Ibiza stylist Renu Kashyap takes us inside her wardrobe (and even gives us a peek into her imagination) to discover her love of vintage fashion.
‘Working at a Dutch fashion magazine in Amsterdam got me to the runway shows in Paris and Milan every season. My jaw would drop at the new collections, I’d get inspired for new shoots, and dream of the potential new additions to my wardrobe,’ she tells us of her career in the fashion industry, with the sense there’s a ‘BUT’ coming. ‘Buuut, I always got truly weak at the knees from a unique vintage find. It’s the hunt for that special item, in good condition and in the right size, that really gets me excited.’
‘For example, in the photo above, I am with my friend Mieke Tau – my hand embroidered dress is vintage from Beacon’s Closet in New York and was just $10! Whether it’s scouring flea markets or religiously hitting Ebay.com, I love thrifting and searching although there are also many vintage designer stores too, where you just might find a vintage Chanel jacket that seems as though it was made for you.’
But not all of us are natural born vintage shoppers, so Renu gave us a quick crash course in what to look for in a vintage piece. ‘Check the quality of the fabric – a lot of vintage pieces are synthetic. Check for stains and rips. If you find something great but not your size, you can always get it altered at the tailor. Making it shorter or taking off the sleeves can make a big change. In the photo below, my dress – which I found at Annie’s stall in Las Dalias (check her out!) – actually used to be a wide top! I made it shorter and shortened the sleeves too.’
It’s not only the moment that you find that perfect piece, but knowing you are the only one with it that makes your vintage find even more precious according to Renu. ‘A good vintage find will keep its value, or even raise if you preserve it well over the years (a good excuse to get it in my book!),’ she says. ‘And just think – if you had arrived in the store just five minutes later, you may have missed it!’
But Renu’s love for vintage was born long before she arrived in Ibiza, and even before she hit the high fashion world in Amsterdam. ‘Thinking back, it started when I was a teenager in the ‘90s. At the time, Australian training jackets, torn bleached Levi’s 501 jeans, and Nike Air Max sneakers were the running gag, almost like a school uniform but in those days I wore bellbottom jeans, tops made from my mom’s Indian sari’s and platform high heeled shoes instead!’
‘Even at that age I already had my favourite era pegged, from looking at women like Bianca Jagger, Lauren Hutton, Anita Pallenberg, Jane Birkin and of course Veruschka. The photography of Richard Avedon, David Bailey and Guy Bourdin fascinated me as well as designers as Bill Gibb, Biba and Netherlands-based Fong Leng. Check out my inspiration board below to get a feel for what kind of vintage inspired my Ibiza style.’