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OUT WITH THE OLD AND IN WITH THE NEW... TO YOU!

MAKING THE CASE FOR VINTAGE & SUSTAINABILITY IN THE NEW YEAR

While taking some much needed R&R over the holidays, I started making some keen observations about my past year’s spending. I began to realize that running Neutral Ground had become more than a business. It was actually influencing my lifestyle. Sustainability, a big current day buzzword, was seeping into how I purchased everything. 

Now, one might think that being a vintage and designer curator, I’d be the sustainability queen. But in all honesty, my initial take on wearing pre-owned pieces had more to do with style and not being a follower than it did with the environment. It also had to do with my opinion that a level of craftsmanship and quality was missing in modern day wear.

The detailing on this  Geoffrey Beene silk twill dress  is impeccable. You don’t find self covered buttons and welt buttonholes in typical garments anymore.

The detailing on this Geoffrey Beene silk twill dress is impeccable. You don’t find self covered buttons and welt buttonholes in typical garments anymore.

Yet, as I delved deeper into this work last year, I began to realize so much more about the fashion industry and the waste and exploitation that goes into mass production. 

When I went on buying trips, far too often I’d come across fairly new pieces from H&M, Forever 21 and similar fast fashion chains promoted as “vintage”. Not only is there nothing vintage about an item produced and discarded in less than a year, the majority of these items are cheaply produced on the backs of poorly paid women and children in developing countries. 

So while seeking items for personal wear, I started making a concerted effort to buy vintage and pre-owned from people whose taste I admired. Or, I’d purchase interesting pieces from small, local makers. I was meeting so many at the pop-ups I was participating in, I felt like a new and exclusive world was opening up to me. I also felt a personal connection to these creatives and was delighted to support them. 

Oversized knit cardigan from SF shop  Relove  and  Ungaro blouse  and Missoni pants from Neutral Ground.

Oversized knit cardigan from SF shop Relove and Ungaro blouse and Missoni pants from Neutral Ground.


Then slowly this ethic started seeping into items I’d buy for my home, my skin and beauty products, and the gifts I’d purchase for family and friends.

A roundup of some items I gifted this holiday from small female business owners. (Clockwise from the top)- A  Sseko  purse from  Alyce on Grand , the Unity tee from  Owl n Wood  and an  Unoeth  leather tote.

A roundup of some items I gifted this holiday from small female business owners. (Clockwise from the top)- A Sseko purse from Alyce on Grand, the Unity tee from Owl n Wood and an Unoeth leather tote.


All of this to say, through my work I am slowly becoming more of the person I want to be in this world- someone who recognizes style and social responsibility can work hand and hand.

So I challenge you to make a statement this year through sustainability. Be it in your wardrobe, your home, the products you use on your body, the foods you consume-  they can be both beautifully unique and beneficial for our world.

XO- Alysha

WEEKENDS OF WINE AND WHIMSY

It’s my very first Neutral Ground blog post and with summer on the horizon, talking about weekend getaways felt a great starting point. One of my new favorite pastimes since moving to the bay area is whiling away weekends in wine country, and this past weekend marked the kickoff.

 

As a recovering NY-er now settled in Oakland, it never ceases to amaze me how easy it is to escape the city. In a matter of clicking your heels, or an hour give or take, you can find yourself squarely planted at a northern California winery.  The fresh air, the heat, the wine- I’m here for all of it!

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So we took a mini break this weekend and headed up to Napa for the day. The towns of Yountville and St. Helena were our on the agenda and we had a little bit of fun snapping pics while we were there. Funny enough, wine didn’t make it into any of our pics. Go figure!

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Photos taken at  Mini Model Bakery  in Yountville where the iced coffee and homemade English muffins are a must. My sleeveless dress, leather belt and  Charles Jourdan slides  were too!

Photos taken at Mini Model Bakery in Yountville where the iced coffee and homemade English muffins are a must. My sleeveless dress, leather belt and Charles Jourdan slides were too!


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In the Yountville "town square" we came across this sculptural piece. The  ivory charmeuse slip dress , flamenco scarf and Marni shoes seemed appropriate! 

In the Yountville "town square" we came across this sculptural piece. The ivory charmeuse slip dress, flamenco scarf and Marni shoes seemed appropriate! 


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Time for more lightweight  satin  with layers. Here I opted for a  belly dancing skirt  worn as both a skirt and shawl. Even with show stopping pieces, you can have versatility!

Time for more lightweight satin with layers. Here I opted for a belly dancing skirt worn as both a skirt and shawl. Even with show stopping pieces, you can have versatility!


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These last shots were taken at  Hall , one of my favorite wineries in St. Helena. The tall guy on the left gets all the photo credit:)))) #photoshootover #thanksforbeingagoodsport

These last shots were taken at Hall, one of my favorite wineries in St. Helena. The tall guy on the left gets all the photo credit:)))) #photoshootover #thanksforbeingagoodsport


To find these these looks and more like them, please visit our shop.

We had a great time showing you some of our favorite pieces out and about in the world. If you have pics enjoying yourself in Neutral Ground, please share them!  Post them on IG using #shopneutralground 

Can't wait to see you all dressed up!

XO- Alysha