Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Double feature: Rhiannon and Lauren

If you are familiar with the blogging world, no doubt you have run across Rhiannon's blog: Liebemarlene, and her sister Lauren's blog: Blooming Leopold! Both girls currently live in the south, Rhiannon in Atlanta, and Lauren in Nashville. I already feel such a connection to them as a fellow Southern girl! In addition, Rhiannon and Lauren both run fashion businesses. Rhiannon has an online shop called Silent Sundays. She stocks beautiful independent designers (Secret Squirrel, TBA, Family Affairs, etc.) and vintage. Rhiannon is going to be selected some vintage pieces especially for Audrey Grace! Lauren runs, Blooming Leopold, her own handmade line. Every piece is so special and pretty. Blooming Leopold will be stocked in Audrey Grace. I am so excited to have these stylish sisters as a part of the boutique. Enjoy my interviews with them below!

Interview with Rhiannon of Liebemarlene!

Rhiannon wearing TBA, a label that will be stocked in Audrey Grace 

Tell me a little big about yourself, your blog Liebemarlene, and your shop Silent Sundays.
I started blogging over four years ago in the days when I was selling vintage on Ebay. In those days I wasn't sure about blogging (didn't know if people would care enough to read the stuff I wrote and still don't) but I loved it, especially the chance to babble on about the things I loved and was inspired by. I sold vintage on Ebay, then Etsy, and eventually set up an online store with my friend Jamie Hopper. She's my favorite photographer in Atlanta, and I can't think of anyone I'd rather work with. We both choose what we want to sell--lots of vintage, and each season we have a small collection of things from some of our favorite independent designers.

Where did you grow up?
In the midwest--I grew up in northern Illinois is a pretty small town, then went to college in an even smaller town in Indiana.  When I lived there I used to knock it, but it's really not so bad, and sometimes I start missing things about the midwest, like its amazing summers and taking weekend trips to Wisconsin. 

What do you like about living in Atlanta?
I like that Atlanta's a city with lots of things to do and see and eat--whenever people come to visit us there's always a new restaurant to go to or good stores to shop at. It's a really diverse place, and pretty liberal for the south (which I like). I like that there's always at least one contestant from Atlanta on each season of RuPaul's Drag Race--makes me proud.  Also Ludacris lives here.

What do you love about living in the south? Do you find it to be a magical place?
Mostly I love that it's different from what I'm used to. I grew up in a place with mostly cornfields--no hills and not many trees. A lot of the south is physically beautiful and has a ton of history, which living here has made me super passionate about. I love that after three years of living here I'm still excited about site-seeing and I'm still checking out nerdy books from the library about southern history and culture. The south is magical to me sometimes--depends where I am. Atlanta isn't magical (unless in funny ways) but cities like Savannah and Charleston are probably more romantic than any other city I've been to in the States.

How do you think Audrey Grace will contribute to the retail scene in the South and specifically, Jackson.
I don't know much about Jackson except that Eudora Welty lived there, and I went to Mississippi once with Jamie and fell in love with it.  The parts I saw of it were beautiful and old-fashioned, and I think that the romantic clothes at Audrey Grace will be a hit there.  

What could you see yourself buying from Audrey Grace?
I'm in love with Up the Wooden Hills and Alexandra Grecco, and I hear something about Blooming Leopold selling at Audrey Grace?

Tell me about the work Silent Sundays is doing for Audrey Grace.
Jamie and I are putting together a capsule collection of vintage pieces that we think will fit the Audrey Grace spirit. And we might put together some photographs too.

Who are some of your favorite designers, artists and photographers?
For the last few years I've really been into designers from Australia and New Zealand--Lover, Secret Squirrel, Juliette Hogan, and Twenty-Seven Names are always favorites. I love TBA and Nadinoo a bunch.  I'm very ignorant when it comes to art, but usually in art museums I like things from the late 1700s best. As for photographers I like Jody Rogac a ton for fashion stuff-- Jamie Hopper too! And photographers like William Eggleston and Clarence John Laughlin make me glad to live in the south. 

What are your favorite books and magazines to look through for inspiration?
Lula, Bullett, Frankie, Rush, and The Gentlewoman are my favorite fashion magazines, and I love Garden and Gun and Georgia Backroads for southern tourist stuff. I can't really read fashion related books anymore (burnt out and don't really care about Coco Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld, etc.) but I like history books and biographies and novels. Just finished Deborah Mitford's memoirs and it made me want to move out to the country and start over. Or just move to England so I can be her friend.

