Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Pretty Little Plant Things

I wanted to share some pics from the Annual Garden Sale at the Arboretum. I was completely floored by the extensive Bonsai selection. Normally, I attribute Bonsais to magical little trees with gnarled little trunks. But what I saw instead were bright green mossy tops, delicate sprays of flowers, and miniature versions of plants like geraniums and papyrus that would make "the perfect little forests." These magical little guys really tugged at the old heartstrings.
Related Note: there is a Bonsai festival this coming weekend. I may have to go to there. new favorite plant, bonsai geranium (pic by Joshua)

Style Icon: The Hardcore Archeologist

DC's rich history of punk and hardcore can be celebrated in many ways (punk walking tour/pilgrimage, obsessive ebaying for records, etc) but how about referencing the old school for the awesome awesome and ahead-of-their-time looks that were cultivated?

You have to read the archives of the entire blog, it brought tears to my eyes. Also, if you're interested in finding where Erin Wasson and Alexander Wang got their whole deal from, it's there.

P.S. Not DC, but had to post this:

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Spring Awakening

Liberty prints are taking over the fashion consciousness this year, from APC to Cacharel, and we've got some of our very own contributions. Take these stunning heels: you could wear them with other floral patterns for an explosion of color (like Pandahead noted in the Barney's Co-op Catalog) or use them for a color-pop in a monochrome outfit. Possibilities=endless.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Paper Fashions

We've all seen these around, but I thought the books deserved their own post. Before the internet and fashion magazines ruled our brains, people actually drew things on paper for inspiration and creative learning. Tom Tierney made a whole career of it. My personal favorite:

Take note of Jessica Stam as Michelle Pfieffer as Catwoman. Other favorites include Schiaparelli Fashion Review, Famous Country Singers (includes Willie Nelson!!) Erté Fashion of the 1920s.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Music for Lovers: Psychic

Weirdo video, weirdo wigs, weirdo dancing, but killer song. Telepathe's awkwardness goes unmatched. Great example of lo-fi hipster dressing: layers of vintage tees, plaid, grandpa v-necks and stripes.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Work in Progress: Let the Light Shine In

What a difference a paint job can do! The white walls were fine, but we were set on a warmer color to reflect the awesome sunlight our front and back windows provide. Little did we know there are about a million different "off-white" (or cream, or neutral, or natural) paint colors out there! Holding up the paint swatches to the wall for comparing and contrasting took four hands!

But now the space is brighter! And cozier! The true color is somewhere between the three photos. In the first pic, in the right corner, you can also see where we ripped out the drywall encasing the pipes and heater. Goodbye ugly drywall!!

Real progress will be noted better I think once the floor is re-done. Then you'll all be super impressed! ;)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Vintage Vault: Winter Storage

What does one do with all their gorgeous vintage cashmere v-neck sweaters, Irish fisherman knits and rainbow Japanese acrylic scarves in the hot and humid months? Living the apartment life in DC usually doesn't afford endless closet space, so keeping them out and about isn't the most practical option. If you have a storage space or room under your bed, folding the winter gear and putting them away for the season is a great way to go but don't fall into the old cat lady trap of mothballs. These toxic moth killers off-gas in the worst way, and moreover, trap your clothes in plastic.

Storing vintage clothes in plastic is bad for the fibers of the clothes, and the smell is even worse. Cedar naturally repels moths, and eventually biodegrades, so it's the best option for keeping insects out of your vintage goods in the summer. If you have an extra closet where you are hanging dresses (never sweaters), cedar rings are a great and cheap investment. They can be replenished by adding drops of cedar oil onto the wood ever so often or by sanding down the wood. Since knits should be folded and not hung up, Cedar wood balls can be added into the suitcases and shelves your are storing the clothes in.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Washington Wizard: Valet

Valet isn't a retail business, but we want to celebrate all awesome creative endeavors in our fair city. It's a kickass website/online magazine type thing that puts all women's-interest mags and sites to shame. Valet is concise, informative, funny and best of all, useful. The site treats its readers like adults, not babymen, while still doling out advice and tips. Plus their taste is spot-on for Listopad's aesthetic for men: a bit rugged and traditional, with a dash of European and a commitment to quality. Bonus: their handbook, crucial for men and women.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Spring Recycling!

Who doesn't have an old peanut-shaped Nokia taking up space at the bottom of a desk drawer? Last year's BlackBerry still hanging around somewhere? What about a PDA the size of a potato with one of those funky wands? Or God forbid, a pager?

