I’ve always been a lover of vintage. When I first moved to New York City, I frequented places like Pippin Vintage, Hamlet’s Vintage and Vintage Thrift Shop on a regular basis, hunting for vintage treasures. For the most part those pieces I found were from the 50’s -70’s and I have an incredible collection. As I’ve gotten older and able to shop more luxury pieces, I’ve noticed that vintage luxury is always better than current season offerings. From the materials used to the quality vintage pieces are almost always superior. Currently, I’m really into fashion pieces from the early 90s, archive fashion to be exact and it all started with Sex and the City and the giraffe print Roberto Cavalli Dress that Carrie Bradshaw was robbed at gun point in and her precious Manolo Blahnik’s stolen. Around the same time, I became obsessed with Jean Paul Gaultier, who’s final Ready to Wear fashion show I attended in Paris and later an exhibition at Brooklyn Museum. Then there was my foray into vintage Chanel and Dior and there was truly no stopping me from there. Here are the Top 6 Brands I shop for Vintage Luxury Archive Fashion and where I buy them from!
Dior has always been that girl but in the early 2000s, every video vixen known to man had a Christian Dior Saddle Bag. Seeing those 2 gold letters in the crook of someone’s arm meant they had style and they were THAT GIRL, whatever the term for THAT GIRL was back then. Only the words: Fly Girl, come to mind. For as long as I can remember, I always wanted a saddle bag. I wanted to be that cool girl who was effortlessly fabulous. So it’s no surprise that my very first luxury bag purchase was a Dior Saddle Bag from the limited Matte Collection in a rare clay color. There were only 2 in America and I hunted one down and made it mine. Since then, all of my Dior Saddle bags have been preloved and from various archive collections that I’ve kept in the back of my mind since seeing them on the runway, in magazines and in music videos. The Dior Rasta Collection by John Galliano was everywhere and on everyone when it dropped. From Gwen Stefani to Missy Elliot, Galliano had the girls in a choke hold. Not to mention the infamous newspaper print dress that Carrie Bradshaw made famous. I’m still searching for that barely there dress. But in the meantime, I scored this Rasta Collection Dress and Bag at Valois Vintage in Paris. I’m also on the hunt for a bright and colorful J’adore Dior tank top to add the cherry on top of my teenage Dior dreams.
Jean Paul Gaultier
I’ve been a huge fan of Jean Paul Gaultier ever since being invited to his final Ready to Wear Fashion Show in 2015 at the Rex Theater in Paris. It was a moment I will never forget as a fairly newbie blogger making the rounds at one of my first Paris Fashion Weeks. Jean Paul Gaultier is iconic and again my love for the brand was re-ignited thanks to Patricia Fields heavy influence on wardrobe for the beloved show, Sex and the City. There’s something sexy and unique about Jean Paul Gaultiers sheer mesh pieces that just speak to me. I currently own 3 vintage Jean Paul Gaultier pieces and have quickly hopped on board for the recent collections and collaborations such at the most recent one with Y/Project. I’m loving how the brand has reinvented itself and I must say I’m enjoying present day Jean Paul Gaultier pieces just as much as the vintage pieces. But it’s always vintage archive pieces for me. During my latest trip to Los Angeles, I popped into What Goes Around Comes Around, a luxury consignment store right off Rodeo Drive and found this stunning JPG Camo Dress. It’s quickly become one of my favorites. I also got a few of my vintage JPG dresses from Vestiaire Collective!
Jean Paul Gaultier x Y/Project
Now although this collaboration is fairly new, I believe that in the next 20 years, these are the pieces that all the gworls are going to be clamoring for, similarly to how we are all searching for the perfect 20 year old JPG dress today! I’m loving the marriage of these two brands and know that these collections are iconic and will definitely be archival fashion one day. I’ve already grabbed 2 dresses from the JPG x Y/Project Collection and am eager to add more from the latest Jean Paul Gaultier Morphing and Flower Collections.
