Category Archives: tennessee

Cavortress at Bonnaroo

Charleston designer, stylist, and vintage clothing aficionado Julie Wheat designs and slings  clothes under her eponymous brand name Cavortress.  She’s dressed Zoe Saldana, shown at NOLA Fashion Week, and sold vintage gems at various festivals, including Voodoo, SXSW, and Bonnaroo. With all this, it’s no wonder why she’s received mentions in Women’s Wear Daily, and was tapped to design for Reckless, a new show airing on CBS this Fall.

No stranger to festival style, Julie was kind enough to share her recap what ‘down on the farm’ festival goers wore, Tennessee style from this year’s Bonnaroo. 

Instagram:  Cavortress
Facebook:  Cavortress


Hulahooping is essential to any festival. This girl brings it to another level with her quasi butterfly costume:  check out the detail on the ripped tee she did herself, looks like butterfly wings!


This fella has it down:  home made galaxy print (not quite tiedye) paired with dress pant cutoff shorts, vintage charm necklace, Havana Raybans, and Tretorns he almost looks dressed up.
Of course Bonnaroo wouldn’t be equipped without Grateful Dead garb, this guy’s bringing it to another level. Check out these dead bears Jeremy Scott for Adidas shoes paired with the vee style tie dye Grateful Dead t-shirt.  Garanamals done right!
Punkrockabilly princess with studs, Urban Outfitters shades, Cocacola bandana, cutoffs, Doc Martens, choice piercings, and a teensie piece of turquoise to top it off!

No festival is equipped with out a festicouple.  These two were our favorite! Note the nice silver Grateful Dead pieces.
Tutus are something often worn at festivals. This one is rather unique and goes great with the swimsuit.
We think San Francisco guys are hot, costumed but not!
Wire wrap jewelry is a staple at festival events. This guy is the artist himself and has some heavy duty work to show off. He is also donning a nice Grateful Dead ring. 

This gal looks adorable and didn’t have to try. Here’s to keeping it simple!

Julie Wheat- Miss Cavortress herself!

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Cavortress at Bonnaroo

If you’re headed out to Tennessee for Bonnaroo, be sure to say hi to my fashion designer/stylist friend Julie Wheat (aka Cavortress) and her pink, black, and silver booth. She’ll be slinging vintage clothes, jewelry, handmade items, even some costumes. Y’all know how I feel about costumes. Julie’s also snapping some street style photos, so check back for some of her favorite Bonnaroo fashion in an upcoming post!

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Nashville Fashion Week: Recently Confirmed Designers

With NYC Fashion Week long gone, other cities fashion weeks are fast approaching. Three more designers have been confirmed for Nashville Fashion Week, which will be March 20-24.

Traver Rains, formerly of Heatherette now has his own brand, T.Rains. His newest line, which is inspired by his Western roots will show Tuesday March 20 at Marathon Music Works.

T.Rains


 With her line already in stores around the World, Hungarian designer Eva Franco has made a name for herself with her Los Angeles based company. She will be presenting on Monday March 21 at Marathon Music Works.

Eva Franco

Versace Collection began in 1991 as a men’s only line, but expanded to women in 2009.  On Friday March 23 in Centennial Park, both collections will be presented by Nashville’s local clothier, Levy’s.

Versace Collection

Versace Collection

In addition to this exciting lineup, Nashville Fashion Week, an emerging designer showcase is set to highlight some of the best local and regional designers that the south has to offer.

-Meghan Wright, with additional commentary by Christy Lorio

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Urbandillo Needs Your Help

When you live in the south you become accustomed to layered dressing. On any given winter day you could start out wearing a t-shirt and end up in a coat, all in less than a 24 hour time span. But how do you stash that cumbersome jacket? Throw it in the car, tie it around your waist, or do you awkwardly lug it around and deal? Enter Veronica James and her clever clothing line, Urbandillo. Inspired by the way an armadillo rolls into a ball, Urbandillo is a line of compacting clothing that folds up into itself and can easily be carried around in its own handy carrying case. From classic fleece jackets to stylish trench coats Urbandillo is not only functional buy stylish as well. 



