Everything Old Is Vintage Again

Non, je ne regrette rien . . . except giving away a drop-dead 1950s Don Loper evening jacket (silk with a sweeping satin collar that could cut glass) when I moved to Paris many years ago. I know, I know. What was I thinking? Fresh start, blah blah blah. That jacket was on my mind when I recently attended the Vintage Couture Fashion Roadshow, a scholarship fund-raiser put on by Fashion Group International L.A. at the Paper Bag Princess, one of L.A.’s leading vintage couture boutiques — practically a museum of 20th-century design. Some attendees brought in garments and jewelry — a Paco Rabanne dress, Bakelite pins — for appraisal by owner Elizabeth Mason. The find of the eve: a House of Dior numbered black organza evening gown valued at $8,000 to $12,000. But the real question: What do you wear to a vintage couture fashion roadshow?

Meghan Fabulous Designer OUTFIT: My outfit is a mishmash of current Meghan from fall and Meghan Spring ’06. The bag’s Dolce & Gabbana — Kim Cattrall had it on Sex and the City. One wild weekend coming home from Palm Springs I saw it at [D&G’s] outlet in Cabazon, and it was only $300. Score. The shoes, YSL that I got in New York three seasons ago. And the Dior sunglasses I just got from Neiman’s. BEST DEAL: The very favorite vintage thing I have is from this little hole in the wall in Stanton in Orange County. I used to go there all the time on my breaks when I worked at the Olive Garden when I was in high school. I found a Pucci purse there, and it was 69 cents marked down from $1.29. It had never been used before — even had the tags. I had it appraised and it was appraised for $1,200. I took it to every event ever, and now it’s thrashed so I couldn’t bring it.

Kristin Young Director of PR, Lucky Brand Jeans OUTFIT: The jacket I bought at a store on Melrose called Lotta — she’s an L.A.-based designer — and she does a lot of really interesting quilted silk hand-painted jackets. The jeans are Lucky, and the shoes are Miu-Miu. WHY NO VINTAGE TONIGHT? I don’t know what was going through my mind this morning. I think I sort of evoke the mood of vintage without going vintage. FAVORITE PIECE: A beautiful Pucci gown. When you think Pucci you think maybe brightly mulitcolored, but this one is very pale, kind of an off-white gorgeous thing. I bought it for $500. I’m sure it’s worth two or three times that. I got married in it. WHERE TO SHOP: I like Rockin’ Rodeo on La Brea. I found a beautifully embroidered tunic there. I think it’s what got me this job — I wore it on the interview at Lucky — very much their speed.

Veronica Del Rico Fashion recruiter, 24Seven OUTFIT: This coat I got at a vintage store this past year. Underneath, a nice halter top and slacks and cute little Prada shoes. My purse is vintage as well — ’30s or ’40s. WHY VINTAGE? The appeal for me is its uniqueness — that you-have-it-and-nobody-else-does type of thing, the exclusivity of it all. And I’d always love to know whose this was first and the story behind it — just to know that this was treasured by someone at some point. I think there’s a lot to be learned from the fashion of yesterday. WHERE TO SHOP: There’s a great little hole-in-the-wall vintage store on Ventura Boulevard. I don’t remember the name, but this woman sits there all day and just loves people to come in, and it’s packed with things. It’s in Studio City, east of Laurel Canyon, right next door to a new little club called Sapphire.


Lee Hogan Cass Author and style doyenne OUTFIT: It’s newish Zoran and the purse is Chanel. ARE YOU A COLLECTOR? Inadvertently. From when it was original. I have so many things over the years from Italy and France and the U.S., and some of them I still wear. I’m having a hard time giving them up, which I’m starting to do. I love poking through vintage things, but I would say that I probably don’t much buy anything for myself anymore. I’ve got enough. FAVORITE PIECE: One would be the Saint Laurent jacket when he did the Russian thing. And one was an Armani long jacket — I thought that was going to be one of the directions he’d do from then on, but he really didn’t. That was from the ’80s. It was very soft. He’s done soft-looking jackets — but they’re always very precise. He never really did that look again.


Lisa M. Berman Owner, Sculpture To Wear OUTFIT: The dress is from a friend of mine — it was her mother’s wedding dress. The brooch was just acquired at the Modernism show a few weeks ago. It’s a vintage piece. The bracelet was my great-grandmother’s and the purse — a crocheted clutch metallic thread, all hand-stitched — I acquired almost 22 years ago. I have to confess the shoes are modeled after late-’40s shoes — they’re absolutely contemporary, I’m sorry to say, but they are too fabulous. They’re from Les Habitudes. WHY VINTAGE? The classic appeal, the glamour and the attention to detail. There’s nothing like it — in today’s fashions especially. FAVORITE PIECE: My great-grandmother’s engagement dress. It’s too fragile for me to wear now. It has jet beads and is from about 1910 — beautiful exquisite details. BEST DEAL: Two. I bought a Rudi Gernreich bathing suit, a monokini, at a garage sale. The person did not know what it was, and I got it for two or three dollars. And a Schiaparelli hat, also at a garage sale for another two or three dollars.


Michelle Parel Owner, Mink Styling Agency OUTFIT: Jeans and a black shirt — how common is that? — and black boots. WHY NO VINTAGE TONIGHT? I don’t know why I’m not wearing vintage. I’m so uncool today. THE APPEAL: I love vintage because there’s so much history behind it. You can see fashion has evolved, especially with these major designers and how they did a lot of things by hand. THE APPRAISAL: My grandmother recently passed away, and she was a pack rat. One of the things we found with a pillowcase over it was this dress. When we looked at the tag we were like, wow, it’s a Dior — with a serial number and hand-stitched details inside. I thought it was going to be worth about $1,500, but it was appraised for $8,000 to $12,000. It’s probably from the 1960s. I hadn’t seen her wear this in particular. I think she probably saved this for a sexy night for my grandpa. She was so into fashion and at 60 years old still wanted to borrow my clothes.

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