Shae and I are are fellow history-obsessives and appreciate the beauty of handmade things. We might have known each other in another life, circa late 19th century Europe or America. We were ahead of our time in that we could easily be male or female when we dressed, only she was a boy and I was a man. Shae slides from suspenders, Amish hats and plaid shorts to delicate cotton dresses with eight million buttons like the Bronte sisters, who published under men’s pen names. Equally dual and passionate in our aesthetic, I have succumbed to safety pins when my Edwardian lace blouses and bustled men’s jackets tear. I am so desperate to wear what probably should be on a wall, like Shae’s treasures are.
It’s not a surprise that Shae feels like she was born in the wrong era, with a mom who hoards Victorian sofas and has nine in one room. Shae has been creating her own stories with her clothes since she was seven, wearing bloomers, vintage ’50s dresses and bonnets to kindergarten with her pail and chalkboard in toe. Still in bloomers, today her themes have evolved into a more eclectic palate of mixing 1900s vintage slips, jackets from Pride and Prejudice, Afghany belts and corsets from every decade of the last two centuries. Her modeling agency might have found her too edgy and quirky, but Shae has found a way to channel her visionary anecdotes with a burgeoning career as a fantasy photographer.