Lulu's Vintage

The Style Council! Samantha Zaza a.k.a. Szaza

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This month's vintage lover is with Samantha Zaza a.k.a. Szaza of San Francisco, California.

I featured Szaza's artwork in a Fashion Fridays post last month.

-How long have you been collecting vintage clothing for?

It started in my teens, I was always a little bit of an "unusual" dresser in high school. Most clothing I found in regular stores bored me, so I'd throw together a mix of modern and vintage. My prom dress was an enormously heavy, long purple velvet bridesmaid's gown from the '70s.

- What got you into vintage clothing?

At the time I was living in Cairo, where vintage clothing was next to impossible to find and wearing old-fashioned used clothing wasn't considered en vogue. I would say the pivotal point was when I discovered a tan leather jacket and a pair of fabulous cork platform shoes from the '70s at a flea market on a trip to Amsterdam. My parents hated that jacket! From that jacket on, I'd do my best to find whatever I could in the Cairo markets.

- What are your favorite eras of clothing?

Goodness, just about every era has something about it that I love from the '20s through the '70s.

- What do you like about clothing from these eras?

I love the lines of the '20s and '30s— the exquisite beadwork and fabric patterns of the Deco era really makes me swoon. I enjoy the military influence on the suits of the '40s, the fabulously decorated dresses of the '50s with their huge skirts and tiny waists— is there anything more feminine? Wonderful patterns came out of the '50s and early '60s. I also have a soft spot for Disco.

- Who are some of your favorite vintage designers?

Vionnet, Schiaparelli, Lanvin, Pierre Cardin, YSL.

- Who are some of your favorite modern designers?

Vivienne Westwood, Yōji Yamamoto, Lanvin, Prada... especially when feathers are involved. 
John Fluevog is my all-time favourite shoe designer, and I was fortunate enough to have a design of mine chosen by him to be made into a real shoe! You can read all about it and buy your pair of Zazas here. He has some amazing vintage-inspired pieces.

- What would be your ultimate vintage find?

A Vionnet, and this Lanvin dress in my size.

- 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 do most of my vintage shopping on eBay and some at vintage stores. I generally get better deals on eBay, and find more unusual items.

- Is vintage clothing popular in the city that you live in?

Vintage is huge in SF. It just might be the vintage capitol of the United States.

- Who are some of your favorite style icons?

Gosh, how can I not mention Audrey Hepburn? She had style. I also love Katherine Hepburn and Marlene Dietrich. David Bowie has always been fabulous and Patti Smith has a great style of her own.

- What are your favorite vintage movies, music and television programs?

Casablanca, Sabrina, Some Like it Hot, La Dolce Vita and any Sean Connery James Bond film, especially From Russia with Love and Goldfinger. As for television shows, I love Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie— they were fun to watch as a child and are even more fun now. Right now on my iPod I've got some Edith Piaf, Serge Gainsbourg, Marianne Faithfull, some old Patti Smith, Depeche Mode and Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds. I periodically go through Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd phases.

- Do you collect any other types of collectibles or antiques?

I have a collection of vintage tins, most of them were for biscuits it seems. I use them to contain my art supplies.

Thanks to Samantha 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 November 2, 2008.