The newest nostalgia craze? The 90s. Yes, the decade of The Supermodel and all its champagne-filled dreams of grungy grandeur are back in a big way. On another vintage adventure, this time in Los Angeles, Austin-based personal shopper and stylist Megan Kyle Bennett seeks and finds the best of the best
“Whoever said that money can’t buy happiness, simply didn’t know where to go shopping,” once enthused actress Bo Derek. As long as I can remember I have loved fashion, yet no other era will resonate more with me than the early 1990s. While the last “new” silhouettes from the end of the Big 80s were exiting stage right; fashion and designers like Tom Ford, Calvin Klein and Todd Oldham were ready to reinvent the wheel with high glam-meets-grunge entering stage left. It was such an exciting mash-up of contradictions, and since Hollywood was dim with movie star style wattage then, it was a window of opportunity in a pre-YouTube era of pop culture for fashion to take center stage, and create their own celebrities: The Supermodels, and the designers who adorned them.
Founder Cameron Silver and co-owner Christos Garkinos started ahead of the pack, ushering in vintage couture on the red carpet as early as 1997. They have housed iconic pieces in pristine condition that often land the proverbial movie star wearing them on the best dressed list. Rachel Zoe has been a die-hard fan for years, and Nicole Richie has called it a favorite. For stylists, stars, the gyp-set and the fashion obsessed, Decades is a sure thing. At Decadesinc.com 8214 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90046. (323) 655-1960
Luxe de Ville
Luxe de Ville is a vintage & consignment operation, yet don’t be fooled by its 90s rockabilly exterior. This bubbly boutique, tucked away in trendy east-side Echo Park has a designer for everyone from every decade… and it won’t break the bank. Additionally, it has some great finds from my teen years like oversized earrings and short skirts that take me back to a time that now seems forever ago. At Luxedeville.com 2157 W Sunset Blvd Los Angeles, CA, 90026. (213) 353-0135
Another bi-coastal mainstay is Resurrection Vintage and its stores in Los Angeles and New York also have websites with a substantial stock of vintage wares. The outfit is the brainchild of designer Katy Rodriguez and all of the merchandise brings a fresh edge to any outfit. It is worth noting that they have a robust inventory of vintage 1990’s Chanel accessories (the best era of Chanel, in my opinion) that never ceases to amaze. Additionally, I always come across a one-off runway piece from the designer’s designer Thierry Mugler. It is a style goldmine with many shiny nuggets from the supermodel era that have been brought back to life lovingly and beautifully. At Resurrectionvintage.com 8006 Melrose Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90046 (323) 651-5516
In recent award seasons, Shareen is a name that has been on many a starlet’s lips. This downtown LA, customized vintage dress shop also specializes in custom vintage bridal that is a breath of fresh air from regular wedding fare. Owner Shareen Mitchell started her venture into retail by selling small wares at the Rose Bowl flea market on Sundays; now she has storefronts in both Los Angeles and Manhattan. At Shareen.com, 1721 North Spring Street Los Angeles, CA 90012 (323) 276-6626.
While at Sielian’s Vintage, pursuing a ball gown for a client, I struck a gold mine. A quiet buzz about the store was building amongst stylemakers, and deemed as a best kept secret in LA. Dialing in my stylist pal Noelle Palm, she reported back with delightful, one-of-a-kind creations from Gianfranco Ferré and Christian Dior, among many other treasures. Owner Sielian Lie and partner Tsutomu Carton have a penchant for acquiring anything from a red carpet statement to a standout outfit at a garden party. When they shared obscure, grainy runway footage of Stephanie Seymour in an early 90’s Chanel cocktail dress they had just acquired, I knew I had found my tribe. At Sielianvintage.com, 8629 ½ Melrose Avenue West Hollywood, CA 90069. (310) 246-95951721 N
The Way We Wore
You have been sleeping under a fashion rock if you’ve missed the Smithsonian Channel’s Frock Stars. Doris Raymond is owner of the vintage boutique, The Way We Wore, which has always been a playground for dress-up enthusiasts and costume designers. This destination is chock full of high glamor and retro camp which come together in this truly inspired store. Boasting a huge 9’s design selection, Naomi Campbell and Claudia Schiffer immediately come to mind here. At Thewaywewore.com 334 S. La Brea Ave Los Angeles, CA 90036 (323) 937-0878