Vintage inspiration: Schiaparelli and Kiss Me Deadly

One of the (many) things that I love about what I do is seeing how people take a vintage fashion starting point and turn it into something new – fashion designers often dip into the back catalogue as pretty much everything has been done before and the passage of time is a reliable determinant of good design. If it still works and looks great after fifty years, there’s a certain amount of integrity or beauty in the style. You could say it’s “tried and true”.

I’ve sold hundreds of pieces to designers over the past twelve years, who have then used the inspiration to produce something lovely for their market. Sometimes they might create a new fabric print (Leona Edmiston does this to great effect, I love her vintage floral reprints), simplify a complex design or copy it outright. Some top designers have even been known (scandalously!) to send real vintage down the runway and only copy it when the orders roll in.

British lingerie brand Kiss Me Deadly wear their vintage inspiration front and centre and when I listed a dusty pink ’40s Schiaparelli boudoir robe a while ago, it grabbed owner Catherine’s attention immediately and I sent it over.

Schiaparelli 1

Schiaparelli 2

Clare St Clare in ’40s Schiaparelli: batwing sleeves! Pointy cuffs!

Catherine loved the robe and created a modern, more wearable version – where the original features stiff nylon with a lot of body (and a somewhat unpopular colour), the KMD version is slinky black and – best of all – available in a range of sizes for pre-order.

KMD Leonie robe Morgana

Morgana models the Kiss Me Deadly robe.

KMD Leonie robe

She’s created a video to explain the fitting design issues, with one of their ’30s style bias cut nighties, that goes so well with it – you can see it here.

Tea and Biscuits 6; Leonie and Grace from Kiss Me Deadly on Vimeo.

I love dressing and boudoir robes and am very tempted to order one for myself too.


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