This month's vintage lover is Julie Woolfolk of Little Rock, Arkansas.
Julie is the owner of the online vintage clothing store Damn Good Vintage
-How long have you been collecting vintage clothing for?
In my early teens my grandmother passed and while going through stuff in the basement I snagged a silk "Fauvist look" robe and a couple of other goodies because I thought they looked cool. I was hooked, but it was not until my early 20's that I realized that I could actually buy all those great clothes I had loved for so long. It really was an eye opener. I mostly bought separates like blouses and coats or jackets since at that time I just was not a dress kinda gal. In my personal wardrobe I've always been more happy wearing a cute 40's blouse or skirt than a dress. Of cpursse now that I am a zaftig kinds gal my vintage wearing is pretty limited to vintage brooches, clip earrings, coats and my vintage purse collection.
-What got you into vintage clothing?
I was an odd teen. I loved old movies and musicals because of the clothes and would sit for hours with costume books or reprints of Goodies and draw the garments over and over again. Sometimes I would trace Worth gowns and then color them in like it was my own personal coloring book. It really was the finding of the vintage clothes in my grandmother's basement that really got me going. I really only began selling a few years ago when I was at a crossroad and trying to decide what to do next. I knew I wanted to be home with my teen that I homeschool, but needed a bit of income. So I looked at what I loved doing and realized that on-line selling would be the perfect fit with my interest in vintage clothing.
-What are your favorite eras of clothing?
The Belle Epoch is my favorite. I love that S-curve look. Totally impractical, I can't imagine how women functioned in them. Next would be 40's Noir and then the type of 30's chic that you see in The Thin Man movies, the pinup 50's look. Oh, and ball gowns, not prom dresses, but ball gowns like Charles James designed. The romantic looks from the 60's/70's from folks like Bill Gibb or Ossie Clark.
-What do you like about clothing from these eras?
I think it is that each has some type of exaggeration or over the top aspect to them that moves them out of the realm of just being garments to clothe us. The S-curve takes a woman's body and remakes the bust, the exaggerated 40's shoulder and nipped waist. The 30's glam just took feminine chic to a whole new level and 50's pin-up is the epitome of fun sexuality without being skanky...fro lack of a better word. Also a number of those eras had designers who would just ass these quirky tucks and curves, or fun touches that kinda wink at you like saying "let's not take this so seriously".
-Who are some of your favorite vintage designers?
Charles James, Adrian, Worth, New Look Dior, Molyneux, Schiaparelli (because of her quirks and sense of humor) and early Chanel.
-Who are some of your favorite modern designers?
Vivienne Westwood, Galliano, Betsy Johnson (see the trend here? They are all fun, quirky designers who make clothing that is exaggerated at times).
-What would be your ultimate vintage find?
A Fortuny, a Charles James ball gown, one of those really awesome mad hats from Bes-Ben and something from Worth...I would die if I ever ran across a Worth ball gown from his hay day.
-Where do you do the majority of your vintage shopping- garage, estate and rummage sales, thrift stores, vintage stores, online vintage stores or eBay?
I buy private estates and at estate sales, some auctions and sometimes eBay. I have not bought at a thrift or garage sale for awhile.
-Is vintage clothing popular in the city that you live in?
Yes, like most towns among the college age gals, but there is a strong contingent of older professional women who also buy and mix the garments in with their modern pieces.
-Who are some of your favorite style icons?
Myrna Loy, Hepburn...both of them, Grace Kelly, Carole Lombard, Isabella Blow.
-What are your favorite vintage movies, music and television programs?
Well none of these are vintage TV, but they do incorporate vintage. Right now I'm in love with Mad Men. The smoking, the drinking and the clothes! Pushing Daisies makes me happy with its quirky mix of noir, but sweet detective stories, kitschy look and, once again the clothes. I always like watching Poirot, I'm a detective novel freak and the 30's costuming is awesome. For movies it is The Thin Man movies, Rear Window, Gosford Park, anything with Kate Hepburn. My favorite music is 40's Big Bands and 60's Sinatra, I like Western Swing. I also have a thing for ABBA.
-Do you collect any other types of collectibles or antiques?
We've been furnishing our house from auctions and estate sales since we got married 24 years ago. I do collect, but I don't collect much that cannot be used in someway because I hate dusting. I collect vintage purses, vintage Catholic kitsch for my altar, and dog statues. We decorate in Victorian brothel in the bedroom and 50's/60's MCM in the rest of the house. I also collect various pieces of dinnerware that is "atomic" looking, but I'm so cheap I only buy stuff that is damaged since in our madhouse it will get damaged at some point.
*Thanks to Julie 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
This post was originally published on December 2, 2007.