Undying Love. John Galliano AW95

The festive time lets you look back at some fashion history in a relaxed, pleasurable way. After all the food, gift unwrapping, Christmas table talks and re-watches of both “Home Alone” films, I indulged myself in the beauty of John Galliano archives. And one of his pre-establishment collections just felt so right in this moment. Galliano’s autumn-winter 1995 “Dolores” collection marks a pivotal moment. It was essentially his last as an indie designer. About four months after this presentation, Galliano was named the creative director of Givenchy; a year later he transferred to Christian Dior and his namesake brand was acquired by LVMH. The Dolores of the show title was the actor Dolores del Rio. The invitation to the presentation consisted of pages from the heroine’s “tortured correspondence from the Rose of Alhambra hotel to her lover, Jaime, aboard the ocean liner Berengaria, along with a lock of hair and a broken locket,” reported The New York Times. Arriving at the venue, guests were ushered onto a snow-covered rooftop set littered with scows and populated by burly sailors. One of them, the report continued, “with bare feet and red manicured toes leaned against a chimney reading a book called Killer in Drag.” Perhaps most exuberant were the flamenco dresses, which allowed Galliano, who was born in Gibraltar, to iterate on his own heritage. There were ruffled numbers cut on the bias in shades of lavender and fuchsia, and peinetas (hair combs) took the place of tiaras. The Catholic imagination was also at work. A model in a whisper-light dress of virginal white carried a rosary and was followed by a shipmate wearing an ersatz crown made of prayer cards. Wearing a silk fuchsia number with a tulle bolero, Kate Moss kissed Johnny Depp seating in the front row. Another real love story of this collection was that between a man and his scissors. Galliano romanced the cloth with a technical savoir faire that was awe-inspiring. The carnation dress worn by Carla Bruni was not only cut on the bias but seamless, thanks to the floral inserts. One of these dresses is in the collection of The Met’s Costume Institute, and the catalog description notes that Galliano used the carnation “as a symbol of undying love.” What more is there to say?

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
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The Society Archive

New collections come and go, but in the end, nothing feels as good as the timelessness of vintage. The Society Archive, a stylist-curated retailer of rare vintage finds from fashion and accessories to books and art, opened its by-appointment showroom during New York Fashion Week, and it seemed to be the most truly exciting event during these hectic couple of days. But The Society Archive isn’t just about selling vintage. The brainchild of the runway and editorial stylist Marcus Allen, the brand weaves a complex narrative capturing moments of past youth – the result being an extremely covetable time capsule of seasonally curated selections of vintage and ephemera paired with a curated edit of must-haves from The Society Archive’s capsule collection of designs. Hard-to-find pieces from pretty much every decade are hand-selected and styled together with a couple of in-house designed essentials, creating a cohesive collection. According to this Vogue feature, Allen especially has a long history with Abercrombie & Fitch. The stylist estimates he has more than 1,000 items, some of which date back to the 1960s. Allen worked at the infamous “all-American” mall brand when he was in high school in a small town outside of Boston. But his obsession boils down to the quality of yesteryear Abercrombie & Fitch, not its ethos that’s promoted today. “The technical and fleece vests are all Patagonia-level quality,” he says. “All of the distressing and vintage details are super authentic and not contrived-feeling at all.” Allen is not the only collector; there is a community of Abercrombie & Fitch archivists in Japan, which is primarily where he gets his pieces. “While runways were informing what mall brands were doing design-wise, they – A&F, etc. – were not skimping on the quality of the pieces.” He makes the comparison with a pair of jeans. “I have 5-pocket leather Gap bootcut jeans that are the same exact quality and cut of a pair of Tom Ford-era Gucci ones,” he says. And as a testament to the quality, currently, Allen keeps the first piece he ever bought, a multi-color striped Shetland wool sweater in his freezer.

So, what can you get from The Society Archive’s current capsule? First of all, some big styling ideas for autumn season – the look-book photos are just too inspiring! There’s The Face’s iconic issue 22 featuring Kate Moss photographed by Corinne Day. A vintage Banana Republic t-shirt which has the best imaginable fit. A couple of 1960s flannel shirts – to die for. Maybe a classic, over-sized A&F hoodie? I certainly need these beige snow pants, like now.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
Don’t forget to follow Design & Culture by Ed on Instagram!


