Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Christmas with Leonor Fini

Lazily relying on the marvel that is Amazon for the Christmas presents for the 'impossible to buy for' crew, we unearthed a rare gem: Sphinx The Life and Art of Leonor Fini.

An exquiste and exhaustively researched account of the life of one of 20th Century's most important and curiously underrated artists - we've been devouring it. A prodigous talent, she was first exhibited by Christian Dior before he became a couturier, designed the renowed 'May West' bottle for Schiaparelli's Shocking Perfume, was the subject of some of 20th Century's most important photographs and the first woman to paint an erotic male nude. However, her foremost talent was that of an artist, painting some of the most powerful paintings of her time, exploring the power of the feminine. We couldn't have wished for a more brilliant present.

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Christmas in . . . Vogue

Our recent acquisitions of key late 1920s and early 1930s pieces, an ignited love of things white and furry, freezing temperatures and falling snow; this UK Vogue cover from December 1929 summarizes our December perfectly!

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Peau d'ours blanc / 'ursus maritimus'

So good, we had to show him again. Magnificent beast!

Paris When It Sizzles

No, we are not the ones who recently spent £60,000 on Audrey Hepburn's LBD from 'Paris when it sizzles' but we have just returned from a brilliant buying trip to Paris. We've stocked up on haute couture Chanel, YSL, Nina Ricci, Jean Patou and, most wonderful of all, a 1928 Vionnet... Something we think is much better than Audrey's dress!

Good thing we took a very large bag from Jeeves, our dry cleaners. Sadly there was not room for the polar bear rug. So wrong, but somehow as we sit here watching it snow outside, oh so right...

Friday, 4 December 2009

A very special label . . .

We admit to indulging in little label fetish every now and then at VA but we have become chronic obsessives about the labels on two of our recent acquisitions.

'Gabrielle Chanel'

In her early years at 31 Rue Cambon, Chanel used her first name, Gabrielle, on black silk tags. By the 1930s she had dropped 'Gabrielle'. Labels simply read 'Chanel' and she was more readily identified by her moniker 'Coco'. Our two new Chanel pieces date from 1920s, just as she was starting out. Spine tingling.

As for the pieces? We will be revealing more on the site in the New Year...

Monday, 30 November 2009

VA in Acne Paper Issue 9.

Here are just some of the VA pieces featured in this seasons Acne paper, modeled by Actress Tilda Swinton and photographed by Paolo Roversi, with an interview by VA curator Judith Watt.

'Aviary' backstage

Our Creative Director had an incredible day at the end of October when he spent the day shooting the VA's aptly named 'Aviary' collection of early 1960's feather hats, with photographer Pelle Crepin, and stunning model Will @ FM.

Thank you to everyone who helped make the day (finally) happen.

To see the completed final images check out the Fashion section of VA website: www.vintageacademe.com

Acne Paper Launch

Acne celebrated the launch of issue 9 of Acne Paper, in the apt location of the very beautiful and slightly haunting Christ Church, Spitalfields in honour of the issue's themes of Art and Spirituality. S/S10's new collaborator Swarovski, added a little bit of extra sparkle to the evening as we were escorted in by door men wearing top hats and tails and bejewelled umbrellas

As fashion's finest marvelled at the beautiful candle lit singing of Samantha Smith and the captivating video projections, it then turned into quite a church party, with plenty of Absolut vodka drinks to fuel the night. Three wise men on stilts walking through the crowd added to the celestial setting (and a pre-ambling Crimbo feeling too!) and we all went home clutching a Crystallized™ goodie bag.

The new issue of Acne Paper features a haunting cover with Tilda Swinton shot by Paolo Roversi and featuring large parts of the VA collection. And to go with the themes of enlightenment, spirituality, transcendence and paradise, there are interviews with David Lynch, Marina Abramovi and AA Bronson as well as an art portfolio curated by Lisa Rovner, Neville Wakefield. Waldemar Januszczak also delves into the secrets of the Sistine Chapel and Maureen Paley pays special homage to Edvard Munch.

Acne Paper Issue 9 available worldwide now.


Dont worry, we're not changing the look of the VA!
But VA founder and head of the brand Clare Nicholls has just taken a once in a lifetime trip to Ethiopia, and looking at these images of the Murzi Tribe, it must have been quite an incredible and inspirational trip.

RIP Irving Penn

Irving Penn, one of the 20th century’s most prolific and influential photographers of fashion and the famous, whose signature blend of classical elegance and cool minimalism was recognizable to magazine readers and museumgoers worldwide, died on October 7th 2009 at his home in Manhattan. He was 92.

A craftsman and a perfectionist, Penn was known for longtime association with Vogue magazine. He shot pioneering fashion photographs in the 1950s and constructed elegant portraits of many important artists of the 20th century. Equally admired for his still life work, he was still producing work into his 90s.

He will be greatly missed.

Its been a while . . .

We've been so busy here at the VA, between inspiration trips to ethiopia, magazine and book launches, and BIG VA plans that we have completely bypassed the blog, but don't worry we will now make the effort to blog as often as possible, and as promised, as soon as we have new stock or general updates on what has been happening in the VA world.

We hope you enjoy.

To start, the left hand stunning image is part of a fashion story from an early 90's French Vogue, shot by Bruce Weber.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

'Fashion's Big Night Out'

Thursday night's Fashions Big Night Out' was fantastic in London's West end - EVERYTHING was open, and EVERYWHERE was serving Champagne, and chocolates / cakes / popcorn / Smoked ham (?!) / Sausgages (?!). The night was held by differing Vogue's across the world, from London to New York, Paris to Bejing, in honour of the launch night of the movie 'The September Issue' - A docu-movie chronicling Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour's preparations for the 2007 fall-fashion issue.

Above we have the lovely Tessa, one of the staff at Dover Street Market, 'throwing face' in vintage Velvet and Lace. DSM were celebrating not only 'Fashions Big Night Out', but Also the DSM 5th Birthday - A great night was had by all.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Labels II.

_Just a few more samples from our collection of beautiful garment labels.

'Country House Rescue'

A few days ago we mentioned our VA trip to north wales to not only film for the channel 4 show 'Country House Rescue' but also to source pieces to add to our own collections. Well, we said we'd show you the rooms where we had to source, and this is them - to say it was a challenge would be an understatement!

Non the less, we found some stunning pieces.
Stay tuned for more of what we found at a later date.

Daphne's Debut

Last Thursday night saw the launch party for Daphne Guinness’s new eponymous fragrance was held at Dover Street Market in Mayfair, London. The “Daphne” perfume is a collaboration between Guinness and Comme des Garcons and goes on sale worldwide September 18th. To start just 5,000 50ml bottles costing £90 will be released.

Guests at the launch party included not only our VA team but designers Anthony Price and Christopher Kane, model Jasmine Guinness, handbag designer Lulu Guinness, interior decorator Nicky Haslam, socialite-Chanel ambassador Poppy Delevigne, and many more.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Details II.

Here a just a few more lovely details from our current collection.

From top to bottom: 1992 Comme Des garcons offset 'torn floral' dress next to a 1990's silk ribbon dress by Issey Miyake, 1960's Christian Dior 'Crystal ball buttons' next to a 1970's Ossie clark 'Traffic Light' dress, the black wire darts of a 1990's Versace Atelier jacket next to a 1970's Yves Saint Laurent floral jacket print, the corsetry of a 1990's denim houndstooth Alaïa Biker jacket next to a 1960's orange and gold Chanel tweed 2 piece and finally a 1990's Pucci dress print next to the lace detail of a Victorian Opera coat.