Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Goldyn Girl


Only a few rare people can do this. And I am making it my life's mission to befriend all of them.

Saturday afternoon, fully caffeinated and therefore irrationally euphoric, my friend Devon and I found ourselves in downtown Longmont with nothing to do.

It was the first Saturday afternoon in 15 years that I hadn't overbooked with some sort of chaos. We literally had nothing to do. And being in Longmont and all, we really had nothing to do.

So we did just that: nothing. We spent hours walking through every store in downtown Longmont with no goal, no timeline and (get this) no purchases.

It was challenging. There were about 3,000 items at Rose Buds (418 Main St.) I would have liked to buy, from vintage hats with that sexy half-face fishnet for $8; old aprons with funky patterns for less than $20; and a rack of '50s A-line skirts.

Even a lace-and-ribbon shirt from the 1800s for only $20-ish. I think the Puritan woman who originally sewed that top wore it under a pinafore, apron, bonnet, jacket and some sort of conservative suspenders contraption. But simply paired with a pair of jeans or a black pencil skirt, the neo-1800s looked smokin' hot. Still, I didn't pull out the credit card; that would have transformed our afternoon of nothing into something.

After floating through a half a dozen other thrift stores -- Longmont has more per square block than anywhere else on Earth, I swear -- we stopped to refuel on coffee. (Our hyperactive seizuring had waned to a dull twitching.)

That is where nothing was destroyed by the Impossible to Ignore.

I pulled my laptop out of my car and "accidentally" visited Shopgoldyn.com, a Web site run by Boulder High School grad Vanessa Barcus. The site features about 60 hip, hard-to-find designers -- the kind of stuff you'd have to travel to Brooklyn or West Hollywood to find.
Devon and I being ridiculous.
Photo by Hollywood Calling.

Devon and I -- and our wallets -- became suddenly very, uh, active.

Barcus lived in Los Angeles for a while after graduating Boulder High in 2001. She got her MBA and worked at a contemporary label. Then she returned to Colorado, the land of the Crocs with socks, too-short khakis and ill-fitting T-shirts. My words, not hers.

But, in her words: "My whole goal was to bring those cutting-edge brands to places like Colorado."

She launched her fashion biz one year ago, which includes trunk shows and the Web site, which includes her own fashion finds, Goldyn Vintage. Prices range from a pair of orange Lucite clip-on earrings for $24.50 (gotta love clip-on earrings, well, until they cut off circulation to your lobes) to a vintage pocket-watch necklace, originally $450, marked down to $360.

Overall, products range from $30 for T-shirts to $900 for a leather coat.

Obviously, Shopgoldyn.com is more pricey than the Ares Thrift store, which was literally giving away handbags. (At one point, I thought they were going to pay me to take one.) But Barcus lauds her site's unique designers, the high quality and her personal touch. Every purchase comes with a hand-written thank-you. That was enough to push Devon and me over the edge (of debt).

Sorry, downtown Longmont. But that fishnet hat is going to have to wait until next payday.

Unless you're doing a hat give-away, that is.

Big-town trends

Shopgoldyn.com features cutting-edge designers from the coasts. Here's what to look out for:

The minimalist look
is big, focusing more on the quality of the fabrics and construction, rather than tons of embellishment. This is a great trend for the current economy, because you can wear the clothes longer.

Bold accessories
spice up basic outfits. Try crazy platform shoes, colorful boots and art-inspired jewelry.

Rebecca Mincoff handbags.
These bags are sleek, with beautiful detail -- sturdy, gold-tone hardware and lined with a fun fabric. They're perfect for Boulder: downtown chic, but not over-the-top. The bags don't scream with logos; they are luxurious in their own right.

Jewelry from The Woods, a Denver-based company founded by sisters Shawn Hecox and Samantha Hitchcock, who both also attended Boulder High. Their pieces are inspired out of a love for contrasts: mod and vintage, edgy and girly, sophisticated and innocent. The material combos are interesting, such as wood and bone with rough-cut diamonds and yellow gold. In Hecox's words, "We love seeing diamonds, the epitome of luxury, in an organic, unfussy setting."

Read more at http://www.dailycamera.com/ci_13124488.

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