It’s been a while since I’ve done a fashion post, so I thought that I’d start the week with some sartorial inspiration from two of my favorite men in fashion, Cameron Silver (left) and Christos Garkinos (right). They are the co-owners of Decades, the Los Angeles vintage couture consignment boutique.
Last week I had the fun opportunity to welcome Decades to town for a pop-up shop in which they showcased a wonderfully fun and beautiful collection of both vintage and modern clothing as well as accessories.
I’ve long been a fan of collecting vintage clothing. In fact, I have a number of items (including my engagement ring!) that belonged to my grandmother and my mother-in-law. During our time together last week, I had the opportunity to chat with them about a few tricks of the trade for collecting in the fashion world.
HJ: How best to wear vintage and contemporary together?
Cameron Silver: It’s about looking modern. The key is to ensure that the vintage becomes your conversation piece and the contemporary selections accompany the look but make it look 21st century.
Christos Garkinos: I think it’s important to mix and match. For instance, a sexy contemporary dress with vintage jewels is always a great combination.
HJ: What is the best vintage clothing or accessory investment?
CS: The epic names and their iconic designs such as the Hermès Kelly bag, Chanel suit, Dior New Look dress, Gaultier cone bra detail jacket, Marc Jacobs for Vuitton Sprouse graphite keepall are all examples.
CG: A Chanel handbag is a great investment piece. Prices on new bags have been rising twice-yearly. Owning a pre-loved bag like Chanel will lead to price appreciation.
HJ: How do you curate your collections?
CS: I think about the retrospective in my mind! Everything I purchase needs to have some value and must be a cultural barometer of the times. I don’t invest in fast or disposable fashion. Even my affordable tees need to be inherently well designed and have longevity. That being said, my closet runneth over and I am a bit of a pack rat.
CG: We have more than 4,000 consignors in our database, we are always on the search for interesting pieces—nothing boring and basic—that feel modern
HJ: What are your tips for successful consignment experiences?
CS: Mingle with the management. The best things are often in the back or haven’t yet been placed on the sales floor.
CG: When consigning, ensure that you have emotionally detached from your items. The process of letting go of your clothing can be cathartic. Once that occurs find a reputable reseller like Decades for a smooth experience.
HJ: What contemporary clothing lines hold their value?
CS: The brands with more limited distribution are more desirable. Raf Simons for Dior has so much buzz because it’s not everywhere. A lot of the quirky Japanese brands have huge followings like Comme des Garçons. Rick Owens is a perennial who never goes out of style so shoppers always gravitate to his work. Dries Van Noten and Lanvin—although a bit ubiquitous at retail—are popular brands that have cult collectors. I love that the season is always noted in a Lanvin garment.
CG: Anything by Tom Ford for Gucci has kept its value. We are obsessed with it!