Author Archive

The Obligatory Little Black Dress Post

August 21, 2009

Every fashion blogger is required by law to write a post on the little black dress. Fashionising’s article on LBDs on the runway inspired me to share Avant Gaudy’s own collection with our readers.

Avant Gaudys Third Date dress features a sweetheart neckline and velvet - perfect for fall 09.

Avant Gaudy's "Third Date" dress features a sweetheart neckline and velvet - perfect for fall 09.

Viva Las Vegas

Viva Las Vegas

Make your fall fashion debut wearing our Debutante dress.

Make your fall fashion debut wearing our Debutante dress.

This vintage Betsey Johnson dress is made of a stretch material and is very versatile.

This vintage Betsey Johnson dress is made of a stretch material and is very versatile.

A cheerleader-inspired skirt makes our Match dress perfect for day or night.

A cheerleader-inspired skirt makes our Match dress perfect for day or night.

Pair this LBD with colorful leggings and stay cozy in the fall.

Pair this LBD with colorful leggings and stay cozy in the fall.

My own little black dress is rather unoriginal – but therin lies its potential. It’s a strapless, knee-length number from Charlotte Russe, with eyelet trim and a simple ribbon belt. Not only do I change the ribbon to match every outfit, but black acts as a blank canvas. I add a cardigan most of the time, but sometimes I add a blazer or funky tights. I’d love to see how it looks with a colored crinoline underneath. For now, it looks something like this:


What about your LBD? Where did you find it? How do you accessorize it? Share your story!

Why Vintage?

August 20, 2009


While our customers know that vintage = a one of a kind link to the past and to current trends, we do tend to get this question a lot. Shrimpton Couture explains:

Vintage fashion is a strange landscape. Depending on the current trend, usually defined by who is wearing what, vintage is either flaunted as being hip and up to the minute (isn’t that ironic!) or it’s quiet and below the surface without fan fare. But it’s always there.

Die-hard vintage girls like me buy and wear vintage with little regard for what the current trends happen to be. There are tons of girls out there who are active hunters for vintage treasures regardless of the current cool factor. But I am also surprised at how many people I meet who know nothing about vintage, the designers, the labels, and these people are often in the fashion industry. Where have they been?

I actually find people can be dismissive of fashion in general and I know that any of you who are reading this and work in this industry know of what I speak. I know you have had those same blank looks thrown at you when you say you are in fashion. It’s an industry associated with frippery and youth, rather then what is has really become, which is an industry of public companies and exchanges; profit and loss statements and very, very valuable clothing in certain sectors of it. Though vintage has perhaps not gone the route of becoming a publicly traded venture, trust me when I say that in certain parts of it, the clothes are also very, very, valuable.

So if their is a moral in today’s column its that despite what anyone else thinks or their reaction to it, you just have to forge ahead and do what you love, even if it seems to go against the norm, even if it’s just a little niche of a thing to do, even if people think you are odd. I am the first to admit it’s a strange little world I inhabit but its one that I would not give up even if every person I met from here on in thought me odd. In fact, it might even inspire me to tell you a great truth – that don’t you find the people who don’t quite fit in are usually the most compelling?

While we disagree that vintage fashionistas must ignore current trends, Shrimpton Couture sums up our fahion philosophy rather well: unless you want a cookie-cutter look, vintage is the only way to go.

Immersed Within on Fedoras

August 17, 2009


One of the great triumphs of last summer my life was when I convinced my boyfriend to purchase a vintage-esque fedora at Target. While I do like the look of menswear on women, it’s not something I wear too often. Carly of Immersed Within shows us how.


“Cats and meaningless fluff”: A Fluffy Blog

August 14, 2009

A Fluffy Blog is (naturally) one of the most whimsical blogs we’ve reviewed. Eline Marie Renee is the nom de plume of a 20 year old student running her own blog, Etsy shop, and online gallery. Despite the blog’s name, her vintage style and Etsy store, however, can only be described as “hardcore.”




