REVIVE VINTAGE MAGAZINE â€˘ ISSUE 1
lise silva CELESTIAL VINTAGE THE ART OF VINTAGE
a conversation with Lise Silva and Yaisha Harding
WE ARE STARDUST
A celestial journey through vintage
VINTAGE TOP TEN
Find, style and preserve your vintage loves like a pro
MEET SARA GOSSETT
Artist, DJ and Vintage lover REVIVE
1, ART OF VINTAGE A conversation with Lise Silva and Y. Caron
11, WE ARE STARDUST Lise Silvaâ€™s Celestial Vintage
17 17, MEET SARA GOSSETT
23, VINTAGE TOP TEN
Artist and DJ with a vintage flair.
Find, style and preserve your vintage loves like a pro
ART of vintage A Conversation with Lise Silva & Y. Caron
WHERE EXACTLY IS THE BOUNDARY BETWEEN FASHION AND ART?
Terms like ‘art to wear’, folk art, artisan, couture, and craftsman are often used to describe one of a kind, carefully designed garments made with labor intensive techniques. Traditional clothing from every region of the world exemplifies the overlap between art and vintage: handcrafted pieces, care and attention to detail, elements of both function and beauty permeate the garment. Each piece of vintage clothing tells a story: the faint 30 year old red wine stain from a smashing cocktail party, the mended snag from a late night stroll through the woods, the piling right shoulder area over which a purse was often slung, the peppermint candies and grocery list still in the pocket after 15 years. Vintage lovers know how special their pieces are-- the simple fact that they have survived whispers the fact that someone cared enough to save them for so long. We vintage lovers also know age-old wisdoms for keeping our treasured wardrobes intact, like the art of mending hems, hand washing delicate fabrics, and properly storing seasonal items. It’s a story that unfolds with each newly acquired piece - how you found it, where it came from, its place in history and how you will eventually display it. This conversation between Lise Silva of Cellar Door Sequins and Y. Caron of TRIBUTE. is a peek into the minds of vintage collectors who see their garments as a different kind of truth and an expression of their own brew of family, history, and magic.
Y. Caron: So what’s your story? How did you fall in love with vintage? Lise: I grew up in a time capsule of sorts.... The women on my mom’s side of the family are kind of packrats and we even boast an actual hoarder (my great aunt lives in a log cabin filled from floor to ceiling in every room with knick knacks and thrift store finds-- no one has even entered her house for the past 15 years.) So I grew up with antiques and old things around me since the time I was tiny. When I was in middle school /high school in the 90s, vintage had just started to take off and I started scouring my mom’s closet to wear all her old bell bottoms and ski sweaters she had stored away. Y. Caron: That’s interesting. I think a lot people’s love for vintage starts with family as the nexus. It’s a tradition of sorts. I come from a frock obsessed family of women as well. My grandmothers, mother and aunts taught me everything I know about how to find and wear clothes. I think my grandmother literally thrifted every day. My major memories of her as a little girl are catching the bus (if we had extra money she would let me put my little hand out to hail a cab) and we went to the thrift store. She would take time to show me the difference between an antique and a vintage piece - what kinds of seams to look for and how fabric should feel. I hated it when I was younger but as I got older I realized that shopping was a part of my grandmother’s language, it was how she stayed in touch with herself and our family history as dressmakers and quilters. Lise: Quilting is such a rich history! I’d love to learn more about it. Unfortunately no one carried on the tradition in my family from my great grandmother. She made a gorgeous quilt of my great grandfather’s old clothing after he died.... all made of his old ties and
suits. Its one of my mom’s treasures that she drapes at the foot of her bed. Where are you from originally? Y. Caron: I’m from Southeast Washington, DC but I’ve lived in Atlanta for over a decade. Lise: I lived in DC for several short stints over the last 5 years and found the city to have a total lack of thrift options! The major one these days is the Salvation Army on H st. People in the District are so hungry for more thrift options that Goodwill started doing occasional pop-up shops in Chinatown and they are literally cleaned out by the end of the three days! What was the thrift scene in DC like during your childhood? Y. Caron: Oh there were a lot of small hole in the wall places. Junk shops really that had great stuff. I’m sure its gone now but my grandmother’s favorite haunt was a thrift store on Minnesota Ave. next door to Woolworth’s. Of course I can’t recall the name, but I remember that it always seemed filled with beautiful things. I don’t really remember going to places like Goodwill or Salvation Army because they had less of a presence in the District. The best stuff was in those little places that had no name, Eastern Market or the outdoor markets in Maryland that we hit religiously every Saturday. We had a thing - Shop on Saturday, Church on Sunday. Lise: How is Atlanta, in terms of a vintage scene? Do you see vintage in the south being different from other regions? Y. Caron: I see the south as the mecca of vintage. I get so much inspiration from seeing parts of the south or even just parts of
Because I’m an OLD SOUTHERN WOMAN and we’re supposed to wear FUNNY LOOKING HATS and UGLY CLOTHES and grow vegetables in the dirt.
