The antiques clothes show.


Artykuł pochodzi z pisma "Guardian"

The antiques clothes show

Models and dress designers are heavily into it and its popularity is spreading. Juliet Shedden reports on the centre of the boom in vintage garments

Saturday February 22, 2003
The Guardian

Kate Moss shops there, while designers John Galliano, Stella McCartney, Donna Karan and Lulu Guinness go there for "inspiration." And it's there you'll find an array of goods at the centre of Britain's latest investment craze: vintage clothing.
Alfie's antiques market, based in Marylebone, London, has become popular with the rich and famous, who want to stay one step ahead of the crowd by seeking out unique, one-off vintage designer items.
Vintage clothing covers all dress eras, from the 80s back to the 1800s. It includes accessories and even underwear. Some are bought for use in films - for example, the corset worn by Gywneth Paltrow in the yet to be released film about the life of Sylvia Plath was bought at Alfie's.
Another collector is actor Nicholas Cage, whose speciality is vintage Hawaiian shirts. He was recently reported to have spent $16,500 on a black one with gold dragons on it.
Alfie's is a covered market within a former Edwardian department store, bustling with more than 75 dealers.
Nicole Borovec has just set up a shop, Era, vintage for right now, on the second floor. "The thing with vintage clothes is you don't have to buy a label to get your money's worth. If you bought a dress for £120 on the high street it wouldn't go up in value. If you spent the same on a vintage piece, not only will it be unique, it will have the chance of going up in value too," she says.
"People come here looking for 60s stuff because designer Marc Jacobs, who has been very influential for several seasons, has just shown his 60s-inspired collection on the New York catwalk," she says.
Another era having its revival is the 80s. Ms Borovec says this is a generation misunderstood. "Anyone who buys from this era must have a good eye for it. I have a John Galliano black suit from his second ever collection in 1986, which I'm selling for £850. In five years' time (if kept in perfect condition) this will be worth £1,500."
But the prize in her collection, she says is her 1972 original Pucci dress, on sale at £1,250. "This is a bargain," she says, "considering a new Pucci dress would start at £2,000 today."
Emilio Pucci started designing bright skiwear in the 50s and soon after became a mainstream name. His designs are fairly distinctive.
"His work is like an art collectable - his style and technique are not used any more. He was very influenced by Moorish designs - moulded with abstract and op art; almost like a cartoon version of paisley.
He's mainly known for his silk jersey because it's a fabric which brings out the vibrant colours he used," says Ms Borovec.
If you are buying an original Pucci it's worth going for his most distinctive style as it will be easier to re-sell, she says.
In this area, it's easy to get side-tracked by the glamour rather than the investment opportunity. So Ms Borovec offers her hot tips: "Look out for Ossie Clarke, Bill Gibb or anything by Biba. Collectors love, and will pay for, these. Like good wine you can hold on to them for a few years and still make your money," she says.
"Another hot tip is to get your hands on an original Mackintosh rain coat. They have just been rebought and relaunched, and will be rivalling Burberry's trench coats. So if you can find an original (you can pick them up in charity shops for £5) I'd be selling it for £85 in mint condition."
The 50s are also big in the vintage clothes world. At The Girl Can't Help It on the ground floor of Alfie's, Jasja Boelhouwer and his business partner Sparkle Moore specialise in American Hollywood glamour from this period.
They have what they call daywear, playwear, nightwear and eveningwear and their hot tip is circle skirts - of which they have a large collection.
"Circle skirts are works of art. All circle skirts were hand painted and decorated with jewels and sequins," says Mr Boelhouwer. "What you pay will vary depending on the weight of the skirt - a really heavy one ranges between £150 and £300.
"The most expensive one I have is a leopard. This is very 50s. Everyone loved leopard print stuff in that era. Poodles were the most popular skirts in those days for cutesie girls. And little wicked girls wore the leopards. These skirts are very rare. We are selling ours for £295.
"It's hard to say how much this would go up in value. We've seen prices double in the past five years, so I'd say you'd easily stick another £100 on top of its value."
For men, the Hawaiian shirt is a sought-after classic. They have to be rayon and must have interesting designs to be valuable. So a brown shirt with white flowers on it won't be worth much, unlike a black shirt with a Hawaiian beauty on the back, says Mr Boelhouwer. Only 10 years ago you could pick up a Hawaiian shirt for £30; now they go for 10 times that amount, he adds.
His prize shirt is a long-sleeved red Hawaiian on sale for £650. It's special, he says, because: "a) it's bright red b) it's got pineapples on it - which is a typically tropical Hawaiian image, and c) it's got long sleeves. They did exist, but in much smaller quantities. The same shirt, with short sleeves, would be worth £200 less."
The condition of the shirts will reflect in their value. "If it looks worn or faded in any kind of way, forget it," says Mr Boelhouwer.
"Size matters a lot, especially in men's clothes. I wouldn't touch a small. A medium Hawaiian shirt would sell for £300, whereas an extra large would sell for £1,000. Purely because these days people are larger than they were then. So the larger the size, the more people can wear it."
If you're looking around in your loft and pulling out an old Hawaiian shirt, it's worth bearing in mind these prices apply to shirts in mint condition. One that's been repaired, faded or has any holes in it would be worth virtually nothing. "Brightness is everything; if it's faded, forget it," Mr Boelhouwer adds.
Bags are another vintage must. Peter Pinnington of Tin Tin Collectables on the ground floor, whose regular customers look like a list of who's who in the VIP area, has an amazing collection of vintage accessories. He has an original 40s concertina handbag on sale for £850. He thinks its value will double in five years.

Array – a large group
Bargain – of price lower than the value
bustling – full of activity
Catwalk – wybieg (na pokazie mody)
Corset – gorset
Concertina – składający się jak harmonijka
Loft – the upper part of the house, where usually many things are stored, strych
Mint condition – like new
Moulded – shaped
One-off – something done only once
Paisley – rodzaj wzoru na tkaninie, najczęściej przedstawiający płatki kwiatów
Rayon – sztuczny jedwab
Revival – time when interest in something comes back
To get side-tracked – to get attracted by something else than you were focusing on
Sequin – cekin
Vintage – old, but valuable


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