Aug 18, 2009

Melody Fortier & The Little Guide to Vintage Shopping

I am delighted to have the opportunity to interview Melody Fortier, author of the new book: The Little Guide to Vintage Shopping, which can now be pre-ordered here.
Melody Fortier has been in the vintage business for some time. She has a shop in Gardner, Mass., a Website, a Blog, she writes articles on vintage clothing, and she is a active member of the Vintage Fashion Guild. Clearly, she has a lot to do. She has graciuosly agreed to answer a few moderately probing questions.

Melody, what do you want your book to accomplish?

I love vintage and have since my teen years. I love that it's infused with a sense of history...where we come from. I love the creative choices it offers the Wearer AND I love that is green. I suppose in a way my book is one big, loving sales pitch for vintage. But more than that I want people to feel comfortable buying it... as comfortable as they do contemporary clothing. Nearly 15 years as a dealer has given me a great deal of experience learning what the vintage shopper needs to know. It was my goal to write a practical and complete guidebook...What to avoid, how to navigate size, what to pay... this type of thing. I also wanted my book to be a fun and interesting read not stuffy!

How on earth did you find time to get a book written?

THAT was the first question I asked myself when I signed the book contract! Frankly I spent the first two weeks in a happy but panicked daze. I'm used to Prioritizing though, so my practical side kicked in and I got right down to it. Generally my workweek lasted 7 days and those days were long. My house was a disaster for an entire year. One interesting thing I discovered...dust looks no different after 6 months than after two weeks. I had tremendous support from my Husband. He always managed to say the right thing when I was feeling overwhelmed.

What era do you consider the Golden Age of Style?

That's a tough one. During the depression of the 1930s Hollywood designers knocked themselves out to create fantastic and glamorous clothing for the movies of that time. I am blown away every time I see an Orry-Kelly film. At the same time Chanel, Vionnet and Schiaparelli were making fashion history and the privileged few who could afford the luxury of couture were not shy about flaunting their creations. For these reasons I'd say the 30s. The 1950s however were a time when high style became a preoccupation across society. The strong economy and growing middle class had greater disposable income and women embraced fashion with fervor. They may not have been able to afford Dior or Balenciaga but with the help of designers like Molly Parnis and manufacturers such as the Suzy Perette company, mainstream society kept it pretty chic. So I guess both eras would be Golden Ages of style for me.

If the Costume Institute at the MET were going to give you a gift of any fashion item in its collection to honor your fabulosity, whose work would it be?

Aw shucks BUT Oooh! What a delicious thought! Hands down, without question, any draped dress by Madeleine Vionnet. Do they have one? Can I have it...?
I wish I could make that happen. Thank you Melody!

To find out more about Melody, The Little Guide to Vintage Shopping, and the Tangerine Boutique, click these links:
The Website: Tangerine Boutique
The Blog: A Vintage Ramble
or call for an appointment at The Shop: Tangerine Boutique 114 Parker St. Gardner, Ma. 01440 (978)630-3488

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