Atlanta that feel untouched by modernity in a way. When I add on to that the special magic I feel from being in the south it just creates this bubble of synchronicity where you are always finding things in unlikely places. The notion of charity is very southern as well so, unlike DC, we have a ton of nonprofit affiliated thrift stores like Goodwill, Salvation Army and Value Village. Making that distinction is funny because DC is not too far removed from the south, but there are some different values and aesthetics at play there that are specific to the city. Lise: Sounds amazing! I bet the small towns in the country are also loaded with treasures. Y.Caron: For sure! I’m obsessed with the script from Steel Magnolias. That line: “Because I’m an old Southern woman and we’re supposed to wear funny looking hats and ugly clothes and grow vegetables in the dirt” is so key to understanding the magic of finding vintage in the south. Southern women, regardless of race, exemplify agrarian cultural roots as well as a connection to aristocracy that you absolutely see in clothes. Its so cool to through a store or an estate sale and see that reflected in the pieces. Lise: Did you wear vintage as a teenager? Y. Caron: My very first vintage piece was a 70’s silk dashiki my aunt up in NY gave me. I called it my “power shirt” and it became an important talisman for me as I navigated my way through a predominantly white boarding school. Most of the time I was the only black
girl in my class so wearing a shirt like that was a major statement for me about my politics and where I came from. Unfortunately, I was too young to realize that I needed to preserve it and it fell apart. I truly wore that thing TO DEATH. This is why I’m so fascinated with how museums preserve vintage fashion in permanent collections. Lise: Sounds like an amazing piece. Sunlight and moths can just wreck the best vintage so easily. Y. Caron: Do you preserve your vintage in any particular way? Lise: My favorite in my collection is an early 70s Biba.... I bought it as a total dream wishlist piece on my 30th birthday. I had to get it, it was my favorite colors (plum and gold) and in my exact measurements and at a great price, directly from england and a reputable seller (there are a lot of Biba ripoffs and Biba relaunch pieces labeled as original Biba online). It’s definitely my most expensive investment. Part of how I keep my fav items from getting worn is that I only wear the best stuff on special occasions. If I get a stain on it, I’m meticulous about getting the stain out immediately (the longer stains set the more likely they become permanent). As far as moths, I haven’t quite figured it out, but I don’t keep my vintage in any attic areas where they are sitting for months or years unattended. I definitely try to keep my clothes and accessories away from windows. I’ve displayed beautiful pieces near a window before and then months later, noticed fading.
