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8.11.08

We Got Press


Shrimpton Couture & our new RSVP line made the cover of Globe & Mail style section today!
Here's the full article:

THRIFT 2.0

Forget the credit crunch: Frugal fashion never looked so good. With vintage gone viral, the cool kids are refashioning preloved finds into up-to-the minute looks. Amy Verner reports

Before Christine Davis checks her inbox each morning, she logs onto eBay. The Toronto-based visual artist returns to the Internet auction site throughout the day. Besides being her favourite distraction, this is one of the primary ways she finds (and occasionally sells) vintage clothing.

But Davis now goes a step beyond buying and selling. She recently began making new clothes out of the old clothes. A friend and fashion blogger loved them so much that she asked Davis to create some pieces for her shopping site, http://www.shrimptoncouture.com. The capsule collection, called RSVP, relies on reconstructing and recombining to create tastefully decadent dresses.

"It becomes less about collecting it and more about living it and wearing it and crossing historical moments," says Davis, who is in her early 40s. "Why not put a Victorian beaded collar onto a seventies glam thing? You're making it up as you go along. Plus, it's cheaper. [Vintage] is ridiculously expensive now."

Davis is referring to designer clothing from decades past that could once be had for next to nothing but has now spawned a "competitive sport" among those with the means to pay full price in any decade. This is in contrast to those who have long worn vintage because it's the least expensive way to make the most distinctive statement or because they prefer clothing that is not mass-manufactured.

You know the look when you see it, even if everyone looks different. Rather than retro, think city chic on a budget. If celebrities in vintage gowns are the flag bearers, then upstart models, students and shop clerks are the foot soldiers (in eighties booties, natch), seamlessly integrating vintage pieces into their contemporary wardrobes.

But don't call them "recessionistas." While fiscal factors are part of the picture, many say their style philosophy is inspired less by economy than by creativity.

No matter their motivations, vintage has gone viral. There are e-commerce sites (Vintage Couture, Lulu's Vintage and eBay), blogs (D.C. Goodwill Fashion Blog, Thrift Eye, Sally Jane Vintage) and community forums (on Lookbook.nu, people post their pictures, annotate what they're wearing and get feedback from viewers).

Laura Kaminer and Muqu Ahsan, who posed as models for this shoot, are typical of the new thrifters: two Toronto gals who work in fashion and love to mix up "preloved" and new.

"You always wonder who is the person behind the piece and what's their story," says Kaminer, the managing director for Fred Perry Canada. Working for a brand that draws from its 50-year heritage has made her aware that current labels are always influenced by vintage. Kaminer credits her late grandmother not just for priceless hand-me-downs but for fuelling her passion. "I have a handful of pieces that are really meaningful to me."

Ahsan, 25, loves the thrill of the hunt. She trolls Goodwill stores and then uses a sewing machine to repair or customize her purchases.

"A lot of consumers are of the 'buy now, wear now' mentality," says Ahsan, a marketing specialist for the Bay. "I spend a lot of time with my pieces."

"Until the day I can go to a couturier and have all my pieces custom made, vintage is as good as it gets," she adds.

Davis isn't surprised that young women have made vintage a point of pride. "It's a whole part of the way that generation is political and concerned about the environment and ecology and not wanting to waste and over-consume. Of course, I shudder when I see them wearing eighties vintage because it makes me feel old," she quips.

She also suggests that the refashioning movement is expanding the way we view our clothes: not as objects to be preserved but as opportunities for individual expression.

"That's why I ended up making things," she says. "I think you have to reinvent the roots. You just have to take it and plant it somewhere else and turn it into something different."

However, she adds playfully, "I'm not going to tell you where I get my good stuff."

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We all know where she gets it though - Shrimpton Couture of course!!

4 comments:

Sandra @ Debutanteclothing.com said...

Congrats Cherie! You are kicking vintage ass, and we love you for it!!

WendyB said...

Congrats! (Though not as amusing as my interview with you, IMHO. LOL)

Shrimpton Couture said...

Thanks you two - your congrats are soooooo appreciated. Though I do of course owe it all to Wendy B and HER interview. How can anyone ignore me now? LOL

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