Month: September 2010

PHDC: Painfully Hip & Buffalo Exchange Together At Last

It is not a well-known fact that venerable vintage retailer, Buffalo Exchange proudly calls Tucson, AZ its headquarters. Considering their 36 year history of recycling vintage clothing in a modern way, before it was considered cool kid status, it was just a matter of time (exactly one year since I moved to this cuddly city) until we tried a true collaboration on for size.

It just seemed so inevitable. On my second day after moving to Tucson, I walked in a Buffalo Exchange Glam Rock fashion show. Then in April, Buffalo Exchange featured me on their homepage for the Clockwork Orange-themed fashion show I participated in. Last month they offered to let me pull for any missing pieces in my Every Dog Has Its Day benefit show. It also turns out that my bestest Tucson bestie, Bradley Rhea (at the tender age of 23), just happens to be a purchasing assistant for all the new trend-savvy merchandise in Buffalo stores across-country (and the too-cute-for-words redheaded model in my aforementioned fashion show).

Recently, Bradley was asked to kick start their blog with a fall/winter trend forecast. Bradley had a master plan of where he wanted to go with the forecast, namely, ’40s polish mixed with a grungy ’90s irreverence. Of course we decided we couldn’t squander the chance to “work” together. So we set up a session to “play” all day at the historical Shane House with our talented (and exceedingly adorable) friends, photographer Krysta Jabczenski and model, Hanah Klein.

Buffalo Exchange’s Speedway location provided such an overwhelming selection of hip vintage and trendy new merch that it was a marvel the two of us somehow managed to whittle it down a cohesive collection in just a few hours. A fresh color story (we mixed brown with black and silver with gold for a tasty dash of devil-may-care), appropriately undulating hemlines, and menswear leanings provided an excellent canvas for a light sprinkling of gypsy bling. What came out of our cerebral melding was a rocking fall lifestyle shoot Kate Moss or Stevie Nix might hopefully feel at home in.

You’re welcome very much: we chose only pieces ranging in price from $7-$35.
New merchandise is available at every location across the country. Check Bradley’s first post on the Buffalo Exchange blog later tonight to find out more.

Click the full page button at the bottom right of the slideshow player to zoom.

Many thanks to Buffalo Exchange, Hanah Klein and Krysta Jabzenski.

Painfully Hip Fashion Show: Every Dog Has Its Day Benefit

If you know me, it would make sense that Painfully Hip’s first fashion show would take place on the same stage that Leslie Hall melted my face from a few months previous… and involve dogs somehow. That’s just how I roll.

My inspiration for this show? Prep school kids from the desert with hippy parents. A back to school theme, just in time for all the ASU students to go, well, back to school. Four full days of pulling, sewing and styling later, I ended up with this recipe: 15 models, 6 dogs, two parts buttoned-up, 3 parts buttoned-down, 11 parts hip. Yes, my models were stunnahs, but it was the dogs that really got fierce on the catwalk.

For the full immersion experience:
1. Press play on the Caribou soundtrack below
2. Press play on the slideshow player
3. Click full screen button (bottom right of slideshow player) to zoom

Documentary photos by Andrew Brown
Fashion photos by Allan Sturm

Every Dog Has Its Day
A Benefit for Hope Animal Shelter
Aug 27th, 2010
Hotel Congress
Styled and directed by Amber Mortensen in collaboration with Bradley Rhea and Abraham Cooper

Many thanks to Preen Vintage, Buffalo Exchange and Wingflash Designs (who custom-designed a collection of single carved bone feather earrings and necklaces for this show) for contributing to the cause of benefitting Hope Animal Shelter. We raised over $1500 for Tucson’s only no-kill, no-cage animal shelter and for surgery to help save the life of Atticus the rescue dog.

Special thanks to Dan Hernandez, Club Congress, Adrienne Lake, Caroline Palmer, David Jon Muse, Aveda Institute and to all of my loverly models and wonderpup owners.

A Painful Parting: My Epic Knee-High Zodiac Boots

So I’m leaving on my big tour in a few minute weeks and I’m starting to realize just how expensive its going to be… which in turn is making me panic. Like an excesssssive consssssonants kind of panic. This is what it’s like to reach desperate measures.
So I’m selling “The Boots.”

knee high zodiac cowboy boots
Real leather, real stacked heels, real Zodiacs. Legit in every way, even the size. A true 7.5.

This is incredibly difficult, but as you can see from the listing, they’re very photogenic and I’ve used them in plenty of shoots and fashion shows. I must be weaned. I was almost about to start shopping for engagement rings when I decided it was time to cut the cord.

These epic vintage early ’80s knee-high cowboy boots leave a wake of blown minds everywhere they go. No joke. Gaping jaws on the ground. They’re perfectly broken in, with some very small scuffs here and there, but really. Would you want it any other way? These are solid mofo-ing boots that were made for walking, not for pussyfooting around.

Enjoy. I will cry whilst packing them up, but not to worry! They will be tears of freedom.

Painfully Hip Reports on Tucson’s Inaugural Fashion Week

From Zocalo Magazine, September 2010

clothing designed by Sapphire Cordial, who will be showing her “Anatomy of Heartbreak” collection at Tucson Fashion Week.

Following in the freshly laid tracks of Lahore, Pakistan, Tucson will also be celebrating its inaugural fashion week this year. As per usual, Tucson will be putting its very unique spin on things when it blows up downtown (Toole and 6th Avenue) for what would be best described as Tucson Fashion Weekend, on Friday, September 24 and Saturday, September 25.

Unlike major metropolitan fashion weeks in New York and Paris, where the hotel champagne and per diems flow like silk chiffon, the Tucson Fashion Week Collective have decided to keep it local, support young up-and-comers and donate all proceeds to charity.

That sole, deserving charity is Skrappy’s Tucson Youth Culture, an all-ages venue and youth center adjacent to the Tucson Fashion Week lot. The organization specializes in homeless youth services, free after school programs, and social enterprising for young entrepreneurs, including sewing and fashion design classes. Fittingly, some of Skrappy’s most promising fashion visionaries will be showing their work on the first day of fashion week in their very own TFW Youth Showcase.

Saturday, September 25 is when Tucson Fashion Week really busts out the cleavage and stilettos. Nine designers will be featured on the large outdoor catwalk: Siobhan by Elizabeth Albert, Sapphire Cordial by Jamaica Rose Cole, Seven Bells by Diana Deaver, Backstitch Betty by Sandra Pope, RUMb by Ashley Marie Sanders, La Fashionista by Eleonor Leon, Sass Knuckles by Shannon Stevens, Melanie Lockwood, and Silvia Bours.

While their aesthetic influences vary from lacy lingerie to the magnitude of heartbreak, all designers have been allotted the same 30 minutes and 12-15 models on the runway. The tenth remaining runway slot will be decided at The Loft Cinema’s “48-Hour Fashion Challenge: TFW Young Designer Competition” on Thursday, Sept. 16. TFW is challenging young designers to create a piece inspired by an iconic fashion film. The finished pieces will be shown before the film and the audience will vote on the winner, who will take home the coveted 10 featured designer slot.

Watch out Lahore, Tucson’s fashion scene is on the rise!

Visit for all the details.