Y. Caron: That’s wise! Its easy to get careless with garments when you have a bonafide collection and you’re always shopping. Do you have a particular designer whose vintage work you collect? Lise: Hmm... the only trend I see in my vintage brands is probably my Avon jewelry collection. I LOVE vintage Avon... the designs are magical and they are generally very cheap to collect. Whiting & Davis is another great accessory brand I have a few of, but they are more expensive pieces than Avon so I haven’t got too many. What era do you collect most? Y. Caron: That’s so funny! I have a small cache of vintage Avon building as well. particularly necklaces and brooches. My fav is this little bowtie herringbone...so cute. As far as eras, I think I’m a 70’s devotee. My adoration of my mom’s and auntie’s wardrobes produced that for me. I also live for the 60’s. I have a Dior turban from the 60’s that I was recently gifted from my friend Melina Daley of Stara Baba’s Vintage. It’s so serious I have it living on its own wig stand in my room where it can be properly displayed. Do you think that vintage fashion deserves a place in art museums? I did a lot of research on Diana Vreeland’s first exhibitions at the Met for a paper I was writing and found the debate interesting.Is it or is it not art? Because its old and/or designer does that make it art? Lise: For me, absolutely. It definitely deserves a place in a museum because fashion history is such a reflection of culture. It reflects the technology (how materials could be manipulated and manufactured), the aesthetic, the views (silhouettes and changing hemlines tell so much about norms and values), and lifestyles of the people who wore them. Some of my favorite museums are textile museums, which show the overlap between fashion, textiles, and art. The V&A in London is a testament to the importance of fashion and style in history. Y.Caron: My favorite Diana Vreeland REVIVE
quote is “Fashion is part of the daily air and it changes all the time, with all the events. You can even see the approaching of a revolution in clothes. You can see and feel everything in clothes.” Lise: Diana Vreeland has some of the best quotes. She really had a vision about what makes fashion interesting and she always had global perspective. Do you sell vintage online or locally? Y.Caron: We are local right now. My business partner and I are into the idea of creating a culture/community around what we do. The stories are really the important part of the clothes for both of us. We even name each item and make up a little back-story or character to go with them. We tend to do a lot of pop-ups, parties, and our own concept events. We recently did an event where we featured a live fashion editorial, art show and retail pop-up. Lise: Brilliant idea...I love the idea of mixing that vintage pop-up feel with an art show environment and photoshoot at the same time. I’ve tried to get people involved in things that mix those elements, and people just couldn’t quite wrap their head around it so it fell through. Its so great to have people you can work with that have the imagination to try new things like that. Y. Caron: I’m curious about your styling and photography work. What’s your process for interpreting what’s in your head into an image? Lise: I think interpreting what’s in my head has just come through practice. A lot of times what’s in my head is not a fully formed visual. Its just a patchy feeling - really more of a mood and maybe colors. And then through trial and error, playing with mixing pieces together and lighting and photography, I see what works. Having inspiration files of past references makes it so much easier. I often will make a Pinterest board of things that have elements of what I’m trying to go for and that gets that hazy vision in my head into more concrete terms.
Y. Caron: Is it easier to feel color etc. when you are the photographer? I always feel this tension between how my vision comes to life when I’m behind the lens vs. another photographer. Lise: I definitely love the control of also being the photographer because I know exactly how I would edit the final photo but it’s definitely double the work. I think working with a photographer who shares your references and aesthetic would be the best. But I haven’t found that person yet so I just keep doing double the work until I cross paths with that kindred spirit. When you are trying to style and you have someone else as the photographer it’s also better because you can catch little things that are out of place and fix them, whereas when you’re playing both roles, it often isn’t until the final photo that you notice that a hair was sticking up on the model or the bottom of the dress needed more steaming. Those are things you can hone in on when you are just focused on styling. Y. Caron: I like your kindred spirit idea...I’m still looking for mine. It really is a conversation that you have to be able to have verbally and visually with a photographer to get that right shot. It’s kind of layering art forms - narrative, textile, photography. Do you think using vintage in a shoot needs to be obvious or do you like to just mix it in? Lise: Hmm... interesting... what would be an example of it being obvious? Y. Caron: Like for instance, let’s say you had a flapper style dress. Obvious would be to make the whole theme of the shoot inspired by that era (a whole H-to-T Gatsby look) vs. throwing a denim jacket on with the same dress and setting the scene on a highway. Lise: Oh I see. When I shoot garments for my shop, I always find a way to make the item look like MY style instead of an era. My personal style is definitely a mix of eras that looks a little 40’s, a little 60’s and a little 70’s. Likewise, when I do creative shoots for a small business or for my portfolio work, the theme is never dictated by an era. It may evoke an era, but for me
when it’s so stuck to a certain era it becomes more of a historical reenactment, so it’s not ultimately creative. I just use my love of vintage to fuel my creativity, not let it put boundaries on what I want to shoot because it’s not historically correct. Y.Caron: Yeah I think that’s a key distinction to make. That’s how you stay in conversation with it and use it as inspiration for new ideas. More and more vintage lovers are now displaying their favorite pieces on the wall as one would a painting or sculpture - Mid-century hats hung on a nail above a chair or luxe woven flapper-era scarfs displayed at the foot of the bed. With fashion history at our fingertips, vintage opens up a world of beauty, pop culture, art and history that unfolds deeper with each decade. Just as a work of art can mirror the zeitgeist of the time in which it was created, so does a garment. The silhouette, the material, the construction… Each element speaks volumes about the historical period in which it was produced and the aesthetic view of the people that produced and bought the item. What would cause one to value a piece of art made to hang on a wall as better than one which was made to drape across the body? Only perception, and a little bit of visual magic, separates the two. R
Sara GOSSETT Raised in Texas and based out of Virginia, artist, DJ, and vintage lover Sara Gossett draws upon her love of 20th century design & pop culture to create her finely detailed paintings, drenched in a rainbow of watercolor. As a self-taught artist, Sara’s nostalgic, psychedelic, and delicate artwork stems from the same personal place that influences the records she spins as Sister Goldenhaze. “Art Nouveau, psychedelic poster art, book illustrations from the 1960s & ‘70s, vintage fashion and style, splashes of bright colors, the power and transformative magic of music. . . these are all elements that influence and inform the work I create.” With her long golden bangs, soft doe eyes, and 70s maxi dresses, Sara’s look is reminiscent of the same 1960s-70s era energy that permeates her work. Her beautiful collection of vintage includes lots of 70s silhouettes in unique prints, tall leather boots, and charming accessories.
