• Autre Marque

    VESTIAIRE COLLECTIVE: SYMPHONY OF VINTAGE PIECES BY MARIE BLANCHET

    Written by Ksenia Rundin

    Vintage today is more alive than ever,” says Head of Vintage at Vestiaire Collective Marie Blanchet. The clear evidence for that we see in Vestiaire Collective’s latest collaboration with the Editor At Lage for Japan Vogue, Anna Dello Russo, who has carefully chosen 38 unique pieces from her personal jewellery archive to sell on vestiairecollective.com. Being launched on November 15, the collaboration constituted a certain mini exhibition of rare jewellery pieces, we practically could study fashion history through.

    Browsing through the vintage department of Vestiaire Collective’s webpage is a true experience, where innovation has carefully embraced the knowledge of the past, offering the consumer the best fruits of inspiration and skilfully leading the latter to new ideas. eBay was under a long time the most popular global market for online vintage dealers. Seemingly, Marie Blanchet has achieved a significant change in that field by creating a new “vintage” oasis with a pure and exclusive touch of expertise and fashion history completed by playful aesthetics opening up for a wide range of style experiments. Marie and her team have put physical vintage shops on the digital map by engaging them in online activities and giving the consumer pieces the one would hardly find on his/her own. Pieces we would never be able to discover without spending many hours at flea markets or vintage shops, can now be carefully studied and purchased at a reasonable price at on vestiairecollective.com.

    Whether you are a cool teenager or a stylish lady with an eye for vintage, you will always find something to add to your collection and spark your imagination with. By wearing vintage pieces you create a new stylistic reality, where a few different époques can all of a sudden devolve into a new entirely unique style. It could be an intriguing game of knowledge and fantasy, where you practically learning history by creating an art work of your own. Odalisque Magazine have met vintage expert Marie Blanchet during her visit to Stockholm and talked vintage with her.

    Could you please tell me about yourself and how did you come to the position you are at today?
    My name is Marie Blanchet and I am la parisienne, who has always being living in Paris. Being brought up in a very intellectual family, I was early introduced to the art-house cinema, which later defined my interest for clothes, tailoring and vintage. The film has had a deep impression on me. Ingmar Bergman is my favourite filmmaker of all times. When I was around sixteen, I started buying vintage for myself, wearing pieces none else was wearing. It was also a certain bargain for me as a teenager, because I could afford buying beautiful pieces at a quite low price. My first vintage purchase, which I still have in my closet, actually was a flower dress, dated 1917, which I found at a flea market in New York for forty dollars. It was such a pleasure wearing that dress, feeling different and bold as if I were in a movie. At that time John Cassavetes’ films were popular, where for example Gena Rowlands was wearing Emanuel Ungaro’s dresses with flowers and prints. I felt almost like her.

    Later I studied films and went on to be a costume designer for a TV drama, which was about La Belle Époque. Thus I had to dress women the way they used to be dressed in 1910, what made me very interested in fashion history of the 20th Century, especially the female emancipation in our society. I found it very compelling connected to the way you dress and express yourself as a woman. I am not interested in fashion per se but I am interested in style, which is all basically about personality. My feeling is that by exploring vintage, I explore my personality, coming across unique things. Women and their style is a big source of inspiration for me. I also noticed that women, who choose to take risk in their style do not have to be eccentric but they are merely themselves.

    I also worked together with one of the vintage experts in France, who was my great mentor, teaching me a lot about what I know today. Already a few years ago, I started realising that all those vintage shops I loved, were having fewer and fewer visitors; people were not opening the doors of the shops anymore. Practically it meant that many beautiful and amazing pieces would simply disappear. It made me think that the future of vintage should be online. And then I met that incredibly inspiring woman, co-founder of Vestiaire Collective Sophie Hersan, who trusted me from the beginning, when I was creating that vintage category. She let me express myself freely, what is very rare in such a big company as Vestiaire Collective. Then I did that catalogue from scratch. And what I loved, besides of doing that job, was to work with all those vintage sellers, who now sell to us. Although the future of vintage is online, we helping those shops to stay alive by selling their pieces on our webpage.

