Okay, so this has nothing to do with either beauty or fashion, but > THIS < is a) amusing and b) accurate and is a handy guide for any fellow English people – or indeed anyone at all – who intend to visit this wonderful city. Plus it references Westport more than once and so is therefore on point, correct?
Sitting proudly on the bustling arts and crafts arena that is 39th Street, Retro Vixen is very much as it sounds – a boutique for all things pin up and retro, with a specific focus on the ’50s.
Retro Vixen opened in June 2010, and is the brainchild of California native Melissa Evans. It runs small lines of new, but vintage inspired brand lines – including, among others, Sourpuss and Monkey Wrench, long time favorites of anamericaninwestport – complete with a full range of accessories for the full head-to-toe look with the Lux de Ville line of handbags being particularly inspiring.
Retro Vixen’s range – in true 50’s style – is heavy on polka dots and floral and also on circle and pencil skirts.
plus matching accessories from fascinators and fingerless gloves to uber-cute clutches, wedges and let’s not forget the obligatory Mary Janes.
But their line isn’t all just swing style, they carry a cute line of high waisted retro bikinis and also some very fetching and modern garter belts and hosiery
(All images courtesy of the Retro Vixen Facebook page)
Located at 1620 W 39th St Retro Vixen is open from Tuesday to Friday 11:00 to 18:00 and on Saturday from 12:00 to 18:00. It is closed on Sundays and Mondays. Their website can be seen here and you can also find them on Facebook.
Phone:  561 1525
While the Plaza has seen some stores move out – farewell Pottery Barn, you shall be missed, and welcome back to Westport Blanc Burger – 2014 saw the arrival on the Plaza of Baldwin Denim. In fact Baldwin Denim has opened not one, but two stores in Kansas City, the other being in Leawood. Founder and owner, Matt Baldwin originally had a boutique in KC back in 2003 after getting a degree in apparel manufacturing from the prestigious FIDM. Through running this boutique, Matt realized that there was a gap in the market for a modern, uptempo, American denim brand and so, in 2009, he began Baldwin Denim. Originally starting out with very limited-run capsule collections, Baldwin Denim has gone from strength to strength with Matt himself being recognized by in 2013 as one of the menswear designers of the year by GQ Magazine and has grown to include sportswear and a women’s wear collection. Unfortunately anamericaninwesport was not able to get pulls so we are lacking in images, but the full collection can be viewed here.
While some people may baulk at paying $298 for sweatpants, the Baldwin design ethic of fit and fabric runs through the entire line with particular emphasis to detail – Anamericaninwestport considers the pocket pullover and the Rivington pants being particularly outstanding. This season’s palette is fairly muted – mainly blues (obviously) and is heavy with grays and off white/oatmeal; the exceptions being the Henley Chord pant which comes in a rich burgundy and the tiniest splash of camouflage print. Prices range from about $150 to $235 for jeans, with tanks and t-shirts in the $60 range: not budget by any means but, at the same time, not out of the range of all but the deepest of pockets.
BALDWIN ON THE PLAZA
340 W 47th Street 64112
PHONE:  312 2375
BALDWIN IN LEAWOOD
4573 W. 119th St. 66209
PHONE:  312 2382
One thing that was introduced to Anenglishmaninwesport while residing in London was the curious American phenomenon known as rollerderby. This is a full contact, all female game played on skates where two teams have one person – a jammer – who tries to lap the opposing defenders – blockers, scoring a point for each person they pass in a series of jams. All done on roller skates! Crazy.
A little research shows that Kansas City does have a roller derby team – the Kansas City Roller Warriors. More than that, they were world – yes world – champions in 2007 and coming 4th in 2011 and are still ranked in the world top 20. Good stuff, Kansas City. Not only do they have a national interleague travel team, they also have four home teams, who play against each other, round robin, every season for an intraleague title. It seems that rollerderby is quite the hipster sport – and massively popular worldwide. So we decided to get in touch. They very kindly sent us some of the shirts they currently use to promote both their league and their individual teams.
(Support local roller derby and the current KCRW fan shirt)
The Dreadnought Dorothys (2005 to 2010 champs) will be playing the Victory Vixens (2011 champs) in the third/fourth playoff.
The Black Eye Susans will be taking on current champions, the Knockouts in the 2014 Rink of Fire championship game.
They also kindly told me that the Kansas City Roller Warriors are the third oldest established team in existence, having formed in 2004 and are having their Season 10 Championship – called Rink of Fire – at the Municipal Center on Saturday April 19th. We shall be there, it looks rather fun. For those who are interested, you can find out all about the Warriors here.