Tag Archives: the sartorialist,

Vintage in Italy: Milan’s Humana Vintage & My First Missoni

I spent two weeks in Italy this past September – lucky me, I know! I was in the company of a couple guys (my dad and older brother, specifically) with negative interest in shopping, but I made it my mission to steal a bit of time to myself and hunt down some vintage shops where I could.

Milan was the first stop, in time to catch the Formula One race in neighboring Monza. I had done a small amount of research on where to go vintage shopping, and it looked like there were a decent handful of stores within a reasonable distance of the Milan city center. I only made it to one, Humana Vintage on Via Cappellari, ultra-conveniently located about 2 minutes away from the Duomo at the heart of the city.

This store stocks a grab bag of vintage clothing, shoes, and accessories, with reasonable prices and a fantastic charity attached. From their website:

Humana Vintage sources its stock from Humana People to People (HPP) Italia ONLUS: A non-profit organisation formed to collect clothes in Italy for sale or onward distribution in order to provide support to international development projects in Africa.

Through specifically purchasing at Humana Vintage in Milan you will contribute, at this point in time, towards two development projects in Mozambique:

  • A pre-school for 60 AIDS children orphaned as a result of the AIDS virus – part of the HOPE project
  • The Vocational School of Nacala – funds will support the daily running of the school, which gives practical, vocational training to rural students in areas, such as, agriculture, construction and bookkeeping.

Who can argue with that? Fabulous clothes from the 60s-80s sold for fair prices going toward a worthy cause. If I could only go to one vintage shop in Milan, I’m glad it was this one!

But on to the goods – or, more aptly put, the greats. I got a great deal on a gorgeous vintage Missoni skirt with the high end orange label. Isn’t it pretty?

Instant love. The price was low because the back of the skirt had a big pull in it; unfortunate at first glance but not enough to stop me! The fabric is a very loose plaid knit done with twisted, slubby yarns, and when I got back home it took me all of half an hour to work the pulled yarn back into its place. It started out looking like this:

I used my nail art dotting tool to pull the thread vertically through the direction of the knit. If you’re ever trying this at home, a very small gauge crochet hook would work just as well, or even a tapestry needle with a blunt tip.

I worked the yarn through, being careful to give it enough slack to blend in. You can theoretically do this with any pulled knits, but it’s a heck of a lot more difficult when the knit is tighter and the threads don’t have a twisted texture that blends easily.

I just kept working my way up, one knit at a time, reseating the pulled yarn comfortably beside its twin. Going…

Going…

Gone! Wasn’t that easy? And now, I’m the proud owner of a flawless vintage Missoni skirt, straight from its home country!

Pull? What pull?

Milan would’ve won my heart even if I hadn’t had such epic luck, but as it stands I’m pretty much in love. Desperately. The city was amazing, and its residents were unbelievably stylish. Scott Schuman is forever posting pictures of chic Milanese on The Sartorialist, and logic would dictate that the standards set by his portrait subjects is unattainably high. Not so – young and old, the people of Milan just know how to dress. Especially the men. Oh, the men…

But I digress. Long story short: yay Milan, yay Humana Vintage, yay Missoni!

I’ll show off my other Italian finds soon – Florence and Rome treated me quite well, and I can’t wait to share!

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Guess who’s back!

I’m back, from outer space! (or, from Alabama.)

So, about all that blogging I was planning on doing on the joys of costuming? Didn’t happen. For the last couple months, I’ve been so busy I barely had time to keep up with my email, much less my blog. But, I had a great time in spite of the stress and challenges, and most importantly, the show looked FANTASTIC. I know I am a bit biased, but the costumes were excellent and the cast looked gorgeous.

And now, life is back to normal.

Which means that my Etsy shop is back to normal, too! Most importantly, my shipping schedule is back to normal. I have about a million new things to post, so check back here or at my store for the latest. Expect a major sale in the very near future, as well – it’s a little late for spring cleaning (at least in Florida, anyway), but I’m ready to clean house all the same! I will, of course, post all about it when the time comes.

I feel like I’m slowly reacquainting myself with the internet at large – I’ve had such limited time to keep myself informed about the fashion world and what’s going on in the realm of vintage clothes. Here are a few things that caught my eye of late:

Couture Allure’s 4 part series looking at the designs of Luis Estevez – so gorgeous:

1960 Part 1

1960 Part 2

1961 Part 1

1961 Part 2


The Sartorialist has been running a vintage photo contest, with some really stunning selections. They’re peppered throughout his blog, but check out some of my favorites:

“With the Boys”

“Majorca”

“Eatmore”

“Alejandro & Mom”


Michelle Obama in Peter Soronen, on Mrs. O:

She’s so pretty! Click the picture for the full link, with more shots of this beautiful ensemble.


The FIDM Museum Blog posted a great interview with Deborah Cook, costume designer for the animated film Coraline: read it here.


That’s all for now. I’m glad to be back! Don’t forget to check out my Etsy shop for pretty vintage things!

Audio

putthison:

Scott Schuman, the man best known as The Sartorialist, was kind enough to appear on my public radio show, The Sound of Young America, to talk about his life and work.

Who doesn’t love all things Sartorialist related? Give this a listen if you have the time; it’s an excellent interview.

Two things in particular I liked: first, Schuman briefly touches on the difference between fashion and style. It’s an important distinction to make, and the Sartorialist’s eye for style is most definitely what sets him above other fashion photographers. Schuman’s photos are always less about any one piece his subjects are wearing, but rather, about great combinations of color, texture, and design. They’re portraits, rather than advertisements, and those of us with limited clothing budgets can take notes and draw inspiration without having to feel more than the cursory pangs of envy at the sight of long legs in $1200 heels. Secondly, I love his remarks on aging gracefully instead of trying to stay young. I know I’m one of many people who look the Sartorialist’s portraits of older ladies and gents and thinks, “Ooh, I hope I look that good someday!” Apparently Schuman says the same thing to himself.

Oh, and half-smoked cigarettes and rolled up pants? I quit smoking a while ago, and blah blah blah cancer-schmancer, believe me, I know…but I still can’t help but think that any look is improved by a stylishly smoldering cigarette. Cue the nicotine craving.