James is hoping to get the line going with Kickstarter, but time is running out as their fundraising efforts ends on December 31st at 11:00pm. To learn more about the project go to their Kickstarter project page or watch the video below and support the cause however you can.

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Poppin’ up in Memphis with Le Saispas Vintage

If you are in the Memphis area looking for something different and fun Slow Southern Style favorite Kristin Irene of Le Saispas is having a pop up shop December 14th-24th at Hoot + Louise in downtown Memphis.



The opening party is this  Wednesday from 4-8pm. Enjoy wine and hot cider while shopping a hand picked selection of season appropriate vintage clothing and accessories. Styles range from 1950s to early 1990s finds for men and women and there’s even vintage home decor and housewares. The prices will be “more than fair to boot”, just like Kristin’s Etsy shop. Pop up shops are great ways to not only promote  small businesses but to find really unique, unexpected holiday gifts that scream more “I thought of you when I bought this” vs. “They were having a sale at the mall”.




If you want to learn more about Kristin and Le Saispas check out the interview I did with her back in August 2010.

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Ready For Some (College) Football?

Back in high school I was in marching band which meant I went to every single football game of the season. I always chatted with my friends and flirted with the boys vs. actually watching the game so I never really learned what the heck was going on. However there are plenty of girls out there that paid more attention to the pigskin getting tossed around than I did and they all wanted to show school spirit by dressing the part. The only issue is most football related apparel isn’t cut for women; the jerseys are boxy, the styles aren’t cute or the only option is a men’s tee.

Heather Chesser struck out in June of 2011 to combat this problem with her online boutique Dress For The Game. Frustrated with trying to find a dress that complied with her boyfriend’s collegiate colors Chesser decided to make it easier for girls in a similar position by seeking out trendy pieces that look just as good at Sunday brunch as they do under the Friday night lights.

Dress For the Game currently stocks options for twelve schools including dresses and accessories. Friend them on Facebook, Twitter and check out their blog for updates on new inventory. So what school will you be rooting for this year?

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Old School

I met Kristin Irine through  Twitter and we instantly bonded over our love of Jersey Shore and clothing. Okay, maybe not the clothes they wore in the show but y’all get the point. Le Saispas Vintage is an Etsy shop with refreshingly priced vintage items. While Kristin promised to do this interview after knocking back a few margaritas a la Snooki I can’t promise any levels of sobriety.

Vintage 1980s FLORAL Sweetheart Strapless BUSTIER Garden Dress 1980s strapless floral dress

Tell us about how you got started selling vintage clothing.

Well, I’m 42 so thrifting and vintage clothing have been huge to me (and the bulk of my friends my age) for a loooooong time!  I first seriously got into buying & wearing vintage in 1985, but started wearing 60’s clothing of my mom and aunt’s after seeing Peter Pan collars and pedal pushers in Archie Comics. I was ridiculed, but whatever. Cool hipsters, older than me in 1985, in local punk bands in Memphis were already wearing vintage, so I copied them.  Back then you could go to an Amvets and regularly find 40’s gabardine suits or rayon print dresses for $2.  No, I’m not exaggerating!

I started selling myself when I was hired in 1991 to work for The Wasteland in Berkeley, California.  I moved to Oakland when I graduated from the University of TN and came with an already stellar vintage wardrobe and a particularly encyclopedic knowledge of 60’s-70’s clothing.  Most of the women there were 40’s-50’s vintage experts, but a few of us weirdos were way into the crazier styles simply because we were odd-looking art students, more than likely!

When eBay started for me around 1997, I started buying more designer vintage (esp. Alley Cat by Betsey Johnson and Sonia Rykiel, both of whom I still collect) and selling too.  I basically stopped thrifting a lot after 2000 when I moved to Portland and really threw myself into my career as a social worker/therapist.  I’d thrift for me, but not to resell.  That all changed this past April when I knew I needed some more $$$ and learned of what I call “hidden thrifts” that I can stock up on 80’s & 90’s gear that seems to be so popular now.  I find it hard to see those eras as true vintage–esp. the 90’s–but I’m not averse to making money!



