You will be introduced to a different Team member in each new post. Please check out our Team Gallery page here.
Today's featured seller is Mary Jane and you can visit her shop VintageFanAttic here.
1. When did you first get interested in vintage fashion & why?
Like many vintage aficionados I simply adored watching old movies as a little girl and seeing all the costumes, especially those glamorous outfits in the old musicals. These films were actually my initiation into the appreciation of beautiful clothes!
Another main contributor was fashion catalogs and magazines, how many hours were spent going through these, either by myself or with a friend, and picking what we liked…we never tired of it! Although, at the time these were not vintage garments it still ingrained one with a sense of fashion. Once I was into vintage I realized that this enjoyable pastime was a foundation for dating labels and styles.
I had my first personal taste when I was a young teenager and dyed my grandmother’s machine made lace curtain mauve and a matching canvas bag the same color. I used the curtain as a shawl till it fell apart. I still have the canvas bag packed away somewhere. My grandmother actually gave me a few of her older items as she could see that I really liked them and I really think she got a kick out of seeing me wear them! When I was in my early 20s, I went into business with my vintage mentor, a wonderful woman from England named Alma White, and she taught me so much about vintage in a very short time... I was an avid student! A couple of years later I had my own shop and loved it!
There is nothing like these older fabrics, they are simply beautiful and they last so much longer than what is on the market today. Even the less expensive manufactured factory garments of yesteryear were so well made compared to now. The fashion of today is really of a very disposable nature which is really quite sad, unless you can afford true couture garments, which very few people can. It is very true that today’s clothing is very inexpensive but there is no quality in the workmanship or the materials and it is all way too trendy. What’s in this year is already out by the end of the same year!
2. Do you regularly wear vintage?
Yes, I still do wear vintage regularly and I like to incorporate it with something more modern. I can’t leave home without at least a piece of vintage jewelry!
3. Do you have a Holy Grail?
I adore 1920s clothes and early 30s the most, so finding amazing beaded or metallic lamé or fabulous velvet dresses is a particular thrill for me. They don’t often have the designer's label in them but that’s fine with me. I actually am not a fan of all the branding that today’s society is so fond of, I find the heavy duty marketing actually quite distasteful and I really don’t want to pay a lot of money out for an accessory or piece of clothing just so that others can tell it is by “whoever” made it by the prominent use of their logo on the item. It is oneself that should be noticed for one’s innate style and not by “who” you are wearing.
It’s hard to pinpoint a true holy grail as there are so many beautiful garments from the past.
4. If you could visit the atelier of any fashion designer (dead or alive), who would it be?
After having viewed the Yves Saint Laurent exhibition, I would have to say, I would love to have seen him and his team work on some of these spectacular garments, especially the African collection from 1967. Vionnet would be another one, just to see her work her draping magic! There are just so many interesting designers, it really is difficult to choose!
5. What do you see as the future of vintage?
Well, actually I find it difficult to imagine that anyone would want anything that is being manufactured these days, I mean the typical run of the mill clothing that is so prevalent everywhere and being mass produced in China very cheaply. I see racks and racks of it and it just turns me right off, I can’t fathom anyone appreciating it even 20 years from now. I think clothing up to the 90s will still be collectible for some time. Of course as vintage does follow fashion trends, certain items will be more desirable than others at certain times. The only clothing I can see being appreciated that is being produced now would be the very pricey garments of today. That is the difference, a regular manufactured garment even up to the 80s can still be quite desirable but I just don’t know how all of this cheap clothing that is out there now will play into the scheme of vintage clothing later on.
6. What is your favorite item in your shop?
Vintage 1930s Organdy Cotton Wedding Dress // Swiss Eyelet Embroidery
Vintage 1950s Lace Dress // Ruffled Lace Back // Marsha Mayne Brisbane
Vintage 1970s Color Block Maxi Dress // Hand Loomed Fabric
Vintage 1960s Peasant Skirt // Bohemian Folk Print // Striped Cotton with Glass Beads