Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Vintage Bulletin interviews - Past Perfect Vintage Clothing

This week I sent questions to Hollis from Past Perfect Vintage.

I'm sure you recognize the logo. Whenever I see it online, I automatically think 'Oh, I'm gonna get to see some good stuff!' That's because Past Perfect always has a great selection of special vintage pieces.
On the website you can find exquisite pieces from Victorian and Edwardian, right up to the 1970s, with special sections for Hats and Accessories, Fans & Combs (wow!) and many vintage designer items.

1. Please give a brief history of how you ended up selling vintage clothing -
*Hollis - Since my education and training are in theatrical costume design and construction, my interest in vintage clothing came along quite naturally. And I have collected for years. When I took the leap into theatrical free lance work, I was looking for a part time business that would keep me busy between projects and be a source of income. We ( my husband and I ) did the vintage clothing shows then, this was pre internet. Then we supplemented the shows with Ebay, then left the shows, and finally expanded into our own website, which is now our focus 11 months out of 12. These days the vintage business is about 75% of my time and the free lance work a 25%. And that’s by choice.

2. What kind of vintage clothing can customers find in your store -
*Hollis -I try to have a wide range but a select grouping. We have grand Victorian, elegant Edwardian, and on through from 1920s beaded to 1950s designer, and even some 60s and 70s daywear. With a selection of accessories. It’s very eclectic, but primarily 1950s and back. I only show clothing I think is interesting and worthwhile, so visit my site and you will get a good sense of my taste!

3. Do you have a philosophy on buying, collecting or selling vintage clothing -
*Hollis -I have to think it’s fun and satisfying at the same time. You see, I have been buying a long time, since the late 70s, first as a collector of course, then as a dealer. I have bought most everything as far as types of clothing goes. Men’s, children’s, women’s, work, play, evening. Good, Bad and even Ugly. I bought the full range over the years, from really good quality, to ‘cute’ but not well made, and even some ‘old for the sake of old‘. So it takes more to interest me now than just being ‘vintage‘. And that puts me in a paradoxical position. I buy only things whose design and workmanship I respect, garments I would want to live with myself for a longtime. But since they are all for sale, I don’t get to keep any of them!

4. What makes you excited about vintage clothing, what keeps you interested in it? *Hollis -It’s never the same. I mean, never. I can always find something in it - a design that is new to me, different construction, inventive techniques. Plus that window into another lifestyle and culture, of course. And I do love being part of saving for the next generation.

5. What sort of items do you collect personally - vintage clothing, antiques, weird stuff or otherwise -
*Hollis - Does my grandparent’s furniture count? I admit I buy any 18th C clothing I possibly can without breaking the bank. But it’s an expensive vice, and very hard to find, so I can’t do much. We do collect Rookwood art pottery. I have collected both ladies Victorian and Edwardian fans and hair combs, but I have too many now. Isn’t that always the way? And we like modern art pottery and glass.

6. What are your future plans, where do you see yourself in 2-3 years with selling Vintage?
*Hollis - That’s hard to say.

7. List all of the places where you sell - online, walk-in shops, events, shows -
*Hollis - We sell at , with monthly inventory updates. We will be preparing in August for our annual inventory reduction sale which will be exclusively on Ebay - PastPerfect2 - and only in September. Except for that, it’s the website only.

8. Do you have a blog -
*Hollis - Oh yes. This is my newest endeavor. - I am posting a couple times a week on whatever vintage suits my whim. In June and July, I have been mused on about 1880s bustle dresses, menswear, Norman Norell, and clothing of the 1890s and 1910s. I tell you, it could be anything.

9. What other groups or social networks do you belong to -
Past Perfect Vintage can be found on stylehive, stylefeeder, and squidoo.

10. Show me a few of your favorite items that you currently have for sale and explain what you like the most about them -

*Hollis - I love the subdued yet rich silk brocade on this ca 1898 dress. Plus the fully realized , yet clean silhouette. The pumpkin and black accents are so strong. And the condition is fantastic.

*Hollis -
I admire so much of Pauline Trigere’s work. This 3 piece ensemble is just so sophisticated to me. The fabric has a great texture and is like a blanket! Not easy to work with, and yet it has such a great shape. And it’s beautifully made, of course.
See the suit for sale here

*Hollis -
This 1955 silk chiffon 1955 dress is from Bergdorf Hutton’s Custom Salon. The condition isn’t perfect, but I do adore the huge blue peonies and how they shadow each other in the double layer skirt. Plus it was made for the third Mrs. E.F. Hutton, Dorothy Dear Metzger, and I remember that commercial very well: “When E.F. Hutton talks, every one listens“.
See the dress for sale here

Thank you Hollis! be sure to check out more of the vintage offered by Past Perfect Vintage -

Past Perfect Vintage - website
PastPerfect2 - on ebay (bookmark for that September sale!)


Mary Ann said...

Interesting interview. It's interesting to know how people got into selling vintage clothing.

materialgirlbags said...

Hollis has the most splendid items, and is absolutely as knowledgeable as can be. She's a gem!