Vintage 80's Buff SUEDE SADDLE OXFORDS 7B 1980s saddle oxfords



 What’s the fashion scene like in Memphis and what are the big trends there?

I love my hometown (just moved back in 2008) and hate to disparage in any way, but Memphis is about 10 years behind everywhere else.  OK, maybe 5 years.  Since thrifts often get picked over by vintage sellers, the normally hypercreative dressers (young, relatively poor college kids) don’t have a cheap resource to experiment with style.  I suppose this sad truth is happening everywhere.  I’m not one of those people who thinks that tossing together some cheap skirt some secretary wore in 1982 with a chambray work shirt and some oversized 1982 glasses frames speaks to possessing loads of style (see that young Tavi blogger for a reference).  I feel for the kids of today.  Vintage is so overpriced these days that fewer people can afford to experiment with style at the age when they can most afford to do so.

To make a long story short, Memphis is a mostly poor city and the thrifts are picked over. Even the shops with new clothes are basically boring chains for the most part.  I’m hoping that even having an Urban Outfitters sometime soon can help light a spark with kids here…as sad as that is.


Vintage 1950s or 1960s Midcentury Modern Boomerang KITTY CAT Pin Mid-century modern cat pin

 It seems like almost everyone is wearing some form of vintage, be it a complete look or just a piece of jewelry. How has the vintage “industry” changed since you first started out?

See above for some of this answer.  I’d say the explosion in etsy vintage and ebay shops has created a craze for it.  I’m hopeful that those who know and do best with reselling vintage will end up surviving and some that don’t even try that hard to get it end up failing and trying their hand at something else!  I’m also really wishing there was not such a trend to overprice vintage.  I saw a stellar Cavalli jumpsuit in a Nashville etsy vintage shop that was deadstock and yes, gorgeous.  But she had it priced for $3600!  WHAT????  People can buy a damn car for that.  Ludicrous.


Sale 1970s RED Canvas and Jute Platform ESPADRILLES by FAMOLARE 1970s bicycle espadrilles

What are your future plans for Le Saispas Vintage?

Well, I’m currently saving to buy a good dress form so I can shoot better shots of the cool non-shoe and accessory clothing I have boxes and boxes of just waiting for the site!  I’m doing it on hangers now and it’s hideous, but I gotta list it so I’m not earning what I should on some of it.  I plan to hit 100 items in the shop and keep it at that level.  I also plan to keep my prices FAIR and appropriate.  I’m refusing to get into that gross habit of selling what my boss at The Wasteland called “Mall Fabric” rompers for $50.  When I see that I totally shake my head.  It was crap when it was new and it’s still crap. Stop trying to make kids believe they look cool in some sage-colored poly/rayon romper with gold plastic buttons.  And if you insist on helping kids look bad, sell it to them cheap.


RARE Vintage 80's GIL AIMBEZ African Tropical SAFARI Jumper 1980s safari jumper





Define southern style.

Depends on the season and the area.  The South is only a singular thing in a very few ways.  Memphis style differs from NOLA style, but both NOLA and Memphis are more similar to each other than either is to Atlanta or Nashville.  There is an appreciation overall in utility and function, especially in the ridiculously hot summer months.  People stereotype Southern Style as over-the-top and frilly; while there is certainly that element, every Southern type knows how to layer better than anyone, even those Pacific Northwesterners.  We also understand how to wear attractive hats and scarves/headwraps better than any other US woman and this is a direct result of needing these things to block sun and protect hair from humidity.  I’d say Southern Girls wear the casual look better than any other US girl, hands down.  We could probably take lessons from out grandmoms though b/c there are too many slobs running around these days, myself included!






If your wardrobe could use a dash of fun pay Le Saispas a visit on Etsy. Also be sure to check out her $3 sale section! It doesn’t get much cheaper than that.

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