August 30, 2016 4 min read
The fashion revolution that the style sisters at Chunky Armadillo have brought to Columbus is catching fire! We’re so excited about the positive response we’re getting from the community and want to thank everyone who has helped us get this store off the ground! But we’re just getting warmed up.
There’s something people have been really yearning for in terms of fashion, style, and self expression and we’re helping a whole new generation get fired up about the cultural fusion happening in fashion.
The Chunky Armadillo vibe is about mixing and matching pieces and styles from all over the country. We’re dipping into America’s old fashion roots in the South and the Old West to give a real fusion flavor to what modern Millennial people are wearing out there on the street. Whether it’s Western fringe or Southern boots, we want to pull together something earthy and organic to counter-balance this machine age we all live in.
Every day we’re plugged into this sort of synthetic reality of smartphones and clothes made in bulk by machines. There’s something about technology and industrial culture that squashes the individual and turns us all into walking talking billboards for big brands, wearing the same stuff, saying the same things. Here at Chunky, we’re hoping to capture the nostalgic feel of eras long gone with a down home feel from more rustic stuff in the hope that we can stoke some realhuman vibes. That’s why we love handmade stuff with a creative spin because it has human soul put into it, somethingreal.
There is a kind of Rustic Renaissance going on where people are fascinated by the past, a time before machines and digital networks. We like that. The idea is to take styles from all eras and places with different vibes and bring it all together to show that you love the totality of it, the great empowered feeling of being free, fresh, and alive.
In a way it speaks to the cultural melting pot idea of America and our way of life, even a global culture that’s suddenly merging all together. Like an archaic revival hearkening back to primitive, universal styles and practices that are underlying all cultures. At a deep level, we all want to feel connected and united. Fashion and style can do that for people, especially when it’s a fusion of everybody’s roots.
A lot of style is open to interpretation, so you’re pulling what you like from every region and every time. Just go with your gut and gather what speaks to you. For us, it’s these 4 main styles;
There’s a big trend in old western styles right now and we’re totally okay with that! We’re talking lots of leather, fringe, and turquoise. It’s Western mixed with Native Navajo type of stuff, a mix of American history and the native spirit of this land. Cowboy boots are not really a part of the Western scene because there are still a lot of people wearing them for practical reasons, so it’s not really an artistic choice. But we do love our boots in general, especially with fringe. Chokers are in right now and we carry a few with beautiful stones and bones on them.
Being from Texas, Melanie is a huge fan of this down home feel. This is a softer version of Texas that we’re pushing though. It’s the lace, the snip-toe cowboy boots, and the big flowy fabrics that give you room to breathe. We love celebrating sass and attitude, allowing your real spirit to come out.
LA is a cultural center so there’s a lot of great stuff happening there in the fashion scene. Thanks to where they’re located, they can pull from the Western stuff and give it a more chic, refined look. There you get the leather moccasins, layers of beaded jewelry, and a more Indiana Jones style riding hat. It’s a style that’s organic but still urban chic.
Our heart is really in updating and refreshing old stuff so junk trips and upcycled pieces are near and dear to our hearts. We love the urban spin on trash, a kind of revolt against the way we just use things and throw them out. Back in the day you found ways to get the most long term use out of things, and so you really cared about what you owned and wore, putting love and feeling into it. Reallyowning it. This is totally counter to this disposable culture we live in now where everything is one time use, single serving bullshit you just use and toss out. We say let’s invest in some quality and creativity for a change, instead of just cheap and quick! You might not think so but this attitude of everything being disposable infects not just yourstuff, but also how you interact with people, places, your work, your hobbies, everything. Quality over quantity every day!
“This thing isn’t going away,” says Caressa, one of the sisters driving the style wagon at Chunky Armadillo. “It’s a revolution against the machine! It’s about being real, not disposable, not fake.”
Her sister Melanie agrees, “That’s what a lot of this rustic, vintage appeal is all about. We want some authenticity and REALness to counter-balance the fake, plastic scenery around us. Give me some grit, some grunge, some texture, y’all! Something weathered and aged and molded by human hands. Get that factory line synthetic fabric crap away from me for a change!”
She laughs when she rants like this, of course, because life is beautiful even when it sucks. “But be real, ya know? That’s it. Let’s all be real and let people deal with it.”
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