Erin Tavin opened Tavin Boutique in 2009 in Echo Park. A colorful modern day gypsy caravan of a shop, Tavin carries vintage clothing from Victorian-era pieces through to present day, with most notably a strong collection of 1960s and 70s pieces. Tavin specializes in vintage bohemian and Gypset lifestyle clothing with an earthy bohemian and romantic vibe. We spoke with Erin about inspiration, art and travel.
What is your background and how have your past experiences fed into your art?
I grew up in NYC and was always surrounded by so much amazing art. I used to Rollerblade to the Met! And I also spent so much time people watching at cafes in the city and that GREATLY influenced my viewpoint. New York was fabulous to watch from a young girl’s eyes! We went to Studio 54 and Danceteria to dance after school and that was a crazy wild visual feast. I was also an actress for many years and spent much of my time in NYC in the theater – I trained as an actress for a long time and I was always very interested and involved in the clothing being worn and was always intrigued by period pieces and how they mixed with the modern to create something really beautiful with a very strong voice. I also eventually married a man who had a circus troop as a career which fed into my love of whimsy and Fellini-like images. My love of clothing has both a very earthy feeling and also strongly bohemian feeling, really a mix of many things I grew up around and loved.
Do you feel that your environment feeds into work and if so, what makes your work distinctively Californian?
People always come in the shop and say its very Topanga Canyon 1960-1970’s, and it makes them feel very nostalgic and thoughtful. Also many people think because of the Topanga/ Big Sur vibe that I am really from California. I have been influenced to be sure by places up the coast like Big Sur and so much California reading that I have done, like the Beats generation, Esalen and the early music scene going on here in Laurel Canyon and in San Fran that I cant help but be influenced by it. Los Angeles has a very particular vibe, and I think I just was able to plug into that without thinking too much about it – it just came very naturally to me. I also resonate strongly with that time in CA when people lived on communes and on the land. I am completely attracted to these images and stories that I have collected and now so many years later we are all so attracted to it, going back to what really matters most.
What are your top 3 studio essentials?
ha ha (5)
a steamer !
a good clear eye (of color patterns and shapes )