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  • Meet Our Team | Jenna Schill

    Posted by Curate Permalink

    If a picture is worth 1000 words, how many have been spilled on the beautiful layouts of this very site? The answer lies with a most dedicated member of our team, the whip smart art director Jenna Schill. Jenna began her work as an intern, but very quickly made herself so integral that she has helped define the Shrimpton Couture spirit, a heartfelt dedication to quality and a progressive love for the past. Her keen eye and dedicated work ethic have set the tone for a message rooted in the simple fact that the past is the surest way to the future. In her most capable hands, vintage can appear thrilling and mysterious, sexy and cutting-edge. Read on to hear more about Jenna.

    Tell us a bit about how you got started with Shrimpton.
    I started as an Intern with Shrimpton while I was still in University. As time went on I moved into a more freelance position. After graduation, I worked at a magazine, then decided to move to Shrimpton full time!

    What’s your favorite thing about your job?
    Simply put, taking ideas and putting them together so they are aesthetically pleasing. Cherie gives me the ability to try different things and we work together to find something that we both like and that also feels like it conveys our brand. I love working with all our contributors when they have a vision and seeing it come to life is a great feeling. Plus, I get to look at pretty things all day long, and what's not to like about that?

    You have a great eye – how do you hone your skills? Are the blogs you read, magazines you follow?
    It's really a combination of everything, but collaboration is important. I've had lots of people teach me and open my eyes to something that I might not have thought of before, which has helped me the most in developing my own skills.

    My own posts have been continually jazzed up by your image research. What are your most reliable sources or search terms for finding unusual or lesser-known images?
    Determination is key! Haha. Sometimes image research can be really frustrating so I find that any key words you can take from something will help. The year, outfit, model name, photographer, hairstyles, designers, publication, location, etc etc. Sometimes if you find one image from one source it can also spiral into other images and links that can help. I usually start my searches off with Google and Pinterest, because of their vast database, and then go from there.
    I often find photos but that do not have any information with them and I will search forever to try and find some credits to go with it. It is something that takes the most time but it is really rewarding when you find it, especially in relation to vintage. Knowing who took a photo, where and when, can really add an extra element to an image, making it a lot more special and relatable to articles.

    What drew you to the vintage world?
    I always enjoyed thrifting and re-working clothes I found when I was younger so I think vintage was the next step. That a piece from fifty years ago can look really fresh and new today is really amazing to think about, both in clothing and images/art.

    Who is your favorite fashion pet?
    Other than my own dog, Bernie, I always love when I see the image of the pug dressed as Karl Lagerfeld,. Erin Wasson also has an adopted pitbull named 'Cream' who is adorable - I am definitely a dog person and an advocate for the bully breeds.

    You have a wedding coming up. Have you considered wearing vintage?
    I am thinking of incorporating vintage in some way! I have found a dress but am toying with the idea of a dainty vintage clip or something for my hair... we will see...

     

    (L) Jenna and her dog, Bernie. (M) The Karl Lagerfeld Pug. (R) Erin Wasson and her Pitbull, Cream. Photo by Hanneli Mustaparta.

     

    Where are you from?
    Fall River (30min outside of Halifax), Nova Scotia

    What’s the story of your name?
    My father's mother passed away when he was quite young and her name was Jenny and my grandmother on my mother's side was Alice so I was named Jenna Alicia after both of them.

    What is the first thing you notice about people?
    Their eyes.

    What is your favorite color?
    Purple (although you wouldn't be able to tell by my black/grey wardrobe)

    Favorite smell?
    The coffee aisle in grocery stores or ginger cookies baking

    Favorite artist or art style?
    I love Hyper-realistic paintings - they are mind blowing.

    Guilty pleasure?
    Marshmallows

    What would you wear to your last meal?
    Something amazing that I would never of had an occasion for otherwise.

    Fashion is a medium that relies quite heavily on inspiration, collaboration and an open exchange of ideas. Who would be your dream collaboration – living or dead? What inspires you about their work?
    Andy Warhol - he worked with so many mediums it would be so interesting to know how his mind worked for different processes.

    What appeals to you about vintage?
    The history and stories associated.

    What’s your favorite era of dress?
    I think working for Shrimpton has definitely brought out my love for the 70s in a big way!

    If you could be on the cover of any fashion magazine, past or present, what would it be?
    Vogue anywhere from the 70s-early 90s.

    What trick do you use to dress best for yourself?
    If you don't feel comfortable, you won't look it either.

