The psychology behind collecting is really fascinating to me, especially because it’s a practice that has been enduring since as early as the Egyptians. There are so many different reasons to explain why people collect things, be it nostalgia, to reduce stress, or even that accumulation makes them feel wealthier. Like with many things, there are very different degrees of collecting. If you've seen Hoarders before, this an example of how some people allow collecting to define and consume them. Andy Warhol's personal collecting fetish was cookie jars. He only had a healthy 175 cookie jars --- primarily from the 1930's and 1940's --- which he found at flea markets like the Antiques Garage, but all of which he justified as “time pieces.” All of his cookie jars are just as much works of art as anything else he owned and look like they could come alive and talk and tell secrets about his wacky life.
I also love making mood boards, so I thought, why not make wearable mood boards? Between me and my mom, we have so many random pins in our house that they don’t even really belong to either of us, they just sort of float between our rooms and we trade off. So for me, my collection of choice is pins. Pins are really easy and fun to collect. You can find them anywhere from your local bank to rural flea markets. My only rule of thumb with collecting is that its not a race. I like to stumble upon things, not feel like I should constantly be on the move to seek them out, because that takes the serendipity out of it.
From left to right: the first pin is a Martin Luther King Day remembrance pin that my mom actually got in Paris. Above it is a dainty floral wishbone. Next to it is a plastic stamp pin from the 1964 World’s Fair. The Denmark pin is one I found in a jewelry box in my grandma’s house; it looks like porcelain plates from the 1960's I’ve seen from Denmark. The choo-choo train one is enamel and very early 60’s. I honestly have no idea where this metal cowboy boot came from. And then of course there’s the Zac Efron pin and obviously Zac Efron isn’t from the 1960’s but he goes with the whole “getting pinned” school girl innocence at play here.
This dress that I am wearing is actually a girl’s uniform I found at the Salvation Army. It has a patch on it that says “SAS,” so I like to refer to it as my SAS-sy Academy dress. I bought it mainly because it resembles one of my favorite designers, Rachel Antonoff’s Fall 2011 plaid farm girl collection.
From left to right: the swirly, resin pin is from Israel. I think my grandpa must have bought it there since he was a travel writer. Above it is a pop art pin from the iconic Keith Haring pop-up shop that was in SoHo (where Bess is now). Below it is a self-portrait by Andy Warhol, because who wouldn't want to be Andy Warhol’s muse? The giant blue pin I got at the premiere of Bill Cunningham: New York, at Film Forum, along with a special Bill Cunningham popcorn bag which I have in my room. I’m not really sure how the Tim Gunn pin fits into my theme, but it says “Make It Work,” so I did. Next to Tim is a Fiorucci pin. Fiorrucci is an Italian label started in 1967. I love it because a lot of its logos mix these kitschy bright colors with Renaissance-style cherubs. In its heyday, the Fiorucci store was said to be like the “daytime Studio 54.”
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