It’s no secret that vintage fashion can really set your style apart from the rest. It doesn’t matter if you have only a few or mostly vintage pieces in your closet- every woman should have something stylish and unique that can make her feel like she’s in the party scene from the Great Gatsby or dazzling at Studio 54. Before we start our treasure hunt for spring/summer threads, we asked Julia Campisi what every vintage-loving gal (or soon-to-be) should know.
Julia Campisi (Instagram:@juliacampisi) is a photo-based collage artist living in Toronto, widely known for her vintage fashion sense. She draws her inspiration for both her work and style from the past. The sense of nostalgia rules her practice where she takes something that already existed and brings it into today where everything is relevant, all at once, in any order you’d like. She has been picking through vintage stores and second hand shops since she was 15 and doesn’t see herself stopping anytime soon. Q: Tips for making the most out of your vintage shopping experience?
A: 1. Focus on patterns and the quality of the material 2. Make sure you have time to look through everything so you don’t miss out on the perfect piece 3. Get to know the shop owner. People who sell vintage are passionate and love having a good conversation about style and fashion. They have a keen eye and can help work a vintage piece into your existing wardrobe making a fabulous outfit on the spot
Q: What are your top locations for vintage fashion in Toronto?
Q: Any secrets for caring for or storing vintage items?
A: The best thing you can do for your vintage clothes is keep them out of direct sunlight. Old fabrics will get sun damage and fur will dry out. I always hand wash my clothes in cold water or dry clean.
Q: What are some great investment items?
A: FUR! It is warmer then any other jacket on the market and it will decompose into the ground once you are done with it. Leather goods, such as bags and shoes are also great investments. You get your best return on vintage leather goods. They just don’t make them like they use to unless you are willing to spend big money. Other great staple items are cashmere sweaters or a classic Levis denim jacket. They never go out of style and are easy to add onto any outfit and complete your look. Q: What was your favourite find ever and where did you find it?
A: I purchased this incredible 1950’s floral patterned evening dress from Print Vintage. Every time I wear it I feel like I’ve stepped into a different time period.
Q: Any advice for newbies?
A: Invest in quality pieces that are considered staple wardrobe items. The quality of vintage is better then what you will find in a big-box store. Be creative, bold and take risks! Take on the challenge of creating your own style by mixing vintage patterns and fabrics with current basics that you already have. Remember that you can always transform pieces into something new and local tailors can transform anything! I always purchase great items with small imperfections and then transform them into something new and funky. A lot of stores prices are based on location. The higher the rent will always equal higher vintage prices. If you can, head a little north to get great steals! I mainly shop on college at Print Vintage or on Bloor Street West anywhere between Ossington Ave. and Bathurst St. My best kept secret is Estate Sales. You’ll always find something authentic and unique with a story behind it.