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Monday, December 6, 2010

Purses are an easy gift .

Every girl in the world owns atleast a few purses.....right? It can't be just me with a closet full. And every girl has her favorite for sure whether it be a conventional over your shoulder purse or a giant [cant find anything in this dang thing] sac. There is something out there for everybody. And here at Vitae we have all those choices and then some.
Happy Holiday Shopping!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Stocking Stuffers!

We have some fun new items at Vitae that would be great to put in your Christmas stockings!

Introducing Shu Shu Maus : a collaborative effort from April Johnson and Sarah Jae.

20's inspired accessories for the outragously reckless scamp in all of us. You'll find hand peiced necklaces, seamed stockings and luxurious and flirty leg garters to hold it all together -also great with your over the knee socks!

The ever-popular (Heart) Iowa pouches from Monster Fashion are here and ready to stuff your stockings!

Flaunt your flair with a feather in your hair...don't quote me on that EVER, but DO check out these Little Pretties feather combs and more from Cara Veeder.

1st Friday Fun! December 3rd

First Friday is tomorrow night from 6-8pm in the East Village. December's much anticipated project: Paper Garlands! Learn to make these colorful keepsakes for the holidays and beyond...bring your own scrapbook paper & Stephanie Bracelin will show you the ropes...or the string or whatever...I'm just in charge of treats (can you say chocolate Kahlua cake??).

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thankful for Fashion

Fashion and the people in Des Moines who support it!
To all of you who have shopped or even browsed our lil boutique in the East Village or back in the day on 17th.....Thank You so very much. And then to all our consignors who without you believing in us we wouldn't even have this lil shop. Thank you for all your wonderful talents and just for being who you all are..who we have luckily gotten to know through our lil journey together.
Now this is sounding like a good bye letter or something...I promise it's not....I am just feeling alittle more great full today then maybe yesterday and I wanna share it. And I really want everyone that has come in our path and helped in any and all ways to know how wonderful they all are...and you know who you are.

Thank you Thank you Thank you!!!!!

Happy Holidays ya'll

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Acanthus Apparel Cyber Monday Sale!

It's official... Holiday shopping has begun! To kick off the season Acanthus Apparel is offering 20% off plus free shipping in the United States on all of the apparel in their Acanthus Etsy store. The sale will begin this Sunday the 28th at 5pm and end Monday at midnight. To receive this special deal just enter the coupon code CYBERMONDAY at check out. Happy Shopping!

Acanthus Apparel Winter 2010

Photography by Karla Conrad of La Bella Photo.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Ode to a Tapestry Bag

I do love me a tapestry bag. Tells a story. Has a history of it's own, that is, when made of vintage textiles. I used to make them...probably will soon & I must say that I'm inspired. They don't make ships like they used to (and that's okay). Sure, there must be artisans making replicas, and that's thrilling in a way, but it's not the same. We're talking about time here. I know, you thought we were talking about a bag.

Tapestries weave a tale. This one is an old linen tea towel. May have been a nice gift - thankfully apparently not used to wipe a lot of dishes. No wear, no fade - a good specimen. Probably from the 1960's and most likely good Irish linen, as gifty towels tended to be. But to me, it's an iconic image of an iconic image - and from this thrice removed perspective, it's quite refreshing. We're so jaded. So busy. To contemplate the journey is the gift here (we're talking about time again). To travel by ship - the danger, the adventure and commitment involved - I can only imagine...for a moment...while I look at this bag. Even the era of the textile itself. Wow, an actual depiction. We not only get the full sail ship, but a sunset. At the moment, you're far more likely to get stylized almost symbol like images. I enjoy the almost cartoony nostalgia we're experiencing in textile design now, but it's good to mix in some authentic stuff, or we are at risk of stylizing our very history. So pause, take the journey - appreciate the sunset and the fact that a real person in America no less, put it on a bag for you. There's only one & it's not even expensive. Go local, go vintage textiles!
Shown: Sailor tote by Pink Revolver $32.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Dress for the Weather - or not

Iowa, I'm convinced, is Native American for "land of confusing weather"...that's okay, today it's a very good thing. We're actually 2 weeks into an amazing "not sucky" weather trend - just when we were all practically contemplating a mass exit. It's kind of an abusive relationship we have going here with Mother Nature - whom we'll call "Rick" for the sake of the we go, it's playing all nice with sunshine kisses and on the weekend even & how did I ever doubt you weather...and the recent blustery brutality is barely behind us & you know another nasty binge of drizzle & gray is in our future....oh, we know, and yet we stay.

