${alt}

MON VINTAGE

BY MARIE BLANCHET

Words: Charlotte Core
We spoke to the founder of new-to-Selfridges sourcing service Mon Vintage by Marie Blanchet about the joys of tracking down the hardest-to-find pre-loved pieces.

MON VINTAGE

BY MARIE BLANCHET

We spoke to the founder of new-to-Selfridges sourcing service Mon Vintage by Marie Blanchet about the joys of tracking down the hardest-to-find pre-loved pieces.
Words: Charlotte Core

The vintage sourcing service, Mon Vintage by Marie Blanchet, has just launched exclusively in store at Selfridges London and here online, helping you to hunt down the most treasured vintage finds. To find out more, we spoke to the woman behind the eponymous brand about her joy at tracking down the hardest-to-find fashion (from noughties Maison Martin Margiela, through to haute couture Christian Dior), the perennial appeal of lovingly crafted vintage pieces, and how she believes sustainability lies at the heart of individual style.

 

To arrange a one-to-one appointment, simply email [email protected] 

Tell us about the new-to-Selfridges vintage sourcing service – what can you help us find?

The idea is that we’ll make your vintage dreams come true. You could have a very specific request – that dress from Gianni Versace 1994 – or it can just be about having an occasion and we propose things. It’s a sourcing service for both specific items or finding something that fits a need. It starts with a form containing all of the information a customer is looking for. We’ll then say yes, we can find something – be it something similar or that exact item – and then we’ll go off and find the piece. When we find it, we’ll let the customer know and we can send it straight to Selfridges, where our in-store couturiers can make any adjustments.

 

Do you have a standout item that you’ve found for a client? What was it, and how did you find it?

An absolutely stunning John Galliano spring/summer 1995 kimono-inspired coat which was worn by Rihanna in 2019. We also found a prototype of the Alexander McQueen spring/summer 1994 Nihilism collection ‘bumster’ trousers that were worn by Kate Moss on the runway – that was pretty special.

 

How did you get involved with vintage fashion?

It [started] when I was a teenager – I was 14 years old and I couldn’t stand buying a dress and seeing it on someone else. Vintage helped me wear something different and feel unique. When I was 18, I got the chance to meet one of the biggest vintage experts in the world, Françoise Auguet. She’s an expert on vintage [fashion] from the first half of the 20th century. She taught me everything: from how to put a dress on a hanger, to how not to put a dress on a hanger, to recognising decades.

 

What sparked you to set up Mon Vintage by Marie Blanchet?

I was shopping in vintage stores and I noticed those shops were getting more and more empty, and I could feel the switch to online. I built Vestiaire Collective’s vintage category [in 2015], which was an amazing experience. After Vestiaire, I got the chance to take over William Vintage [the British vintage brand] and do haute couture and collectible, high-fashion vintage. With COVID, I decided to go out on my own with my colleague Emma. We just decided to challenge ourselves. How do we sell vintage in this new era? How do we make it accessible? The idea of curation, making it personal, following our tastes, and using our global network gave us a new way to access vintage.  

 

We try to challenge ourselves – is this piece emblematic of the designer, and more instinctively, do we want to wear it now?

– Marie Blanchet
Have you seen a shift towards a more earth-conscious mindset in the vintage fashion world?

Massively. When I started, vintage was quite niche; it was for very knowledgeable people. We’ve been seeing – as society becomes even more cautious about the environment – more people turn to vintage. People now are conscious of a more ethical way of consuming and they have a greater desire to buy into more sustainable items – pieces that mean something. You’re buying less, but you’re buying better.

 

What stands out to you when searching for a good piece of vintage clothing? What are the markers we should all be looking out for?

This is why we built Mon Vintage, to answer that question – we curate for people. We use our expertise and knowledge, and we offer a detailed selection. We always source [items that] tell you something about the era and something about the designer. We try to challenge ourselves – is this piece emblematic of the designer, and more instinctively, do we want to wear it now? We’re answering that and bringing vintage to a wider audience so that [people] don’t feel like they’re seeing old clothes, they’re seeing what they want to wear now. That’s really what we should be looking out for.

 

Who are your favourite designers for vintage pieces?

Saint Laurent, Saint Laurent, Saint Laurent! Every day, everywhere, all the time, all your life! Cristóbal Balenciaga for his tailoring and couture; Madame Alix Grès – a pure example of completely timeless style; Pierre Cardin, Alexander McQueen, Maison Martin Margiela, Raf Simons…

 

A Christian Dior haute couture 1959 Artemise dress, designed by Yves Saint Laurent – when we found that dress we went straight away to buy a bottle of champagne and drank it all!

– Marie Blanchet
What’s your most treasured vintage piece?

In terms of the things that I wear most frequently, it’d be my Yves Saint Laurent Le Smoking jumpsuit from the 80s, and a top which is a prototype from Maison Martin Margiela from 2007. For the most treasured finds from our archive, it’d be a Christian Dior haute couture, by Saint Laurent, autumn/winter 1959 dress, which is called The Artemise. Emma was with me when we found that dress and we went straight away to buy a bottle of champagne and drank it all! The emotion towards this dress will never die. This is 1959 in one dress: the signature of Saint Laurent and what he brought to Christian Dior. It’s a bustier dress in black taffeta with a bow at the waist. The craft of the couture is so moving. But you look at it and it recalls what [Anthony] Vaccarello does at Saint Laurent now. It’s perfection.

 

What advice would you give to our customers to encourage them to mix more vintage pieces into their wardrobes?

Always dare to be bold and take a chance. Use vintage as a way to enhance your own personal style, and always mix it with contemporary fashion – it helps to avoid that ‘retro’ feel. Also, don’t refer to the size on the label, as they’ve changed over the years. Go by the measurements. A size French 38 in the 80s is not the same as a 38 now, which is important information!

LET'S CHANGE THE WAY WE SHOP

Join us to discover the most exciting design innovations, retail concepts and thought-provoking ideas in sustainability, and explore our series of new commitments set to radically change our business as part of Project Earth.

Powered by Translations.com GlobalLink OneLink SoftwarePowered By OneLink