Friday, October 29, 2010

Gary's Corner: On The Street

Just the other day our in-house stylist extraordinaire, Gary Foy, wandered behind-the-scenes through the now overflowing racks of Glitter Sale merchandise to create breezy weekend attire. He pulled together festive winter looks to wear on the street--out to an appointment or off to the store, with friends to a late brunch or an early movie.

These casual ensembles are not just comfortable to wear. They're fun too! A flirty cape. A fitted jacket. Gold-flecked fabric. Rhinestone edging. Fur trim. Gobs of jewelry and lots of layers. Who can resist? And at these prices, there's no need to!
The swingy cape is everywhere this season, and it's easy to see why. Comfortable and stylish, it tops off this outfit both literally and figuratively. This entire outfit is less than $65!
  • Gray wool cape with fur-trimmed hood $14.99
  • Rhinestone trimmed cardigan $9.99
  • Grey charmeuse belted blouse $$9.99
  • Black velvet trousers (with original tags) $12.99
  • Miniature shoulder bag $5.99
  • Silver tone chain and rhinestone necklace $7.99
This detachable fur collar adds a touch of glamour to this casual ruched jacket and wide-legged pants. Under $70.
  • Ruched jacket with wooden buttons $7.99
  • Detachable fur collar $9.99
  • Cream shirt with covered buttons $7.99
  • Gold-flecked, wide-leg pants $12.99
  • Gold tone chain choker $12.99
  • Pearl necklace with drop pearls $12.99
  • Pearl and rhinestone necklace $4.99
Crisp and hip, this gold-flecked fitted jacket with knot buttons turns this casual shirt and jeans into a very lady-like look. Under $75.
  • Gold-flecked fitted jacket with knot buttons $19.99
  • Red plaid Halston shirt $5.99
  • Cream Liz Claiborne silk shirt $7.99
  • Cream wool vest $7.99
  • Whisper-wash jeans $9.99
  • Charm choker $14.99
  • Chain necklace $6.99

Thursday, October 28, 2010

An LP Bustier! A Bird Cage Skirt! Meet AIS Glitter Gala Design Competition Winner: Peter Czarnecki

The Seattle Goodwill Glitter Gala is just one week away. One of the highlights of the evening is the runway show "The Sounds of Style," where fashion and music take center stage and the clothing and accessories all come from the 2010 Glitter Sale.

The finale of this event will be the winning design from this year's Art Institute of Seattle (AIS) Glitter Gala Design Competition. This year's winner is 24-year-old Las Vegas native and AIS fashion design major, Peter Czarnecki. I asked Peter to tell us about his award-winning dress.

This year's Glitter Sale Design Competition called for a fashion design that used merchandise from Seattle Goodwill to exemplify the Grunge era. Tell us about your winning design.
I designed a dress by fashioning old LPs for the bodice, and I used a plaid duvet cover for the skirt with black and white striped curtains for contrast. I also made a cropped jacket from a black floor-length trench coat and used extra material from the curtains to make short, black and white puffed sleeves.

Wow! This dress sounds amazing. How did you come up with such an innovative design?
I had drawn a dress similar to this one in a beginning sketching class when I first started at AIS. I had made bowls out of records before, so using LPs as a bodice wasn't much of a stretch. I wanted to give Grunge a modern look.

How exactly did you turn the LPs into a bodice?
Trial and error! I heated the records in the oven at 250 or 275 degrees and molded each piece to my model. I had originally planned to glue the LPs together with epoxy glue, but that didn't turn out very well, so I used a candle lighter to puncture a hole in each record, and tied them together with a strip of flannel from the duvet. It turned out even better this way, because the records move with the model.

You did something unusual with the skirt as well, didn't you?
I thought, "I can't have a 'blah" skirt." Bird cages have always inspired me, and I have a vintage bird cage in my room. I decided it would be fun shape for a skirt. So I went to Home Depot and bought wire to make the framework for a short bubble skirt.

How long did it take you to do all this?
The idea came together really quickly, just a day or two. But it took over a month to actually make the dress, in between homework. I had to hand-sew everything.