What are your favorite blogs?
My sister Lauren's blog Blooming Leopold, Foxtail & Fern, Jeana Sohn, Olive My Love for fashion. I love Forgotten New York for history stuff and food blogs like Lottie and Doof and Smitten Kitchen.

Your recent wedding was so beautiful! What advice can you give to those planning a stylish wedding? And where did you find your dress?
Thank you! I'm not big on weddings so don't think I'd be good at giving advice; I just wanted something really low-key and simple and outdoors.  We lucked out on our venue--an old farm community that had prettiness to make up for our lack of decorating, etc. My dress is actually an old one by Lover that I found on Australian Ebay.

Describe your personal style.
I used to dress in very romantic things, but since I'm getting older (thirty-one this month!) I'm trying to tone some of that stuff down--fewer bows, frills, peter pan collars, even though I think it's all adorable. Right now I like pretty simple, boring stuff--plain velvet dresses and tights and ankle boots pretty much make up my fall uniform.    

Who is your style icon?
Silent film stars like Marion Davies and Mabel Normand, Joan Crawford, Julie Christie.  And I like modern girls like Leith Clark, Alexa Chung (of course), Michelle Williams, and Kirsten Dunst.

What are your favorite places in Atlanta and across the South?
In Atlanta I love this new Korean taco place called Takorea, Star Provisions for sandwiches and desserts, Octane for coffee, Antico pizza. Favorite places across the south: Rock City in Chattanooga, Back in the Day Bakery in Savannah, the whole city of Charleston, and where my parents live in Tennessee.

What are your favorite films for fashion?
Busby Berkeley musicals, Julie Christie in Darling, and Picnic at Hanging Rock. Lately I really like Joan Crawford's costumes in '30s movies like Sadie McKee--sort of over the top, but beautiful.

What do you love about your sister's collection, Blooming Leopold?
I love that it's so Lauren--I could see her wearing every single thing in it, and I love that she puts her own touch on everything. I already have my eye on one of the dresses--it has the most perfect sleeves.

What is your favorite decade for vintage?
Probably the '30s and '70s, especially '70s versions of '30s styles. I love art deco elements and flutter sleeves, anything in silk.

What does the future look like for you, your blog and Silent Sundays? Hopefully lots of exciting things!
Thanks! Well I'm bad at planning things. For my blog I want to change it up a little--write about more than fashion and write about other things I'm interested in.. more history posts, for one thing. We just released our new fall lookbook and collection for Silent Sundays, so I'm still thinking about that and not really sure what's next. Excited to get shopping again for our next release!

Thank you, Rhiannon!

The beautiful fall lookbook for Silent Sundays, shot by the amazing Jamie Hopper
Interview with Lauren of Blooming Leopold!

Tell me a little big about yourself, your blog and your line, Blooming Leopold.
My name is Lauren Winter and I'm the girl behind the Blooming Leopold blog and shop! I began the blog as a means to chronicle my personal style adventures and it grew into a love of sewing and a handmade line in 2011, which I couldn't be more excited about.

Where did the name Blooming Leopold come from?
Blooming Leopold is a play on the name of Ulysses' main character, Leopold Bloom. I was on a James Joyce kick the summer I started the blog! My husband and I even named our dog after the character - Bloom.

What do you think is so special about having handmade garments? This is obviously a very important aspect of your line that I love!
Sewing a handmade garment and shipping it to someone is a much more personal experience for me than selling vintage. You put a piece of yourself in everything you sew- with all the added time and effort, and especially since the garments were designed by you, your collection kind of becomes your baby. It's scary to release it into the world, almost, but also extremely rewarding when it finds a home.

Where did you grow up?
I grew up in northern Illinois in a very typical midwestern town, surrounded by cornfields. Growing up, I just wanted to get away and find a place with more beauty. Now that I have grown up and moved away, I think the Midwest - with its flat expanse and endless farmland - has its own special brand of beauty that I really couldn't appreciate when I was little.

What do you like about living in Nashville?
I love Nashville! The southern states seem to have a lot of history and personality to me. Living in a city in the south means you still have the life and universal feel of a city while being close to the old plantation homes and well-preserved culture of the south. Nashville has the sweetest people I've ever met, beautiful weather, and awesome coffee shops (Crema, Dose, and Roast Inc. are our current favorites).

