Tips from ‘King of Vin­tage’

Amer­i­can stylist Cameron Sil­ver of­fers valu­able ad­vice for your next vin­tage shop­ping ex­cur­sion.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Living - By SARA BAUKNECHT

FOR celebrity stylist Cameron Sil­ver, cloth­ing isn’t just some­thing to wear. It’s a piece of his­tory. Over the past 20 years, he’s amassed a lot of it at his high-end store Decades in Los An­ge­les, the United States. Think swoon-wor­thy Her­mes scarves from the 1940s, cou­ture gowns from the 50s, the oc­ca­sional one-of-a-kinds straight from the run­way.

In 2012, he au­thored a book on the sub­ject, Decades: A Cen­tury Of Fash­ion. His fash­ion­able ad­ven­tures with busi­ness part­ner Chris­tos Garki­nos also are the sub­ject of Bravo TV’s re­al­ity show Dukes Of Mel­rose.

These days, Sil­ver can be seen shar­ing his sar­to­rial ex­per­tise with his sig­na­ture smile and ap­proach­able charm on QVC as fash­ion di­rec­tor of the H by Hal­ston and Hal­ston brands, the lat­est in­car­na­tion of leg­endary de­signer Roy Hal­ston Frow­ick’s name­sake brand.

“My goal is to help some­one find some­thing that makes them feel beau­ti­ful,” he says. “I love that I can be en­ter­tain­ing but also ed­u­ca­tional.”

Shop­pers re­cently got a chance to learn from the King of Vin­tage him­self at a two-day trunk show at Lit­tle Black Dress show­room in Shady­side.

Here are some of his tips for mak­ing the most of your next vin­tage shop­ping ex­cur­sion:

> Ask your­self, “Does this look mod­ern?” It seems ironic, but when you’re choos­ing some­thing vin­tage, the idea is you’re choos­ing some­thing that pushes fash­ion for­ward. Vin­tage dic­tates mod­ern trends.

> Sexy is in the eye of the be­holder. Does it make you feel at­trac­tive? You don’t want it to look like a cos­tume. If it looks like some­thing you’re go­ing to trick-or-treat in, that’s a prob­lem. If it makes you look like a treat, that’s OK.

> Don’t be se­duced by a la­bel. Con­di­tion is para­mount. Just be­cause it’s a great la­bel doesn’t mean it’s good. Re­alise that not ev­ery­thing can be saved. How much plas­tic surgery do you want to do on a gar­ment? Some­times, you just can’t make it look the way you want it to look.

> Your tai­lor is more im­por­tant than your shrink. Don’t get so caught up in it if some­thing doesn’t fit you per­fectly. It’s all right to have some­thing tai­lored. I don’t en­cour­age some­one to bas­tardise a his­toric gar­ment, but giv­ing that gar­ment re­newed life and a re­newed pur­pose through sim­ple tai­lor­ing is fine.

> Take time to learn a gar­ment’s story. To me, it’s the in­ti­macy of go­ing into a woman’s closet of a cer­tain age who pulls some­thing out and says, “This is the dress I met my hus­band in” or “met the royal fam­ily in Kuwait.” It’s comand pletely vis­ceral sto­ry­telling. The minute those ladies are gone and the sto­ries are gone, I don’t think I’ll be do­ing this any­more. – Pitts­burgh Post-Gazette/Tribune News Ser­vice

A 1960s Puc­cini top from the Cameron Sil­ver col­lec­tion with a Diana Miset­icde­signed skirt.

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