    If you could organize one gathering, what would it be? What is the setting, what is the music, what is the food, who are the guests?
    I love Christmas so it would be a Christmas party with loved ones, cheesy music and plenty of food.

    If you could attend one event of the past, what would it be?
    One of the great Studio 54 parties

    Please pick three items from Shrimpton that you love and tell us why.
    1. 1970s Floral Yves Saint Laurent Maxi Dress - I love a good shift and the print on this is great
    2. 1970s Multi Tie Front Holly's Harp Dress - Super sexy front plunge and amazing colour.
    3. 1950s Heavily Beaded Amelia Gray Dress - I love a little sparkle from time to time! Perfect for any Holiday parties coming up.

    And finally … Karl or Yves?
    Yves

  • A Designing Woman - LaVetta - Ebony 1979

    Posted by Curate Permalink

    Editor's note: While researching the LaVetta silk scarf caftan dress you will see at the very bottom of this post, I cane across this fascinating article printed in Ebony Magazine back in 1979. LaVetta's achievement of becoming a designer that catered to the "rich bitches" is nothing short of remarkable and I wish there was more information available on her loife and career. I thought you would enjoy this rare glimpse at her.

     

    Shop this Early 1970s Rare LaVetta Silk Scarf Caftan Dress now at Shrimpton Couture!

  • Meet Our Contributors | Nolan Bryant

    Posted by Curate Permalink

    Nolan Bryant, sketch.

    In today’s litigious world of instant gratification, it can feel defeatist to yearn for the refinement of a quieter age. And yet there are certain individuals whose innate refinement and decorum surpass the digital confines of the day. Case in point, Nolan Bryant, our resident aesthete. He moves with a virtual presence befitting a man graced with old world charm and thoughtfulness. Read on to hear of his favorite muses and the start of his own vintage collection.

    You recently shared a fashion sketch, which you drew at age six, so clearly fashion has been a mainstay of your life from a young age. Can you tell us a bit about where you grew up and how your childhood informed your love of fashion?
    I had an “Auntie Mame” who introduced me to many things that shaped me aesthetically- art galleries, museums, the opera and flea markets, most importantly my interest in style and beauty was always encouraged; I was fortunate to grow up in a home that allowed me to let my freak flag fly.

    One of the themes I take away from your online presence is an appreciation for beautiful living. There is a wonderful quote by Nancy Mitford about Madame de Pompadour that I would love to hear your thoughts on, “Madame de Pompadour excelled at an art which the majority of human beings thoroughly despise because it is unprofitable and ephemeral: the art of living.”
    I think it’s important to care about the things that others discard or despise. I like things that require discipline and effort: cotton napkins, clothing that needs special care. I like a well kept home that’s inviting (but not too inviting, nothing worse then a guest that lingers). I like silverware and impractical suitcases that look great. It’s the wonderfully impractical things that give me great pleasure.

    You have a very distinct style – refined and polished, with a hint of androgyny. How would you describe your aesthetic? Who and what have shaped it?
    I like my costume to be an expression of high impact understatement. I wear the things I like; the gender the piece was intended for is of no significance to me. I use my costumes as protection, an armor of sorts, for distance.

    If you could switch closets with any person, who would it be?
    For real-life, Tonne Goodman, I admire her no-fuss approach to dressing. I long to be happy with a more minimal personal look and keep the quirk for my couture collection and curatorial work. If we’re talking fantasy-closet-switching, then I would pick Nan Kempner, she had great clothes and she mixed things much the way I like to, a good jacket with some less-good slim pants- you have to mix things up, the less-good stuff takes the edge off the really special things. Nan also wasn’t afraid to wear something twice or even ten times; I think that’s a concern for people, especially those of means, this fear of social opinion, being arbitrated for wearing something twice. I think one of the secrets to great style is the art of the repeat; the most stylish people in history were repeaters. Nan said that you should wear a dress at least twice, so people knew you hadn’t borrowed it!

    Where would your ideal vacation home be?
    Somewhere quiet where I can raise chickens, cook in a big kitchen and learn to garden. I adore horticulture. To be one with plants is a wonderful thing.

    I picked a few of your recurring muses and would love if you could give us one favorite anecdote or style moment from each.

    Babe Paley: Babe was perfectionist, a consummate host and the quintessential society woman who always dressed for the part. I like women who aren’t too jovial; you have to leave a little to the imagination.

