Changing the way dedicated collectors of vintage fashion can discover pre-loved designer pieces, High Fashion Society is the online consignment boutique ram jammed full of seriously stunning outfits and accessories.
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Quitting her job in the city and setting up a specialist online fashion boutique, Yoanna Hanchard turned her passion for collecting vintage fashion into a flourishing business. Establishing High fashion Society in 2010, Yoanna created the exclusive members only club to provide her clientele access to a virtual wardrobe full of treasure. Keeping members updated and abreast of the latest style news, High Fashion Society is a revolutionary concept store and intelligent meeting place for trailblazers and individuals who need to be in the know about what will be hot next season. i-D strutted down to the High Fashion Society HQ to take pictures of the best picks from the HFS rails and find out just how Yoanna got so good at locating beautiful threads from all four corners of the earth.
What is your earliest fashion memory? Apart from styling my Barbie dolls I always remember being the best dressed kid at parties and special occasions because Mum used to design and make me my own clothes. As a little girl I also remember being obsessed with Mum’s high heel shoes and slipping my little feet into them, dreaming of the day they would fit me.
Where are your favourite places to thrift in London? Some of my favourite places to thrift in London are at auctions such as Christie’s or Kerry Taylor and I often pop to the odd sample sale.
And outside of the UK? This would also be auctions too; both Paris and New York have fabulous auctions and you can even bid online
What is the most prized vintage piece in your wardrobe? One of my most prized pieces is a vintage early 1990′s Chanel dress which is sleeveless with a navy skirt and a cream button up top with a collar. I love it because it was the first piece of Chanel clothing I ever acquired and it’s such a classic little number that I will treasure forever.
Of all the labels and brands, which best stand the test of time? Chanel and Hermés would definitely be labels that stand the best of time and will increase in value as they age. When I purchased my Chanel jumbo 2.55 it cost me £1250 in 2007 and if I wanted to purchase the same bag now from a Chanel boutique it would cost £2600+. If I ever wanted to sell my Chanel bag I would get my money back with a profit.
How do you define the quality of good vintage clothes? Defining the quality of good vintage and pre-loved clothing is similar to how you would define a good diamond by the four C’s (cut, clarity, colour, carat) but with pre-loved and vintage gems it would be the four D’s, Designer. Design. Date. Detail.
What should collectors be aware for when scouting new designer vintage pieces? If it’s a designer piece make sure you’re purchasing from a reputable retailer who can guarantee authenticity, if not then you can try to tell the authenticity of a piece by looking at the quality of its stitching and the fabric composition. If it’s a designer bag then it’s always better to purchase with papers such as authenticity certificates/cards as this will help it to hold its value.
What are your top tips for wearing vintage well? Mix and match with classic pieces to avoid looking like you’re in costume, especially if it’s a true vintage piece from an earlier era. If I find a jacket, for example with a great print but not so great cut or just too big then I love to get my mum or my tailor to reconstruct it to suit and fit me better. This is a great way to update really old vintage and be unique.
Text: Milly McMahon
Styling: Tess Yopp
Photography: Masha Mel
Model: Brittany Burke @select
Hair: Louis Ghewy using Bumble and Bumble
Make Up: Anne Sophie Costa at One Make Up using Giorgio Armani Cosmetics and Skin Care