I have been collecting vintage clothing for over two decades now so I have a fairly large collection which consists mostly of 1930s, 1940s and some 1950s clothes, accessories and shoes. There’s seems to be a disproportionate amount of green, it’s my favourite colour…in all hues. There are also a lot of 1930s and 40s knits…it’s an obsession.
Are you a vintage purist or do you wear repro pieces occasionally too?
I’m not a purist, although I do prefer true vintage as one of the things I love about vintage clothing is the history of the pieces. I like to imagine the lives their previous owners have lived. But I do have some reproductions. They’re mostly made from vintage fabric and wool using vintage patterns. Also, true vintage pieces are often unaffordable for me nowadays.
What are some of your most prized pieces in your vintage collection and why?
I have quite a few favourites so it’s hard to choose.
One would be a 1930s knitted dress in a dusty salmon pink with embroidered flowers called Olive. I purchased it off Vanessa from @twosquirrelsvintage. It’s called Olive after the woman who knitted her.
Another are a 1940s dress and top made by a local woman, Thelma, and gifted to me by her niece who still lives in Thelma’s house. They are exquisite and beautifully made.
Also a knitted bolero and matching beret set made, designed and gifted to me by the lovely @squidneyknits who I met through Instagram.
Any noteworthy recent purchases?
How did you first become interested in vintage style?
I first became interested in the 1980s when I was in my teens. You could wear something unique and it was so cheap. There were still a lot of great vintage scores then as it wasn’t popular like it is today.
What is it about vintage clothing that appeals to you?
What appeals the most is the cut, the beautiful fabrics, the stories they hold, and that it’s better for the environment. Also, nobody else will be wearing the same thing as you.
How does it make you feel when you wear it?
I feel very comfortable wearing vintage as it suits my body shape. It is a little like fantasy as well, I have a nostalgia for the fashion and the way women dressed in the past, and I feel altered and transported in a way when I’m wearing it. It makes me happy.
My favourite eras are the late 1930s to mid 1940s. I also like aspects of the 50s, but prefer the less “pretty” styles. I tend to like clothes that are feminine but with a masculine edge to them.
What are your general thoughts about op shopping and vintage shopping in New Zealand?
It seems to be harder each year to find good vintage in New Zealand and the good pieces are usually unaffordable for me now. You still find some gems occasionally though.
What are your holy grail pieces? Fave labels/ fabrics/ outfit types?
Not sure about holy grail pieces or labels, but I do love vintage rayon crepe, cold rayon , wool crepes and silk velvet. My favourite outfit types depends on my mood. Usually something 1940s with a bit of a masculine edge.
I love high-waisted 1930s and 40s trousers, they’re my go-to and a staple of my wardrobe. I nearly always wear a hat of some type, either a beret or turban/headscarf. And I adore vintage knits from the 1930s and 40s.
Whose closet do you envy?
I don’t know if I could say I envy anybodies closet as I’m happy with my own, but I love Katherine Hepburn style.
Who are some of your style icons and influences?
I really don’t have any style icons. I do love old clothing catalogues like Sears though. Also old patterns and magazines. They have great suggestions for outfit styling.
Can you remember the first vintage piece you bought? What was it?
I think the first vintage piece I bought was a 1940s rayon jersey dress from Tasman Traders in Christchurch. I must have been about 14 or 15 and I wore it for years.
Most people are lovely and really appreciate someone dressing up. I really only get positive comments. The only thing that I use to find annoying was when I worked in a wee chocolate shop, people often asked about my costume, which is kind of understandable really. I often get stopped by strangers who like to complement me on my style.
Do you wear vintage to work as well? What do you do and how is your style received in the workplace?
No, I work as an artist so I mostly live in overalls. I do open my studio to the public in the summer months and so I’ll dress up then.
Not really. I live in a tiny house with a very small budget, so I just stick to clothing. Although most things in my home are second hand or thrifted If I could, I would definitely fill my house with beautiful old things and drive an old car.
Anything that you’d never be caught dead wearing?