Did you have any fashion design experience before coming to the AIS?
I had never done anything fashion-related before going to the Art Institute. I was in nursing school before coming here. I quickly realized nursing was not for me. I'd always been artistic, but had never even attempted to draw clothing. And I'd never touched a sewing machine.

And now, what are your plans?
I'll finish school next December. Then I'd like to go to graduate school, especially Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design, an internationally renowned school in London, to see what else is out there.

Want to see Peter Czarnecki's amazing design for yourself? Join us next week, on Thursday, Nov. 4th, 6 pm, at the Sheraton Seattle, for the Glitter Gala!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Step Into A Gorgeous Gown

When it comes to gorgeous gowns, we have something for everyone. Step into this sweet ruffle strapless, straight out of the 1950s. The perfect prom dress for someone then...and now. I've always wanted to wear a dress like this!

Care to dance? This short turquoise chiffon number will move to the music. I love the drape at the neck and the flow of the sleeves. I've seen similar floor-length gowns, but none as short and sassy as this one.

This iridescent taffeta gown is a show-stopper! The color, burnt orange, is so unusual. Note the marvelous design of the beads and sequins, the lovely lines of the structured bodice and the way the straps form an V at the back and gather in the front. Exquisite!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Upcycling with Glamspoon's Tina Witherspoon

Tina Witherspoon is a Northwest textile designer whose one-of-kind line of women's clothing, under the "glamspoon" label, is made from recycled materials and natural fibers, many of which she finds at Seattle Goodwill. Over the next year Tina plans to branch out of fashion and add a lifestyle line of home accessories, including throws and pillow shams from recycled cashmere, as well as totes, tea towels and aprons from recycled linen.

An avid thrift sale shopper and a Glitter Sale regular, today Tina shares her Glitter Sale shopping tips.

You're a veteran Glitter Sale shopper with a real understanding of upcycling, or how to turn used merchandise into pieces that are valuable and valued. What do or don't you look for when you shop Glitter?

It might surprise many of your shoppers, but labels and sizes are the last thing I look for. That being said, I do have a few guidelines I stick to pretty instinctively: special details, classic cuts and unusual or striking colors. Special details might include beading, sequins, pleating--anything that makes the piece stand out. Classic cuts are essential in order to avoid faded trends or fads. I look for fitted silhouettes and designs with cinched or empire waists. I also seek out A-line dresses and skirts.

What other tips can you share with novice upcyclers?
No garment is going to be perfect for you. Go for 80%. Swap out the buttons, shorten the hem, remove the sleeves, add an applique to cover up a tiny hole, dye your garment a different color and for Pete's sake, tear out those shoulder pads! You can make the changes yourself or get to know your local tailor.

So, make your local tailor your new BFF.

If you don't do any sewing yourself, you'll want to find a trusted tailor and build a relationship. Tailored clothing--even the smallest alterations--are the next best thing to a custom-made wardrobe. If you're even a little bit handy you might want to sign up for a beginning sewing class which will give you a little more confidence when taking something apart. Simple changes can make your garment look unique and make you stand out in a crowd.

Any other simple changes?
Another way to make a vintage piece work for you is through styling. If you find a great dress that fits you everywhere but the waist, grab a belt and cinch it. Hats, gloves and scarves can dress up an outfit for day, and vintage jewelry, wraps and heels can dress it up for evening. Mixing current pieces with classic vintage items creates a look that evokes the past, yet still looks fresh and modern. Don't forget to combine textures to create an overall aesthetic--cotton blouse, wool skirt, suede boots, knitted cardigan or poncho. And add accessories!

Anything else you look for when you're at the Glitter Sale?
Another wonderful part of hunting through vintage racks and fancy frocks is that sometimes you find a piece that inspires you, but that you would never wear. I come across clothing and accessories that I just want to hang on my wall.

What time will you be heading out for the Glitter Sale this year?
Last year my girlfriend and I got to the sale at 7 am thinking we would be first in line, but we were 150th! We still got a jewelry ticket and found plenty of things to purchase. But this year we'll shoot for 6 am! I tell people, "dress warm and bring folding chairs and a thermos of coffee." The wait in line is a lot of fun!