The infamous Giraffe Print from Roberto Cavalli is what did it for me and cemented the brand as one I would aspire to wear in my adult life. The silhouettes, vibrant animal prints and the way a silk Roberto Cavalli dress made a woman look sexy and sophisticated at the same time, speaks to my sense of fashion. I managed to find a Giraffe Print Dress with a beautiful green emerald snake head pendant right across the chest on The Real Real for less than $200 and I never looked back. That dress is one of my most prized possessions and every time I wear it, I get tons of compliments. Since acquiring that stunning archive piece, I’ve been on the hunt for more exquisitely detailed archival Roberto Cavalli pieces and usually find them on places Vestiaire Collective and What Goes Around Comes Around. I’ve also found some lovely past season pieces at Yoox.
It’s no secret that vintage Chanel is far superior to current day Chanel. When it comes to Chanel, I’m all about their bags and accessories. I don’t own any vintage or current day Chanel Ready to Wear. I’m heavily invested in 90s Chanel costume jewelry and accessories. I’m talking Claudia Schiffer & Naomi Campbell Supermodel era’s of Chanel. That was a time when Chanel didn’t take itself too seriously and was bold and fun and youthful. I still love the quirky resort collections but it’s definitely the craftsmanship of the 90’s pieces for me. I own a pair of vintage Chanel Sunburst Earrings that I’m obsessed with, as well as the hammered Gold CHANEL Belt from the 90s. Both of which I scored from Farfetch who actually has a pre-loved section full of vintage Chanel from all over the world. I’ve taken to collecting vintage Chanel costume jewelry from necklaces and earrings to belts. I’m not a classic flap kinda girl but the gold used on their vintage bags make me gag! I’d love a vintage Chanel bag but they currently cost a fortune. I was able to get my hands on a Denim Chanel Classic Flap from What Goes Around Comes Around. For vintage Chanel check out Farfetch, Fashionphile and Rebag.
Then there’s Fendi. I can’t lie, Fendi has a chokehold on me and my wallet but it was the Fendi Baguette, THEE IT BAG of the 90s that solidified it as a brand to watch and love and buy! One of my first luxury purchases was a classic Zucca Print Fendi Baguette, of course it was a remake of the iconic bag but I love it nonetheless. The great thing about Fendi is that you can find so many beautifully preserved Fendi bags on resale markets for about the same price as current season or even far less! That’s what makes shopping the brands vintage pieces more attractive to me. I actually have a vintage Zucca Print Fendi Skirt from the late 80s that I’m pretty obsessed with and need to wear more often. Again, I picked it up from What Goes Around Comes Around in New York City.
Of course an honorable mention goes to Louis Vuitton and any of their epi leather bags that literally lasts forever. I have two! As well as the Phoebe Philo era of Celine. Although I wouldn’t classify the pieces as vintage per se they are definitely fashion archival pieces from the gaudy chain necklaces, to the puffy pillow bags. There are still shoes and accessories that are on my wishlist from Old Celine. I tend to get my Old Celine pieces from The Real Real as they have a pretty expansive collection.
Hopefully this blog post was helpful for those of you looking to invest in older, more well made one of a kind fashion and archive pieces. Make sure to bookmark this post when you’re ready to try your hand at vintage and luxury consignment shopping!
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Great article!!! I love vintage pieces and I appreciate that you incorporate vintage in your wardrobe!
I learn much about vintage fashion, current trends, and your ‘likes’. This has inspired me to really focus in on what I like, and what makes me feel good. I gathered vintage and newer Lilly Pulitzer pieces from second hand stores and online last Summer. I am happy with my collection. Now, I add piece to them to ‘jazz’ them up a bit for my liking:}
I have collected many vintage LV pieces from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. I feel like I am a keeper of these items, until s time when someone else will cherish them.
The Real Real in West Palm Beach had a significant stash of vintage handbags last Summer when I was there.