It has been quite a silent month for Italian vintage lovers: after the Belgioioso Fair in October, a full vintage weekend is expected in Emilia Romagna for the end of November.
From the 18th to the 20th (from 10am to 8pm) Modena will be the stage for one of the biggest Antiques Fairs in Italy; the 7.8.Novecento and third edition of Vintage Circus. The best of Italian designers’ (and not) vintage will be presented with many collateral events, all of which are worth a visit. For example Chicas Locas will teach you how to play with retro make-up and hairstyles (“Gioca col Trucco e Parrucco”). You can learn how to move like Dita Von Teese with the Burlesque classes, or get a lot of information and deepen your curiosities about the History of Costume and Fashion (further details on www.7-8novecento.it)
One of the scheduled events, in Modena, that got my attention is an expo on lingerie and corsets organized by Tara Vintage which is one of the most successful Italian vintage dealers of “Pizzi, piume e crinoline. Le femmine sono tornate” (Laces, feathers and crinolines. Females are back).
I had the chance to meet Luigi Cagliari, from Tara Vintage and to ask him some questions about the expo, the company and, of course, vintage!
: Luigi, Tara Vintage is considered a very important reference in Italian Vintage landscape. Please tell us your story…
: Tara Vintage started in 2006, from a real passion for the fashion of its founder, Patrizia Fissore. She’s a very refined fashion collector and during the years she’s bought and meticulously taken care of vintage pieces of the most famous couturiers and designers of the 20th century. This huge passion for hunting unique clothes and accessories moved me and lead Tara Vintage to specialize in the Italian vintage landscape in designer vintage bags and accessories, along with clothing.
In 2007, we started the site www.taravintage.com
and we opened the boutique Tara Vintage in Bra (Cuneo, Italy), in via Gianolio 41. There you can find particularly rare and valuable pieces, hard to find objects whose beauty and charm don’t fade with time. Every vintage object from Tara Vintage has been chosen for its quality and uniqueness. We personally select every piece based on our own taste, but also on its history and quality.
The history of Tara Vintage as a retailer is quite recent, but it permeates a strong desire to spread a real vintage culture in Italy. This because we are, first of all, passionate lovers of those objects and we always strive to gain a wider knowledge of them; we realize there’s something new to learn every day.
We give special care to the originality of the objects that we propose. And to the correct information we give to those who approach vintage or the collection of these objects. We strive to give them the most detailed and comprehensive description of what we sell (particularly aiding in dating when it is not stated).
: At the 7.8.Novecento Fair in Modena you will present a charming exposition on lingerie and corsets from the 19th century to the 1990s, can you tell us more about it and which pieces do you consider most interesting?
: It is a real journey in the history of women’s lingerie from the corsets of the end of the 19th century until the 90s. It is also an evocation of a certain femininity that often disappears because it’s hidden by homogenizing garments.
Intimacy and seduction are life: vintage corsets are tools for this part of life!
Moreover, the materials and the manufacturing of an age get lost in time and in this exposition you can notice the quality of those vintage pieces compared to the more recent manufactures.
There will be quotes on the history of lingerie from famous divas. For example this one by Lana Turner: who, while in the States, was interviewed by a famous journalist who asked her how she became famous and she humorously answered: “I wore a good bra and a t-shirt two sizes smaller than mine!”
The most interesting pieces are without any doubt the older ones, like the corsets with whale bones, all handmade, very rigid and with a very tight waist, or the 50s and 60s girdles and the first bras.
: Working as a leader in Italian vintage market you know very well the trends of vintage in our country. What is the situation of vintage in Italy in your opinion, especially if compared to the other European countries?
: As I mentioned earlier, the Italian vintage market needs to get a real [education on what the] culture of vintage really is. “Vintage,” nowadays, is a very abused word. People think that vintage is a synonymous with second-hand. In other European countries like France or the UK, vintage culture is completely different with a much clearer philosophy and foundations. There, they appreciate the vintage object for its quality and for its soul, compared to the new, insubstantial and homogeneous ones. They appreciate the chance to “recycle” and to have an unique object that their friends can’t buy in a shop because it has become, in its way, impossible to find. They appreciate the possibility of styling the pieces based on their personality or using a statement piece that will add a special touch to a contemporary outfit.
