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Photographer Emily Alben Gives Vintage Glamour on the Daily

Welcome to Style Crush, a new biweekly feature that shines a light on LA's best-dressed rising stars.

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We're not sure if it was the perfectly winged eyeliner, cute coiff, enviable curves, or the fact that this brainy beauty is a Sarah Lawrence grad (okay all of the above) but we can admit that we pretty much fell for photographer Emily Alben upon first sight. Of her Instagram that is—even her handle "CoffeeAndCherryPie" is giving Twin Peaks-era Sherilyn Fenn vibes. Did we mention that her wardrobe is packed with a seemingly endless supply of mint vintage goods? Total girl crush material.

This self-proclaimed roving woman splits her time doing photography (she has a special penchant for analog), working at a gallery in DTLA, shooting/planning events with local female deejay collective Honey Power, and dabbling in video direction (she recently shot one for Pouty, Rachel Gagliardi of Slutever's solo project). The LA-born, Seattle-bred babe recently shared with us where she gets dresses even Joan Holloway would covet, what's on her current must-have list, and the kick-ass female film characters she worships.

Tell us about your outfit:

I have to physically and mentally restrain myself from buying vintage green floral dresses. It's so weirdly specific, but my eye is always drawn to them! This one might be my favorite though, and I found it for $5 at Hidden Treasures in Topanga Canyon. The coat is an old standby that's from where I'm from, Seattle, and has traveled with me from Italy to the Grand Canyon! The glasses are from CRAP eyewear and I have them in pink, too. The shoes are by Marais USA; I usually don't buy vintage shoes since they fall apart so easily, so I gravitate toward classic styles. The only jewelry I ever wear are rings, particularly this opal one my mom passed down to me. Another hand-me-down is this OG Coach bag my grandma gave me. There are pictures of her on a trip to South Korea and Hong Kong with it in the 1960's and now it makes special appearances in my photos, too!

Describe your style in three words:

Nostalgic, feminine, and adventurous (in that I have adventures in them and—since I wear mostly vintage—wonder about the adventures the woman who wore these pieces originally had)

What LA boutique is your happy place?

Worship LA in Echo Park and East West Shop in Chinatown are new favorites for well-priced and amazingly curated vintage. To be honest though, I do the majority of shopping from my desk and besides Etsy, I love Voyeur LA, an artist-run collective with an eclectic vintage collection.

What fashion item are you obsessed with buying right now?

My summer was dedicated to jumpers and rompers with a Marilyn-Monoroe-photographed-by-Eve-Arnold vibe, which I think will translate nicely into fall considering it's still 90+ degrees outside. But if it ever does cool down, I'm excited for wool skirts, cropped mohair sweaters, and loafers.

What are you currently on the hunt for?

I just moved into an apartment in Eagle Rock and have been hunting for interior wares which is much different than grabbing a dress off the rack. I wish I could buy everything at once that's pink, gold, or looks like the inside of I Dream of Jeanie's bottle!

Who's your style crush?

Most of my crushes emerge from films that feature strong female characters—or from the actresses who play them—with an innate sense of style. Cher as Mrs. Flax in Mermaids, Gina Rowlands—whose one compromise with John Cassavetes on the low budget for A Woman Under the Influence was that she could still get her hair blown out, and recently Bel Powley as Minnie Goetz in Diary of a Teenage Girl with her high-waisted denim, muted 1970's knits, and platforms.

Follow Emily's fashions and photos via her Instagram feed and peep her professional portfolio on her website.