Written by Catherine Bachelier Smith
Jun 21, 2011
"He or she who seeks beauty will find it." - Bill Cunningham
Part of what I love about vintage shopping is that it's a quest in seeking beauty. Shopping second-hand is definitely not as easy as walking into a department or boutique store in which merchandise is laid out nicely for you. When vintaging, you have to look past some items that at first glance seemingly won't work, won't fit or can't be transformed. You need to use your imagination in turning the beauty of an older garment into something contemporary and wearable. You have to seek out its beauty and then wear it beautifully.
The dress in this photograph is a friend's vintage gem. The dense fabric is that of an upholstered couch. Its zipper is almost industrial strength; but I love that it has been reworked in a feminine and graceful manner. The fabric fits as though it were silk. It's an unbelievable treasure from the past and would be very difficult to find in stores today let alone at a reasonable price.
I also love vintage shopping because it is eco friendly. When I first started as a wardrobe stylist, my motto and influence was "eco chic". It suited me because I appreciate and enforce taking care of our planet. Throwing away perfectly usable items is not earth-friendly; re- using perfectly wonderful clothing is!
My affinity for previously owned objects is that they were once worn and appreciated by someone. Or, perhaps they were hated? Either way, I like the idea of clothing having emotion while also invoking emotion within the wearer.
I love seeking style within clothing and people. I seek it regularly and I find it always!