Words and Photos by Filip Terlecki
Recently I shot a project for Women of Influence magazine. It was a short behind the scenes documentary about their Summer 2012 editorial spread titled Deco Darling. The theme was 1920’s glamour channeling The Great Gatsby.
Overseen by Creative Director Serge Kerbel and photographed by Kourosh Keshiri, the photo shoot featured a lot of vintage and vintage inspired fashion pieces. Naturally, this was fruitful ground for anyone interested in vintage. Milling about the set was a mysteriously stylish brunette with a particular keen eye for the outfits and accessories that were being used.
Her name was Elena Tchemissova and I came to find out she is one half of a style blog called ItVintage.ca
Check out this video…
ItVintage.ca is the creation of Elena Tchemissova and Lucy Tregubenko; two Ukraine born fashionistas now living in Toronto. Elena works in finance while Lucy has a career in TV. Self admittedly, although they possess different fashion styles, they are united in their love for vintage.
“I always read online fashion blogs but never thought about starting one myself until Lucy approached me about a year ago to do a vintage blog with her,” explained Elena. “Our common love is vintage fashion but Lucy and I have very different styles, which allows us to draw upon each other’s unique perspectives and be each other’s inspirations.”
What’s unique is that Elena and Lucy took their blogging a step further. They transformed it into something physically tangible by opening a series of pop-up shops specializing in one-of-a-kind vintage pieces.
Here’s my Q&A with Elena about ItVintage.ca:
What inspired you to start blogging?
We have always wanted to do something very creative, something that was 100% our own and at the same time we wanted to share our love for vintage fashion with the world. Blogging just seemed like a natural choice that satisfies all of the above.
Why vintage? Why are you so passionate about it?
Fashion in itself is a language that speaks to people that appreciate it and get inspired by it. Vintage is a dialect that both Lucy and I understand and speak so well. Besides, vintage clothing carries so much history that each piece becomes very special and unique in a way that no modern article of clothing can compare to.
What sets ItVintage apart?
What makes ItVintage special is that we are a platform where readers can not only find out about the latest trends in today’s fashion but also learn how vintage trends inspire modern looks and how to integrate “it” vintage pieces into your own wardrobe.
Years ago, vintage clothes were considered “second hand” and looked down upon. Today, vintage has become one of the hottest commodities in any fashionista’s closet, from celebrities to the every day fashion goer. We make sure to guide our readers to the best vintage stores where they can find truly one-of-a-kind pieces. We take you inside the closets of some of the greatest fashionistas and search for those “It” vintage pieces. We also take you inside some of the hottest events around town where we rock our own ItVintage looks while capturing some of the best outfits of that event.
We’ve created a niche for the market that is growing daily as more people begin to appreciate vintage fashion. And most importantly, it is something we are so passionate about and there is nothing more exciting than sharing your passion and inspiring others!
Tell me about your pop-up stores – how often do you do them?
Pop-up stores are a lot of fun and really one of our favourite “It” events! We pick a venue and work around it making sure to create one of a kind shopping experience! We love to collaborate with other retailers, artists, musicians or anyone who can bring something different and tie into the whole “ItVintage” shopping theme.
Our inventory is very selective as we have to live up to our “It” pieces reputation – therefore coming to our sale, you don’t need to worry about searching through the racks of clothes until you find something you like. The pieces are all one-of-a-kind and it’s really up to your personal taste to pick something that suits you. Our prices range from $39.99 to $149.99. We mainly focus on dresses, but depending on the season, we also offer some fabulous fur, jackets and trousers. We are really dedicated in building our inventory with “It” pieces only, therefore we don’t rush into throwing as many pop – up sales as we can instead we focus on one sale at a time and make sure to present our customers with quality over quantity.
About two weeks before our next sale – we advertise the event on social media and our blog, making sure our customers get enough notice to make the event. Our goal for the future is to create a social buzz around our pop-up sales: we want our customers not only to experience some fabulous vintage shopping, but also mingle with the best in fashion, art and TV industries while having a cocktail or two and listening to some great beats. We are also in the process of creating an on-line store as part of our blog for all of those readers who can’t make it out to our pop-up sales.
ItVintage categorizes items by the “It” find,“It” store, “It” event and “It” closet. With this in mind what is the one “It” thing for you in the following categories?
Best item you’ve ever found (style wise)?
A vintage Chanel brioche from the 1950s, which I found at a store on Lincoln Road in Miami. Unfortunately the store is no longer there.
One of our favourite ones in Toronto is Pretty Freedom on Kensington Street. The owners are doing an amazing job at making it easy for customers to find an “It” piece in their store.
Best event you’ve ever attended?
Chanel after party in Cannes during the film festival last year.
Best item in your own closet?
There are so many… I don’t buy vintage all the time but when I do, it is truly an “It vintage” piece. I could not even put a price on these things as they are truly one of a kind and all of them are my favourites.
What blogs do you follow?
YouNxt of course, as well as the Coveteurs, primandpimp.blogspot.com and a few other local fashion blogs.
What do you thing will be the hot “it” style thing 1 year from now?
It will most likely be something reminiscent of the past. Possibly wool and fur hats in the winter like my mother used to wear back in the 70’s Russia.
Finally, who are some of your favourite designers?
Valentino is perfect for weddings and cocktail receptions. Pucci lately has been on the top of my list as well for glamorous dresses. Casual/chic is Jason Wu and Miu Miu and of course timeless vintage Chanel is an all time favourite.[like] [tweets]