I love vintage and always have. The same with fashion in general. So I have always browsed and shopped and pored over magazines. I can get lost browsing rails or reading. And in the last 10 years the internet has added the sources available. I often start a search for a specific purpose but then get sidetracked by all manner of distractions. Usually for me vintage or fashion related. And before you know it hours have elapsed.
I often start my online searches in order to help identify or categorise or price an item brought into the shop. I might start on Etsy or Ebay as some sellers provide great background and historical detail. I also like Wikipedia.
But if I have a basic knowledge and want something more detailed or indepth – such as dating an item or fabric or style – I love Vintage Fashion Guild ( http://www.vintagefashionguild.org ).
They have all sorts of resources and forums which I lose hours of my life scrolling through.
Similarly I love a couple of Facebook groups – especially Ooh La La! Vintage Swap and Sell Shop, Vintage Clothing Fixes, Restorations Alterations etc and Mid Century Modern. They are vibrant places populated by passionate, informed people who are overflowing with the urge to share information and pictures. I love just browsing the threads (not in a creepy way – I hope). It’s the best way to learn because you just absorb the information without realising it.
If I need to authenticate something I often turn to YouTube. The videos made by Winnie at Vintage Heirloom are great for Chanel and Louis Vuitton. You can see these via her website at http://www.vintageheirloom.com. While there look at the gorgeous merchandise – Chanel 2.55 bags, Louis Vuitton speedy and Noe bags and Hermes scarves and belts. Classics.
And if I want to look at vintage jewellery – Chanel, Dior, Monet, Schiaparelli – then I go to Susan Caplan ( http://www.susancaplan.co.uk) or Vineyard Vintage (www.vineyardvintage.co.uk ).
Both have great selections with lovely photographs and I could easily spend a fortune with both!!
But the internet has not ousted real up close shopping and browsing. For me that is the best. There is nothing like actually stroking the inside of a Chanel 2.55 bag, inspecting the inside of a beautiful couture dress (the inside us always so perfect too), trying on a pair of vintage Gina shoes or a Vintage hat – preferably a turban. I love beaded things and pleated things and swishy things and fitted things – pencil skirts and circle skirts, biker jackets and sequin boleros, hoochy mules and DMs. I love them individually and as parts of outfits. And one further benefit of real time shopping is the people watching. Because, as we all know, style is not the same as fashion xx