Friday, April 25, 2014

Interview with Tessa of The Mad Mod Shop and Blog!

Since I was 6 I've always wanted to have grown up in the 60's. Everything about the aesthetics and style was so shocking and amazing. So when I want to see a more retro aesthetic, I turn to Tessa's blog, The Mad Mod. Nothing is kitschy or predictable, and sometimes I get distracted from the clothes by the awesomeness that is her decorated room. Like seriously, if only my Tiger Beat posters looked as cool!

1.) You really like the 60's. What is your favorite part of that era, from music or fashion (or any other medium)?

Oh gosh, that's such a difficult question! I'd have to say my favorite part was the Mod scene in London on Carnaby Street (Mary Quant, Lord Sutch, mini skirts, bright colors, etc.). A close second is the cheesy beach movies with Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon!

2.) What other past era do you admire for its style?

Every era really! Besides the sexism and racism, I really love the fifties. Everything was changing and was so fresh and new. The fashion was absolutely fabulous in every single way possible whether you were a greaser or a square. The fact that people would get all dolled up for the airport, church, grocery shopping, etc. is just absolutely flawless. Oh my gosh, and the gloves, hats, scarves, enamel flower necklaces, slips, panty hose (okay basically everything) is just the prettiest things ever. I've always been a sucker for a-line dresses and high waisted pants from this era, too. The music is definitely my favorite part of the fifties besides the styles, but if I went on about that this would turn into a 1000 word rant, haha! 

 3.)How is fashion in Texas?

Great question! It really depends on the area, especially since Texas is such a huge state. Where I live in the country, fashion isn't a priority. BUT in Houston and Austin, lot of people care about their appearance and fashion. I mean, there's always going to be people who aren't into that kind of stuff, but it's less apparent in those two cities. Most of the fashion from people my age are into the "hipster" fashions, which is basically just late 1980s/early 90s or Urban Outfitter  pieces. I've actually sold way more vintage clothing compared to the amount I sell in Conroe!

4.) Where do you get inspiration for your outfits and blog? 

All over the internet, magazines, people, culture (basically everything, haha)! My interest in fashion started by joining tumblr and it's expanded ever since. One of my biggest inspirations is vintage photographs from the 80s, 70s, 60s, and 50s. I don't know what it is about these relics, but they are just so special to me. Besides retro stuff, I'm super inspired by other fashion bloggers. Ari from Spookypuke, Kailey from Mermaidens, Charlotte from Velvet Dynamite, and Sonja from Intergalactic Glitter Monster are my current favorites at the moment, but I honestly have a ridiculous amount of other blogs I keep up with (and adore)! The online zine, The Pulp Zine, I write for is also super inspirational, because we have become so diverse with our writers and guest writers. Every picture, playlist, article inspires me in some shape, way, and form, and I just love it so much! The last thing I want to mention is where I get my favorite vintage clothing: Houston, TX. My two favorite vintage stores of all time is The Leopard Lounge and Reply on 19th Street. Whether it's what the employees are wearing, what's on the mannequins, or what's on the rack, it's always so fabulous. It also makes me wish I had a sugardaddy or all the money in the world so I can just buy all the funky vintage clothes, hah (only half joking)!

5.) Who is your favorite designer of all time?

Betsey Johnson (but Kate Spade is a close second). Everything about her is absolutely flawless, and she even designed stuff for the Velvet Underground in the late 1960's!! Although I love her old collections, I am obsessed with her revamped line. I remember in 2011 I was totally crushed when I heard she went bankrupt, so when I heard that she was coming back I (almost literally) jumped for joy. Thanks to Steve Madden, her business is back. The best part is that a lot of her items are now affordable. My favorites of hers are her dreamy, tulle dresses, kitchsy prints, and, of course, her funky purses. Betsey's exuberant personality shows in each of her pieces, and she is definitely one of my all time heroes. 

6.) How does it feel to be a high school senior, in the second semester? Do you have plans for what to study in college?

