I recently toured Helen Uffner Vintage with several friends and colleagues. In its 30 years, this full service, authentic period clothing and accessory rental house has contributed to over 1000 films, theatrical productions, TV shows, magazines, book covers, commercials, music videos and special events.
Helen, the business’s founder and sole proprietor, walked us through the aisles and aisles of men’s, women’s, and children’s vintage, spanning the 1850s through the early 1980s. I’ve always been interested in fashion as part of the zeitgeist: what clothing and styles are showing – or not showing – because of the times. Fashion is a reflection of society, whether it celebrates, subverts or upends the spirit of that particular moment. Helen shared great historical insight as we moved from one era to the next. For instance, dusters (coats made of of natural color linen, silk, canvas and cotton) were first worn by cowboys to protect their regular clothing from dust on the trails, but were later appropriated by men and women in the early 1900s to shield their outfits whist traveling in motor vehicles, since roads weren’t paved yet.
Ohhh look what we have here. There is something so delicate and sensual about vintage chemises. Behold these lovely pale pink bloomers, tap pants and camis I discovered from the 1930s.
Y’all know I’m obsessed with vintage coats! Helen has so many exquisite pieces from different eras and the detail variation from decade to decade is fascinating…dramatic tassels, ornate embroidery, unusual shapes and fabric patterns.
This military inspired coat had the most interesting neckline and darts, on Odile above.
And here’s Helen herself, a kindred spirit. Her love of vintage and a compulsion to collect estate sale and travel finds evolved over time as a formidable vintage rental house and costume consulting business. She’s highly regarded in the industry…but knows the importance of still playing dress up once in a while. Thanks for a great visit Helen.