In Italy there are too few people who live vintage with the right philosophy: too often people are more interested in second-hand of recent designer pieces just to have a better price than in the shop. Anyway vintage is not for everyone and it will never be.
I appreciate a lot those who come and ask about it, those who want to understand and are open minded because they want to learn and get enthusiast for a quality timeless piece. I appreciate the desire of being different, even through the way of dressing [is what comes] through the objects.
The ones who have to create this new culture are us, the vintage dealers and retailers, but very often this doesn’t happen. We try to do our best, especially through expos that put the accent on the real essence of vintage. For example “Bagagli e dettagli di un viaggio al passato” (“Luggage and details of a journey at the past”) is one of the latest expos presented by another colleague: a journey through trunks and luggage, based on the evolution of the luggage itself and on the details that were part of a trip in the past ages.
The retailer is not just a seller, he [or she] has to get more information and has to be prepared as if every customer [they] impact is more prepared than [themselves]. This is our philosophy: we give precise and veritable information, we don’t invent things just because we need to sell. If a customer is prepared, they expect the right information and if they’re not they deserve our attention [even more so].
Recently I’ve seen more and more new retailers who start [selling or showcasing] without any knowledge on what they’re selling, creating embarrassment not only for themselves but also for the whole community of the vintage dealers’ system. For example, to sell recent pieces saying that they are from the 50s or the 60s just because they have signs of wear! [What is that?]
At the same time I must say that in Italy, there are customers who are prepared and informed vintage lovers and they are able to see through the smoke and wait and select the best finds.
Last but not least, in Italy, many people perceive the state of something that has been worn as a real taboo: they want the perfect piece with no marks or flaws. Whereas in France, for example, a sign of wear is appreciated as it adds more value and taste to the piece.
: One of the things that we like to ask to vintage experts who talk with us is their tips on shops/fairs/markets in Italy or abroad- where you can find the best bargains ang get very interesting rarities…
: Paris is, for sure, the place where you can find the best historical exemplars and notice the differences in the vintage culture compared to us. In a city like Paris there are so many places that, in my opinion, anyone could go by themselves and make finds following their own personal tastes. You can find everything you’re looking for there: from clothing to bags to luggage.
In Italy, I suggest an event called Next Vintage in the castle of Belgioioso which is held twice a year (in April and October). But you can find great bargains anywhere, you just need to keep your eyes wide open and have a clear idea in mind. You need to love what you’re looking for and be sure that you can find it even if you were to look in a little market near your house! Hunting is the most important step for those who really love vintage. For me personally, it is a bigger sublimation than selling, but it can sometimes cause you sorrow because you can become addicted to the fact that after selling- you are already looking for an even more beautiful object!
And if all this is not enough, just head toward the coast not far from Modena to Rimini, or more precisely, Morciano di Romagna, from Saturday the 19th to Sunday the 20th (from 10 am to 7pm) to another interesting vintage event: Vint & Glam (more info www.blunautilus.it). You can find vintage objects, accessories and clothing of many different eras mostly from the 70s to the 90s. Many of our friends like Oggetti Smarriti and Lamù Vintage (do you remember my two favorite frames providers! Lol), Chicas Locas, Le Civette Vintage (my favorite in Rimini!) will be there along with many others.
Also, A.N.G.E.L.O. Vintage Palace will be there with their amazing itinerant fashion museum. We saw them in Forlì with the expo: Japanese Style on Issey Miyake. This time it will be Emilio Pucci vintage collection! More than 50 pieces including: cocktail dresses, day dresses, jackets, handbags and ties from the beginning of the 50s to the end of the 60s will be on display, along with the most famous prints of this fantastic designer. Besides of this clothing expo, A.N.G.E.L.O. will also present a very exclusive lingerie collection by Pucci which was designed for the American market.
I think it is a perfect weekend to breath some very good vintage… and to learn the art of seduction with vintage lingerie!