“Vintage is so in fashion”
But as any hipster with a pair of grandpa’s cardigan or grandma’s bumblebee brooch already knows, this isn’t news. The beginning of the vinyl obsessed nostalgia is so 2004, in-fact, it is a freaking lifestyle now.
Yea know-it-alls, we can still teach you something. Did you know that the retro 60’s is in big?!
If you already do, it’s alright. It has been “in” since fashion week. We just love paying tribute to one of our favorite decades in popular culture.
Stay for the music and our uber awesome featured vintage shop owner, Natasha Harden(@HalmoniVintage) based in Oakland, CA.
Leave 2011, forget 2012 (the world is ending anyway) and travel to the nostalgic era that brought the world mini skirts, fitted suits and some of Richard Avedon’s best work.
It’s 1964, Are you feeling groovy?
What inspired you to open Halmoni Vintage?
I have always been a sentimental person who saves everything from papers and birthday cards to diaries from my childhood. I even have a blanket that I’ve had since I was four, so I would argue that I am a natural born collector.
This innate desire to collect cool and unique items led me to start shopping at vintage stores in junior high school where I was always on the hunt for clothing that made a statement. Also, since my parents couldn’t afford to take me shopping in department stores that held new and mainstream merchandise, I relied on my vintage shopping adventures to find items that would help to craft my fashion persona.
Growing older and more aware of my body and the fashion choices available in department stores, further pushed me to shop at thrift and vintage stores across NYC as I was always able to find items that fit me and the multiple body types that surrounded me in the city that never sleeps. I’ve always been chubby and it can be challenging to find cool in-style clothing that fits, on top of trying to look like an individual amongst the sea of cool and edgy New Yorkers.
Essentially, it is the endless possibilities of creating a fluid fashion identity for any body type that vintage stores allow, which inspired me to open up my own.
How would you describe your own personal style and does that reflect in your store? Why should we shop at Halmoni Vintage?
Growing up in one of the fashion meccas of the world has definitely influenced my personal style; specifically in an “in your face way” but with an appreciation for softness. I think my personal style is bold, loud, funk and unpredictable.
My style is reflected at Halmoni because the items I curate are eye-catching one of a kind pieces that can make any shopper feel confident, beautiful, and stunning when wearing them.
How do you successfully make modern vintage pieces work? Like an old meets new type of thing. Basically, how do you rejuvenate the classics?
I think modern vintage is exciting and it’s always interesting to see how a designer will translate vintage fashion into today’s fashion. I am a huge vintage lover but my heart also pounds for modern designs, patterns and funky anything. I think the best way to rejuvenate the classics are to pair them with contemporary items, like wearing a vintage dress with a newer cardigan or shoes to make it your own classic look. With my own style, I always blend vintage with modern by rocking a pair of Vans or Toms with my cute outfits. This also helps me to remain comfortable.
Another way is to modify the vintage item to fit with modern sillouettes. For example, I think that vintage sometimes can be conservative as many items can cover completely the neck, legs and arms. To counter this, I have tried cutting a dress into separates therefore making the original vintage piece more versatile, as you can then wear the top with jeans or the new skirt with a tank-top or another vintage piece. The shortening of dresses and skirts also makes them feel more contemporary and can change things dramatically. Men’s clothing is the same, as items such as blazers, sweaters, or even a pair of vintage slacks, can be worn with modern pieces.
What piece in the store makes any outfit immediately stylish(has the za-za-zoom quality)?
I think that all of the pieces in my store can stand alone and will lend a za-za-zoom quality to any outfit. Each item at Halmoni gives an instant flavor and hipness to any outfit.
We noticed that you are well connected with Art/Artists in your store. Explain
I am an artist and living in Oakland at this moment, I am witness to an exploding arts scene filled with young and old vintage lovers. I thought to myself, why should I only function as a vintage store? Thus, I began to host a monthly art partyat Halmoni, where I provide a free space to local Bay Area artists They are profiled and have their work exhibited for a month. The parties have been such a success thus far, bringing together the local neighbors and working artists together in a fashionably exciting setting. The monthly event is also a time for the neighborhood to experience more access to the arts in a fun setting.
Aside from having my artistic director scouring the art scene for innovative artists, many of the artists selected for exhibition start off as Halmoni customers. The store has helped me to network with people so that I can pick from an array of different artist in the Bay Area, since you never know who is an artist until you talk to them.
Can you speak a little bit about the events that you host?
Aside from the art party, I host what I call “A Naked Lady Soiree,” which is a bi-monthly women only, body positive,clothing swap. It is designed for women of all body types to trade clothes, have fancy drinks and meet new friends in a supportive and nurturing space. I wanted to create a space for women to promote body consciousness and to promote the reuse of items that might be considered disposable.
I am brainstorming on some new exciting events to host at the store. I really want to take advantage of having my own space to host /curate any kind of event I want.
Check out the Halmoni Vintage Store at halmoni.net.
That’s where you can keep up to date with all of the events taking place and don’t forget to check out her blog: The Boogie-Down-Blog.
You can also follow Halmoni on twitter @HalmoniVintage. Natasha tweets daily about new stock, sales, and whatever else she finds interesting.