Vintage Shopping is Green Shopping

Originally posted on Paper Mothball Vintage

The Vintage Chanel Camera Bag


There is something about the 1940s that gets me every time. I dont know if its the hats and hair, the pleats, shoulder pads and peplums or just a feeling, romanticizing an era through love of fashion. I love how bold the trends were, wearing high heels and high rolled curls. Women dared to be women while also learning to wear the pants, which Katherine Hepburn did so wonderfully, and quite literally.

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Inspired by the 40s, I finally hid away some time this past week to design and make a new dress. I found this wonderful red floral print that I couldnt believe wasnt vintage. Up close, it  reminds me of a 1940s fabric meets early Andy Warhol drawing. I had quite a time drafting the pattern as I ran out of pattern paper and had to use newsprint (the art paper not newspaper – never use news paper on good fabric as the ink can transfer). Its just a simple everyday 1940s design, because I wanted to let the fabric shine. I am crazy about the way silk crepe drapes at the waist and hips on a feminine silhouette. For me its one of the subtle nuances in design that just catches the eye. If you know it, it just sings, if you dont, its that certain something that you love about a dress but cant put your finger on it.

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One of my favorite places in New York City is Soho, a place that teems with fashion. Its in the air, soaking into the historic cobble stone streets and architecture and vividly residing in vintage perfection at What Goes Around Comes Around. They house the biggest vintage designer collection I have found in one store. Every piece is more amazing than the next and a definite stop to shop if you are ever in New York.

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I got to wear this beautiful vintage Chanel camera bag from What Goes Around Comes Around. The nice weight of the signature chain strap and the feeling inspired by carrying Chanel made my day quite bright. I felt like I was walking on the set of an Audrey Hepburn movie through the streets of Soho (although her movies were a bit later than the 40s).

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Dress: Paper Mothball Vintage (fabric from Mood)
Swing Coat: Vintage 1940s
Handbag: Vintage Chanel, What Goes Around Comes Around
Hat: Vintage 1940s
Stockings & Merry Widow: What Katie Did

Shoes: MadeWell
Hair Clip: Anthropologie


For everyone who voted to help me choose red or yellow buttons, thank you so much for your advice! I finally chose red, as I felt the yellow was a little to intricate and over powering for the print. I will definitely use them on another design though. They are so reminiscent of vintage jewelry like buttons – I might even pin them in my hair or make them into earrings.

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Paper Mothball Vintage

Laura Okita is a vintage fashion designer, photographer and vintage editorial blogger living in Brooklyn, NY, and model for over 10 years in New York, Europe and Japan. "I am mostly self taught using vintage sewing patterns. I create all my garment patterns and sew all my designs. I specialize in luxury fabrics and hand beading and embroidery, and occasionally create my own prints for fabrics. I take most of my own pictures and videos, working in both film and digital. As a model, I always try to bring the clothing to life. Every garment has its own story that it wants to tell. When I step into a dress, I step into being that girl."

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