This month's vintage lover is Sofi Akhala of Portland, Oregon.
Sofi is a jewelry designer who always makes a splash with her fantastic clothing and accessory ensembles.
- How long have you been collecting vintage clothing for?
Since I was 15... my best friend Tracy and I would sneak into New York City for the day and go to all the vintage shops in the village... it was such fun! Being in the big city with all the "artists"... we shared our clothing finds too... being that I went to a different high school than her, we had an amazing wardrobe!
- What got you into vintage clothing?
Tracy had a lot to do with the development of my fashion awareness...and I have always been intrigued by "the past" and vintage fashion was the organic evolution.
- What are your favorite eras of clothing?
Art Deco era fashions certainly comes to mind, and almost anything Baroque. But the tops is the Victorian era, I'm in love with weaving these elements into my costuming today... my philosophy is "the Turn of the Century"
- What do you like about clothing from these eras?
Decadent fabrics, ceremonial headdresses, lush density of layering, flamboyant in nature and jewels, jewels, jewels!
- Who are some of your favorite vintage designers?
As for favorite vintage designers... this would go back to the days when the shop tailor was your designer fitting you with custom pieces in vogue with the royal court.
- Who are some of your favorite modern designers?
You know, I have to be honest I'm not really up on current fashion designers I tend to like to spend my time studying chanting and meditation. Although I am intrigued by Jean Paul Gaultier, his couture fashions are my favorite... I saw a piece recently, I believe it was entitled, "Madonna of Guadalupe" with a painted face with a headdress and a 20's infused gown. Just awesome, I would love to wear that!
- What would be your ultimate vintage find?
A perfectly fitting 17th century Baroque gown...white and gold with black accents, appropriate for the ball to be held in the forest. One of my favorite things to do is go for a hike in my extravagant costuming...
- Where do you do the majority of your vintage shopping- garage, estate and rummage sales, thrift stores, vintage stores, online vintage stores or eBay?
As far as shopping is concerned, I love thrift stores and resale shops...I like to touch and smell the clothing. Plus the excitement of the chase, as it were, that seems to happen in the resale shop environment. Both the Buffalo Exchange and the Red Light are good for 40's and 50's, also at Magpie I've found some interesting pieces with which I formulate my Victorian era look.... Sofified as it where, you see I like things that are torn. And of course, Lulu's Vintage! All these shops are located in Portland, Oregon.
- Is vintage clothing popular in the city that you live in?
Living in Portland, I have come to expect great vintage fashions... in every part of the city there seems to be at least one shop... Downtown has about 5 or 6, maybe more! I also see a good number of people dressed to the nines in their vintage finds.
- Who are some of your favorite style icons?
Greta Garbo comes to mind- beautiful, feminine and timeless.
- What are your favorite vintage movies, music and television programs?
Movies: I do enjoy The Stranger by Orson Welles and of course Citizen Kane. Gone with the Wind is always good for a laugh and a cry!
Music: I love Ella Fitzgerald and big band stuff. I am an avid classical music listener... Flight of the Bumblebee (good morning starter) and the New World Symphony are some of my favorites.
TV: Dragnet was always fun to watch.
- Do you collect any other types of collectibles or antiques?
I love antiques and things from "another era"...hand crafted works, made when mass production meant 100 pieces...I love devotional statuary and have started a fine collection. I also really dig vintage lamps and of course vintage jewelry!
*Thanks to Sofi for answering our Style Council interview questions!
You too could be featured on Lulu's Vintage Style Council!
Just email me- lulusvintage (at) yahoo.com a photo of yourself wearing vintage (it can be a modern outfit accented with vintage accessories or a complete vintage ensemble) and answer my interview questions
This post was originally published on October 7, 2007.