    How do you actually define the word “vintage”?
    It is a very significant question, where we have to start from separating second hand and vintage. Second hand is something that has been worn by someone or owned by someone and afterwards sold. It can by anything. Meanwhile, vintage is the essence of second hands. The word itself started being used in fashion in the 1980s. “Vintage” is a French word originally used in the wine industry. It means “millésime”, referring to the date in which grapes are harvested and while put on the label, defining a high-quality vintage wine. We started using that word in the 1980s because the entire triangular silhouettes were inspired by the 1940s. In other words, the 1980s were the best years when we started getting influence from a decade within the same century. Basically, vintage is pieces from previous decades that are already a part of fashion history. Consequently, vintage is about classic timeless pieces. What we are trying to do at Vestiaire Collecitve is to find modern vintage, mixing timeless pieces, which never will go out of fashion with pieces, which are influencing fashion now. We also have a selection of vintage for young and cool fashion girls. There is no limitation for how old a piece should be in order to be considered vintage.

    What is the most popular sought-after vintage item today, according to your opinion?
    I would say that the most sought-after item today, in accordance with our sales, is Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak watches in plain gold and entire gold. We also sell some rare Chanel-bags which always are sought-after and sell within a very short period of time. Today it is also a big phenomenon of Dior’s saddle bag that sells quickly. Nicolas Ghesquière’s Balenicaga pieces are very coveted by collectors.

    Do you think that today’s Balenciaga will become vintage pieces one day?
    I cannot answer that question. I am very impressed by the way Demna Gvasalia actually cuts. His pieces are really well cut. Vetements is more about style, a sort of own idea, obviously very inspired by Margiela.  Demna Gvasalia is a master of cut and designer of his time. Whether his creations are going to last in fashion history in the same way as Ghesquière’s do, I do not really know.

    Where should anyone interested in starting to wear vintage begin?
    Just go on Vestiaire Collective and choose the “vintage” tab we have today. There you are able to take a part of editorial picks. It could be a good start. Men can for example start with watches, travel bags or wallets and accessories. We have a great catalogue with exceptional pieces at good prices. Women could start with the bags. I personally wear only vintage bags. It is a very good way to start your vintage path with. The best way of wearing vintage is to mix it with seasonal pieces.

    How would you describe the relationship between vintage and sustainability?
    The best way to be sustainable is to participate in the circular economy when you purchasing fashion and the optimal way to do it is to buy vintage. Vintage pieces used to be made to last. Therefore, those pieces of the high quality that cannot be compared to the quality we have today. Obviously, we have a clear link to sustainability whereby. If you acquire a vintage Chanel bag from the 1980s or 1990s, the quality of lamb leather is incomparable to the today’s quality.

    Who would you consider to be the best vintage collector in the world?
    Recently we had a collaboration with the granddaughter of Samuel Goldwyn Liz Goldwyn, who was selling 300 pieces out of her extensive fashion archive with Vestiaire Collective to support Dress for Success, a charity that empowers women by offering support, tools and professional attire. We are very lucky to be able to have this collaboration. Liz Goldwyn lived in Hollywood and has collected her vintage pieces since she was thirteen years old. Liz provided a few pieces from Balenciaga’s White Collection within a price range between € 200 and the most expensive dress of € 20.000. I would name her as one of the most amazing vintage collectors. There are still some pieces left in our “Archive Series”.

    AdR clutch
    Liz Goldwyn wearing Autre Marque and Maison Martin Margiela
    Balenciaga
    Chanel
    Chanel
    Maison Martin Margiela
    Dolce & Gabbana
    Jean Paul Gaultier
    Autre Marque
    Ear cuff, unsigned
    Sonia Rykiel
    Victor & Rolf
    Pierre Hardy cuff
    Sonia Rykiel
    Vintage, unsigned
    Vintage, unsinged
    Chanel vintage earrings
    Pic of Marie Blanchet, Head of Vintage at Vestiaire Collective x
    Photgraphy by Roman de Kermadec

    Pic of Marie Blanchet, Head of Vintage at Vestiaire Collective x
    Photgraphy by Roman de Kermadec

  • When in Grasse making perfume with Chanel

    Written by Pari Damani

    In celebrating the 1-year anniversary of the ‘Gabrielle’ perfume I was invited to go to Grasse to the Chanel flower fields and experience the art of perfume making.
    We arrived at the Chanel Bastide early morning in the late september heat, a kind of temperature I was not used to at that time of the day being from Sweden, it felt like my makeup was melting down my entire face and my hair was getting frizzy. I imagined this is where legendary No.5 was born.

