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“I got this black velvet purse (above) downtown at Cheve’s about five years ago. It was one of my first vintage purchases. The brand is Garay, and it was a company established in the 1940s that used a wood interior for all its purses. I wear it any and every time I go out on the town, but it’s on its last legs, and that makes me sad. I also collect vintage hats, like this Jackie O inspired pillbox with a veil I bought on Etsy (below) and a skull brooch I also bought on Etsy, that I wore at my wedding.”

Dea Bernal, a nail technician at Polished Elegance Nail Salon, draws inspiration for her quirky, artistic style from a variety of sources: burlesque acts, vampy pinups, Mexican folk art, music. But at the end of the day, the thing I love about Bernal is that she is absolutely, completely and unapologetically herself. She lives life on her own terms, dresses in ways that make her comfortable and express her unique personality.

Style icons: “I would say Dita Von Teese, number one. She is a burlesque icon, very old Hollywood in modern time, very Jackie O on the downtime. I love all of that, the Betty Page pinup look. I love anything old glam, as you can see. I’d have to say that my style has been influenced a lot by music,
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from metal to rockabilly to punk and, in recent years, I’ve gotten more into the softer side, like reggae, and I love more mellow things, like Devil Doll Lana Del Rey. Another style icon I have to mention is Prince, for gender bending, shiny, shiny glamour. So awesome. I guess you could say, in a nutshell, my style is all over the place.”

Celebrity wardrobes you’d like to raid: “Again, Dita Von Teese. I can’t think of anyone else. I’m in love with burlesque dancing in general, a celebration of women’s figures, and I would love to be a burlesque dancer one day. That’s one of my all time dreams. The first time I ever heard of Dita was when she married Marilyn Manson. I’ve loved her ever since then, and I keep up with her, follow her on Instagram. I’m originally from Chicago, like she is, and I would love to go there and see a show with her in it.”

Best Place to Snap Up a Fashion Bargain: “Any local mom and pop thrift shop. You know, when Cheve’s was here, I would raid it every other week. I go out to Gracie’s Finds also. The last time I really went shopping for vintage clothing was at a thrift shop in Quemado about a year ago.”
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