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There are two full floors—and an entirely separate inspiration library—filled with reasons why The Way We Wore is a mainstay on our list of LA's best treasure troves. Stocked with pristine pieces from every stylish decade of the 20th century, the pre-loved treasure trove is helmed by vintage virtuoso (and Racked fan!) Doris Raymond, who treats TV viewers to even more fashion history eye candy in the second season of LA Frock Stars.
Premiering tomorrow on the Smithsonian Channel, the six-episode docu-series continues to follow the shopkeeper and her team on epic retail therapy adventures, styling seshes, and more. Among this season's action, burlesque beauty Dita von Teese gets dressed at the shop, Moschino's Jeremy Scott ("he's a friend") makes an appearance, and our shopping pal Jen Rade hits up the store for throwback inspo.
As if experiencing her museum-like boutique wasn't enough, we asked Raymond to share a peek at some of the throwback wonders stashed away in her private collection. From YSL for Dior, Rihanna-worthy Gaultier, a couture Burning Man dress, and the gown that made Zac Posen a star, get a glimpse of the treasures you won't find on the sales floor in the gallery above and read on below more.
How did you fall in love with vintage?
When I was maybe nine years old, my mother took us to Palm Beach, Florida, to visit my uncle who was a dress designer. His name was Ferro Ettehadieh, and I was lucky enough to find through a friend of mine who is a dealer in Texas, one of my uncle's original pieces. He was a contemporary of Rudi Gernreich, and [he] did exactly the same style, tunics with leggings that matched.
What do you think draws people to vintage?
Even with a store like mine that has higher price points, you still get more bang for your buck in order to get something of the quality and fit. To buy a couture piece like that Galanos today would more than likely cost you $100,000, and we're selling his ostrich feather dress for $9,000. There's a monetary savings, there's a global warming issue, and there's a way to dress uniquely that a lot of people like.
What's your take on the worship celebrity style and personal fashion blogs today?
It's moved the nation of swag from gifting to celebrities and gift suites to now the stylists and celebrities are demanding [freebies]. I don't necessarily agree [when] stars say they can only wear something once, which I think is a horrible message to send out. It evolved from borrowing garments to now [celebrities] demanding that they get paid because if they mention what they're wearing, it's tremendous advertising for the company.
How did it go from having clothing made for the red carpet to then borrowing garments to now being paid to wear garments? I think it's a downhill spiral. Now the swag culture has bled into the bloggers.
What do you love about being on Smithsonian Channel as opposed to other reality TV-focused networks?
I think one of the things I'm proud about with LA Frock Stars is Smithsonian Channel was willing to do an interesting show about an older woman. They didn't say, "You know what, let's find a vintage clothing store with a woman who's in her late 30s." They respected the fact that my years doing this gave me a certain knowledge, a certain caché that a younger person may not have.
The other thing is it's not scripted; we didn't fabricate drama. If there was drama, it was genuine. When shitty things happened, [the camera crews] didn't pursue shooting that experience, and I respect them for that.
Who are your top five vintage wearers?
I would say Angelina Jolie, Heidi Klum, Daphne Guiness, Adele, and Florence Welch, [all of whom] are clients.
LA Frock Stars season two premieres Thursday, March 19th at 9pm on the Smithsonian Channel; see the full airing schedule here.