Monday, January 24, 2011

Vin-tij\ b: length of existence

It would be fair to say that I rarely if ever, find inspiration from vintage pieces. The desire to sketch new ideas and source fabrics has been the go to formula with my own collection as with things I designed before. Even with the fantasy of trying to create something that may have never existed (ha) I have made my way to discovering the beauty of unique vintage pieces.

The first time I vintage shopped it was by accident. Wandering
the streets of Paris I zigzagged through what I thought was a book
store. Kiliwatch turned out to be an oasis of perfectly organized
signature pieces that were "used". It may have been the "greener on the other side" attitude but I went back twice that trip and put my (at the time) Francs where my mouth never was. Since Kiliwatch there have been some enlightening encounters with vintage shopping. A spot in Queens that’s on the DL, Gallery 429 in Greenport, Portia and Manny's in nolita all have sparked revisits.

Last April on a trip to Tokyo I found myself wandering the streets
(hobby of mine) and not once but twice stumbled upon Chicago Vintage,
first on Omotesando then on Jingumae. The selection of denim polo shirts and
Fair Isle sweaters was enough to send any nouveau yup-pster foaming at
the chained comme des garcon wallet. In the back past the South
American cotton tiered skirts were two racks of kimonos. The cliché of
vintage kimonos found in Japan was enough to skip looking them over,
until from the corner of my eye a psychedelic blown up wood grain print
caught my attention. Needless to say this "vintage" piece made its
way home with me. I am not sure if I like it or not, but I do love it.
I love the sheen of the silk, the scratchy weave that goes from graphic
in one glance to hazy and soft in the next. The thin cotton voile color blocked lining of dusty red next to cherry red is my favorite part. Reinterpreting
the print for spring was the initial idea and when that did not work we
thought then for fall; well here's a head's up, it did not happen. I
doubt it will ever become part of the Dallin Chase collection. Even so
I enjoy having it in the studio, my "used" kimono from Japan. More so
I enjoyed the experience of finding what has already been and maybe what it could become.

photos by Jill Birschbach

photo by Jill Birschbach if you need a wallet

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