    Ann Bonfoey Taylor: What I love most about Ann is her winter style, especially the spectacular costumes she put together for her time on the slopes. Living in Toronto, I spend what feels like half the year in a fur coat and boots. She reminds me to have fun with clothes even when its 30 below and miserable.

    Gloria Vanderbilt: Gloria is charming, curious, imaginative and wildly creative. She inspires me to constantly challenge what others expect from you and what you expect of yourself. I love her rebelliousness and the way she laughs. She also loves vintage, and I have a tendency to get along with people who appreciate vintage!

    Bouvier Sisters: I think Lee is terrific. She marches to the beat of her own drum and isn’t afraid to make a career change.

     

    (L-R) Tonne Goodman, Nan Kempner, Babe Paley.

     

    (L-R) Ann Bonfoey Taylor, Lee Radziwill, Gloria Vanderbilt.

     

    Where are you from?
    A small town outside Toronto.

    What’s the story of your name?
    I was named after a baseball player. Look how that turned out!

    Best day of your life?
    The best is yet to come.

    What is your favorite color?
    Camel.

    What is your favorite flower?
    Peonies.

    Favorite smell?
    Library books.

    Favorite shoes?
    Peel and Co. black velvet slippers from Brooks Brothers.

    Favorite artist or art style?
    That’s a tough one; I’m drawn predominantly to abstract expressionism. I adore Frankenthaler, Kline, de Kooning, Rothko, Motherwell- the list could go on.

    Who/what is your greatest love?
    Beauty

    Guilty pleasure?
    Chanel jackets; I have a fondness for ones from the late 80’s and early 90’s.

    What is your favorite thing in your house?
    My books, inherited furniture, and the apartment itself, it’s a converted knitting mill with high ceilings and lots of light.

    What do you pack for a weekend getaway?
    Everything but the kitchen sink.

    What would you wear to your last meal?
    Le Smoking.

    Fashion is a medium that relies quite heavily on inspiration, collaboration and an open exchange of ideas. Who would be your dream collaboration – living or dead? What inspires you about their work?
    Hubert de Givenchy created clothes in the grand traditions of haute couture and is the last living designer from a time in fashion that was about elegance and beauty. I treasure the pieces in my collection that bare his name; they are the exemplification of refinement and restraint, qualities that inspires me greatly. I don’t think he gets the recognition he deserves; I would like to develop a retrospective in collaboration with M. Givenchy that pays tribute to his craft and contributions to style.

    What appeals to you about vintage?
    Superior quality and the narrative associated with each piece. When considering a new addition to my collection I am mindful of its link to the things I already own, I’m constantly developing a story in my mind.

    What’s your favorite era of dress?
    The mid 1950’s through the early 1960’s.

    If you could be on the cover of any fashion magazine, past or present, what would it be?
    I would rather contribute something to the inside of one- having my picture taken makes me very uncomfortable.

    If you could attend one event of the past, what would it be?
    Marie-Hélène de Rothschild’s 1972 surrealist ball.

    Please pick three items from Shrimpton that you love and tell us why.
    1. 1980s Pearl Button Chanel Larger Boucle Suit – I love this suit, especially the boxy collarless jacket. The boucle and pearl mix is great, I like that it has a Creeds label, a nice reminder of the beloved Toronto department store. This would make a great addition to my throng of jackets.

    2. 1962 Hubert de Givenchy Haute Couture Dress – This is a quintessential Givenchy piece, sophisticated with just the right amount of embellishment. You could wear this tomorrow night and it would look just as wonderful as it did when it was made.

    3. 1969 Christian Dior Haute Couture Ensemble – This is a fantastic outfit, so great to have all three pieces together to mix with other things. It reminds me of a favorite photo of Lee Radziwill taken by Ron Galella in May of 1970, the night Company opened on Broadway.

    And finally … Karl or Yves?
    Yves

     

  • Lynn Wyatt Swoons at Chanel Couture

    Posted by Meghan Permalink

    Hearing Texan socialite Lynn Wyatt’s southern drawl ring through Karl Lagerfeld’s studio sounds like two remote worlds converging, very Twilight Zone. Her gushing over couture made clothing in that velvety accent of hers must have charmed nearly everyone in Paris in the same way that fellow Texas native Jerry Hall did. Lynn Wyatt herself was a prominent socialite, philanthropist and lover of fashion in the 80s as well as now and was legendary for hosting celebrities and royalty at her family mansion in Houston, cheekily named the “Wyatt Hyatt.” She even has some sagely advice for those of us who get caught up in the pretense of the fashion industry and forget what we loved it for––“I think clothes are fun, I think life is fun, and one should dress appropriately for an occasion, as the most important thing. You’re showing an image of yourself to the world and why not make light of it, why not enjoy it.”

