Bringing Mad to the Mundane: Why We Wear Vintage

My love for all things vintage has put many fascinating characters across my path over the years, the most notable being my dear friend Patti Henderson. She is a film costume designer by trade and owner of WildWood Rose Vintage by passion. Our shared affinity for fashion, and beautiful pieces with a history, quickly spilled over into a kinship that I feel very lucky to have found. Seriously, I soak up her presence like it is medicine for my soul!

We enjoyed some rare in-between-film time on her patio this fall and chatted around the September Vogue being passed back and forth, noting that we had both dog eared the same pages. We loved the blending of patterns and textures and the richly colourful themes of Dolce & Gabanna and Etro. We commented on the different decades being represented in single looks, the retro mashups that looked completely modern and high fashion. Inspired, Patti expressed a desire to do something more dramatic with her vintage clothes than the Etsy style, white wall photos that are necessary for online sales. That was all she needed to say to get my wheels turning and a vision rapidly emerged.

I imagined a whimsical, Alice-esque, tea party dropping into a forest. As though a chandelier hanging in a tree was a common occurrence and why wouldn’t there be a living room among the fall foliage?

Using vintage clothing from WildWoodRose, a few pieces from my own collection and with the cooperation of Pieter Jongbloed, owner of PJ Vintage and Patti’s studio partner, we created a colourful cast of characters.

I was like a kid in a candy store, styling this shoot in their wonderful tickle trunk of a studio! These two love nothing more than to have appreciative bodies come to play dress up. You can find them on the 3rd floor at 290 McDermot Avenue in The Exchange!

My goal was to create fashion looks that didn’t resemble any one era. A retro mashup of decades ranging from the 1920s to the 1990s. Embracing the silhouettes and fabrics of each era.

Fashion today is indeed influenced by so many different decades of trends that adding retro pieces merely makes you look edgy and avant-garde rather than old-fashioned.

My fantasy loving kids were thrilled when Patti asked them to participate! I believe that I am teaching them a healthy respect and wonder for pieces that had a history long before they were born. This is one of the things I love about vintage. Where did it come from? Who wore it? What special occasions did this dress witness? Both of my girls felt a sense of awe knowing that they were wearing some items from as far back as the 1930s!

I am truly blessed to have myself surrounded by creative souls who embrace my ideas and run with them! Reno and Madeline, you made my Mad Hatter dreams come true! And a huge thank you to, photographer, Paul Misseghers whose talent and knowledge realized my vision into reality!

Pinky’s Bake shop and Beyond Flowers (more creative souls!) completed our magnificent and delicious tea party decor.

So why wear vintage? It’s not to look like you’re in period costume. A person wears vintage because they enjoy being unique. Because they know that no one else around them will have that same piece. Because vintage adds a whimsical flare to a wardrobe that is hard to find at the mall.

We wear vintage because life doesn’t provide us with enough Mad Hatter tea parties but we can all bring our own sense fantasy wherever we roam.


Artistic direction – @StyleHunterFox
Wardrobe Styling – Style Hunter Fox

Clothing – @WildWoodRoseVintage
@PJVintage
Models – Monique Andrew
Patti Henderson
Pieter Jongbloed
@MadelineBrandt
@RenoWinston
– Scarlett Andrew
– Ruby Andrew
Photographer – @PaulMisseghers: Flashbound Photography
Cakes and macarons – @PinkysBakeshop
Floral arrangements – @BeyondFlowers
Indispensable Assistant director – @Daniel Piché