3 Vintage Sleuths on How to Find Band Tees, Fringe Jackets, and Wacky Wall Art

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Sometimes I lay restless in the night, wondering about other peoples’ hyper-specific search terms, guarded like sapphires at the Smithsonian. What first editions of books do my contemporaries find worthy of rooting around the Internet for? Whose bedroom will finally feel tied together if they have a Valentine Olivetti typewriter perched on their desk? Who will swear off all other vessels if they can carry their wallet and keys in a Christopher Kane jelly clutch? What else do they find on their journeys down these rabbit holes? My curiosity became so overwhelming, so egregious, so probing, that I caved and just asked.

And aren’t I glad that I did: I heard stories that were the 21st century equivalent of Jack Kerouac’s On The Road—the road, in this case, is the information superhighway—and so we’ll be publishing these ditties as a series over the course of this week. The table of contents is like so: first, Ruby Redstone on tracking down a 2013 pair of Acne Studios glitter boots, followed by Tatiana Hambro in her ongoing quest for the Boyy Wonton bag in Olive, Lea Carey who trails flight attendant uniforms by Emilio Pucci, Lauren Chan who struck gold after searching for a shearling aviator coat in plus-sizes and Tafarii McKenzie on the chic makeup bag that eludes her. Read on for today’s installment in the series, below.

Hannah Mosman, Apparel Designer & Stylist

Your shopping rabbit hole: I’m always on the lookout for the perfect vintage suede fringe jacket. Has to be cognac or cognac-adjacent in color. Has to be button-front. And has to have fringe included at the back seam on the sleeve!

Can you walk me through what going down this rabbit hole entails? This shopping rabbit hole means perusing Etsy, Poshmark, and eBay predominantly, as I know current suede jackets I like will be out of my price range (and the pursuit of good vintage is fun). I start my search with something like “suede fringe jacket” and narrow by color and size, and get to scrolling. I save to wishlist/”likes” lists like a maniac so I can review my picks after I’m done browsing. I know the fit will be key, so I make sure to gather/request any measurements from sellers that may be missing some garment specs for items I’m seriously considering. I’d say I search this item a few times a week through the aforementioned sites, and not by Google search.

What ultimately satiates the quest? The quest has yet to be satiated… seems like I’ll be able to find my dream suede fringe jacket—the right color with the right fit in a high-quality material (no thin suede!)—when pigs fly.

Intrigued? Start your own rabbit hole here.

Canada Choate, Assistant editor, Artforum

Your shopping rabbit hole: Vintage band tees, specifically from the fall in the 1980s or Spacemen 3 in the ’90s. Such items, if they surface, are usually in the $1000-range, a.k.a. out of my (and most people’s) budget, but their designs inspire and excite.

Can you walk me through what going down this rabbit hole entails? I probably search monthly. Look out for unworthy reproductions printed on contemporary tees, which inevitably have the wrong fit and none of the years of blood, sweat, and tears that charge these rags with the energy of a thousand fans.

What ultimately satiates the quest? I’ve never actually bought a vintage rock tee online. Hunting for something unaffordable is a great way to keep yourself from spending money!

Intrigued? Start your own rabbit hole here.

Lauren Williams, Founder, Lolo

Your shopping rabbit hole: Odd, vintage wall art by seemingly unknown artists

Can you walk me through what going down this rabbit hole entails?

I have a long-term goal of creating a meaningful wall full of art, which I guess I’m supposed to call a gallery wall. I already have some handmade cards from friends, some paintings by an ex-boyfriend (), some etchings from Picture Room that “spoke to me,” and am now working on collecting found, vintage pieces. This search was sparked while roaming estate sales on Long Island for my business. Lately, it’s just been via Etsy and eBay. I’ve been gravitating toward oddball etchings, prints, and paintings that are also mildly aesthetically pleasing and half the time involve a cute animal.

I start with a simple search term such as “vintage etching,” and I allow that to spiral naturally as I find specific things within that search. The other night, it led me to buying an unrelated turtle-shaped wicker basket, which was the result of a “turtle wearing flower crown” sub-search term. I tend to scroll ‘til my dried-out contacts literally fall off of my eyes and onto my keyboard, and I do not suggest any other way to psychotically rabbit hole. Typically this is a once- or twice-a-week endeavor, but I am particularly deep into it right now, as there’s not much else to do and because I am moving into a new apartment in a month… maybe.

What ultimately satiates the quest?

The winner is generally something that is pre-1985 where my initial reaction is “LOL” and where that reaction doesn’t fade over the time I give it to cool down in my cart. Bonus points if it’s in its original frame. I find myself browsing half-asleep in bed on my phone at night, or lately, hunched over while watching Gilmore Girls midday. I add a bajillion things to my cart as if I had no budget, and many times I do not remember putting it there. I let the options sit in my cart for what feels like a week and slowly filter things out as I get over the initial laugh of it all. I just pulled the plug on what was left of my Etsy cart, which included a thumbprint watercolor painting of three mice, a quilted serigraph of five cats sleeping in a donut shape, and a screenprint of a red jalapeño with a perfectly tied blue bow on its stem. I’m still letting an etching titled “3 Horny Men” stew.

Intrigued? Start your own rabbit hole here.

Graphics by Lorenza Centi.

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