5 Tips on Wearing Vintage

Posted by Cherie
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(L-R) Rhianna in Moschino  /  Giovanna Battaglia in Pierre Balmain  /  Dana Al Khalifa in Alfred Bosand - all from Shrimpton Couture.

Editors note: The following is a reprint of an article I wrote for The World of Kotur, the blog behind the handbag brand that is a celebrity red carpet favorite. I was thrilled to put this together for them. I love Kotur bags and Fiona, the brand's founder, and I have followed each other on Instagram for ages. It is yet another great example of how vintage and modern are the perfect mix! The version below is slightly expanded from the original - I hope you enjoy and please make the Kortur blog a part of your daily read after you stop in here - xxx Cherie.

Vintage has really evolved over the years to become a mainstay in just about every closet of every fabulous girl out there. From street style to the red carpet most women know that pulling out that amazing piece of vintage can really set a girl apart. For me the key to wearing vintage well is to treat it like you would a dress from this season – don’t do vintage head to toe – mix it with modern day accessories (like a fabulous Kotur bag) and make a pieces of the past feel modern. That with a couple of clever styling tips will have you looking for your next vintage piece today!

 Rihanna in a Moschino Coat from Shrimpton Couture (L photo from @badgalriri / R screenshot from vogue.com)

Adding a bold vintage coat instantly updates a sleek and modern outfit and makes you stand out from the crowd.

When Rihanna wore her Shrimpton Couture vintage Moschino Couture coat during her birthday week her photo went viral. It even landed her on the top spot of the Vogue Best Dressed list that week. A bold vintage coat instantly ups your game and takes even the little basic black  dress to the next level. Look for bold colors or design, strong lines, embellishments and rich fabrics.

(L-R) Rare 1960s Annacat Green & White Print Coat or Dress  /  Rare 1970s Red Snakeskin & Fox Gucci Trench Coat  /  Rare 1960s Stavropoulos Golden Opera Coat  /  Rare 1984 Yves Saint Laurent Zebra Safari Trench Coat  /  1978 Yves Saint Laurent Feather Fox & Mink Fur Jacket




Giovanna Battaglia in Christian Dior (L) and Balmain (R) from Shrimpton Couture. (Photos from @bat_gio)

Don’t do black for evening. Who hasn’t walked into a room and been faced with a sea of black dresses? Forget that go to for night and go bold!

Follow the lead of uber stylist and street style darling, Giovanna Battaglia and wear color. She proved this theory twice, wearing Shrimpton Couture vintage gowns by both Dior and Balmain while making her way through Italy this summer. You can bet that anyone dressed on black those nights was well, a little too basic. When wearing bold color keep accessories simple or add one bold pop in the same tone. Shoes and bags can stay in tone. Acts as contrast or work well when keeping them as neutrals.

(L-R) Extraordinary 1960s Sequin & Silk Plunging Travilla Gown  /  1960s Dramatic Pink Silk Taffeta Pauline Trigere Gown  /  Fall 1994 Rare Fully Beaded Todd Oldham Runway Gown  /  Rare 1960s Sculptural Demi-Couture Helen Rose Gown  /  1970s Couture James Galanos Print Silk Dress & Pant Set




Dana Al Khalifa from The Overdressed in an Alfred Bosand Gown from Shrimpton Couture. (Photo courtesy Dana)

Sometimes a seamstress is a girl’s best friend. Vintage addicts know that sometimes a small tweak can take a dress from wow to pow.

Though you don’t want to completely change the lines of a historically important dress  nor start cutting up couture, getting a dress fitted to you or tweaking it in a small way can sometimes be the best thing that ever happened to it. I don’t think I have ever been asked for the twin of a dress more that this Alfred Bosand. Dana Al Khalifa, who is behind the break out Bahrainian blog, The Overdressed, had her seamstress take in the waist a touch so it fits her like it was made for her and slightly redo the neckline so it falls a touch lower and the sleeves sit slightly more off shoulder then the original. Small tweaks that did not cost a fortune but that do make all the difference.  Find someone you trust and be respectful to the original design and go for it.




Samantha Angelo from The Eye Travels in a Donald Brooks Set from Shrimpton Couture. (Photos from fashionista.com (L) & Mark Iantosca/cosmopolitan.com (R) )

Bold for day can work too. Sometimes I think we have all become too minimalist – wear color during the day and walk tall!

When Samantha Angelo wore this vintage Donald Brooks set form my shop to New York Fashion week this season she was stopped and photoed everywhere she went. Her photos have gone viral and she emerged as one of the break out style stars of the week. And she was not wearing black. Nope, it was full on riotous color with black accessories and shoes used as an anchor and to keep it within the realm of day. Maybe that’s not what you can wear to you office but the lesson here is that a shot of well-placed, bold color gets you noticed. Look for simple shifts and sleek vintage suits in brights that you can mix with neutrals and black for day.

(L-R) Resort 1996 Documented Chanel Silk Logo Pant Suit  /  1960s Chic Striped Silk Norman Norell Suit  /  1960s Novarese Attr. Dragon Fly & Floral Sequin Silk Pant Suit  /  1970s Rare Gucci Silk "Pheasant" Print Shirt & Skirt Set  /  1970s Givenchy Soft Knit Stripe Pant Suit




Indre Rockefeller in a dress and poncho from Shrimpton Couture (Photos from @indrerock)

Finally sometimes vintage is the best choice when you want to find something that fits the mood of a themed event or occasion. Now don’t even think the word Hallowe’en here because that is not what I mean.

I am not talking about when you need to wear a costume, but rather when you need to capture a mood, an era and feeling. This is not dressing up like a seventies hooker at Hallowe’en, this is thinking outside of the box and taking a piece from the past and making it create a mood. When Indre Rockefeller went to Wyoming this summer she took some simple and pretty vintage pieces that I had found for her and used them to create a dreamy country feel that still felt modern but in tune with her surroundings.  And that’s just good style.

(L-R) 1970s Citrus Silk Jersey La Mendola Jumpsuit & Overlay  /  Important & Rare 1968 Paco Rabanne Metal Disc Dress  /  1960s Sleeved Purple Silk & Gold Thread Caftan  /  Exceptional S/S 1959 YSL for Christian Dior Haute Couture Dress  /  1970s Green Print Bandanna Scarf Cotton Caftan Dress


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