Vintage garments are the caretakers of history, the keepers of stories and whisperers of secrets, they are bursting at the seams with the magic of the lives that have owned them before they were destined to become somebody's most coveted treasure forever. This is the intrinsic, captivating and ever so addictive nature of vintage, the hunt, the discovery and the carefully cared for and lovingly worn garments that speak not only of the styles of the yesteryears but of the extraordinary spirit of these women that have blazed before us.
At Chasing Unicorns it is no secret that Sarah's beautiful designs are inspired by these elegant, dreamy and oh so treasured years. The vintage aesthetic is one that is integral to the Chasing Unicorns heart and soul, both in respect to the incredible fashions of the past, that continue to assert their stylistic influence in the modern world but also to the impossibly beautiful Chasing Unicorns pieces that are designed with the intent of becoming tomorrows vintage.
Sarah herself is an avid vintage collector and has amassed incredible pieces from all over this globe. Her personal wardrobe is a bustling treasure trove of colour, texture, and style. From shimmering lust-worthy 70’s Adinis and paper thin hand beaded silk 40’s ball gowns right through to opulent hand sequined jackets and Hungarian needlework blouses that are all jostling for space and the chance to let their stories be told. It is from this most phenomenal collection that Sarah draws daily inspiration for her design process at Chasing Unicorns, whether it be an intricately beaded floral motif, a panel of hand-sewn smocking or an alluring bias cut. Here are some of Sarah's personal favourites shared from her private collection that have played an integral part in inspiring some of Chasing Unicorns most beloved garments.
Sarah's love affair with vintage is lifelong, and this swoon-worthy 1930’s prom dress is all the proof you need! Sarah and her Mum stumbled upon this incredible tulle creation one day on a trip to the Massachusetts Brimfield flea markets when Sarah was just 11 years old. Safe to say this dress of dreams came home with them and was carefully stowed away until 1997 when Sarah wore it to her high school prom after some careful alterations and straps that her mum lovingly added. Whilst everyone else was embracing silk satin minimalism Sarah was already way ahead of the norm, finding true style and beauty in the unique artistry of the decades past. The incredible hand beaded floral motif on this dress was where Sarah found inspiration for the embroidery on one of the very first Chasing Unicorns styles, the Eclipse skirt.
20 years ago whilst backpacking around London Sarah instantly fell head over heels in love with a delicate, tissue-thin and most intricately hand embroidered Hungarian mini dress. She just had to have it even though at the time it was unjustifiably expensive on her backpackers budget….safe to say the dress was stowed away safely in her rucksack and returned home to spend a lifetime amongst all the other beautiful treasures in her closet! You may already be able to connect this piece to its Chasing Unicorn's ode, the April in Paris dress pays homage to the age-old smocking and embroidery techniques used in this original inspiring vintage find.
ADINI’S are the holy grail of any die hard 70’s vintage collector….this incredible dress was the very first Adini that Sarah ever bought when she was just 18! Passing through San Fran in the late 90’s Sarah stumbled across this amazing dress with its vivid colours, free-flowing shape, and 70’s bohemian style. This was the start of an immense love affair and Sarah has since gone on to own 10 other of these exclusive dresses. Whilst the Adini dresses do not directly influence any Chasing Unicorns style they represent the deep-spirited influence that the 70’s as a decade has over the Chasing Unicorn's brand.
Sarah is someone who knows a great dress when she sees it, whether it's hidden deep in a rack of a million other vintage dresses in a store or hanging over a fence at a side of the road Byron bay garage sale such is the case of this most magnificent number. Driving along with a friend Sarah spotted this once in a lifetime dress with its lace cutwork and gentle colourway….screeching the car to a halt she dashed over to snap it up at the grand price of $30…..the steal of the century! This dress has become one of Sarah most favourite pieces, although she is the first to admit that she haphazardly cut the sleeves off and can't quite remember if this was actually a good idea or not. This unbranded vintage beauty was the inspiration behind the glorious cutwork lace detailing on the equally as covetable Chasing Unicorns Sugar Magnolia dress.
Travelling through New York with all its big city glitz and glamour, Sarah fell instantly in love with this hand-beaded 40’s cocktail dress she unearthed in a tiny vintage store. She states that this dress took her breath away and 18 years on it still continues to do so with its elegance, charm and old Hollywood sophistication. This was another vintage piece that had a story to tell and Sarah wasn’t going to leave the big apple without it safely in her hands! This dress was the catalyst for Sarah’s affinity with all things 40’s from the cutting techniques to the simple yet ever charming day dresses...Sarah knew she just had to revisit designs from this era and finds herself consistently pouring over styles from the 40’s for inspiration.
A love affair with Vintage and treasured keepsake pieces is an investment that will span the ages, always evoking in you a sense of wonder, stories, and memories of days gone past and moments lived….extraordinary fashion should always be designed to last forever so that the future can remain inspired by it always.
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