Eline recently highlighted Avant Gaudy on A Fluffy Blog. Below, she sums up Avant Gaudy. We couldn’t have said it better ourselves:

I feel as if I’m coming into this small shop tucked into an unknown corner of some hip town where you’d find either a hip young sales girl with a sweet sense of humour or the most awesome 50-year old with thousands of necklaces and a laugh that booms right through your body. In short, their store seems very personal and lovely to me.

The same could be said about her Etsy store. Everything is chic and unique, just like A Fluffy Blog.

Miss Likey on Scarves

August 8, 2009

Miss Likey‘s motto is “where Edgy meets Couture and Street meets Catwalk.” Needless to say, her fashion philosophy aligns pretty closesly with Avant Gaudy’s.

One of her most recent posts focused on scarves. Because they’re an oft-ignored fashion accessory, I’ve included her thoughts on what a scarf can do for an outfit and how to wear it.


In some cultures symbolizes sanctity, character, modesty and religious attire. Fashionistas consider it as luxury and keep it in jewelery box. Lot of people wouldn’t borrow it to their best friend because there is story that is keeper of your personality and scent.
Even the simple outfit can be improved with neatly picked scarf. Since we lately love lot of long scarves, leopard print, McQueen’s skulls, Etro’s royalty bohemian rhapsody, seems that we forgot about Riviera chic; small silk scarf.
The distinction of the silk scarf is really in its size, so classic Hermès measures 90cm and weighs only 65 grams. Geometry on the side, small silk scarf really turns out that luxurious effect to make mystique diva of the girl. Since Hermès carré is nobility among the scarves, some believe that girl didn’t make in her life as long as she doesn’t own her own carre; picked in Hermes Paris. So you can touch it and feel it or smell it just like Vogue’s paper. Some are paraphrasing same story about Pucci cognizable prints on small piece of fabric.
What is common to scarves of Hermès, Pucci, Lacroix, Versace, Casol or Ferragamo is their uniqueness. Whether the story on the fabric or memories and moments you will create wearing the same fabric.
Some people frame their Hermes scarf like fait du art or sleep on it instead of pillow .I believe in more creative ways. Tres chic as headband, belt or enveloped around straps of your top or like a bow on the back, isn’t it?

Scarves are so verstatile that it’s sometimes difficult to figure out just how to wear them. Now that you’ve been inspired, check out Avant Gaudy’s selection of vintage scarves. Be sure to check out Miss Likey’s blog for continued inspiration on turning old into new.

John Hughes and Brat Pack Style

August 7, 2009

As Chicagoans and as lovers of all things 80s, we’re especially saddened by the news of John Hughes’ death.

Even though I was in high school twenty years after the Brat Pack movies were filmed, they really do capture what it’s like to grow up in the suburbs. Everyone I know wanted to recreate Ferris Bueller’s Day Off on senior ditch day (for the record, we did cruise down Lake Shore Drive a la Bueller, but it was in a Mercury Sable).

And where is the French restaurant in the movie located? If anyone knows, leave a comment.

While fashion technically took a backseat to teenage drama in the movies, today all of the clothing stands out just because it’s so quintesentially 80s. Let Avant Gaudy give you an Claire Standish-style makeover as we recreate classic Brat Pack looks. Click the items to check them out at our online boutique.

Or not.


“Quite Fierce”

August 4, 2009

via Kitmeout

Stella McCartney’s new ad campaign is certainly whimsical. The blogosphere seems a little baffled by it right now. My first reaction was favorable – it’s adorable, it’s quasi-environmental, and it’s Disney, after all.



When putting this post together, I realized that I really hadn’t, well, looked at the clothes. It’s a topic often debated in advertising classes – is an ad truly good if you can’t remember the product? Upon further examination, I saw that Stella McCartney’s idea made sense:

I’m a huge Bambi fan, and the film reminds me of my mum… And we wanted to have some fun. The clothes in the campaign are looking quite fierce, and we wanted to contrast them with the innocence of Bambi.

Unfortunately, I’m getting “fun” and “innocent” more than fierce from this campaign. I think the colors for the cartoon characters are too bright, the model’s outfit too muted.

