Vintage stylist Allison Hall, owner of Chosen Boutique has a passion for vintage fashion. From an early age she was always on the look-out for unusual pieces that exemplified her personal style. When she discovered vintage it was love at first sight. She believes vintage is more than clothing from other era’s, each piece tells a story about the person, where it was made and where it might have been worn. She is quoted “There is a personal connection with vintage that you can’t find anywhere else. The attention to detail, the beading, embroidery. It was made in a time when mass production didn’t exist and fashion was understood as a representation of personal style.”
Her connection to style and art can be seen in her family as well. Allisons father owned the first Persian Rug Shops in Calgary and then went on to design of all sorts including furniture. “Our family home is filled with treasures I didn’t even know my father had been collecting, specifically mid-century furniture.”
Allison believes fashion is art and should be treated and treasured as such. Here are a few questions and answers that will give you some insight into another vintage treasure hunter like myself.
1. What is your favourite fashion era and why?
Oh! This is so hard to answer. I love all the eras for so many different reasons. Right now (as of today) I have to say the 50’s. I love the feminine lengths of the dresses and how they accentuate the natural curves of women. It was this era that the stiletto made a name for itself and the high heel became popular in women’s fashion and I love my high heels so this would be another reason the 50’s are a favourite of mine.
2. If you could wear one designer for the rest of your life, who would it be?
I have to say Chanel, she defined fashion and her life story is fascinating. Lagerfeld despite his social blips has done an incredible job of keeping true to the brand as well as giving it a modern edge.
3. What is your favourite piece in your inventory right now?
I just recently found a 1950’s silk crepe day dress with a cut-out string back, pictured left. It is elegant but the back gives it a sensual sexiness. I have a 60/40 rule where I think in fashion a women should never expose more than 40% of her body at any given time. This dress fits that bill perfectly!
4. What is your most embarrassing fashion moment ever?
I have two…
The first is that I really think I must have been born in the 50’s because I still wear underwear from that era! Well, inspired I’ve always had a hard time wearing g-string- who invented those things? They’re just not comfortable! I have to say I do get teased by my friends but it’s just the way it is. I guess it’s an ongoing quirky thing about me.
The second which is more of an embarrassing moment is that I was at a local event wearing one of my favourite vintage cardigans, it was camel cashmere silk lined with brilliant copper beading. As I was coming out of a bathroom stall, a girl was on her way in and stopped in some sort of shock! She said I was wearing what appeared to be her late grandmothers cashmere cardigan!! I guess the cardigan had been passed through and donated or sold and made it’s way into my collection. We had a bit of a laugh and I may have offered to give it to her. Awkward but really funny!!
5. Fashion idol past and present?
Past, Grace Kelly. Pure elegance and old world glamour. Present, I really like Rachel Bilsons style. She knows how to mix old with new and creates amazing looks!
If you would like to continue this conversation with Allison, you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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