How do you think Audrey Grace will contribute to the retail scene in the south and specifically, Jackson?
With the variety of designers and vintage stockists heading Jackson's way, I think Audrey Grace Boutique will leave an indelible mark on the fashion scene around the area! Designers from all over will be selling their wares at the store, including several designers that are only available in large cities like New York and London. What a treat Mississippi has to be able to shop these collections locally! 

What could you see yourself buying from Audrey Grace?
Everything! My favorites have got to be TBA, Silent Sundays, and Rachel Antonoff.

Tell me about the vintage pieces you are sourcing for Audrey Grace.
I'm lucky to not only be providing my handmade collection but also vintage found here in Nashville! Pieces I'll provide for the boutique include dreamy holiday garments - 1940s velvet dresses in rich jewel hues, sequined tops, and assorted lace and chiffon pieces in pastels.

Why do you think Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly's style is relevant today?
To me, Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly embody a classic sort of beauty that never really goes out of style. The shapes and fabrics they wore can generally be found in the garments of today- holiday dresses in brocade, wool suit sets and simple black dresses. Not to mention, both women were stunning and confident.

Who are some of your favorite designers, artists and photographers?
Aubrey Beardsley, Edward Gorey, JW Waterhouse, David Hamilton, TBA, Family Affairs, many more!

What are your favorite books and magazines to look through for inspiration?
Umberto Eco's History of Beauty and Lula Magazine! I love looking through illustrated books from the 1920s or older, too. I have a turn of the century copy of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (I think I picked it up at a yard sale when I was little) that has these beautiful color images, and a collection of children's fairytales that's about 90 years old now.

What are your favorite blogs?
Liebemarlene, Hannah and Landon, and Hello Mr. Fox are definitely my top three favorite blogs! I love Always, Sometime, Anytime as well. The Selby is a website I've been visiting a lot lately too, we just bought a house and I'm in desperate need of some interior design inspiration.

Describe your personal style.
I don't know how to describe my personal style because it's always changing.. right now, I'm in a 70s meets 90s phase - boxy blazers, cut off shorts, grunge-y maxi dresses, Gunne Sax, floral wreaths, lots of velvet. I'm addicted to this pair of chunky platform lace ups I found at a thrift store last year.

Who is your style icon?
My style icons are my sisters! They never fail to be themselves- they both have very distinct styles and I love them for it.

What are your favorite shops? Do you shop locally or online?
My favorite shops are thrift stores, preferably out in the country around Nashville or in Madison, TN. I try to keep my shopping local at nearby vintage stores like Local Honey and Goodbuy Girls, and I buy a lot of stuff from American Apparel in town. When I shop online for clothing, it's either on Madewell, Topshop, or Etsy (but that's mostly dream shopping).

What are your favorite films for fashion?
I think I get more inspiration from films than from books- films like The Red Shoes, Pretty Baby, Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, and Amadeus. I revisit my favorite films often. The best films for fashion are movies that try to capture another time period, like Picnic at Hanging Rock or Badlands, because inevitably they leave some of their own decade's (or century's) style in the film and the mix can be beautiful.

What do you love about your sister's vintage collection and her shop, Silent Sundays?
I love looking at Silent Sundays' wares and instantly thinking of Rhiannon and Jamie - their shop is reminiscent of their own personal fashion, and that's how a shop should be! How every piece is styled and the professional quality of their lookbooks, too.. have you seen their latest one? Their vintage is always classic but still manages to be current - a line suede skirts, brown velvet mini dresses, sheer polka dot tops. I'm always bragging about their shop to people!

What is your favorite decade for vintage?
If you looked at what I wear, you'd probably say the 90s, but the 1940s are my favorite. The elegance and cut of clothing are so unique and instantly recognizable. I think that decade was very flattering for men and women. And everyone wore a hat - we need to bring that back.

What does the future look like for you, your blog and Blooming Leopold? Besides collaborating with Audrey Grace, of course!
I'm currently putting together a handmade and vintage holiday collection, to debut at the Audrey Grace Boutique and online in late November or early December! Stay tuned.

Thank you, Lauren! Below are photos from Blooming Leopold's AW11 collection. So excited the line will be stocked at Audrey Grace!

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