What do you think about this campaign, and should anything have been done differently?

Meet another “Gaudy” Girl: Angela

August 3, 2009

The Artsighter recently interviewed one of our latest models, Angela, chronicling her struggles and triumphs as an “industry quirky girl.”

The original interview appears here, and is reposted below.

Self-proclaimed “former ugly duckling turned industry quirky girl” Angela McAdrian is a unique beauty – a model and muse who has challenged the fashion industry’s standards.

Born and raised in Chicago, Angela McAdrian, 20, wanted to model ever since she was little.  Like many young girls, she loved to wear make-up and get dressed up.  In 2004, her former boyfriend encouraged her to model, but she received harsh criticism and rejection from many modeling agencies in Chicago.  Agents brutally rejected her, centering on her distinct physical features – her teeth, ears and fair skin.  “I was about to give up,” says Angela, “There were a lot of criticisms.”

It wasn’t until she was offered a chance to shoot with LA based fashion photographer Nicole Anne Robbins in 2006 that doors began to open for her.  “She is the one that put me in the fashion world,” explains Angela, “She took me to a new level.  The criticisms greatly left after I worked with her.  Before, the things that I would get made fun of, I was [now] embraced for.”

“My artist statement is that I want to make so-called flaws be perceived as beautiful and sexy because I think that society has a warped perception of what is beautiful,” mentions Angela, “I believe the world to be a horrible, ugly place and beauty is my escape.  Lights of hope and hints of beauty make life worth living.”

Splitting her time between Los Angeles and Chicago, Angela has worked with top fashion photographers, designers, stylists and hair and make-up artists.  Modeling on over 70 photo shoots, her fashion campaigns have included Abigail Glaum-Lathbury, Avant Gaudy, Chi-Chi and the Greek, Genevieve Clifford, T.Saints and Verse Boutique, among others.  She says, “I am inspired by the artist I work with.”  She loves the fact that nothing is routine.

Reflecting on her experiences prior to modeling, Angela noted the irony of the compliments that she received.  She says, “It’s so weird.  Before it was, ‘Oh, we love your eyes!’  Now, It’s so different.  My mouth, everyone loves my mouth.  It’s my number one thing.”

“I believe that beauty is subjective.”

Angela McAdrian may be a “fresh face” but after her difficult start in modeling, her thoughts on flaws and beauty are what make her so refreshing.  She wants people to know, “I’m not perfect.  I make a lot of mistakes but I’m always genuine.”  What’s next for the industry quirky girl?  “I still haven’t found a Chicago agency.  I think it’s more fitting for me to do freelance.  I like fashion and I like art.  I like writing.  I would love to write for a magazine […] I want to write novels.”  I believe that anything is possible for the one of a kind beauty.

Creatures of the Wind

July 30, 2009

Confession: I’m not one for runway fashion. Pre-Avant Gaudy, I hardly paid attention to anything not highlighted in a magazine. Now, I’m fairly designer-literate (i.e. – I can pronounce Hermes and Christian Louboutin correctly). Creatures of the Wind, a group of Chicago-based designers, struck me as suprisingly wearable and refreshingly unpretentious.

They’re kind of into black and white. And I’m kind of loving it.

More Favorite Sites: Fashion Magazines

July 26, 2009

I thought ezines went the way of Geocities and animated GIFs. Not so. Most of these sites supplement the printed version, but do so very well. Here are a couple that combine the eye-appeal of a detailed, glossy magazine with the convenience of the web. Most of these magazines let their innovative photographs do the talking, so I’ll do the same.

Spilled Milk

spilled milk

“Spilled Milk is a magazine about fashion, design, blogs, photography and lifestyle!” Issue 2 debuts August 11, 2009.”



“Created for people of the world who love fashion, music, art, & make believe. Lula is gentle, whimsical and ethereal in tone, mixing high fashion to fall in love with and interviews that feel like late night chats with people you wish you knew.”

Frankie Magazine

“an australian magazine that’s as smart, funny, sarcastic, friendly, cute, rude, arty, curious and caring as you are.”