September 27, 2011

Barbara, Biba And Beyond

Mid-1970s tee shirts with Biba's Deco-inspired logos.

The Biba label has always been a Holy Grail for several of our customers, so I thought this recent article would be of interest. Scroll on for some terrific vintage Biba photos and a bit more...

Store manager Eleanor Powell in front of Biba.

Mail-order catalog excerpt with baby doll-inspired fashions.

For those new to the name, Biba was a phenomenon of fashion that ran its course from 1964 through the 1970s. The label began as a mail-order catalog, the brainchild of Briton Barbara Hulanicki, who was tired of stodgy fashion houses and instead created on-trend fashions for young women at very affordable prices. She flourished on high-turnover fast fashion. The idea was new, the look was new, and Biba soon became a storefront and a major London destination.

Biba was always off-the-rack. Here it is on the rack in their posh 1970s London location.

A 1960s London photo shoot contrasts old & new Britain.

For me personally, I've always loved Biba designs for their 1930s & 40s inspirations, their outlandishly cool personalities and their impact on 1970s fashion. They often remind me of uber-expensive Ossie Clark from the same era.

Ever hip, this photo shoot features 1930s-inspired pant suits.

It's interesting that in our experience, pricey Ossie is actually found more often than street-chic Biba. An interesting twist on this sought-after ready-to-wear label!

Turner, Alwyn W. Biba: the Biba Experience. Woodbridge: Antique Collectors' Club, 2005. Print.

September 19, 2011

Missoni for Vintage Vixen

We wish! :) But we do sell Missoni, and here's our current selection.

When Missoni debuted at Target, we Vixens were both delighted and a bit befuddled by the endeavor. Missoni in our eyes is an iconic label of Italy, so luxuriously lofty in price and poshonality that adding Target to the mix seemed incongruous.

But then I remembered the disjointed feeling Missoni and other haute labels might have toward we resellers of vintage fashion. We're incredibly inexpensive in comparison, though we sell the original vintage versions full of their own poshonality (I guess I'm making that a word). We don't have to license use of Missoni, or Chanel, or Gucci, even though we sell authentic labels. We're blissfully off the hook because we're selling prior seasons' looks, but without the pomp and circumstance of major design companies.

I guess that makes our site a miniature parallel universe to the smashing success that has been Missoni for Target. And we're over the wonderment of "why'd you do it, Missoni"? Instead we're in line for some of their best designs. And if you give it a decade or two, soon enough they'll be resold at places like Vintage Vixen. And so it goes.

September 04, 2011

Priscilla of Boston Says Farewell

It's been a decade & a half since we've been in business, so we don't know the longevity that Priscilla of Boston does. But we do know its posh status as the renown wedding gown company that once clothed Grace Kelly in her 1956 marriage to Prince Rainier of Monaco.

That reputation came to us in hushed tones through our countless purchases of bridal gowns over the years. Upper crust ladies would describe a beautiful gown they had for sale, and would always note "it's by Priscilla of Boston" with a satisfied air.

We can see why - these storied gowns are of exceptional quality, unparalleled both today and in their heyday. They're the stuff dreams are made of. And we have the largest selection of vintage Priscilla bridal wear online, most with original tags attached from the 1950s & 60s.

It's the end of an era for Priscilla of Boston, but their gowns live on at Vintage Vixen, and they'll always have a place in our vintage-loving hearts - and in fashion history.


September 03, 2011

New Look, New Items, New Sales!

Blog posts just don't get any better than this! Our new site design was unveiled today, after 1 1/2 years in the making. Check it out and enjoy all the new features:

  • Items on hold are whisked away from the catalog, so that fresh eyes see only available items.
  • Photos are bigger and better than ever, with zoom options and slide show styling.
  • Categories are super-detailed! Just about any category you can imagine - from aprons to smoking jackets - has its own place now. And sections once piled all together (like children's clothing) are now neatly sorted by age and type of item.
  • Sizes have shifted to keep up with modern-day size standards. We've always listed our clothing according to modern sizes, not vintage sizes. But modern sizes themselves shifted downward a few years ago, so we've followed suit. For example, if you were a size 10 on our site before, you're now a size 8.
  • Shipping's a breeze with real-time shipping quotes based on your cart's contents. Instant shipping options appear for international customers too!
  • Sale items are now browsed per category, and newly discounted items were posted on September 4.
  • Paypal is now integrated with our shopping cart, and tracking is available from your customer account. 24/7 access to order status too.
We hope you love the new look as much as we do. Please let us know feedback. Meantime we're polishing the site over the next few days, and plan to add new items faster and with a flourish never before seen on our site.