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Something old, something new. Something 100% sustainable too.
Vintage is trending. Hard. And if you think it’s just a loada musty old clothes, you’ve been shopping in the wroooong place.
Getting your vintage clothing groove on can feel a bit overwhelming. That’s why we thought we’d catch up with Emma Rose Hosmer, creative director of Telling Time Vintage to get her expert tips on where to start.
Emma does drops of carefully curated vintage every fortnight. Think beautiful leathers (ethical, too) and timeless suiting.
Curating some vintage pieces for your wardrobe is a must for all those who love to wear unique, one-of-a-kind pieces.
First of all, there’s zero risk of rocking up to a party in the same outfit.
But the best of all, vintage fashion helps save the environment.
Every seemingly inconsequential purchase matters. If one million women bought their next garment second-hand instead of new, we’d stop 6 million kg of carbon pollution from entering the atmosphere.
Let’s do this, team.
Here’ our complete interview with Emma, creative director of Telling Time Vintage.
It’s raw, it’s authentic, we love.
What got you into vintage clothing and what keeps you interested, what do you love about vintage pieces?
Growing up, we didn’t have much money. My parents invested their money into our private schooling and weekend activities such as ballet and basketball. Buying new clothes wasn’t a priority. My brother and I had older cousins, and we would receive garbage bags full of hand-me-downs every so often. That never really bothered me until I got to high-school. You know, you hit that age where you just want to be your own person.
I was always really interested in design and fashion, even when my parents wanted me to focus on maths and science. I’d do my biology homework in front of the TV while hours of fashion shows played in the background – I didn’t have Betina Liano jeans but at least I had Foxtel and access to Fashion Tv.
The one creative subject my parents liked me doing was textiles. In my year 9 textiles class, I was forced to sit next to this girl named Georgine. She also had this crazy appreciation for fashion and saw style the way I did. We ended up becoming best friends. I want to say that it was around that time that I wasn’t too concerned with ‘fitting in’ anymore and I remember being drawn to Gwen Stefani and her whole vibe.
Gwen Stefani singing about Harajuku in Tokyo introduced me to a whole new world of style and I remember being obsessed with the Japanese street fashion books called Fruits. I started op-shopping regularly with Georgine around that time. We would hunt through Dandenong Savers and find pieces that were old, interesting or easy to cut apart. We used to rework stuff back then.
When we were 16, we had our own ‘brand’ and had custom garment labels made for our reworked pieces. We called it ‘Giino~Rose’ and we thought we were so cool. Though it obviously never took off, Giino~Rose is pretty much to blame for my obsession with vintage clothing to this day. A bit of a life story there but it’s the honest truth!
What is your favourite era?
I have two – the 1950’s and the 1960’s. To me, fashion goes beyond what people were wearing at that time. It’s the art, interior/architectural/industrial design, music, cars – the whole lot. I love the first 10 years of Playboy and I adored Sean Connery as James Bond. I even have an old 1963 Ford Thunderbird sitting in my garage. I have an original Sailor Jerry pin-up girl tattooed on my arm and I’ve been to the Parker in Palm Springs. Call it an obsession, but I’m a true nostalgist.
Who are you inspired by?
Gwen Stefani, Angelina Jolie, Amy Winehouse, Vivienne Westwood, Nadia Lee Cohen and Neil deGrasse Tyson.
What’s been your most treasured find and is there a story behind it?
This is such a hard question because I think I have a couple of pieces in my personal collection that I am really in love with! I’d have to say that my vintage Vivienne Westwood mini-bag is probably my most treasured piece now. The bag is literally crumbling at the seams due to its age but I love it so much! The Vivienne Westwood signature orb logo includes the rings of Saturn in the design. The bag has a giant gold orb on it. This piece came into my hands at the perfect time – just as I was dealing with the end of Saturn’s Return in my life and I like to think that the bag will always remind of that.
What do you define as vintage clothing?
If you think about it, where were you 20 years ago? I know where I was, and I was wearing the skirt/pants combo. Hideous. So yeah, I guess around the 20-year mark is pretty accurate. I wouldn’t call a Zara piece from 10 years ago vintage – that’s preloved in my eyes.
Do you ever source things that are just too good to sell off?
So, Telling Time Vintage was created because my vintage collection was getting out of hand and it was pissing my boyfriend off. Everything I source is something that I am drawn to, so this gig is a bit dangerous like that! I have definitely kept a couple of pieces for myself lately. They’re garments that I know are really old or rare and of course, they just happen to be in my size! I just don’t openly state what I’m keeping to my boyfriend, though.
What vintage piece are you drawn the most?
I’m drawn to fabrics the most I think – leather, denim, silk, wool etc. I’m definitely drawn to trousers and pants more than I am skirts – I love menswear, remember. I’m a sucker for duster coats and leather jackets – they CAN be worn at any time of the year, in my opinion.
Which designers are exciting you most right now?
Jacquemus, Bottega Veneta, Dion Lee, Thom Browne and Peter Do are pretty special to me at the moment. I am really liking Orseund Iris for their pretty, feminine pieces and their design features that are inspired by vintage items – check out their Gamine Skirt, for the perfect example. I also love Girls of Dust, Eat Dust and Neighborhood – there’s always really cool stuff coming from those brands and I’ve been living in their pieces during lockdown and mixing them in with my vintage collection!
Is there anything you are hunting for? Like a gem you would be really excited to find?
I’m always hunting! That’s the thing with vintage and preloved clothing – there’s just so much out there that people don’t want or need anymore and you have the chance to make it yours. But if you want me to be a little more specific, I’m a boot lover so I get really excited when I find a super square or pointed toe boot! Oh, and if I came across an ecru, oversized men’s suit tomorrow, I would totally cry.
Without giving away your secret gem, where do you look for new treasures?
A lot of my favourite pieces have been sourced while I’ve been in Japan – the vintage stores there are wild. I used to travel a lot before this pandemic. Since Covid-19, I’ve been sourcing online – sometimes finding pieces here in Australia, or sourcing items from overseas and paying the shipping fees if it’s something I know my customers will value, especially at a time like this.
How do you feel about the state of the fashion industry now?
To be honest, we should know what sucks with fashion and if you don’t, then there’s plenty of time to read up on it. We have seen so much come to light – creepy photographers, racist designers, cultural appropriation, unethical brands and fast fashion. I feel like that’s where we are at now, in general – calling out all the bullshit and bringing to light things that need to be spoken about. I think that’s great, but I also think it’s really important to celebrate design and innovation and there’s plenty of that to be found, too. I miss Haute Couture and Jean Paul Gaultier retired this year after his 50th anniversary show. I feel like that slipped under the radar for a lot of people because they’ve been so focused on everything else. I think balance is super important with everything – fashion is no different to me in that regard and the things I love about this industry, make me happy!
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