Be rid of your dated technology. Tomorrow, you can take your phones to a couple different locations downtown and swap 'em out for a potted flower. (The event was supposed to happen today, but it was postponed due to rain.) I'll be recyling mine at Farragut Square Park between 11am and 2pm.

Kudos to the Golden Triangle Business Improvement District for organizing this cool event. More info is here.

Inspiration from Moomin Valley in Midsummer

I kind of feel like spring doesn't really exist anymore. I've been habitually putting away my winter wool coats and sweaters every two weeks since March 1st, convinced that if I pack them away, the warm sun will emerge. Then Monday rolls around, the paper appears outside my apartment door and the forecast makes me fish out the warm coat again and wrap myself up. NOT COOL.

Who do I look to for inspiration in times like this but the Finn Family Moomintroll, who will always make the best of any situation no matter how disheartening. Sure, they basically spend their whole lives not wearing pants, but it's the details that matter! Come blazing summer, I will be keeping them in mind while organizing my wardrobe.

Moomin Papa is the definition of class, wearing a top hat year-round, for all occasions, unless he is sailing the high seas (he switches it out for a captain's hat).

Mymble and Little My have been rocking the Lykke Li top bun and tent dresses for decades. As any girl can attest, the best way to deal with DC summers is hair pulled up high and clothing that flows and doesn't stick to your body. Pioneers, these comic strip characters were!

Moomin Mama represents the best style rules to me, though. She picks two accesories (for life) that are both classic and useful and sticks with them, making them her signature. A striped apron and a black purse is really all you need to get by in life.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Partying with the Earth


If this weather keeps up on Sunday, I will be lazily hoofing it down to the National Mall to check out this free "Green Apple Festival," as recommended by our biking princess, Ylla.
This is a faree concert and event on the Mall starring Flaming Lips, Moe, Los Lobos, DJ Spooky. Also, 80's star Matthew Modine! Oooh! Grab a picnic and blankie and head down.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Work in Progress: Green Things

We're self-proclaimed environmentalists. So how do we incorporate these beliefs into our new project beyond encouraging concious consumerism (buying second-hand)? We don't have the budget to build an LEED certified site like Bird in Brooklyn (a much admired boutique of ours) did, but we strive to one day be able to create a space as ecologically safe as possible (i.e. treehouse in the wilderness!).

The small things we can do are small, but still important to us. We're incorporating vintage hangers, mannequins and store fixtures (like the furniture we posted about last week). We're installing flooring made from sustainable materials that does not require toxic glue, and using an underlayment for it made of recycled materials. Our paint is low VOC, we're installing ceiling fans to ease the strain on the AC, and the CFL lightbulbs are a no-brainer. We wish we had the funds to be more serious about greening the space, but we as a tiny independent business start-up, it's far from feasible. Still, we'll be visiting Greater Goods to see what other elements we can try out.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


So, I know we are all Grey Gardens fans, eagerly anticipating Grey Gardens, and always looking to dress more Grey Garden-ish. Can one be blamed for being enthralled with the stylish notes of older recluses? It's a oft-visited motif for many designers and has only been gaining momentum as more and more hip young things revisit Grey Gardens again and again.

Listopad appreciates Drew Barrymore going all out for the premiere, consciously channeling vintage fashion as one can only do on the red carpet. But we'd like to see more people incorporating elements from her look into every day life.

For the summer, we'll have delicate fabrics with bead and pearl detailing, floral elements in just about everything (including killer pleated skirts) and beautiful metal elements, such as jewelry and head pieces. We can't wait to show you!!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Music for Lovers: Slow Summer

Inspired to be inspired by Pandahead, here's what's at the top of my mind (and Alex Wang's) for Summer '09 :

- Mesh
- Deep V
- Roots
- Red lips & nails
- Latin America
- Minis

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Cherry Blossoming

I hope you didn't miss the Cherry Blossoms this season, it's one of DC's finest moments. If you want to relive some of the glory of those gorgeous colors, Dupont Market is now carrying the hard-to-find Sweet Sakura tea. You can get black tea with sakura petals or whole sakura flowers that unfold in your hot water--the best!

In addition to complimentary iced Sakura tea, you'll be able to find exquisite vintage Japanese paper, stationary and notebooks at our new boutique this summer!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Vintage Vault: Silk

How do you care for one of the most luxurious fabrics one can ask for in a DC summer?

Don't believe the hype: it's best NOT to dry clean silk garments, no matter what the care tag says. Let's review the steps to washing your awesome silk tap pants from the 1920s or gorgeous silk tank tops from Listopad (our obsession for the summer)--

1. Don't dry clean! Silk is a natural fiber, akin to human hair, that has been used in clothing for a long time. Dry cleaning is a relatively modern invention, so what did classy women used to do with their silk garments? HAND WASH.

