Top Designers Go Vintage for Inspiration


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by Sarah Clark
Fashion School Review Columnist

May 14, 2007


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The Way We Wore is a fashion or costume designers' source of fashion history, at least according to the Wall Street Journal, which recently reported that the venerable retailer of vintage clothing and couture serves an important role in keeping the creative juices flowing for some very important fashion figures.

Vintage Wares Inspire the Fashion Elite
Doris Raymond founded her vintage clothing business in San Francisco several years ago. She eventually moved her store to Los Angeles—a bigger fashion hub, courtesy of the film industry. According to her Web site, clothing design stylists of celebrities like Angelina Jolie, Demi Moore, Kate Hudson and Julia Roberts purchase her vintage wares.

What may be more surprising to young fashion school students, however, is that fashion designer Zac Posen uses Raymond's store for fashion design inspiration. The Wall Street Journal reported that a recent halter dress by Posen was inspired by a 1920s ribbon found in The Way We Wore.

Raymond seized upon the need in the clothing design industry for immediate access to a historical fashion archive. She'll fish through her trove of vintage apparel to find whatever a fashion designer may be looking for, from Chanel suits and Halston dresses to couture gowns by obscure French designers.

An Important Lesson for Fashion School Students
The Way We Wore also represents another of the many diverse career paths a fashion school degree could lead to. To do her job, Raymond needs a very thorough knowledge of clothing design history, a subject always close to every fashion school student. She also needs an understanding of fashion merchandising and buying to move clothing off the sales rack.

So next time you're in Los Angeles, hobnobbing with the Hollywood fashion set, make sure you visit Raymond's boutique, an institution that continues to thrive in a very fickle, competitive fashion market.

About the Author
Sarah Clark is a freelance writer specializing in career development and postsecondary education.

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