Saturday, April 6, 2013

Closet Envy: Tessa Morehouse

We'll start off with Tessa Morehouse, a designer for Plenty by Tracy Reese and a vintage collector extraordinaire. From the moment you step into her apartment in Washington Heights, you're bombarded with kitsch of the best kind — trinkets from all over the world, decorative plates, even taxidermy (a personal hobby of hers).

"My mom would take me to thrift stores where we would buy old flower-girl dresses, sequined tube tops, and vintage hats and accessories for me to play with," Morehouse says of her early days. "I had a huge box of these things and cherished the different people I could become. My mother tells me that I wouldn’t let her choose my outfits, and I always had to change clothes at least three times a day!"

Morehouse learned early never to throw anything away — with her future children's interests in mind, of course: "I mean, who really wants to hear about their mom’s fringed, suede miniskirt and matching suede boots bought on Carnaby Street in the '60s...that she got rid of? Not me, it’s heartbreaking!" 

Plus, her taste hasn't changed much. "I own a lot of jewelry and shoes. I’ve worn the same size shoe since I was 10, so I racked up a lot of shoes. Thankfully, I’ve moved past the jelly sandals, but wish I still had those Dr. Martens!" Don't we all, though? 

In addition to her work for Tracy Reese, Morehouse also designs vintage-inspired cocktail hats — you can see a few of these fascinating toppers, embellished with everything under the sun, up top next to her boxes of fabric and magazine cutouts. 

Aside from a few high-end items (ahem, Miu Mius and Manolos), most of Morehouse's stuff comes from thrift stores. "I feel like I don’t go shopping all that often, but I guess that can’t be true, looking at my closet. I like to go to the flea markets and hit up my thrift stores once or twice a month."

Words to live by? "Will I be thinking about this for months to come if I don’t buy it now? If the answer is yes, I buy it.”

This is Miss Chase. She was watching over our photo shoot, as Morehouse shared amazing stories of her many trinkets, like the anonymous dental mold gifted by a hermit she was determined to befriend — and who remains a great pal to this day. 

Though Morehouse's home is surprisingly organized (or at least, it was when we stopped by...), she admits cleaning is a bit of a rare occasion. "If it were up to my hoarding side, I would never clean out my closet," she says. "But my more rational brain — the part of me that wants to be able to breathe in my room — has coerced my friend Amy to be my designated closet helper. It’s a truly valuable friend who knows your style and gets you completely, who will also give you their weekend to help you organize, gently nudging you to get rid of things, and who will let you cry on their shoulder when you finally decide to get rid of something." 

Content: Courtesy of Refinery 29

post signature

1 comment:

  1. I think I could die happy in her apartment.... She's one of those people that I would really love to meet.