COLUMN: Vintage: pieces of cultural, social, and political history

Monday, 06 January 2014
Fashion Institute of Technology columnistLike a little girl receiving a pony for Christmas with designer ribbons and bows to braid its hair with, I was shocked, and then filled with an overwhelming amount of excitement, when I walked into the fashion warehouse of my  dreams: Evolution, a vintage designer clothing and accessories dealer out of Cincinnati, Ohio run by Tony Tiemeyer. Yes, Cincinnati Ohio. I had absolutely no idea what I was walking into: all vintage Alexander McQueen, Hermes, Zac Posen, Christian Dior, Marc Jacobs, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Christian Louboutin, and the list goes on.

To backtrackBrielle Fashion Student Columnist FIT a little bit, I was in Cincinnati filming my next music video "Rock The Catwalk", which will premier in early 2014. In the song, I mention an assortment of designer names such as, Zac Posen, Hermes, and Karl Lagerfeld. My photographer had the idea of going to this fashion warehouse to film me trying on clothes for a fun scene for the video. I thought the idea was brilliant because, well, trying on clothes is the most exciting thing in the world! We arrive at the warehouse, I walk in, my mouth drops, and (because I am a teenage girl completely obsessed with everything fashion) I commence "fangirling" over everything (according to Urban Dictionary, "fangirling is the reaction a fangirl has to any mention or sighting of the object of her 'affection'. These reactions include shortness of breath, fainting, high-pitched noises, etc.")!!

Ok, I admit I was able to "keep my cool" a little bit, maybe less than I think, but inside I was screaming at the top of my lungs and jumping up and down.

Alexander McQueen
Whether I actually kept my cool or not, it does not matter. I realized that for the very first time I was completely surrounded with the physical and elemental works of not only my idols, but of individuals who had dedicated their lives to creation, and who have made major impacts on the worldly societies of times past. It was surreal. I literally left my fingerprints on measurable pieces of cultural, social, and even political  history. The two Alexander McQueen jackets that I had the honor of wearing were particularly exciting. Alexander McQueen is undeniably unparalleled in his vision and construction. I do recognize that such a statement is a matter of opinion, but it should not be. He was simply the best.

If I were a doctor
I desire to state that every fashion student should be able to delight in wearing vintage pieces! We spend our days studying the techniques, the fabrics, and the people that bring such glories to fruition, so why should we not study the actual pieces? In fact, if I were a doctor, I would prescribe "mandatory dressing up in vintage clothes to release endorphins and feel elation" a minimum of once a month, for everyone in the fashion business, for life! What a high.


Brielle, Freshman at the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York, USA

Photo: Brielle in Tony Tiemeyer's Evolution studio wearing Chanel and Escada channeling Anna Wintour and Karl Lagerfeld simultaneously.
Photo credit: Annette Navarro
Stylist: Kelsey Wing and Tony Tiemeyer
Hair and makeup: Phillip Nathaniel Saunders