My Christmastime, Told Through Clothing

From Amber

It all started on Monday the 22nd when, after a hectic morning of packing, cleaning, cooking, and trying to entertain our toddler through the chaos, Graham and I took off for my snowy home town of South Lake Tahoe. The Volvo was full of luggage and gifts, the chains were ready to be slapped on the tires, and there were abundant snacks to get us through the stormy drive.

But first we had to stop by Lucia's, to pick up massage gift certificates for our families. She was standing in front of her house wearing the *cutest* little outfit, packing her Volvo for a trip tp the Bay Area, and smoking a hand rolled cigarette:


First thing I did as we drove over Echo Summit and into the Tahoe basin (after hours of traffic) was to call my friend Megan. Meg and her fam always have the best parties, period, but their holiday parties are especially fun. After dinner with my family I set out to drive, at about 15 MPH through a blizzard, over to their house. My good friend Lindsay was there too (the three of us have been homegirls since we were kids), along with various other kith and kin type folks.

Including Auntie Doe, Megan's mom Kathy's sister. Doe is a lawyer and has never had children so... she's got money to spend on clothes! I wish I had gotten a picture of her, in high heeled black boots, tight black leggings, and a big furry colorful vest. I ended up looking through the rooms in the house for old time's sake and coming across Auntie's Doe's clothes hanging in a closet. Among the many fabulous pieces, this was my favorite:


A seriously unclear picture, I know, but actually the best of the many Megan took of me. This coat looked totally vintage, but Doe had recently purchased it at Nordstrom's. The label is a total throwback, referencing The Fillmore- 1960s San Francisco premier venue for seeing acts such as The Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane, etc. (My mom was lucky enough to live in the Bay then and saw all of those acts and more there!).

Santana - Live At The Fillmore 1968 - Front

The tag also references Ken Kesey's hippie bus (called Further)/wild road trip adventure/proto hipster art & music extravaganza social experiment as documented in Tom Wolfe's The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. (All of which reminds me of how Megan introduced me to the Dead in middle school- and don't think we all didn't dance to some Dead tunes that night!- and how she did her author report junior year on Ken Kesey and inspired me to read One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, one of my favorite books).


It's like American Apparel's vintage inspired line California Select, which provides vintage style in newly made garments. Everything old is new again:



Now onto Christmas. Or, in our case, Christmas Eve, which was when we had our Christmas celebration in Tahoe, so that my little fam could get to Auburn for Christmas Day with Graham's mom and her husband.

Okay, so, like many a gal out there, I have been ever in search of The Perfect Gunne Sax Dress. This one I found recently on Etsy, favorited, laid in bed all night dreaming of, and woke up to find that it had sold :-(

But then something akin to Christmas miracle happened! I had just been having a Convo with Calico Vintage on Etsy. She did not have this dress for sale there but, in response to my question about the pros and cons of selling on Etsy and eBay (she does both) she sent me her eBay link and lo and behold- there was the very same dress!!!

I immediately sent the link to my mom, who has a weakness for Gunne Sax from her old flower child days and who I knew was searching for a xmas gift for me.

And mama came through! I asked to open it early that day (we were doing presents after dinner) so that it could be my Official Christmas Dress. And 'twas. And 'twas glorious:


Lovely lace-up velvet bodice:


Burgundy lace trimmed skirt:


I just love it! Unlike so many Gunnes, this one is truly wearable. It's not too ornate or over the top, and it's just perfect for a winter day. Here I am trying to show off the skirt a little more and playing one of Mycie's new musical instruments, also courtesy of Grammy:

Here's the whole fam, and the tambourine:


Oh, and Mycie's dress! Graham sewed it for her that morning. It's the sweetest little plaid wool jumper (I want one too!). Here's a better shot of it:


And a close up so you can see the fabric, which I absolutely adore (and it's so soft!):


But that's not all the magic Graham worked on the sweing machine. He also made this totally amazing and incredibly cozy little hat/scarf thing for me. It was the best gift ever! He is currently perfecting his technique with these in hope of setting up his own Etsy shop soon:


Isn't the little button to die?

So, next morn, through a major snowstorm we drove back over the summit and to Auburn, to Nona and Opa's house. I had been saving this adorable little Laura Ashley outfit for Mycie ever since my mom went crazy at the Mervyn's 80-90% off liquidation sale when they were closing their doors for good last month. (She scored soma amzing summer dresses too!). The pants are really what makes this so special. Like Nona said, they're like gauchos:



Mycie had lots of dress up fun too, with a xmas light headband and then some Hawaiian gear sent from Graham's brother Kyle and his girlfriend Sam who live, duh, in Hawaii:



After being in attendance at so many of our Violet Folklore photo shoots, the girl knows how to pose (which is not something I'm necessarily proud of, though it's pretty darn cute):


Until next year!