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Posts Tagged ‘Lisa Hunter’

Dita Von Teese shops the Expo. Photo courtesy of Vintage Fashion Expo.

Local shoppers are abuzz with the approaching fall Vintage Fashion Expo this weekend September 22-23 at the Concourse Exhibition Center in San Francisco.

The Vintage Fashion Expo brings together dealers from around the country to offer an array of treasures from the early 1900s to the 1980s.

Vintage Vogue’s Barbara Grigg will be there displaying designer gowns perfect for upcoming holiday parties and events. Marta Koehne of Hot Couture Vintage Fashion has a wide selection of chic winter coats among other great finds.

Vintage-inspired is omnipresent on the runways and this season designers focussed on accessories:

  • Hats are favored by Marc Jacobs, Jason Wu, and Giorgio Armani.
  • YSL looks include daytime gloves.
  • Miu Miu and Oscar de la Renta like structured handbags.
  • Chunky pendants and brooches are the big news of the season.

    Hats and handbags to rival any modern design. Image courtesy of Vintage Fashion Expo.

Hats, gloves, handbags, costume jewelry? The Expo has all that and more, including clothing for men and children. Plus celebrities! Dita Von Teese often shops the Expo as does designer and Fashion Star Contestant Lisa Hunter who finds inspiration while strolling the aisles.

The Vintage Fashion Expo, September 22-23 at the Concourse Exhibition Center 635 Eighth Street, San Francisco. Click here for all the details.

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Designer and Fashion Star contestant Lisa Hunter shopping at the Vintage Fashion Expo in San Francisco.

The Vintage Fashion Expo last weekend was, as always, great fun and a shopping success. I found a Joseph Magnin 1970s patent leather handbag and a fantastic pair of navy and white leather gloves with ah … slits in the wrists. Really! I’ve never seen anything like them. But my real find was Lisa Hunter, contestant on the new fashion reality show Fashion Star.

I spotted Lisa conversing with another attendee and introduced myself. Friendly and ready to talk vintage fashions, Lisa agreed to take a break from her shopping and chat.

Lisa told me she got into vintage when she was studying fashion design at Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. One day she picked up a copy of the school’s newsletter and saw a help wanted ad for someone to work the Vintage Fashion Expo. She got the job and when she showed up on that first day, she was blown away by all the beautiful vintage clothing.  “I felt like I died and went to heaven,” explained Lisa sporting a retro curly bob hairstyle and a green plaid dress from her own line.

Although she had grown up watching old movies with her mother and loved glamour, vintage fashions were not on her radar. At FIDM she was thinking of designing clothes for tweens. But after working the Expo for three years surrounded by the best in vintage clothing, her whole fashion focus shifted.

Lisa says she came to appreciate all that vintage has to offer. “It’s classic and beautiful and it never goes out of style.”

After she graduated from FIDM in 2004 Lisa started her own line – Vian Hunter.  She now lives in Seattle, Washington and has a store where she features her own vintage-inspired designs as well as a selection of vintage clothing. The late 50s to early 60s is her favorite period.

At the Expo that day Lisa shopped for coats, suits, and fitted jackets for fall as well as dressy dresses. Seattle is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Space Needle and many of Lisa’s customers are attending the big 1960s themed party.

I asked Lisa what’s inspiring her these days. “The new longer skirt lengths I find oddly refreshing,” she says, “and eight inch hems.” Back in the day, skirts and dresses had big hems and Lisa is pondering that as a design element.

Hmmm … I like that idea.

For those of you watching Fashion Star you know that Lisa is a contestant and she was a winner on this week’s episode with Macy’s picking up her sleeveless pleated empire waist dress.

Congratulations Lisa and a big thank you for taking time to speak with Over Dressed for Life.

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One way or another, vintage fashions are always in. This season the big fashion story is the Ladylike Dress of the 1950s – nipped-waist, full skirt. The best place to pick up an original of the new trend is of course The Vintage Fashion Expo this weekend March 17th and 18th at the Concourse Exhibition Center in San Francisco.

Vintage-inspired dress by Lisa Hunter from Vian Hunter House of Fashion.

I never miss the Expo and guess who else will be there –  Lisa Hunter, current contestant on the newest NBC television fashion show Fashion Star. Lisa is a women’s clothing designer and longtime shopper at the Expo.

Inspired by the feminine look of the 1950s and 1960s, Lisa studied at FIDM and started her own fashion house in 2004 called Vian Hunter House of Fashion. She currently lives in Seattle, Washington and has a shop where she sells her own designs and select vintage pieces. (I like the fact that all her designs are made in the USA.)

Lisa isn’t the only fashionable to shop the Expo. Stylists, fashion students, fashion journalists (like moi), collectors, and clothing historians are just some of the folks in the biz who find the Expo not just a place to buy vintage, but also to find inspiration, meet like-minded people, and network.

For over 30 years, every spring and fall The Vintage Fashion Expo has brought to us 80 dealers from around the country offering fashions and accessories for men, women, and children from the 1850s to the 1980s. There’s something for everyone and more.

The Vintage Fashion Expo, March 17th and 18th, 2012 at the Concourse Exhibition Center, 635 8th Street at Brannan, SF. Saturday hours, Early Bird $20 admission 9am to 10:30 AM. Regular hours $10 admission 10:30 to 6pm. Sunday, 11am to 5pm. Students with ID free on Sunday.

See you at the Expo.

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