Poppy: Vintage Vixen
of fashion and beauty’s brightest trendsetters travel the world to
work with celebrities, put their own stamp on style and produce
star-studded events. And when they come home, you’ll find them right
here in our own back yard.
aren’t particularly trendy, according to Tina Poppy, worldwide
fashion blogger and owner of Violetvillevintage.com, a vintage
clothing Web site. And that’s a good thing.
"To me, one
of the most amazing things about Milwaukee is there’s this amazing
sense of personal style, where people will go to thrift stores and
find this bizarre piece of clothing and make it their own," she
says. "In other cities, you can definitely tell what the trends
are. In Milwaukee, people are more interested in doing their own
fascination with personal style was evident even in high school, when
she haunted thrift stores to create a wardrobe to express her own
graduation, Poppy left her home in Milwaukee for Los Angeles, and
moved around a bit before deciding that this city is where she really
wants to be.
Today, she shops
the world to find elegant, vintage fashions and accessories for
Violetville. She loves to find a ’50s designer coat at an estate
sale somewhere in Scandanavia, and give it new life by selling it to a
customer in Mongolia, she says.
Men," the hit AMC television series about the style-driven New
York advertising world of the 1960s, has been the latest phenomenon to
make fashionistas flock to Poppy’s retro collection.
and quality of construction (of the era) is insurmountable,"
Poppy says. "Dresses were meant to fit the human body. Nowadays,
you see things that are meant to fit on a hanger."
dresses of the midcentury, however, were designed to tastefully show
off curves and encourage women to posture themselves with confidence,
Poppy is the
somewhat reluctant model for the clothing on her site. Visitors can
see how the clothing fits an actual person vs. the mannequins that
originally featured the fashions.
Yance: Keeping up Apprearances
Poppy welcomes friends into her home — furnished with quirky estate
sale furniture and conversation-piece accents — and pulls out
racks of clothing to play with.
"I love to
style people in coats, dresses and things to wear to work," she
is Poppy’s signature style, she is also interested in unique,
handcrafted modern pieces. She recently returned from a trip to Paris,
Copenhagen, Stockholm and Iceland to look for contemporary items
created by independent designers. Whether a customer prefers vintage,
contemporary or a combination of the two, the point is to make getting
dressed her own unique art form.
Poppy lives by
that credo, even when indulging in her latest obsession, biking.
day I was in this ridiculous snowsuit from the ’70s and biking
through the snow," she says. "And I heard three people say
‘That’s awesome.’ If I can make people smile and think about how
their day is going and what they can do to make their lives better,
then mission accomplished."