    The scent of the flowers hit you in the air and breathing has never been so luxurious and I saw Gabrielle Chanel walking the fields finding inspiration for her first perfume. At first I found it hard to focus, where should I go first -this is the Chanel Bastide in Grasse! The surroundings are beautiful by the mountains of Grasse, rows and rows of Jasmine flowers, Tuberose, May Rose and Geranium all grow there just for making perfumes for Chanel. Still in shock we were warmly welcomed as I was having a coffee, yet again I remind myself to breathe and take in all the impressions. The Bastide truly lives the essence of Gabrielle Coco Chanel, a stone house with a soft blend of beiges, an interior of beige, white and black. Simple and elegant.

    Grasse has a long history of perfume making. Since the end of the 1800- century Grasse has been the center of creating oils from flowers and fruit surrounding the city and is the main provider for the French perfume industry. It is also where Chanel has it’s fields of flowers and the distillation factory just a few minutes from where the flowers are grown and picked. I had before this trip never quite understood the process of perfume making, how a flower ends up in a bottle was a mystery and very hard to grasp. But the process was very fascinating to see. 

    Wearing black shiny Chanel rubber boots and beige apron we walked through the Jasmine and the Tuberose fields with the land owner mr Joseph Mul. His love really shows through the quality of the flowers, where no chemical fertilizers are used,  and his passion for the twenty hectares which he inherited from his great grandfather.
    The scent of Jasmine was mildly in the air when we walked through the field with Mr. Mul. He encouraged us to pick a few flowers hold them tightly in our hands for a minute to experience how the aroma develops from the warmth of our palms, during this minute the scent is amazingly much stronger as if I had just sprayed myself with ‘Gabrielle’.

    Gabrielle’’ is composed out of four white flowers; Jasmine, Tuberose, Orange Blossom and Ylang-Ylang by Chanel perfumer Olivier Polge. With inspiration true to the legacy of Mademoiselle Chanel ‘Gabrielle’ is the only perfume created bearing the name of the legend herself. It is no secret Mademoiselle Coco had a special relationship with white flowers. Camellia was also a favourite and a repeated inspiration through her jewellery and fashion designs. Jasmine Oil ‘Huile de Jasmin’ has been in the Chanel beauty range since it first launched in the 1920’s and remains as a key ingredient creating beauty products and perfumes.

    Each flower has their own appointed teams  when harvesting, for example the Jasmine is a small fragile flower and requires delicate fingers and a light touch, Mr Mul explained, so therefor experienced people are chosen for picking. Tuberose grows to be a long beautiful stem with flower bulbs at the top, white petals with a yellow center makes it very elegant, but the scent from this flower is strong and very mysterious, earthy yet sweet. Put a few of the bulbs in water and the scent will intensify day by day as if living in a Tuberose oil. I was given the chance picking a few flowers and during that time wondering how these tiny flowers become oil or an ingredient in a perfume.

    The Jasmine flowers are carefully weighted, put in metallic crates with a solvent. Being cooked in high temperature the solvent soaks up all the fragrance from the flowers, then magically turned into a wax called a concrete. This is what becomes oil and an absolute to make Chanel perfume. Absolute is a concentrated liquid in which the alcohol is removed from the concrete used in the Chanel No5 perfume, as requested from the Chanel perfumers, to get the most and the ultimate scent of the Jasmine flowers.

    Perfume making really is a true form of art that I now have a greater understanding of the process. The four white flowers composing ‘Gabrielle’ makes it a true floral perfume. I feel like I am swimming in a pool of perfect jasmine, ylang-ylang and tuberose while eating the most zestiest orange, get out of my flower pool and have a rest on sweet sandalwood. The scent is intense and long lasting and truly speaks the DNA of Gabrielle Coco Chanel. I will not even begin to explain the feel of the bottle, except that it is a genius design, cool and modern inspired by Paris and Gabrielle, that would be an article in its own right. Everytime I look at my perfume or whenever I use it now I will be reminded of my experience at the flower fields, constantly in a Chanel state of mind.