Monday, October 25, 2010

More Shoes! Manolo, Ferragamo & Yves St. Laurent

This year we have so many amazing designer shoes, I am absolutely overwhelmed. Have you seen our beaded Manolos? Well, here's yet another pair in black leather. Take a look at these sleek and sexy high heel mules. They go with everything!

I'm crazy for these vintage velvet Ferragamos in this stunning jewel-tone color-block pattern. A perfect fall shoe.

As for these Yves St. Laurent party shoes with rhinestone buttons, they're a classic!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Gary's Corner: The Sounds of Style

The Glitter Gala is just under two weeks away, Thursday, Nov. 4th, 6 pm, in downtown Seattle at the Sheraton Hotel.

In addition to a sparkling evening, beginning with a champagne reception and then a 3-course dinner, this year's event includes an exciting runway show, "The Sounds of Style," where fashion and music take center stage and the clothing and accessories all come from the 2010 Glitter Sale. Are you ready?

Gary is! In fact, our inimitable stylist has wandered the Glitter Sale racks in search of looks that bring to mind some of the most fashionable musical icons from the '60s, '70s and '80s. Here are three looks he's put together for three iconic female vocalists. Can you guess who they are?

Inspired by Janis Joplin, Gary paired this vintage knit dress (check out those sleeves) with a Target faux fur vest and some gold-colored chains. He's rockin' the psychedelic '60s!

This gown is a perfect fit for country singer Barbara Mandrel! Pleated swing skirt. Feathery marabou hem. Rhinestone neck. Sheer sleeves. You don't need to add one single thing to this '70s look!

Gary loves '80s rock 'n' roll and Joan Jett. He's topped a tank with a black motorcycle jacket and lots of silver chains, then teamed them up with an over-sized studded leather bag and trendy whisper-wash jeans.

Who are your favorite musical fashion icons?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

BAM Curator Nora Atkinson Talks Shoes

Earlier this year the Bellevue Arts Museum was home to a traveling exhibition featuring the footwear of designer Beth Levine, who created the famous white vinyl go-go boots that Nancy Sinatra wore in the film where she sang "These Boots Are Made For Walking."

Imagine the surprise and excitement we all felt at Goodwill when we discovered that a pair of suede heels slated for the Glitter Sale were designed by Beth Levine!

We took our shoes to BAM curator Nora Atkinson, who coordinated Beth Levine: First Lady of Shoes, and Nora told us more about our strappy heels and the designer who created them.

What can you tell us about Beth Levine?
Beth and Herbert Levine were a couple. He was the marketing guy; she was the designer. It was unheard of to be a woman in that business, and so Beth worked under her husband's name. Which is why so many people don't know her name today.

We were thrilled to discover these shoes. What can you tell us about them?
Well, you can see that one shoe has the Herbert Levine label and the other has the label of the local shoe store that carried it. In this case, the local store is Nordstrom's Portland store. Nordstrom was the local shoe store to buy Herbert Levine shoes. In fact, Nordstrom generously loaned us several pairs of Beth Levine shoes from their archives for our exhibit.

The Herbert Levine label began in 1949, and the company really had personal relationships with every shoe store they sold to, which allowed them to make more innovative, interesting designs. These shoes probably date to the mid-fifties.

What about this design?
Beth made the shoes women wanted, not what they needed. The company began just after the war ended, and Beth and Herbert really capitalized on the fact that what women wanted was to be a little bit sexier. Shoes didn't have to be practical anymore.

Beth's shoes were much more open than shoes had been previously. There is no ankle strap. There's very little material on the sides of the shoe. You can see on this pair how much material has been cut away.

What kinds of materials did Beth Levine work with.
She used the very best materials. Exotic skins. Silk from Lyons. Leather from Florence. Beth and Herbert traveled all over the world. Your shoes are made of suede. All of the rhinestones would have been hand-applied. And all of the work was done by hand. After fifty or more years, they're in great shape. The rhinestones are all intact. These really are a fabulous pair of shoes.

