If you like vintage – scratch that, if you like clothes – then Vestiaire Collective, the French ‘marketplace’ site that sells pre-worn luxury and designer clothes, should already be bookmarked. Vestiaire offers its shoppers a second-chance to get hold of everything from hard-to-find Supreme to Hermès bags to #OldCeline (searches are surging right now), and is a leading the charge for a new type of sustainable shopper, one who knows that buying new isn’t always best.
One woman who already knows the joy and value of vintage – as an experience and investment – is the author, filmmaker, designer and founder of digital sex positivity and platform, The Sex Ed. Vestiaire’s latest coup is to convince Liz to part with over 300 pieces of her excellently curated vintage collection, as part of the site’s Archive series. ‘Although I'm shocked she’s letting some of her most treasured pieces go, I can’t wait to shop the sale!’ says Dita Von Teese.
‘I’ve been a crazy collector since I was 13,’ explains Liz, who was brought up in Los Angeles, immersed in the myths and magic of Hollywood. Having spent 30 years curating her collection, the sale represents over a century of style – spanning from 1860s burlesque corsets to the 1940s vintage tea dresses she would scoop up in LA’s thrift stores as a teenager to pieces by 20th century masters like Azzedine Alaïa and Gianni Versace. A 1960s mod style Courrèges dress features alongside Maison Martin Margiela’s iconic Tabi heels, a white silk dress from Nicolas Ghesquiere’s highly sought-after S/S 2001 Balenciaga white collection is sold alongside a 1980s Jean-Charles de Castelbajac laser-cut coat. It’s a treasure trove for design lovers.
It’s an excellent collection – so did Liz find it hard to edit? ‘I do now I have to talk about them,’ she laughs. Pieces that haven’t been worn for 10-15 years were included. Because she _is_ the kind of collector who actually wears the pieces she’s lovingly collected. ‘I do wear them but I definitely do protect my clothing. I loan and donate to museums. I am definitely not a collector who buys thing just to look at,’ she says. ‘I love everything that I’m selling and to be honest it makes it hard to look at pictures because it makes me not want to sell them! But I want to pass on the things that I really love and to hopefully let other people get joy from them’.
A vocal advocate for female empowerment, what makes it (slightly) easier for Liz to part with the pieces is that 10% of profits will be donated to Dress for Success, the charity which helps to lift women out of poverty to a place of self-sufficiency and financial independence. ‘What I always loved about vintage clothes is that you let the woman who wore them before you live on in some way, and in this case, it’s for an incredibly worthy cause. This sale with Vestiaire Collective is a continuation of my desire to support a community of women uplifting women. Something as simple as a piece of clothing can have the power to boost a woman’s confidence and empower her self-image’.
Liz's Four Favourite Pieces In The Sale:
'I bought it to wear to premier of my first film (Pretty Things, 2005) which was at Lincoln Centre, New York City. It was a major sense of accomplishment, not only professionally, but wearing this dress that's so feminine and so sexy, made me feel sexually empowered too. So it really wrapped up this whole moment of making this film of about the last generation American burlesque queen, and accomplishing it for myself, on my own. I didn't have the guts to wear the dress, the confidence, but I had bought it when I was shopping with my friend Chloe Sevigny and she really pushed me and said "you gotta to wear it". I felt I really owned my sexuality in that dress.'
MR BLACKWELL DRESS
'Mr Blackwell was an American designer based out of Los Angeles who invented the best and worst dressed list in the '50s. If you're a designer and you make a worst and best dressed list, then obviously if someone wears your clothes they're going to get on the best dressed list. I think it's a really funny marketing ploy. There are three pieces in the sale that are samples from his studio. This dress is so cool and in such great condition, the colours are really amazing, really pop, it's very Prada.'
CHARLES ELKAIM EARRINGS
'The clear bubbles 1960s earrings are from a French designer called Charles Elkaim who had a store across the street from one of my first apartments there. He was this lovely French designer who'd been active since the 1950s making jewellery and ended up in New York making these great earrings of plastic dinosaurs or with rhinestones on them. These are original pieces from his archive. '
ANGELO TARLAZZI DRESS
'It looks from the front like a classic black cocktail dress, but the back is low cut and has a padded magenta heart on the ass. Like a pillow that's framed in black lace. That dress really encapsulates my style: eccentric, surrealist, playful, sexy – but kind of sexy. I really love that dress. I've only worn it once for a Spanish Vogue shoot and I kinda regret that I'm selling it, but it's happening!'