Good Gifts: For the Haute Hipster

Contrary to popular belief, not all hipsters are dirty. It's true that many are mullety and mustached, but lately I have sensed an upwardly mobile air about the bright young things. Maybe it's because they aren't quite so young anymore and were forced to clean up for their day jobs at Apple, or maybe it's just because style in general is trending away from whimsy. In an economy with an uncertain future, it's expensive to be a slave to flash-in-the-pan trends, and on the streets I'm seeing a lot of timeless classics with funky layered twists. Aspirational? Perhaps. But the true hipster will still thrift it whenever possible. Fake it til you make it, bitches.

And in that spirit, let the world know who's best in show with this vintage trophy inspired cream and sugar set. $18 from Etsy.

I've been snatching up vintage wool deck blankets by the dozens. I think I'm going to try to thrift some old belts or suspenders and rig up a carrying strap like so. If you're a holiday procrastinator like me, then you can just buy this one as a gift. Tick tock, says the Christmas clock... $78 at Urban Outfitters.

You need an Antoni Tapies poster of his Ultramarine Composition. It's like Yves Klein noir. $35 from All Posters.

Anything by Pierre Cardin is an acceptable gift (except for the perfume... you know what I'm talking about). These 70s French Opera style glasses are the bizness. $15 from Etsy. Pssst, if the glasses are not not right for your giftees, check out his vintage jewelry.

Neither inexpensive nor thrifted, this leopard pillow still hits all the right notes. Animal prints look cheap in the wrong fabrics, but this needlepoint cotton and wool number is klassy yet sassy so you can (safely) take a walk on the wild side. $215 from Ethan Allen.

Adjust your frame of reference to a geologic time scale with gorgeous agate bookends by Roost. Suddenly it seems the holiday madness will be over in the blink of an eye. $71 from Velocity.

I just don't feel like I can wrap up a Design Crisis gift guide without something gold and wildly expensive... Let's just say that this diamond studded, gold plated swiss army knife costs thousands of dollars, but I'm definitely feeling that a sweet vintage pocket knife is a good gift. Check your local pawn shop -- seriously. I mean, have you seen Pawn Stars? Madness. And because I know some of you want an online hookup, there's also a somewhat lesser version of this knife (but still gold!) available through Victorinox's online store for $145.

Don't you feel richer and more expensive, yet still edgy and cool just from reading this post? If not, go back and reread... you must have missed something. It can't be my fault. (Can it?) At any rate, I hope you got some good gift ideas. Now go buy something.

I'm Not Sure About This Cold Weather Crap

After a long Indian summer in Austin, it's finally bleak and dreary outside. I've been waiting for this turn in weather for(almost)ever, but now that it's come I just feel... sleepy. Lethargic. Like crawling back into bed for some sunshine soaked dreams. But alas, alack, anon, that ain't gonna happen. Maybe it's for the best. Maybe I need to embrace the fall that's finally made its way into my little corner of the world.

Isabel Lopez Quesada

Maybe I can embrace the fall and go back to sleep? Because that bedroom could take me there. How about that plaid mixed with suzani? I may be a trifle overcontrolled by marketing forces, but right now I think everything should be swathed in plaid. I don't mean to say that I'm going to morph into an ax wielding lumberjack, but... I might morph into an ax wielding lumberjack.

I promise not to get to hipster douchey about it.

Thank You For Being a Friend

It's no newsflash that the 80s are back -- even street corners in remote Wyoming and North Dakota are swimming with hipsters clad in acid wash jeans and neon raybans. But if there's one thing I have learned while couch bound and channel surfing in my cocoon for these past six weeks, it's that there is a kinder, gentler 80s aesthetic out there. One that might best be described as... mature. For those golden years.

golden girls

Yep. It's the sexy sexagenarians (and one sassy octogenarian - RIP, Estelle!) we all found as warm and comforting as an oversized pink bathrobe. Sigh. How I missed the Golden Girls! But I've had time to catch up and reflect on their grandma chic style, and I think there may be a few worthy design details to take in among their set pieces. Still, one must watch out for the obvious pitfalls:

kelly wearstler blanche

Because you know Kelly Wearstler was totally channeling Blanche when she masterminded that mix; note the color/texture similarities between the GG's tablecloth and KW's wallpaper. The lesson here is that mauve is scary, and mauve plus any kind of blue is even scarier.

But did you see the GG's Chinese Chippendale chairs that have been splashed on the pages of every single shelter mag for the past few years? I'm pretty over them, but if you're gonna go that way, might as well go over the top. Yes, I admit it. I do love me some neon.

gene meyer

I get nothing but good vibrations from this wackadoo room by Doug Meyer that Karlykins posted ages ago, but if you buy these 80s redux chairs (available from Ballard here), nix the black and save the GG white lacquer for your boxy pieces a la Trina Turk's bedroom:

trina turk

Yes, that uber 80s Karl Springer nightstand would be right at home in Dorothy's bedroom. Sorry you need Sophia's bifocals to see it.

golden girls set

I can dig the blocky 80's shapes the GGs have scattered throughout their pad, like this blonde rattan couch. But nothing says Florida retirement home like rattan + mauve jungle print fabric. I'm envisioning a vintage couch like the one pictured, but with a fresher pattern:


I pulled these from Marimekko all quick like, but anything bold and bright would do. I'm thinking rattan needs a festive print to stay true to its tropical origins, but instead of faded pink I prefer a crisper color scheme to bring the shape and texture up to date.

golden girls

Everyone in the world has seen the inside of Blanche's bedroom. Perhaps she fancied herself a tigress, hunting silver foxes in the jungle of love. Eeeeeeew. Whatever the case, that banana leaf wallpaper is springing up in well heeled homes everywhere and I probably should be tired of it, but I'm not.

nicky hilton

However, I'm not sure I love Nicky Hilton's full monty interpretation here. It's pink, it's got chinese chippendale-esque chairs, and it has the wallpaper. Despite all the color, it feels kind of old to me.

nate berkus

I blogged about Nate Berkus' apartment before, and I still want to go to there. He keeps the furnishings muted to let the wallpaper harmonize with -- rather than contrast with -- its surroundings. Because that's some big wallpaper, you know?

Now that I'm back blogging, I'm going to miss my time with the Golden Girls, but I'm so happy to return to say THANK YOU!!!! to all the people who filled in for me while I was gone, and to all the people who read the blog. And I especially want to thank Karly for holding down the fort with style and grace. A girl really couldn't ask for a better friend. This post be dedicated to you.

I'll be back on Friday with... something. But in the meantime, stay gold.

golden girls tattoo.

Apparently this incredible tat belongs to a friend of a friend. Only in Austin, people! Who better to spend the rest of your years with than Blanche, Rose, Sophia and Dorothy, I say? I call Rose. Which Golden Girl are you?