Thanks to the Bellevue Arts Museum, if you're attending our Glitter Gala on Nov. 4th and participate in the evening's raffle, you'll have an opportunity to win a family membership to BAM and a beautiful full-color, hardbound book about Beth Levine, entitled very appropriately, Beth Levine Shoes. Our Beth Levine shoes will be for sale at the Glitter Sale.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Winter White Swimming Pool Earrings

We call these vintage floral earrings "swimming pool earrings" because they're made from soft plastic rather than metal and shouldn't rust while you swim. While we don't actually suggest that you wear this pair of '50s era earrings in the water, we do suggest you wear them all winter long.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

True Faux

Baby it's cold outside! Dress at the height of fashion and stay warm as toast with our huge selection of faux fur coats, vests, even fun fur jackets for kids. This vintage coat, with faux fur trim, is one of my favorites.

Faux fur vests were all the rage last year, and there's no letting up on this fun fad that's fast becoming a winter tradition. Our fabulous faux fur toppers are just what you need to beat the winter blues.

This faux fur parka from Gap Kids is super-special, and not just because this fur is warm and cuddly. No, it's because we have two of them!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Trifari for the Holidays

Considered one of the top costume jewelry manufacturers in the U.S., Trifari bracelets, earrings, pins and clips are coveted today, perhaps even more so than they were in their heyday. This lovely enamel fur clip is vintage Trifari, very likely from the 1940's. Wouldn't it make a marvelous Christmas gift?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Gary's Corner: Hollywood Glamour

Have you met Gary, Goodwill's inimitable ambassador, Bellevue store manager, and on this occasion, in-house stylist? Gary has agreed to wander behind the scenes, through the Glitter Sale racks, to create timely and timeless looks to share with you.

Last week Gary went gaga for Lady Gaga, but for holiday, he's all about Hollywood glamour. Think Grace Kelly. Think Audrey Hepburn. Refined beauty. Simple luxury.

Served up over the holidays, Gary's Hollywood glamour translates into elegant evening gowns and cloaks, beautiful taffetas, rich iridescents and flirty tulle lining. Thanks to the Glitter Sale, (and Gary), making an entrance, on or off the red carpet, was never so easy--or inexpensive!

This simple stunner (Cinderella at the ball?) is positively enchanting. And the whole outfit is under $40.
  • Aquamarine strapless with rhinestone brooch at waist $21.99
  • Sequin sparkle sweater $9.99
  • Drop pearlescent necklace $7.99

Traditional holiday green and gold with this season's most talked about coat--the faux-fur, leopard print chubby--is both elegant and glamorous. And all for under $90.
  • Iridescent strapless gown with black net underskirt $24.99
  • Leopard print chubby (with original tags) $39.99
  • Elsa Peretti-style heart necklace $9.99
  • Kate Spade strappy gold sandals $12.99

Thursday, October 14, 2010


I promised you more name-dropper shoes, and I wasn't kidding. Say it with me, Manolo Blahnik! Look at these gorgeous beaded, blue satin heels. And they've never been worn. That is, until you take them home!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Enter Our Preview Party Drawing--It's Free!

You can be the first to shop the Glitter Sale! That's right, 15 lucky winners (with 1 guest each) will be invited to a very special Preview Party (the evening of Friday, Nov. 12th), an opportunity to shop for select Glitter Sale merchandise a day before the Glitter Sale formally opens its doors.

Don't miss this chance for first dips on hundreds of Glitter Sale items! Enter the Glitter Sale Preview Party Drawing today. It's free! Here's how:
  • Enter in person at any of Seattle Goodwill's 20 stores
Yes, it's as easy as that! But don't dawdle. All entries must be received by noon, Wednesday, Oct. 27th. Winners will be notified Nov. 1st. Some restrictions apply. View drawing rules and regulations online.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Bob Mackie Does Leopard Prints

Leopard prints are everywhere this season, and you'll find this fabulous motif on Glitter Sale coats, jackets, sweaters and shoes, including this Bob Mackie two-piece ensemble.

Known as the "sultan of sequins", Bob Mackie has dressed Cher, Madonna, Tina Turner, Diana Ross, Bette Midler--even Katy Perry! And now, possibly, you!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Black, But Definitey Not Basic!

