Vintage couture never dates, as Penelope Cruz proved when she collected her Oscar in a 1950’s Pierre Balmain dress. And with sustainability at the forefront of the fashion agenda, there’s no finer way to do your bit for the environment. With so many incredible designer vintage boutiques worldwide, we highlight some of the best
WORDS: XENIA TALIOTIS
NEW YORK VINTAGE
“We got a call from The White House to dress Michelle Obama,” says founder Shannon Hoey, “and helped her choose a stunning Norman Norrell dress.” Hoey’s collection, comprising museum-quality items, is a time capsule of fashion history dating from the 19th century and includes dresses once owned by Hollywood stars such as Jean Harlow and Greta Garbo. The most important garments can only be viewed by invitation only. newyorkvintage.com
LA DOYENNE VINTAGE
This gorgeous store in the heart of the city is a treasure trove of vintage and not-so-vintage pieces by designers whose names are synonymous with elegance and style. Among the highlights currently on sale are a silk evening dress by Vivienne Westwood, Charlotte Olympia Ming Debbie pumps and a Hermès Rio clutch. ladoyennevintage.com
LE SWING VINTAGE
Barcelona has a healthy pre-loved retail scene, catering for all
budgets and tastes. Le Swing Vintage sits comfortably at the
higher end, with clothing and accessories by Courrèges, Prada
and Gucci. Those who have time to browse will be rewarded with gems from the 1920’s to the present day.
KERRY TAYLOR AUCTIONS
Kerry Taylor famously auctioned the wardrobes of the Duchess of Windsor and Robbie Williams when she was Director and Head of Sotheby’s collector’s department. Now running her own business, she’s continued in the same vein, selling collections that belonged to Princess Diana, among others. “Vintage can be very accessible, both in terms of price and wearability,” she says. “Balenciaga suits typically go for less than £1,000 and you can buy Ossie Clark, Zandra Rhodes and Bill Gibb, all of whom have a cult following, for less.”
A Balenciaga couture ivory guipure cocktail dress, probably spring-summer, 1958. Estimate £2,000-£3,000; Kerry Taylor Auctions
Paris is about art, love, food and haute couture. Those who go there for the latter, head for Didier Ludot’s immaculate showroom to search for one-off pieces by the greatest designers of all time. Yves Saint Laurent, Schiaparelli, Givenchy, Courrèges – you name them, you”ll find them…
Purple Dragon’s founder, Sharai Meyers, is a client: “Didier has an exceptional eye and is extremely knowledgeable. I’ve bought pieces by Chanel and Balenciaga from him, which always receive compliments.”
Frequent sales and an ever-changing stock of international and Australian designer items draw clients from
all over the world to Secondo.
Those who can’t visit in person, shop online. Its focus is on neo-vintage, so expect key pieces by Mulberry, Fendi, Donna Karen, Joseph and Claudie Pierlot. Any unsold items go to charity.
You really could spend days in this divine store which specialises in neo-vintage classics from the past decade, including Hermès, Prada and Chloe; vintage from the 1930s to the 1990s and all else in-between. Biba, Missoni, Ossie Clark and Versace, Galliano and Rossi line the shelves and rails.