Every artist has a special something as their focus. A muse for lack of better words. Da Vinci had the Mona Lisa. Carrie (SATC) had the next big shoe from Christian Louboutin to Jimmy Choo. I am no different. My obsession is Vintage clothes. So you can imagine the sense of euphoria that I felt when I stumbled across an awesome group of vintage clothiers on the social networking site twitter. One such clothier happened to become a follower of mine. Posting under the name @ShrimptonCoutur, this clothier introduced me to a different vintage world. Instantly I fell in love with the pictures that she began to post from her website. After viewing her post, I got in touch with Cherie of Shrimpton Couture to do an interview. Cherie, who’s based out of Rockwood, Canada, is a vintage clothing enthusiast and dealer. Although clothing from the 80’s can technically be considered vintage, her deals with vintage pieces from the 1930’s to 1970’s. However she doesn’t discriminate against any designer or era. Proving that she’s not stuck on what classifies as vintage, you can occasionally see a “collectible” (a piece that’s classic and timeless) piece from recent years. Also featured on the site is a variety of indie designers who re-vamp (take remnants of vintage pieces and add their own spin to it) which include, but are not limited to RSVP, Glamourai , Louise Black and Norwegian Wood. Cherie’s noted celeb-buyers have included Rebecca Romjin and Courtney Love. Look closely and you’ll find vintage Balmain, Thea Porter, Emillio Pucci, Ossie Clark, Halston or YSL. If you’re wondering were has Shrimpton been all your life, don’t worry it’s only been around for 2 1/2 years! After reading this article, jump over to ShrimptonCouture and see what Cherie has in store for you. Don’t think you can afford a vintage piece? don’t worry, Shrimpton does lay-a-way.
JSD: Shrimpton Couture, how catchy. Where did you come up with this unique name?
You know it sort of happened by accident. I wanted something unique and wanted to play with the word Couture. So, I started throwing all the names of fabulous women and models throughout the past around, combining together with Couture. When these two came together, everyone around me loved it. I like to think it’s (Shrimpton Couture) hard to forget it once its in your head – just like great vintage pieces!
JSD: That’s true, It is very hard to forget! So, How’d the site come about?
I started the shop after being an obsessive collector for years and years. All of my girlfriends were borrowing and then ultimately buying things from me So thereafter, their friends started to do the same. The shop was born as a practical means to handle requests! It was very small when I started but earlier this year I brought in a professional developer and we overhauled the entire site from scratch to create what you see today. Its still a work in progress though – I have a ton of new and exciting features planned!
JSD: Aside from the fabulous re-mastered vintage wear and pristine vintage wear, what else can be found on Shrimpton’s website?
The reworked vintage is a fairly new addition to the shop. The vast majority of the items you will find are pristine vintage pieces that I have hand picked to showcase. I have to admit that the site is biased towards dresses but you will find tops and bottoms, suits, coats and accessories too. Besides the merchandise’ I just added a look book. I’ll soon add a guest edit section!
JSD: How do you pick items to be featured on the site?
I pick based on quality and “prettiness”. I like to call it the gorgeous factor. If its gorgeous it goes up no matter if it’s labeled or not! I try to select pieces that make a statement. When it arrives and you pull it from its box and tissues you get that little happy smile on your face and maybe even laugh out loud in delight. That is what I strive for.
JSD: How many designers are featured ?
Goodness – I think there are about 80 or so different vintage designer labels represented on the site and there are currently seven independent designer who work with vintage remnants to create their own original designs.
JSD: What’s Shrimpton’s best seller this season?
Pieces from the reworked designers sell in a heart beat – they are all so talented! I added a pre-order page to the site and many of their pieces are spoken for before they even arrive! From the vintage racks jersey maxi dresses by the great 1970s designers fly, 1940s swing dresses and 1950s full skirted “cupcake” dresses always go quickly!
JSD: Which designer would you love to stumble across that hasn’t been featured on the site yet?
Some of the early greats – a Fortuny or Poiret for example. These labels are rare and as the years go by and pieces simply deteriorate. They get even harder to find (and more expensive to buy too!) Though honestly, if I did find those I would probably go though my museum contacts first and try to place a piece like that with a museum so it is perserved properly.
JSD: What’s a must have item for this Fall (vintage/otherwise)
Well for me a vintage item is a must have any season 🙂
I would look for a printed silk swing dress from the 1940s, they have the right combination: sexy , fitted , wit and uniqueness. I would also look for 1950s and 60s pieces in jewel tones – simple cuts with a fabulous details through the fabric or color. Jewel tones seem to be in line with fall this season!