2. Harsh detergents (cough, dry cleaning, cough) should be avoided. Woolite or dish washing soap (ideal for most vintage natural fibers) are gentle enough and will get the job done.

3. Don't soak. If the silk is getting kind of dingy, rinse it with some vinegar mixed in with the water. Best to keep the water cold/room temperature so as to not harm the fibers. No bleach either!

4. Don't wring out the garment. Roll it in a towel to absorb excess water and then let it air dry flat on a towel.

For great summaries on the differences between different silk incarnations (chiffon, crepe de chine, etc) check out this page.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Work in Progress: If These Walls Could Talk

Our contractor is a superhero. As soon as we gave him the OK for our structural changes, he began transforming our unglam space into the dream boutique we had been imagining.

First, he wrecked a wall in an effort to make the space more integrated and give it a better sense of "flow." The mini room that used to be separated from the main boutique floor will now be a recessed changing room.

It's also where we are storing our unfinished furniture. We shopped high and low for some pieces we felt would not only fit our aesthetic, but also our budget (small!!) and be utilitarian. We decided on some choice pieces from Ruff n Ready across the street (14th st represent) straight out of their discount basement. Unfortunately they are truly rough and ready for a paint job.

The second wall we took the wrecking ball to was in the bathroom. We opted to get rid of the shower stall and turn it into storage space -- crucial for a vintage boutique. We have sooooooo many items just waiting to be put out on the floor, and want to keep a revolving inventory of new, fresh items, so having space to hang and store the incoming merchandise is very important to us.

Next up: floors, moulding, paint!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Style Icon: May Day

We all know Grace Jones is the epitome of style visionary, so it's no wonder that her fictional characters show the same amount of attitude on the big screen as she did performing music. I just watched A View to a Kill - mostly because I love the Duran Duran song - which she carried on her hair alone. Observe:

She spends almost the entire movie in an assortment of hoods, but one crucial martial arts scene does include nothing but this.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Shitty Monday News

Readers, it is with a heavy heart that I bring you some terrible news. On Saturday afternoon, after enjoying the colorful and innovate vegetarian buffet at Woodlands in Takoma Park, I received this disturbing text message from Adventures in Unemployment:

Sent: 4/4/2009 3:50 PM
Serratore, Angela
Dude, I am at Beauty Island and they are going out of business!

My heart - no joke - stopped. Could it be? Was my favorite last-minute party accessory and one-dollar nail-polish standby with the oft-butchered name really shutting its doors? I replied immediately.

Sent: 4/4/2008 3:52 PM
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! Really???????

I pocketed my phone, hoping that my comrade in blogging (and IRL) was merely experiencing the customary Blues Control-induced hallucination, having been to Comet to see them the night before. But alas:

Sent: 4/4/2009 3:53 PM
Serratore, Angela
April 20! Everything is on major sale - I just got seven pairs of tights for 3 bucks

Sigh. While the prospect of paying 43 cents for a pair of tights is one that gets me considerably stoked, I am a legitimate puddle of sadness knowing that I will no longer have a neighborhood place to buy spray-gold bamboo hoops. The rug is getting pulled out from under us just in time for hippie beach season, a spring-and-summer specific outfit vibe that is like, contingent on gilded earwear. What's a girl to do?! R. I. P., Beauty Island! I am really fucking sad you're closing!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Baker's Dozen

Quick shoutout to encourage you to check in at Baker's Dozen. Our good friend and favorite local artiste Renee has a card available through the project.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Washington Wizard: Modernicus

In the lovely new semi-regular column "Washington Wizard," Listopad will cover awesome businesses in the city and tri-state area for your pleasure.

We had the best time touring the showroom of Modernicus in Alexandria this past weekend. It's expertly organized and the wares are showcased in a way that suggests actually living situations, refreshingly. There's plenty of room to poke around the couches and chairs, and nothing is behind glass. So if you want to pick up that Danish candle holder and inspect it, go ahead. And don't get me started on the beautiful laboratory porcelain.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Music for Lovers: Fever Dreams

Listopad's love for all things Scandinavian is no secret, but Swedish band The Knife holds a special place in our hearts for their glorious imagery. The female half of the band is releasing a solo effort under the moniker Fever Ray and we are digging the suburban-tribal-warrior-lost-in-the-wilderness vibe that permeates both of her recent videos. Our inspired finds are piling up so get ready to check out the many bright tribal knits and desert-colored tunics we will be showcasing for the summer.