  • The secrets to the 10-step Korean skincare routine

    Written by Yasmine Mubarak by Pari Damani

    The Korean multi step skincare regime is packed with all the essentials to make your skin boost. Established and developed through centuries of Korea's cultural fascination with healthy looking skin. The skincare routine is today less of a “routine” than it is a lifestyle and usually starts from an early age. After living in Hong Kong, learning more about the lifestyle of sheet masks, double cleansing and skincare brands in every corner of the city –the whole island of Hong Kong is obsessed with Korean skincare, and they have all right to be. The history of Korean skincare is long and broad, some say Korean skin care rituals date back to some purported document from 700 B.C. Koreans believed makeup and self care not only benefited your external appearance, but also your internal self. In ancient times, they produced facial scrubs, beauty lotions, facial creams and oils, along with colored powders, rouge and eyebrow ink from herbs and extracts from the nature nearby. All that ancient knowledge have paid off, and with the growing economy during the 1990’s K-Beauty exploded together with other culture fascinations for example Korean Pop. One of the reasons why Korean skin care is so successful is their advanced technology with chemistry and bioscience to create groundbreaking skincare products. They are always one step ahead, BB Cream, CC cream, everything origins from Korea, it’s truly the future of skincare.

    What can we learn from K-Beauty?
    The 10 step routine teaches us the underlying purpose of each step and to understand how our skin behaves. The routine can easily be tailored and for that reason, fits all skin types; dry, sensitive, matured or oily. One day it might be 4 and the next day 7 steps whenever you wish to boost your hydration or target a specific problem area. K-Beauty teaches us the secrets of essence, exfoliating and most of all to use sunscreen everyday. However the most important part with this routine is that you take care of yourself and feel good from within. Tapping your products gently on to your skin is a key factor with K-Beauty, never rub. Finding the right Korean products can take time, not to mention a bit tricky to get through, here’s a breakdown of each step, how it works, and some products involved, all South-Korean.

    1. OIL CLEANSER
    In Korean skincare double cleansing is a key element in the routine, where you use an oil cleanser first. The oil helps remove your makeup and first layer of impurities from big city air pollution. How to: Massage it over your dry face and then add lukewarm water to emulsify the cleanser. Massage again and then rinse everything off! Erborian cleansing oil, this formula has a cream texture which transforms to a smooth oil as it touches your skin. Formulated with coconut and sunflower seed oil to help leave skin soft. Without parabens, sulfates and phthalates.

    2. WATER-BASED CLEANSER
    Cleansing twice is recommended by dermatologists because it helps remove impurities that can create a break out. The second step to the double cleanse is water based, it washes away the remaining oil and eliminates all the dirt from your face. Now your face is absolutely clean for the remaining steps. How to: Add water and lather, massaging onto face and neck; rinse with lukewarm water. Make sure you rinse off all the oil cleanser, so your eyes don’t start to hurt from the oil. I tried ‘Neogen Green Tea Real Fresh Foam Cleanser’ and the main ingredient in this cleanser is fermented green tea extract, which brightens, calms, and hydrates skin without stripping your skin's natural oils.

    3. EXFOLIATOR
    You don’t always have to exfoliate (especially if you have sensitive skin), take it in your routine around once a week or when you are having a home spa. Robbing off dead skin cells on your face makes it possible for the rest of your skin care products to mingle with your skin and for a longer lasting make up during the day. Gently massage or tap an exfoliant into your skin. If it’s a wash off mask, gently massage the product into your skin and leave it on for 5-10 minutes and then rise off with warm water. Skinfood ‘Black Sugar Honey Mask Wash Off’ is packed with organic black sugar that is enriched with vitamins and minerals to hydrate and nourish skin. Choose between Black Sugar or the Black Sugar Honey which is more suitable to sensitive skin.

    4. TONER
    The toner helps restore your pH-balance to prepare your skin to better absorb what comes next in the routine. Compared to many western toners, Korean brands are more focused on hydration and as you will notice, are a bit thicker in the formula. Pump 1-2 drops of the toner into your hands and dap it directly onto your skin or dispense it onto a cotton pad and gently dab around your face. The skin toner from Benton contains Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Water, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, and Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice. BHA (0.5%), Snail Secretion Filtrate and Hyaluronic Acid. Which all help skin texture, heals, balances, and hydrates your skin.