Chloé by Stella McCartney Alert

Recently, I’ve hunted down an extremely rare (and chic!) Chloé by Stella McCartney viscose top, which appears to be a fashion show piece. Each Chloé by Stella garment has that super-cool, vintage charm – especially all the t-shirts wth the designer’s off-kilter prints and hilarious motifs (like the iconic pineapples and kitschy horses). For autum-winter 2001, Stella McCartney continued with her exploration of grown-up, couture-inspired silhouettes for Chloé, without forgetting about the youthful, fun-loving basics that were the label’s bread and butter. We should remember that McCartney’s ability to glam up casual street clothes made Chloé cool again at the beginning of the century. The variation of the print (an illustration of a mysterious girl) was used in a number of opening looks that season, and both Stella and her dad Paul wore it on the day of the runway presentation. If you would love to have that major piece of fashion history in your wardrobe, a very good condition, size M blouse is waiting for you on my @loveyouinvintage Insta-shop (and Vestiaire Collective page)!

From Cracow With Love

After the Tary mountains and Zakopane, there’s just no way not to visit Cracow. Historically Poland’s former capital and oldest university town lies in a broad valley on the banks of the Vistula river, and is a treasure house of national culture. Its ancient, elegant Old Town has been placed on the UNESCO list of World Historic Sites. It is ideal for a long weekend break, without the tourist hoards and high prices. Be dazzled by its art and architecture, from baroque to Art Nouveau, renaissance to Gothic, and by the sheer spectacle of the city. Here are some of the gorgeous places I’ve visited this time…

The Józef Mehoffer House is a museum located in the former residence of the painter at 26 Krupnicza street and is listed in the Register of Historical Monuments. It boasts an adjacent, blooming garden extending to the south. In 1932, the house was purchased by Józef Mehoffer who was captivated by its old-fashioned look as well as its spacious courtyard and garden shaded by old green trees. The building already constituted part of the city’s history. Mehoffer carried out its thorough renovation, leaving the structure of the building unchanged but introducing new interior divisions. The process endowed the house with features of a carefully devised family residence, which was dubbed „The Cone Palace”. The outbreak of the war in 1939 interrupted the finishing works. After their return from a German camp in Ash in the Sudetes, the Mehoffers – despite the misery and horror of the occupation – continued the tradition of musical and literary gatherings in their home. It was here that the painter also worked, having lost access to his atelier in the building of the Academy of Fine Arts in Matejko Square. After Józef’s death, the family stayed in the house filled with works of art, archives and memorabilia. As early as in 1963, Zbigniew Mehoffer, the painter’s son, began to expend efforts to create Józef Mehoffer’s museum in Krupnicza street, which bore fruit only many years later. In 1986, in accordance with the will of the artist’s family, the house and the land became the property of the State Treasury and was transferred to the National Museum in Krakow for the purpose of establishing a branch dedicated to the artist. After further renovations and redecorations, the Museum was opened to the public in 1996.

For a proper dose of art and architecture, you should definitely visit St. Francis’s Church with its original, floral polichromies by Stanisław Wyspiański, the Wawel castle and cathedral, and the 19th Century Polish Art Gallery at Sukiennice (in the same building you will find the best store with locally-sourced decorations and traditional, hand-made rugs -“kilim“).

The Princes Cartoryski Museum. The most valuable art collection in Poland, and one of the most valuable ones in Europe. The Lady with an Ermine by Leonardo da Vinci or the Landscape with the Good Samaritan by Rembrandt van Rijn, as well as many other masterpieces of not only painting, but also sculpture, crafts, military, applied arts, can be viewed in 26 exhibition halls, on two floors of the renovated Princes Czartoryski Museum. In 1801, Princess Izabela Czartoryska née Flemming created a collection of national treasures. The resources she collected were presented in Puławy, in two park pavilions: The Temple of the Sybil, and since 1809 also in the Gothic House. It was in the Gothic House that the Leonardo da Vinci’s Lady with an Ermine and Rembrandt van Rijn’s Landscape with the Good Samaritan were exhibited. During that time, the pearls in the Czartoryski collection also included the Portrait of a Young Man by Rafael Santi (lost during World War II). However, the museum did not survive the November Uprising, and in 1831 – following Prince Adam Jerzy Czartoryski’s emigration – the collection was transported to Paris. It only made its way back to Poland in 1876, in connection with the scheduled opening of the museum in Krakow. World War II brought about significant losses to the collection. After the war, the museum was taken over by the National Museum in Krakow, and in 1991 fell under the management of the Princes Czartoryski Foundation. On December 29, 2016, thanks to the purchase by the Polish government, the Czartoryski resources became an integral part of the National Museum in Krakow. After all these years, visitors can finally see Czartoryska’s precious collection.

Cracow is also a great place for vintage fashion! Vintage Shop on Szpitalna street has a lovely selection of unique jewellery, designer items and adorable, tapestry bags from 1960s and 70s.

Photos by Edward Kanarecki.