2012, Pen & Watercolor 7” x 7”
A Closer Look 2013, Watercolor 7” x 7”
2012, Pen & Watercolor 7” x 7”
Q: Your designs often look like fantastic textile prints. How does vintage fashion influence your artwork? I feel like my love of prints and vintage textiles from all around the world has just totally infiltrated my style recently. From the bright colors to repeated patterns like something you’d find on an old caftan or curtains, I basically just want to be surrounded in this stuff all the time - a life of beauty. Q: Who are your favorite fashion history style icons and why? I guess it would come as no surprise to list names such as Marianne Faithfull, Pattie Boyd, Anita Pallenberg, Jane Birkin, Sharon Tate... the big ones. :) I appreciate a bit of hippy and bohemian tossed in with a pinch of ‘60s mod plus ‘70s glam, but always mixed up according to individual taste of the moment. I think something all of those women did so well (and one reason why we see all the old photos of them over and over again on the internet) is that celebrity aside, they’re so great at blending their own personal charisma into their style and never look like they’re trying too hard - it appears effortless, whether they’re layering on bangles and beads or carrying a wicker basket on the hip of worn-in jeans. Q: How do you choose your vintage clothing purchases? What are your wardrobe staples? REVIVE
Way to See 2013 Acrylic, Watercolor, Ink
Painted Tambourine (lower left) 2013, Acrylic Butterflies Are Free (below) 2013, Watercolor & Ink Created for Into the Golden solo show, 2013
I’m actually not all that concerned about strictly pristine, immaculate condition when I shop for vintage, because I’m just buying for myself. I don’t mean extreme deterioration in quality, but for personal wear things like a rust mark or two on lace, or a yellowed, faded edge here and there don’t really bother me! They’re old pieces with prior lives, so they have plenty of character and stories to tell - it’s part of the magic. Another perk of this is that they don’t feel too precious to wear and incorporate into everyday life! I’m always drawn to fun and/or interesting prints, and I don’t have a grudge against polyester, though of course more natural fibers are great. If it’s within my budget and looks appealing, I don’t really discriminate further! Wardrobe staples include slips for layering under older fabrics that are more sheer, and lots of boots of all kinds! I just feel comfortable in them. Q: What are your best vintage shopping tips? The quality of fabric is a giveaway for eye-catching vintage eras, as well as the cut, style, small details (i.e. metal zippers, labels, etc). Clothing was just made so much better, built to last! Once you’re familiar with the kinds of things that you feel best in, it’s easier to comb through the things that don’t. Personally, I don’t really have a method other than following what catches my eye... a piece that evokes something special, or a print that looks promising. That’s how I found my ultimate thrift-store find in the racks; a long-sleeved vintage dress by Pucci! I haven’t had that kind of crazy luck ever since, but maybe one buried treasure can be enough for a lifetime... Q: What is still on your vintage shopping wishlist? Are there any pieces you are on the hunt for or are saving to purchase? I love the British Boutique Movement/designers & labels from the 1960s and the early 1970s, though most designer pieces are out of my price range. Still, I think it would be worth saving for or investing in if I were to see something extra special in my size! Biba, Ossie Clark (with a Celia Birtwell print, what a dream!), Thea Porter, Zandra Rhodes, etc... the list goes on! I have a small collection of pieces from the Arpeja family (Young Edwardian, Young Innocent...), so I’m always on the lookout for those labels, too! Also on the radar: all things “’70s does ‘30s” - that whole glam-deco Art Deco revival and the ‘70s nostalgia for all things 1920s-’40s. R
An assortment of nice tracks from the
‘60S & ‘70S TO SETTLE IN FOR A LEISURELY BROWSE... Q: Can you offer a sample of a vinyl playlist that would be spinning at your dream vintage shop? Jacqueline Taïeb: Bienvenue Au Pays Sylvie Vartan: Tourne, Tourne, Tourne Gillian Hills: Je Partirai The Shirelles: I Met Him On A Sunday - ‘66 Carla Thomas: B-A-B-Y Lee Hazlewood: Hey Cowboy Nancy Sinatra: As Tears Go By Dusty Springfield: Spooky