There's an event outside our shop today. It's Huge. We're talking thousands of people. It's World Food Prize big - the World Food Festival is an annual celebration of - food . I'm in. Last year it snowed for heaven's sake & right now we're pushing 80 degrees. Great. Iowa, you know I love you,
you twisted freak.

So anyway, today we adapted by throwing on the air conditioning, grabbing all sweaters & coats from the window and put the main mannequin in a one sleeve tropical print frock - symbolic of the confusion of this seasonal mayhem. One sleeve = ready for anything, you'll at least be half comfortable :) I'm actually pretending our little boutique is in a cute little shopping niche in Lahaina or anywhere in Maui...out come the shell necklaces and sunglasses & we're ready for the sunbirds. Everything's beautiful. Sorry, due to technical difficulties I am unable to post my awesome pictures...I'll send you a postcard.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Vitae's 2nd anniversary party/Art Stop featuring Joshua Bowers

It's been two years now everybody! Our lil boutique full of fashion forward and backward goodies has and is going to sustain this little thing they call a recession! We are not going anywhere!
So come and celebrate with us Friday the 24th from 5-9 pm and enjoy new works by Joshua Bowers, cake, cocktails and live music by the Conley brothers. There will also be drawings for our world renown "gag" gifts and a few serious ones too.

Friday and Saturday September 24th and 25th is the annual Art Stop; a two day visual and performing art event. Galleries and artists studios open to the public all over this wonderful little city of ours.
Friday's hours 5-9 pm
Saturday's hours 11-5pm
Hope to see you here!

Brand spanking new Jaytees apparel

Just in, hot off the press and new to our little family; Jaytees apparel. A locally owned and operated t-shirt company by Josh Ansah. Pressed on the most soft as a kitten cotton blend t-shirts you'll ever wanna own. Men and women styles and sizes are available and more will be to come. Come check it out!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Events get you out there!

No, we can't participate in everything...not possible. Sometimes it seems we have 3 invites plus a wedding every time the weekend rolls around. Then comes along a feel-good event that invigorates and inspires a stroll through the village on a sunny afternoon in the company of family and friends...and the vibe is good. Creativity and optimism abound and you realize - not for the first time , that to make a difference sometimes all you have to do is be there. Artisans and entrepreneurs are working hard at things they love and hope you will too.

The East Village Sunday Market Bazaar is an event that celebrates our community at it's core. It's people that make stuff and provide things lovingly and personally as an alternative shopping experience. Soon enough, winter will come & outdoor Fall afternoon events will be but a memory...let's make it a good one...lets make a lot of them while we can! The Bazaar runs every Sunday from 12 to 4pm through Oct. 31st. on E. 5th in the East Village. Many shops are also open, and vendors alternate and vary from week to week. Here at Vitae, we're taking the opportunity to clean out our craft cupboards and closets of accumulated Vintage and kitsch & will be sharing these wares up front on jumble tables on Bazaar Sundays for a special treat!

See you and you and you! Oh, and our First Friday Craft project will be announced soon - but we've got the snack figured out ;) - pumpkin bars!!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Pictures do say a million words! Sorry I dont have any.

Summer, oh the sorrow of it's departure. Tiny summer dress's and strappy lil sandels tucked away in your closet until next year. Oh BUT do they really have to be?

We all know the wonders of leggings and tights and boots [oh my!] Now is the delightful time of year to bust those bad boys out and mix it up! Layering is not going to go away from our midwestern fashion expressions. I do believe it's a national phenomenon!
So ladies dont toss those little flowery frocks in the back of your closets just yet.

You might even want a new one that might be on sale at your locally owned boutiques!!!
Layer those lil numbers with some warmth and you can get another month atleast outta your summer wardrobe.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

New Acanthus Apparel Photos!

We recently did a photo shoot with Karla Conrad of La Bella Photo... here are a few photos of the Acanthus items. Contact Karla at

Purchase Acanthus Apparel items at Vitae, Iron Heart Tattoo in Des Moines and White Rabbit in Iowa City. Also check and to purchase merchandise online.