It's hard to answer this question. In a way, I am SOOOOOO happy, because I've disliked high school since the moment I stepped in the door on the first day of Freshmen year. I'm probably going to cry at graduation, due to the sheer fact that I never have to see these ignorant brats ever again (except for like my small group of friends). Like, I know when I get out of high school I will still have to deal with selfish, nasty, smelly, rude, people, but I know it will no longer constantly surround me. AND THERE IS NO DRESS CODE IN COLLEGE!! Speaking of which, I do have big-ish plans for college. I'm for sure going to Texas State University (an hour away from Austin) and my major is Techinical Theatre/Costume Design and I plan to minor in English/Creative Writing. I honestly have no words to describe how happy/excited/scared I am for this. Luckily, some of my friends will be going to be there, too, so I won't have to worry about being lonely! The only thing I'm really scared for is how I'm going to pay for it since it's about $21,000 a year (that includes: meal plan, housing, books, tuition, etc.). I've filled out about 13 scholarships this semester, but have (so far) been rejected by all of them. On the bright side, I did get one last year from the Texas German Society that's enough to pay for books for two semesters. But overall, I AM SO EXCITED!!!

7.) If you could have one designer, past or present, to dinner, who would it be?

I would say Betsey Johnson again, but since I mentioned her earlier I'm going to have to pick Coco Chanel. Even though I'm not a huge fan of the brand, I am totally infatuated with Coco's life and personality. It's really hard to wrap my mind around the fact that the average woman never wore trousers until Miss Chanel. Thanks to her, I'm not afraid to dress different or care about what other people think of me. I feel like we would mainly talk about France's culture. I don't know why, but there is something so special to me about that country. It physically hurts my heart when I think about anything French or hear the language. It's not a bad hurt, though. I'm pretty sure it's a yearning for it...I don't know! Maybe I was French in a past life!

8.) Most of us fashion bloggers follow Tavi Gevinson and Rookie; how do you think fashion relates to feminism? Does it ever hurt feminism?

Oh man. Fashion relates to feminism in so many different ways! It's all about being yourself and wearing whatever makes you happy. In a sense, feminism and fashion are best friends. Feminism means equal rights for everyone, and fashion is basically the same thing, it's just more visual. I don't think it hurts feminism, but it does bring up the on going problem with "gender roles" and "slut shaming." I always get so frustrated with people, because they say "girls" or "boys" or "slutty" or "too conservative" clothing. I just don't get that!! You should wear whatever the hell you want as long as it's not harming you or anyone else. If you want to wear a loose t-shirt and jeans or a tight mini dress- GO FOR IT! Society tries telling us there's a certain way to be, but that's not true at all. No matter how you dress, you can never win, because of this. Ugh, it just drives me crazy, because it shouldn't matter what a person happens to be wearing.

9.) If you could raid any celebrity's closet (past or present of course!) who would it be?

Oh geez...I can't think of an actual celebrities wardrobe I would want to raid, but my pal and tumblr celebrity, Spookypuke, seriously has the best clothes in the world. Obviously, I would pick her! The way she dresses reminds me of a series cartoon characters. Whether she's rocking pastels, tutus, skeleton print, jumpsuits or anything else that she owns; she always looks like a technicolor dream princess!

10.) I asked Ellie this, but I have to ask again, as it usually produces quite entertaining answers: What is your biggest fashion pet peeve?

Out of all the fashion "don'ts" I hate (peplum, crocs, uggs, graphic tees, etc.), ill-fitting clothing is definitely at the top of my list. Really and truly, you can make anything look good, but the secret is: wearing the right size. For instance, leggings are super adorable, but they aren't when they are two sizes too small and you can see panty lines. You'd think people would know what size they are, BUT YOU WOULD BE SURPRISED. Sometimes a person simply needs someone to show them what shapes look good on them.


  1. Love this interview and Tessa's blog too!

    1. Thanks! I checked out your blog and its pretty rad :)

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  3. Hi Chloe!
    I really like your blog and I agree--the 60s were a seriously cool decade. Have a great weekend!!