The Seeds: Can’t Seem To Make You Mine Aguaturbia: El Hombre De La Guitarra Novos Baianos: Brasil Pandeiro Relatively Clean Rivers: Hello Sunshine Bridget St John: The Curious Crystals of Unusual Purity Tony, Caro & John: Eclipse of the Moon Tyrannosaurus Rex: By The Light Of A Magical Moon Selda: Tatlı Dillim, Güler Yüzlüm
TEN by Y. Caron
Itâ€™s not as absolute as the Scientific Method, but following these rules can help you find, style and preserve your vintage loves like a pro. REVIVE
Tell A Tale - Be An Original (Even if it makes you an eccentric)
We’ve all heard of or seen that woman who we look at and think “she may be a little off, but for some reason its just so ON.” Wearing a good vintage piece gives you a certain mystique that defies trends and tells your tale...whatever one you choose for that day.
“Accept the Flaws with the Fabulous.” - TRIBUTE. Wearing vintage doesn’t mean that its perfect. Sometimes that little hole or rip adds character or a pinch of punk to your garment. Don’t knock it till you try it.
Study. Reflect. Dress. The study of clothes is a well, peculiar thing. You’re not just studying fashion or trends but everything around you for inspiration - TV, films, books, music, nature, EVERYTHING. Once you absorb all that stuff properly you can start using it to influence your vintage shopping and styling choices. (That leather trench you passed up just might be the perfect ode to Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman.) Know what you like, then style it in new ways.
Don’t Be Afraid to Dig Deep - Into Self & A Good Clearance Rack Wearing vintage well takes practice and vision. Having a very clear definition of who you are, or at least what character you want to play for that day, allows you the space to rock vintage pieces in ways that make a statement. Remember that vision while you’re shopping. Develop a laser-like focus so you can get the best deals and find the most hidden treasures.
Reinterpret your favorite pieces with the help of a skillful and stylish tailor. We true believers observe this rule for two reasons: It helps extend the life of your garment & You get the chance to modernize something old and make it fresh for today’s aesthetic. This is, of course, not easy to do. It takes having a good eye for what alterations work best for your body and what kind of overall look you want to achieve. One dress…three lives. Real deal.
Mine your family for vintage style inspiration and free pieces. Those old photos of your grandmother that live in the attic? Those, dear friends, are your roadmap to building a vintage collection that has lineage and stories. If you’re lucky, there may even be some one of a kind items lurking around too, that when mixed into your current wardrobe create a killer palate.
“The only thing that separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorize.” - Clairee Belcher, Steel Magnolias One of the easiest ways to incorporate vintage into your wardrobe is through the magical world of accessories. Even if you’re not really inclined to wear a vintage garment, accessories are the great equalizer. Dress them up or down, they are always sure to give your look that extra pop and make you look like the original you are.
Watch the runways each season to get pointers on which vintage pieces you should score. The designers are getting their inspiration from somewhere right? “Fashion is cyclical” is a line that is often quoted by designers and fashion insiders. You can look like you’re wearing the latest Marc Jacobs collection by staying in the know and shopping with an eye for what’s hot now. Your pockets will appreciate it and your wardrobe will stay cutting edge.
9. Channel Coco Chanel. You know that little maxim she gave us to take off one thing before leaving the house? It holds extra true when mixing vintage into your outfit. You may want to do a head-to-toe vintage look a’la Dita Von Teese (and be able to pull it off), but often it’s good to avoid looking like an advertisement from your favorite era. Mixing your old school with your new school seamlessly is the mark of a true master.
When you go vintage, you go green. Yes, the “go green” thing is a little played, but if you want to stay eco-friendly, wearing vintage is a great way to reduce your consumption and look fabulous while doing it.