Friday, October 29, 2010

Sweetheart Of The Rodeo

I recently discovered Dakota and her brand new blog Sweetheart of the Rodeo. I was smitten right away with Dakota's gorgeous pictures and perfect style! The way she mixes prints and wears the sweetest vintage dresses with colorful tights and cowboy boots is simply darling. I asked Dakota to answer a few questions so we could get to know her better. Enjoy!

Hi Dakota! Tell us a little bit about yourself...
-Hello! Well, I just turned 18 last month and I'm a freshman Environmental Studies major at the University of Vermont. I was born in Cambridge, MA but I've lived in the pretty little town of Jamaica, VT (population 600) since I was six years old and consider myself much more at home in the country.

What made you want to start a blog?
-I've been reading vintage style blogs like yours, Liebemarlene, Blooming Leopold, Sally Jane, Vixen Vintage, and many more for a few years now. No one in my high school had any real interest in vintage clothes or had aesthetics as old fashioned as mine, and I was so excited to find girls with similar styles to me! I originally started a blog to advertise the clothes I wanted to sell, but I never got around to starting up a store, so it just became a place to record my outfits and inspirations.

How long has fashion been a big part of your life?
-All through elementary school and middle school, I was a tomboy in jeans and a t-shirt. I didn't really start choosing my clothes consciously until high school, and then at first I was very into a bohemian-via-Urban Outfitters look cause that was how my friends dressed. I always wore cowboy boots, though. That's the one constant in my fashion evolution. Then when I was 15 and on vacation with my mom in Santa Fe, we found a 1950s square dancing dress. It was blue and covered in ric-rac, the ultimate New Mexico cowgirl dress. I took it home, and fell in love with way that high waist and full skirt fit me like a glove. That was my gateway dress, the rest is history!

What or who is your biggest fashion inspiration?
-It's an eclectic mix: the Edwardian era and Gibson girls; 1950s actresses like Audrey, Marilyn, and Liz; Nashville stars from the 1950s and 1960s; Americana and folk music; antique childrens books; the colors in the pine forests and deserts; small run-down towns that seem forgotten by time.

Where's your favorite place to find all of your wonderful vintage gems?
-Antique stores, junk shops, flea markets, auctions, pretty much anyplace other than actual vintage stores, ha ha! I have this great junk/antiques store back home that's basically a big colonial house filled to the brim with all sorts of lovely old things. I regularly pick up Edwardian slips and blouses there for under $10 each; can't give the name away though ;)

Your photos have such an old southern feel to them. You make me think of southern belles like Loretta Lynn and June Carter...does old country music influence you at all?
-Absolutely! Old country singers like Loretta, Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Gram Parsons, and the Carter Family are what I've loved to listen to my whole life. (Cool fact/shameless brag: Cowboy Jack Clement of Sun Studios fame is my Grandmother's first cousin! It must run in our blood ;)
I also started watching vintage country music shows like Porter Wagoner and the Wilburn Brothers when I was about 16. Watching the young Loretta Lynn belting out mountain ballads in a gingham mini dress with her hair in huge beautiful curls was like a revelation. She was a visualization of the music I loved, a living honky-tonk ballad. I was like, Yes! That's how I want to look!?.
Many of the qualities I love about traditional country and Americana music are also applicable to describe my favorite vintage pieces: they're sincere, rootsy, beautiful, crafted with passion, and elegantly simple.

You and I have a lot in common when it come to our love of old country! Heck, I just moved to Nashville, lol! Have you ever been to Nashville? If so do you want to visit again someday?
-Can you believe I've never been to Nashville?? It's probably number 1 on my list of destinations to visit, though! I've been to Memphis a few times (and Sun Records!) on the way to Mississippi to visit my mother's side of the family. I love visiting the South; the landscape, the music and the food are all so special.

Memphis is a great place to visit. I've been many times ;o) I hope you come visit Nashville someday! ...What other hobbies do you have besides, blogging, fashion and music?
-I love hiking and sketching the plants and animals I see along the way, though I'm no good at drawing; I just love being in the woods and observing nature. In the winter I'm still outside a lot, only on snowshoes or cross-country skis. I also love horses. I've been riding since I was three, and I have an Appaloosa (the kind with spots!) named Chinook. I read a lot (my favorites are Southern Gothic writers like Carson McCullers and Faulkner), and then I have this serious addiction to Turner Classic Movies.

TCM is my favorite for sure! ...Is there anything else you'd like to share with our readers?
-At the risk of sounding all maudlin, I would like to thank the whole fashion blogging community for being such an inspiring and friendly bunch. Many times I look around me at all the girls in mall-bought jeans and trendy tops and I doubt myself. I feel freakish for being the only one in 4 inch oxford heels and a long dress; are seamed stockings and big hair actually cool, or am I just incredibly tacky and dated looking? Then I come online and see all the creative and fearless ladies (and gents!) of blogland rocking their one-of-a-kind ensembles and screaming individual style, and I feel so renewed and reassured. So thank you all. I hope that girls can one day look at my blog and feel inspired to buck the trends a little and wear whatever makes them feel beautiful, regardless of whether it's "in" or not. (Sorry if that was cheesy, but I had to say it!)

Aww, Thank you so much Dakota! Be sure to go check out her blog, I promise you'll love it!
Have a wonderful weekend darlings! :O)


Fran said...

What a great interview, and such a lovely lady! I wholeheartedly agree with Dakota's comments, the blogging community is one place where I finally feel comfortable being me!

A Little Brighter said...

Oh thanks so much for showing me this new blog! It is everything I love about vintage bloggers :D
I love how she doubts herself at times too (i'm sure we all do that from time to time) It's nice to know i'm not the only one!
Amazing interview!

Ayesha x

MarieBayArea said...

she's fabulous!

Victoria / Justice Pirate said...

I found out about her from your tumblr the other day and was sad that she had hardly any followers on her blog at all! I love her outfits. she is charming too!

Jessica / Lola Vintage Clothing said...

Gorgeous, I especially love that sweet gingham dress!

Michal said...

Such a great interview!! Dakota's blog has been a new favorite over the past month or so & I'm so glad you featured her! Her style is SO inspiring & her photos are always so gorgeous. (:

Jenny said...

oh wow, shes gorgeous! great interview

Kristin, Golden Hearts Loves Vintage said...

She sure has some cute outfits put together.

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