    5. ESSENCE
    Step five and you are halfway through! An essence is a kind of toner/serum hybrid for your skin and is an extra layer of hydration after toner, some are a bit thinner and some thicker in the texture. Finding the right essence can be a bit tricky from my experience, many of them contains different acids and active ingredients, which is specific for certain skin types, but don’t give up because when you find the right one your skin will thank you. Apply it to freshly toned skin and it is very important to pat it in gently, to not irritate the skin. ‘Cosrx Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence’ is one of the most sold essences, packed with 96% snail secretion filtrate for super intense repair and hydration. Snail mucin has the ability to repair everything from dry patches, to acne breakouts and hyperpigmentation.

    6. TREATMENTS
    These products are highly focused on what you wish to boost, which directly treats the issues you’re most concerned about. Whether they target dull skin, large pores, pigmentation, wrinkles, or acne, Treatment serums are the ideal skin perfecting step. Gently dap these into your skin using your fingers! The serum can be used a few times a week, whenever you want your extra boost of confidence.

    Klairs - Rich Moist Soothing Serum
    This soothing serum gives a moist boost and fits skin types which easily becomes inflamed and needs a calming serum. One ultimate friend is the Klairs Juiced Vitamin Drops which you can mix with the soothing serum. After using the two, your skin becomes softer and clearer. 

    7. SHEET MASKS
    Many say that, if essences are the heart of the Korean skin care routine, sheet masks are the soul and provides your skin with maximum nourishment. All you have to do is put one on and relax for 15-20 minutes. Use one at least once a week or every single day if you’d like, sheet masks have clear instructions on the back of the product. After you removed the sheet mask feel free to dap the remaining products into your skin. Some use the sheet mask as a finalizing step in their skincare routine and for sensitive skin that needs hydration MediHeal N.M.F Aquaring, Dr Jart+ and for normal/blend skin: Oh K! Snail Sheet mask are three masks I have tried out and are available in most parts of the world.

    8. EYE CREAM
    The skin around your eyes is thin and delicate, which means you should treat it with care. An eye cream provides the area with extra helpings of hydration and protection. Use the eye cream around the entire orbital bone, avoiding the water line. Cosrx is one of the biggest Korean skincare brands which have multiple different product lines for dry, oily and maturing skin that you can fit in your 10 step beauty regime. One of their most popular product is the Honey Ceramide Full Moisture Eye Cream.

    9. MOISTURIZER
    By now your skin should be feeling super hydrated and dewy. Hydration is the final key for glowing skin, so it’s important to find a moisturizer that works for your skin type. They come in many forms, from a lotion, gel, or cream all of which work to seal in moisture to plump up skin and smooth away any fine lines. Pat a moisturizer into your face and neck morning and night every day. On days when your skin feels extra dry, swap your regular moisturizer for a sleeping pack.

    Innisfree Green tea balancing cream
    To become a true K-beauty expert you have to try Innisfree, one of the leading skincare brands. Their green tea day cream is rich in moisture  and delivers hydration and antioxidants from Jeju green tea extract. They also have a wide range of amazing sheet masks and cleansers.

    10. SUN PROTECTION
    Koreans fully understand just how damaging the sun can be for the skin when it’s not properly protected, which is why SPF is so important. Even if you’re stepping outside for just a couple of minutes, you must wear sunscreen. It’s the easiest and most effective way to prevent early aging (and skin cancer!). It’s important to put this on last so it can fully shield your skin from UV rays. Apply every morning as the last step of your skin routine!

    Innisfree - Perfect UV protection cream anti-pollution SPF50+ PA++++
    This triple function UV screen is formulated solely with mild ingredients and provides a safer protection. The sunscreen from Innisfree also have a PA++++ rating (Japanese sunscreen rating system) which means that it has the highest rating and protection for sunscreens.

    Many skincare brands outside of South Korea have now adapted the routines and have made their versions of K-Beauty products, it is safe to say that it is here to stay. If you are curious about the regime and want to try it out I would recommend starting lightly with a product or two and slowly adapt a few products in to your existing skin routine depending on your skin's needs. Between the aha, bha, boosters, vitamin serums, and essences it is hard to know which products works together and on your skin so take your time exploring. Now that winter is here a moisturizing sheet mask is definitely a good start.

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