A few weeks ago, I heard about the WilliamVintage sale of iconic haute couture at Selfridges in London. I wasn’t able to visit until last week. After walking through the designer handbags on the ground floor, I asked the Selfridges’ women at the escalators for directions to the collection. They stared blankly at me and quickly declared, “That’s over. You missed it.” I felt a swell of disappointment, before I boarded the escalator anyway, and as the womenswear floor entered my field of vision, I realized they were wrong. It was still on display.
Founded by William Banks-Blaney, who was titled the “Vintage King” by Vogue, the WilliamVintage collection spans more than a hundred years of fashion history, including iconic pieces from design houses Dior, Balenciaga and Givenchy, among others. Rachel Zoe, Tilda Swinton and Rihanna are just a few of the famous fans of WilliamVintage.
The Selfridges collection includes an amazing array of designers, crossing many decades including 1970s Halston, and 1960s Dior and Givenchy. As the discreet sign at the exhibit states, “The WilliamVintage edit for Selfridges represents some of the rarest pieces of haute couture vintage in the world.” It’s very impressive, especially in a department store. The selected items are, “…unique, inspirational pieces of clothing that remain timelessly modern.” The WilliamVintage collection may be surrounded by current season collections, but it more than manages to compete for our sartorial affections.
Along with countless other shoppers, I enjoyed seeing the clothes up close, especially when I learned that the WilliamVintage shop in Marylebone is by appointment only. International vintage fashion fans will be happy to hear that’s all about to change. WilliamVintage is currently preparing an online shop. They will launch the new shopping experience on September 2, opening up their exclusive collection to women around the world: classic haute couture in a click.