allows for soft vulnerability, with lyrics that play to your loves, loss, and daily turbulence. Effy’s aloof demeanor paired with an edgy grunge wardrobe keeps her at a distance…emotionally. Ripped tights, motor boots, long tunics, and muscle tees, boyfriend blazers classed up with pins, flannel, and leather bomber jackets are all in rotation for the cloudy Bristol scenery.

Good Twin, Bad Twin: Emily and Katie Fitch

The unbreakable connection of twins is forever foreign to me. Though however similar the DNA of twins can be, one must not assume the two are one and the same. Katie Fitch is an extroverted, loud-mouthed (at times), mean girl… though layered. Her sister Emily is the quieter, manic-pixie type that holds a personal secret: she is gay. Though won’t allow it out until she bumps into her love interest Naomi repeatedly, who coaxes her to look at herself deeply and realize she is not her sister. When searching for style photos, I came across some rare snaps of the cast in the wardrobe department, with notes on their looks for each scene. Katie: a jewelry-clad gal with fitted pencil skirts, blouses, cropped cardigans, and even wears heels to college. Think on par with the Pink Ladies from Grease. Emily: pinafores, colorful tights, loafers, large book bags and dressed up tees; A thrifty gal with her head in the clouds.

Naomi Campbell For Class President

Naomi Campbell… no not the international supermodel, but Naomi Campbell: peroxide blonde teenager who wears many stereotypical hats. At first, she is a lesbian in the closet… though comes out finally at the school’s Valentine’s dance, where she wears this 80s-inspired asymmetrical, tartan/plaid punk dress with a statement charm necklace. She is the resident feminist and undoubtedly outspoken, making her the ideal candidate for class president. Unamused by passive compliments from her male peers, she is quick to realize her attraction to Emily… though hesitant to act upon it. While she is outspoken, she is trepidatious about exposing her vulnerable side. Naomi is layered. Literally. Her style offers a range of color combinations, layering long-sleeves with t-shirts, overall dresses with leggings, and a messenger-style school bag. She is the trendy bike messenger and if she were living in today’s political climate, she would probably work for The Onion. Check out Naomi’s Lily Loveless in an interview on style, Skins, and London’s Carnaby Street.

*I do not own any photos – all are from Pinterest*

Under the influence: A review of Valley of the Dolls

Jacqueline Susann was a widely respected actress, singer, dancer – a woman about town. She had her run in NYC and Hollywood and recounts her lifestyle in the most resonate way: she writes a book. Valley of the Dolls was published in December of 1966 and was the biggest success of that year. To date, it has sold over 31 million copies making it a one of best selling novels in publishing history.

Valley of the Dolls Turns 50

The Valley of the Dolls film premiered in 1967 and was met with mixed reactions, but later has garnered praise from many viewers as a “campy piece of shit” and “the best, funniest, worst movie ever made.” It has a huge following in the gay community and drag queens have emulated the overtop 1960s beehives countless times. The story was also adapted for stage in the 1990s at the Theater A- Go-Go in West Hollywood featuring drag queen Jackie Beat as aging starlet Helen Lawson and pre-The Office Kate Flannery as Neely O’Hara.

I finally read the fabled 60s masterpiece in full. My first time around in my early twenties, it didn’t keep my attention. I guess it was hard to relate to the girls who were far more grown up than I was at their age (again, their mid twenties) landing career jobs in entertainment, getting married, divorced and popping pills is quite a roller coaster. I find it much more enjoyable now at 30 during our COVID sequestration, picturing the insanity of how a 1960s Hollywood and New York City operates. Like Mad Men, women had obscured (somewhat still do) pressures and expectations from society, though the ones who carry the show are powerful women. Valley of the Dolls was all about the women. The men in the novel and film merely seemed like accessories (or pests) to the myriad of routine problems that faced career women.

Spanning from 1945 all the way through 1962, the book reads like ages pass. Long accounts by date, like a diary, instead of chapters carry the reader through long episodic scenes. Each segment always holds a juicy tale about the girl in focus for that chapter.

One segment is dedicated to Anne, to Neely and to Jennifer. There is always something new happening in Neely O’Hara’s vagabond lifestyle and her talent grows. Anne Welles is a sophisticated virginal girl from small town New England. And talentless Jennifer has one thing going for: A solid body and the face of a goddess. The three of them eventually all find themselves on mutual ground with their careers and love lives. Naturally, they decide to live together. Some of the characters are absolutely unbearable at times. Miriam is a controlling sister/manager to nightclub singer, Tony Polar who takes an interest in Jennifer North. Gaudy Helen Lawson is nearing her swan song as a demanding Diva threatened by Neely. Lyon Burke is a handsome Englishman pursuing a writing career and takes an interest Anne, though plainly states, he is “not sure his love will be enough.” Heard that one.