Kitschy Valentine Vintage Airstream Photoshoot
I had an amazing opportunity to photograph at a 1965 Caraval Airstream travel trailer. This thing is so dang cute! I knew right away that I wanted to create Valentine’s Day theme photos. There’s something romantic and magical about exploring the country in an Airstream with the one(s) you love! A vintage RV or trailer is definitely on my personal wish list of stuff I want so badly I ache.
There’s something romantic and magical about exploring the country in an Airstream with the one(s) you love
Since I don’t have a midcentury Airstream travel trailer, I borrowed one from A Social and Co! It’s a Tucson (Arizona) based business own by Margarita Potts GoDiva. One aspect of the business offers folks the opportunity to rent vintage Airstreams for photos and events. How cool is that? Conveniently, Margarita is a celebrity hair and makeup artist, so she is available for this as well! I didn’t get my hair and makeup done. I feel I need to say this because I’m positive I would have looked a lot more chic if Margarita worked her magic. To read more about what Margarita offers, read here. Renting an Airstream is game changer I definitely recommend.
Airstreams scream Americana, don’t they? Their iconic silver aluminum shell has been in production since the 1930s. A design that stands the test of time. One day I’ll have one! Before relocating to Tucson, I heavily researched living in an RV or Skoolie and traveling the country indefinitely. We were THIS close to doing it, but then we found ourselves in Tucson, Arizona. This very well could happen for us in the future. Who knows?
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Pink Flamingos & Airstreams Are a Mood
You cannot get much more of an iconic midcentury travel trailer than a genuine vintage Airstream. Of course, I love vintage and kitsch. Since the Airstream itself is so iconic, just a few props were needed. I used an AstroTurf rug, two pink flamingos (I added heart eye stickers!), heart balloons, and little dollar store heart decor (I used a suction cup hook to hang on the window). Although I definitely see myself as a maximalist in design, I just didn’t want to detract from the Airstream. There is something about a shiny hunk of aluminum on wheels that is already extra af. At the end of this blog post, I list alternatives to the decor used in this photo.
Initially, my concept was to have both Kevin and I have a heart shaped balloon tied around our wrists. Think: little child at an amusement park. In my head it was so cute. But the wind had another idea. We literally had to control the balloons with our hand to keep from smacking ourselves in the face with them and eventually just tied them up.
I generally don’t like impermanent objects. Ephemeral fun has kind of a tragic feel.
I never really thought of myself as a balloon person. I generally don’t like impermanent objects. Ephemeral fun has kind of a tragic feel. Aside from the long lasting environmental impact of a short lived balloon, you have a floating object that when pops makes children cry. You won’t see me with balloons on my blogiversary. I have to admit, I see the allure now. I am about 5 years late for this trend, but ok I get it. Except I just learned about the helium shortage that has been going on for the past few years. I even learned the helium shortage affected, at times, the silver balloon clouds at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh. Jokingly, I blamed blogger and IG culture on the helium shortage, though certainly it is more sinister.
Our Valentine Inspired Outfits
I was really going for a Gucci ‘The Ritual’ aesthetic for the couple photos, like I did here. As usual, I wanted a fresh take on vintage silhouettes. I definitely didn’t want my outfit to feel the same age as the 1965 Airstream.
I think of plaid as an unexpected, kind of an unromantic pattern for Valentine’s Day.
As for my first look, I knew I wanted a plaid suit. I think of plaid as an unexpected, kind of an unromantic pattern for Valentine’s Day. Tartans are usually reserved for other holidays like Christmas or St. Patrick’s Day. There is something so vintage chic about a plaid suit. If the plaid is right (and this one is) it could be from any decade between 1950s-2020s (or even before). For instance, couldn’t you see Cher from Clueless in this? Total Clueless vibes. Cher and Dionne forever.
This suit is a Betsey Johnson X Torrid collab. It’s about time Betsey Johnson designed an iconic plus size line! I wanted this suit immediately and waited too long to purchase it. I dawdled and missed it! So I snagged Torrid’s last skirt in my size and bought the blazer on Poshmark. I’m always into designer collabs. Here’s a post I did with Anna Sui X ModCloth dress.
I paired the plaid suit with a textured red knit Normandie mock neck from my favorite designer, Tamara Malas. Tamara Malas, as a designer, is very strong conceptually and it’s almost as if she took cues from vivid fever dreams and reinvented colors, silhouettes, and textures. Everything is like a blurry brilliant day dream of a classic clothing item. I find really refreshing, almost as if reinventing the past. I wore knee highs in a non matchy pink for an unexpected twist. These are from We Love Colors. My shoes are genuine 1970s vintage. Lots of gold jewelry which is a mix of vintage and new.
For Kevin, I suggested to him to wear our vintage red plaid suit jacket. I say “our” because we actually share this blazer. We both meant to each wear it around Christmas, but kind of unsurprisingly we both forgot. Listen it’s a pandemic and we’re always deep in a creative project or ten. He paired the red plaid blazer with a vintage top, pants and loafers. I’ve been on his case to get vintage loafers for a decade, at least. He finally got a pair and is now a believer!
Valentine Look Number Two
For my second Valentine’s look, I wore the same Tamara Malas mock-neck and a Tamara Malas Dilan tulle skirt. It is so cute. I also wore this look for Christmas. It is so good I had to wear it again. I paired it with Marks and Spencer off white block heel booties. Honestly, Valentine’s Day aesthetic is about the color palette, isn’t it?!
Interior Airstream Photos
The interior of this 1965 Airstream Caraval travel trailer is an intact vintage kitchenette. I about died. We didn’t plan to do any interior shots, but haaaaad to and I think the interior photos turned out better than these ones. The shots you are unprepared for usually turn out the best. It was a dream to photograph in. I will post the photos on the blog in February.
What You Need to Decorate a Vintage Airstream for Valentine’s Day
- Pink Flamingos: I used these pink flamingos, but if you want truly authentic midcentury get these Featherstone pink flamingos!
- AstroTurf Rug: I used this, but they are pretty shabby. I would use this next time.
- Valentine Decor: Go to the Dollar Tree! Seriously! Best for this stuff. This heart tinsel looks similar and perhaps better than what I used.
I have a lot to share with you in the next few weeks first. For one, I decorated a Valentine’s Day tree and handmade decorations and garland. To be honest, I was anti-Valentine’s Day tree, so I challenged myself to decorate one I liked. It’s not as if my social life or travel plans are bumping in this era of Covid.
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