Meet Your New Favorite Instagrammer

by:   |   Apr 7 2014

Insta Stars

Chain clothing stores are packed with fake-vintage leather vests and boho dresses that’ll make you (sort of) look like you were a biker chick during the ’60s and ’70s, even if you were only born while Clinton was in office. But Michelle Blomstedt‘s parents were real-deal Cali bikers during the age of Altamont and Woodstock, and they had the giant choppers, skin-tight denim, and tough-ass attitudes to prove it. And Michelle’s got a ridiculously awesome collection of photos of them and their amazing friends; she compiled all the shots into a 2011 book called Life on Wheels. But it’s not just her parents’ style that we’re sweating—Michelle’s Instagram account (apsychedelicsister) is a collection of shots of macrame, her outrageously sick vintage finds, sleazy 70s throwback images, and her gorgeous Persian cat, Meena. In short, we have the biggest girl boner for her. So we asked Michelle to let us get all up in her business, and made her tell us everything she knows. Read on for all the dirt.

 

GAL: First off, your cat Meena gives such good face. What a beauty! What’s she like in person?

M: Meena is a bit of a diva: she demands attention, but everything is on her terms. She won’t let anyone touch her but me and my boyfriend, who I think she has a big crush on. She loves peanut butter, chasing shadows, begs like a dog if you are eating poultry, and has a foot fetish. She has the biggest personality of any cat I’ve ever had, and I’m completely obsessed with her.

Mena

 

GAL: What was it like growing up inside biker culture? How did your parents first get involved, and how did it affect your childhood?

M: My parents met each other in 1967 at a party in San Mateo, when they were both 19 years old. At that time, my dad was a bike-builder and considering becoming a Hells Angel and he’d take my mother to clubhouse parties. She became a part of the motorcycle scene when she got involved with him, then I was born two years later. In the early 1970s, before my dad had his own shop, he built motorcycles in the garage at our house. So there were always bikers coming and going which, after a while, didn’t make my mother very happy, since she was trying to raise a small child. Eventually my dad opened up a shop in Redwood City, and spent a majority of his time there so I rarely ever saw him. I was so young back then, and I don’t really remember much, but I do recall always sitting on and touching and playing near the bikes. Sometimes I’d tag along with him to his shop, about the time I was in kindergarten and first grade. Then my parents separated around 1978, and I didn’t see or hear from my father again for almost 20 years. I’ve been told some pretty crazy stories over the years from family members and eventually my dad, when we reunited several years ago. Of course, I’ve drilled him for stories and raided his photographs from those years. I love listening to my aunt talk about the time her and my uncle went to Altamont. If my mother wasn’t about to give birth to me, her and my dad would have been there for sure.

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GAL: There’s a photo of your mom from the 1980s on your Insta that looks exactly like you—it’s got some killer macrame and your signature wicker peacock chair in the background. Did she have a big influence on your style?

M: Yeah absolutely, especially the older I get, I find myself taking after her more and more. She had great style and was very creative and great at making things, which I’ve also done throughout the years, either with knitting or selling photography.  She used to wear Dittos and Chemin de Fer jeans and tight novelty tees in the ’70s and ’80s with high wooden clogs. In high school, I used to sneak into her closet and wear her clothes because I loved them so much. About 10 or so years ago, I found myself living in flared bottom jeans, tight T-shirts and clogs, just like she had worn in her early thirties. Funny I hadn’t really thought about it, but I was completely mirroring her style.

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GAL: What are some of your other style obsessions or influences?

M: The 60’s and 70’s are definitely my favorite decades for music and fashion. I’ll always have a strong attachment to the ’70s, since that’s when was a child. I can remember riding around in my moms friend Gayle’s White Trans Am listening to Fleetwood Mac and thinking Stevie Nicks was a goddess and I died for her hair.  As a teenager I would listen to my moms Jimi Hendrix and Doors records religiously, then it was Bad Company, Deep Purple and the Allman Brothers. I’d fantasize about growing up when when she did prancing around Haight Street wearing fringe vests and little hippie dresses that she sewed herself. Since both my parents were born and raised in San Francisco and were a part of the counter culture going to see shows at the Fillmore and Winterland as well as being in the motorcycle scene it’s had such a profound influence on who I am style wise. I do really like a bohemian look so peasant blouses, lace up knee boots, crocheted ponchos and flowy dresses are pretty much my wardrobe staples along with tons of tshirsts and black denim. I used to be a giant shoe fanatic; I adore Terry DeHavilland and Fred Slatten platforms but now that I’m an old broad and can’t walk in 5” heels, I live in mocassins or ankle boots unless I’m going to get fancied up to go out, then I’m all about my Anna Sui dresses and knee boots.  Then there’s also my obsession with Swedish clogs; that started about 20 years ago and I will never stop wearing them, now they’ve become so fashionable in the states there are so many great clogs out there.

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GAL: Can you tell us more about your book, Life on Wheels?

M: I made Life on Wheels in 2011 when I discovered a self publishing book website called Blurb. After being estranged from my dad for many years and reuniting with him in 2006 I borrowed a bunch of his old motorcycle photographs that included images of me as a baby that I had never seen before as well as ones of he and my mother. I spent several months scanning the photos and restoring the ones that were damaged and on one rainy weekend I sat and created the book for fun with about 30 of my favorite photos I had obtained from both my parents throughout the years. I failed to notice an option to sell the book openly to the public until one day a guy in Italy did a blog posting about me and my book, then I started getting emails from people asking how they could purchase it. Shortly after that I went on the site and I set the prices to make a small profit each time a copy of the book sells, the books are printed and shipped directly to the buyer and then at the end of the month they send me a paymentI’m working on doing a larger version of the book and will probably get a bunch of copies printed up and try and peddle them myself rather than having a website do it all.

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4457f4dcf5a411e2babb22000a1e868c_7GAL: You’ve had issues with people grabbing your family photos and using them on their sites—is this something that motivated you to start making your book?

M: I actually made the book more as a photo album for myself, after I got a handful of photos from my dad when we reconnected in 2006. But since my photos having been popping up on various social-media sites more and more over the last couple of years, I contacted The U.S. Copyright Office at the Library of Congress, and had about 50 photographs copyrighted. So now these images are all protected.

GAL: We saw that you were selling some of your 70s-era Easyriders, Penthouse, and Playboy mags online. How did you start your collection?

M: I volunteered at a thrift store for six years, so that really fed my appetite for collecting, especially during a time that I was deep in credit-card debt. After paying my rent and bills, I didn’t have much leftover to buy anything, and the thrift store paid me in trade. So since I worked in the back, I got first dibs on the most amazing stash ever. I brought home lots of porn mags from large donations, and a girlfriend of mine in Detroit would send me old Easyriders mags from some crazy old book dude she knew.

MagsGAL: Being the freaky ladies that we are, we wanted to ask: You posted a photo a while back of a guy licking your roller skate. What is the story on that?

M: Oh man, that photo was taken in 2002. I was on a date with this guy that was a heavy metal journalist—we went out drinking and then came back to my apartment to watch Xanadu, a film both he and I were obsessed with. During the film, I decided it would be fun to put my roller skates on, and that drove him nuts!

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GAL: Who are some of your favorite “grown ass ladies,” women with killer style and attitude?

M: Pam Grier, Jane Birkin, Stevie Nicks, Barbara Hulanicki (the founder of the British department store/clothing line Biba), and Vivienne Westwood.

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