  • Vintage Couture Available In the Shop Now!

    • 1960s Gina Fratini Lace Trimmed Floral Print Dress
    • 1971 Red Giorgio Sant' Angelo Medieval Collection Dress
    • 1920s Heavily Beaded & Sequin Silk Chiffon Flapper Dress
    • 1970s Ossie Clark & Birtwell Pineapple Dress
    • 1990s Versace Couture Printed Jersey Cut Out Gown
    • 1971 Checked Raspberry Rudi Gernreich Maxi Dress
    • 1960s Pierre Cardin Mesh Clutch
    • Recent Naeem Khan Beaded Leopard Dress
    • 1980s Bruce Oldfield Red & Gold Silk Gown
    • 1970s Striped Christian Dior Set
    • 1970s Janice Wainwright Silver Lurex Maxi Dress
    • 1970s Sexy White Knit Courreges Maxi Dress
    • 1960s Jeweled Belt Oscar De La Renta Museum Dress
    • Rare 1960s Sybil Connolly Silk Ruffle Dress
    • Rare 1950s Jacques Heim Lace Cocktail Dress
    • 1960s Pink Silk Chiffon Bessi Maxi Dress
    • 1960s Emilio Pink Pucci Caped Set
    • 1960s Emilio Pucci Silk Tunic & Pant Set
    • 1970s Hanae Mori Graphic Dress & Shawl
    • 1950s Ice Blue Silk Taffeta Dress & Jacket
    • 1970s Blue & Green Adele Simpson Gown
    • 1950s Puff Sleeve Lace and Silk Cocktail Dress
    • Recent Prada Rhinestone Silk Organza Camisole Top
    • 1810-1820 Antique Silk Guaze Shawl
    • 1999 Chanel Stone Choker Necklace
    • Recent Chanel Pink Boucle Fringe Scarf
    • 1986 Chanel Gold and Pearl Bracelet Cuff
    • Chanel Pearl & Bag Charm Bracelet
    • Chanel 07A Black & Blue Pearl Necklace
    • 1980s Silk Chiffon James Galanos Gown
    • 1950s Heavily Sequinned & Beaded Pink Fitted Dress
    • 1970s Roland Klein Printed Blue Silk Chiffon Tiered Dress
    • Early 1970s Louis Feraud Velvet Suit
    • Larger 1950s Glass Beaded Custom Silk Evening Coat
    • 1970s Silk Chiffon Hanae Mori Maxi
    • 1960s Courreges Haute Couture Suit
    • Rare 1950s Numbered Haute Couture Pierre Balmain Button Back Suit
    • Handmade Vintage Dior Fabric Clutch
    • Handmade Silk 1980s Scarf Clutch
    • Handmade Studded 1970s Silk Clutch
    • Rare 1950s Early Pauline Trigere Silk Set
    • 1950s Marshall Field & Co Silk Satin Dress
    • 1950s Silk Satin Harvey Berin Dress
    • 1960s Pink Silk Chiffon Travilla Gown
    • 1950s Yellow Beaded Satin Wiggle Dress
    • 1950s Hand Beaded Silk Column Gown
    • 1981 Michaele Vollbrach Silk Skirt & Top
    • 1960s FormFit Emilio Pucci Tank & Pants
    • 1980s Adele Simpson Floral Print Silk Skirt & Tunic
    • Rare F2005 Documented Runway Alexander McQueen Sweater
  • Megumi Satsu

    Posted by Meghan Permalink

    Who is Megumi Satsu? She’s a relatively obscure figure in music history––the Japan- born French singer became rather successful in the 80s for her avant garde cabaret- sounding style. There’s little to find of her on the internet, save for her website which is entirely in French. Her music is rather interesting, to say the least, but probably not for everyone and her look is equally as eccentric as her music. The Wikipedia entry on Megumi describes her as “the new Marlene Dietrich with an Asian touch,” which is fairly accurate in describing her style. It’s masculine tailoring meets 1930s Hollywood meets Comme des Garçons. That her and the Japanese avant-garde designers in Paris were contemporaries makes a lot of sense. I can imagine her as a muse to many designers even today, even though it has the definite 80s edge to it, her style seems ahead of its time even today.

     

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