By Marcie Everhart
One of my favorite places in the world right now is hidden away at the top of a staircase in a 1920s apartment building in the Paseo Arts District in Oklahoma City. The wooden floors creak, sun slants through plenty of windows, thickly layered mixed media artwork lines hallways. A skeleton’s finger points the way to Bone Dust, Oklahoma.
What in the world is sold at a place called Bone Dust? Hand-carved jewelry using the ivory of woolly mammoth tusks at least 10,000 years old; buffalo, bull and steer skulls, and moose antler shed. Vintage clothing carefully curated for country kitsch, in-your-face cowboy machismo, or the sort of craftsmanship that tells a story. And boots. Real, broken-in, weathered, worldly-wise, pre-owned boots. Everything whispers of a colorful former life. You have to have a certain amount of guts to wear Bone Dust; it’s not for the faint of heart.
Owners Jayme Daniel and James Stephens are happy to tell the stories, too… a hand-dyed, flowing caftan obtained from the estate sale of a renowned San Antonio watercolorist just arrived in the store… how hard it is becoming to find the high-quality, leather cowboy boots in the second-life market… the thrilling work of top designers-purveyors working in Texas to upcycle found fashion into a whimsical, romantic, saucy new life… highly competitive encounters while picking the bins in the war zone that the thrifts have become.
Jayme is the original Bone Dust Cowgirl whose background includes vignettes as a farm girl in Pottawatomie County, Oklahoma; a young buyer sent to market to get the edgy stuff for her fashion retail employer, and an eager-to-absorb-everything employee of Origins in Santa Fe, regarded as one of the top ten boutiques in the world. These experiences have informed and influenced her unique aesthetic. She met her perfect match in James, who began whittling and carving as a young boy in Oklahoma and Idaho. He is part Cherokee, and his grandmother was a famous powwow cook. Moose antler is his primary medium, and his work is valued all over the world for its smooth surfaces and tight jewel inlays.
The bulk of their sales is out of state, primarily in Texas obviously, and more specifically at a large outdoor antiques show held twice a year near Round Top, TX, where they consistently sell out to a loyal following. The closer to the ground, the better Jayme and James like it, but they do online sales through their website as well. I stalked them on Facebook and Instagram a while before venturing into the place, and then the featured garment I lusted was already gone. Move fast. That’s my advice. Listen to your heart.
Both Bone Dust and The Purple Loft art gallery located directly below Bone Dust have been named in the Top Five of their respective categories in The Oklahoman’s Readers’ Choice selections for 2017. (The final winners will be announced in a special section of the newspaper August 27.)
Some of My Treasures Dug Up at Bone Dust
The Long Tang Jacket
The Green 100% Cabretta Leather Jacket
The Cream Boots
Seen in a previous Forever 51 post here: https://forever51blog.com/2017/05/20/marcie-new-mexico-part-1-got-to-get-behind-the-mule/
The Striped 1970s Polyester Double-Knit Shirt-Jacket
Seen in a previous Forever 51 post here: https://forever51blog.com/2017/06/14/marcie-cat-woman/
Treasures Dug Up by Others on Instagram
Vintage Levi’s and an awesome sun hat…
Bone Dust logo t-shirt…
A slinky caftan…
If you are looking for one-of-a-kind things that hum and buzz with awakened memories of the hunt, the hunger, and the satisfaction of life experienced a long time ago, this is the special place.
Instagram Viewer: http://www.instagir.com/location/16841782/BonedustOklahoma
The Real-Real Behind the Scenes
James’s fine detail work. Primitive, bold, natural, real.
The Real-Real Behind the Scenes Part 2
Upcycling in our fast-fashion world is becoming HUGE, led by women for women, offering a beautiful, sentimental place where women bond. Jayme mentioned Spellbound Collections to me, and I wanted to share their Instagram with you.
Another home decor designer working Round Top caught my eye, Peacock Park Design, and she made a delightful video of her experiences at Round Top, which she describes as “food for her soul.” Yes, found items can feel like food for the soul in a market flooded with cheap imported goods.
Jayme tells me if you ever make the trek to the big show at Round Top, make sure to see this place… the Rancho Pillow Motel.
A Little Background Music
(To listen to as you read the post and look at the outfits, like a bonus track!)
Everyone in this video is wearing a bandanna. That’s because everyone in this video is trying to be cool, in a 1980s European way, lol. (I apologize in advance, cuz you know there’s gonna be hair-whipping.) VIVE LA BANDANNA. And carpe diem. SEIZE the day, friends.