Monday, March 11, 2019

Embracing Vintage. A Chat with Rachel Adelicia.

Rachel, My Fashion Super Hero

Many of you know I'm crazy for vintage fashion. I absolutely love scouring for goodies at local flea markets and thrift stores. And yes, I've been known to snag a few treasures on eBay. There is no question that this passion of mine influences many of my designs for Dunitz & Company's fair trade jewelry collection. It also draws me to several Instagram feeds I religiously follow. One of my favorites is Rachel Adelicia's. This girl rocks vintage style. She knows her designers and she, frankly looks amazing in all of them. I've been admiring her 'je ne sais quoi' for so long, I finally asked her if she'd be willing to answer a few interview questions for my blog. An overwhelming yes resulted in the following:

NANCY: I've been watching your Instagram feed for a few years now, and I'm always so impressed with your style. Who or what inspired your love of fashion? 

Grandmother and Young Fashionista
RACHEL: My love of fashion and style are both a constant in my life, and something that's still evolving. My mom will tell you that I've always known exactly what I wanted to wear, what shoes to pair it with, and (on top of that) I'd have three more outfits selected for any given day. She loves to share a story about how when I was three, I decided to wear a leotard, even though it was freezing outside, and I made her carry all of my other options. As a baby, we lived in Spain and my mom spent part of her days taking my picture in various outfits. I always tease her that this was the origin of my blog.  Growing up, I drew inspiration from my grandmother's closet, magazines, TV, and any book (on fashion) or old photos I could get my hands on. Today, I still love looking at magazines, TV, film, Instagram, and just about anything that relates to fashion.  This world is gorgeous and I love drawing inspiration from every place I visit. I truly believe that fashion is just a way for us to tell our stories, and I think it's exciting that we can decide 'who' we're going to be or what story we're going to tell each day.

NANCY: Did you study fashion design or fashion history?  You sure know how to pull an impressionable outfit together.

A Postal Story
RACHEL: I have a BFA in Theater & Television, so I've studied costuming.  I also have a passion for art and art history. I'm fascinated by the crossover of art and fashion. Most of my outfits come from either an idea of a shoot I want to do, or a story I want to tell, or my wanting to put together pieces I already own and love.

NANCY: Being a fair-trader myself, I'm particularly interested in sustainable fashion, thrifting and discovering great vintage finds. You seem to excel at it. Do you have any tips for someone who is new at hunting for fashion treasure? 

Rachel on YouTube
RACHEL: I love vintage and thrift shopping. I think the most important thing is to give yourself ample time. This kind of shopping requires you to really look, dig in, and explore whatever store you're in or website you're surfing. Flexibility is key, being open to whatever is there that day. If you love something, I always say buy it, because it can be hard to find that something again. There are so many websites and brick & mortars out there (selling vintage), so I think that patience comes into play. Most of all, have fun with the process. Vintage shopping and thrifting is a treasure hunt game. Let the process bring you joy. (For a few more tips and ideas, watch Rachel's recent You Tube video.)

NANCY: What about preservation? Do you have any practical suggestions for caring for vintage finds? Maybe the best way to keep the moths away? Or a simple way to clean an old leather handbag?

Best Kept Cleaning Secret
RACHEL: To keep your vintage fresh, I cannot recommend acid free tissue paper enough. Fold your really fragile and intricate pieces in it. Use good quality hangers. High quality leather oil and soap, Coach makes a great set, will preserve your handbags. Retro-Clean is what I use to wash most of my vintage. It's a soak that takes out aging stains but is super gentle.  I try to tow the line between enjoying my clothes and taking care of them. I say, live in them, but make sure to treat them well.

NANCY: Do you have a favorite designer past or present? What about that designer excites you?

Showing Off a Party Dress
RACHEL: I love 1950's Dior. And new Gucci. I love how unapologetic it is. Anything with personality. I have a thing for party dresses, always have, so any great party dress is always on my wish-list. What excites me most about fashion is mixing it up. High with Low. Vintage with Modern. I think that's the most fresh way to express yourself, and the most interesting.


NANCY: Do you have a favorite vintage find? Maybe two? I'd love to hear what they are?

Rachel wears Texas 1964
RACHEL: I split my time between Los Angeles and Austin, TX and I own a dress that belonged to Miss Texas of 1964 which I found in Los Angeles. [Note: This dress was worn during Miss Texas's reign. It is uncertain to what event she specifically wore it.] It's the perfect combination of me. I also have quite a few things including coats and suits that were once my grandma's and my mom's. These are so dear to my heart.

NANCY: Any other tips or tidbits you'd like to share? 

RACHEL: Fashion connects us, can speak for us, ties us to the past and the future. It's so much more than what we're actually wearing.  I love fashion and the idea that I inspire others. (She does.) I'm so so so lucky to work in fashion for my living. I'm so grateful.

---end of interview

So, there you have it.  I can say with complete confidence, if you have any interest in vintage fashion design, you should be watching Rachel Adelicia's Instagram feed. From there you can easily find her blog posts and videos.

One more thing. Rachel also follows Shop Dunitz (don't forget to follow us, too) on Instagram and is a frequent admirer of my designs. I know this because she "likes" a lot of our posts. She seems to have a soft spot for our Joanie M fused glass jewelry and tells me next time she's in Los Angeles we'll do a photo shoot together. I can't wait! -ND