Black Evening Dress
If you're looking for something just a bit out of the ordinary this holiday season, you've come to the right place--the Glitter Sale! We have thousands of items and racks and racks of one-of-a-kind pieces you won't come across anywhere else.

This fabulous jumpsuit, (yes, jumpsuit!) is just one example. It's black, but definitely not basic! With sheer sleeves, a sheer midriff and feathery maribou trim at the neck and wrists, you'll more than make an entrance. Yes, eyes will be on you all night long.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Gary's Corner: Gaga for Lady Gaga

Gary Foy
If you're a Glitter Sale shopper, you already know our own inimitable Gary Foy. You've seen him early in the morning with his megaphone on Glitter Saturdays, entertaining the crowd and counting down those last minutes.

You've also seen him at the jewelry counter, calling out ticket numbers, so that every shopper receives one-on-one attention. If you shop our Bellevue store, you may have seen Gary there too. He's their store manager.

Gary wears many hats at Seattle Goodwill, and today we introduce him wearing yet another: stylist extraordinaire. Gary has agreed to wander behind-the-scenes through the Glitter Sale racks and create trend-setting (and budget-conscious) looks to share with you.

Today, Gary's gone gaga over Lady Gaga!

Lady Gaga inspired white dress
Yes, Gary's gaga for Lady Gaga, so in her honor he's created this Lady Gaga-inspired evening look. He's accessorized this fabulous slinky white dress with a feather strewn, one-eyed mask that he uses as a brooch. In this dress you're sure to make an entrance! And imagine, the entire outfit--the dress, mask, two necklaces and a purse--is under $25.
  • Slinky white dress $12.99
  • Silver sequin purse $2.99
  • Bead necklace $1.99
  • Rhinestone necklace $3.99
  • Mask (worn as a brooch) $1.99

Lady Gaga inspired black dress

For something only a tad more sedate, go out on the town in this slinky black dress, a throwback to the early '80s, yet totally contemporary. Get the whole look for under $25 too.
  • Slinky black dress $12.99
  • Gold cross necklace $3.99
  • Amulet necklace $1.99
  • Gold-tone chain necklace $1.99
  • Mesh chain purse $3.99
Stay tuned for more of Gary's great looks next week!

Thursday, October 7, 2010


Jimmy Choo boots
Jimmy! Yes, Jimmy Choo. Need I say more? Well, heck, yes, but I'm not going to spill the beans all at once. You'll have to check back to see more of the great designer clothing and shoes that we'll have in-store--at the Glitter Sale!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Vintage Green Dress
Vintage shoppers won't want to miss this year's amazing assortment of dresses, skirts, tops and coasts. I adore this sweet chiffon dress, perfect for any holiday occasion. Whether you're looking for a 1950's prom dress or a 1980's jumpsuit, you'll find it at the Glitter Sale.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Emerald Necklace
This fabulous choker with emerald-cut and teardrop gems is absolutely stunning. You'll also find cases and cases of rings, watches, bracelets, earrings and brooches. Whether you'd like something for holiday--or everyday--you'll find it at the Glitter Sale.

Monday, October 4, 2010


Sequin Dress
This holiday season it's all about shimmer and shine--and you'll find them both at the 27th Annual Glitter Sale. We've got sequin cocktail dresses and iridescent taffeta ball gowns. You'll find sparkly beaded heels and gold lame handbags. And of course you'll see piles and piles of eye-catching jewelry (more on that subject tomorrow)!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Don't Be Late to the Party!

Get ready to glitter! Mark your calendar today for Seattle Goodwill's Glitter Gala on Thursday, November 4th, 6 pm at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel. Then save the date for the Glitter Sale, Saturday and Sunday, November 13 and 14, 9 am to 6 pm.

We've already begun setting up for the 27th Annual Glitter Sale, and we want to give you a sneak peek at some of the great designer, vintage and name brand dresses, coats, shoes, bags, hats and jewelry you'll see on sale. Plus we'll have lots of tips and insider information to share. So check in next week when we begin regular updates and share photos of our favorite finds.

In the meantime, check out the last year's Glitter Gala Fashion Show right here!