I ran into Chelsea Bashford earlier this month and perused her pop up Forever Stranger that she had at Dateline. Every item that she carried was a true treasure that brought back memories. Chelsea and I have known each other from around town, but now we actually get to spend some together as she pops up at our Fashion Denver 13th Anniversary Bonanza!
What inspired your pop up?
Forever Stranger is about creating an environment where people can find clothing soulmates and play dress up. It all started in my living room where I’d invite everyone over to listen to music and try on clothing. It was fun. It was weird. People loved it.
Since then Ive had pop up shops in a variety of space including galleries, venues, and DIY Spaces in Denver, Austin, and Los Angeles and it’s always a great time.
What inspires what you carry in your collection and where do you find your goods?
All of the items found in our pop up shops are recycled and re-vamped and typically thrifted. We are inspired by artists, musicians, and fashion forward folks and their need for something different. In our constant battle against “Fast Fashion” we are always looking for one of a kind pieces people can fall in love with that will last for years. Sequins, 60s and 70’s denim, wild patterns, and vintages tees are staples in our collection. We also find homes for “imperfect” items that show their history through fading, fraying, etc. but are perfectly worn-in and unique.
What was your first memory of your love for fashion?
6th grade I realized I could thrift men’s slacks for 99 cents and went wild. My friends and I called our new found fashion statement “old-man pants” and paired them with our favorite pop punk tees. I loved that something as simple as a pair of pants could declare our rebellion visually in an otherwise conservative suburban neighborhood. My personal style has changed through the years as I continually fall and re-fall in love with the expressive power of fashion: It’s magic!
What are your thoughts on the Colorado fashion scene?
Colorado is a unique blend of technical gear (gotta love our outdoor activities) savvy thrifters and influences from other cities. I like to think we’re the central location where West Coast meets East Coast and has the cutest little fashion baby.
What is one of your most treasured finds?
I found a hat once i affectionally named “Swanie”. Swanie was fluffy blue in color and absolutely ridiculous, I wore it every day for a whole summer despite my friends protest/embarrassment. It’s important not to take fashion too seriously, It should be FUN!
3 things if stranded on an island?
Sunscreen, a copy of David Foster Wallace’s “Infinite Jest” (maybe then I’d finish it), and my favorite Hawaiian print muumuu.